Threats getting craftier

30 08 2013

Threats get craftier

It is sad that one has to avoid certain situations because it could be a trap. There seems to be another “new” trick that threats are perpetrating now that includes elderly ladies. It seems that the threats threaten the elderly lady into being a part of their scheme, at least I hope that is the case because it would be seriously warped if the elderly person was a willing participant.

What happens is a vehicle with the elderly person inside either pulls up or is parked in a location and the elderly person asks young women for help. When the young lady comes to the vehicle to see what she can do to help and at that point in time the young lady gets assaulted by the threat(s). Then the young lady gets sexually assaulted/abused.

Whether this is a story traveling around or actually happening, the sad thing is threats are becoming more brazen and I believe that there are many reasons why. I believe that one of the reasons is because the “petty” criminals don’t spend any time in jail. Why? Because of over crowding. Since some criminals feel that being a criminal is a career, they know the system and how to get around it.

How sad is it that criminals get “3 hots and a cot”, which means they get 3 meals (hots) and a bed (cot), and we have many military members that are on food stamps. The military members risk their lives to serve their Country and the criminals prey on those that try to earn an honest living. What politician is trying put a stop to this? No one.

Threats are getting younger and younger and care less and less about the people that they hurt. This is why awareness must be increased on everyone’s behalf. Be cautious everywhere you go and do not let your guard down. Once you think nothing could happen to you, that would be the time something terrible is going to happen.

If you feel strange about someone that just entered the same location you are at or you feel uneasy about a group of individuals that are acting suspiciously, then a quick exit out of that location would be the safest decision. Some start to scream “racial profiling” only because they want an excuse to point the finger at someone else or refuse to admit what it truly is. It does not matter what color the threat is, if there is a group of individuals acting unruly or suspiciously it would be warranted to be suspicious.

Being aware does not mean paranoid, being aware means to be proactive about your own safety and take the necessary steps needed to ensure a safe and happy life. This entails knowing your home, knowing what you would/should do in the event someone breaks into your home, knowing what to do when you enter your vehicle, what you should do if you are being followed and what you could/should/would do in threatening situations.

As always, be safe, be aware and refuse to be a victim.





The world we live in

19 04 2013

Mark LeClair
Smart Tactics
April 2013
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
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.
CROWDS
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
-Height
-Weight
-Facial features
-Identifying marks, scars or tattoos
-Language/voice
-Clothing
-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:
Marathon:
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.
KNOW YOUR EXITS
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!





Personal Safety in an active shooter situation

15 12 2012

The horrific act that occurred in CT elementary school was a nightmare that has scarred many involved, if not all involved. This is another case of someone with a firearm (illegally at that) taking advantage of individuals who could not have possibly been armed. Had these teachers had the opportunity and training on how to respond in an active shooter situation, some may have survived this event.

An active shooter situation is when a person with a gun, who is shooting that gun at others, in the vicinity. That is an active shooter. It does not matter if the shooter is targeting one person in particular or a group of people, the person is dangerous to all around.

I have been seeing a lot of traffic going back and forth from some saying “we need stricter gun control laws” and “this is why we need to get rid of guns”. Hmmmmm lets look at that shall we?

If we were to get rid of all of the guns that are legally owned, then the only guns around would be the illegally owned guns by the criminals. Then, we would all have to rely on law enforcement to protect us. How many officers live in your area? How many follow you around on a daily basis? None? Well then, how are the officers going to protect you if they are not right next to you, watching out for danger? Thats right, they will not be able to.

Anyone with a clean record can buy a gun, yet not everyone is good. There is evil in this world and always has been. This evil will always remain and it is up to the honest, law abiding gun owner to continue owning/carrying that gun safely as they have done. The news very rarely tells you about the firearm owner that saved his family from attackers, or the woman that shoots a rapist or the elderly person that shoots an intruder that assaulted them. Why? You tell me.

It seems that there are those in high government offices that believe that firearm laws should be stricter and become harder and harder to legally own. Right now it is assault rifles, next will be semi-automatic pistols and then revolvers and finally shotguns. By why stop there, knives are next, crossbows, bows, arrows, forks, spoons, chopsticks, etc. are going to be banned. Why? Because someone, somewhere will call those weapons. What kind of government is that? That is not a constitutional government.

Back to personal safety and the victims of the school shooting in CT: If the teachers had been properly trained and practice that training once a week, they may have been prepared to act immediately. Everyone had to have been scared, which would be absolutely normal, but many of them (reports have said) acted quickly to save the children, which is awesome. Unfortunately some of those teachers died because of it. That is sad.

Active training means investing the time and energy into creating different scenarios for these schools to practice in order to fine tune reaction times and objectives. By watching a video every 6 months or reading a PDF notice on safety, no one is going to be prepared for an active shooter situation. What about the students, although very young, these poor children would not know what to do other than possibly hide (once they figure out what is happening-then it could be too late). If these children were forced to practice, once a week, different dangerous situations, their reactions could have been programmed into them in order to save some more lives.

