A thought exercise for the unarmed: how long does it take for a phone to connect your 911 call? I’ve seen times ranging from about three seconds to nearly fifteen. Let’s assume three seconds and being able to hit speed dial — much harder on a smart phone than on an older flip phone for lack of tactile reference — before the attacker starts on you. Can a motivated thug with a gun, knife, stick or just strong hand and hard-soled shoes on his feet shoot, stab, beat, strangle or kick you into incapacity within those three seconds?
Violence can happen very quickly. Drawing a weapon is quicker than calling for help, much less waiting for the help to arrive, find you and stop the attack. The most obvious alternative is flight, but that’s only a viable option if you are not the specific target but just at the wrong place at the wrong time. In that case, huddling in place makes it more likely that you would see the threat — and have a chance to shoot it — before it sees you.