Dear Fellow Survivalist;
One thing we tend to forget is that criminals are human too. I’m not trying to say they’re just like you and I, because they’re not. I don’t know if they have a screw loose or something disconnected, but they sure don’t look at the people around them like the rest of us do. Where we see people with lives and needs, they just see a bunch of potential targets and try to grade those as to how well they might enrich the criminal’s life.
But they are human in the sense that they are subject to the same things the rest of us are. They get hot and cold, tired, hungry, lonely, sad, angry and all the rest of the things that the rest of us deal with. Those things can actually affect their criminal activity.
Statistics haven’t come out on it yet, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the crime rate was extremely low in Texas, during the week of 15 – 19 February. With freezing temperatures, power outages and water shortages, criminals were too busy trying to stay warm, to bother with anything else.
Of course, the tables could have been turned if supplies ran short. But while the grocery store shelves were just about bare, things never reached the point where people were starving. Had it got to that point, then people probably would have been out, trying to get their hands on whatever they could, by whatever means they could. And I don’t mean just professional criminals either.
Another thing that’s important to remember about most criminals is that they are fundamentally lazy. I don’t mean lazy like really smart people are, where they’ll try and find an easier way to do things. I mean lazy in the sense that they don’t want to work. They choose crime as a way of meeting their needs, because they don’t want to work. Some actually think they’re so smart, they’ve found a way to avoid working.
Granted, there are some criminals who have decided to live a life of crime because they can’t get a job, due to some underlying reason, like drugs. But even then, that was a decision. Nobody forced them onto drugs, at least no more than applying peer pressure. Their lifestyle is still their choice.
Okay, so what does this have to do with protecting ourselves from these criminals?
The thing is, since criminals are lazy, they aren’t likely to go out in the rain or cold to commit crimes. There are some interesting statistics about this, where crime rates drop during times of extreme cold or nasty weather. The criminals stay home, probably drinking beer and watching television, as they wait for better weather.
This isn’t the only thing that gives criminals reason to stay at home. Like I said, they’re human too. When I lived in the Denver area, the police had statistics showing how the crime rate dropped during every Broncos game. Apparently a lot of criminals were football fans and didn’t want to miss the game, in order to go to “work.”
I know it sounds a bit strange, but it’s possible to establish the risk of criminal action by looking at factors like these. While criminals may not be rocket scientists, they have an animal-like cunning when it comes to their own self-preservation. Anything that puts them at risk or that puts them through discomfort can deter them from taking criminal action.
So how do football games fit into that? It’s the discomfort part. It is comfortable to sit there swilling beer and rooting for your favorite team. So if that’s the case, then not getting to sit there doing that is the opposite, making it uncomfortable. Hence, it’s a deterrent.
Taking this a step further, one question that we should be asking ourselves is what we can do to make it more uncomfortable for any criminals who try to pay our home a visit. In the movie “Home Alone” and its sequel, Kevin McAllister set traps for the criminals trying to get into his family’s home, making life unquestionably uncomfortable for them. Nothing he did was actually dangerous, in the sense of being an imminent threat of life and limb; but it was uncomfortable nonetheless. In doing so, he succeeded in protecting his home.
While I don’t recommend using the movie Home Alone as a guide for securing your home, I do recommend finding ways of making things more difficult for criminals. While I wouldn’t go so far as to put in booby traps, which are illegal, I would plant thorny bushes underneath windows and as a hedge around your yard. Install lights on motion sensors. Put in cameras. Get a noisy dog. Anything that makes it harder for them to get in, without attracting attention or suffering pain is to your benefit.
Understanding criminal psychology is an important part of deterrence, which is why it is studied by so many police departments. The more you and I know about it, the better we can stop those criminals, before the police even see them.
Just another thing to add to our bag of tricks; the same one we keep our survival gear in, while keeping our powder dry.