We are great at being lulled into a sense of security that may not always be the case. We have a series of car thefts that are initiated by a bump that causes the driver to stop. Once stopped, the driver tends not to be wary enough and finds him or herself giving the keys and wallet or purse to the thief which was the thief’s plan from the beginning.
A Wal-Mart was the scene of a theft that then caused an innocent bystander to become part of the situation thus causing police a greater than usual problem as they tried to make the apprehension. An innocent person ended up injured.
A man receives a telephone call from an unknown person who claims he has the recipient’s mother demanding that the recipient complies with the caller’s instructions in order to get his mother back unharmed. This man immediately called local police and the matter was satisfactorily concluded.
These things actually occurred in and around my community in the past seven to ten days. Multiply that by all the communities in our state and in our country and we begin to see why such scams are so lucrative to the scammers, and why we need to be aware and on guard all the time.
We must remain observant, keeping a scan of the area around us going all the time. We must be familiar with the people who are in our vicinity. We must not become so complacent that we lose sight of the importance of knowing where we might seek shelter in any building we walk into. We must be aware of our immediate surroundings so that, in our mind’s eye, we can see routes to use if we are threatened
Contrary to what you might think, this is possible without becoming obsessed to the point of paranoia. A simple scan of the interior that you just stepped into is very common for almost everyone, so your action does not seem out-of-place but simply something everyone else is doing, too. The difference is that you have memorized the surroundings, any exits that might exist other than the main entry, and have a good idea of who is in your immediate vicinity. This takes some thought and some memory exercises, but it is quite possible to accomplish.
I may have an edge in that I have participated in a community policing program that emphasized this need and was trained as an observer in the military. But this is not the proverbial “rocket science” kind of thing. This simply requires that we be as familiar as possible in every place we find ourselves. And, it requires that we be aware of everything, around us as much as is humanly possible. This becomes second nature, or at least it did for me, and I am not especially gifted in any of these areas.
If you are licensed for ‘concealed carry’, and if you feel competent with the weapon you have, go with it. If you are licensed but not confident in your abilities with the weapon, get some training. If you are involved in an accident in an area that appears unsafe, immediately call 911 and give your location and the circumstances…and stay in your locked vehicle until the police arrive.
Practice your ability to glance around the interior of a store and know where you would go in case of some kind of emergency. Be wary if you are approached by a stranger and know what your routes of escape from that person are and obviously, it really helps if you always position yourself so that you have a route by which to get away from the situation. If something seems wrong to you, step away from it and take another look from a greater distance.
And remember that we usually are willing to be approached by people we don’t know and have never seen before and that this is usually not problematic…but always remember that it is better to have a level of suspicion that can be set aside if it proves to not have been warranted. Another thing to remember is that not everyone who sees all your personal information on social media is necessarily honest and upstanding. I am amazed at what some are willing to share with their ‘friends’ even though we have just given potentially valuable information to a person looking for an opportunity to break into a home knowing that no one is home, etc.
We can become our own worst enemies if we are too free with inside information that is available to anyone and everyone.
Be aware and be wary. You can still be a very friendly person. Just be a bit guarded and be observant as you go through your day.