The world we live in

19 04 2013

Mark LeClair
Smart Tactics
April 2013
It is a sad time indeed, for the United States: bills being voted on that go against our constitutional rights, people deliberately breaking the laws and cover-ups occurring (blatantly at that), media cannot be trusted due to their bias influence, public figures stating you “can’t” do one thing and get busted actually doing what they are trying to ban, a medical system that is failing miserably, lemmings that demand that someone be blamed for everything bad that is occurring instead of those that are truly guilty being brought up on charges and terrorists attacking one of the greatest cities of all times. Truly a sad time indeed.
One cannot look at someone that seems to be acting suspiciously and accuse them of being a terrorist because they are too afraid to:
1)Hurt their feelings
2)Be wrong and take the chance of being sued for racial profiling
3)Be called out for being a racist
It is not racist to look at someone that is making the hair on your neck go up and get suspicious. Usually, if you get a bad feeling about something or someone, there is usually a good reason for it. Would you rather take the chance of being wrong and ensure everyone around you is safe or sit back, do nothing and then become news at 5pm while they scrape parts of you off of the wall 30 feet from where you were standing? This country is slipping further and further into the abyss.
Especially in a crowded situation where there are many people closer together for whatever reason, more so than normal, it is important to be watchful, aware of your surroundings and the actions of those in your area. If there are many people around you that means it will be harder to get away from that area if something were to go wrong. Once something goes wrong, it becomes mass hysteria and mayhem and some people will get trampled on because others had no regard for others because they want to escape the area by any means necessary.
That’s right, some of the same people that like to post on social media sites that they would do “such and such” to the bad people, or they would “hunt down” the bad people and so forth, are the same ones that are grabbing the old ladies in front of them and throwing them into a wall just to be further away from the bad area or situation. Not all, but there are some and you can expect that sort of reaction from most people (running when bad things are happening-fight or flight usually turns into flight for most).
When in a crowd situation, such as on a train, on a bus, on the subway, at a concert, at a sports venue or large gathering such as the Boston Marathon, it is important to look at those around you. By looking at the others around you, you would be able to see those that stay around you because of location. Then, if someone were to walk up into your area and they were not there previously, then you would notice that and be able to key into specifics:
-Hair color
-Facial features
-Identifying marks, scars or tattoos
-Accessories (backpack/buttpack/Unusual jacket on warm day, etc)
If someone were to carry a backpack and that backpack seems “out of place” or “excessively packed” then you may want to exit the area. If the person carrying it seems out of place or nervous or very anxious, that is another great reason to leave the area and tell someone. It is very wise not to just pick up your phone and shove it into the face of a stranger and take a picture, so that is not advised at all. On the other hand, if you were to point your phone towards them and they get really nervous and try to run away, that may be an indicator as well that they did not belong there. I would advise against it especially today because of the possible bad things that have been happening.
There are some telltale signs that someone should not be in a location, all you have to do is look for those signs:
People are cheering others at the finish line as they are crossing the line, in this location, everyone is seemingly going to be watching the runners as they are coming by. Everyone that is watching is waiting for their loved one, friend or family member to cross the line so their focus is on the finish line. Very difficult to try and stay focused on anything else. Then someone walks up with a large bag while wearing a big heavy jacket and beat up shoes (not running shoes). Their attention is away from the finish line and there is no excitement in their expressions nor are they cheering anyone.
Little warning signs. Be watchful of your area.
It is a huge tragedy that people were killed by these terrorists and I cannot say that I would have been any more watchful or observant than these people that were immediately affected by the explosion were and that is sad because I pride myself in trying to stay watchful and teach safety throughout my lessons (firearms, home protection, etc.).
Why would I have not been so watchful? Because I too would have been focused on the finish line and would have been cheering on the runners, despite not knowing anyone in the race, because that is what the residents of Boston do: they have immense hometown pride and love for events and others. These terrorists took advantage of that and people died and suffered because of that. Sad events indeed.

