Have you thought through how you’d respond to armed robbers approaching you like this? The “plan” in the Active Self Protection model of attitude, skills, and plan means knowing in advance where your boundaries are and what you’re willing to do, when.
What does this victim teach us about protecting ourselves in a mugging situation?
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Armed robbers 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; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. These armed robbers cared not one iota for their victims.
- 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. The armed robbers used the sidewalk as a way to launch their ambush. When you’re in a transitional space, recognize the increased threat and prepare accordingly.
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. Armed robbers 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. The robber got to set the trap here, but the guard got off the X and used his skills well to survive the ambush. Nicely done!
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from armed robbers, 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 robbery, 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, to motivate you to train and help you develop the attitude, skills, and plan so that you can choose to protect yourself if it makes sense in the moment rather than being forced into compliance with a violent felon.
- If you do decide to defend yourself against armed robbers, don’t do it half way. When you make the decision to resist, resist with EVERYTHING you have. Go with speed, surprise, and extreme willingness and ability to stop the threat. Resisting half-way in the hope that the armed robbers will give up and stop attacking is a futile hope that can get you killed. When it’s time to resist, GO FOR IT.
- The root word of gunfight is “fight,” not “gun.” Whether you carry a firearm or not, recognize that you need to know how to fight and protect yourself against armed robbers! Even if you do carry a firearm, you need empty-handed skills to be able to fight your way to your gun or defend yourself before you get the opportunity to draw. To think otherwise is madness. The victim needed his empty-handed skills against this attack.
- We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Armed robbers travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers!
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