Hostage Situations Can Never Work Out For the Bad Guys

It is no surprise that there is no record of a hostage situation ever working out for the bad guys. The fact is, it is for all intents and purposes impossible for that to happen. When criminals take a hostage, be it a whole room of them such as in a bank robbery, or a single one as a human-shield, it cannot work out for them for several reasons.

When they take a room full of hostages, the police eventually surround them (they probably already have, otherwise the criminals would have tried to escape instead of taking hostages). Once surrounded, there is no hope for the criminals because it is not like the police will just give up and go home; they will stay there as long as it takes and if need be (eg the bad guys actually get their fast car or airplane), follow the bad guys wherever they go on the road or in the air.

If they take a single person as a human-shield, then they are in a logic-loop that always ends in their losing. They cannot kill the hostage because if they do, the police are then free to instantly shoot them (they would not bother to arrest them at this point, the bad guy is dead). If they do not kill the hostage, then their threat is meaningless and the police could just as well just approach and arrest them.

Yet, bad guys continue to take hostages, thinking that they are smart and can find a clever way to make it work. For example, they may blackmail the chief of police or something, as though everybody would just stand down and allow the criminals to go free just because one person is being pressed.

A hostage situation is basically a tautology that always causes the bad guys to lose, either getting arrested or killed. It may make for exciting fiction, but in real life, there’s a reason there has never been a case of it succeeding.

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