Firearms are considered the quintessential tool of self-defense. Lethal at long ranges and not too hard to operate, its common to hear preppers suggesting not only owning a gun but to register with a concealed carry license, just in case. But the truth of the matter is: you won’t always have a gun. And should that situation occur, you need to be prepared.
Below are some of the biggest things to consider when met with a situation.
Situational awareness is one of the best things you can have to avoid trouble. People naturally have a one track mind, leading to them not noticing the subtle cues around them, all pointing toward danger. Get in the habit of observing the world around you. Look at the people, note on their traits, examine your surroundings, remember your exits. We wrote about this in greater depth in a separate article, Get in the Habit of Spotting a Threat.
Know the Area
If you know where you are, you know where you shouldn’t be. Every city, every town, they all have a “bad side.” These areas are often neglected, poverse, and prone to increased rates of crime. If you know where these areas are, you know to avoid them. This is easy with hometowns, and less with traveling. If you’re going somewhere you aren’t familiar with, read up about it. Post in forums dedicated to the area and see what the locals tell you. Ask someone trusted that lives there.
Think Before You Act
In other words: use some common sense. More often than people realize, you can avoid danger if you simply stop and think about an action before doing it. Is an anonymous seller online offering a $1,000 lawn mower for $250? Are they insisting you meet up in an unsafe location to make the trade? Common sense tells us that they’re just baiting you, and plan to mug you once you arrive. Are you forced to travel through a “bad part of town?” Maybe put your headphones and smartwatch away and try not to dress too flashy. Think in the mind of a criminal, and try to predict their behavior. Then use that knowledge to behave the exact opposite.
Learn a Martial Art
You may not always have a gun, but you always have your fists (my apologies to any amputee readers). Taking classes in a martial art, such as karate, kickboxing, or MMA, can help hone you into a self-defense professional, no matter what you have on you. Many local gyms, YMCAs, and community centers host self-defense combat classes.
Your Money or Your Life
It’s easy to want to protect your belongings. You don’t want to lose your money, your wallet, your phone. But none of those are any good if you’re dead. If you’re met with a life-threatening situation, and the attacker is demanding your valuables, it’s better to simply give them up than try and fight back. If you follow our previous advice, you hopefully won’t be met with such a scenario, but that’s what prepping is for, after all.
Stay safe, preppers.