The “knockout game” and YOU!

Did you hear about the case in Lansing, MI?

A teen, who admitted he had done the “knockout game” think several other times, wound up getting shot twice by a man who defended himself with his legally concealed carry weapon.  HERE for a video of the story.

In this case, the 17 year old attack tried to victimize the innocent bystander with a faulty taser.  (It might have been stun gun.)

Fr. Z says, be careful out there.

Ladies… consider that CCW.

Parents… do you know what your kids are doing? With whom they are running?

This “game” is a symptom.  I’ll bet you can name some of the causes.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Magpie says:

    What do you expect.

    ”[T]he greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? ”

    — Blessed Mother Teresa

    A people that destroys the little one has no respect for anyone.

  2. TraditionalCatholicGirl says:

    What methods of self defense would you recommend to a person who lives in the State of New Jersey, where it is nigh impossible to get a CCW permit? Mace can only get you so far. As a woman, I want to be prepared.

  3. beefcake73099 says:

    TraditionalCatholicGirl – Honestly just get out of NJ :) Go to a state where your natural right to self-defense is recognized

  4. StJude says:

    What an ugly world we live in .. when thugs do this because they are ‘bored’. Lord help us.

  5. mamajen says:

    Teens in my area (Syracuse, NY) actually KILLED a man. My husband works in the city and has a bit of a walk from the parking lot to his office. With it getting dark early, I’m a little nervous. It’s tough to defend yourself if they surprise you from behind.

  6. Moro says:

    Sadly, even Mace requires a permit in some states. It should be standard issue at your local convenience store.

  7. keithp says:


    In addition to Mace, consider pepper spray.

    Better yet, develop good situational awareness. Keep alert in your surroundings at all times and identify potential dangers before they may occur. The problem with Mace and Pepper spray is that you have to be in range to use them. Better to not even be in that situation if you can at all avoid it.

  8. george says:

    These are the Brownshirts. They spread violence and fear. Our government is happy they are there doing their thing…

  9. CGPearson says:

    @TraditionalCatholicGirl – Outside of pepper spray or a taser, you could also look into the NJ laws in regards to carrying something like an ASP baton.

  10. Moro says:

    Another reason to put down your phone while out walking is to stay alert. Also, consider placing your index finger on the smooth edge of a key with the jagged edge down. If someone attacks you, you can use your key to cut them. That’s basically all that’s allowed here in Boston since it’s practically impossible to get an Firearms Card, mace requires a permit, and knives over 2 inches are illegal. Go figure.

  11. RafqasRoad says:

    What recommendations would Fr. Z. along with the readership have for those of us who live outside of the US, in states with not only laws to prevent carrying of firearms, but also where Conceal Carry as enjoyed by many in the US would get you charged and locked up with a criminal record not to mention laws that prohibit the carrying of other ‘non lethal’ instruments of self defence? Violence, especially violence against women is not unique to North America. Additionally, for those in the US with a disability which prevents them from utilizing firearms (think persons with a vision impairment or blindness) what would you and your readership recommend, especially considering all notions of ‘honour among thieves’ is nowadays non existent, rendering those of us with a disability viewed as easy, soft targets?

    A guide dog can offer ‘presumed’ protection, but they are not trained to defend their owners and the typical Labrador loves its master or mistress but will not ‘Lassie-like’ necessarily defend them of their own accord outside of positioning themselves between the guide dog handler and stranger.

    if you think the ‘able bodied’ are vulnerable in this violent age, spare a thought for your brothers and sisters with a disability who, though likely to navigate their day to day life just fine are seen as easy pickings by the thugs of our time.


    Aussie Maronite, soon to be South Coast Catholic.

    [I like the idea of a trained dog. I suspect that the suggestion move to a freer country might not be wamrly welcomed. Otherwise, since there has to be a large number of people who share your view, start a join a coalition of people to change the laws.]

  12. donato2 says:

    This horrifying phenomenon brings to mind George Gilder’s incredibly prescient comment from the 1970s concerning the destructive effect of artificial contraception on marriage and the family: We will need a welfare state to take care of the women and children and a police state to take care of the young men.

    (In my opinion Gilder’s “Men and Marriage” is one of the most brilliant books written by an American in the post WWII era.)

