As we approach Thanksgiving and you’re thinking about 3:00 a.m. wake-up calls to play shoppers’ hockey with other high-sticking, elbow-throwing zealous crazies, think about this: the predators are out in full force during the holidays.
I realize this will not deter the hardcore shoppers and discount junkies (including my wife) from hitting the streets, so rather than argue, maybe I could offer some advice:
- Park in well-lighted areas and be aware of your surroundings before exiting your vehicle.
- Use the buddy system. Women should avoid being alone at night in parking lots. Yes, I realize how chauvinistic this sounds to some of you ladies, but the truth is you are more vulnerable than we hairy men are.
- Packages and bags should be concealed in your vehicle, not stored in plain view. Do this before you arrive and park so that nobody sees you have purchases stored in your vehicle.
- Always pay attention to your surroundings (not your phone!), especially outside the mall or store.
- When you approach your car, have your keys ready, and look inside before entering your vehicle. (Keys can also be effective weapons: attack the eyes. Mini batons are great keychain accessories for ladies.)
- Keep your head up and look people directly in the eye. This signals strength and awareness and will deter most predators who look for easy prey.
- If somebody or something outside worries you, don’t take a chance; go back into the store and report your concerns.
- When you arrive at your car, enter quickly and waste no time locking up, starting your motor, and turning your lights on.
- Don’t wear expensive or flashy jewelry or clothing that is likely to draw the attention of criminals.
- When you depart from each location, make sure you are not followed. If a vehicle seems to stay with you, make a few extra turns and watch to see if they do also. If you believe you are being followed, call 9-1-1 or drive to a police station.
Just One Example:
The most important message is to be alert and pay attention to your surroundings. In one of my previous blog posts, Deer in the Headlights, I wrote about how my daughter handled a situation wherein she was followed. Having been taught to be so, she was aware of her surroundings as she left the school gym one night and noticed a suspicious vehicle. There were two men inside, and when she left, they followed her. She remained calm and handled the situation perfectly. The story serves as a great example of how to react to such situations.
The Right to Bear Arms:
I believe citizens should have the right to carry a concealed firearm for their protection. I highly recommend that if you choose to carry a weapon, that you are professionally trained and licensed. You should practice so that you are comfortable in handling your gun and proficient in using it. Equally important is to be educated in the laws that govern your city and state, and understand the potential consequences of using deadly force. There are law firms throughout the country that specialize in Second Amendment Law, and I would recommend engaging their services if you exercise your right to carry.
Alex Kincaid is a former prosecutor and elected District Attorney who now has a private practice in Idaho. Serving the Pacific Northwest, she is a recognized expert in Second Amendment law and is a contributing author to many firearms related publications. This is the type of law firm you would seek as counsel in matters of self-defense and the use of deadly force.
Final Word of Advice:
Lastly, and this is something I have told my daughters since their early years: never expect mercy from an attacker. Do not comply with his demands. Fight with all of your might and make a scene to avoid being placed in a vehicle. Otherwise, it will be the last ride you ever take.
Have a safe and happy holiday season.
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