Day after day I read articles ranging from “The Best Handgun for Self Defense” to “The best Martial Art for Doomsday.” I’m not knocking these articles, I think they’re hitting the nail on the head! My goal for this post is to keep it short, sweet, and get you to think outside of that mindset for a moment.
I spend a fair amount of time preparing myself for the possibility that I may need to defend myself or my family. I also spend a great deal of time looking for ways to reduce my footprint as a potential target. I would rather be well trained in firearms, knives, martial arts, and never need to use them thanks to keeping my presence unnoticed.
I have a neighbor within a few miles who no joke, has a sniper lookout built into his roof, preps visible, and a military “deuce and a half” truck parked in his driveway. In a nasty situation, he would be defending himself without question. His open display of his preparations identifies him as a valuable target.
I’m not suggesting you sever all ties with humanity, run to the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and go all Mick Dodge on us. What I’m suggesting is essentially consider operational security (OPSEC) and throw in a little ninja-quiet!
Here are some things I do to minimize my appearance as a potential target:
Wear regular clothes
When it comes to being a target, many folks believe that wearing military uniforms or tactical clothing invoke a “fear factor” which makes them seem like a harder target. This may be true, but at this point, you have drawn attention to yourself. What if you appeared as the easy target, but nobody even noticed you? I’d rather go unnoticed, than draw attention to myself and HAVE to use other methods of self-defense.
Much like above, many believe that open-carry of weapons displays that they aren’t to be messed with. I’d rather keep my cards close to my chest. First, I don’t want you to know what weapons I have and be able to attack in a way that prevents me from accessing them, second if you don’t see my weapons, you may not notice me, while an AR-15 slung over my shoulder is a big eye-catcher. Further, a weapon itself is a valuable item!
Hide preparations from view
Have we beat this to death yet? Let’s consider at home. My food storage is in an under-stair storage. It’s not out in plain view. My garden is in raised planters and grown neatly to appear like any other garden. Nothing abnormal here, right? If you visited my home today you would not know I was a “prepper,” and that is exactly my intent.
Although in an urban environment, this would draw even more attention, in a rural environment, large preps can be easily hidden using military camouflage nets, similar to this one.
So, why is self-defense not enough?
Because, it is better to never have been targeted in the first place.
Again, let me stress that I think you should practice self-defense. Train in a martial art, and spend time at the range with your weapons. However consider ways to mitigate your appearance as a worthwhile target, without drawing more attention.
I hope this got you thinking outside of the box with regards to self-defense, and considering additional steps so that you may not actually need to use those skills!