At this time of year, between the holidays and cold weather setting in, it is natural to want to be in a giving mood. When encountering apparently homeless people or folks down on their luck panhandling, many of us would like to help. If you fall in to that category, do not let your guard down and be unobservant.
If you are reading this, you are probably a defense minded person to some degree. Maybe you carry a gun or some other form of self defense on your person. What you have on your hip will not make a difference if you are distracted and lulled into complacency - even if you have some training.
Here is how it can work. The seemingly benign homeless looking person is typically very kindly and gracious. He is often times exceedingly polite. Sir and Ma’am are likely used. The nicer the demeanor, the more likely an attack may follow. They do this to get you to let your guard down and get comfortable.
Another warning sign is when you are approached by a stranger and asked for something. How vulnerable have you become while you’re fishing for some change in your pocket? You are inattentive and if the person launches an attack, he will have a distinct advantage on you, whether you are trained or not.
“Do you have the time?” is another classic way for a criminal to catch you off guard. Criminals anticipate you raising your wrist, exposing the watch, and looking down. The other more recent anticipated move is digging in your pocket for your cell phone to check the time. The second one leaves you even more vulnerable than the first instance! When you do either, BOOM. That’s when the attack comes.
A safer way to give to needy people is through a reputable charity. If you feel compelled to give someone a few bucks on the street, keep in mind there are many “bad” people in this world that will kill you for what is in your pockets. Keeping your distance and your guard up is imperative. Don’t become a statistic.
Jim Benoit's thoughts on guns, gear, & training
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