In Chile, the Army is having a tough time keeping a lid on all the violence in the aftermath of the earthquake. For a day or so after the quake, I watched Chile with a bit of admiration for the way the populace remained fairly calm and orderly. Haiti almost immediately descended into violence in the streets, but it took Chile a whole two days. Wow!
So now there is a massive amount of money and time and energy and resources being spent on trying to keep the lid on looting and other acts of violence. That's money and time and energy and resources that could otherwise be used to actually help the victims of the earthquake.
What is it about the nature of some humans that so closely approximates the behavior of predators in the wild kingdom? Why can't people just settle down and help each other through the crisis? Why do they start acting like animals in a feeding frenzy?
Let me make one thing clear — we're not talking about looters stealing bread to feed their families. We're talking about looters breaking into stores to steal TV sets, then burning the store to the ground.
Honestly, what's the point of all that?
There are different kinds of predators in the animal kingdom, and in an encounter with them you must respond appropriately or you'll end up injured or dead. The same goes for human predators.
Let's take a look at bears for a moment. A grizzly bear is very different from a black bear (most of the time). With a grizzly, it does you no good to challenge the bear and try to scare it away by standing your ground and trying to appear bigger than you are. Your only chance (if you can't avoid the bear altogether) is to either kill it outright or play dead and cover up your most tender parts. Best case scenario: you'll get roughed up as the bear paws you and maybe even takes a few bites. You might survive, but there are no guarantees. Worst case: some grizzlies will just tear you apart and eat what it wants of you.
With a black bear, you can often scare it away by banging pots and pans. Usually, all it wants is some free lunch, and you're not likely to be on its menu. With this animal, you can often frighten it away if you look big and intimidating and make a lot of noise.
A cougar will actually stalk you. If you try to run, it will take you down from behind, tear the muscles and ligaments out of your legs so you can't escape. Then it will eat and drag the leftovers away for a midnight snack. But if you face the cougar, stay on your feet and make yourself look really big and dangerous, the cat will often think twice about taking you on. You can scare a cougar away, but only if you stand your ground and make yourself look like a huge threat.
Different animals, different approaches to surviving an encounter. It's the same with human predators. Some are grizzlies, some are black bears and some are cougars. You must be able to assess which is which and then have a plan of action to survive.
Animals don't understand human verbal reasoning, so there might be an advantage when facing a human predator, in that you might be able to talk your way out of the situation by offering to give the thug all your stuff in exchange for your life.
But not always. Some thugs just love violence. Nothing you can say will deter them from their mission to destroy you and take all your stuff by force. To them, it's more fun if you struggle. Kind of like running from a cougar and how that triggers an attack. Some people are that close to being animalistic predators, and if you underestimate their potential for violence, you do so at your own risk.
This is where I mention that you should have a "come to Jesus" conversation with yourself about what you're willing to do to stay alive and protect your loved-ones. I have a close friend who abhors the very thought of using a firearm for personal defense, claiming that it is better to try to make friends than to offer resistance. All I can say is, "That ain't me." And it might not be you … but then again, it might be. Only you can decide where the line is that you won't allow the predator to cross. Or maybe there is no line.
Give it some thought.