A phenomenon happening in many US cities today is the ghetto encroaching into the suburbs and “urban pioneers” are moving into blighted, inner city areas for a variety of reasons. Sociologists may have an opinion on this at some point, but in the mean time a byproduct is that human prey, at least anecdotally, seems to be having more regular contact with human predators. One of the most common ways that problems occur here is through the common street robbery.
First of all, regardless of how bad things have gotten in some corners of America, it is still an absolute fact that most crime is circular in nature. The vast majority of people who find themselves robbed, shot, murdered and the like did quite a bit of legwork to put themselves in a compromising position. Crime victims are often criminal aggressors in another recent circumstance or those who have let some kind of life dominating addiction over ride all judgment. If you avoid either of these or other hazardous lifestyles you are likely to live most of your life in relative peace and security.
When I come into contact with people who have just been victimized in some way and hear their stories I am often shocked at what they missed. If a person, especially a female, walks home alone after heavy drinking, many bad things can happen even if in a great neighborhood. Many robberies start off with a person being approached by a stranger and asked some ridiculous question such as, “Can I use your cell phone?” or, “Do you have a light?” or even, “Come back behind this building with me and I’ll sell you ______ for such a great price!”
It may seem obvious here on the computer screen, but people fall for this stuff all time. The only purpose of this type of question is to size up a potential victim. If you start to comply with the request, you’re about to become a statistic. However, if instead you scowl rudely, make some noise, move aggressively, or basically show back bone in a way fitting the situation you’re much more likely to be left alone while the creep seeks out an easier target.
Even better is to work towards carrying yourself in a way that exudes quiet confidence and alertness. The guy with his head on a swivel and who has a strong posture is going to be ignored while the parking lot parasite looks for the person fooling with a cell phone or is in some other way communicating their oblivious mental state. Remember and practice Col. Cooper’s “color codes” whenever out in public.
A little game I play with myself is to try to make it a habit to see a person I know before they see me whenever I’m out and about. If I’m used to looking at my surroundings in this way, maybe I’ll see something else that’s a danger sign. Situational awareness is likely your most powerful weapon.
Finally, whenever possible be armed because the actions above will not always be enough. Build good habits, cue off danger signals given by others and react forcefully and appropriately as needed. Most “good” Americans are so timid and obliging in the face of clear warning signs of aggression that it can be their undoing. Discipline your mind/body so that you can properly diagnose your surroundings and take the steps necessary to protect yourself.