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Monday, November 22, 2010

Brazen Violence

I've been on this earth for quite a few years.

I don't know if I'm simply paying attention more closely or if I'm perhaps even looking for this kind of stuff, but it seems like every single day I read of stories of what used to be rare acts of, "I don't give a damn any more" violence.

Is it just me, or is the violence really escalating?

I was reading the online version of the paper where we have our precious metals store.  It had the usual stuff about things happening around town, upcoming holiday events and the like.

There was a story about a woman who was arrested on drug charges.  It seems that she was the girlfriend of some guy who had just been arrested for a double homicide in town.  He shot three people and two of them are now dead.

What struck me was that shortly after he committed these murders, he staged another attack.

On the local police department.

Click this link to watch and listen to a photo story on what had happened.

Part of what we have to do with our precious metals business is submit these reports any time we buy jewelry from a customer.  We give them the seller's information from their driver's license and obtain a thumbprint.  The police cross check the lists for reports of stolen goods.

Anyways, we submit these reports right where this guy went nuts.  The lobby of the police department is all secure, with 3 inch thick bulletproof glass between the lobby area and the office workers/police officers that are present.

I'm guessing that this was not the first time this murdering bastard has been to the police department.  Even if it were, any normal person would have to guess that the police department was either well secured, or there would be lots of cops with lots of guns.

Yet this guy walked right in - gun in hand as witness by a citizen who called it in - and tore the joint up.  How did he think this was going to end?  Was he looking for a "suicide by cop" grand finale?

Did he just not give a damn?

My phone and email have been going nuts from people wanting to register for my gun classes.  When they're scheduled too far in advance, people are are very willingly signing up for one-on-one classes at an hourly rate.  I tell them that if they can wait for the next class, they can get the same training for half the price, but they don't care.  They want training, and they want it now.

I'm giving a young lady training this week.  She's coming into town for Thanksgiving, and her father has hired me to train her for a few hours while she's here.  I've got three others just like her the week after Thanksgiving.

So, to answer my rhetorical question at the start of this post, No, I don't think it's just me.

Accept The Challenge

Serious as a heart attack:  Get some safety awareness AND personal defense training.  If you've already taken some training, get some practice.

Many local police departments offer some version of "Refuse To Be A Victim" training.  Take advantage of it.

Play out some scenarios and do a mental "walk-through" for how you'd react in a given situation.

To get you started, here's one we present in our Pepper Spray and Stun gun class -
Scenario 1 – Public Places

Environment:  A major thoroughfare in a small city. A typical, “roll up the sidewalks” place when the workday is done. There is an all-night gas station ½ mile in front of you and a small strip mall ½ mile behind you. There are dozens of businesses along the course you’re taking, but they are all closed. There are a half dozen cars parked on the street within your field of view. Traffic is very light. You have a cell phone and your choice of personal defense tools.

The Setting: It's 9pm. It's been a long day at work. You lock up the office and start walking to your car, which is parked on the public street. You’re carrying a small cardboard box with some work you need to finish-up at home. Your car keys and other personal items are sitting on top of the paperwork.  The distance from your office to your car is 50 yards. You have walked 25 yards.  There is no one else on the street. Unexpectedly, you see what looks to be a man wearing  a “hoodie” walking towards you from the opposite direction. It looks like the two of you will arrive at your car at the same time.

A potential threat has been identified. You move to Alert level.

What do you do?

Escalation:  This threat is real. The man in the hoodie starts running towards you. You have your pepper spray or stun gun in your strong hand. He will reach your position in 5 seconds. There are two parked cars on your side of the street – one 10 feet in front of you, and the other 20 feet behind you.

What do you do?

What could you have done to maximize your safety?
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Copyright 2010 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Anonymous said...

You are right. I had the good fortune to grow up in a large town that had some rough places. I am 67 and never go anywhere that I am not watching who is near me or walking by. I keep at least one hand free at all times and I keep my peripheral vision on people who pass me by until they are a good distance away. I have always done this and I have been in evert large city in this country and many in Europe as well. It is far easier to avoid trouble then it is to get out of it and you must be aware to avoid it. Years ago my wife and I were face to face with a two man bash and grab setup and I faced them down and kept my cool and they finally walked away. I was 45 and in great shape then today they wouldn't be put off by me standing up to them. It is more important then ever to avoid these situations. The best advice I can give to anyone is to become paranoid. Not the crazy paranoid that makes Hollywood B movies but the more rational trust no one kind of paranoia. The odds are that you will never be mugged or attacked but the odds are not overwhelming that you won't. Somewhere out there thugs are looking for easy marks don't be one.

Chief Instructor said...

Anon, you're right on point: I've said here a number of times, and I teach in most of my personal safety classes that the best place to be in an emergency is somewhere else! Avoid danger by keeping your head "on a swivel" and being aware of your surrounding.