Anyone with a concealed carry permit must consider the problem presented by bystanders. A key ingredient in surviving a lethal confrontation is remaining alert to your surroundings, as well as being aware of what’s happening. If you don’t see a problem developing and don’t react until an assault has started, you’ll be at a disadvantage. Staying alert and aware is a habit we need to constantly work on and cultivate. With that thought in mind, you must also be aware of the location of all bystanders and passersby. In your practice and training, or in the practical match format, this situation must be addressed.
In every shooting session, set up one or two exercises where one or more bystanders is placed in the line of fire, so the shooter must take immediate corrective action, such as a quick side step to gain a clear shot. As an example, turn your back to the targets and have the targets moved around, so you won’t know the location of friendly and hostile targets until you turn. Simple identification props such as toy guns, knives, or cameras and binoculars attached to the targets, add a bit of realism in that they must be quickly identified and sorted out of the crowd scene before shooting. Don’t make the scenarios too complex. Keep it simple to make it as realistic as possible.