Would you have reacted like the clerks did to this armed robber? Or would you have fought back like the off-duty officers? I think this is an interesting Active Self Protection lesson because it shows us the validity of each strategy!
Original video of the armed robber: https://get-asp.com/gttq
What does this attack teach us about surviving an armed robber attacking you?
- The goal in any defensive firearms use is to stop the threat. Never draw a firearm if you’re not willing to use it, but if the presence of the firearm stops the threat, don’t pull the trigger! If the bad guy flees or surrenders, that’s a very successful defensive firearm use and you’ve met the goal. The armed robber here surrendered, so great work by the good guys!
- Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary. The clerks quickly got out of the armed robber’s danger zone, which was very wise.
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. The officers worked together very well to end the threat completely.
- The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves. The officer did a good job of maneuvering so that his backstop wasn’t a grocery store full of people.
- Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the attacker and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. The officers counter-ambushed the armed robber very successfully here, and using the same tactics the armed robber used!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.