The knockout game, situational awareness, and you

This story is going around.  That “knockout game” thing is still going on.

I was going to put the video on, but, no… that’s what these barbarians want, isn’t it?

In New York City, a creepy selfish loser sucker-punches a 72-year old man, knocking him down.  The man has to be treated for a blood clot in his skull.

However… in other news, this comes from WND:

Are you armed? ‘Knockout’ thugs begin checking [Hmmm….]

The “knockout game” has become a nationwide menace in which roaming mobs randomly select victims and without warning hit them as hard as they can in an attempt to knock them out.

But there’s a new twist now, with attackers checking their victims first to find out whether they are armed.

The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville reported a witness called police claiming she saw a male juvenile punch a man in the face, “apparently without provocation.”

The victim, who told police he believed the boys were playing the knockout game, said one of the boys approached him and asked if he had a “Glock.[“Glock” is about the level of monosyllable that these kids can handle.] The man was punched after admitting he was unarmed, the paper said. [LESSON: BE ARMED or DON’T say that you AREN’T!]

Four juveniles were arrested.

Black mobs routinely terrorize cities across the country, [“black mobs”… will that make people go crazy?  Stop reading?  It is clearly stereotyping, or, what do they call it, “profiling”.] but the media and government are silent. Read the detailed account of rampant racial crime in “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It.”

But the report said the victim wised up quickly.

“Fearing that the boy would continue to hit him until he was unconscious, the man grabbed at a folding knife that he had tucked into his waistband and pretended to have a gun. The boys fled, and the man enlisted the help of his neighbor to search for the boys.”


“My favorite is the story of Marvell Weaver. He used a Taser to attack a father waiting for his daughter at a school bus stop. Only one thing: The Taser misfired. While his friends waited in the getaway car nearby, the father pulled out a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson and shot Weaver two times. He [the assailant] did a year in prison and admitted he had played the knockout game several other times.

“So to hear that the people involved in the knockout game are starting to worry about whether their victims can defend themselves is good news. Because once more people do, they won’t be victims anymore.”

The Guns Save Lives blog commented: “We have already documented one story where a potential victim has turned the tables on ‘Knockout Game’ players by pulling a gun. It looks like those incidents have instilled a fear in at least some of these ‘players.’”

What a mess.

What strikes me is the sheer cowardice of these violent crimes.

Everyone, please, dear readers, list… O list!

Situational awareness!  To my mind, having looked at the video of the attack in NYC described at the top, I can’t imagine how someone who was watching carefully, aware of his surroundings, the placement of people and what they are doing, would have walked directly into that particular attack.  Thugs tend to pick on people whom they can see are unaware of their surroundings, whom they can tell are distracted by, say, a mobile phone or music headphones or earbuds.  The attack scenarios vary, but they pick someone whom they think isn’t going to see it coming.

Heads on swivels, friends. Watch your six.  Ask yourself: Does that guy look like he belongs here?  Is he overly interested in me?  Acting appropriately?

Not everyone who behaves a little oddly is an actual threat.  But, until the scenario changes, know where they are.

Watch people the next time you are out and about.  You will see that the great majority seem to be unaware of their surroundings.  They barely look left or right.  Often they are looking down at the stupid screen in their hand.  A fluffy pink yak in lime green feather boas could do a tap dance routine at the edge of their field of vision and they wouldn’t even notice.

If you are walking around like that, or going to and from your car in a parking lot, oblivious, inattentive, distracted, spaced out, you are asking to be mugged.  “MUG ME!”  Save the thug some work: just wear a sign on your back.

Some situations ask for a heightened awareness.  Not only will thugs see that you are not going to be an easy victim – they want easy victims – but you will be in a better position to avoid conflict altogether.  If you can avoid, AVOID!  If you can’t, at least have your eyes open.

