Originally Posted by Rangel
Anybody have any tips to help me help my wife get out of the bubble she's in and start being more aware of her surroundings?
Sent from my iPhone 4S
I wrote this and posted on armedbadger.com -- it's long (sorry!). It may be right, it may be wrong -- hopefully it makes people think more.
I've been reading a bit here about the various situations a CC'er may find themselves in. There are a lot of good thoughts expressed in them, a key theme is the CC'er needs to "be aware". Some people have been in military, police or martial arts training and have learned how to gauge a situation by what is being said, how it's being said, body language or even the lay of the land. Some may not have had such training in the past or maybe haven't given the topic much thought. The following are a few key points dredged up from the deep dark recesses of the mind. Maybe a few of them will make sense, if so great! Maybe they will be a spring board for a better set of points or a better explanation of how to judge a situation. Also great! Sorry that it's a long read
We’ve all heard that you need to “be aware” or “be alert” or even “on your toes”, but what does that mean? Years ago, while helping teach a women’s self defense class, the teacher had just told the women to always look in the car BEFORE getting too close to it. To look in both front seat and back seat BEFORE opening the door to see if an attacker was in the car. A lady raised her hand and asked, “Isn’t that being paranoid?”. His answer stuck with me. It was “Not if there is someone in the car. If you don’t look, you won’t know."
The following are various ways to be more aware, alert and even on your toes.
1) Never walk next to corners. If you are nearing an alley, move to the other side of the sidewalk and LOOK to see if there is anyone at the corner. Attackers can use a small mirror to see if anyone is coming and they can easily whack you with a pipe. Sounds paranoid? Maybe, but I have personally found a person holding a length of either pipe or stick right at a corner and they started for me, but stopped when they saw I was looking right at them and was literally “on my toes”. The corner doesn’t have to be at an alley, it can be at large pillars or any object large enough to hide an attacker. Try to identify those places well before you get there are pass them with enough room so that you can react if there is a person there.
2) Never walk right next to the row of parked cars in the parking lot – especially in unlighted areas. Same deal, an attacker can be between cars, whack you, snatch your bags, purse or wallet and be gone in seconds. The same goes for lines of bushes or anything that gives concealment.
3) Building on the prior point... Never park in the unlighted areas of the lot. Because you can’t go forward out of the spot, many people avoid parking at the light poles. Light is YOUR friend – use it. Also, don’t park where you HAVE to walk along objects that can easily conceal potential attackers. Simple way to avoid the possibility of a person jumping out from concealment is to not get close to things that conceal THEM.
4) Criminologists have done studies on how bad guys select targets. Short vids of various people walking were shown. The baddies tended to select those that walked UN-coordinately or those that walked with right leg – right arm BOTH swinging in the same direction. Most people swing the left arm in the same direction as the right leg. Bad guys are not looking for a fair fight, they are looking for someone they can quickly and at low risk to them defeat. They have no honor and are looking for the weak, the infirm etc. Don't do the things that make you stand out like the weak sheep when the wolves are circling -- because the wolves certainly ARE circling!
5) Play the “spot the bad guy” game. Try and find the person that is wearing a shirt to conceal a gun. Try and spot people that look like gang bangers. Try and spot hookers, drug deals, etc etc. If you spot one
, there ARE more around – you need to go somewhere else.
6) When you walk into a building or room, one of the first things to do is locate alternate ways in/out. It takes like 3 seconds, scan over people’s heads for the “EXIT” signs. As you look also take in the vibe of the crowd. A bar with equal numbers of Packer and Bears fans is probably not giving a happy vibe when the pack are up 49-0 and there are a bunch of drunks trading taunts. If you don’t want to leave (you should want to leave) – locate yourself by an alternate exit FAR from them. Sit facing them, but don’t stare. Belligerent drunks don’t like the fish eye.
7) Always have a plan. I was a trained in martial arts and was trained to make a plan to respond to an unprovoked attack for every person close enough to attack
. Initially it was some flashy movie inspired move (that nearly certainly would fail big), but as the years rolled on it evolved to a simple slide shift to the side away and a slight push and maybe a trip to move the attacker away and probably on the ground. The first part of that is still sound advice. Move away from the person diagonally. Typically to your left. That makes it harder for a right hander to hit you. Space is your friend; if they can’t reach you they can’t hit you. Space is also time, as in time to yell, “Don’t hurt me!”, “Leave me alone” etc. You WANT to set the witnesses with the correct impression that you are being attacked and do not want to be a part of the attack. Just like in the NFL, the responding 2nd punch draws the flag. Space and time are both needed to draw your weapon -- should that final option be the last resort.
Learn to recognize the voice of reason whispering in your ear. When “your plan” involves some or all of the following; skirting gang members, hiking around hookers, bypassing bikers, not making eye contact with drug dealers, avoiding the Aryan skin heads, etc you need to be elsewhere! If you see a group of 4-10 urban youths walking towards you, you aught to be thinking about “the knock out game” and how you will deal with it. That voice in your head should be telling you to wake up and watch out! Trouble may be on the way. Liberal PC culture may tell you it's "racist" to assume that 10 minority youths may want to do you harm. But.... the reality is that a group of minority youth is far more likely to attack you than a same sized group of nuns. The reverse is also true. A lone minority member walking toward a group of majority youths should also think about them as potential attackers.
9) Sorry, but you can’t walk and chew gum. Or in modern terms, you can’t be aware and walk while texting, phoning or surfing the net. That $500 smarty pants phone not only distracts you, makes you totally unaware to the point of oblivion, it also attracts attackers. It’s valuable and you’re walking around like a doofus! If you wore a neon sigh that said “ I carry valuables, rob me” you wouldn’t be any more of a target.
10) Rolling drunks is safer than mugging. Crooks don’t want to attack someone that can whoop them. If you are looking at them and aware they nearly always will wait for the doofus engrossed in the iphone. BUT there is a balance. If you appear to be trying to "stare them down", today's gang culture may force them to confront you.
11) Speaking of today's gang culture.... some people are just evil *#%$!^%'s that want to F you up because it's fun to hear you scream and watch you slowly bleed to death. They run in packs and won't scatter when you pull your gun -- because they will also be pulling their guns! Hopefully, you ID'ed them early, made your mental plan on how to respond and have moved to gain the room to allow for your one defense. At this point, your only hope of survival is to do what you need to do. It won't be pretty, hopefully you've trained mind and body to respond quickly and precisely, if so you may survive.
12) It's winter. You're wearing heavy clothes and gloves. You're cold and have your gloved hands in your pockets. Q: How long would it take you to pull out your gun and shoot? Even if you are 100% aware, you are not ready if you can't respond. Our CC class had a student at one end of the hall with an IWB holster and blue plastic gun. Behind him was a 2nd volunteer student. The instructor said "Go!" and the second student took off running until the 1st pulled the gun and said "BANG!". The guy was 28' away. That was with the CC'er aware of the situation, only wearing an un-tucked shirt to cover the gun and with a VERY clear knowledge of what his actions needed to be. IF they CC'er was wearing coat, sweater, gloves and had his hands in his coat pockets --- the "attacker" would have probably been out of town before he yelled "bang!".