Sunday, July 31, 2011

Five Tips to Avoid Being the Victim of a Crime

Borrowed from the blog "Surviving in Argentina" - and a hat tip to "GM Joe".

Someday, I will write about what I witnessed while in China on business. A young woman from Argentina - also working in China - realized her nation's banking system had collapsed at home. Stranded in China with no credit cards, no money and no way to get money. Well, there was a way, but you know what I mean.

Her company was frozen closed, as were all assets in the nation. She sat there at breakfast - quietly and involuntarily shaking head to toe.

It's not a pretty site. But don't worry. A few more months of Obama and the Democrats and you too will know what she went thru. Be sure to thank your favorite liberal for this. On to the article:

"Women, children and elders are favorite victims chosen by predators. A scumbag looking for an easier victim might not go after me, but my 100 lb wife, hitting her and snatching her purse is not much of a challenge for one of these animals.

As the economic crisis continues, it’s a given that this sort of thing will become more and more common even in places and countries where it didn’t happen before. That’s where people that aren’t used to it get caught off guard. This is not about egos or being the biggest, meanest son of a gun. Its about applying a common sense approach to problems people may not have a lot of experience with. This goes for everyone, tactical guys that pack heat on daily basis, ladies that don’t carry a gun or any other weapon, or my 87 year old grandmother.

I’m making this clear because the internet commandos are quick to remark that they would have shot the guy at least ten times, then do a ritual to enslave their undying souls.

Truth is that even people that have been into dozens of gunfights will tell you the same thing: Avoid the conflict whenever you can. It’s only in movies where people get into senseless gunfights all the time. 'Lethal Weapon' would have been a very boring movie if after killing the first guy the weapons are taken away from the lead characters, they are suspended until the shooting is cleared, then they get sued by the “victims” family, and then you spend the rest of the movie watching Mel Gibson and Danny Glover going through their accounts seeing how they will afford the legal expenses after getting fired from the police department.

Even in “good” self-defense shootings you may spend a night or two in jail and that’s only the fun part, the real nightmare begins when you have to pay for your legal defense. Avoiding the use of force and escaping is always the best alternative when such a thing is possible.

If my wife was Anne Oakley and she had shot everyone that every tried to rob her, we’d be broke by now. By this I don’t mean that you shouldn’t fight when you must. Your life is priceless and indeed it’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by 6, when you had no other choice that is.

We talk plenty about fighting, for a change lets talk about not making any mistakes and learning how to avoid the problems in the first place.

1) Not looking rich. This is clear enough but there’s more to it than it seems. Of course having all the gold all over you is an open invitation for criminals but there are more subtle considerations too. You shouldn’t dress like a dirt bag, but you can still dress like ordinary Joe or Jane that is making a honest effort to make it to the end of the month like most people these days.

2) Minimizing exposure. How often do people go willingly into “bad parts of town”, dark streets, places they don’t know well enough? How many times people confess they knew they were walking into the mouth of the wolf? Avoid these situations whenever you can, try getting home while there’s daylight.

The time it takes you to enter or exit your home or garage is a window of opportunity for criminals. While not going nuts about it and living life, still try to minimize this sort of situation as much as possible.

3) Being aware of your surroundings. This is probably the most important trait. Shooting 3 bad guys in 5 seconds is a nice ability to have, but it’s better to avoid them entirely in the first place. Your chances of getting hurt or killed drop to zero, so does the financial cost.

4) Assessing people around you. So notice people in your surroundings, and could they be a threat to you? The actions and body language often speak more than clothing. Criminals are known to dress well, even wear suits to look less conspicuous. You cannot dismiss females either. More and more women are seen committing crimes, either on their own or with other partners.

5) AAA: Assess, Analyze & take Action Assess your situation. Who’s around you? Analyze. Are any of these individuals a possible threat to me? Most of all and much faster and easier to assimilate, is any of this out of place? If your gut feeling tells you something is wrong, then you probably instinctively picked up something you didn’t register on a conscious level.

If the little red light in your brain is blinking, then pay more attention. Take action, DO something. My wife told me of a time when, while in a store, a suspicious looking person walked in. Since she makes sure to stay near the door when in a store, as he walked in she walked out before even noticing what she was doing. Such fast reaction to situations your gut instinct tells you they are wrong is the kind of reaction you want to achieve.

One time while waiting to cross the street I heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot. Without thinking I took a step forward, putting a large cement column between myself and the source of the sound. This part is important, all of the above means nothing if you don’t DO something.

Freezing is the only thing you’re not allowed to do here. Freeze and you are game. Run, fight, cry out for help but do something.

It is not my intention to scare anyone with all this. Life just goes on, and an ounce of prevention has always been a great investment.

Take care everyone."

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