Reader Chris C. writes, “I listened to your great training on how to avoid gunfights (Living Ready University) and really like the tactic of aggressive gun presentation and sharp verbal commands, but you didn’t talk much about how to avoid risky situations in the first place. Isn’t that just as important?”
You bet Chris. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid being a victim of assault or home burglary that I learned in over 27 years as a cop dealing with the aftermath.
Tip 1 On Crime Avoidance (and it costs you nothing)
(As my Field Training Officer pounded into my head)… “Keep your head up and your eyes scanning at all times.” Not only does this simple tip let you see a potential threat while you still have distance —distance always translates into tactical flexibility—but you look like you are aware and can handle yourself. “Meek means weak” to the bad boys. And, don’t forget your “6”—what’s going on behind you.
The reason smartphone theft is becoming an epidemic is because when your eyes are glued to your little gizmo you; (a) telegraph you have something worth stealing, (b) are so focused on the little screen that you do not see the predator moving towards you, and (c) you are probably too nerdy to fight back.
Tip 2 (especially for female readers)
Don’t walk alone to your car at night or in a desolate spot. If you are shopping alone or meeting your girlfriend for dinner where it’s hip and happening, always ask a store clerk or the restaurant manager to provide an escort to your car.
One of the great advantages of the malls is that they have uniformed security staff happy to escort you. Even if you have a carry permit (good for you!) get an escort anyway. You don’t want to have to shoot an assailant when an escort is so much easier.
Tip 3 (for home defense)
Get an alarm system. In all my years of residential burglar reports I never took one where an alarm system was installed. Alarms are affordable, reliable and act like a crucifix to a vampire.
Enhance it with wall mounted, battery powered sensor lights. You don’t need to make your house look like Ft. Knox… the bad boys scan carefully under eaves and around entry ways and side gates for little tips that they should pick a softer target. I especially like the fake cameras that have a flashing LED light on them.
Tip 4 (especially for the guys)
Even if you have a carry permit, always have an impact weapon in your hands when out and about at night or in a rough neighborhood.
A small metal flashlight or big wad of keys on the end of a short nylon strap, an eight inch section of small diameter PVC pipe (painted black), or one of the new tactical pens all demonstrate you are not an easy target. If you get jumped, go for the face with the device as a distraction, take out the knee with a snap kick, run at a tangent and establish tactical distance.
Remember, the best gunfight is the one you don’t need to have.