  13. Lin says:

    Situational awareness is KEY! It does not appear for the most part that one would have time to defend oneself. Never walk alone? Keep a certain distance between you and strangers? Get on the phone with someone when you feel threatened? I actually did that once when going to a church event in the inner city after dark. I told them if I for some reason I do not continue talking to them, call the police! And I might be able to describe to them any one that might be in the area before a potential attack. Much prayer and fasting is required! God help us!

  14. Lin says:

    Please be careful Father Z. I will pray for your safety, too!

  15. Magpie says:

    Note that ASP and other batons need a user who knows what they are doing. Without good training from trained professionals, having a baton and not knowing how to use it will likely hand a convenient weapon to your already angry attacker, and believe me, if you start swinging a baton at anyone, you BETTER know how to use it, otherwise you just make them a whole lot angrier!

    If I had a choice between carrying a Tazer or Mace, I’d choose Mace.

    Disclaimer: Of course, take advice from professional self-defense experts or law enforcement agents.

  16. boko fittleworth says:

    This is a race thing. Knockout game, polar (white) bear hunting, panda (Asian, like the congresswoman who got mugged on Capitol Hill yesterday) bear hunting. It’s black on nonblack violence motivated by racial resentment and hatred. I’d tell you how to avoid being victimized by it, but then I wouldn’t be allowed to write for National Review anymore.

  17. tededfred says:

    For those without CC – my father’s advice was to always walk down the middle of the road if you were threatened. Crazy? Yes, he’s a little crazy; however, it works.

  18. inexcels says:


    Consider studying martial arts. Try to find a good dojo/program that has a strong emphasis on practical self-defense. Even if you are small or have relatively little muscle mass, with good training you can become a very effective fighter. The downside is that it takes years to truly become expert in hand-to-hand fighting, but the upside is that once you are proficient, as long as you practice regularly, you will always be ready to defend yourself even if you have no weapons whatsoever.

  19. Nan says:

    @TraditionalCatholicGirl, in addition, call upon the saints; St. Michael the Archangel and St. Demetrios are both warriors and will protect you.

  20. av8er says:

    Cross the street when you see a group of teens coming, keep your head on a swivel, watch your six. Make sure you do not enter an alley alone or if you see a group coming, duck in a store, turn around and be alert always.
    This lack of empathy of the human being is disgusting. Just like someone mentioned above, rampant abortion, broken families, failing morality of the culture and something like this was bound to follow.

  21. JARay says:

    I am appalled. I have never heard of it happening here in Australia but no doubt if you lot are doing it, it will come here. The thing which is causing such angst here is the so-called “one punch” attack in which someone is punched in the head and falls backwards hitting their head on the hard ground behind them. This causes very severe concussion and even death. Several States are considering classifying this as murder, which it is in my opinion. These kinds of attacks usually are the result of drunken fights but I well remember the case of one of our police officers stepping in and trying to stop the antics of a well-known family fond of throwing punches against those whom they did not like. This officer received such a blow to his head and he crashed onto the pavement behind. His attacker got little more than a slap across the wrists but the officer spent months in hospital and has had to be found a “quiet” police job inside. He is still in this condition and the attack took place over five years ago.

  22. Jean Marie says:

    What gets me is how craven these actions are. You sucker punch someone when they’re unaware. You attack an elderly man or woman. A mob singles out one person to maim or kill. What a bunch of miserable cowards! And yes, there is a racial element here – obviously.

  23. Mike says:

    I blame it on George W. Bush. Anyone who doesn’t agree with me doesn’t believe in science.

  24. teejay329 says:

    Attention ladies:
    If you can, please think about a concealed carry permit. Usually, a good course will also cover basic self defense techniques and are often taught by police officers. I did this because I live alone and am often out and about alone as well. All it took was for me to be charged by a man in a grocery store parking lot when my cart flipped over due to some stormy weather. I was trying to recover my scattered goods. Luckily he was distracted (it was broad daylight, for heaven’s sake!) and another man saw what was happening. I was so frightened and I never wanted to be vulnerable again. The next time, I thought, it could be dark…and late…and no one around to intervene.
    And, it is also a good way to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights…unless you are living in one of those nanny states where that right is severely infringed upon. Something to think about…

