Let’s talk about the Odds

Someone on Reddit argued your odds are better giving up your stuff, compared to taking defensive actions.

Are your odds really that better though?
If a robber gets you on your knees, tells you to give up your stuff, they want something else from you that you don’t have, or something that is unreasonable, are you put in a better position then if you took defensive actions?

Sure a lot of anti-gun pieces, and articles, and companies will tell you your odds are better, but that is ASSUMING the person you’re dealing with is the same across the board.

Which the only reason why they tell you these things is because of liability purposes.

During my force on force training with active shooter, we were taught it is better to fight back, then not at all, and when you’re dealing with an armed robber, you’re dealing with somebody who may have the same mentality of a mass shooter.


Assuming that they’re not on drugs sounds dumb. They put themselves in the situation. Treat them as a danger and don’t put yourself in a bad position.


Some folks actually used to teach women that if they were being raped, they should not resist, because it might make their attacker angry. Or that women shouldn’t carry defensive tools, because an attacker could use them against her. This is kind of along those lines.

The calculus is complex, though, and the outcome is never guaranteed. If someone wants all the money in my wallet, I can give him that. So I’m out $20, right? No big deal, in the grand scheme of things. But there’s a chance he’ll shoot me, anyway.

Or I could try to fight back. That might scare off my attacker. Or maybe I’ll get the best of him. Or maybe I’ll get shot.

There’s no right answer for every situation. Instead of teaching a person what to do, it’d be better to let them try some different training scenarios so they can learn their own limitations.


My philosophy is to train to fight to be prepared and knowledgeable how to react in every situation.
The decision about the actions depends on who are you dealing with, what are the circumstances and your chances to win the fight.
You think, calculate and decide.
In most cases giving up is the way to go. But there are situations you must fight and win. And you must be prepared.

Discussing this is never ending story… So the answer for unpredictability is preparedness.


Good fortune favors the prepared, right?


Respectfully. I’m assuming that this has never happened to you, right? If I have paid attention to what you posted, the question that rises from it is: “What can you do, they’ve got the drop on you…remember, you’re on your knees.” Now, I’ve watched the McGiver movies, James Bond, and some other action heroes on TV and in the movies, too! But here’s what I know… Those are just movies.

Unless you’re dealing with some real buffoons, you’ll get your 4th point of contact handed to you if you even look like you’re going make a move. So, the best thing that can be done is wait for an opportunity, and that assumes that you’re free enough to be effective at doing anything at all! Because mostly a person in this situation and position has been rapped upside the head with a piece of steel that has probably convinced them to comply. It’s cool to have a plan and yes one should always seek to improve upon the plan. But you also have to be in a position to at least implement the plan. (Meaning, unzipped)

Many would say fight and I agree but there are a lot of dead folks that unfortunately were not in a position, nor given a chance to fight. The chance was prior to taking the knee. As the Police would say, “They never had a chance.” The other piece is, it’s just stuff. They can have it all if it will save my life, which is probably a pipe dream in this scenario.

As a matter of fact, let me ask specifically, “What “defensive” action would you be in a position to take, given this condition?” Let’s be real…“The robber has you on your knees;” I’m assuming at gun point. Let’s hear these A, B, C, s. I am definitely in learning mode now… very respectfully.


“It depends”

Most robberies I see giving up your stuff does not include getting on your knees. That’s a red flag.

You would basically need video of the example incident stopped/paused at a certain point in order to talk about what course of action is, we think, better in that situation and in that moment.

Also, “active shooter” is an entirely different scenario from a robbery “giving up your stuff”


Not. Ever. Happening. I’d rather die on my feet than on my knees. A robber may get the best of me, but only two things happen when someone is on their knees…I ain’t doing one, and I’ll keep my *ss standing for the other. In my experience, you just let me take what I want, I’ll do it again, and again because I know you aren’t going to fight. No thank you. I’ll keep what’s mine, or we going to hell together.


You have to be prepared for anything. Situational awareness is key. I was almost in that situation once coming home from the grocery store. I was carrying 2 shopping bags with groceries headed toward my home on my side of the sidewalk. I was armed with my concealed carry service weapon at the time. I noticed these 2 young men across the street whispering to each other and point and walk across in my direction, I immediately put my bags down and put them in my weak hand and unholstered my service weapon with my strong hand. They immediately walked back across the street and continued on their way and I continued on mine. Their actions gave me time to think and not become a victim. I will never know what their intentions were, but I am glad I noticed and had my head on a swivel. At that moment I was thinking I was not going to give up my stuff, besides I had the drop on them. I just kept looking back as they continued walking. What were the odds that they were armed but didn’t pull out there gun because I got to mine first. What were the odds I could have gotten into a shootout over a bag of groceries and maybe that’s not all they wanted. Yes sir @Forensic_Wow lets talk about odds.


My point is this…and here’s what got my attention…I know…as a professional…if one has isolated a subject…and has him “on his knees” this is bad juju for that individual…it doesn’t matter (the stuff).

Too often, it is stated what we’ll do… I simply advise that we take caution with statements such as this. Because if one is on their knees then that means that a whole lot of other things have gone terribly wrong prior to, so it’s not likely to be as simple as “someone came in and I’m now on my knees.”

This is one of those “rabbit-hole” scenarios where there will never be a clear resolution. It’s farfetched.




We all hope to be situationally aware and have a plan. Could a, would a, should a, I say you really don’t know. I think training for different scenarios is an asset. Have you ever been startled by a friend or loved one? Just took you out of the plan or game, didn’t it. That’s a simple one.

