When your kids are with you, does your defensive plan change? I hope your kids are integrated into your Active Self Protection and that you consider what needs to happen when they’re with you if you have to defend yourself! This lady got lucky that her kids weren’t hurt.
Original video of the thief with news story: https://get-asp.com/0ezr
What does this video teach us about getting involved in third party incidents?
- Parents must consider their children in their defensive plan. The younger the child, the more the parent(s) must consider how holding or dragging their child will affect their ability to protect both of them. Naturally, the more children you have the more you’ll be constrained in retreat or running, and the more you’ll have to “stick your foot in the ground” and defend yourself without retreat. The thief here targeted the mother not the kids, but the kids were very much in danger. Having a plan for what your kids will do if you have to defend yourself, communicating it, and practicing it with your children is indispensable.
- 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? I think it’s commendable that this woman wanted to protect the elderly lady from a thief, though her attitude was much bigger than her skills or plan.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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. While in the US we MIGHT be able to argue that she could reasonably be in fear of death or great bodily injury, that is not at all established for certain. Regardless, some significant empty-handed skills would have allowed this woman not to have taken that attack.
- Pepper spray (also called OC or OC spray) can be a very useful defensive tool for non-lethal threats like this one, though of course you must follow local laws. I carry this one, and it’s nasty stuff: http://amzn.to/1kxJpls . It can also be used against you in a fight, so you should know how to defend yourself if you’re sprayed! Take a good course on pepper spray and how to employ it, and as part of that course take a dose yourself so that you know the effect it will have on you and how to fight through it to continue to protect yourself.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.