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Personal Safety: Choices For Self, Home and in Public.

At the request of the site administrator, here are a few options for personal safety that do not directly involve firearms or other deadly force tools.  If we consider three levels, we can separate the needs that are apparent.  Self, at home and in public each require similar steps to be taken for safety.

First; each person’s self.  Opening one’s eyes to the reality of the world, we must see what is really there and not go through life with our heads in the sand or looking through a small peephole in our blinders that ignore evil threats.  The levels of awareness taught in most personal protection courses have us elevate our recognition of what is going on around us and who is close by, as opposed to becoming a danger to ourselves and others due to lack of awareness.  We also can harden ourselves by doing simple things such as locking our car doors, walking or running against traffic without the ear-buds in, looking before we step into unknown territory and not answering unknown phone calls to the cellular phone.   It is a personal responsibility to be aware as no one else can do it for us.

Second; in the home safety starts with keeping the doors locked and windows during the day and night, making the home look less inviting to criminals, and training family members to not open the door without identifying who is on the other side.  A couple of years ago, four men kicked the door in of a home just five houses down from where I live.  That got my daughters to finally keep the doors secured during the day.  When vacationing, a trusted neighbor can gather newspaper, pick up mail, make the home look lived in to prevent break-ins.

Third, out in public, we can apply the personal awareness techniques and also avoid, where possible, going to places where there have been problems.  I found it at first humorous, then disturbing that a large public university near where I live now has an I-phone application listing areas of the campus where crimes have been committed and reported.  Do not put yourself in a place or situation that could have been avoided.  A charged cellular phone should be part of your safety tool belt. Carrying yourself with head up and an aware purpose will dissuade potential attackers.  Studies done in prisons show that criminals look for people who are not aware of their surroundings and thus look like “food” to their predatory senses.  Our dress and attitude can be noted.  If we wear expensive jewelry, watches, etc., visible, we could be a target for robbery or attack.

Leave the “flash” at home and dress to blend in, not stand out.  When driving, leave yourself an out.  A commonly taught principle is leaving enough space between you and the car stopped in front of you to see the rear tires.  This gives you enough turning radius to escape to the right or left if necessary.  Drive several car lengths ahead to see potential problems.  Working with my teen-age daughters on their driving skills has been a re-education in basics as well as great time to teach from experience.  They think I’m not serious when I tell them that everyone else on the road is an idiot and out to kill them, but then they had some close calls that reinforced what we had talked about.  This idea of defensive driving can be easily transferred into defensive living.  Take the time and effort to protect yourself in the three areas discussed.  This will I hope, cause you to plan and practice safe and defensive living.  A great source to check is the National Rifle Association course called “Refuse to be a Victim” and if a firearm is in your plans, the Personal Protection In the Home and Outside the Home are the national standards for this type of training.  It all comes back to each of us being responsible for our personal safety.  Yes, you are worth protecting.  Gain the mind-set and tools to do so and stay safe.

Steve Beckstead

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