Self-Defense Tip: Avoid Stupid Places

Self-defense gun gurus talk an awful lot about situational awareness. You know; scanning your world [with or without Neil Cavuto] for potential threats. That way your OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop doesn’t fall behind the bad guy’s OODA loop, should things go loopy. I practice what they preach—to the point where I’m polite to everyone I meet and have a plan to kill them. Excluding little children. Outside of war zones. Yes there is that. A big part of situational awareness is avoiding situations where you could be ambushed. Well-lit or not. You don’t have to become a recluse. Just don’t go where angels fear to tread. Especially Hell’s Angels. Just sayin’.


  1. avatar Eric S. says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t hear that guy running up on him. I would bet that he was listening to tunes on headphones. The iPod is probably one of the best things to ever happen to the strong-arm robbery folks.

    1. avatar Mr. Lion says:

      Stupidity is the best thing to happen to such criminals.

      Back when I lived on Planet Manhattan I walked just about everywhere, quickly, blasting my iPod. I wasn’t stupid enough to wander around alleys with my head down, tuned out of the world, however, which is probably why I never had an issue. When I did have to walk across the park in the middle of night, it was tunes off, eyes up, back straight, and the Emerson in my pocket on standby.

      Hearing is a big part of situational awareness, but in an urban environment your eyeballs are much more effective. Turn those off and you may as well wear a “rob me” t-shirt.

  2. avatar ST says:

    Head down, hand in pocket, walking through an alley with a laptop bag. The classic picture of Condition White.

  3. avatar CinSC says:

    Dude got rolled, literally.

  4. avatar Nikeratos says:

    Old “Hee-Haw”skit applies here.
    “Doctor,doctor! I just broke my leg in three places!”
    “Well, you oughtta stay OUTTA them places!”

  5. avatar OldLawman says:

    Great advice.
    Allow me to share what my good friend, instructor John Farnam says: Don’t go stupid places, with stupid people, and do stupid things. Your drinking buddies may be great fun, but cruising the bars with them, hooting and hollering, having what passes for a good time, is an invitation for trouble.
    Grow up. If you are taking on the responsibility for your safety, and carrying, the odds of ever needing to actually use your weapon are greatly diminished by keeping in mind those simple rules. Isn’t that what the exercise is about ?

  6. avatar macgearailt says:

    Condition of victim?Status of mugger? Is Belltown the most misnamed city in America,the city of brotherly love?

    1. avatar matt says:

      This happened in Seattle, not Philadelphia. Victim has a broken jaw, mugger has not been caught.,0,2611156.story

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      Belltown is a neighborhood in Seattle.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    Yep, cutting the stupid people from your life goes a long way to making your life easier and safer.

  8. avatar mdc says:

    Outsized,easy knock out from behind.

  9. avatar matt says:


    1. avatar CarlosT says:


      I think I’ll go with Robert’s original thought and add another: if for some reason you absolutely must go to an isolated urban alley in the middle of the night, ramp up your situational awareness to eleven. Even if you’re not armed, you can at least give yourself the chance to evade.

      1. avatar matt says:


    2. avatar TTACer says:

      “Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.”

  10. avatar Erik says:

    This is the Belltown nieghborhood just north of downtown Seattle. I have to disagree with Robert’s statement, in some urban areas in seattle there are buildings and businesses that can only be effectively entered from their alleyway doors. some apartments on the older buildings the tenants can only egress through doors on the alley level. He should’ve been paying attention yes, but sometimes avoiding “stupid places” is difficult.

  11. avatar Mark says:

    Shame it’s inconvenient to always travel in three man teams with HK416s.

    1. avatar SkyMan77 says:


  12. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This example illustrates the fact that anyone of decent physical stature, who gets close enough to land a solid punch, could cause great bodily harm or death. So what is the self defense criteria before you can act? If someone is rushing at you, is that enough for a rock solid legal defense if you use lethal force? Do they have to throw a punch first? Do they have to land a punch first? How about a person (of decent physical stature) who slowly approaches you and keeps slowly approaching even after you tell them to back off?

    1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      Opportunity, Ability, Intent.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “… Intent.”

        That’s the problem. If a person keeps coming at you slowly after you tell them to back off, or even if they rush you, you really don’t know what their intent is. Maybe they just want to intimidate you for kicks. Maybe they want to rough you up for kicks. Maybe they want to really mess you up or kill you. Maybe they just want to get close and ask for you money or keys.

