First, the criminal does this for a living. They are not as dumb as many think they are. If you fail to respect their level of skill, you will be unprepared to deal with them. They are not dumb. They just attended a different "school" and studied a different "curriculum". To understand and predict their behavior, you must know a bit of that curriculum as well. Understanding the behaviors and motivations of different types of criminals is the framework with which a wise person protects themselves. Know your enemy. Then practice avoidance if you can. If avoidance is impossible, try evasion. Try both of these tactics prior to defense. You do not have to "win" a dangerous encounter. Nobody wins a gunfight. They simply survive.Xavier has been in more hostile environments than I would care to be in three lifetimes. I would do well to take his advice.
From the Archives ~ Standing on the X
This past week I was in a parking garage in Cedar Rapids and received a message on the company's Blackberry. Thinking it required my immediate attention, I was engaged in my reply while walking to my car. Stupid me. Although nothing happened, by my actions I made myself vulnerable to any predator for the 15-20 seconds that it took to reply. I might as easily wore a giant neon sign labeled "Come and get me".
Be aware of your environment, advice I did not heed. I was lucky, while the guy who was beaten in front of the police sub-station was not.
A related post from Xavier: From the Archives ~ Recognizing Threats