Recently in several cities across America, a new game has swept through the metropolitan areas and is showing up in small towns. The game is called “Knockout.” In this game, teenagers pick out unassuming strangers, walk up to them, and hit them as hard as possible in attempts to “knock them out.” Here in Milwaukee, WI they call it “Point’em Out – Knock’em Out.” Being an educator, I have seen this game played far too many times. It shames me to know that the youth of America find this to be amusing and do not see the danger and stupidity in this game. I find it violent and disgusting, and it alarms me to note how it is spreading.
What is more alarming to me is that, when the story broke on social media sites, some members of the firearm owners community expressed that their response to this game’s epidemic, would be to use their firearm. I can see where one might feel that this is a serious threat and deadly force may be needed, but I fear the legal system may not agree with this notion. Trying to prove the disparity of force, and/or threat of imminent death/severe bodily harm may be more difficult than imagined.
Because of this, I feel compelled to share with you all some tips from my experience as security personnel to help yourself not become a target—for “Knockout” or other crimes, such as mugging or robbery. These tips are not foolproof means to discourage a would-be-attacker, but they will certainly give you an advantage.
Disclaimer: The Arms Guide is not a source of legal counsel. If you have any questions about your state’s laws surrounding concealed carry or the application of deadly force, consult a legal professional.
1. Situational awareness (SA) is paramount.
You don’t just have to have your SA on in areas you deem bad. Trouble may find you anywhere whether you invite it or not. Know what’s going on around you at all times—where you are, what direction you are headed, what street you are on, where the exits are, etc. That way, if something happens, you know where to turn to remove yourself from the situation, or in the least, you can provide the police with a detailed report.
2. Don’t invite trouble.
If you are walking in public, the less of you that is exposed, the better. Don’t give thugs a target—physically or materially. You can’t steal what you can’t see, my friends. Keep your vulnerable body parts covered as much as possible. Hats, caps, and scarves also provide some type of cover. These items will not stop a punch if someone decides to hit you; however, these items will cause thugs to have to find a way to “hit around” them, making you a more challenging target.
3. Location, location, location!
Location is everything. If a thug can’t access you, they can’t hit you. Physically place yourself in a position where no one can “creep up” on you. If you are outside, stand with your back to a wall where you can see all the different angles of approach. Position yourself near buildings that have lots of glass—the reflective surfaces can act as extra sets of eyes, increasing your field of vision.
4. Before drawing your concealed carry weapon, make sure your belongings and body parts are clear.
You don’t want anything messing with your draw if you can help it. If you want to put your hand on your firearm before you deploy it, consider how that behavior may communicate the fact that you have a gun to those around you. When determining where to position your holster, you’ll have to find your own balance between concealability and accessibility.
5. DO NOT LOOK LIKE A TARGET.
Look confident. Establish eye contact with the people around you. That lets them know you’re aware of them. If you must listen to music while in public, use only one ear bud and have the volume low enough to hear what is going on around you. Don’t let your iPod get you knocked out or worse.
Featured image courtesy of contributor Ljupco via iStockphoto.com