Posts Tagged ‘self defense’

Heather and I went to see a concert last week featuring Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, and AFI.  We arrived early, found a great parking space, and made our way into the venue.  From 6:30 to 11:00, thousands of people cheered and clapped and sang together, and we were all bound together by the music.  When the final song ended, everyone made their way to the parking lot, still laughing and smiling and everything seemed wonderful.

Unfortunately, that’s where everything fell apart.

It seems that when we’re all elbow to elbow in a crowded venue people act much differently than when they’re isolated in their own 2 ton automobiles.  Sure, nobody likes traffic.  I get that.  It sucks that you spend 4 hours listening to great music at an awesome event only to have to spend another hour or two in the parking lot trying to go back home to your regular life.  But we don’t have to resort to blowing our horns and threatening each other do we?

I tried to be nice and let other polite drivers in front of me when I could, knowing it was just going to be a long night either way.  Unfortunately, some drivers were extremely aggressive and there was more than one moment where I started thinking defensively, looking for anything in my car that I could use to defend myself.  It got me thinking about safety behind the wheel and what you should do when you’re confronted by an aggressive driver.

I did a quick Google search and here’s some information I found that I think everyone should be aware of regarding aggressive drivers:

  • Don’t respond to the aggressive driver and avoid eye contact.
  • Don’t challenge the driver by speeding up or slowing down in traffic.
  • Allow aggressive drivers to pass you by changing lanes or pulling over if possible.  Avoiding aggressive drivers is often the safest option.
  • Call the authorities to report aggressive driving.  There may be nothing they can do but if the driver is in an accident down the road at least they’ll have a record of someone driving recklessly.
  • Always wear your seat belt.  Every safety feature in your vehicle is designed around the idea that you’re wearing your seatbelt.
  • Most importantly, don’t get out of your vehicle.  You’re inside a big box of metal and glass.  It’s a lot more protection than you have outside.

Most of it is common sense, but in that moment when you’re confronted and the adrenaline starts pumping, it’s easy to act irrationally.  Driving is probably the most dangerous thing the majority of us do every day, so knowing how to safely deal with bad situations is very important.

What are some other suggestions for dealing with aggressive drivers?  Do you have a story about an encounter you had?  Let me know in the comments.

Sources:
AAA
National Road Safety
Weather.com

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This post will finally catch me up once again.  I will be able to go back to just one survival update a day.  Sorry again for the irregular posting schedule over the past week, as I’ve said, things have been crazy.

35)  Wield a Tactical Flashlight

I reviewed a flashlight that we use at work all the time and I think this is a good time to reiterate some of the points I made.  Flashlights are useful for a lot of things besides just vanquishing the darkness.  When used in defensive scenarios, a flashlight can be used to blind an attacker long enough to counter their attack or flee.  The book gives us two reasons you should use a tactical flashlight:

Shine A Light:  “Grip the flashlight with your thumb on the switch button.  Raise your fist and switch on the light, aiming directly into your assailant’s eyes.  That should temporarily blind [him or her].”

Deliver A Smackdown:  “The second weapon is the flashlight’s sharply scalloped front edge.  Bring it down repeatedly with hammer blows on your attacker’s nose and eyes.”

“Tactical” flashlights can be found just about everywhere now.  The NEBO flashlights that we use at work come from our local NAPA Auto Parts store.  They’re strong, reliable, and have a variety of uses.  Tactical flashlights, like the Redline lights from NEBO, often have “strobe” modes that rapidly cycle the light on and off.  These modes are particularly useful for blinding an attacker.  Use their temporary blindness to close some distance and hit them hard with the jagged edge of the light.

This post is a combination of my own opinions and information that was provided in the book, Urban Survival Guide, by Rich Johnson.  Use this information at your own risk.  Always avoid confrontation when possible and only fight back if you have no other options.  You can replace your valuables but not your life.

Most of us need only take a second or two and glance around our home to find something we could use to kill another human being.  We’re very resourceful creatures.  We buy all sorts of weapons even though our homes are full of weapons already.

