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.

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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!





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!





Summer threats

28 03 2012

Summer Threats

 Being that Summer vacation is almost upon us, it would be wise to think about our home, our children and our neighborhood. There will be more activity going on throughout all of these locations, especially during the evening and it would be wise to be prepared mentally and physically.

Safety of the home:

Having lights on the outside of your home that have motion sensors would be a great idea. There are many on the market and are affordable for most. Having a light that has a motion sensor allows the homeowner an extra added level of safety: threats are less likely to approach your home if they are put into a spotlight each time they get close.

Motion sensor lights are not helpful during the day in keeping threats away, so ensuring your home is as safe as possible is important.

-Window locks: if/when you are not at home, ensure the locks on the windows are locked or activated.

-Shades/curtains: in the Summer, it would be wise to keep the curtains closed if you want to maintain the air conditioner and temperature inside the home. It would also impede the vision of a possible threat that may be passing by your home who may be trying to see what is on the inside, that they may be able to take.

-Sliding doors: ensure the sliding doors have adequate locks and that the door is a newer model that will not allow the glass panel opposite of the door to move. Some models have the glass panel that can be “shimmied” open without activating an alarm. Most use a dowel behind the sliding door (behind the door and inside the track) to stop anyone from sliding or prying the door open.

-Access from the roof: Move any vehicles such as a mobile home or camper away from the house. Having a mobile home next to the house could allow someone the ease of access onto the roof by climbing onto the camper and then onto the roof. The same goes for any ladders or items used primarily outside the home: lock them up when not in use. Avoid giving the burglars the tools they need to break into your home.

Remember that skylights can be broken and threats could enter through the skylight quickly with minimal visibility (depending on the location of the skylight).

 

Allowing strangers into the home: Avoid allowing anyone into the home that you do not know or trust. There has been many cases where someone comes into the home, whether they were workers that were hired by the homeowners or someone trying to sell something on a hot day and they use the “could I possibly use your bathroom real quick please?”. Once in, they could unlock the window in the bathroom and use it to enter the home in the middle of the night.

 

Brief the children: Inform the children about the safeties involved when home along and ensure they understand the importance and hazards involved with certain events:

-Talk through the door: inform the children that if someone were to knock on the door, they can talk through the door and be prepared to egress quickly into the safe room if need be. Even if the person on the other side looks like a delivery man/woman or UPS driver, mailman etc.

 

Threats come in all shapes and sizes and could easily try to talk their way into your home while you are at work: “Excuse me, I could get into trouble if I just left the package here, can you please just sign this real quick and I can get back to work please?”. Some may even use the “Your neighbor is not home, could you please sign for this package so it does not get stolen?”. There are many scenarios to look out for.

-Windows and doors: inform the children in the home to keep the doors locked and the windows shut or opened with the safety latches activated. This way if someone were to attempt to open or break the tabs, the children should have enough time to escape the home or make it into the safe room.

-Mace/Pepper spray: Depending on the age, teaching children how to use pepper spray may be appropriate. Ensure the children are trustworthy and mature enough to understand the hazards and its use and why they should not play around with it. Parents should use discretion when teaching their children about defensive devices.

 

Defensive devices inside the home: Ensure any and all defensive devices such as firearms and batons are in a safe location where “idle” hands won’t find them to play with them. Children are curious and teenagers may attempt to impress their friends with “my dad has guns” or “my mom carries a baton” etc. This is the start of stories that do not end well.

Activity during the Summer months increase because children (18 years and younger) are out of school and may not know how to entertain themselves or their form of entertainment is impressing their friends by breaking into a home. There are a lot of gangs around and there are some gang activities that require today’s youth to do illegal acts to show their commitment to that gang.

 

Have a record: Before it is too late, take pictures and catalog valuables inside your home. In the catalog include: cost, where you bought it, when and the name. Then include a picture with it. This way if it gets  stolen, you have an exact listing for that item. Pawn shops are very busy today and will continue to be the place that thieves go to for a quick sale.

Be safe and remain aware and remember: just because you are inside your home, your castle, your safe haven, does not mean someone else is not planning on busting down your door to take your things away from you. You just assume no one will do that because it is your home and not theirs. Be proactive today to ensure you are not the victim tomorrow.





Being followed in a store……be in control!

27 03 2012

If you feel as though you are being followed while you are in a store, you have options but you must be in control. Threats want to be in control so they have….well…. control. Threats rule and control with fear because most of society will freeze in their place and not know what to do. This is just a small example of what you could do to protect yourself from a possible threat and still remain safe:

Verify you are being followed:
If you feel as though you are being followed, walk into a location in the store that it would seem an uncommon location for the person following you. For example: If you are a female and it appears you are being followed by a male, go into the underwear department and act as if you are looking at bras, if the male follows then move to another department such as the greeting card location. The odds of someone shopping in the same location as you is pretty slim. Once you notice the person is following you, it is time to control the situation.

Ensure you keep a safe distance away from the person following you and try and identify the overhead cameras on the ceiling. As you pass by, acting as if you are shopping, look up to the cameras and mouth “HELP ME” as you walk by. Look for an employee and walk up to them and talk to them about the person following:
-Act as if you are inquiring about an item on the rack
-Tell the employee to go and ask the manager to review the video surveillance and to call security
-Have the manager inform security or the police as to what and where the person that is following you is located
-Ensure you remain around an employee and not cornered in an area where damage can be done
-The manager can confirm the male was following by looking at the video footage and inform the police or security what the person looks like and describe all aspects of the male
-Once the police arrive, the police can detain the person while you leave
-It may be smart to ask the police to detain the person in a back room or office (away from the video monitors) while you leave so the possible threat will not get a glimpse of your vehicle or the direction you are leaving in.

There are many more options available but for this snippet of safety advice, it is important to take away this: do not lose your sense and awareness abilities just because you are scared or threatened. Keep control of your situation by making calculated decisions and actions that are deceiving to a threat but keeps you safe. Be safe and remain aware of your surroundings.