When you are stuck on a subway car or train, it would be difficult to get yourself to a safe area if the train is crowded. This is why you find a safe location, one that does not lock you into a corner with no escape. Find a location where you are close to an exit but with rear security: a location where you would not have to worry about someone sneaking up towards your back or blindspot.
I know that we as society, tend to get complacent with our security and awareness but when we do bad things happen and will continue to happen because bad people are taking advantage of the horrible situation the US is in and it seems that they are getting away with it. This is why each and every person must be accountable for their safety and not be too scared to find law enforcement and call in someone that is acting suspicious. It used to be called your right to do so and also your duty.
When you go to a concert or location where there are many, many people, it is advised that you know where the exits are. Wherever you go, ask yourself one thing: If the lights go out, could I find my way out….with the hundreds of people trying to trample over me crying and screaming? Know where the closest exits are located, know possible hiding places such as bathrooms or utility closets, etc. By knowing where they are located, you could possible get to that location in a bad situation and actually survive it.
Bad people are everywhere and they will continue to figure out ways to destroy happy way of life, or ways to crush any sort of happiness that exists because of their beliefs or because they are absolutely off of their rocker. IT happens. If your State allows it, look into firearms training and conceal carry licenses. Some people prefer not to be armed and that is their right and I respect their rights. On the other hand, some people should not CARRY a gun nevermind hold one (or even draw one on a piece of paper for that matter). Each person is different and each person will have their own comfort level with a firearm.
Being armed does not mean you will be bullet proof. Being armed does not mean you will survive a threatening encounter. Being armed does not mean you are a vigilante. Being armed does not mean you are a badass. Being armed does not mean you are the best shooter in the world. Being armed does not mean you know everything about guns. Being armed DOES mean you should have pursued as much information as humanly possible regarding safety, safe gun handling, fundamentals of marksmanship, storage and cleaning of firearms before carrying that firearm.
Many people believe that they already know about firearms because they grew up around them. I grew up watching medical documentaries but I cannot perform brain surgery. Some people believe that because they have watched a bunch of videos on the internet, that they have enough knowledge to survive a dangerous encounter. These people are the ones that end up shooting themselves with their own gun or end up hurting someone else because of mishandling of said firearm.
Bottom line: be responsible for your safety and be watchful. Even though you are on vacation and in a location where there is happiness and excitement around you, there may be evil people that want to destroy others because that is their “mission” or “purpose in life”. Whatever the reason, my only hope is that these idiots end up calling their own devices with their cell phone and explode inside their vehicle, away from innocent people, instead of hurting innocent people around them. Evil will always exist but if you are more proactive about your situation, watchful and aware of your surroundings, safety conscious everywhere you are/go, then you will be ahead of most and hopefully more apt to spot something “out of place”.
As always, be safe, be aware and get trained. Being trained is better than being stuck in a location, frozen, because you cannot think of what to do. Shoot straight!


Be wary of contractors….

18 07 2012

If you have contractors visiting your home to do some work: painting, flooring, plumbing or whatever. It is important to go behind them and check the security of the area after they leave for the day. Some have been known to open windows or at the minimum unlock the window for entry later.

There have been many cases where a plumber has disabled a window alarm and then snuck into the home in the middle of the night to assault the homeowner. You cannot be too careful in your own home when others that do not live there are there working.

Even if the workers are family or friends, it could be that they opened the window to throw something out or for whatever reasons but forget to lock it back up when they closed it. This is a possible entry point for a threat.

Sliding doors, main doors, alarm systems, locks and windows: if you can gain entry into the home through it, then a threat can gain entry into the home from it. Secure those areas and ensure they remain secure for the safety of your family.

Attorneys By State

6 04 2012

Attorneys By State.

Technology and GPS safety

28 03 2012

Technology and GPS Safety
Technology today helps us in so many various ways and makes our lives easier. Even our phones are becoming smarter and smarter. With technology we should also become aware of the safety issues related to that technology. Most do not think about the safety issues related to the technology we have and use daily, only because they have been lucky enough not to have it affect them personally.

With computers: Most people know to have anti-virus software on their computer if they plan on using the internet. If the person owning the computer were to go to a website or open an email attachment that contained a virus they could contaminate their computer but also could affect other peoples’ computers as well (if part of a LAN or if the virus attacks others on your friends list).

With cell phones: Most people understand that they could also contaminate their phones by going online and opening emails. Today, with the threats that exist, it is even more important to be careful and safety conscious. There is technology that exists that allows others to tap into your phone and listen to your conversation; not the conversation that you are having on the phone, but the conversation that you are having while your phone is close by, not in use.

With that same technology, it is even possible for someone to tap into your camera while your phone is on. With that technology, that person would be able to see what is around and possibly where you are located. There are many possible ways that a threat could find you, wait for you and attack. .

With this technology one should be worried about getting set up: having someone tap into the phone to listen to the person’s likes, dislikes, problems that affect them currently etc. With that the threat could come into their lives and become their “friends” and the victim would have no idea that “friend” already knows too much about their life.

Technology is not only what you carry but what you may use daily: GPS in your vehicle. Some vehicles may have the GPS built into it but most people use the GPS that can be mounted inside the vehicle. A GPS definitely makes our lives easier daily, so we don’t get lost as easy. As with everything, technology can fail also.

