How Would You Respond if You Were a Bystander?

There weren’t good guys in this confrontation, but there WERE plenty of bystanders to think about. How would you have practiced Active Self Protection if you were in this attack? Would you draw on the perp? Run?

Original video and news: https://get-asp.com/fbl9

 

What does this shooting teach us about responding to crime that is not directed at us?

 

  1. If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attacker. If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Look for people lurking and not doing what everyone else is doing, or covering their face or head when that’s not necessary (like inside or when it’s warm out). Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety. In this instance, as a bystander, you might have been able to see the conflict brewing and at least got some distance.

 

  1. 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. Sidewalks are transitional spaces, so be aware when walking down the street!

 

  1. As each of us considers whether to be a Good Samaritan and step into encounters that do not directly involve us, we must consider the implications on our lives and families. Does your desire to step in override your duty to your spouse and children and loved ones? Or is it part of your care for your family to protect others wherever you can? We must also all realize that when we come across an incident in progress that it can be VERY difficult to determine who is the aggressor and who is the defender, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and that must give us pause as well.

 

  1. Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary.

 

  1. If you run from an attack, don’t just run AWAY from danger. Run TO something. Run TO the corner where you can fight one at a time. Run TO a store where a guard can help you. Run TO your house where you can lock the door. Run TO a place where you can better defend yourself from attack. Running FROM danger is great, but running TO safety is better!

 

  1. 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.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

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