In the early 1980s I stopped a car on a traffic stop. Nothing unusual about the stop, 2 guys were in the car. I got out of my patrol car and I never felt anything like this before. I had complete fear. Why? I don’t know. I approached the car, requested their papers. They were polite , compliant, non aggressive but I still had that fear. I advised them of their violation, returned their paperwork and walked backwards to my patrol car continuing to watch them. It was the only time in my life, and my career,that I’ve ever experienced that fear. No explanation for it. So on that day, on that occasion my game was gone. Was it pure evil, maybe. Just my thoughts here.


That almost matches the motto of the Marine unit I served with.

I’m going to fight more than likely. Due to a couple of factors.

  1. I train very hard to be prepared.
  2. It may be a personality quirk, but I actually think about future victims of a criminal.
  3. I am not going to provide some criminal, with a gun, 2 extra magazines, close to $600 dollars of knives, my address and keys to my car and home. Plus $10,000 plus of Credit Cards :credit_card:
  4. Almost everywhere I go my wife, or my daughter, or both are with me. You only get to them by stepping over my cold, dead, body. That’s not me trying to be macho. It’s acknowledging that this world is a better place with them in it. I don’t deserve the women in my life. So I am always trying to be the type of man who deserves the wife and daughter that I have.
  5. I am not stupid I will do everything I can to increase the odds in my favor.

I had something happen in October that I really thought I was going to need the USCCA for. I even wrote about it, here on the forums, until the critical incident team reminded me that since the issue might have blowback that I should remove it. But that incident told me one thing and that was that I wasn’t going to crumble, that all of these years of training had prepared me.

I, firmly believe, that when you’re the one on the X, you are going to perform to the level that you train at. This is especially true for me as I have Addisons and stress can literally kill me.

Personally, if I am in that bad of a spot. My situational awareness completely failed me. But continuing with that premise, I’m going to be backing away so that my wife is not in the line of fire. I am going to use misdirection such as tossing things to him that are off target, or land short or high, and my voice to give me that split second I need. Am I going to win? I don’t know but I am not letting the robber get to my wife or my daughter.


What a thread of discussion. I guess I have to, in another odd way, thank the Op. As I’m sure others will add various offerings to it in the future.

Someone mentioned it earlier; that the woulda, shoulda, coulda scenario (not a direct quote) is always a stretch. Many people train and have trained for the critical what if’s and then failed miserably when the moment occurred.

We have no way of knowing exactly how any of us will respond (as also mentioned earlier), we only hope that we’ll be able to respond with dispatch and resolve. But training, practice and proper mindset are the best preparatory devices that we have baked into our sensory cortex should an unlikely event occur. It will not look sexy, because fear (as stated again) can grip any one of us, but fundamentals baked in will be there when we need them. So, what we do have going for us is our training, practice and mindset which enables and empowers us to physically and mentally respond overwhelmingly to varying situations to ensure we prevail in the crucible of the moment and emerge victorious.

And if by chance we don’t, it will not be because we had something and did nothing with it. It’s why we train; it’s why we practice; it’s why we induce stress in our regimens for best possible outcomes or to achieve the best possible results. It’s all we can do.

Pray we never need to employ what we know. But if we have to, then we do so “righteously.” That means dispassionately, strategically, tactically, and completely. It’s not a game. It’s serious work…and it requires serious people to be about it. Your life, and the life of those you love depends on it. You Are a Protector.

And if it means anything, you all have my utmost respect.


I would like to note and add on that the topic isn’t about what you would do, but rather what’s a better position and how will you get there, I believe immediate action should be run away.

Like option would be the way that Kevin shows here.


Sort of the same fear I felt when I heard the towers went down. I didn’t understand it either. But it passed and I got on with it.


That’s the best option if you can still run away. If you get to this point, that means your situation awareness didn’t work.
You run away if you can. If you cannot you must decide what to do, being prepared to fight… but you must be smart with that decision.
You calculate the chances. Any doubt means no fight. There’s still time for distraction to make the opportunity to run away.
I’ve never been at direct gun point so far, but spoke with few people who did… Once the muzzle hits your head you are like baby who wants nothing else than go home and hug your Mother. You do whatever attacker wants you to do. Your everyday training and everything you knew just go away… :unamused:
I personally saw civilian’s muzzle pointed at me once - from another car… I never want this again. I came through this thousand times in my mind and found that the fight would never be won.
So always be prepared but make smart choices. Just don’t be and never feel helpless.


If you can win confrontation with the robber by running away – do it.

If you can create a tactical distraction by giving them your wallet or car keys – do it. It is for distraction only, do not expect the robber to go away! If the robber is distracted – use it to gain tactical advantage, increase distance/run away, arm yourself, do whatever increases your chances of survival. Manage the situation smartly, e.g. don’t draw on drawn gun. Do not assume that someone who leaves the life of crime and trained in violent crime for a long time, is less capable than you.

Do not allow yourself to be distracted, as others pointed out, a robbery may be pretext to kidnapping or execution, maybe it is initiation day in gangland. Crank up your fight or flight accordingly.


How about the deterrent component? If he knows you will passively hand it over, spread your legs or go with him I suspect he is more likely to just run out and commit the crime. IF he is knows you will resist, make him Take your stuff, Force himself upon you, drag you kicking and screaming maybe even injure him or worse I suspect he is less likely to recreationally go out and commit the crime.


This pretty much excludes anyone in wheelchair, having a kind face, seniors, for male criminals, most women.
One deterrent is reading/watching news criminal-victim interactions ending, most of the time, in victim’s favor. The other – the bad guy sees you are aware of him