Would you have fought this armed robber or just let him go when he tried to jump the counter? I don’t blame this clerk for fighting back once she was convinced that the pistol was fake, though I don’t think she HAD to.
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News story and video of the armed robber getting beat up, with details: https://get-asp.com/5v5c
What does this clerk teach us about fighting back against an armed robber?
- 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.
- 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. This clerk works in a transitional space, which means she won’t get as much warning of an armed robber as others might because they will use the transitional space for ambush.
- 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 can’t guarantee that the armed robber chose this clerk because she was a woman, but I can just about guarantee you that he was surprised by her response. J
- 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. The clerk hit the panic alarm when the armed robber gave her the chance, but the police couldn’t possibly be there in time to protect her. Only you can protect yourself from an armed robber.
- We must learn that our environment is everything in us, on us, and around us. When we get into a fight with an armed robber or other attacker, we must use not only what is on US, but what is on our attacker as well! If we have to go hands on with an armed robber or mugger or other attacker, using what they bring to the fight is a wise strategy many times. That could be their clothing like the hood on an armed robber, a motorcycle helmet on a motochorro, long hair, etc. Use everything at your disposal to win the fight!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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