Marine veteran James Kilcer stops robbery viral video

We’ve heard the saying “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. While that certainly can be true, sometimes you have to stop an armed assailant with whatever you have on hand, even if it is a bag of “Gatorade and snacks”. Lucky for one Arizona gas station clerk, Marine veteran James Kilcer was shopping for snacks when two armed assailants entered attempting to rob the convenience store.

Thanks to his military training, Kilcer didn’t hesitate to dispatch the would-be robbers with quick hands and quick bag work. 

You can watch the Marine Veteran thwart this armed robbery with nothing but some snacks in the viral video below:

If you’re impressed with the ease with which Marine Veteran James Kilcer stopped the robbery, you aren’t alone. He moved with a quickness and bravery most of us do not possess.

The former Marine reacted quickly and calmly and was coherent enough to have a plan

“I was actually going to take control of his head and the gun at the same time, and the bag just happened to be heavy and attached to me and it smashed him right in the face,”

Kilcer credits his Marine training with helping him to diffuse the situation. 

Related: Innocent Bystander Risks Own Life To Save Robbery Victim!

But how would you react in the same situation? 

Marine Veteran James Kilcer and The Bystander Effect

We would all like to think we would do the right thing during a robbery. I know I’ve imagined myself playing the hero and diffusing the situation with my words or fists.

But the reality is most of us wouldn’t do anything and would just watch the robbery take place.

Don’t worry, that doesn’t make you a bad person, just someone incredibly human. The phenomenon where people stop and watch a crime happen is called the “Bystander Effect.”

The Bystander Effect postulates that people are less likely to offer help in a situation when other people are present. Psychologists offer myriad reasons why this takes place, such as whether or not it’s an emergency or if you are in the same social group as the person in need of help.

There is also the Fight Flight Freeze response, which is our bodies’ innate reactions to either help, run, or shut down. This goes back to our caveman days. These come from our deeply-seeded self-defense mechanisms. 

This video explains the primitive underpinnings of our “flight or fight response”.

What Would You Do? 

What would you do if you found yourself in the midst of a convenience store robbery like Marine Veteran James Kilcer?

I’ll be honest. I would throw my hands up and get out of the way.

How do I know this? Because it has happened to me before.

Unlike this fearless Marine, I’d be unlikely to effectively thwart a robbery with my bare hands and some convenience store snacks.

A few months ago I was in a gas station as it was being robbed. The assailant had a weapon and asked the cashier for money and cigarettes.

I briefly considered doing something, but then I saw the cashier hand over money and Marlboros with an almost bored look.

This wasn’t his first robbery. The transaction went pretty quick. Making it even weirder the thief said “Thank you” before running out. 

I didn’t realize until after the incident that my whole body was shaking in fear. I couldn’t even get my wallet out to pay for my Diet Dr. Pepper and spicy pork rinds.

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