Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

The Threat You Know

ImageTake a minute, close your eyes, and vividly imagine you’re being attacked. It’s a familiar location – the office parking lot, outside a friend’s house or in your car. Suddenly you’re attacked. In as much detail as possible see what the threat looks like in your mind’s eye. Do this now, and then read on.

What did the threat look like? As they create this scene in their mind most people will have a preconceived notion of what type person they’ll be attacked by. The truth is almost anyone out there, like an eight-year old child or an elderly adult, could be a threat. This is important, because when someone attacks you and the threat’s appearance is unexpected, it could cause you to hesitate.

When you imagined your threat was it someone you know? Imagining being attacked by a friend or family member isn’t pleasant to think about, but the data indicates that in a majority of violent confrontations the adversaries know each other. A 2001 study by the Justice Department and Centers for Disease control and Prevention discovered that in eighty percent of violent confrontations the victims knew their attackers. The threat may be a close friend or family member. De Becker, in The Gift Of Fear, states, “Many young murderers kill within the family…” Being attacked by a person you know is a strong possibility.

Once someone decides to attack you his or her personal identity is no longer a factor to consider. A person with the ability to cause you or another person serious bodily injury or death and who is displaying intent to act has crossed the Rubicon. That person is now a threat. Your job is to stop the threat. Verbal commands, creating distance, and using cover – whether they have a weapon or not – may change their mind and solve your problem. Or not.

A real danger to be aware of is not objectively acknowledging a known threat’s intent and capabilities. Knowing them and thinking they would never do such a thing, or that you have the ability to influence their actions, could cause you to underestimate their potential for violence. If the threat is normally extremely stable and suddenly begins acting dangerous then the worm has definitely turned for them. They may no longer care one bit for what you think or say.

A known threat may also attempt to use their relationship with you as a manipulation tool. When someone is acting dangerous they should be treated as dangerous. You’re not a mind reader, so it’s always better to play it safe.

Obviously there are people you know well and recognize that they will never put you in a bad situation. Then there are those you know and realize they could potentially present a problem, especially if alcohol, drugs, or mental instability are plugged into the equation. The key is to stay aware of those around you, just like we always do, and constantly be ready for the unexpected.

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May 3, 2012 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset

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