Self defense, it's an attitude people!
Instapundit linked to an older post from Dr. Helen. Read it!
Have you noticed that most of the tips you get in recent years for how to survive a violent crime involve an accompanying psychological maneuver of first trying to make you feel impotent?
The assumption, the practice of self-defense, is what makes the difference. You are not impotent. You are not powerless. Without this reality firmly in your head you are *not* going to be able to fight back when under stress.
We are safer when people assume that we each are the first line of defense for our own safety. The assumption is more important than the weapon. The weapon is merely a symbol of that assumption.
Not that all advice on how to survive a violent crime first tries to make you feel powerless or suggests going along with your attacker hoping not to get hurt. But then maybe I listen to people who understand that fighting back makes you safer.
When we first moved here I recall someone saying that it's better to be shot refusing to go along with your attacker because bleeding in the parking lot of Home Depot you're within minutes of the emergency room. Dead on the mesa, you're just dead.
Common sense. Remember poor Polly Class? She could have screamed, she and her friend, and parents would have come running. She obeyed her abductor, believed that obeying was what she should do, (and her friend waited, as told to wait, before reporting that Polly had been taken away, IIRC,) and Polly was killed.
Believing that someone who is threatening you or robbing you or abducting you "doesn't want to hurt you" is incredibly foolish. Believing that going along with them makes you safer is incredibly foolish.