Honest question: do you use your mobile like this in public? Think about what that means to your Active Self Protection, how it impacts your ability to know your environment, and see how close someone can get to you before you realize it!
Original video of the assassination here: https://get-asp.com/x1ka (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
News story with more details (Google Translate from Turkish needed): https://get-asp.com/l8pf (the victim died and the shooter was caught within an hour)
What does this assassination teach us about protecting ourselves while in public?
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. This assassination happened when and where it did because the assassin saw an opportunity where the victim wasn’t aware enough to give him a chance to survive the blast.
- 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. The victim here got caught unaware in a transitional space (a sidewalk) where the assassin could hide from him until the moment of attack.
- If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attacker (even from an assassination attempt). If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Look for people lurking and not doing what everyone else is doing, or covering their face or head when that’s not necessary (like inside or when it’s warm out). Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety. The red car was hanging out where it was out of place in traffic, and that was a clue if he was really on top of things!
- Your mobile phone is a useful tool but a dangerous one. It can be used to communicate, to get emergency help to you, and to avoid problems altogether in numerous ways. It can also be a very dangerous distraction, because it is designed purposefully to grasp our undivided attention and hold it. When in public, use your mobile sparingly and correctly. Don’t allow it to hold your attention for more than 20-30 seconds at a time, and hold it high so that your head is up and you can see past it to what is going on around you. It was a significant part of this assassination because the victim was totally engrossed in his phone until it was too late.
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them.
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today.
- First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum: http://amzn.to/1Or4yVz ) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. I carry my IFAK for myself and loved ones as well as to aid victims, and I have had to use it on bleeding people (from car wrecks in my case). Get some first aid skills!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.