  25. OrthodoxChick says:

    I also live in a state where it’s near impossible to get a CCW permit or even to legally purchase a gun. One thing you can do, in addition to the above advice, is to stop carrying a pocketbook. Get used to using a small, streamlined wallet and wear pants/skirts with deep front pockets. Don’t wear heels if you can’t run in them. I keep my wallet in one pocket, and keys & cell phone in the other. That keeps your hands free at all times so that you can be ready to defend yourself, or run if you are able to plot out an escape route. Always be aware of your surroundings. Look for doorways or alleys where an attacker could hide and try to avoid walking directly past such openings. If you have to walk to a parked car that is a good distance from your current locale, try to find someone you know and ask that they walk with you or give you a ride to your car. But try to avoid parking a car too far away from your destination, if at all possible. Car pooling to work, or arranging to carpool with a neighbor for common errands such as grocery shopping might be an idea to consider. Try to avoid public transportation because that puts you in a crowd of strangers and makes you a sitting duck if that one wrong stranger happens to be riding with you. If you live in either an inner city or suburb of an inner city, and carpooling is not going to be an option for errands and such, then consider driving the extra distance to a rural area well outside of the city/suburban limits. The pattern with these crimes seems to be coming from youth in very densely populated areas. If you can get outside of that sort of environment, you will likely up your odds of avoiding such attacks.

    My last piece of advice is not good for one’s physical health in the traditional sense, but it just might help you in an attack. If you’re a smoker, make sure you have a lit cigarette going when walking in any dangerous areas. You can always burn the hand or face of someone who tries to grab or punch you, or reach into your car, etc. The other plus is that bees and hornets hate the smell of cigarette smoke, so you’ll be safe from them too in the warm weather!

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    Tasers can kill, especially those people with heart arrhythmias or pacemakers. Of course, there is a chance for entrepreneurs, here, for the development of grounded fashionware :)

    This is related to the somewhat older practice of, “wilding,” where roving gangs of youths would attach women and the elderly. These kids should not be allowed to reproduce (terrible of me to say – my anger gets the better of me).

    The reasons are mostly known and relate to the coarsening of society by abortion, contraception, female objectification, appeals to emotions rather than reason, familial breakdown, etc. Once such gangs start showing up, it is a sign of the general hopelessness of youth. Police cannot stop it. It must be stopped by a radical change to society – oh, and roving gangs of dads couldn’t hurt.

    The Chicken

  27. Joel says:

    This whole issue strikes an open nerve with me since it happened to someone in my family.
    Unfortunately, this game is bigger than anyone will report. We have had this problem in Minneapolis for well over a year. It rarely gets reported and the police chief and mayor will downplay it every time. It is bad for politics and tourism. Managing statistics, making sure we don’t “profile” and providing a false sense of security are more important than stopping or preventing the problems.

    The Chicken is right in that this is a deeper societal problem, caused by numerous issues which he listed. That of course makes this game just one more symptom of our cultural demise. To fix the problem of course will take prayer, fasting, and the power of our God to mend hearts and guide souls.

    In the meantime, we the militant must also be practical in alleviating symptoms. CC is a good start of course, but with this particular game, CC will only help if you are not alone. The reality is, you will not know you have been a victim until you wake up in a hospital or you are at your judgment. It happens just that fast. (You could easily insert here Father’s rally call to Confession.) Never walk alone if it can be avoided and especially avoid areas where groups of hoodlums hang out. Always check your six! Meaning whenever possible, see what is going on behind you. If you are standing, do not leave your back exposed. Oh, and I am guessing this would not be an issue for most who read this blog, but just in case, do not think for even a minute that you are too big or too tough to be hit. In this game you are just worth more points and street cred,… and you will go down.

    In broader terms, we need to increase the police presence. The police need to have the authority and support of the community and politicians to interact, interrogate, and dare I say profile, groups of kids who look like they are up to no good. Many folks would probably be aghast if they knew how often police will overlook or ignore certain situations because they will end up being; a)overpowered, b) inundated with paperwork, and c) unsupported by the higher ups and certain “community organizations”.

  28. Chrisjvsmith says:

    boko fittleworth is just another example of conservative Catholics alienating black folks. Racism is a mortal sin. Let’s not forget that, despite all political leanings…

  29. boko fittleworth says:

    So you think “black folks” are alienated by the truth, Chris? Racism is a mortal sin. Let’s not forget this, despite all political leanings…

  30. JuliB says:

    I follow the police blog secondcitycop which discusses the un-reported wildings and knock-outs. Such a pity.

