When would you have acted against these armed robbers? I think this South Carolina CWP holder did a great job of practicing Active Self Protection to keep himself and everyone in the barber shop safe!
News story of the armed robbers meeting effective resistance (with link to the surveillance video): https://get-asp.com/rafe
What does this incident teach us about confronting armed robbers?
- Keep your firearm on your person! Plenty of people keep a firearm stationed near them under the counter or on a desk or in the glove compartment of their car, but in the moment of need you can’t ever be sure that you can get to it if it’s not on your person. These armed robbers gave an opportunity that ONLY was accessible to someone whose firearm was on their person, ready to go. So keep your firearm on your person at all times.
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an attacker, 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 robbery, 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. The armed robbers here had it all over the people who were not armed and ready to resist them.
- If you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of most attackers. Attackers are looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the bad guy to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense. Here the second of the two armed robbers ran away the minute there was armed resistance, and that is a pattern that we see quite often.
- Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the attacker and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. Against these armed robbers the CWP holder set a counter-ambush by waiting until the armed robbers weren’t thinking about him to attack. That was wise.
- Against multiple attackers every self-defender must know and train and practice that it’s death to focus on one too much. When every attacker is an equal threat, we practice the “Boarding House Rules” that everyone gets firsts before anyone gets seconds. If possible, stack the attackers one behind the other rather than getting between them, because if you get between them then one will have your back. It’s better if possible to work to the outside of the group and keep one between you and the others. These armed robbers kept the group between them so that wasn’t possible, but the CWP holder did a great job of not getting too focused on one of them!
- Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. Once the armed robbers had gunshots in them, the entire fight changed. Usually the first one to get shots on target wins the fight, so train and practice to be the one to get the first shot on target.
- The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth. The first of the two armed robbers was mortally wounded in the fight, but notice that he continued to be a deadly threat for some time. Be prepared for your first, second, and third shot on target to take some time to be effective, and shoot until the threat stops.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.