When facing an armed robber, you and your Active Self Protection will be what keeps you safe in the moment. The police response here was good, but took FOREVER!
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Original video of the armed robber is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the officer and the armed robber, including the Butler County prosecutor walking through the entire video with discussion of interviews with all involved: https://get-asp.com/gzx7
What does this pharmacist teach us about defending ourselves against 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. This pharmacist had been confronted by an armed robber just weeks before, as well, according to the news story. We should all be ready!
- Since criminals are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target. Think about a pride of lions chasing wildebeest in Africa and you get the picture. They target the elderly, the young, and the sick for easier attack and greater success. Likewise, criminals pick victims who they think will not effectively resist them, or that the criminal can quickly overwhelm. This includes the elderly, the young (kids and early teens), the sick, and the distracted. Men (the overwhelming majority of attackers) also target women because women tend to be physically weaker than men. If you’re in a vulnerable population take extra precaution and train! I am not positive this armed robber picked the pharmacist because she was a woman, but I can just about guarantee you it was a part of his choosing process.
- The “fleeing felon rule” generally applies to Law Enforcement Officers in the performance of their duties, and since 1985’s Tennessee vs. Garner decision the ability to use deadly force to apprehend a fleeing felon by LEO has been limited to cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that the fleeing felon like this armed robber is a continuing threat of serious physical harm to the officer or the public. However, how that law applies to non-LEO varies state by state. Make sure to know your local laws so that you know the limitations of shooting a fleeing felon, especially if you’re not a police officer.
- 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 robber, 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 police response took FOREVER, and though it worked out okay in this instance, it’s certainly worth noting that in most cases the armed robber would have done what he wanted to do and been long gone.
- 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. It also means not allowing the attacker to see that attack until it’s launched. Here the police officers counter-ambushed the armed robber, though he saw it far enough away to do something about it.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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