34)  Improvise a Weapon

You may not always have access to your personal defense weapon, be it a gun, knife, bat, or grenade launcher, so being able to find a replacement in a crisis is crucial.  We’ve all seen the movies where someone gets hit in the head with a frying pan or rolling pin.  These are only two of the items specifically mentioned in the book:

  • Rolling pins, pots, and pans
  • Knives and forks
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Broken plates
  • Broom, mop handle, fireplace poker

In addition to the above items they suggest putting a can of soda or a brick into a sock so you can swing it at an attacker from greater distances.

Remember that bug or wasp spray can be used in place of pepper spray so always keep some of that around the house.  Looking around my bedroom I can see a plethora of potentially dangerous items.  Here’s just a small sample of what I can see (excluding firearms) in less than 30 seconds:

  • 30″ tall bowling trophy
  • Pens, pocket knives, keys
  • Electric guitar
  • Metal detector
  • Belt, cables, and wires

While not the most lethal of items, I think I could do some damage to an attacker.  The bowling trophy in particular could be pretty dangerous just because it provides a long reach and a heavy base with sharp, pointed corners.  And as we learned in our tip from day 28 you can always defend yourself with a set of keys.  I keep two sets (home and work) on me most of the time, so that’s always an option.

What other things could be used as weapons?  What do you have in your room that could be used to stop an attacker?  Let me know in the comments below!

As I mentioned in my last survival post I’ve fallen behind on these.  To catch up I am posting twice tonight and twice tomorrow night.  Then I’ll be good again until time slips out of my grasp yet again.  Thanks for understanding as always.

33)  Conceal a Weapon

“When choosing a weapon for concealed carry, remember that smaller is easier”.  This is the one situation where you’ll hear a woman say smaller is better (its a joke . . . you know, ha ha?).  All jokes aside, smaller really is better.  Having a weapon that can’t be concealed kinda defeats the purpose anyway right?  And you wouldn’t want it to come busting out in public and frighten people when you’re only goal is to protect yourself and others.  Here’s two tips the book suggest you abide by at all times when carrying concealed:

Keep It On Your Hip:  There are hundreds of options for holsters out there.  You can get them for your belt, your back, your shoulder, and even places like your thigh or ankle.  These are great in some situations but surely not all.  If you have to remove your jacket, that shoulder holster may no longer be concealed.  Keeping your weapon on your hip makes it easier to keep hidden at all times (though its not always as simple as that).

Stash It:  Do you carry a briefcase to work every day?  Maybe a purse?  These are great places to stash a weapon that you wish to keep out of sight.  The disadvantage to carrying your weapon like this is that it wont be as easy to access in an emergency.  But, some situations don’t offer you many other options and having a weapon close by is better than not having one at all when you need to defend yourself.

I would suggest practicing both methods.  Make sure you’re capable of carrying your weapon on your body as well as in a briefcase or purse.  After practicing both you’ll become more comfortable with what you’re capable of.  Maybe having a pistol in your purse is perfect for you.  Or maybe you don’t have the coordination to quickly open that briefcase and pull out your weapon.  You wont know until you try.

What else can we think of?  What other tips are there?  Any advice you would like to share to help other readers avoid mistakes that you’ve already made?  Let us know in the comments below.  And please, if you would, take a second to vote in this weeks poll (over on the left side of the page) if you haven’t already.  It only takes a second or two and I would greatly appreciate it.  Maybe Ill return the favor with another ammo update tomorrow . . .

I’ve been getting behind with these updates.  I’m trying to keep up but things have gotten crazy for me lately.  Regardless, I’m doing what I can so I hope you understand.  I will be posting two tonight and two tomorrow as well to make up for the missed posts.  Moving on . . .

32)  Figure Out if Someone is Armed

Some people carry their weapons well and some do not.  There are obvious signs on those who carry badly.  Any blog or forum anywhere that tries to explain how to properly carry concealed points out the things to avoid.  Some people just refuse to listen to good advice.  Well here’s some advice on how to spot those fools:

Beware The Bulge:  Most criminals don’t have holsters for their weapons.  They don’t spend money anywhere they don’t have to, and they certainly don’t train themselves to be better.  Tucking a handgun in their waistband is good enough for most of them.  In cases like that there is often a bulge.  Look for the bulge and be careful around these people.  Some may well be poorly prepared law abiding citizens just trying to protect themselves.  But they may also be criminals about to rob you or someone else.

