This clerk was brave and resourceful when confronting this armed robber! There are a lot of lessons for us in self-defense on this one.
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News story on the sentence for this armed robber: https://get-asp.com/bma3
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves against an aggressive attacker?
- 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.
- One of the factors we see in injury to victims of crime is half-hearted resistance or half-hearted compliance. This amounts to an ego check or a will check of the armed robber to see if they really mean what they say they mean, and while that’s normal for people to do, it gets a lot of people hurt. Either comply fully with the criminals’ demands, or resist with everything you have to overwhelm the attacker and end the threat. Don’t go half-way. This clerk went full-bore against the armed robber, and that’s why he came out okay.
- 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.
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it.
- We tend (rightly) to focus on purpose-built force multipliers like firearms, knives, batons, etc. as self-defenders, but sometimes those aren’t available. While we always have our natural weapons (our body parts and empty-handed skills), we shouldn’t neglect environmental weapons that we might find at hand as well! Environmental weapons are force multipliers that aren’t necessarily designed to be used as defensive tools, but can be if necessary. For instance, a chair can become a barricade. A fruit knife can be used for personal protection. A flashlight can be used as a baton. Environmental weapons may not be as much force multiplication as purpose-built force multipliers, but in a pinch they might be all you have!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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