There’s a reason we suggest having your Active Self Protection covered if you’re targeted by an armed robber, and this is a visual reminder of it! This clerk was doing her best to comply, and the armed robber still put her in mortal danger. Would you have complied with them?
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video and information from the OKC PD: http://get-asp.com/erco
How do I protect myself from an armed robber?
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. Most of us live in a world where we’re relatively safe, but this armed robber didn’t care for anyone’s safety. Danger like this can happen to any of us, and accepting that fact is the first key to being prepared to defend yourself against it.
- Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. A Family Dollar store doesn’t seem like a high-value target, but it meets the criteria because the armed robber and his accomplice were able to ambush the store and make a quick escape with their loot. Pay attention when you’re in a transitional space!
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an armed robber, then your only option is to submit to their demands and hope it works out for the best. I would never suggest that a helpless person try to defend themselves against a carjacking or armed robbery, though of course if it’s a matter of life and death you must do whatever you can. The point, though, is not to be a helpless victim! This is the heart of Active Self Protection, to motivate you to train and help you develop the attitude, skills, and plan so that you can choose to protect yourself if it makes sense in the moment rather than being forced into compliance with a violent felon. This cashier had no choice but to comply.
- 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. Likely because of Normalcy Bias and the Bystander Effect, the man in the blue shirt just stood there in the danger zone while an armed robber threatened everyone nearby. Don’t do that if at all possible!
- In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. Had this clerk had her ASP covered, there were several opportunities that she could have seized the initiative, gotten ahead of the OODA loop of the armed robber, and turned the tables.
- We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers! This armed robber had a grab man with him, which is not uncommon. We don’t know if the grab man was also armed, but we know the gunman was willing to injure to get his way.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)