        My concern is that someone slowly approaching you after you have told them to back-off (or someone rushing you and you don’t even have time to say back off) puts you in a lose-lose situation. If you don’t respond with lethal force, they could kill you. If you do respond with lethal force, the prosecutor and jury could think you were paranoid and overreacted about nothing.

        1. avatar Bob says:

          Most states have a “reasonable person” clause. If a reasonable person would be in fear for his lifeor serious injury, then it was a justifiable self-defense claim. The problem is in proving the reasonable person clause in court. Stand your ground laws help us, but don’t completely solve the problem.

          SUCKS, doesn’t it.

        2. avatar Michael B. says:

          Someone approaching you after you tell them to back off is interested in causing you harm. Take the totality of the circumstances into account.

          If it’s a public place where there are tons of people and it’s broad daylight? Probably not a lethal threat.

          If it’s 3AM and you’re in a back alley like this video, seek cover and draw down on them if you have the opportunity to do so.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      If they’re still approaching after I’ve told them to back off all bets are off. If they’re running at me that comes under the heading of a charge and I’ll let the lawyers sort the rest of it out. I’m going to be alivwe to give my side of the story to my lawyer.

  13. avatar Sha-ul says:

    Not all of us have the option to avoid alleys, the backs of buildings& other out of the way locations.

  14. avatar Bear does kata says:

    This victim didn’t stand a chance. His lack of awareness, weak neck and poor judgement all contributed to his undoing. A moment of inattention and this could be anyone. I hope the boys catch the animal that did it so it can’t happen again.

    On a side note, what is it with people getting knocked out so easily these days?

    1. avatar matt says:

      it tends to happen when you get sucker punched and then fall on your face,concusions and all that. One of the blows also happened with enough force to break the guys jaw.

    2. avatar pat says:

      Weak neck. Ha. Little 120lb asian dude with his hands in his pockets and without a care in the world really should have been more careful in darkened, late night places. I hope he is more careful in the future and that they get the monster predator or he meets a violent end from the wrong end of a gun.

  15. avatar Bill says:

    FLAME DELETED why are we blaming THE VICTIM from a 50 second video? Who knows if he was in an area he didn’t belong. It appeared well lit, had video surveillance, and it looked very clean. Could he have done something different, I don’t know? But calling this guy an idiot for getting sucker punched then robbed. Seems like most of you think you are super defensive ninjas or think it’s too dangerous to go outside when it gets dark. FLAME DELETED

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      Few good things happen outside after 12AM.

    2. avatar pat says:

      He did nothing to deserve what the scum sucker animal did to him. He, and all of us, should at least try to exercise more awareness late at night in city areas. It is still possible for the predator to get us all as he could come from behind something with very little time to react and with a long object in hand.

  16. avatar A Brit in MI says:

    No blame can be attached to the victim, maybe most people would have been more aware when walking alone late through an alley but that’s the limit of his ‘error’. It’s likely that he still would have still been robbed, but at knife point if he had been more aware. We have all had to walk through town late at night, to imply that he should have been tucked up in bed at home by saying nothing good happens after 12am suggests that we abandon the night to the criminals. This criminal needs to be caught & locked up for a long long time, mind you, I would prefer to read about him being on the losing end of a legitimate DGU!

  17. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I feel sorry for the victim, he was totally unaware of what was happening around him. I was stunned at the casual way the bad guy slowly walked away, not a care in the world.

  18. avatar Gringito says:

    “Excellent” (…) mugger tactic!
    + Quick attack from behind.
    + No threat display.
    + No talking.
    + No weapons.
    + Just one single hit to the “central processing unit”.
    + Fully knocked out
    + Throroughly velted the victim.
    + Inconspicuous retreat.
    + That is professionalism!

    Did you notice that many self defense schools really teach bullshXX?
    55 seconds that teach a lot!

  19. avatar ADC USN/Ret says:

    Avoidance is good, but stopping the effect of the propaganda might be better.

    Anti-gun people are gutless wonders. They refuse to stand up with a weapon to protect anyone, including kids! They think taking your gun away, (dis-arming VICTIMS), is the proper response to a world of criminals and foreign nationalist.

    Lets label them what they are! “Pie in the sky crazies.”

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