As Christmas nears and the busy-ness of getting prepared weighs in heavier, those familiar two things seems to always happen; we become very focused on shopping, decorating, baking, standing in long lines, filling out Christmas cards, and running out of time, and we develop an almost magical belief that everyone in the world is a good person and that this is the time of year when all of mankind will put aside their differences for the next few weeks and be descent, honest, wholesome people. Well maybe everyone except that lady who just shoved down the stack of creepy realistic dolls in the middle of the isle tripping everyone running behind her just so she could get her hands on that last singing/drumming/rocking/8 D cell taking/obnoxious new Elmo.
Unfortunately those familiar two things can be the most devastating thing to happen to us all year. They cause us to become unaware and unbelieving that assaults, break-ins, muggings, and rapes still happen in the month of December. As we rush out of our homes more hurriedly each day Christmas draws closer and seem to get back home with more bags of stuff to bring inside than last time, Old Faithful just doesn’t seem as convenient or as necessary, as we justify with that recurring thought, “It’s Christmas. Who’s gonna do something this time of year?”
What a great opportunity to remind ourselves that criminals and assailants do not take time off for the holidays. Quite the contrary, FBI studies show 21% increases in crime during the month of December and there are some physiology reports that indicate that the Holidays is a strong, contributing factor as to why. The sadistic adversary becomes more depressed, jealous, and maniacal during this time of year as generally they come from broken homes where Christmas was not celebrated appropriately, if at all, and through their eyes they see people doing for their families what others never did for them. They see a warm, loving couple coming in to their nice home with both their hands “tied” with shopping bags filled with “scores” (literally) of good stuff.
Keep in mind this is just a reminder of what can so easily be forgotten and it is not to drive a person to a point of paranoia. So to make the most out of your Christmas season try these helpful pointers to keep your Holidays safe:
- When leaving the home, don’t forget Old Faithful. Keep in mind that this time of year is colder and therefore you will be dressed in more/bulkier layers. Practice your concealment technique for presentation. Also, your adversary will be more heavily dressed, so a heavier round will be necessary. Might be a good time to consider full metal jackets instead of hollow-points.
- Stay aware at all times. Remember you look the most distracted when you are reaching for your wallet to make a purchase, walking to your car through a busy parking lot, bringing in arm-fulls of bags into your home and fighting with keys at the door. Speaking of walking to your car in a busy parking lot. Try to park next to light poles or cart returns to provide more than usual attention to you. Walk down the middle of the car lane on your way to your car to avoid people hiding out in between cars trying to get the jump on you. Obviously get out of the way of cars driving towards you.
- When in a busy place like a mall, minimize your normal attention to detail when scanning your surroundings. Your mind can not absorb all of the information and you will get fatigued. Instead look for changes within the movement: A man walking briskly and then suddenly stopping and changing direction, a person walking with both hands in their coat pockets, a person all alone and NOT on their cell phone, a woman walking up to you in the parking lot asking for help/money. These might not at all be criminals, but as meteorologists say, “Just because it’s hailing doesn’t mean there is a tornado, but it always hails when there is a tornado.”
- Keep your “strong” hand free at much as absolutely possible. Put all of your bags in your other hand. Try to not where gloves if possible.
- Have a dummy wallet. Pack it full of Monolpoly money, those fake credit cards you get in the mail, and even a fake driver’s license you printed off the internet. Put a funny address on it that says, “4 Gettaboutur Way, Eyewon, NY. Put your real wallet somewhere less obvious. Remember criminals know this is the time of giving and they know you are prepared with lots of cash/plastic.
- Identify a plan in every store you go. Look for places of escape AND cover. The best way out might just be a fight.
- Don’t forget to train no matter how busy you get. Keep your dry fire schedule going at least somewhat. Make it the range at least once this month. Dry practice with your winter coat on. See how hard it is to access, maneuver, and swivel your head.
Well that is all for now. I would like to personally ask that you all remember Jesus this Christmas year and would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Be safe out there.