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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    On Personal Safety and Self Defense Comment
    Gregory Morris, 12/8/08 10:56:51 pm
    Both numbers and anecdotes point to a rise in, convenience store robberies here in Pinellas County.

    I have written before about my personal views on personal safety and self defense. Given the popularity of this topic in recent times, and the fact that economic downturns are always accompanied by increased crime, I thought it worthy to reiterate the basics of self preservation.

    1) Avoid danger. This is my #1 rule. Everyone should live by this rule in every reasonable, common sense way. Don't walk down dark alleys, alone, at night. Stay away from the rough parts of town. This is so amazingly obvious, but usually the first thing ignored and forgotten right before things goes wrong.

    2) Mitigate. If you sense trouble, something that most human beings are capable of doing subconsciously, then get yourself outta dodge! Don't play the hero. Don't step up to save your reputation, honor, or anything else that in the end is far less useful than your pulse. De-escalate a potentially bad situation if you can, or escape before it escalates. Your mind has a built-in, automatic response to deal with stressful crisis situations, and it is always best to make a conscious choice to avoid those situations altogether.

    3) Pay attention. Situational awareness is the key to survival. Your only advantage in a bad situation is having the knowledge necessary to make a good decision. Know what is going on around you. Know your exits. Know your assets and liabilities. Don't do anything which may put you at the mercy of someone else, such as drinking in excess.

    4) Be prepared. This is one thing a lot of folks have a problem with. Being prepared is 90% mental, and 10% physical. If you aren't prepared mentally, having a gun or knowing Kung Fu will do you no good. If you choose to carry a weapon, get training. Get good with it. It has to be second nature for you to use. If you don't want to put the effort into training, don't carry a gun. Beyond training, you have to prepared yourself mentally to use it. That is a hard decision to make, but it is one you have to make long before you ever actually need it. Even then, there's a good chance you'll be unable to use it. Violence is not an easy or natural act for a good person, even in defense of their own life.

    5) Fight to live. If you've found yourself backed into a corner, faced with a deadly threat, you have to make the decision to live. In deadly combat, there is no such thing as a fair fight. This is not the time to second guess the decisions leading up to this crisis.

    6) Remain calm. Or at least as calm as possible. Panic is a powerful emotion, and difficult to overcome. Unfortunately, panic can also cause you to make poor choices.

    There's a lot more (volumes and volumes) that can be said about personal safety and self defense, but I am a firm believer that 99% of problems can be avoided just by using common sense and being aware of your surroundings.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

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