When using an ATM, always take a second to look around before stepping up to the machine. Is there anyone “lurking” around the machine? Do not become so focused on the transaction that you take your attention away from your surroundings. If you feel that something is “not quite right”, trust your instincts and walk away immediately. Do not worry about how it may appear – this is about your safety, not about a stranger’s feelings.
Situational Awareness is key!
For the most part, criminals are looking for the easy mark. Who do you think is the easier target: the petite 100 pound woman striding through the mall with purpose, looking around her and demonstrating an awareness of her surroundings, OR the 6’1” 200 pound man plodding along looking at his phone and having no clue where he is?
If you were a criminal, who would you pick on: the woman rolling out of grocery store with a full cart, eyes watching both ways for traffic and other threats, or the two teenage girls wandering down the middle of the parking lot aisle so oblivious that they don’t even notice the 2 ton truck following them down the aisle?
Pay attention to your surroundings, keep your head on a swivel and move with purpose. Don’t make yourself an easy target and you greatly reduce your chances of being targeted!
Choosing Your Gun
One question that gets asked a lot is "What gun should I buy / What gun is best for concealed carry?" As with cleaning your gun, the answer is "it depends". The best gun is one that you can handle comfortably (and safely) and can shoot accurately. I hear people disparage the .22 caliber all the time. Granted, it is not the most powerful gun in the world, but 4 hits with a .22 will do way more to discourage an attacker than 4 misses with a .357. Buying a gun that is too much for you to handle will only cause you to practice less with it, not more.
As for concealed carry, a similar standard should be applied. Carry one that you can wear comfortably and one which you can shoot accurately. In some cases, the holster is as or more important than the gun for concealed carry. After all, if you are not comfortable when you carry, you won't carry.
Don't let anyone tell you that you need to buy "X" gun or something in "X" caliber (no pun intended for you King Arthur fans) because they believe it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Go to a gun show or gun store and find one that feels comfortable to you. Next try renting that model from a range to see how well you shoot it. You may find that what you thought you wanted might not be the gun for you and something you never thought to try out before ends up being perfect.
Summer is in full swing and I see many people making the same mistake on social media. So many people are telling the bad guys that they are going to be on vacation and out of town/state/country. Why not just post a sign that says "You are free to break into my house and rob me between these dates"? Remember, it's not just your Facebook "friends" that see these posts or get this information - no matter what your settings are!
Don't make it easier for the bad guys than you need to. If you want to post your vacation photos or brag about your trip to the islands - do so after you return.
Combine Course for Discounts!
Do you own a handgun? Do you have a spouse, roommate or friend that is afraid of or hates guns?
Most people do not like or are afraid of firearms simply because they are uneducated about them - they have no information or experience with guns to allay that fear or dislike. When you couple that with the negative propaganda spread by the media and other groups, you end up with a breeding ground for fear and loathing. Guns need to be respected, but they are no more inherently dangerous than a car if handled safely and properly.
Sign your significant other up for our Basic “Handgun 101” Safety Course. It is the perfect course to dispel the myths and fears about guns (i.e. guns do not “just go off”). We can answer any questions they have and provide answers in a non-threatening, educational environment. We can show them how a gun works and teach them about safety, including how to safely handle and store a handgun. Many people have found that “familiarity breeds contempt” and learning from a certified, objective third-party is the way to go. This is a non-shooting course (but we can arrange for live fire training if desired).
This course will not qualify them for a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit, but it is the perfect accompaniment to the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course or the NRA First Steps Pistol course (which will qualify you for the Virginia CHP).
Contact us for a deep discount on combining the two courses!