Would have, could have, etc. I know, I know, it is in the past but I doubt anyone will forget about this for a very long time. I bet few people out there right now remember the church shooting on the sunday school students in that rural community. I bet the families involved still remember that nightmare.

I created a course specifically for teachers and personal protection and ememergency perparedness and sent out a proposal to all of the schools in the state of VA. I received one response and that response was “we are good, our security department will take care of any threats that come around”. Amazing. Another case of “we dont need any personal protection training because nothing ever happens here”. Yet, people will scream and yell and stomp their feet about “why cant we get more help” and “this should never have happened” etc. Now they would want training. Why does society want to wait until they are the victim before they try to seek out the education to keep them safe?

I offer free personal protection seminars, I offer free safety training on saturday mornings and guess how many showed up? None. I offer the location, student guides and training for free and no one shows up because they are too busy and “we live in a good neighborhood” and “nothing bad ever happens in our areas”. Once a victim, forever a victim. This is a fact. There are many, FREE, steps that can be taken by EVERYONE to gain education to remain safe and avoid having a home invasion, assault, burglary etc. happen to them but no one is taking those steps. Why? I have not a clue…… and I am saddened at that.





Holday Safety 2012

12 12 2012

Holiday Safety: To all, because of the holidays, awareness tends to diminish because of the focus being presents, shopping, screaming kids and insane traffic. Because of this, threats tend to increase their “business”. Threats know that if they can corner a mom and her children by a vehicle, that that mother will quickly give up her purse, money, gifts/items to keep the children safe. Threats will prey on this type quickly.

Because threats are looking for anyone that seems like an easy “mark” it is important to remain aware and take certain steps to ensure your safety (and the safety of your children):

Tips:
-Park under a light. Even if you are only “going to be a minute” or “will be out of the store before it gets dark” sometimes we lose track of time.
-Back into a parking spot: this will allow you to leave quickly if needed.
-Get RFID sleeves for your credit cards to ensure you do not get the information stolen by someone with a remote scanner (I just had mine stolen two weeks ago, thankfully the bank blocked a transaction in Florida).
-Be aware of the surrounding area of your vehicle when approaching.
*If there seems to be a shady character in the vehicle next to yours, walk past your vehicle and circle back to the store. Once in the store, ask security or the manager to escort you to the vehicle.
* Enter the vehicle from the passenger side
* Look for anyone hiding underneath vehicles next to yours. If you walk down the opposite side of the parking lane, you would be able to see underneath the vehicles on the side where you parked easier.
*Keep your car key in your “weak” hand to keep your strong hand open for protection, if needed
*Always check the backseat before entering the vehicle
*When entering the vehicle, get in, lock door, start car, place in gear and then worry about the seatbelts, cell phone, etc. If a threat were to try and attack, you would be able to escape quickly.
-If you feel you are being followed in a store:
*Verify your suspicion by walking to a section where that person probably would not go to (example: If you are a female and a male is following you and you notice this while in the shoe department, go to the women’s underwear section, then to make up aisle. The odds that that person is shopping for the exact same thing as you is slim to none).
*Walk towards an employee and inform them that you are being followed and that you need them to contact the manager and security and have them verify it on their video system.
*Keep from allowing yourself to wander into remote areas of the store while the manager/security are checking their footage
*Have the manager hold the “stalker” away from any of the windows while you and your children escape out of the store long enough to drive away without the threat seeing your license plate or make/model of your vehicle.
*If the threat were to get too close or you feel they are dangerous, point at them and start screaming. If it was coincidence that they were following you, they will probably leave quickly. If they are a threat, others will be able to see the threat as well which will give you more witnesses.

There are many evil people that exist and the last thing any of us need is to have our loved ones experience a traumatic experience during the holidays, especially one that will affect their life in such a way that will make them scared wherever they go for the rest of their lives.

By increasing your awareness and knowing that it is okay to point at someone that is approaching you in a menacing way and screaming as loud as you can to gain attention, you can more likely avoid a threat or threatening encounter.

If a threat is approaching you in a menacing way, keep your car key at the ready and get ready to strike soft tissue. Groin strikes are “exit makers” and if you do not have that distance, use your strong hand and squeeze the “coal couple” to make a pair of diamonds!

Soft tissue areas for quick escape:
-Eyes
-Inside the ears
-Nose/cheek area
-Neck
-Underneath the chin
-Behind the ear
-Sternun/center chest

If grabbed:
-Reach back, groin squeeze
-Shin scrape as hard as you can
-Foot stomp
-Rear-headbutt into their nose
-Collapse towards the ground (dead weight)

Remember: action will always beat reaction. If you feel that your life is in danger, it probably is and you literally have the rest of your life to fight! Be safe all!





