These armed robbers thought they were going to get an easy score; instead, they caught a good beating!
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What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against armed robbers?
- 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. These victims were hanging out on the curb, which made them a target that the two armed robbers on the motorcycle could easily rush up on. If you’re in a transitional space, be a little extra aware of your vulnerabilities and mitigate them.
- Don’t get into verbal battles with armed robbers, carjackers, or other attackers. As Greg Ellifritz points out, those verbal challenges are taken as personal attacks and lead to a MUCH higher chance of being hurt in a violent encounter. Learn the lessons he gives in that article about how to provide a “face-saving exit” and not get shot by challenging their ego! I can’t be sure if the victim who was hit in this video said something to the armed robber or simply didn’t comply fast enough, but getting butt stroked had to hurt.
- We must each be ready to face the cost of defending ourselves or others, as well as the cost of not defending. If you defend yourself, especially with a firearm, you might well face significant costs financially, socially, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. You must be ready for those costs! The same holds true of defending others, and you must decide if the costs are worth paying for your family. You can expect to hire an attorney, spend time in jail perhaps, face social pressure from the media or family or your church, etc. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t step in, but it does mean that you have to count the cost and accept it. Certainly, to defend your life or the life of a family member, any cost is bearable. But whether you’re willing to pay that cost for a stranger is a matter for personal reflection and consideration.
- The “Five Ds Plus 1” 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) First, before the others, we need to control Distance. (it’s the plus 1…it stands by itself and is the gateway to the others working) Then 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. Close the Distance to the place where we can effectively use our empty-handed skills. 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.
- The “fleeing felon rule” generally applies to Law Enforcement Officers in the performance of their duties, and since 1985’s Tennessee vs. Garner decision the ability to use deadly force to apprehend a fleeing felon by LEO has been limited to cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that the fleeing felon is a continuing threat of serious physical harm to the officer or the public. However, how that law applies to non-LEO varies state by state. Make sure to know your local laws so that you know the limitations of shooting a fleeing felon, especially if you’re not a police officer.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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