When you see a hero murdered on camera, it’s a gut punch because it brings both pride and great sadness. Being willing to risk life and limb to protect others is great attitude, which is the heart of Active Self Protection. The death of a good and innocent man at the hands of a psychopath is not. May he rest in peace.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video, angle 1: http://get-asp.com/y1lj (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible)
Original video, angle 2: http://get-asp.com/yqt2
News story identifying the hero as Francisco Erasmo Rodrigues de Lima: http://get-asp.com/ic59
What can we learn from this hero murdered in front of a church?
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. May this hero who acted bravely rest in peace.
- 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. Had this woman had some empty-handed skills she might have been able to escape sooner.
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! This hero murdered on camera didn’t have that benefit, but we can use his sacrifice to commit to being better if we’re ever called on to help.
- Every person gets to decide who they are willing to protect. For some, their “flock” is only themselves and their immediate family. That’s an acceptable answer. For others, they are willing to protect their friends, coworkers, and extended family. For a few, it might mean being willing to protect anyone who is weak, powerless, and in need. Each of us must decide the size of our flock and have that decision firmly in mind when it is time to act. Mr. de Lima was a Warrior, of the breed of the few who would protect the weak he didn’t know. This hero murdered before our eyes is a Warrior indeed, and I salute him!
- You must know the range of your force multiplier and the range of various force multipliers that might be used against you. Knives are short-range, fast moving force multipliers. Firearms are extremely long-range, fast moving force multipliers. When fighting someone who has a gun, your safety lies in either being completely out of range, or so close that you get BEHIND the barrel of the gun to safety. Mr. de Lima couldn’t, and paid with his life.
- The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed attacker when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker.
- 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. In this gunfight, frankly I am frustrated that none of the officers on scene (watch the original video for more footage of the aftermath) who had rifles on their person felt like they could take a shot to save that woman. At 25 to 50 yards, standing unsupported, any professional should be able to take a head shot with a rifle in from low ready in 2-3 seconds tops. Heck, at 20 yards with a pistol any marksman in 3 seconds from low ready should be able to put a round center mass in a human sized target. That’s not a common situation in a gunfight, but it could have saved life here.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)