Intimidation as a Part of Self-Defense

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking self-defense means being ready to fight and being better than the other guy. That’s what we train for, right? But there’s always a risk in getting involved in any fight; that is, the other guy might be better. For that matter, he might just be lucky that day. Either way, defending ourselves might result in injury or even death.

Now, I know the argument that most criminals aren’t good shots. They use their guns to intimidate and really don’t want to have to shoot anyone. I get that. You and I can probably outshoot them for accuracy and speed. But I really don’t want to put that to the test if I don’t have to. As I said, they could always have a lucky day. Besides, they usually have the drop on us.

The purpose of any such altercation is not to beat them to the draw; nor is it to shoot better than they do. The real purpose is to walk away from the altercation unscathed, with the criminal either running away or in handcuffs. Nothing else really matters.

With that being the case, there are more ways to win than by outshooting them. Running away could be one such way. Avoiding the altercation can be another. That’s what I want to talk about right now, one way of avoiding such an altercation, so that you can go home safely, without having to draw your gun. I’ve been in four potential shootout situations in my life, and I haven’t had to draw my sidearm once.

I’m referring to using intimidation to get the criminal to back off, before things get nasty. But I’m not talking about overt intimidation; the kind of statements that guys throw at each other in a bar, trying to either egg the other guy on or get him to back off, just before the fists start flying.

The basic concept is that there are some people you just know not to mess with. I have a brother-in-law like that. He’s a really nice guy; but he’s also 6’ 6” tall and built like a NFL lineman. He can be intimidating just because of his size, without doing a thing. Although he carries, he’s never had to reach for his gun or even show that he’s carrying, because criminals take one look at him and don’t want to take him on.

I’m nowhere near 6’ 6” tall and built more like the Great Pumpkin than a football lineman. Nevertheless, I’ve learned that I can be intimidating too. While my brother-in-law has the benefit of being naturally intimidating, because of his size, I’ve had to develop intimidation as an attitude, learning how to act in a way that intimidates potential adversaries.

Ok, so how do I do this?

The first part of being intimidating is to not allow yourself to be intimidated by others. Criminals look for potential victims, by looking for those who look like they are easily cowed. If you strut through life confident, with your head held high, you don’t look like a good victim. Looking people in the eye is intimidating to those criminals as well, as they don’t want their potential victims to remember them. You also convey the idea that you are not afraid when you look people in the eye.

The second thing to do ties right in with that first statement. That is, don’t just look at them, but turn towards them or better yet, walk towards them while looking at them. This takes the idea of you projecting an image of not being afraid to the next level, conveying the idea that you are ready for a confrontation, should that be necessary.

There was a time when my wife was followed home by a couple of guys in a truck, who looked like they could be troublemakers. She called me from her car, as she pulled into our driveway and they followed her in. I was in my workshop at the time, so all I had to do was walk out the door, which I did with a 3-pound hammer in my hand. Even though there were two of them and they were in better shape than I am, they didn’t want anything to do with me.

I’ve also found it extremely useful to uncover my gun in such cases, without taking it out of my holster. While I didn’t uncover my pistol in that case, there was another time, back when my wife and I lived in an apartment. The renters across the hall were drug dealers and they didn’t like my wife looking at their car, checking the window sticker to see if they had a right to park there. Two big guys came and pounded on our door, seeking to intimidate her.

That didn’t work out for them, as I took my shirt off before answering the door, exposing my pistol on my belt. While they were both bigger than me, younger, and in better shape, I was the one who was armed. You never saw to guys backpedal so fast in your life. Never had a bit of trouble with them after that, even though they were chronic trouble makers.

It’s not about how big you are, how good a fighter you are, or how mean you act. More than anything, it’s looking like you’re ready for trouble. That is a signal that trouble makers don’t want to see. Use it to your advantage and let your gun gather dust in its holster.

Having your gun is being prepared, just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand. Being able to win the fight without ever having to use it is wisdom. Use both.

Dr. Rich

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