According to police, a 26 year old father was out shopping in Los Angeles with his wife and 2 year old daughter when they were approached by two men armed with pistols. The wife and child were able to retreat to a safe distance, but the father found himself fighting against the two armed men whilst both unarmed and wounded.
Do you have strategies to deal with a similar situation should something like this happen to you and your family?
The tactic of the armed robbers was one of pure brute force where a strongman physically restrains and controls the victim while the grab man runs the pockets and picks up what falls to the ground during the struggle.
The police report stated that the male defender was both pistol whipped in the head and shot in the arm during the struggle. It appears that those injuries happened before the recording started on this clip, which means throughout the duration of this video the defender was wounded.
There are two immediate observations here. First and foremost, for those with partners or families, what is your plan were something like this to happen to you? On the surface it seems like a simple question with a simple enough answer. But, I don't think these answers can be honestly reached without some real consideration to your own personal philosophies as well as those of your partner.
Secondly, this unique scenario brings into consideration the very serious issue of resistance versus compliance.
Resistance vs. Compliance
Which tactic is the right one? Nobody can know that but you. It will be the task of the assailant to convince you that compliance is the best and ONLY option. Something for your consideration: if a person wanted what you had in your possession, and didn't care if you were alive or not... then taking those things from your possession would be a much easier task for them if you were dead. Problem is, if at any point they murder you in the commission of their robbery they will have much bigger legal problems than had they not. The kicker to that is, some criminals care about such matters and others don't. Many armed robberies seem to start off with no intent of murdering the victim yet still wind up doing so.
There are innumerable examples that can be found of video footage where victims are shot and stabbed by an armed robber even after they complied to their demands and forfeited their belongs. Far too many of those victims wound up dying from their wounds.
Should you resist? Should you not? It's really difficult to say. I can't give a definitive answer as to when either tactic should be used in a cut and dry sort of way. As is often the case, the situation you're in will dictate which plan of action is best for you.
Important to note, you can change your tactics as the situation changes. You can comply initially and resist when the opportunity is better for you. It's not like you're obligated to be honest and forthright with the person robbing you.
Having a Defensive Plan as a Couple or Family
Our personal philosophy as to how we would respond to being targeted for an armed robbery will most likely vary depending on whether you are younger vs older, single vs in a relationship, dating vs married, non-parent vs parent, with our children or not. I'm sure we can add in all sorts of variables to consider, but these are the ones that I personally have noticed playing a major factor in my personal philosophies on the subject. My plan of action as a single 21 year old was different from the one I have today.
I believe that a good starting point is with individual philosophy. A person would really benefit by considering many different sources of information and performing intelligent thought experiments to formulate their own detailed personal philosophy on matters such as self-defense. Afterwards, having a discussion with family members about being involved in an armed robbery such as the one in the video can help clarify a course of action for everyone involved.
The next level beyond discussing the matter is to actually get out to train and practice as a family or couple. There are training opportunities available for families and partners to receive training in both armed and unarmed defensive tactics.