The excellent book The Dark Side Of Man reports that David Luckenbill studied all of the murderers in a California county over a 10-year period and asked them why they killed their victims. All the death row inmates interviewed listed one of only two reasons for killing:
- 34% said they killed because the victim challenged the killer’s authority
- 66% said they killed because the victim insulted them in some way
What matters is the criminal’s perception. If he perceives a challenge or an insult, he is more likely to kill you.
This information provides a basis for planning a strategy for dealing with criminal violence.
Understand that the criminal is not operating under the same moral imperatives as his victim. A large proportion of violent criminals are psychopaths without any empathy for their victims. Never think, “He won’t shoot me because I wouldn’t shoot him in the same situation.” You would be wrong and this will cost you your life.
False bravado will also get you killed. Criminals learn to quickly judge people and use that judgement to manipulate them. Your bluff will be transparent and you will experience a violent response to your challenge.
Never insult an attacker. There is a big difference between screaming “GET AWAY FROM ME!” and screaming “GET AWAY FROM ME YOU MOTHERFUCKER!” Insulting an armed criminal will not yield positive results.
Be especially cautious during the times when the criminal is under the most stress and be chose your words carefully, especially at the early and end stages of the attack.
Develop a verbal response for the most likely scenarios you may face rather than thinking on the fly, just say exactly what you have practiced. Your script should avoid any challenging language or insults. Deliver your script in a calm monotone even if you are planning violent resistance. Surprise is a very potent weapon in your arsenal.
If you are in an environment that exposes you or your staff to the risk of criminal attack, then The Dark Side Of Man is a book you must read.
Know your enemy and plan to prevail.