Many criminals prey more on fear than anything else. They present a firearm not necessarily because they intend to shoot you but because they want you afraid that they’ll shoot you. If you’re terrified, you’ll do anything they tell you to do. You’ll give up your money and anything else you have of value.
It’s when you’re not afraid that things go sideways for the bad guys.
That’s why many times, just presenting a firearm ends a confrontation with an armed criminal. You don’t even need to fire a round. The fact that you’re not afraid and able to fight back means you’re the wrong sort of prey.
However, even if you’re not armed, there’s something to be said for fighting back. Take this man in San Francisco.
A San Francisco man was the victim of an attempted armed robbery as he left a Neiman Marcus store earlier this month. A group of men approached him as he exited the store, possibly for the Rolex watch he was wearing.
The victim struggled with one of the suspects and managed to take his gun from him, turn it on him and shoot him multiple times. The rest of the group then fled in a getaway car. Officers nearby heard the shots and were able to respond immediately. The suspect was treated at the scene and transported to a hospital but died from his injuries. Police recovered three firearms at the scene.
The deceased attacker was identified as having a long arrest record and had six pending cases before the San Francisco courts.
Now, we can talk about California’s gun control failures all we want–and trust me, this is a prime example of them if ever I saw one–but that’s not really what I want to focus on right now.
Instead, this is a victim who fought back and turned the table on his attackers. He put one in the morgue and scared the rest off. Police recovered three other guns at the scene, but we don’t know how many additional firearms might have been involved.
So we have a good guy who had no firearm and at least four armed bad guys. The good guy took the gun from one of the bad guys, shot him, and scared the rest off.
No, his name was apparently not Chuck Norris.
Look, I’m not going to tell you to try this should you be in a similar situation. I don’t, in good conscience, believe I can do that. Trying to fight back when facing an overwhelming force disparity is something that is probably pretty risky. If one of those guys really does want to hurt someone, you might not be as fortunate as this gentleman and I don’t know that I can really live with myself if someone took my advice and was injured or killed.
That said, there is something to be said about simply refusing to be afraid.
Criminals often look for people who look fearful. They want people who are signaling their fear with their body language. Simply not being afraid–or, more precisely, not appearing to be afraid–does wonders for preventing robberies.
And, really, if it looks like you’re going to get shot anyway, you might as well fight back. More times than many imagine, it actually works out better for the potential victim.
Of course, the best course of action is to have your own gun so then you won’t need to try and take theirs. In California, though, that’s not always possible.