Any of us are susceptible to this kind of attack…do you think about your Active Self Protection more when you’re out at night? I hope you’re thinking about how to protect yourself!
Original video and news story of the attack: get-asp.com/eazh
What does this attack teach us about protecting ourselves against armed robbers?
1. It’s dark for half the day, and bad guys of all kinds love to launch ambushes from the dark. That means, as a self defender, that part of having good situational awareness involves keeping a flashlight on your person. That flashlight doesn’t have to be crazy tacticool and shouldn’t be firearm-mounted, because its purpose is to help you see at night to give you better awareness of any potential threats far before they can hurt you. A VERY compact option that runs on AAs is this Streamlight: amzn.to/1U9S39H and I carry this 1000 lumen Fenix: amzn.to/1S73jjb which is rechargeable and has multiple modes of brightness. I highly recommend a flashlight for everyone, simply as an awareness tool at night. Had either of this couple been carrying a flashlight, they might have been able to see the attack coming sooner and avoid or escape it.
2. 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 walk-up to your apartment is a transitional space by definition!
3. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself.
4. 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 robbers, 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.
5. Regular people really battle Normalcy Bias. Normalcy Bias is a mental state that causes people not to react to disaster, or to underestimate the ability of that disaster to affect them personally. In defensive encounters, Normalcy Bias makes people stand around in the danger zone and not take defensive action.
6. 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.
7. We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers!
8. Never leave your life-saving tools at home. Having attitude and skills to protect yourself with your firearm will not help you if you do not have it on your person when you need it. Leaving your gun in the glove compartment, on the night stand, or in your safe could be a fatal mistake. Keep your tools on your person whenever you legally can so that if (God forbid) you need them, you have them. This is the same reason you wear your seatbelt every trip in the car, and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You need to have it ready before you need it.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at bensound.com)