In the last episode of the daily “Readiness Tip for Today” I posed the question, “To help, or not help… that is the question….”. If you missed that episode I highly recommend you review it; especially if you are the type that is inclined to help others in need. Click here for that
Over the week-end two men from the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, were murdered at a campground as a result of trying to help a woman in distress.
The two men were camping with a group of about 16 friends and relatives. This was the third year of something that had evolved into a “tradition”.
A 46-year-old man and his two sons were sitting by the campfire at approximately 2:00 AM when they heard a woman scream for help. It was coming from a tent that was a part of their group.
The three investigated and found 40-year-old black male trying to knock over the tent. His girlfriend was inside. The woman had been there before but it was the male’s first year.
When they intervened, the assailant either struck or shoved the Father but was quickly knocked to the ground by one of the victim’s sons.
The group told the assailant to go to his girlfriend’s car and calm down. On the way to the car others heard the assailant say “All you (expletives) are gonna’ pay for this, it ain’t over.”
During this time the assailant somehow obtained the car’s trunk key where he had a bag.
After about 15 minutes the assailant returned. He was intercepted by another man (Eric Braxton) who told him to stay away. At that point, the assailant raised a 9mm handgun and shot Braxton in the chest.
He stayed at the car for about 15 minutes and then returned with a 9mm handgun and shot Braxton and Hill.
At this point, the man and his two sons that originally confronted the assailant began running away. The father was shot in the back. 3-6 shots were fired and both victims were murdered. The woman involved was not physically injured.
How to avoid being a victim
Obviously this is a terribly tragic series of events. So here are some things to consider how you might avoid being a victim in a situation like this.
Avoidance is always the best way to handle violence so how might this have been avoided?
Let me begin by saying that I would place absolutely no responsibility for this on anyone but the assailant. He alone is to be accountable for his actions.
Having said that, God places boundaries on our lives for a reason. We don’t always understand them but we are always safer when we live by them. In this case, a boyfriend was in a tent with the woman. If God’s instructions would have been honored, and the assailant would not have been in the tent with the woman, then this probably would not have happened.
Secondly, under those circumstances, it would have been nearly impossible to know that the assailant had a gun, particularly in the dark. For the first victim, it would probably have been very difficult to prevent that very unfortunate shooting.
However, for the second victim, if he and his sons would have been armed and trained then he very well may be alive today. I don’t know what the firearm laws are in Philadelphia so I am not suggesting violating the law, I am however suggesting a solution.
Finally, again, for a number of reasons, keeping your life God-centered helps to protect you from these kinds of situations.
Again, for more on how to decide what level of involvement you should undertake when someone needs assistance, see the article referenced above for some points to ponder.
Dr. Rayphe was has been a student of Personal protection, home security, and various aspects of crime prevention for many years. His years of being in military police, a police officer, Pastoring and counseling ministry has provided him with a broader and deeper perspective to these issues. As a Bible-based instructor / Coach part of Dr. Rayphe’s ministry is helping God’s people to be prepared.