I have a problem with compliance.
It keeps popping up. Whenever an organisation or person publishes an article on dealing with a criminal confrontation, they will almost always advise to comply with the attackers no matter what.
A personal favourite are the “Hijacking Prevention Tips” that circulate the South African online media like a bad case of Herpes Simplex. I have seen these tips published in various formats more often than I cared to count.
There is some genuinely good advice given, so it isn’t all bad, but then you run into gems like this: “If your child is in the car, take the key with you as you open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – the criminals want your car and you want your child.”
Newsflash: you have to be spectacularly stupid to even for a moment think that you can negotiate with armed and dangerous hijackers. They will take your car, child in it or not, and if they have to shoot you in the face to get your keys they will. And they won’t even bat an eyelid. You are nothing to them except prey: a sheep to the wolves.
Don’t believe me that they kill indiscriminately?
- This mother was shot and killed in front of her children when picking them up from school. She didn’t resist.
- This woman was murdered in a parking lot for her car. She was shot twice, and didn’t resist.
- This 80-year-old man was shot in the head and left in the boot of his car. He didn’t resist.
- This Durban father was shot twice and murdered for his car. He didn’t resist.
- This 24-year-old woman was murdered during a hijacking. She didn’t resist.
These people are career criminals who break the law more frequently than you break a sweat. Murdering people is all in a day’s work for them, and sometimes they do it simply because they enjoy it.
This is the reality. If you think they give a hoot about your “negotiating skills” while withholding your car keys from them, you are badly mistaken. They will kill to get what they want.
Perhaps it is time for us to reconsider our compliance approach, and instead to start resisting criminals who attack us. Unfortunately far too many people firmly believe that fighting back is either impossible, or will make the situation worse. I am sorry to say this, but if you think this way you are a conditioned victim waiting for a time and a place to be targeted. Criminals are not superhuman. They are people too, consisting of flesh and bone and blood. And ordinary good people can, and do, beat them.
- This Durban man was attacked by three criminals. He used his gun to fight them off, and was unharmed.
- This mother was hijacked and hit in the face with a gun by a criminal who wanted to drive off with her four-month-old baby in the car. She managed to wrestle the hijacker’s gun away from him and fired at him, causing him to flee.
- This man was accosted in an East Rand parking lot by would-be robbers, and used his gun to fight them off. He was unharmed.
- This man was saved from armed robbers by an armed taxi driver who intervened.
- This woman saved her and her husband’s lives when she fought back against a gang of armed home invaders.
None of these people believed that they couldn’t fight back, despite the sometimes overwhelming odds that faced them. They stood up against their attackers and they won, not in spite of their actions but because of their actions.
I am going to take this line of reasoning a step further: it isn’t just a good idea to stand up against criminals, but a duty. A bully will keep on bullying as long as he has willing and compliant victims to choose from. When nobody stands up against the bully, it encourages the bully. One by one more South Africans are standing up against the “bullies”: the criminal scum that plague our society.
Preaching compliance with criminals has gotten innocent people killed, and will continue to get them killed. A culture of willing and conditioned victimhood has served as a fertile breeding ground in which violent crime flourishes. Unchallenged, the bullies have established a reign of fear that touches all our lives.
It is time to change this reality.
It is time to stand up against the bullies.