All we hear is "don't fight back'...


February 28, 2006, 08:37 PM
...and it makes me sick! I just looked at the Comcast Fan. There was a segment about clerks fighting off would be robbers. The only comments from the "professionals" was "don't do it". They just expect us to lay down and take it. I wonder what percentage of robberies end with the clerk shot... even after complying? It just irks me.

If you enjoyed reading about "All we hear is "don't fight back'..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 28, 2006, 09:40 PM
Hard numbers relating to self defense/the use of firearms/outcomes of disarming attempts are extremely difficult to get.

As more and more video cameras that are being used for "security" ( Sorry, your son/daughter is dead but don't worry their murder was caught on videotape so we can prosecute the person who killed them. :banghead: ) I hope that accurate stats become available as more crimes are recorded. Might as well get some use out of the cameras.


February 28, 2006, 10:47 PM
According to the NCVS the victim injury rates of violent crime are:

For those who fight back without a gun - 1 in 2

For those who comply with the attacker - 1 in 4

For those who fight back with a gun - 1 in 5

Jim K
February 28, 2006, 10:57 PM
There just is no hard and fast rule, even for police. In some of the "scenarios" people come up with, only a complete idiot would draw and fire. On the other hand, there are conceivable situations where that could be the only chance of staying alive, even if drawing against a gun pointed at you.


February 28, 2006, 11:05 PM
I don't know the exact numbers, but I recall seeing the results of a study showing the likelihood of injury in a crime, broken out by the type of resistance.

Here are the results in order from most likely to be injured to least likely to be injured.

Resisting with ANY methods not involving a firearm. (Injury most likely)
Resisting with a firearm. (Injury least likely)

So, if you assume they're NOT going to tell you to get a gun (which is a given due to liability issues) then they are sort of telling the truth when they say that compliance is your best chance for remaining uninjured. I tend to mentally reword the advice to "Since we can't/won't tell you to get a gun, your best chance of remaining uninjured is to comply with the criminal."

IIRC, resisting with a knife offered the BEST chance of being INJURED. It was absolutely the worst way (statistically speaking) to resist if you want to avoid injury.

Standing Wolf
February 28, 2006, 11:09 PM
It's criminals who should live in fear of us.

February 28, 2006, 11:12 PM
If these numbers are correct I would say the moral is..."Do not fight back, UNLESS you have a gun". I know it says victims of violent crime, I assume they include anytime some robs a store with a gun as a violent crime and not just when they actually attack the clerk.

Gordon Fink
February 28, 2006, 11:40 PM
Compliance worked so well on September 11th, so it’s no wonder that the authorities are still recommending it. :barf:

~G. Fink

February 28, 2006, 11:49 PM
It's that attitude of "give them what they want and maybe they'll just go away". It hasn't worked for centuries, except in very RARE cases. Even then, those people became constant victims. I forget where in England it happened, but there was a village where they didn't fight back against the Vikings.That village became a constant target. Personally, I've never quite grasped that attitude.

March 1, 2006, 10:33 AM
Unfortunately these days the scum bags are not happy just getting your money.They want to hurt and/or kill you......fight untill you can't fight anymore,gun or not.I may be killed by the BG,but it won't be for lack of fighting back.

March 1, 2006, 11:21 AM
While this may not SEEM applicable to this post, I think that it's a "textbook" example of what might happen if you merely give up and don't try to resist.

Back in the 1960's, two "seasoned" LAPD officers, working a "Felony car" (plainclothes) confronted two "suspicious" males in Hollywood. One of the "suspicious" males drew a handgun and got the drop on both officers, but one of them (Officer Karl Hettinger) drew his service revolver when his partner (Ian Campbell) was being held at gunpoint. One of the suspects (Greg Powell) ordered the officer to give up his weapon, or else his partner would be killed. Officer Hettinger COMPLIED, thinking that if he handed over his revolver, the two suspects would depart and not harm him or his partner.

Instead of leaving, both officers were taken hostage and driven around the Los Angeles area for awhile, before they were taken to the Bakersfield area and an "Onion Field". In that onion field, one of the suspects (Powell) erroneously thought that the "Lindbergh Law", regarding kidnapping, applied to the situation, and would result in the death penalty for both suspects. To "resolve" the situation, Powell wanted to kill both officers, so that there would be no witnesses. Officer Campbell was gunned down, but Officer Hettinger quickly ran away and hid.

If you haven't seen the Joseph Wambaugh movie of "The Onion Field", I can only suggest that you try to find it for viewing.

Shortly after the Campbell/Hettinger incident, the LAPD chose to make a firm ORDER for all officers to adhere to....NEVER surrender your firearm!

