Society has undergone a total transformation in recent years. No longer can you allow your children to play outside without worrying about some stranger attacking them. Gone are the days when a pick up game of stick ball was just that, a game. Unfortunately times have changed for the worse. Violent crime is on the rise and the declining economy is not going to help matters. More and more citizens are choosing to arm themselves with handguns or a variety of other less than lethal defense weapons.
When I was a kid, the worst thing I had to worry about was a school yard bully picking on me. If it came to it, we scrapped a bit on the way home from school and maybe my ego was bruised or I ended up with a cut or two. Today, even kids in schools are fighting with weapons. I am certainly not advocating that we arm our school children, however I do think we do need to prepare them mentally for the possibility of a fight or even worse an all out assault on them or their school.
For the most part those who choose to attack others will try and put the odds of success in their favor. How is it they are so successful? They base their assaults on 2 main principles, the first is surprise. If you walk down almost any street these days you will find a large number of people talking on a cell phone, listening to music on an iPod or even texting messages to someone as they walk around completely oblivious to anyone or anything going on around them. These activities although enjoyable, are a quick tip off to someone wanting to make you their victim. They send a clear message to an attacker that you are easy prey for them.
The second element criminals look for is weakness. They are looking for potential victims that are or at least appear to be weak, ill prepared to defend themselves, distracted, or just plain easy to beat up on.In order to NOT allow yourself to become a victim, you need to first prepare yourself mentally. Mental preparedness begins when you move your mindset to that of a confident person who maintains good posture, makes good eye contact, speaks in a loud clear voice and is aware of what is happening around them. When I was instructing new police recruits in the academy, I gave them this very same advice. They need to control every encounter they find themselves in and so do you.
People aren’t born assertive, it is a skill that is developed and learned over time. The best part is anyone can be assertive if they choose to be. No matter where you are in life, you can practice this right now. Use these simple techniques in your everyday activities and they will soon become second nature to you. Being confident and assertive is not easy for many people but it is something that you will learn over time.
You have an obligation to yourself and your family to defend yourself. No one is going to be there with you all the time. When all is said and done you will need to make a few choices as to how you decide to do this. Educating yourself is vitally important. There is a wealth of information available to you both online and in offline locations. Many police departments can provide you with information on where to find qualified personal defense trainers in your area.
If you choose to license yourself to carry a firearm, you must also prepare yourself to use it. Training in its safe use, function and accuracy can be gained at local shooting ranges. Don’t forget the additional mental conditioning you will need to prepare yourself for the possibility you may in fact take a human life.
If you are unable or unwilling to go as far as a firearm, there are countless numbers of less than lethal personal defense weapons available for you to choose from. Pepper Spray, Stun Guns or Tasers are gaining in popularity every day. Many of these devices come in disguised versions that appear just like everyday items like lipstick cases, cell phones, pagers and even key chains. Just like with firearms though, you need to make yourself completely familiar with how these weapons operate and you may even want to practice using them in a safe location someplace.
The same principles apply in all the above scenarios. You MUST prepare yourself mentally for what might happen. I’m sorry to say but the care free days of yesterday are with us no longer. Don’t wait till you fall victim to an attacker whose only purpose in life is to take what you have worked so hard for. I can’t tell you how many people I saw during my law enforcement career that installed burglar alarms in their homes, after they were burglarized! Don’t prepare yourself after you have already become a victim.