PART ONE: VEHICULAR AND TRAVEL SECURITY -
So let’s talk about those places where you’re most likely to run into trouble: At your vehicle, in parking lots, and on roadways! Most people know the basics:
(1) Always keep your gas tank above 1/2 full.
(2) Keep your windows rolled up; and, do not lower a window more than a crack in order to address ANY stranger.
(3) Always stop your own vehicle with enough distance between you and the vehicle in front to allow you to clearly see ALL of the rear tires on the lead vehicle.
(4) Never pullover and stop for an unmarked vehicle with a flashing red light. Continue driving to a busy populated area before you stop. (You might want to use your cell phone to describe your predicament to county dispatch.)
(5) In parking lots: look around carefully before you park. Do NOT park next to a large van – Especially one with sliding side doors! Always SCAN YOUR WAY TO AND FROM THE VEHICLE.
If it doesn’t feel right, stop and, either, go back or call for assistance.
(6) At stop signs and stop lights, if there is a left-hand lane available, pull into it and use it to stop in. (Because we live in a right-handed world. You’ll increase your reaction time; and, if you have to, you'll be able to make more accurate shots.)
(7) Use your mirrors – All of them! If you’re sitting in a vehicle, not 30 seconds should pass that your eyes haven’t done a rolling 360 degree scan.
REACTION TIME IS EVERYTHING!
If you so much as SUSPECT
trouble, draw and conceal your pistol well in advance of the threat. One of the best ways to do this is to secret the drawn pistol underneath your support arm.
I will always believe that I once save my life by secretly drawing on a very angry man who suddenly pulled into an almost empty isolated parking lot and parked right next to me. He sat there for a few moments while he glared at me, hard, before finally getting out of his van and beginning to approach my window.
The guy was as alert as he appeared to be angry – much too alert! He immediately stopped trying to approach me when he noticed my right-hand drop from the wheel to my side.
(Yes, I was, ‘baiting’ him. He’d parked on my left side; and, I’d already drawn and secreted my pistol when he momentarily turned his back in order to get out of his vehicle.)
‘Mr. Angry’ suddenly froze in place for what seemed like an eternity and – without showing any of the normal social graces - actually stared and craned his neck in an effort to see what I had in my hand.
He, also, completely ignored the fact that I was quietly glaring right into his eyes! His face continued to show no other emotion except anger. When he made up his mind, he slammed his fist into the sliding door on his van, turned around, got back into his vehicle, and quickly drove off at an odd angle so that I couldn’t read his license plate.
So what do I know? Look, it can be an evil world; and, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a rational reason, ‘Why’? I’ll never really know what this guy was up to; but, he left me feeling, ‘cold’. I had an overwhelming impression that I’d just missed experiencing something wicked.
(8) Proper, 'mount up' (departure technique) requires you to, first, scan your way to your vehicle. Carry your key in your support hand. (A key is, also, an, 'eye gouge weapon'; and, if it’s wintertime you should keep a BUG in an outside coat pocket, too.) Start your vehicle immediately upon sitting down – Don’t do anything else, first. When your butt hits the seat the doors should be locked, and you should have begun your first 360 degree scan while the engine is running.
Do NOT immediately fasten your seat belt. The right time to do that is during the first 100 yards that your vehicle travels down the road; and, when you fasten that belt, do NOT pin your weapon underneath your belted cover garment! Pull the jacket front out and place it on the outside of the seat belt.
(9) Proper, 'dismount' (arrival technique) requires you to, also, scan your way into the spot where you intend to park. Personally, I begin an arrival scan from about 100 yards out. The right time to remove your seat belt is at the same time as you begin the dismount procedure.
Do NOT wait until after you’ve parked before you try to remove that belt. All passenger cars have interior dome lights. Unless I really need them, mine are always turned off. Do NOT remain inside the vehicle any longer than you have to. Once the engine shuts down, the quicker you get yourself outside the vehicle the better!
(10) As a general rule: Try not to be entirely predictable! Vary your daily routines, occasionally take different routes to and from common destinations, and try not to park in exactly the same parking spot every time. If you have a choice between parking in a space with front and back access, or another space that you have only one way access into or out of, always choose the space that offers both ingress and egress. Remember that maintaining an open, 'field of view' is, also, important!