The Danger of Compliance
Around 11:00, Heather was surprised to have the man return early. He said he had changed his mind about the tux. Then he drew a handgun, fired a round into the ceiling and began barking orders at the frightened young woman. "If you set anything off, I’ll kill you. Don’t do anything that’s going to surprise me," he snarled. He demanded that she open the safe and cash register and that she hand over all the money.
Heather did as she was told, both by her assailant, and previously by her employer. She had been instructed by her employer that if she was ever robbed to comply and do as she was told and no harm would come to her. She gave the money to the criminal.
Once the man had the loot, he ordered Heather into the rear of the building and instructed her to lay face down. She did as she was told, expecting no harm to come to her because she complied. Then, the criminal shot Heather Brammer in the back of the head. He left her for dead.
"911 What's your emergency?"
"I've been shot. I just got robbed."
"You've been shot and robbed?"
Heather Brammer had indeed been shot in the back of the head. The gunman's bullet had struck the occipital prominence of her skull and lodged in the bone. She had been unconscious for about twenty minutes. Her arms and legs were numb, and her vision was blurred, but by divine providence, she was alive.
Heather stayed on the telephone with the 911 dispatcher and was transported to a hospital where neurosurgeons cared for her. Although the brain is still bruised from the bullet's impact, she is expected to make a full recovery. Her attacker is still at large.
For those who reject the notion of depending on the graciousness of criminals or divine intervention to preserve their lives in a lethal encounter, there is another path, another way. Begin to take your life into your own hands. Decide that you will not count on compliance to convince a criminal not to kill you. Frankly, the criminal does not care if you are compliant or not. He is following through with a plan that he has already scripted. From robberies and muggings to crimes such as the Wichita Massacre, a criminal's victims are only humanless characters in a violent melodrama of egocentrism playing in his head.
As Heather Brammer was asked by Meredith Vieira, "You could do what he says or you could run........ What was going through your mind?" I wanted to pound my screen. Are those the only choices you can think of Meredith? How about taking cover, drawing your own gun? How about being proactive and saving your life with lethal force if need be? Yes, there is another way to self preservation. Buy a gun and make up your mind to use it to save your life. Train to use it to save your life. Use it to save your life. Dependence on a criminal's generosity is a path fraught with risk. Heather Brammer