Safety concerns with the GPS: Location Input

For the ease of use, some people may put “HOME” into the GPS to find it easily. The bad part about that is if a threat/thief were to steal that GPS, they would then know where you live. If you put “MOM HOME” now they would know where your Mom lives.

Solution: If you have to put anything into the GPS to make it easier for you (convenience is desired when you constantly go towards the same location using the GPS) either breaking it down to letters or “code-words” or make the location in the area of the location desired.

In other words: if you were to program your mother’s house into the GPS and her address is 1234 Smith Street, you could program MH (Mom’s House) or use her first name (Glenda) and you could program in 1250 Smith Street.  This way if the GPS was ever stolen, it would only bring them in the area of the home but not directly to it. The same idea works great for your home as well.

If a threat were to enter your vehicle, power up your GPS and retrieve your address under “HOME” and then shut the GPS off, you would have no idea that anyone was inside your vehicle at all unless something was missing. Now that a threat has your address, they can now go to your home because (if your vehicle was at work) they know you are not at home.

Another scenario is if you were at a sports game: if someone were to get your information for home they could easily go to your home and do whatever they wanted to (steal, vandalize etc.) because they would have a rough estimate as to how long it takes for you to get home from the arena and about what time the game would be letting out. That gives a threat as much time as possible to achieve their desired result.

How would someone know you have a GPS? Especially if you take it down and hide it every time you leave the vehicle? If you use the suction cup mount it will leave a ring. If you do not wipe the ring marks off of the window or dashboard anyone walking by would be able to tell you own a GPS.

Technology is a great tool to use and it makes all of our lives easier but if you do not believe that something horrible could happen to you, then you will eventually become a victim yourself. A little prevention can go a long way. It is not paranoia it is proactive towards one’s own personal safety. Be safe and remain aware.

Having a checklist inside your vehicle

28 03 2012

Having a checklist inside your vehicle

Unfortunately society has been molded to not care so much about the events that happen outside of their “world”. By that I mean: for most people, they will not become concerned with Home Invasions if it is not happening in their neighborhood or running rampant in their town.

If you think about it from the perspective of a “somewhat smart” threat: would it be smarter to try and assault or steal from someone in a neighborhood that has had a lot of threatening activity or in a neighborhood that does not have any activity at all? Moral of this story is “just because it is not happening in your neighborhood, on your street or to someone that you know or care about, does not mean it could not happen to you!

It may sound simple (and by simple I mean nonsense to some) but to the ones that actually incorporate this into their normal activities, their chances of becoming the victim while in their vehicle will become greatly reduced. It is merely a safety step that can easily become part of your everyday activities to the point it becomes muscle memory. This muscle memory could dictate whether or not someone becomes a victim or not.

Safety first!

Always check your backseat before entering into your vehicle. By checking the backseat, you are able to see if anyone is hiding back there. If you were to enter your vehicle and a threat were to “pop” up unexpected, you would instantly become the victim as that threat would gain full control. You would have minimal options at that point.

Always have your key in your hand, ready to use on the door. By having the key in your hand and ready to use, instead of fumbling around for it, you would be prepared to open the door quickly if needed. You would also have a defensive object in the event someone were to approach you in a threatening manner (if you were not able to enter your vehicle first, that is).

Once you have ensured that your backseat is clear of any threats you would be able to open the door and enter the vehicle. Upon entry, before buckling your seatbelt, before starting your vehicle, before settling in: LOCK the door immediately. By locking the door you have initiated the first line of defense against a surprise “visitor”.

Once the door is locked, immediately start the vehicle and place the vehicle into the appropriate gear (if you are back into a parking spot: place it into “Drive” or “1st gear” and if you are pulled into a parking spot front-first: Place the vehicle into “Reverse”). By starting the vehicle and placing it into gear immediately you have initiated an emergency egress step if a threat were to attempt to enter your vehicle or threaten you.

If a threat were to attempt to surprise you and approached your vehicle quickly and with malice, you should be able to quickly drive away, honking your horn to attract as much attention as possible. This solidifies the importance of the locked door, though, because if it was not locked a threat could easily gain control of you and your vehicle and possibly cause you great harm, or worse.

Once you have the vehicle started and the vehicle in gear, this is the point where you buckle your seat belt. By doing this at this point, you have created an escape option for yourself that you may possibly need at some point. Once you are buckled in, then you can mess with your phone or bags or whatever you need to do inside your vehicle before pulling away.

By incorporating this into your daily routines, you would create a safety muscle memory that could save your life and possibly the lives of those in your vehicle also. Carjacking and vehicle assaults are very real and do not always get the media attention one would suspect. Most people now get their news online and focus on national news vice local news. Be aware of your surroundings and the more you prepare for your safety now, the more you decrease your risk of becoming a victim tomorrow.