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Self defense tips

When someone becomes aware of this whole self-defense thing, they modify their behavior some. For instance, when I pull up to the drive through ATM, I park out a few feet from it, open my door, and get out of the car to make my withdrawal. Reason is, it’s probably one of the top ten places where I’m likely to be robbed and I don’t want to be a sitting duck if that happens. A sitting duck with a gun is still a sitting duck. As a bonus, the open driver side door shields my weapon and drawing hand.

And when I leave the grocer, if I cannot carry all of my bags in my left hand, I use a cart to return to my car. Again, one of the top ten places I’m likely to be robbed and I want my hands free.

What things do you do for self defense?

43 Responses to “Self defense tips”

  1. Freiheit Says:

    Leave more space between me and the car in front of me when in traffic or at a light. This is both safer driving and gives me some room to work with should I need to move from a threat.

    I look at people in the face when I meet them. I try to know what folks look like. Its polite if I ever meet them again, if they mean me harm I have eyes on them and can react or at least ID after the fact.

    Many things done in the name of self-defense are a good idea for other reasons.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    Leave more space between me and the car in front of me when in traffic or at a light.

    I do that too.

  3. Weer'd Beard Says:

    If I’m carrying things in both hands I always make sure that all I need to do is open my strong-hand, and the items will fall clear without snagging.

    Also its good to remember that if you have a light item in your off-hand, throwing it at a threat can lead to much more of an advantage than just drawing a gun alone.

    Just ask Caleb! 8)

  4. Charlie Foxtrot Says:

    At an drive-up ATM, I do my business through the window – with the car running and in gear. If an informal tax-collector appears, I’ll let my 180 enraged squirrels do their work. Movement and distance being great equalizers.

    Of course, being a disarmed Kali inmate may have something to do with that. But, I think I’d do the same in free states.

    Like the tip on keeping one hand free in the parking lot. I think I unconsciously follow that pattern.

  5. mikee Says:

    I try to park in more open, less crowded parts of the parking lot, to allow me to see if anyone is nearby as I approach my vehicle.

    I don’t use two specific ATMs near my home, because they have severe blind spots and make it impossible to know if anyone is approaching. Other banks have better designs, putting the ATM in the middle of a long wall where anyone approaching can be seen.

    I don’t use ATMs much at all. I get cash when checking out at the grocery.

    I don’t drive the way I did when I was 16 to 18 years old, having learned to calculate how small a difference “Speed Limit” makes in arrival time compared with “A$$hat Fast” for a trip of 5 to 10 miles.

  6. Kujo21 Says:

    What Freiheit said… Plus my little “ankle bite whom I love” is still small enough to carry. If he is carried he is always on my left hand side.

  7. breda Says:

    I don’t smile at strangers.

  8. alan Says:

    I pay attention to what’s going on around me and listen to my gut. If something seems weird, it probably is.

  9. ExurbanKevin Says:

    I apply the rules of defensive driving to my everyday life, a surprisingly easy thing to do.

  10. one-eyed Jack Says:

    I usually just fire a few shots in the air and nobody comes near me. Jack.

  11. dannytheman Says:

    Parking far from the entrance is open area is great for exercise and seeing possible interactions.
    I never use drive through ATMs. But we have Fee free Wawa markets on every corner.
    I learned to keep and use my cell phone from the left hip. I now keep my money in front left, keys in front left.

  12. Nolan Says:

    I smile at everyone I meet, meeting them in the eyes. It comes off as friendly. It’s also a way to let people know I have seen you, and have your face to memory.

  13. Bob Smith Says:

    Check to make sure my doors are locked when I pull up to a stop light and see pedestrians. Have bear spray available that can spray 30′ in case someone pulls up yelling and threatening me with road rage. Better to spray him than to shoot him.

  14. HL Says:

    I drive a shitty vehicle, and try to dress shabbily…I also quit shaving my beard.

    I do my best to appear as if I have emerged from the Dark Ages, so that goblins figure I am not worth the time or the effort, or that I might be one of them.

  15. mike Says:

    the kid walks on my left and holds my weak hand.

  16. Rivrdog Says:

    Hand axe in driver’s door pocket, not in scabbard. Doors locked, with does up…minor mileage penalty of using A/C is easy to pay. Driving course showed me how to avoid the Pursuit Intervention Technique (“PIT” maneuver), which anyone, not just the police, can use to stop your car.

