Staring into the eyes of a stranger holding a weapon is probably one of the most frightening experiences a person can have. You don’t know whether the thug is intent on robbery or some kind of physical violence. This happens far too often today in America. According to the FBI, there were over 170,000 such crimes in the United States in 2017. Fortunately, these events are survivable if you have the knowledge and fortitude.
First Reaction to Being Robbed
Once the threat is perceived, your body will start building up its “fight or flight response.” Also known as the “stress response,” certain biological events will happen automatically.
- Adrenaline floods the bloodstream
- Airways open wide
- Glucose stores release for extra energy
With all this going on, it is essential to accomplish one thing: don’t panic! It may seem impossible, but a knee-jerk reaction could end in physical harm or death.
Comply With an Armed Assailant
By and large, people who resort to this crime are looking for money, credit cards and easily liquidated merchandise (think watches and jewelry). They’ve most likely planned an easy getaway, too. Letting them take your things and escape can prove difficult for some people because, as discussed previously, your body is preparing itself for action.
No one wants to lose the things they’ve worked so hard to earn, but that’s the wrong outlook in this scenario. At this point in time, your brain is your best weapon. Possessions can be replaced, people cannot. Goal #1: survival.
Fight or Flight Time
Sometimes, however, the situation becomes untenable and action is required. If your instincts are screaming that something is very wrong, then listen to them! If there is a clear avenue of escape use it and go find help. If you can’t quickly find a police officer, then run into a bar or restaurant. Remember, the thief doesn’t want to get caught, which means crowds are your friend. Don’t isolate yourself if at all possible.
If the option of flight is off the table, you may have to fight. If you have a concealed weapon (CCW) permit, consider bringing your own gun into play. We don’t recommend the whole “cop show nonsense” of pointing the weapon at him and saying “drop your gun!” If this is a life-or-death situation, you may have to point and actually pull the trigger! Aim at their center of mass — the idea is to end the situation decisively and not to try some James Bond trickshot.
If you’re not armed, quickly glance around and take stock of what’s nearby. Literally anything can be weaponized and used to attack or distract the assailant. If all else fails, it’s may be time to resort to hand-to-hand combat. However, that requires being in close. Don’t hesitate and don’t fight fair — your life is on the line. Bite, scratch or gouge the eyes and knee the groin before your assailant gets their balance. Make no mistake, fighting back puts yourself at significant risk of injury or worse. But in specific situations, the risk of possible serious injury or death is far better than the certainty of it.
The world can be a dangerous place, and there’s often little to no warning that the situation is going to escalate drastically and panic is the greatest threat to your well-being. Staying calm and in control can save your life and the lives of those around you.