Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Security From the Bad Guys Point of View!

By Tim Gamble

Crime is a top concern in the upcoming elections, according to almost all of the polls. Not surprising considering all the anti-police rhetoric, no-bail laws, weak-on-crime DAs, no border enforcement, and moves to defund the police in cities around the country. Crime was bound to skyrocket under such circumstances. Add to that the high inflation and recession we are currently experiencing, which will only make matters worse. Naturally. we are concerned with our own personal safety and security, as well as that of our families and homes. So, what do we do?

A Thought Experiment

Think like a bad guy for a minute. You are a thug looking for his next victim. What are you looking for? First and foremost you want an easy mark. Sure, you'd like a target with a lot of value, so that is on your mind too, but only secondarily. You don't want to get caught, hurt, or killed. So you will happily take the easy $20 from the apparent pushover instead of the $200 from the tough dude that looks like he can easily handle himself in a fight. Of course, your dream victim is the easy prey that also looks rich. You live for those targets.

Based on this thought experiment, your quest to NOT become a victim of crime has two main tactics. First, you must avoid looking like an easy target to the bad guy. Second, you must avoid looking like a rich (high value) target to the bad guy.

Real Life Examples

It is extremely important to not appear weak, vulnerable, or distracted to the bad guys. On a trip to a large indoor mall, I took the opportunity to look around at all the people there from the point-of-view of a bad guy looking for his next victim. Doing so, I noticed a lot of people who would make an easy target.

One older lady in particular stood out as especially vulnerable. She must have been pushing 80, and was walking alone at a very slow and unsteady pace, just shuffling along really, carrying a handbag with one hand. She would have been a very easy mark for a purse snatcher or mugger. Suggestion: Shop in groups, and stay together while shopping. 

One very well dressed middle-aged woman was wearing what I can only call platform high-heels. I sure they have a name, but I don't know enough about female footwear to know what to call them. Here's the problem: she would not be able to run in those shoes at all, and it would be ridiculously easy for a bad guy to knock her down.  Those shoes, though quite fashionable I'm sure, mark her as an easy victim from a bad guys point of view. Suggestion: Go for practical footwear instead of high-fashion.

I was also surprised by the number of grown men in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s who were wearing flip-flops, crocs, or various types of man-sandals. I am sure they are comfortable, but they offer no real protection, and are difficult to run in. Suggestion: Go for practical footwear instead of comfort.

At different times, I saw two moms each with a gaggle of young kids in tow. In both cases it was just the one adult plus multiple young kids. This immediately struck me as a potentially confusing and chaotic situation for the mother. Easy pickings for a bad guy: it would be simple to walk off with one of her shopping bags when she was dealing with one of the kids, or even to snatch her purse. Suggestion: Shop with other adults. More eyes to help watch out for the kids, and watch out for potential danger. 

A lot of folks simply were not paying any attention to their surroundings, mostly with their eyes glued to their phones, even while walking. And this was NOT just young folks, but many adults in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. This eliminates any situational awareness, and marks the distracted person as an easy target. Suggestion: Put away the phone. There is no real reason to be constantly on your phone the way so many people are these days. 

Here are a few general suggestions when out in public:
  • Learn and practice situational awareness (read this article please, situational awareness is more than just paying attention)
  • Don't get distracted by your phone or anything else (pay attention folks!)
  • Walk confidently, head up, and make it obvious you are looking at your surroundings
  • Take a self-defense course (it will improve your self-confidence, which the bad guys will notice)
  • Improve your health & fitness
  • Wear practical shoes and clothes
  • Travel, walk, shop in groups
  • Park in a highly visible, well-light location near the entrance

Bad guys prefer easy targets. Don't be one. 
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