I was a "rookie" LAPD officer back in 1971, and had heard about the Campbell/Hettinger incident in the police academy. In late 1971, when I was a "field" officer, former Officer Karl Hettinger attended one of the daily briefings. He "preached" about never surrendering your firearm, no matter what, and his short speech was definitely a gut-wrencher. His life changed drastically after seeing his partner killed, and having to recount his side of the story many times over in court. Eventually, Hettinger became a "basket case", turning to booze to "ease the pain". He had been given a somewhat "posh" position on the LAPD after that incident, but was eventually deemed to be unfit for police work.

If you are ARMED, in my opinion, you DO have a somewhat "reasonable" amount of being able to defend yourself, even if a gun is aimed at your head. If you're NOT armed, you MIGHT be able to survive through other means. It might mean that you need to run, or to cause a distraction of some sort. It might mean that you'll need to use your most valuable "weapon"....your BRAIN....and to utilize some other sort of available "weapon" to survive! The world surrounding you is filled with non-descript "weapons", if you think about it! It could be in the form a sharp pencil, or maybe a heavy object of some sort, to disarm the armed suspect. How about a "ruse"....yelling something like "There's the police!" just might work as a temporary diversion tactic. Maybe dropping to the ground and trying to kick the legs of the armed suspect, so that he loses balance and falls. Inside of a store, you might be able to pull a shelf full of canned goods down, then run like you've never run before. A fraction of a second might mean "survival" to you. Heck, even if you ARE shot, your chances of survival are better than giving up without doing anything!

March 1, 2006, 12:09 PM
+1 to Standing Wolf. A statistic I read many years ago stated that 2 to 3% of the population keeps the other 97-98% living in fear of a crime being committed against them. It is a staggering and sobering thought about how much time, money and energy are expended to protect ourselves from such a small percentage of scum. It is a shame that America doesn't wake up to this fact and say enough is enough. We are tired of paying outrageous sums of money for security, prisons, stolen and vandalized items etc. and the emotional cost of being victimized. I could go on about this as it seems insane that we allow this to continue with so few consequences for the bad guy other than maybe being put in adult time out (prison). I will now step down from my soapbox.

March 1, 2006, 12:14 PM
Gordon Fink
Compliance worked so well on September 11th

Now THERE is an Oleg poster idea.... :)

March 1, 2006, 12:20 PM
This is like when people (mostly kids) are abducted. I have always told my neice and nephew to kick, scream, punch, bite, run, etc. even if they have a gun. Once you are taken the chances of being seen again are small. Your best bet is that they decide you are not an easy enough target and flee. As for the 911 references I am not getting it.

Gordon Fink
March 1, 2006, 01:01 PM
Compliance with the terrorists on September 11th allowed them to murder thousands more.

~G. Fink

March 1, 2006, 01:13 PM
Of course, at the time the FAR's in force mandated compliance. They were based on experiences from the days of DB Cooper and the PFLP hijackings, where passengers and crew were better off just complying with demands. Obviously this is no longer the case.

The advice to victims of street crime to comply has more to do with the desire for law enforcement departments to preserve what they see as a just monopoly on the use of force. They view themselves as "sheepdogs" and don't think the "sheep" have any business fighting back. It's their rice bowl.

March 1, 2006, 01:16 PM
Ahhh, I get it now. You are saying the passengers did not fight back and look what happened. My brain was going a different direction. I see people try and tie 911 to things it does not corespond with so often that you get used to not seeing the correlation. That makes perfect sense.:)

another okie
March 1, 2006, 01:23 PM
Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say:–
“We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ‘em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:–
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:–

“We never pay any -one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!”

March 1, 2006, 01:25 PM
In ‘our’ world it isn’t by a long shot, but we shouldn’t forget that we are in the minority. We have chosen to be armed and responsible for our own security; the vast majority of Americans actually believe that job belongs solely to the police. The so-called experts will always dispense guidance based on what the majority believes. Even here in Washington, a ‘shall issue’ state, I am amazed at the number of people who believe carrying a concealed weapon is a criminal offense. When you tell them you’re doing so legally, with the full knowledge and consent of the state, they still don’t believe you aren’t breaking the law. They move about in their world preparing for and hoping for the best. Like the flying business, we choose to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

March 1, 2006, 01:29 PM

Is Karl Hettinger still living? Once you read that book, "The Onion Field", you never forget it. Hettinger finally saved his life by screaming at the top of his voice and running at the limits of his endurance, even tho he was being watched by the armed duo. Lots of lessons to be learned from that book. He was finally taken in by armed citizens and protected.

March 1, 2006, 02:51 PM
I'm in the Philly area, and CCW every day. My father, an upstate NY native doesn't understand my desire to do so.

