Surviving the Mob…
Time to activate the most powerful weapon in the world!
Our last blog garnered a lot of comments and requests for a more expounded “position-paper,” on the subject of how to survive getting caught up in a violent mob or riot. Being accidentally trapped in the path of a violent protest cannot just be horrifying…it can be deadly. For that reason, before you head out of your home or current “safe-space,” it is time for you to activate the most powerful weapon ever devised. We’re referring to your brain.
Let’s face it, most of us walk around on “auto-pilot.” That means that we never expect anything bad to happen to us. Without thinking about it, our actions are predicated on a few basic (but misguided) presumptions. First, our default position is that most people are good. Second, we cannot contemplate someone doing us unsolicited harm…because we apply our own personal standards on how we treat people to these strangers. Third, we always believe help in just a 911 call away.
If the past few months have taught us anything it is that while the majority of the population is made up of good and decent people, those people are actually the “silent majority.” In other words, while most people would never harm us…they unfortunately are also not likely to step in to help us, when push comes to shove. We have also seen that it doesn’t take super large crowds of social deviants to be dangerous. A couple of dozen to a few hundred malcontents can literally become a deadly tornado of destruction at the drop of a hat.
Finally, for numerous reasons (that this article will not attempt to define) it has been demonstrated time and time again that your 911 calls may go unheeded. While the vast majority of Law Enforcement Officers would come to your aid if given the choice, we have seen multiple (and regular) examples of them being ordered to “stand-down,” for political purposes. This means that it is conceivable that in the middle of a potentially deadly crisis…you may most decidedly be on your own.
Rule # 1…Avoidance
Let’s consider a few ideas that may keep you from blindly wandering into the path of one of these dangerous situations. Using that super-computer mounted on our shoulders, we can make wiser decisions on how, where and when we travel.
- Check the local Law Enforcement website before you begin your day. Most local agencies will post PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) that will outline any threats or potential “hot-spots,” that they recommend you avoid. Heed their recommendations. While it may not be what you want to hear… do not discount this “intelligence,” they are posting.
- If you are a student on campus, check with your campus police department and/or your Office of Student Affairs to find out if any rallies or protests are scheduled on your campus. Even if you support those causes, you must remember that even positive events can be infiltrated by deviant’s intent on disrupting these gatherings for the expressed purpose of causing harm and destruction.
- Identify and recognize potential targets of “mob derision,” and then avoid them. It seems like virtually any statues, markers of honorarium, public buildings or even innocuous but well know locations can become “flash-points,” for violence. A public park for instance may offer an ideal location for large, disenfranchised crowds to form and work themselves into a frenzy. Ask yourself if you truly need to visit that location today.
- Recognize that the political relevance of any date or location can be the basis of incubating the formation of a dangerous group of rioters. Avoiding those locations may be as simple as listening to your local radio station while driving. While Satellite Radio or Apple Music may better suit your taste in entertainment, now is the time to tune into local radio stations for local news updates and traffic reports.
- Use common sense when contemplating your daily commuting plans. If certain streets or roads have been targeted in the past for disruption and violence…pick...another…route. Do NOT drive in areas that you are unfamiliar with. Pre-plan “escape” routes by checking them out on your “Map Apps,” before you even start your commute. Learn the “commands,” for instructing your GPS guidance to provide emergency or alternate routes to your location.
Rule # 2…Escape & Evasion
Even if you do your best, you may find that you have stumbled into a situation that is escalating quickly into exactly the type of dangerous and violent, mob-based storm you tried to avoid. When that happens, you must transition from an “avoidance,” mindset to an “escape and evasion,” mindset. Consider the below concepts that may help in that regards.
Please note though, each jurisdiction around the country may have their own laws and statutes regarding the legal ramifications you may face when attempting to escape from a potentially dangerous situation or while defending yourself from harm. These comments are not intended to provide any legal guidance or opinions regarding said legal ramifications that may result from their execution. Govern yourself accordingly.
- The worst place to be located (on foot) in a violence prone “mob” or riot…is right in the middle of it. Attempt to work your way to the peripheral or edge of the crowd. Once there, look for safe routes of escape. This may require you to enter a business or building to get away from the crowd. However, even then do not let your guard down. Attempt to find the nearest exit on the far-side of the building so you can escape away from the crowd you took shelter from to begin with.
- If you are on foot and find yourself surrounded by a violent mob, it is important that you do not lose your footing and fall to the ground. No matter the circumstances, you must remain on your feet. Once on the ground you can be stomped and/or kicked to death. If you do fall to the ground, do everything possible to get back to your feet and continue your effort to escape the crowd of people surrounding you. Protect your head if you do go to the ground.
- If you are in a vehicle when you are “swarmed” by a violent mob, expect to have damage done to your vehicle. Call 911 and inform them of your location, the number of passengers you have and that you are in “fear for your life.” Try to keep them on the call so you can relay to them what is happening to you. Have your children remain in their seatbelts but to take a defensive posture much like you would see in an airplane during an emergency landing. Make sure your doors are locked. Continue forward movement in your vehicle at a slow but constant speed.
Try to avoid hitting/injuring people who are blocking the path of your vehicle…but conventional wisdom would tell you to do not stop. Once you have safely left the area, ask the 911 operator for further instructions.
- Be prepared by carrying/wearing certain items that can make the difference between surviving and escaping a violent mob encounter on foot.
- Sunglasses (any type of protective eye wear) so that you can be protected from the directed spray of chemical agents. While this may not protect you from the aerosol effect of such chemicals, it will help to protect your eyes from direct contamination.
- Closed toe shoes should ideally be worn. Sandals, flip-flops, heels, etc., will guarantee that you will either be barefooted or unable to run effectively. Athletic footwear or hiking shoes are ideal in that they will protect your feet and not easily come off.
- A high-quality, high-Schofield Heat Unit Pepper Spray that will discharge in a fog will allow you to “gas,” several individuals that you may need to escape from. It can also be deployed behind you to cover your escape and dissuade assailants from following you. Just be aware that (a) you may also suffer from the effects of the spray and (b) many “experienced” rioters will have been exposed to similar chemical agents and therefore, may not react as caustically as anticipated.
- Your Yellow Jacket Smartphone Stun Gun Case should be carried in standby-mode, with the electrodes deployed. Do not hold it in an extended fashion out in front of you or wave it around haphazardly. It should be held close to your body in your strong hand with your weak hand deployed in a “guard,” position. When you are grabbed by an assailant, immediately deploy and discharge the Yellow Jacket on the hand/arm they are grabbing you with. Remember, your goal is to make them immediately let go so you can continue your escape from the crowd.
Above All…Remain Vigilant!
These are very dangerous times. People are being attacked in broad daylight in restaurants and parking lots for simply wearing a t-shirt of the wrong color. Sociopathic miscreants are literally looking for any excuse to attack and pummel an innocent bystander. The new normal is to have your head up, eyes constantly scanning. Listen to the conversations around you for any hint that you are being targeted. Do not travel by yourself when out and about. Don’t expect any help from bystanders. You are likely to be on your own if attacked. Be alert….be prepared and always have your Yellow Jacket at hand!