Thursday, September 17, 2009

Murder begins where self-defense ends *

Yale graduate student Annie Le compared crime and safety at Yale with other Ivy League schools in a piece she wrote last February for B magazine, published by the medical school.

She summed up her article by saying, "...all cities have their perils, but with a little street smarts, one can avoid becoming yet another statistic."

Sadly, her body was recently found strangled and stuffed behind a university lab wall on what was supposed to be her wedding day. Yet another death in one of those heralded bastions of the Gun-Free Zone, victim disarmament culture, our nation's college campuses.

Experts are quick to offer self-defense advice after crimes like these occur - carry a whistle, they say. Tell a friend where you're going. Walk with a purpose. Don't portray yourself as a victim. Unfortunately when you are 4'11" tall, weigh only 90 pounds and are unarmed, like Annie was, you can't really help that.

All predators single out the weak and the small - just watch any nature program. A lion hunkers down in the tall grass, watching antelope as they graze, scanning the herd for dinner. The very young, the very old, and the injured are seen as potential victims because size, strength, and the ability to fight back are all crucial factors in determining which animal to bring down by its throat. It's a simple risk/reward ratio. And despite differences in motivation and the frequent unwillingness to equate ourselves with animals, the behavior of human predators is exactly the same.

Annie Le was easy prey.

* quote from Georg B├╝chner


Alan said...

This points out one of the failings of her own defense philosophy.

"Street Smarts" She was probably careful on the street. But she thought she was safe in her office.

If you are a sheep, you're prey everywhere, not just the street.

Larry said...

I'd be interested in reading that article she wrote...

Anonymous said...

Yale's B Magazine can be found at

Annie's article is in Volume 10, Issue 1


James said...

My girlfriend stayed in an abusive marriage for many years because she was afraid she would be killed if she left. Since meeting me she has learned to shoot and has a carry permit. She wouldn't live like that again.
We shoot nearly every weekend and if I suggest skipping a week, she says no way. Her current carry gun is a Bersa .380, but she has fallen in love with my Ruger SP101.
There is nothing more empowering for the small and weak than a firearm and the ability and knowledge of its use.

Did it MY way said...

James said it best.

John Fogh said...

I wouldn't get too wrapped up in the "small and weak" idea. The fact is that a predator will select the victims not that he thinks he can defeat, but the ones that he thinks can be victimized easily and successfully.

Small and weak isn't the whole equation. Victims are selected based upon their "willingness" or expected compliance more than they are on just size or fitness.

Tirno said...

I'm convinced that "street smarts" have their place. As does avoidance, de-escalation and deterrence. Nobody sane wants to be in a fight for their life.

None of that matters any more when the trouble comes looking for you. You have the rest of your life to come to grips with the situation and start doing something appropriate.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Found after clicking thru a link on Instapundit.

JKB said...

It appears Ms. Le fell afoul of a common misperception. She was alert when out in the street but the predator had penetrated her perimeter and didn't fit her "stereotype" for lack of a better word. He was a co-worker. He, assuming they have the right guy, was a wolf in sheep's clothing.

With sharks, bears and all predators, you don't see the one that gets you. It is when you feel safe or let you attention be diverted that they strike.

bobn said...

With sharks, bears and all predators, you don't see the one that gets you. It is when you feel safe or let you attention be diverted that they strike.

Reports are that she put up a real fight, with accused receiving many scratches on chest, arms, back, and a bit of a black eye. If she'd had a gun she could have gotten at, most likely he'd be dead and she'd be alive.

Anonymous said...

What about using: broken lab glassware, chemicals, slamming a book into his stomach edge on (to buy time while you grab something nastier or run like mad), pen in the eye, keys held in fist . . . I was taught that your mind is weapon number one. A firearm, knife, stick or whatever is number two.
But as you said, she was probably not thinking about risks and hazards because she was in a "safe place." So were the two female TAs at State Cow College who were assaulted in their offices four years ago.

funky said...

It is so important for woman to know how to defend themselves that is why i would highly recommend any woman to go to classes and watch self defense vidoes.
is a video of Bas Rutten.

Anonymous said...

Most folks are only concerned with robbery/muggings. Le probably had these types of events in mind when she wrote her article.

Most people just aren't prepared for bat-$#!% crazy lunatics, stalkers, or creeps with ill intent. For these events, knives, guns, pepper spray, tasers, or stout clubs are more useful than "street smarts".

She may have put up a fight, but with the proper gear, the outcome may have been different. Even a one-hand operated folding knife would even things up a bit.