A few days ago, 2 individuals from Philly robbed a jewelry store near my parents' house, in upstate NY. They wrecked their car trying to get away, and when a young police officer approached, he was shot and killed. One scumbag fled on foot, the other stayed in the car. (not sure if he was injured or just stayed put out of common sense) I don't have details on what happened with the cop that was killed, but some have speculated that he thought the car was an ordinary injuring accident, not a felony fleeing the scene.

The fact that NY makes CCW much more diffiicult for the average citizen was probably a motivator to rob a store in upstate NY. Criminals know who can fight back. And who can't.

March 1, 2006, 03:17 PM
"Criminals know who can fight back. And who can't."


March 1, 2006, 03:39 PM
It's that attitude of "give them what they want and maybe they'll just go away". It hasn't worked for centuries...

One of my favorite examples of this is the Inca King Atahualpa, who, when trying to bargain for peace from the Spanish, promised to fill a 22' by 17' room as high as he could reach, once with gold and three times with silver. Atahualpa lived up to his word, but after he had paid up, Francisco Pizarro then charged him with conspiracy against the Spanish.

Atahualpa was taken to the square to be burned at the stake, but then he tried another version of the same thing: He said that he would convert to Catholicism. The Spanish allowed him to be baptized, then very graciously said that he wouldn't be burned at the stake -- instead, he would be tied to a pole and strangled.

Appeasement just doesn't work.


March 1, 2006, 03:41 PM
The "don't fight back" line largely originates from those who are responsible for the collective, not the individual. Basically, it makes THEIR job easier: when the only actor in the scenario (criminal assailant) has run off (disappeared), it's just a matter of paperwork and maybe taking him down on their own terms; when both parties involved are actors (victim fights back) then police/etc. have at least one party in hand (victim who has not disappeared; maybe even injured/dead assailant present) who must be questioned, investigated, charged, tried, etc. to ensure which participant did what to whom.

Basically, "don't fight back" amounts to "let the assailant go" leading to "out of sight, out of mind."

"One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."
- Stalin

When dealing with a large population, a certain percentage of casualties is considered acceptable.
When dealing with a population of one (i.e.: YOU), the only acceptable casualty rate is ZERO.

"Don't fight back" is advice given EXCLUSIVELY to someone else, and amounts to "it's OK for you to be a casualty."
Correct response is "NO, it is NOT OK for me to be a casualty of crime, I WILL fight back to save MY life, and maybe even save YOU from being the next victim!"

March 1, 2006, 05:20 PM
Last time I was in Florida, a guy held up a woman in a Wal-Mart parking lot. She complied and handed over her purse. He stabbed her in the chest anyway.

March 1, 2006, 06:48 PM
No lawman who ever surrendered his (her) weapon to a criminal has ever been simply released. The criminals have either killed or seriously attempted to kill them.

No victim of an armed robbery who was taken to a back room has ever been intentionally left alive. The criminals have either killed or seriously attempted to kill them.

You are all big kids. Make up your own mind.

March 2, 2006, 02:32 AM
Never surrender, ever. Either way you still going to get hurt. The days of criminals just taking what they want and leaving you alone are long gone. ++

March 2, 2006, 02:51 AM
The "don't fight back" line largely originates from those who are responsible for the collective, not the individual. Dude, you're batting 1000.


March 2, 2006, 03:49 AM
The worst example I saw of this was the Columbine killings.

I watched an absolutely horrifying documentary on this the other day (Zero hour I think it was called).

Now I won't pass judgement on the kids, they are just kids (the victims Im talking about).

But I was horrified on how the entire school administration just allowed those killers to wander the hall killing at essentially a leisurely rate.

The killers walked into the library and proceeded to spend quite a bit of time reloading and preping their weapons. Meanwhile the teachers through the school, including the library just hid under the desk.

While it is likely that a few adults may have been killed or injured, but imagine if several teachers tackled the killers while they were reloading, or while their back was turned etc. How many children would they have saved?

These killers were not supermen. Just skinney kids with shotguns. The fact that they were allowed to wander around slowly and methodically pick and choose their victims, while nearby adults hid behind desks was a terrible thing. A prime example of why "don't fight back" is a bad idea.

Not to mention the police who just stood outside and listened to the carnage and refused to take action.

Now there was one teacher who deserves mention. He ran from class to class room securing and taking action to save the kids. Sadly he was shot. However he died not from gunshot trauma, but by bleeding to death for HOURS while the police stood by and did nothing.

That documentary was one of the hardest things I've ever watched. I was truly numb from the needless horror....most of which (not all)could have been prevented if we didnt subscribe to "don't fight back"

March 2, 2006, 08:29 AM
Reading this thread reminds me of a movie hollywood made in '58. The classic western titled: The Magnificent Seven. What has happened to the world since is beyond my comprehension. The values taught in that movie have been the standard in dealing with people throughout my life. You have to make a stand and not let people take advantage of your situation.