Electronics and personal safety

1 05 2012

Today, everyone has a Facebook account, MySpace, Twitter, etc. etc. etc. and unfortunately there are many that are ignorant as to the predators that exist that will do anything to infiltrate someones privacy and/or safety. Even with our cell phones, there are applications that will identify and sometimes show exactly where you are located when you post a picture or social update. Remember, if you decide to place a location to your update:
-others can identify where you are located at that time
-others know you are not home

If you update your social page with where you are at, you then tell others that you are not home. This now makes your home vulnerable for attack, which has happened many times to others:
-A female boasted about her excitement regarding an upcoming concert
-She noted the date of the concert and their (her and her boyfriend/husband)
-The date came and a “threat” did the easy math:
(Concert location was no less than an hour away, they were going to have dinner before the concert by the concert hall, concert was no less than 3 hours, it would take another hour to return = 6-7 hours free rob time!)
-Threats robbed the home
-Occupants came back
-Found their home robbed
Luckily the couple had surveillence cameras on the inside of their home. After reviewing the footage, the female posted a screen capture of the threats that were inside her home.
-One of her friends commented that “she had seen that person before, on her friends list”
-The female checked her friends list and it turns out that the threat was someone that went to school with her in the 3rd or 4th grade.
-The female had a private account where only her friends could see her status updates.

Lessons to learn:
People change and some people you may have on your friends list from years past, could have turned out to be less than trustworthy as life went on
-Anything that touches the internet lives forever and you cannot take things back.
-Anything that you post with pictures could give away your location, family location, friends location, etc. Keep their information private as well as your own.





Avoid the chicken little syndrome…

20 04 2012

Hurricane Jimena at its peak on August 30, 2003.

It seems that there is a lot of buzz about how the world as we know it will collapse soon and that everyone will be in a situation like in the movie “Mad Max”. I am not saying that the economy and leadership currently in power is not crushing the life out of us slowly, not at all but what I am saying is “avoid the chicken little syndrome” otherwise you will end up driving yourself nutso.

Prepping for disaster is a good thing. It will allow you to have clothing, food, water and other essentials if something were to occur but building a cement bunker that is radiation proof and having it underneath your home may be a bit expensive and excessive.

Do some research and find legitimate companies that offer emergency kits and supplies before pouring your money into the first person that convinces you that their “magic bag” will save your life!

Example: I have what I consider my “chosen 5”. These 4 other individuals that I trust wholeheartedly and are very experienced and like-minded as myself. We want to be prepared for emergencies but we are also former or current military. We have created certain items for emergency purposes for the average civilians:
*Grab-n-Go kit: A bag that is already set up for you to grab and quickly leave the home (because you dont have time to pack)
*3-Day bag: This bag is to sustain existence for 3 days
*5-Day bag: same as above

SO what separates us from the rest? We are not thinking about zombies or invasions. We are thinking that this works out well for hurricanes, floods, fires, tornadoes and if, by some wacky chance, civil unrest if it were to come down to that.

Our med kits alone include more items than that of the average kit and can be tailored to the client. We also have an advanced trauma kit for long term use. Our bags are for the average person that is trying to survive and/or protect their family so that they can survive as well.

For those on the law enforcement side of the house, or those that thinking that they would need to use their firearms or just survive in a strange location: we are offering up custom tactical gear rigs. Basic, intermediate and advanced vests. Each has its own gear associate with it and can also be customized to their needs.

We are not thinking that we are going to provide items to save the world but we are trying to educate people so they can save their time and well earned money making practical purchases instead of falling for the many scams that exist today. As always: be safe and shoot straight!





Trust your feelings…

6 04 2012

Restaurant crowd

It is important to trust your feelings. I am not talking about your feelings about buying a new car, investing in a guitar, buying some shoes, remodeling a home, I am talking about trusting your feelings when you are in a position where you may feel threatened or just “not right”. That feeling, in itself, is your brains way of telling you that something is out of sorts and by acknowledging that feeling you may be able to “sidestep” or avoid the situation all together.

There are many people that were saved from a deadly situation because they felt as though something was not right in the area that they were in and they left. They were spared because some event occurred after they left that either became deadly or there were injuries. Either way, they were spared because they identified with that feeling and looked at it as an “early warning system”. This is something that everyone has and could use every day in their life.

If you are in an area and you do not feel right because of someone’s actions, words, or general “feel” of the environment has changed, that may be your brain telling you that something is in fact off and you may want to remove yourself from that situation. What if you are walking around outside? Same thing although you may want to use stores as an escape route or even restaurants. The key would be to remove yourself.

Trust your instincts. You dont have to be paranoid to be safe, just more aware.