A reader sent a link to a classic post from AR15 forums dating back to early 2012. There, an LEO from one of the big cities shares some key tips for avoiding and surviving armed robbery. Check out the oringal, but we blend it with some military knowledge and stories from local Redoubt firearms instructors to bring you the best in advice.
Avoidance Tip #1: Location
This may be cutting straight to the punch line, but consider one of the final sentences from the AR15 original poster BurnedOutLEO:
“We all live in different worlds. My world is filled with felons and gang members. Violence is common place…You may live in a smaller, less violent place where shootings seldom occur and it would be a rare to shoot a hold up man. I envy you and will be moving to a place like your town as soon as I can.”
So, tip #1 to avoid being the victim of an armed robbery is to move someplace where it almost never happens.
Take a look at the crime resource we have and compare FBI crime stats for your current city with potential towns in the Redoubt.
Avoidance Tip #2: Mindset
The LEO spends some time trying to illustrate the criminal mindset. They are not reasonable people. They are not like most of us. When robber moves up from burglary to armed holdups, they have already decided to risk adding a murder to their record. They’d prefer not to, but they’ve accepted that level of violence as an occupational risk for their chosen line of work. Also, the more they practice, the more likely that sooner or later they will commit deadly assault or murder.
“That thing is they WILL kill someone if they keep robbing. That is why the city is willing to pay all the overtime. They don’t want the murders. Think about that when you see Junior coming. The more robberies he does the closer he is to killing someone. Maybe you.”
The rest of us, on the other hand, tend to be reasonable, polite, and not thinking about who around us qualifies as a hard target or a soft target.
“You do not possess total disregard for the lives of others and do not want to kill anyone. You are concerned about the ramifications of shooting someone. Your family, your possessions and finances on the line. Your enemy has none of these concerns…Your reluctance to shoot someone works to his advantage. His greater experience in street violence and the element of surprise is on his side.”
The LEO tells a story further down about a young man who saved himself and his girlfriend because he was armed, practiced, and recognized a moment to draw and defend himself. Why did it come to that? The criminals (two of them) demanded his money, and he handed it over. It was when he saw them hungrily sizing up his girlfriend that he realized it was going to end in violence one way or another.
Think about that for a moment. If someone demanded your material possessions at gunpoint, would you comply? Even if you were armed? Do you have any actual past situations you can point to justifying your hypothetical response?
The military spends a lot of time training a “warrior mentality.” Men in the warzone need to expect danger at every turn. They need to size up the threats as habit. Folks who’ve been in the warzone can tell you it is sometimes a hard habit to turn off when coming home. One man I served with talked about the difficulty in ceasing to drive as if an IED lurked at every intersection and turn.
How much have you practiced a warrior mentality? Or practiced threat assessment?
Mindset is key because it raises your situational awareness and prepares you for the risk and potential necessity of violence.
Some examples of mindset from the LEO post:
- “The time between when you are targeted and they are on you isn’t long. Therefore, situational awareness is everything.”
- “If you see G coming you are in good shape.”
- “Watch your back. If you do it enough it becomes second nature and you won’t even realize you are doing it.”
- “You indicate you have a weapon by clearing your gun hand and fanning your jacket at them. They are not discouraged. DRAW!…draw your gun and hold it beside your leg as you start to move to cover.”
- “The time to shoot is immediately upon seeing his weapon.”
He also tells several stories further illustrating the points. Read the whole thing there.
Avoidance Tip #3: Firearm Choice
“Bigger is better but something is better than nothing…Do not be afraid to use a French Lebelle if that is the only gun you have. A gun is a gun.”
A local firearms instructor in the Redoubt illustrated his lessons with police stories from the nearest big city in the region. He gave two examples of armed citizens who became victims in their own home because they were not attacked in the room where their firearm was stored.
Then he gave a third example of a man who defended himself with a tiny caliber he drew from his sweatpants pocket as he lay on the floor before the men who just kicked in his door. He didn’t have to fire. The threat of gunshot wounds was enough of a deterrent to save his life that night.
Another tip from the LEO, regarding the aftermath if you had to shoot in self defense:
“Expect to never get your gun back. You may get it back one day but maybe not. Do not buy expensive guns for the street… Keep your street guns basic.”
So for street carry get something with the following characteristics:
- You can afford to lose it
- Small enough you’ll actually carry it
City or Country?
Again, the best tip is to live in a town where the odds of this happening are virtually nil. But until then, you have to deal with the situation in front of you. Take responsibility for your own safety, to the best of your ability and to the limits of your local laws. If your local laws don’t permit you to protect yourself and your loved ones, it might be time to move to a more favorable locale.