Study Body Language:  Many people who are concealing a weapon are always aware of its presence.  If not well trained, they may worry about being spotted.  They will likely be touching the spot where their weapon is concealed to ensure its still out of sight.  I was guilty of this myself when I first started carrying.

Trust Your Spidey Sense:  “A guy who’s wearing a trench coat on a hot day may have the flu.  Or he may be carrying a gun under that coat”.  Basically just pay attention.  If someone is acting strange or appears out of place, they are probably up to no good.

Does anyone else have any tips to help spot someone who’s carrying a concealed weapon?  There are many blogs and forums that cover this but I would like to see what my readers themselves think.  Surely we can come up with a few things.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

As always, I want to remind everyone that this post is a combination of my personal opinions and information that was provided in the book, Urban Survival Guide, by Rich Johnson.  Always avoid dangerous situations when you can and never attempt to confront an attacker unless your life or anyone else’s life is in danger.

Its been almost two weeks since my last set of videos so I thought I should go ahead and do another.  These are just videos that I think are interesting or informative.  If you see anything in particular you want to mention or talk about, leave a comment below.  This week’s list covers home defense ammo, the Constitution, tactical training, and 3D guns.  Enjoy.

Shotgun Ammo for Home Defense

There are a lot of people who argue against using bird shot in your home defense shotgun, but here’s a guy on the other side.  He attempts to debunk the myths that surround using bird shot for self defense.  He sounds pretty convincing.  This video came to me from The Survival Place Blog.

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The Constitution Did Not Guarantee Public Safety

Over at Gunmart they posted this video and I wanted to share it with you in case you missed it.  The guy in the video is very angry and he has a right to be.  He brings up good points while he’s speaking out against proposed gun control laws.

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 World’s Greatest Tactical Instructor

This is another video that came to me from Gunmart.  This one is less serious however.  Watch it and have a laugh.  Its not the funniest thing out there but its a humorous gun-related video so I thought I would share.  My favorite part is the final reload.

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 3D Printed Gun Documentary

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of printed guns and gun hardware, you have to admit its an interesting concept.  With the cost of 3D printers coming down all the time, its becoming possible for individual consumers to buy them.  Tie that in with the growing gun control agenda and you’ve got experimental printed guns.  Its a no brainer really.  We’ve come so far, technologically, in the past 100 years or so; Imagine what the next few decades may produce . . .

The trailer for this came to me from Tactical Gear and Military Clothing News but you can see the entire documentary below:

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 Share your thoughts below.  I’m particularly interested in hearing everyone’s opinion about printed guns.  I myself am kinda on the fence with this one.  Its a cool idea and I would love to print myself a gun or two, but at the same time this makes it possible for anyone anywhere to produce firearm parts that are otherwise regulated.

There are reasons we lock our doors and keep our blinds closed.  Nobody wants to be faced with a home invasion.  Every step we can take to make it harder for an intruder helps us sleep better.  But what happens if your home’s defenses don’t stop an intruder?

30)  Handle an Intruder

If someone has broken into your home while you’re inside, here’s what you should do:

Step One:  Dial 911 if you suspect someone has broken into your home.  Don’t investigate.  After all, people in horror movies always die when they try to find out what caused that bump in the night . . .

Step Two:  Escape.  There is no reason to confront a criminal if you can safely get out of harms way.  Your possessions are just material things.  Most can be replaced.  Your life, and the lives of your family members, cannot.

Step Three:  “If you’re trapped, don’t resist”.  If the intruders demand your money or posessions, give it to them.  Only fight back if you have no other option and your life is in danger.

Step Four:  If you own a weapon, consider arming yourself.  Make sure you know how to use the weapon you choose though.  Trying to use that shotgun you’ve been meaning to practice with for months may not be a good idea.  The last thing you want is to use a weapon incorrectly and hurt yourself or a family member.  Also, always maintain control of the weapon so it doesn’t fall into the intruder’s hands.

Has anyone ever dealt with a home invasion?  Share your stories here if you’d like.  How did you deal with the situation?  I’ve never been home during a break in but we’ve had break-ins happen twice now.  It definitely makes you think about your safety.

This post is a combination of my own opinions and information provided in the book, Urban Survival Guide, by Rich Johnson.  This post is only here to provide general information.  Always use extreme caution in any situation like the ones described above.