February 23, 2012 11:08AM

Courtland Milloy’s Self‐​Defense Quiz

Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy mentions the new Cato study, Tough Targets, in his latest column

The article begins with this self‐​defense quiz:

Say you’re sitting at a bus stop in the District, alone at night, when a suspicious person approaches. There have been more than 475 robberies in the city this year — a 70 percent increase over this time last year — and many involve the theft of electronic devices such as smartphones.

But your chances of being victimized are greatly reduced because:

a. Your smartphone has a disabling device that makes it worthless to robbers.

b. More police officers have been assigned to street patrol.

c. You have a gun.

The local police chief says the correct answer is (a) & (b). In the comment section, however, an astute reader notes that the correct answer is all of the above, including Milloy’s point (advanced at the conclusion of his article) that “risk avoidance” should be a part of a sensible personal safety plan.