What does this surveillance video teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an armed robber, then your only option is to submit to their demands and hope it works out for the best. I would never suggest that a helpless person try to defend themselves against a carjacking or armed robber, though of course if it’s a matter of life and death you must do whatever you can. The point, though, is not to be a helpless victim! This is the heart of Active Self Protection.
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways. Thankfully these off duty cops were there to stop the armed robber and his accomplice!
- One of the pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “reasonableness.” In every defensive incident we ask whether the actions of the defender were reasonable from an objective standpoint. Would an objective, reasonable person do what you did in the moment? A good test of whether your actions are reasonable is whether you did them to stop the threat or to punish someone. With multiple armed robbers, each one is an armed robber and can be dealt with accordingly, as long as they continue to work in active tandem.
- Feigning compliance can be an excellent strategy against an armed robber to buy you time to find your opportunity to defend yourself. The hands-up, palms-out posture tells the armed robber that you’re compliant, and might give you the opportunity to defend yourself when they stop focusing on you.
- Attackers are looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the bad guy to run.