How to Make Yourself a Hard Target

posted on January 15, 2021
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One thing to keep in mind is that criminals don’t want a fair fight. In fact, they would prefer to get their way without any sort of fight at all. They also don’t have fancy tactical seminars with all sorts of technical terms that inform and impress. But they do have training—it’s called prison and jail. And many of them do a pretty good job of learning how to spot and stalk a victim from listening to the older, more experienced crooks. 

A favorite target of the criminal are those citizens who appear weak or elderly. Just like the lion on the plains of Africa, they will single out the old or infirm, and for the same reason; they are an easier target. Now, we can’t do anything about our age and we can often do little about being infirm. But we do have the power to get in as good a physical shape as possible our particular situation. We can also realize, as the years and miles go by, that we look like easy pickings and do something about it. It may just mean that we rely more on friends and family for support and protection. It does mean that we never give up on training, practice, and finding ways to make ourselves a harder target.

Criminals also like victims who are preoccupied and not paying attention. It is simply easier to slip up on this kind of victim and gain control before they are really aware of what is going on. Some years ago, I visited with an armed robber who told me that his favorite convenience store clerks were young women. He said they would often stand behind the counter, reading a magazine, totally oblivious to what was going on around them. And, today, you might notice how many people you see walking around with their head down, engrossed in their smartphone.

It is also the preoccupied citizen who continually forgets to lock their doors, at home and in the car. They are also the people who wander around the big parking lot because they can’t seem to remember where they parked their car. For whatever reason, they are not paying attention to what is going on around them and this makes them a likely candidate for the criminal.

It is also not about what your intentions are so much as the perception that you convey. Do you conduct yourself like a meek little lamb or like a person who is on a mission and paying attention? If it is the latter, then you will never know how many criminals have looked at you and decided to try to find easier pickings. 

The armed citizen should give serious thought to what sort of image he or she conveys to the criminal. And one should continually examine their personal situation to try to find ways to appear as a hard, difficult target. The criminal will go elsewhere to ply his trade and, for you, that’s a good thing.


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