We might picture a bank robbery as a Hollywood affair, but the reality is much more like this. Practicing Active Self Protection means thinking about what you would do in situations like this, seeing how different people react, and planning for your own reaction if ever you’re put in a similar situation.
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Original video: http://get-asp.com/2v40
News story of the incident: http://get-asp.com/waxn
How do I protect myself in a bank robbery?
- 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 bank becomes a transitional space because of the relative ease of ambush from outside and the easy escape the same way, as well as the obvious valuables it contains (which is why a bank robbery is so common). When in transitional spaces, recognize that danger goes up!
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! This bank robbery had no time to think through action. Everyone took action in the moment that made sense to them, so train such that you get more experience to act appropriately in the moment.
- In the moment of a bank robbery, 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. In this bank robbery everyone played cool and he left without harming anyone, but there were several opportunities for action if any of them were looking for them.
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t. In this bank robbery the man in the green shirt hit the silent alarm, but that didn’t keep anyone in the bank safe from the armed robber.
- 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 lady at the counter in this bank robbery stood there when she easily could have run away, and I encourage us all to learn from that to take the opportunities that present themselves!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)