  17. Rustmeister Says:

    Try not to be first at a stoplight. More likely to be carjacked if you are.

  18. Chad Says:

    I too carry things in my left hand, but I did that long before I took up carrying a gun, thanks to the education I received from Uncle Sam’s Floating Circus about keeping my right hand free when out and about in order to salute if necessary.

  19. The Duck Says:

    I only drive retired police cars complete with push bumper and spot light there are times they scatter 1/2 block away

  20. RandyGC Says:

    I’m another one that keeps windows up and in gear when using an ATM. Pull up as close as possible so someone can’t squeeze in between the building and truck, put window up before pulling out. If a goblin does pop up it’s foot to the floor on the accelerator.

    I usually do a wide approach to any ATM to ensure the area is clear, and never pull in behind a vehicle already at the ATM, I keep out in the parking lot until they are clear. There are only a few I use regularly, so I pretty well know what’s normal for the local environment.

    One not mentioned is that I will go blocks out of my way to avoid passing a cop at a traffic stop. I don’t want to be in close if the stoppee decides he wants go out in a blaze of glory.

  21. Harry Sucio Says:

    I always put my keys in my pocket – I generally have both hands free. I never play with my cell phone on the street or in public – if I need to, I will find an out of the way spot to use my phone. I always do an area scan before I leave or approach my car. I lock my doors the second I enter my car. I live in California where I can legally carry folding knives so I carry 2 at all times. I have pepper spray in all the cars in easy reach to the driver (I purchased a brand that can withstand high temps for car storage). I always wear shoes I can run or fight in (I never wear flip flops – I wear slip on Vans or Topsider-type shoes instead).

  22. trackerk Says:

    Lots of good tips above. Here is mine.

    Don’t be so eager to walk out the door, any door. Pause and scan your surroundings for pirates and ninjas while you can still retreat to safety. If there be monsters, take a step back and flip the lock shut.

    One of my students reported using this once and said she was uncomfortable with the traffic jam behind her when she paused at the door. Let them go ahead of you I said. They’re on point.

  23. Mike V. Says:

    I never leave home, even to go to the corner store, without the essentials: gun, spare ammo, flashlight, knife. Keep aware of the environment. Don’t park near bushes, other cars or where its dark. If your “spidey sense’ starts to tingle, its doing it for a reason – look out.

  24. Cargosquid Says:

    I learned, while working for an armored car company, that while watching people’s faces allowed me to ID them, it took my eyes off of their hands. I’d rather watch their hands. If I can see their hands, I get a feel of what they are immediately prepared to do.

    Keep things in weak hand….which led to shoulder damage….should have used a push cart for all that money….. 50lb bags of quarters….etc.

    Leave space between cars at stops. Drive in left or right lanes, allowing more access to median, turns, or sidewalk.

    I’m going to have to get some spray…that’s a good idea.

  25. Nathan Says:

    As far as defensive driving, along with keeping extra space in front of me, I try to stay out of middle lanes as much as possible. I can drive over a curb or median but not another car.

    I also unbuckle my seat belt a little ways (1/2 a block or so) before I reach my destination. I don’t want to get caught as soon as I arrive and not be able to bail out.

    If I see a car driving especially reckless, I note the make, model, and plate number.

    I am super extra careful putting my toddler in the car. It takes me twice as long because I frequently stop and scan the surroundings.

  26. Xman Says:

    I flashbang, dynamically enter, pie off, and clear every public toilet stall I use. Can’t be too careful these days.

    For safety’s sake, I do not unholster my secondary weapons system – it simply rests in a “nest” created by my dropped 5.11 Tactical belt, trouser, and undergarment systems. If the “optempo” is moving too slow for my liking, I’ll pop smoke to provide additional concealment/air freshening and radio Household 6 for any frag orders.

    Ideally, you want to be in and out – rush and flush – in no more than three minutes. Any longer than that and you can bet the mall QRF will be all over your AO. But as we all know, no plan survives first contact.

    Remember to yell “One coming out!” when you’ve finished delivering the package and need to exfil the stall. Don’t wanna surprise the overwatch.

    Wash your hands for cripes sake and move smartly back to the rallypoint at Cinnabon.

    Stay safe.

  27. Kristopher Says:

    Xman: You forgot the 500 rounds of practice shooting each morning.

