There are reasons to fight an armed robber. And reasons not to. This is an important part of Active Self Protection, and this woman shows us some important lessons!
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Original video of the carjacking is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story with details on this armed robber: https://get-asp.com/y2tr
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?
- 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. Gas stations are transitional spaces by definition. This armed robber used that transitional space to launch his attack. This is very common.
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. This armed robber got more than he bargained for out of the ambush, but it is clear to see how he launched it!
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. Part of the challenge the woman faced from this armed robber was the fact that it appears that she is unaware of what is going on around her.
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from an armed robber. 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 an armed robber because the police simply can’t.
- We must each decide what is worth protecting. Life is always worth protecting because it is of inestimable worth; as unique bearers of the image of God, people are the most valuable “thing” imaginable. Property is something else, though. With property we always have to balance the benefit against the risk to ourselves and our families. Even where it’s legally allowed, you should consider whether it’s wise or prudent to defend your property, because doing so puts you at risk and not just the bad guy. This woman fought an armed robber over $3. I get the principle of the thing, but the reality is that she put herself at mortal peril and only survived because his gun wouldn’t fire.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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