I shift around a lot of electrons talking about self-defense. When it comes to self-defense the thing that should always be kept in mind is that you can only rely on yourself. Sure, somebody may come to your aid but you can’t rely on the assumption that somebody will because very often nobody will:
What happened to Kevin Joseph Sutherland was horrific beyond imagining. On July 4, in front of about 10 witnesses on the Washington, D.C., Metro, an assailant punched him, stomped on him, kicked him in the head, and stabbed him at least 30 times. No one attempted to stop Sutherland’s killer.
What happened to me in November was vastly different, and I do not intend to equate the two events. Like Sutherland, I was attacked on a Saturday afternoon on the D.C. Metro. And as in Sutherland’s case, despite my screams and pleas, almost none of my fellow passengers on the crowded train car did anything to help.
This is why I keep myself in relatively good shape, carry a firearm, and train in martial arts (in that order of precedence) and urge you to do so as well. It’s harder to kill somebody in even decent shape than somebody who isn’t at all in shape and physical fitness improves your ability to run away, which should always been your first instinct when you feel like a situation is about to go bad. A firearm gives you the best odds against an aggressor and takes physical disparity out of the equation. Martial arts give you an option for dealing with an aggressor even in situations where you’re unarmed.
Both stories mentioned in the link article involved a person being attacked while multiple witnesses did nothing. One could blame the witnesses for not involving themselves, and a writer for the Federalist did exactly that, but it’s also unreasonable to expect somebody to risk their life to aid a complete stranger. That doesn’t make somebody a “beta male,” as the Federalist writer claims, it simply means they’re individuals who performed a risk-benefit calculations and concluded involving themselves was riskier than the potential benefit. That’s a very logical conclusion. Involving yourself in a physical confrontation is always risky. You don’t know if the situation is a gang of violent individuals beating a random innocent person to death or a inter-gang war playing itself out. It’s also impossible to know if the attackers are carrying armaments in addition to whatever is currently in their hands or if they have more friends nearby. Generally speaking the safe option for a person witnessing a physical confrontation is to do everything in their power to not involve themselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the moral choice but it is a logical choice.
But that logical choice also means you have to be prepared to fend for yourself.