As a photographer, I would much rather shoot with my camera than with a gun. I am alone a lot though, looking for the next original and sometimes illusive shot. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s not always safe to be alone. I am not a ‘gun nut’. Guns are loud. I hate the recoil. Most of all I hate the thought of shooting someone and seeing the end result.
But I do own several guns. I know how to use all of them. AND I am not afraid to use one if I have to! But I don’t ever want to have to use a gun. So I have found ways to stay safe so I will hopefully never have to use my gun.
11 Tips on Staying Safe Even Without Owning a Gun
1. Be aware of your surroundings. Dang! That means you have to put your cell phone away! How many times have you seen someone walking around looking at their cell phone, indifferent to the rest of the universe . Let me tell you now: Someone with ill intent may be watching you. So put your phone away and pay attention to your surroundings.
2. Look as if you are walking with a purpose, especially if you’re by yourself. Keep your head up with a determined look on your face. The easy targets are people who don’t look as if they’re are going any where; those who don’t look self-assured.
3. Take a dog with you if possible. Most attackers will steer clear of people with dogs.
4. Always back in to a parking spot. This serves a couple of purposes. a) You can exit faster if you’re challenged. You can just start your vehicle and drive away. b) When you arrive ready to park, your mirrors and windows are warmed up, defrosted, and cleared. A lot of times, when you want to leave, your mirrors and windows may be fogged. If you need to leave in a hurry all you need is a clear windshield. Back in, drive out.
5. Freak out !! If someone tries to attack you, act crazy, insane. Use the element of surprise. Be crazier than your attacker. Flail your arms, legs, scratch, bite, spit. Your attacker is banking on the expectation of weakness.
6. Use your voice. Scream as if you are starring in a horror movie. A lot of times your attacker is looking for easy prey and screaming as if you are being murdered will startle them. Even if nobody is around. You may have nothing to lose by trying it.
7. Keep a pen, pencil or your keys with you all the time. You can use them as a weapon. Always target the most sensitive parts of the body like the eyes, ears, throat or crotch.
8. Self defense classes teach you how to use your body as a weapon. Jujitsu can be one of the best forms sof self defense.
9. Use a whistle. That may sound kind of hokey, but if you know you are going to be alone, put a good quality whistle around your neck. As I mentioned above, the element of surprise is a great weapon, and who the heck carries a whistle around with them?
10. Carry a can of pepper spray with you all the time. It’s not fool-proof but it certainly can give you an improved chance.
11. Most important, remember the number one rule: Situational awareness. Be aware of your surroundings and of the people you encounter. If you have a gut feeling that you shouldn’t be somewhere, don’t second guess yourself. Just leave.
Stay safe out there!
More info on keeping yourself safe can be found here: