1. How Does the Risk of Violent Crime Compare to Other Risks?
In the United States, there were more than 1.2 million violent crimes in 2010, including 15 thousand murders, 85 thousand rapes, 368 thousand robberies, and 779 thousand assaults. That means that you are more than three times as likely to be the victim of a violent crime than you are to be the victim of a residential fire, and you are more than 58 times as likely to be assaulted than you are to be injured in a home fire.
2. What is a Personal Protection Plan?
At its most basic level, a personal protection plan is designed to help keep us physically, legally, financially, and morally safe. While our personal protection plans should include becoming proficient with a firearm or other defensive tool, our ultimate goal should be to avoid violent encounters in the first place by developing an acute awareness of our surroundings, and by making intelligent decisions about our actions, behavior and precautions.
3. Why is Conflict Avoidance So Important?
The only guaranteed method of surviving a violent encounter, is to avoid it in the first place. (In a court of law the prosecuting attorney will want to know more than just “who was the assailant?” and “who was the victim?” They’ll want to know what did you do to avoid or instigate the fight?)
4. What is the Reasonable Person Test?
In part, the prosecutor will use what’s known as a “reasonable person test”. That means that they’ll weigh whether or not they believe a “reasonable person” would have believed the same things you believed to be true, and reacted the same way you reacted.
By “reasonable person,” the prosecutor doesn’t mean your friends, your family, the gang at the local shooting club, or other permit holders. They mean 12 likely jurors, many of whom may hate guns.
5. Is it Worth Dying Over or Going to Jail Over?
Because of that test, a use of force on our part must carry such seriousness attached to it, that it’s a fair question to ask “is this situation worth going to jail over?” or “is this situation worth dying over?” If the answer is yes, then we’ll need to be prepared to live with the results. If the answer is no, then we’ll need to work hard to remove ourselves from the situation (quickly!) before the only option remaining is a use of force.
6. When is a Use of Force Appropriate?
A use of force on our part should only be done as a last resort, when we had no other choice, when the risk of death or jail time was secondary in our minds, compared to the necessity of defending ourselves from an unavoidable situation that we didn’t start, and we couldn’t escape from.
7. What are some of the best ways to Avoid Becoming A Victim of Crime?
• Avoid blind spots – When approaching blind spots at the corners of buildings or when approaching trees, tall bushes, concrete pillars, or vehicles, give them a wide berth. Turn to observe the hidden area as you approach. Get ready to run!
• Avoid Low Light Areas – Plan routes through well-lit areas rather than routes with little or no light.
Follow the Crowds – Criminals count on an easy escape with no witnesses! Sticking with the crowds is one of your best methods of avoiding violent crime. Regardless of how convenient a shortcut might seem or however safe you might feel heading to your car late at night all alone, that’s the kind of behavior that criminals count on to find easy victims.
• Define Barriers, Cover , Concealment and Escape Routes – When under threat, any Barrier between you and the threat increases your ability to escape.
• Concealment is anything that hides you from the threat (a closed door, a wall, or anything you can duck behind).
• Cover (things like concrete pillars, or the front of vehicles where the engine block is) protects you from incoming bullets. Identify routes and opportunities to increase distance between you and a threat (walking, running, or driving away) or to reach cover or concealment.
• Safety in Numbers = Personal Security – When in public, travel with a companion. Move faster than the crowd and be a people watcher. Always be in condition yellow. Never go to a stranger’s house alone and never allow a stranger into your house when you’re alone. When dining out, don’t take a seat with your back to the door and know where the exits are. At the first sign of trouble, leave the area.
8. What are some of the best ways to auto-car burglary?
• Automobile Security – Keep valuables out of sight and do not leave paperwork in your car with your home address. Note where you parked your vehicle and be observant of the immediate area when entering or exiting your vehicle. Be especially observant when loading the car or buckling in children. Lock your vehicle immediately upon entering. Leave room to maneuver when you come to a stop.
9. What are some to avoid becoming the Victim of Road Rage?
Be a courteous driver – allow other drivers to merge, don’t tailgate, keep off the horn, and keep that middle finger to yourself. If you are involved in a fender bender, call the police and stay in your vehicle until you can evaluate the situation.
10. What are some of the best ways to Improve my Personal Security?
• Home Security – Keep doors locked and the garage door closed, even when at home. Have ample exterior lighting – don’t be the only house on the block with the lights out. Leave an interior light on a timer. Use good quality door locks and add a deadbolt and/or a hotel type “throw over” lock to both front and back doors. Get an alarm system and set it religiously, especially when at home. Keep driveway clear of snow and front steps clear of newspapers, especially when home. Consider getting a dog. Not an attack dog, just a dog that will bark at the first sign of an intruder.
• Phone Security – Use caller ID and don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. DO NOT give out personal information, such as whether you live alone, whether you have a security system, etc. Keep a cell phone in your bedroom so that you can call 911, even if your home phone becomes disabled.