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, is 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 judgement from delusional individuals that think they are immune to violence because up until now, they have been fortunate enough to avoid it. The immune mentality is strong here.
“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 5 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 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.
During hurricane Sandy 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? 3 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 nikka, hold up“, now before he could finish the following statement “you got some cash on you son, let me see your wa…..” my legal, perfectly compliant actions made him rethink his strategy. “Yo nikka, chill, what the fack 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 went 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 above) I’d advise that you simply never accept working late hours or at location that puts you at such risk. Certainly 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. But, I could have been wrong and gotten shot or stabbed. 50/50 chance. Unless you are fully prepared for serious 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 no questions asked, 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 including 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 been planning to move my license to another wallet, a second wallet that will contain anything that identifies my home location. Not a bad idea to consider 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 government here wants you to depend on the police and makes it nearly legally impossible to defend yourself without going to jail. King Cuomo and Baron Bloomberg would have us completely unarmed and exposed if they could completely 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?
You’d be amazed the simple things that can save your life or create an opportunity to escape in the streets.
- A panic button on your car. (Criminals hate noise, they prefer to operate in stealth. A loud noise will most likely make them panic and flee the scene. But you could also get shot, just saying.)
- Roll under a car. (Depending on what’s happening this may give you an opportunity to escape or at least dial 911 or press a panic button, reach a weapon, etc. This is particularly useful for a smaller person, especially if the criminal is large.)
- Deploy pepper spray. I have tested “the neutralizer” on myself and it really hurt, it also contains a UV spray for identification by the police. I’m looking to get some pepper gel and foam for myself and my wife as those appear more effective.
- Use a bright light. This may sound silly, but give it a shot. Have someone hit you in the eyeballs with a Fenix tactical flashlight and let me know if that would not buy a person the time to run or drop kick the criminal in the jaw. I have 2 of those, one for me, one for my wife. Look, I can light a window 2 blocks away from my balcony with it. Sooooo…
- Knives. This one is riskier and should be an absolute last resort. The laws here are very dangerous for us as law abiding citizens when it comes to knives, the same as guns. Legally you CAN carry a knife, so long as it’s concealed (cannot be visible), under 3 inches, and fully locks requiring both hands to open it. It should be tight, not loose or easy to open. In a nutshell those are the knife requirements. Oh and you can’t be carrying it solely for self defense, if they can prove you are carrying it for defense, well, you are done. So, how’s that work? I belong to an organization called “knife rights”, they are the equivalent of the NRA but for knives. I advise that you learn about “knife rights” if you intend to carry bladed or edged weapons at all. I won’t go into details here.
Take a self defense class.
Learn the basics. It is not a bad idea to take a self defense class. These will not make you a fighting expert, but let’s be real, who wants to fight in the types of scenarios I’m listing? The idea is to buy yourself enough time by disabling the attacker and then fleeing the scene. Simple techniques like eye gouging, throat strikes, throwing change at their face, those can buy you precious seconds needed to get away.
Are guns a good option for self defense?
Not in NYC, unless you fit a very specific set of criteria, you CANNOT carry a gun of any sort in NYC. This is a major advantage to criminals because they know that unless you are a cop, or again, fit those very specific, nearly impossible guidelines, that you as a law abiding citizen DO NOT have a gun on your person. So guns are irrelevant for this portion of the article.
What can you do if your home is being invaded in NYC?
Legally, even in your own home in NYC you are supposed to attempt to retreat to safety. Other states have what’s called the “Castle Doctrine“, which is sort of like a “Stand your ground” law, but for the home and other authorized places. According to wiki, New York – Allows for the use of “reasonable force” in self-defense against Home Invasion. The laws on this one are very sketchy and I’d advise you to read good and hard if you intend to defend yourself at home. Most of the methods I mentioned before can be used during a home invasion, you can have pepper spray, baseball bats, cooking knives, a 2 by 4, a chair, whatever it takes, hide in a safe room, set off alarms, and a few other options not available outside such as firearms.
So I can have a gun at home?
Yes, with the proper permits, even in NYC you are (at least for now) allowed to own firearms. It’s a long tedious process, and even after you have the permit, the guns must be registered, brought in for inspection, and listed on your permit I.D card. A residence permit DOES NOT permit carrying the firearm outside. You may however transport it to a range provided that it is properly secured. Read up on those laws here.
I hope that my tips have provided you with some ideas on how to stay safe in the streets. Good luck and always stay watchful, the worst enemy to a criminal is our being aware!
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.