Or, Simple Things You Can Do:
- Park in well-lighted lots with an attendant. You may have to pay for this privilege. Hereabouts, they usually want $5, $10 for "special events." How much is your life worth?
- There's safety in numbers. Two is the minimum!
- If you're drinking, either take a cab or have a non-drinking designated driver. You know what's more likely than being the victim of a crime? A traffic stop. And an arrest.
- If you are driving (sober), have your keys out before you are at your car. Don't stand there at the door and fumble for them; you can be pinned up against it. Unlock, get in, and lock the door as you shut it.
- Let's talk active defense. A "taser" or "stunner" of the most-common (and affordable) sort is a contact weapon. It has to touch Mr. Badguy. It's better not to get that close. Most kinds of pepper spray are legal in Indiana and they're effective over a greater distance; but don't count on them incapacitating an attacker from very far away or for very long -- get away to where people are or inside your car as fast as you can. If you're going to carry a firearm, follow the rules: get a permit. Take a basic class. Take more classes when you can. Determine the best way for you to carry. Practice -- and understand, you must be in fear for your life to use it. (The thing about guns is, they require an investment of time, money and effort. Compared to other martial arts -- hand-to-hand, sword, whatever -- competence is not difficult to attain and is not physically demanding, but unless you do, you only have a very close-range weapon, pretty much like pepper spray or a stunner. Don't count on the sight of a gun scaring an assailant away; it might happen, but it might not.)
- But there's another defensive tool you probably already own: once you are in your car with the doors locked, you command a "weapon" more powerful than a gun. It doesn't move as fast, but it weighs a lot more. Bad guys run from it if it moves their way. You can re-aim it while it's in motion. And you already practice with it every day. Yes, your car may be a comfortable, familiar item, but it's deadly dangerous, too. (Seriously, not everyone is a gunnie, and with all love to L. Neil Smith and the delightful characters in his novels, not everyone will be if they are offered the chance, either -- but a whole lot of people drive cars). I have been taken to task for advising readers to "run down a badguy with their car." No, don't do that; get in, lock the doors and LEAVE. Flee; you are in fear for your life. I don't think you're obliged to yield the right-of-way to someone attacking you. (Get local legal advice; IANAL) I do think he's likely to step back right smartly. In that way, a car is a "weapon:" a powerful thing unlikely to be challenged. But don't go all Batman about it, just get away. Find a policeman. Jeepers, one would think it wouldn't be necessary to advise against attempted vehicular homicide; people run away from cars, well-nigh universally, and if they are running away, what are they, class? That's right: they are no longer a threat.
- Be aware of your surroundings. It's a great big beautiful world out there but you've got to look out for the thorns among the roses instead of letting them find you.
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