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Yes, You Can! Self-Defense and Surviving New York City (Pt 1)

NYC a safe haven for criminals? 
Those of you in NYC know that the laws here seem to protect and benefit the bad guys. From the streets to the home, the concept of self-defense is skewed to make even the most law educated, law-abiding citizen nervous about what will happen should they defend themselves in a dangerous life-threatening situation. You are encouraged to run, hide, and dial 911.

It really is a joke. 
I’ve read a few articles where someone breaks into a house, in the process of burglarizing the home he trips, gets shot, or becomes injured and decides to sue. Seriously, this has happened, and if you research this, I guarantee you will find more than one or two articles where a criminal “sued” the person or homeowner they tried to victimize. I even watched a video recently where a criminal called the cops on a homeowner because he pulled a legal gun on him and chased him out of the house.

It can’t happen to me. 
I have received plenty of negative judgements from delusional individuals who think they are immune to violence because, up until now, they have been fortunate enough to avoid it. The immune mentality is strong here.

Victim mindset. 
“But why would you want to defend yourself? Just give them everything they want. You can always get another TV, but you can’t get your life back. You can get over a rape, just don’t fight them. Imagine if you had a gun when those five kids jumped you and beat the crap out of you? You didn’t have one and you survived, so why do you need to defend yourself? Just take it and live to see another day.”

I can’t tell you how many times in a conversation with New Yorkers like myself, I have been told, “You are lucky you couldn’t defend yourself growing up. It’s better that they robbed you and just beat you up, it is safer than you trying to protect yourself.” WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? Are you kidding me? Let me tell you something, I “survived” those scenarios many times, but don’t think I enjoyed it, or that it felt great, given the option of blasting those punks or taking the beating; I’ll go with the former!

Recent attack and self-defense. 
The most-recent altercation I had was during hurricane Sandy as I was walking back to my hotel. Wall Street was pitch dark, and I used my phone as a flashlight. As I walked back, I noticed a dark alley, easily used for concealment, so I pulled out into the middle of the street to have some reaction time and remove the element of surprise.

Guess what happens? Three chumps came out from the dark alley towards me at an accelerated pace! My guess is that they were hiding in there waiting to pull someone in and rob them, but you won’t catch me that easily. Come on fellas, did my precautionary moves not warn you that you were making a bad choice in target? “Yo white n**ga, hold up,” now before he could finish the following statement “you got some cash on you son, let me get your f***ng wa…..” my legal, perfectly NYC compliant actions made him rethink his strategy. “Yo n**ga, chill, what the f**k you doing man, I just wanted to bum a cigarette from you man, everything is closed.

I don’t smoke, keep it moving losers! 

I recognize that my actions could have gone really bad for me, but it may have saved my life. 50/50 chance. It was a split second, calculated risk. Depending on who you are, (especially if you subscribe to the victim mindset) I’d advise that you do not accept working late hours or at location that puts you at such risk. Additionally, never walk alone as I did during a time like that.

I chose not to comply with these fools for a few reasons. I read their energy, and I sensed that they were cowards. However, I could have been wrong and gotten myself shot or stabbed. 50/50 chance. Unless you are fully prepared for grave consequences, including getting arrested for defending yourself and or a serious all-out brawl, I’d advise you to avoid the scenario altogether. If you are a lone female, an elderly person, physically small, or just an untrained person, you may be better off running, deploying pepper spray with no hesitation whatsoever, or simply complying with the demands of the criminal.

Though the problem I have with that is, among many others, that sometimes compliance is not enough is it? Maybe these are sexual predators as well? Not to mention that your wallet contains credit cards, identification cards, and other personal items that are difficult to replace! Some of the i.d includes your home address. The criminal can say to you “I know where you live, you better stay quiet about this.” Well, that’s not going to be me. My family and I will not live in that fear, living with “oh my lord, what if they come to our home.” That’s part of why I took the action I took. Worst-case scenario, where I end up looking down the barrel of a gun, I’d request that they at least leave me my drivers license. But really, who’s going to honor that request? I’ve moved my license to another wallet, a second wallet that contains anything that identifies my home location. Not a bad idea to consider implementing, my friends, in case you get caught up!
What can I legally do in criminal safety zone: NYC? 

Like I mentioned early on, NYC is really against self-defense. The authorities here want you to depend on the police and makes it nearly legally impossible to defend yourself without going to jail. King Cuomo and Baron DeBlasio would have us completely unarmed and exposed if they could entirely have their way.

So, what can you do? 
Ideally, they would have you call 911, cross your fingers, hide, cower, and wait. When you have only 30 seconds to live, the police are just a few minutes away. Assuming of course you are in a situation that you can get to a phone. You know, because criminals always give us warnings.

So what can you really do if attacked in the street? …

(To be continued)

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Angel Rodriguez

Angel is a blogger with appearances on The National Geographic Channel, MTV, HLN, FOX 5, HOT 97 FM, NY1, Bronxnet and many popular online sites. He is a U.S Air Force Veteran, Political Columnist, Musician, MMA Fighter, Foodie, and the Host of The Hidden Report Talk Show. Follow Angel on twitter and most social media via @AngelRdotMe