I won’t go into the issue of carrying a firearm, openly or concealed.  That’s a more complicated issue.  However, having the classes and training that come with obtaining the licence/permit can help you understand situational awareness and strategies for avoiding conflicts, including deescalating potential conflicts before they turn into something else.

I warmly recommend the training, especially if you are out and about a lot and even more if you are women.

Please, dear readers, don’t be easy victims.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Volanges says:

    This sounds like something out of “A Clockwork Orange”!

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. iPadre says:

    Also go to confession frequently, and make daily acts of contrition. You just never know if your in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. APX says:

    Being in Canada, I don’t have the option of carrying a weapon on me, but I did pass my college defense tactics phys Ed class with an A, so I do have that going for me. I did very well in frontal attacks, take-downs, handcuffing (don’t carry handcuffs, but very good at using zip-ties and very adept with Canadian arrest laws), and pain compliance holds. Only an idiot would try to punch me, which would only result in them smashing their faces into the ground.

  4. Kerry says:

    Scan for threats! Don’t let people get in close. Hands up quickly, palms out,”Don’t come any closer!” Cross the street.
    (Volanges, this? Ludwig van?)

    Some months ago an innocent young boy in St. Louis, believed to be the same poor misunderstood ‘yute’ who broke a man’s jaw in the ‘game’, assumed room temperature attempting to break into a house at 1:24 AM. Oops.

  5. Charivari Rob says:

    “Black mobs routinely terrorize cities across the country.”

    Disgustingly irresponsible statement from this “WND”.

  6. Uxixu says:

    Unfortunately, statistics bear that out. The problem isn’t racial in causation, though, just in correlation. The problem ultimately is bastardy, which is endemic in that ethnic group though rising in all of them. White illegitimacy is now at or around where it was blacks just as the entitlement society was taking hold in the 1960’s. Hopefully in 50 years, it won’t also be past 70-80% with the same corresponding increases in violent crime.

    We can only hope black Americans will realize that they’re in bondage to white Democrats of the Great Society just as much as they were to Democrat slave-masters of the Confederacy, only with silk gloves. Unfortunately no easy way to get that genie back in the bottle. Perhaps orphanages to replace the welfare state but would take a generation or two to see results.

  7. Kerry says:

    Volanges, I misunderstood your comment. Clockwork Orange indeed. How ’bout, Clock meets Glock?

  8. OK_doc says:

    Or you can carry a rosary with a large crucifix.

    My husband’s great-grandmother was a midwife in Ohio in the late 1800s. She was on her way to a delivery late at night and decided to use a railroad trestle as a shortcut. As she was coming off the trestle, two thugs accosted her and wanted her money. Grandmother reached into the pocket of her jacket, picked up the 4 inch crucifix on her rosary and said “get out of my way!” The would-be robbers thought she had a gun (or the devils in them recognized who they were really confronting) and fled.

    Never underestimate the power of the Rosary.

  9. DisturbedMary says:

    Here’s a refreshing rant about the Missouri rioters:

  10. cowboyengineer says:

    If someone is watching you, sizing you up, don’t avert your gaze. Look them in the eye, make a mental note of what they look like, haircut, height, weight, age, clothing. Looking strangers in the eye is a very assertive tactic. Carry a good, sharp folding knife, preferrably one with a flipper. I carry a Zero Tolerance ZT-0200, big, wide, razor sharp out of the box and it will open in a heartbeat. And most importantly, get a CHL and carry, carry, carry.

  11. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    [LESSON: BE ARMED or DON’T say that you AREN’T!] Amen. I’ll like to see how often the knockout game is played in states with concealed weapon permits vs states without.

    Not only should one never tell that one is unarmed, but one should never tell that one is armed, but it a 9mm, or a .380.

  12. Cafea Fruor says:

    Of course, the proper response to, “Do you have a Glock?” in a situation like this is: “Pfft. A Glock? Are you kidding me? I prefer a Beretta…”

  13. Volanges says:

    Kerry, Alex had a great fondness for Ludwig van.

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