  28. Zendo Deb Says:

    I always practice flinging whatever if in my right-hand while my left hand exposes the gun. (In Florida, I mostly used a fanny pack…. not so much because of sun and shorts, but because I had dropped to much stuff overboard.)

    Whatever works …

  29. Zendo Deb Says:

    And a grocery bag full of canned veggies (freezer on the boat wasn’t all that good) make a great improvised weapon.

  30. SPQR Says:

    I think Xman is thread winner.

  31. Patrick Says:

    Xman: Stay away from mall Chinese Food or you’ll end up hitting the same AO twice in one mission.

    And still be hungry.

  32. Skip Says:

    Still haven’t heard of a good solution of what to do with a pistol whilst dumping.

  33. Jerry Says:

    I constantly carry, and have for longer than I care to admit. Around my neck of the woods, people tend to keep to themselves. I used to work in bigger city, where I learned the not every smiling face is friendly. Best advice would be not to rely on your weapon for self confidence. It is a man made object. It will wear out. I don’t care what it is made of. Even my favorite carry (knife, pistol, rifle, etc,…).

  34. Leon Says:

    I don’t use ATMs.

    I do pay attention to my surroundings.

  35. Seerak Says:

    In-bank ATM’s only during bank hours, pull relatively large amount of cash and “restock” the wallet over time to minimize visits. Only use cash for sub-$20 purchases.

    I don’t avoid the middle lane tho, as it’s the best place to maintain all-around space cushion and have at least some lead time for idiot driver surprises coming from any direction (ordinary car accidents remain the dominant danger on the road).

    Any ideas for gas stations? I F-ing hate needing gas after dinnertime.

  36. Aaron Says:

    Pay in small bills so your cash wad draws less attention. It minimizes time in-store fumbling while a clerk makes change, plus it’s just plain courteous, especially for mom-and-pops in small towns that don’t have easy access to a bank to break large bills.

  37. jay Says:

    wait what.

    you’re in a metal box which is impervious to knifes, fists, clubs, everything except for firearms (and it’ll at least take some energy out of rounds), which is also known for its ability to rapidly move faster than any unaided human, and you get out of it when you’re concerned about your safety?

    leave the thing in gear, keep your foot on the brake.

  38. Xman Says:

    “Still haven’t heard of a good solution of what to do with a pistol whilst dumping.”

    5.11 tactical underwear system jokes aside, the pants & drawers “nest” technique works well for an IWB holster, especially if you wear it back toward 4:30 or so. Yout don’t have to unholster the pistol or even take the holster off the belt. It pretty much naturally flops over into the nest where it’s accessable and even fairly well hidden to anyone outside the stall.

    The best thing about it is that it eliminates the possibility of Forgotten-Glock-On-The-TP-Dispenser Syndrome.

    This is officially the upper limit of my comfort zone in doling out potty advice to adults.

  39. A Critic Says:

    “A sitting duck with a gun is still a sitting duck.”

    Ducks don’t have guns. I went to the ATM last night and put the Bond Arms .45 on the lap. Most thieves will run away at the sight of a gun, most of the rest will cease thieving with a .45 in their chest. I am in one of the safer parts of one of the safest states though.

  40. SPQR Says:

    Like Xman, when carrying and using a toilet, I find myself happiest when I drop pants, push the holster/gun in so it lays between my feet atop the pants. That way it is not visible to someone peeking under the stall walls and is not accessible to a neighboring stall to grab.

    I also use the widest stall aka the “handicap” stall to keep it away from the neighboring stall as much as possible.

    With respect to gas stations, I need to think about that. I’m finding that there is more confrontations there with homeless / grifters than before. A crowded one has a lot of other cars and obstacles for hostiles to use for concealment to approach. Not happy yet with any particular SOP’s for gas stations.

  41. RandyGC Says:

    “Still haven’t heard of a good solution of what to do with a pistol whilst dumping.”

    One of the benefits of using a shoulder holster (I love my Galco Miami Classic). This then becomes a non-issue.

    Also MUCH easier to get to when sitting in a vehicle and seat belted (such as at an ATM) than my IWB holster.

  42. Justthisguy Says:

    I’ve been obeying Derbyshire’s 10 rules since long before they were codified.

  43. richard Says:

    Acknowledge people you see (nod,”good morning” etc.). Don’t walk too close to buildings or fences/walls. Pay attention to where people could be. Slice the pie at corners and entrance ways. All the other suggestions are good too. The gun you have with you is better than the one in your closet, at home.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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