Against an armed robber we need to stay mentally aware of our situation to be ready to practice Active Self Protection like this clerk did!
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Original surveillance video is available to members of our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the armed robber and clerk: https://get-asp.com/uyh5
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?
- Most attacks are perpetrated by men (source: http://get-asp.com/821s for that) but that doesn’t mean that women are always safe or can’t be armed robbers. It does mean that statistically women are much less of a threat than men for violence. However, each person is an individual, and each individual must be considered for their unique threat profile rather than lumped into a category. Just because women are less likely to commit violent crime doesn’t mean that they are unlikely in a given instance to commit violent crime. You must be emotionally ready to use force to stop an attack by a woman, and that’s not easy for a lot of men.
- Don’t get into verbal battles with armed robbers, carjackers, or other attackers. As Greg Ellifritz points out, those verbal challenges are taken as personal attacks and lead to a MUCH higher chance of being hurt in a violent encounter. Learn the lessons he gives in that article about how to provide a “face-saving exit” and not get shot by challenging their ego! The clerk here was very lucky that the armed robber didn’t really have intent to hurt him.
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from an armed robber like this. 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.
- Situational awareness is useful for more than seeing the attack coming, but also for knowing what is happening during the attack. In particular, if your awareness is strong you might get to see an armed robber put their gun away to use both hands, or you might see that the robber’s gun malfunctions or is empty. That information can give you the cue to act definitively to defend yourself by running or by counter-attacking the armed robber. This is not only why awareness is important, but knowledge of firearms and tools is as well!
- Fights are physically demanding. Sure, a pure gunfight might last 10 seconds and not place a huge burden on you physically, but the vast majority of encounters we see here at ASP involve physical self-defense as well. Getting into a honest-to-goodness fight with someone is incredibly physically demanding, so being physically fit is an important part of maximizing your chances to protect yourself. Fit people are harder to beat and harder to kill! This clerk gassed out in this fight, even though the armed robber was a smallish woman…that’s instructive!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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