Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ignorance can be bliss.

Earlier this week, at the Palms Internet Cafe in Ocala, Florida, a gentleman by the name of Samuel Williams defended himself from two people who attempted to rob the cafe.  The two were armed with a handgun and a baseball bat.

I have no argument against using lethal force against multiple subjects with weapons.  Yes, a baseball bat is a weapon!  It can maim and even kill when used, and does not take much training to use.  I will go into detail about the 21 foot rule for hand held weapons in another post in the future.

Now, I did have some comments about the video posted.

ABC News-Florida man shoots alleged robbers

About 14 seconds into the video that I linked, you see the behavior in the crowd. My first comment is that everyone just turns around and looks once the subjects enter.  It's obvious that they have done something to draw attention to themselves.  Reading the news reports, I will assume that they announced that their intentions were malicious.

I'm assuming at this point that everyone was in "condition white."  I can not disagree, as you can not maintain a "condition yellow" 24/7.  Watching a movie, playing on the computer, even eating dinner your attention will be drawn elsewhere.  I will admit that once I was in line at the bank behind an off duty Deputy from a local jurisdiction.  (I knew him in a professional sense and recognized him in out of uniform.)  I can tell you that we were both carrying a concealed handgun.  A gentleman walked in to the bank and loudly announced "This is a stick up!"  Even in "condition yellow," there was that half second delay for the both of us to process what was going on.  Fortunately we realized that the gentleman knew the cashiers and was making (what he thought) was a joke, so fortunately no harm came to him.  The Deputy and one of the bank managers had a nice long talk with the gentleman.

Back to the video.  The problem that I see is that many people maintain a "condition white" for the entire time of the incident.  At 14 seconds in to the video Samuel Williams engages the suspects.  There are two bystanders standing beside him as he fires upon the suspects.  One man is standing with his hands up, while another woman is walking and covers her ears.  The man at least looks in the direction of the gunfire.  The woman keeps her hears covered and continues to walk.  Neither drops to the floor or seeks cover/concealment.  Most patrons appear to stay seated.  They stayed in "condition white."  They did nothing, not even to protect their own lives.

I find it difficult to understand why a person would not try to protect themselves or their loved ones.  Many people are under the impression that some vague "other people" will take care of them.  Most people don't know how to properly take care of themselves in an emergency.  Sometimes, when "something" happens, you have to at least do "something."  It might not be the best idea or the brightest, and it may cause more harm than good, but at least you took action.  Often the worst thing is to do nothing at all.  Sadly, I understand that those who could do nothing may be ignorant to the fact that they could have helped themselves.