  31. midwestmom says:

    Going through my late parents’ old VHS tapes. The last find is a talk by E. Michael Jones called “How Contraception Causes Drive-by Shootings.”

  32. Kathleen10 says:

    Chris, pardon me, but your response to Boko’s comment is absurd.
    I’ll let someone else tackle whether or not racism is a “mortal sin”, but I doubt it is. After all, slavery was mentioned in scripture often.
    The attacks that are going on, the knockout game, are thus far, exclusively black on white attacks. It is cowardly and ridiculous to say they are not racially motivated. It is black thugs who are encouraged following the George Zimmerman trial to stop black on black crime and start some black on white crime. Our president and DOJ did absolutely nothing to discourage this. One could say they encouraged it. I believe the sorry excuse for humans who are doing this feel quite emboldened and justified in their attacks on whites. Anyone who doubts the racial aspect of this needs to start checking out World Net Daily (WND) and Colin O’Flaherty’s reporting on the topic, including his book “White Girl Bleed Alot”, which has documented the definite uptick in black on white assaults.
    These situations cannot be prevented, in reality. If you or I are walking down the street, as someone said, if it’s going to happen, you will wake up in a hospital or seeing God. It is too fast. Situational awareness is all you’ve got. You’d have to walk around with your finger on the trigger, and that won’t work. You’ll shoot your foot.
    I feel terrible thinking about disabled people feeling the need for protection, and not being able to do much about it. Not being terribly isolated is better. Get to know your neighbors and consider a neighborhood watch group. The police in our area have said the best defense is a nosy neighbor. Encourage nosiness. Cut shrubs away from house so no place to hide. Motion detector lighting is great. If you like dogs, a big dog, but not if you don’t like dogs. (not fair to the dog) A fence gives your dog time to detect and bark and you to do something.
    Weapons if you can’t have a weapon. (horrors) Bug spray is actually a weapon, and sprayed in the eyes of a bad’n, reportedly will stop them. Keep a can by your bedside if you’ve got nothing else. If you spray someone and the cops blame you tell them you thought the guy was a big mosquito.
    Slingshots, you can get deadly accurate with those. Get one and practice. Weapons can be made out of many things. Be creative. If you have a family, discuss preparation. It’s only good for little ones to know what to do if you call out a certain thing. You don’t want to scare children, but they ought to know to go to a particular room for example, if something should happen in your home. I’ve read that the best thing for a family to do is start screaming and throwing things at the intruder, if it’s someone coming in your home. Grab whatever is handy and start screaming and throwing. I’d add have a weapon ready to go nearby, but you need to balance that with children’s safety. In that you can’t be too careful.
    You know, if I lived in Australia, or any place where guns were taken away, I’d be organizing groups to get them back. Politicians come and go, by your hand pulling the lever. Get ones who support the return of gun rights and throw out the ones who don’t. For some inspiration Google the effort in our state Colorado, where one man started the effort to recall two politicians who took away gun rights. BOTH POLITICIANS WERE RECALLED AND TOSSED OUT. (Sometimes the little guy wins!)
    Stay safe everybody. God help us all.

  33. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m anticipating, but I’m not saying scripture condoned slavery, far from it. But there was ample opportunity to discuss racism and as far as I know, it got no direct mention.

  34. Kathleen10 says:

    Sorry for the multiple posts. Just got me thinking about the disabled folks and security.
    Of course there are kuhzillion websites about preparedness, and these often touch on self-defense. One of them, Homestead Survival, has so many topics and interesting things, you’re sure to find some ideas.
    A great strategy in your home is to have a “safe room”. This would be especially super if you have no weapon to speak of. If you can’t stop an intruder, confound them. Designate your safe room, then invest the money to fortify that room’s frame and door. On this, go for broke. Buy as heavy and solid a door as you can, fortify the lock. Make it your own little Fort Knox. Keep a charged cell phone in there that you don’t touch. It can be one of those cheap ones that only call 911. This at least, buys you some time. Even a wrought iron kind of “open” door would work really. If you had a wrought iron door which went floor to ceiling, on the end of a hallway leading to your bedroom say, locked and fortified, (not easy to kick in) and an intruder came in…how is he going to get past the locked wrought iron door? If it’s floor to ceiling, he can’t. That would be a few dollars investment, but certainly worth it. I mean, sometimes a door would not work, but might if it swung out of the way against a wall when you didn’t need it.

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