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mental preparation

In my last blog post I said the following. “You can be a victim of violent crime unless you make a mental decision to limit your risks and equip yourself accordingly.”

I would like to shed some light on being mentally prepared.

Before you can address the solution to a problem you have to identify the problem.

The problem is quite simple. We live in a fallen world and we live in neighborhoods with both good and bad people. You may not be able to identify who is who until they actually do something to prove that they are good or bad. We cannot live in denial and think that everyone is inherrantly good. There are wolves that live amonst us and they do not share the same logical thought processes that we do. These people do not think the same way we do and they do not care if they hurt others in their activities.

Evil people commit crimes against people and property. They attack you and your neighbors in an effort to gain access to whatever it is they think you have that they want. We live in a world where it is quite common for evil people to commit home invasions. Imagine sitting in your living room with your family and someone kicks down your door, rushes in and sticks a gun in your face demanding your valuables. These evil people have no qualms in resorting to physical violence against your person to get what they want. In short, these are domestic terrorists.

Violent crime can happen to you at your home and while you are out in public. You can be sitting in your vehicle at a traffic light minding your own business and someone could walk up and shove a gun in your face in an effort to take your vehicle. I could go on and on about the many different ways that criminals could possibly victimize you and your family.

I am not illuminating these things in order to make you afraid. I am shining a light on these possibilities so that you can be made aware and begin to formulate a plan on how to actively prevent these things from happening. None of us will be able to completely remove violence or violent crime from our community but we can prepare ourselves for the eventuality of this happening and not be a victim.

The first thing that you need to do is to be aware of your surroundings as much as possible. When you are out in public pay more attention to the people around you and what they are doing. Pay less attention to your personal cell phone or other mobile devices. Pay more attention to who is paying attention to you. When you are walking from a store to your vehicle keep your head on a swivel and look for potential dangers. Have your keys in your hand and be prepared to enter your vehicle, start it and leave. Ask for an escort if it is night time and you do not feel particularly safe.

The most important self defense tool that you have at your disposal is the one that sits between your ears. Use your brain and engage some common sense when you are out and about or at home. Start thinking like a criminal. If I wanted to break into my home where and when would I do it. Do I leave my doors unlocked during the day? At night time is my property poorly lit and surrounded by a lot of darkness? When someone knocks on the door do I just open the door without looking first?

Maybe you should consider installing an alarm system that you can arm and diaarm remotely. Most alarm systems come with wireless communications should your home phone system get disabled. You can get a hand held key fob that has a panic alarm on it. You can think about installing a basic camera system that you can see what is going on outside of your home from the comfort and safety on the inside of your home.

The most powerful thing you can do to keep from being a victim is to practice active avoidance. Do not place yourself in situations or surroundings that places you or your family in danger. Think about scenarios in your head BEFORE you encounter them and know what you will do ahead of time. Being proactive will keep you from having to be reactive in the case of an event. If you avoid placing yourself or your family in a dangerous situation then you will be ahead of the curve.

I understand that not everyone is a security professional. If you think that you are possibly not equipped to understand any of these things reach out to your local police dept or your community watch groups in your neighborhood and start asking questions from those folks who are aware. When you educate yourself about where the dangers are then you can prepare to defend against them. Education is the key and it never ends no matter how much you think you know.



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