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Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

November 10, 2022
Mike Sampson

An old proverb, but relevant for today with nationwide crime increases. Hoping for the best is a positive trait, but preparing for the worst offers a solid Plan B.

Fox News reported:

“Violent crimes have reached unprecedented numbers in the last two years, with murders increasing by nearly 30% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to FBI data. By 2021, homicides continued to rise in major American cities across the country, with the Council on Criminal Justice releasing data in January showing a 5% increase in homicides compared to 2020’s wildly bloody year.”

If you watch the news, you already know that life and personal safety become more dangerous by the day, and crime is not confined to major cities. Shootings, road rage and violence are daily occurrences in many cities and rural areas as well.

So how does one prepare for such circumstances? Some ideas to consider might be:

Increase your situational awareness and threat awareness. Scan and assess your surroundings constantly and make mental notes of potential problems and dangers, and unusual circumstances. If conditions don’t seem right, they probably aren’t.
Stay off your cell phone unless you can assure your security. Back up to a wall or find a corner so nobody can get behind you if you have to be distracted on your cell.
If you carry, always do so where and when you can.
Know your limitations, your weapons and the defensive ammo you use. Put in range time regularly.
Remind yourself daily that you can take another’s life if you need to protect yours or someone else’s.
Use a quality gun belt and holster.
Practice your draw and dry fire to cement a threat response, with all types of clothing you might wear.
Get used to firing your weapon on your weak side. I took a two-day CCW class in New Mexico and that was a requirement to pass. Good idea.
Carry extra ammo.
Practice reloads.
Know your local and state firearms laws.
If you travel, understand state reciprocity and Constitutional carry. If reciprocity in another state you’ll visit means getting a CCW in your state, do it. Look at regularly for state laws.
If you can, do some Internet research on crime statistics where you live, work, or may travel. One source for information by zip code location is  Keep in mind some police departments are lax in reporting crime statistics.
Be selective of where and when you go. There’s that situational awareness again!
Keep in mind carjackings happen all too often in some places and reportedly are up 300% in 2022. Think about how to stay secure in your vehicle.
Be aware of road rage and how it can escalate.
My wife learned a long time ago that when we go out to eat, I never sit with my back to any main entrance. Restaurants historically are easy targets for crime and violence.
If faced with entering a “gun free” zone or business, decide if you really need to be there unarmed.
Leaving a firearm not in a secured container in your car can be a problem with vehicle break-ins. Always lock your vehicle, and maybe do so when getting fuel if you must leave your vehicle unattended even briefly.
Safe storage of firearms is critical. My best everyday storage is the holster on my hip.

Keep in mind you are your best self-protection and first responder. Law enforcement has no obligation to protect you, and the “defund the police” and “soft on crime” movements are alive and well in too many places.

Lastly, do all you can to avoid a potentially lethal confrontation.

One always can be optimistic and hope for best, but prepare for the worst. If you prepare for the worst, hopefully you can expect the best. Continue to Stay safe, be prepared. ~ Mike

Mike Sampson
Mike now calls Northwestern Arkansas home, but has lived and worked in several states and internationally. He has been an independent contractor and consultant since 2006 specializing in risk management, emergency management and training. In addition to work as a law-enforcement planner and technical writer with the Boise, Idaho, Police Department, he has experience in journalism, crop and animal agriculture, dryland farming for 20 years in western Kansas, plant and animal diseases, pandemic influenza, agroterrorism, bioterrorism, food safety and healthcare marketing.

He has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and has newspaper and agency writing and editing experience. At Washington State University in Pullman, he earned a master’s degree emphasizing adult education and communications.

While living in Lander, WY, Mike provided photographic coverage of the One-Shot Antelope Hunt for three years, and got to meet and accompany folks such as Chuck Yeager, Carroll Shelby, Buzz Aldrin, Dale Robertson and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf on their hunts. He also worked as an outfitter’s guide.


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