Double Naught Spy
March 2, 2006, 09:27 AM
All we hear is "don't fight back'...
...and it makes me sick! I just looked at the Comcast Fan. There was a segment about clerks fighting off would be robbers. The only comments from the "professionals" was "don't do it". They just expect us to lay down and take it. I wonder what percentage of robberies end with the clerk shot... even after complying? It just irks me.

Not fighting back is a strategy that has a very high success rate because the vast majority of bad guys do not want to harm you unnecessarily as that creates more hassle for them.

You know, it isn't about just laying there and taking it. When phrased in that manner, you give the impression that the problem you have with the strategy concerns your ego and not your safety. That is a bad way to run your safety, on ego.

The problem with the compliance theory for self preservation is that it leaves one's destiny in the hands of a criminal. Either you end up safe or end up injured. What a lot of folks don't realize is that armed robbery isn't about the money or valuables, but about life. It is just that the money or valuables have brought the bad guy(s) to confront you. However, once your life is threatened, the money or valuables are not a significant issue from the standpoint of the one being robbed.

What a lot of 'experts' would have you believe is almost that you are entering into a negotiated contract with the bad guy. Either by statement or action, he is doing the "Your money or your life" song and dance. Here, the perceived contract is that if you do give him the money, he will not kill you. The problem is that you have negotiated at the end of a barrel of a gun, against your will, and there is no reason to believe a criminal who is breaking the law can be counted on to uphold his side of the negotiation.

According the FBI stats presented on one of the TLC, Discover, or History Channel documentaries on crime, there is a 12-13% chance that the robber(s) will still go ahead and injure the victim or bystanders after getting the good. They showed some nasty security camera footage where in a few cases, the robbers leave the store, stop, come back in and shoot one or more if it was an after thought. In one case, it was to shoot a couple of customer who had been ordered to the floor during the robber, not the clerk.

As noted, every situation is different. Default responses won't always work.

March 2, 2006, 03:05 PM
I am sick of the so called professionals telling us to bend over and not fight back. We always hear of people being killed or injured that complied with the BG but it didn't matter. If someone pulls a gun or knife on me I assume the worst and do what I can to protect myself. No one else will. :cuss:

I have said for years that we are raising a nation of candy a$$e$ and it's advice like this that is the reason why. Please note that I am not advocating any heroics or false bravado just if the oportunity is there use it to protect yourself and others.

March 2, 2006, 04:29 PM
Not fighting back is a strategy that has a very high success rate because the vast majority of bad guys do not want to harm you unnecessarily as that creates more hassle for them.

I don't agree. Robbing, say, a convenience store is a high risk/low return crime, usually undertaken by the desparate and not-too-bright, and/or drug addicts.

THAT sort is more likely to be twitchy enough to shoot you anyway no matter what you do.

Turkey Creek
March 2, 2006, 06:35 PM
Let me see if I've got this right- Some tool invades your life and demands something not rightfully his- You're supposed to put your life in his hands hoping he is not too much of a loon to do you bodily harm and hope that he is going to just leave when he get's what he wants- Not going to happen in my world!

March 3, 2006, 12:01 PM
On the other sid eof the Columbine coin..last year at my Daughter's high school ,a kid came in with a shotgun.2 teachers disarmed the kid,who actually got off at least one shot that hit one of the teachers in the leg.If these 2 guys hadn't stepped up,who knows what would've happened.There are still some people who actually USE common sence.
I agree also about never giving up your drives me nuts in movies when the "hero" puts his gun down...of course in the movies the hero will use some ninja-jujitsu real life he just gets killed.

March 3, 2006, 03:09 PM
I found these thoughts posted here a while back, I send them to everybody I know............

"What are your personal boundaries?

Awhile back, I decided I will fight back against even "impossible" odds under certain situations:

1) I will not go anywhere at gunpoint. If the bad guy wants me to go somewhere else, it's because he wants to do something to me there that he is unwilling to do to me right here, right now. Therefore, right here, right now is the best chance to fight back I will ever have.

2) I will not be tied up. If the bad guy wants to tie me up, it is because he wants to do something to me that I would be able to stop him from doing if I weren't tied up and helpless. Therefore, I will resist before I become helpless.

3) I will not kneel. No one is going to execute me. If I die, I'll die fighting.

4) If someone tries to take one of my children, I will fight even at the risk of my child being killed by the bad guy in the resultant firefight. I plan this not because I'm positive I would be successful, but because I would not be able to live with myself if I simply "allowed" my child to be taken, brutalized and tortured, and his body perhaps never found. I'd rather watch him die in front of me. (Yes, that's harsh ... but given those two options and only those two, which would you choose? Are you sure?)

There are other items on my list, but those are the main ones. What are yours?"

If you enjoyed reading about "All we hear is "don't fight back'..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!