Sheriff Jim: Stand Out in a Crowd

Sheriff Jim reflects on SHOT Show 2023 and the need to be aware in crowds.

posted on January 24, 2023
Sheriff Jim

I spent this past week in Las Vegas at the SHOT Show. Typical of most SHOT Shows there was a lot of good stuff to see and it was very crowded. And, from a tactical standpoint, I was amazed at the lack of awareness on the part of way too many of the attendees. People were bumping into or walking in front of others. Some were even pushing their way into booths to look at various products. And far too many people were totally unaware of what was going on around them.

Now, I’m not picking on the SHOT Show. You see this sort of conduct at just about any function that is attended by large numbers of people. It is the same at large amusement parks, sporting events and music concerts. The crowd mentality seems to take over.

One of the reasons for this is because people are excited to be at the event. They have been waiting for some time and anticipating having a good time. They may be looking forward to seeing and hearing their favorite performer or they are rooting for their favorite team. In many cases, alcohol may be involved. Regardless of how much fun they are having, they forget that they can still be victims.

Another reason for the lack of awareness at huge events is the fact that people just get tired. Your feet hurt, your knees hurt and you didn’t get near enough sleep last night. When we get tired, we get careless.

And a third reason is that people just feels secure. After all, they are among their own kind of people. And there is a tendency to feel more secure in a large crowd. You don’t feel like you stand out, instead you are just one of many.

So what do you do? To begin with you remind yourself to take your manners along. Just because others are being ill-mannered and pushy doesn’t mean that you need to be, too. In addition, instead of getting right in the middle of things, stay on the edge so that you can avoid problems and get away from them quicker. And, finally, you rest whenever you can ... go sit down ... drink some coffee ... relax a bit.

I had a great time at the 2023 SHOT Show and there were no personal defense issues that I am aware of. Still, it’s a good idea to remember that large crowds are a place where your defensive antennas need to be all the way up and fully functional.


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