Staring down the barrel of a gun is one of scariest situations imaginable. Many consider this to be a no-win scenario. They assume their survival is dependent on the mercy of the gunman. Fortunately, this is not necessarily the case. If you’re adept at weapon disarming, it’s possible to take a gun from an assailant without being shot in the process.
Disarming a gun is possible due to the action versus reaction principle, which dictates that action is inherently faster than reaction. When an assailant points a gun at you and immediately shoots, especially from beyond arm’s reach, there’s not much you can do about it. You could try to duck and run to the nearest cover or attempt to draw and fire your own gun if you were armed. But in either case, the odds are definitely not in your favor.
If the assailant is close enough for you to reach his gun and has not already shot you, he has essentially placed himself in a “reactionary mode.” There is some hesitation. The assailant might still plan to harm you, but if his sole purpose were to shoot you, you would probably already have been shot.
When someone suddenly sticks a gun in your face, put your hands up. Do this whether you are ordered to or not. This is a natural response and this posture is a universally accepted indication of compliance. In addition to the psychological benefits of doing this, there are tactical advantages as well.