This hero really gave that attacker a whooping; his cane fu was strong! Would you have stepped in to help her?
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News story on the attacker and elderly hero: https://get-asp.com/0j8o
Follow-up story on how the bus service honored him (watch the video; it’s a good one!): https://get-asp.com/uu7c
More on the bus driver: https://get-asp.com/1ilw
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against a deranged attacker?
- Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up! Hard to tell which this attacker is, but the bus driver deals with strange people daily for sure.
- Since criminals are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target. Think about a pride of lions chasing wildebeest in Africa and you get the picture. They target the elderly, the young, and the sick for easier attack and greater success. Likewise, criminals pick victims who they think will not effectively resist them, or that the criminal can quickly overwhelm. This includes the elderly, the young (kids and early teens), the sick, and the distracted. Men (the overwhelming majority of attackers) also target women because women tend to be physically weaker than men. If you’re in a vulnerable population take extra precaution and train!
- In most states and places you can step in and defend someone else just as if you were defending yourself. However, some states still cling to the “alter ego” idea that you can only defend them if they had proper justification for defending themselves, which can be hard to determine in the moment. The key is to know the laws of the state you are in so that you know whether you can legally step into someone else’s encounter.
- The Bystander Effect is real. You cannot count on anyone breaking the Bystander Effect to help you, especially if the attacker is armed and any help would be at a force deficit from it. Usually the best way to break the Bystander Effect is to have a force multiplication advantage, which is a great reason to keep your force multiplier on you at all times. All of that went on here!
- We tend (rightly) to focus on purpose-built force multipliers like firearms, knives, batons, etc. as self-defenders, but sometimes those aren’t available. While we always have our natural weapons (our body parts and empty-handed skills), we shouldn’t neglect environmental weapons that we might find at hand as well! Environmental weapons are force multipliers that aren’t necessarily designed to be used as defensive tools, but can be if necessary. For instance, a chair can become a barricade. A fruit knife can be used for personal protection. A flashlight can be used as a baton. Environmental weapons may not be as much force multiplication as purpose-built force multipliers, but in a pinch they might be all you have!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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