Crime knows no gender, age, race or nationality. We see violent crimes and property crimes in the news every single day. The Violent Crime Offenses section of the FBI Crime Report of 2014 shows that there were close to 1.2 million violent crimes reported to the police in the united States during 2014. This number does not account for unreported crimes or those crimes that are reported in a different format than that used by the FBI, or not reported at all to the FBI. While the rate of violent crimes has dropped somewhat over the years as the FBI Crime Report shows, the number of violent crimes in the United States is still staggering. Bellow are a few simple steps to consider when thinking about safety. However, if you are interested in attending a professional class that teaches personal safety strategies, self defense options, advanced firearms training and the laws related to weapons and self defense, brows through our training programs or visit our NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course
While there are no absolutes in life and there are always exceptions to the rules; numerous studies have shown that criminals look for easy victims. As a law enforcement officer, I conducted countless investigations of theft, burglary, and assaults and battery. The common denominator in nearly all of the cases was that most of the victims were easy targets. Even then, the few cases in which the perpetrator planned his or her criminal act, took place in most cases, when the intended target was easy to reach. Sadly most people are easy targets and with smart phones and mobile-phone based social media, texting, instant messaging and mobile-web, the number of easy targets grows every day. Just look around you when you go to the mall, or the airport, the bus stop, the train station or at school and college campuses; everyone seems to be immersed in their phones. It seems like everyone lives with their eyes attached to their cell phones. If you are distracted, you are an easy target. If you spot a potential attacker and fail to recognize that you are in danger, or fail to react to that danger, you are still an easy target.
I came across an interesting article in the Psychology Today magazine discussing this same subject; “Marked for Mayhem – Street criminals are selective about their victims”. Unfortunately many of us unknowingly give off signals that mark us as easy targets. A simple web search for victimology, or for personal safety, will lead you to numerous articles and research on this subject. Like Special Services Group North America, there are many organizations teaching these subjects and how to defend yourself.
How do I become a hard target?
The first and simplest step in avoiding or diminishing your exposure to danger or a criminal attack is to be alert. Look around you and make eye contact with the people around you. This may be uncomfortable to some, however, by letting people know that you are aware of their presence you can often times avoid becoming a victim. Additionally, by being aware of your surroundings, you can often tell in advanced if someone is observing you, following you or approaching you. This alone can provide you the opportunity to avoid them, run away or as a last resort, prepare to defend yourself. Avoid dark alleys, avoid the dark part of the parking lot and avoid being alone in a desolated area if possible. Park you vehicle in a lighted are and in areas where people will be more likely to be around for prolonged portions of the day. Based on my experience as a police officer and studies in criminology, criminals tend to select soft targets. As mentioned above, Psychology Today posted an interesting article related to this topic. “Marked for Mayhem” Read more here
The second step is just as important as the first one; BE PREPARED AND KNOW THE LAW. Take self defense classes, carry pepper spray or mace if it is legal in your state. If you are comfortable with it, legally able to and have the required license or permit, carry a firearms, a Taser, a stun-gun or another electric weapon or device that is authorized in your state. Follow the law! However, a few words of advice are required here. 1) Conduct research regarding the self defense laws and weapons and firearms laws of your state. Each state is different. 2) Seek advanced training from a competent instructor. Regardless of your weapon of choice, seek advanced training. Basic training is designed to teach you the basic functions or techniques.
Regardless of your self-defense options (armed or unarmed self defense), seek advanced training from a competent instructor. Advanced training is the only training that will teach you advanced lifesaving skills. Also remember that regardless of how prepared you are, you are still vulnerable to an attack. No one is bullet proof or invincible. Many criminals have trained in martial arts and often carry weapons and firearms. Video surveillance from correctional facilities show criminals teaching other criminals how to fight and escape handcuffs. Regardless of your preparation, remember that there is always “Murphy’s Law”. I have seen big guys fall at the hands of someone much smaller, and have knowledge of many police officers and professional martial arts fighters and instructors who have been injured, sent to the emergency room, put to sleep with the “sleeper”, and even killed by much smaller opponents; both in training and in real life street encounters. While you may be somewhat safer in some situations carry a weapon or knowing how to defend yourself, there are no guns or martial arts styles that will make you invincible. Regardless of your capabilities, use common sense and avoid dangerous situations. Let you fighting skills and, or weapons be the last option. For information of training programs offered by Special Services Group North America, please follow this link: Training
Consult with a Professional Trainer or Adviser
I have been teaching unarmed self defense and all levels of firearms training (basic through advanced) for civilians, security personnel and law enforcement personnel since the mid 1990’s. Just when I think that I have already heard the worst legal advice that someone could give a student or a citizen regarding gun laws or “use of force laws”; I am surprised to learn that there are still many instructors and self proclaimed “experts” out there giving bad advice and even suggesting that their friends or students violate a few laws in the “name of safety”. So please, unless you received training from a competent and experienced instructor with extensive field experience in law enforcement, or you received legal advice from an attorney; you should conduct your own research to ensure that the “statutory training” or legal advice you received from you instructor was in fact accurate and still in force in your state. Talk to an attorney. If you read the law yourself, you should seek clarification from a law professor or an attorney. Don’t just take for granted what someone else told you, and don’t assume to know the law if you didn’t understand something. Knowing a portion of the law is like knowing a portion of the self defense technique you plan to use. I have made a living learning, enforcing and teaching state and federal laws, and I still conduct extensive research before I prepare new training materials or teach a new class. Laws change and court decisions can establish a precedence that had never before been used in court. No two cases are exactly alike. Use of Force laws and weapons and firearms laws vary from state to state. Become familiar with the laws in your state and at the locations you plan to travel through; not just your destination.
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