Sunday, 4 September 2016

Think Like A Criminal – Part 2 | Concealed Online Reviews

Just as avoiding being chosen in the first place is our best defense outside our home the same holds true inside our home. So what steps can we take to make our home less attractive to criminals? Well first we have to think like our criminal. What is he looking for? Make no mistake criminals do their homework there are certainly crimes of opportunity but in many cases the criminal will recon a neighborhood looking for his target
  1. Reward – Is the risk worth the reward
  2. Vacant – Unless you are the reward he wants to be in and out with no fuss.
  3. Concealed Approach – he wants to be able to enter and exit your home without being observed by neighbors or a passerby who may raise the alarm.
  4. Surreptitious Entry –He wants to get in quickly and quietly so he can have maximum time to carry out his crime.
With these thoughts in mind let’s think about simple cost effective measures we can take to make our criminal look elsewhere.
Actions. With a few minor adjustments to our normal routines we can avoid drawing attention to ourselves or giving information to would be criminals.
  • Vacations – Don’t announce your vacation plans on Face Book, Twitter or any other social media and don’t post pics till after you return. Stop your mail. Have a neighbor visit your home at random times each day to give the impression of occupancy. Consider putting a timer on lights throughout the home.
  • Trash – Don’t put that new flat screen TV box out by the trash for pickup. Consider a trip to the local dump/recycling center with any high value item packaging. Consider a paper shredder for all your sensitive documents.
  • High Value Items – Don’t display high value items like jewelry, antiques, guns etc. Where the can be seen from outside your home. Keep your garage door closed.
Landscaping . Paying attention to the landscaping around our home can pay huge dividends in reducing the risk of being targeted.
  • Shrubs/Trees/Fences – Shrubs trees and fences are great for providing privacy but if placed incorrectly provide privacy for the criminal. Fortunately with a little thought we can have them work for us. Don’t plant shrubs or trees in front of windows or around doors. They allow a criminal to stay concealed while they break in. If you must Plant in front of windows consider thorny shrubs like Bougainvillea. Any gates in side fences should have locks.
Pathways/Driveways – Consider gravel as opposed to pavers or concrete. It is much harder to walk quietly on gravel. Low voltage landscape lighting if placed correctly can illuminate your yard and eliminate hiding places for a criminal without disturbing your neighbors.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Think Like A Criminal – Part 1 | Concealed Online Reviews

The laws which govern our society came about because the majority of us believe in certain moral standards. By definition that means a minority of us do not. Within that minority a majority will follow the rules even if they disagree with them. These two majorities are law abiding citizens. The remainder does not hold to our moral standards and refuse to abide by them regardless of the consequences. They are society’s criminals.

As law abiding citizens we fall into the trap of believing the rules will protect us and assume that everyone else will do the same. Most victims of violent crime feel it was a random act against them there was no discernable reason why they were attacked. For example the Knockout Craze where thugs would apparently target a random member of the public and attempt to knock them out with a single blow. WellNEWS FLASH these were not random attacks. To understand this you have to think like a criminal.

Criminals for the main part understand that what they are doing is illegal and will have consequences should they get caught so they have criteria for selecting their victims. If you fit those criteria you may be chosen. So what are they looking for?

  1. Speed – They want this over and done with as fast as possible. Once the attack starts, the longer it takes the greater chance of the alarm being raised and them being caught.
  2. Surprise – Can they take you unaware? The chance of you submitting quickly is far greater if they take you by surprise.
  3. Proximity – Can they get up close to you? If they get close enough they can surprise and subdue you with overwhelming force and violence or bring a weapon such as a knife into play.
  4. Witnesses – Will they be observed? They don’t want bystanders interfering or alerting police.
So now that we understand the criminal’s requirements, do you think the knockout victims were truly random? The good news is that with this understanding we can formulate strategies to prevent ourselves or our homes from being selected as targets.

Outside Your Home – We are at our most vulnerable when we are outside of our home as there are many variables we cannot control. Streets are busy so often we have no choice but to let people get close to us so our best defenses are Planning, Awareness and Posture. Incorporating these strategies will greatly reduce our chances of being selected.

