I Wannabe A Crime Fighter

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By John Hubbuch

The frontpage of the current version of this week's paper trumpets" Female victim fed up, fights back." That headline kind of overstated the story. The victim refused the robber's demand for money, and then when he grabbed her from behind she struggled and yelled until help came, although the bad guy did get away with the purse and 80 bucks. The headline and Channel 7 played up the fighting back against crime.                                           

The "enough is enough" trope is familiar. Charles Bronson in the "Death Wish" movies, Michael Douglas in "Falling Down" and Jody Foster in "The Brave One" all get at the anger we feel toward  criminals who threaten the person and property of good hard working citizens. Like Howard Beale in Network,  we're all mad as hell, and we aren't going to take it anymore.

I hope if I am confronted by crime I would be brave enough to fight back like in the movies.  But I worry that I would be more like the young Civil War soldier in Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage who when confronted with his first battle simply ran away.                                                  

I'm drawn to the heroic narrative, but in the back of mind there's a competing one in which while rolling on the ground my attacker stabs me in the stomach and chest , and as crimson  pools all around me,  I'm thinking I'll never  babysit Lily, or watch TV with Marsha or play golf with the boys ever again. Cowardice has its appeal.

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Posted: April 25th, 2011 10:14 PM

Cont. Having studied martial arts for close to 2 decades, the advise I usually give people is to get to safety asap, if that means giving over your money, valuables etc... IMO, physical confrontation should be reserved as a last resort. You don't know what the guy is carrying... once it turns physical, and the guy has a knife, you will get stabbed or cut if you try to fight him. OTOH, If you're armed and he's not, you could end up in jail. You need to know what you are getting into.


Posted: April 25th, 2011 10:02 PM

If someone wants to learn to protect themselves they need to be proactive and smart about how they're going to train for it. You have to consider the possibilities, what you are willing to deal with and what you are not. You have to choose your battles. There's no shame in running away from a potentially dangerous situation at all. Handing over your money when someone has a knife, then giving a description is a smart thing to do. You get out of harms way, the police's job is to catch them.

Kelly from Oak Park  

Posted: April 19th, 2011 9:00 PM

John, I think it is very insulting to the victim that you are saying that headline overstated the story. The fact is, not only did she fend off her attacker, but she came forward and allowed her name to be released. In some ways, the latter is even more brave because she had time to choose. You never know what you will do when you are a victim of crime (and I say when because it is almost inevitable in OP) until it happens. You probably won't have enough time to think through your narrative.

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