  • Planning – Try to avoid places where you will be isolated and vulnerable. Know where your escape routes are and where safe areas you can retreat to are. If you are at a crowded location try to stay on the edge of the crowd it makes it easier to escape should you have to and limits approach angles for possible attackers.
  • Awareness – This simply means paying attention to who and what is around you. If have your ear buds in listening to your music and texting you are oblivious to what is going on around you. You automatically fulfill the first three requirements to be a victim. Imagine a 30 yard diameter circle around you. You should be paying attention to everyone who enters that circle. Make brief eye contact to let them know you see them. If they appear in anyway focused on you or you feel in the least nervous about them you can move away and keep them at a distance. Give yourself time to think and to escape or summon assistance.
  • Posture – Animals posture to deter threats they puff themselves up, strut, display bright colors, growl or squawk loudly. You can use posture to deter an attacker. Walk at a brisk pace with your head up. Make brief eye contact with everyone in your circle. If someone approaches you speak confidently and make good eye contact. Look like someone who is confident and observant. Remember they want to get close and overpower you quickly if they can’t they will probably look for an easier target.

Adopting these three simple strategies does not take a huge amount of effort but can vastly reduce your chances of becoming a victim. In my next post we will discuss strategies for making your home less attractive to a criminal.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Avoid These 4 Potentially Deadly Concealed Carry Mistakes

Most concealed carry courses, from online CCW training  to in-person defensive handgun practice at your local range, are developed to make you feel comfortable protecting yourself with your handgun.

Unfortunately, the comfort you develop during a concealed carry course can cause 7 of the most common mistakes professional instructors recognize in even the most ex perienced shooters.

Over the course of my career as an NRA-certified instructor (teaching both in-person and online concealed carry  courses, I’ve helped multiple shooters un-train the bad habits the myths you’re about to discover cause.

So keep reading, pay attention, and make sure you’re not buying into these 7 most common concealed carry mistakes.

Concealed Carry Myth 1: “I Won’t Use My Sights Under Stress”

When you’re in a fight for your life, “you’re unlikely to use your sights.”

You’ve heard this advice before, you may have read the studies, forum posts, or anecdotal evidence about the “time I was out of options and had to shoot.”

And, in many cases, you may be training with an instructor who believes it’s better to focus on your target and get rounds out as fast as possible.

Here’s the problem…

When researchers interview people involved in gun fight situations, they reflect on reaction time and automatically assume there was “no time to think about using the sights.” Nearly every researched article and study on the subject declaring that you won’t use your sights under stress is based around that fact—there’s just “no time.”

The reality is this…

Every concealed carry course you take will teach you the second most important concealed carry principle after the “4 rules of gun safety.” That principle is that practice makes perfect.

The reason many people who successfully defend themselves in a gun fight don’t believe they’ve used their sights is because they’ve trained to instinctively do it.

And studies actually show, instinct and blind fire almost always leads to failure in actual “must shoot” situations.

It’s important to practice, make using your sights second nature, and develop a comfort level with your firearm that allows you to stay calm under pressure.

Concealed Carry  Myth 2: When It Happens, You’ll Be Ready

Fact: When you’re in a “must shoot” situation, you’ll automatically default to your concealed carry training. Period.

On top of that, analysis of over 300 interviews with concealed carry holders involved in shoot situations proves that your skills will actually deteriorate under pressure.

You may have a fighting mindset. You may think you’re prepared to face any challenge. And you might have confidence because you have a concealed carry permit and the ability to protect yourself and your family…

But when your life is actually on the line, your mindset won’t matter. It’s your concealed carry training that will take over.

Concealed Carry Myth 3: “It’s Only Natural”

During the first online concealed carry course I taught, I worked with an instructor who mentioned to every student: “I want you to work on this shooting position first, it’s natural.”

Here’s another reality: There’s absolutely nothing about firing a handgun that’s natural. There’s nothing instinctive about it.

No position or stance comes naturally.

You didn’t know how to shoot before someone taught you.

That’s one of the reasons why many states require a certified concealed carry course before you can even apply for a permit!

Concealed Carry Myth 4: “Here’s How You’ll Respond to Stress”

Here’s one big myth that ties everything together…

One of the things many instructors and concealed carry students take for granted is stress response.

We prepare and train as if everyone will respond to stress the same way. Guess what? They won’t.

You’ll respond to stress differently than I will. And your spouse will react differently as well. Everyone is wired differently, built with different default reactions and stress tolerances.
And the only tool you have to fight against your reaction to stress is training.

The best way to master your reaction to stress, stay calm under pressure, and protect yourself when it matters is to train as often as possible with a diverse variety of scenarios, instructors, and drills.

The more you learn during concealed carry courses and training, the more prepared you’ll be to deal with stress.