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How to Stop Being an Easy Target?

A criminal is always looking for an easy target. So in many cases, they attack targets of opportunity. But what is a target of opportunity? I remember hearing about a 13 years old little girl that got kidnapped and killed in North Carolina. I believe she walked outside to her family vehicle, and a low life criminal took her away. Unfortunately, he was able to do horrific things to this young child. It is sad to see this in our country. However, we need to understand that the devil is here to kill and destroy. We need to be in control of our security and stop being an easy target. So how do you become a difficult person to target? In this blog, I will share some of my opinions base on my military career. In the Marines, we use a straightforward concept called “Hard Vs. Soft target”.

Change your Mindset!

Mindset

So first, we need to change our mindset. I said this because we are currently leaving in a wonderful country. However, people tend to be comfortable, and many Americans are not establishing a security plan. Also, many individuals are placing their own personal security needs on the hands of the government, and to me, that is a big mistake. Obviously, the government plays a significant role as they protect us from foreign countries, terrorist threats and much more. However, your personal and family security is your responsibility. By all means, call the police but do not be a victim and have a plan to protect your family from violent attacks. Changing your Mindset is the first step to becoming a hard target.

A Hard Target Provides?

Jarhead6

So before I get on what is a hard vs. soft targets and ways to improve your security, I want to talk about deterrence. This is a crucial factor, mainly because knowingly or unknowingly we could stop an attack or welcome a criminal offense. Here is my point, deterrence essentially means discouraging an attack from happening. So you are preventing the bad guy from attacking your home, family or yourself by the acts you do on your daily routine. This is when Hard Vs. Soft target comes to play.

What is a Soft Target?

We can spend the entire day talking about this, but I will give you a short answer. A soft target can be a person or a location that is just unprotected and vulnerable to an attack. This can be due to lack of a security plan, or merely due to caring about their own safety.  For example, your home can be a soft target when there is not a security strategy in place. For instance, no alarm, no cameras or a dog to alert you of an incoming threat. Also, no lighting plan or even a firearm in the house to protect you and your family from attackers. All these examples make your home a soft target.

Now here are some ways you could possibly look or even make yourself a soft target. Please do not take offense, and remember criminals are evil people, so they have zero morals and principles for others. If you are an old person or even sick, you could potentially look like a soft target. If you are really overweight and probably can’t walk as fast as others, you could also be viewed as a soft target. If you are women or a child, if you are not paying attention to your surroundings and you look way to busy looking at your phone. Obviously, there are some things you can’t change about your life. For example, if you have an injury or are an older person, there is nothing you can do about that. However, I will give you some tips on how to become a harder target.

Here is a couple of other aspects that can make you a soft target. Do you maintain the same routine? For example, do you run every morning at the same time on the same trail? A criminal could potentially plan an attack around your schedule. Remember, some criminals will take the time to plan a strike against you. Another example is going to the store for groceries on the same day at the same time every week. Or simply taking the same route to work every single day. Again, this does not mean you have to change your life around your schedule, however taking some precautions such as carrying a gun could be a good idea.

What is a Hard Target?

Range Time

So mainly a hard target is oppositive of a soft target. You can become a hard target just by merely taking responsibility for your security. Think about this, a hard target is simply a guy or girl who you just don’t want to mess with. They are alert to their surroundings, maybe they conduct physical fitness regularly. In some cases, they do martial arts training and can fight a threat with no issues. They can also be into firearm training and have complete training on how to shoot a gun plus tactics. These individuals may have made the decision of carrying a firearm on an everyday basis. Essentially, a hard target individual is ready to fight and most important he or she presents themselves in a way that is not very welcoming for a criminal.

Now in the same concept, let’s think about our homes and how to make them a hard target. Obviously, this is super important because if we stop the bad guys from entering our home in the first place, we win. Again, a lighting strategy at night may be a great idea. One of the light systems I love is the motion detector lights. These lights will turn on when they detect movement. Another strategy that I am loving is the Arlo cameras. I installed mine about five months ago, and they are fantastic. Easy to install, motion detectors and stores your footage on the cloud for free for seven days. I will be doing a review on Youtube soon. Again deterrence is the best way not to get in a fight.

So I just told you some things you are doing that could potentially make you a soft target. I hope you are not to mad at me. I also shared some factors that can make you a hard target. So what about if I am a soft target, now what? I think conducting a vulnerability assessment is a great start. Mostly, we are looking at our daily routine and security plan to identify issues. After we identified these potential issues, we are establishing new policies or buying equipment to mitigate those vulnerabilities.  Here are some examples:

Vulnerability: due to work I am traveling around the city, and some locations have higher crime rates.

Recommendation: Make sure you have a way to defend your self and a way to call for help.

Vulnerability: Your home is extremely dark during night time.

Recommendation: Establish a lighting strategy and think about possibly buying some surveillance cameras.

What My Vulnerability Assessment Revealed to Me?

Shooting the Leupold Deltapoint Pro

So I wanted to share the results of my own vulnerability assessment. Mainly, I found out a couple of aspects that I am personally lacking in my own security plan. First, since I left the military, I have become overweight. This is affecting my security plan because I get tired quickly, and I am not as fast as I use to. If I find myself in a fight, this can potentially affect my survival changes. The way I can fix this is by putting myself in a diet and start exercising more often. The second aspect that I found out is my food and water preparations. Mainly, I have to increase those preparations to last me for a more extended period. Again, just a simple vulnerability assessment can reveal some crucial information to your security plan. Continuing to do this could make a harder target.

Conclusion:

Many people have accused me of leaving my life in fear, but the reality is that I am not. I actually feel very blessed and love my life alone my family. However, I simply take some precautions that I believe makes me a harder target. Somethings I do just out of muscle memories as I spent over a decade in the Marines. Other things I do because I want to keep my family and I protected from bad guys. I definitely think stopping the bad guy from attacking my family and me without fighting is the best course of action. I know that is accomplished by deterrence bad guys away. So definitely conduct a vulnerability assessment and identify vulnerabilities on your security plan. Them find ways to get rid of those issues. Make yourself a hard target and not a target of opportunity. Thanks so much for reading this blog and God is in control.

Question of the Day: Are you a Hard or Soft Target?

Jarhead6

DISCLAIMER: I am NO EXPERT! This is just My OPINIONS!

5 thoughts on “How to Stop Being an Easy Target?

  1. I really appreciate the time you have taken to explain both hard and soft targets. I, unfortunately fit in your first group. Part of the older generation (71) and unable to get around very well. I do carry every time I leave the house and have resources available within reach within the house no matter what room I am in. The one area that is lacking I will keep to myself, haha. And I will make sure that the holes in my security plan are plugged and no longer available. Thank you for putting your thoughts on this matter to all of us out here. It gives us a good starting point to make improvements for all of us. God bless and thanks again.

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  3. Excellent rundown of the topic! Risk = vulnerabilities + threats. Criminals are adaptive, and you have to adapt with them. If you have a Community Watch program of some type in your area, join it and get active. There are more crimes going on around you than you’ll ever see reported on the news. Community Watch programs are one of the best ways to learn how your local criminals are hunting and adapting.

    Criminals are little different than predatory animals. They look for easy gain. They want a high ratio of probable reward, compared to risk of detection, interception, and being captured or killed.

    As such, being a hard target isn’t about being paranoid or fearful. It is about acknowledging the realities of the world around you, and taking action to prevent your household and family from becoming victims. Being paranoid is thinking that everyone is out to get you. They are generally not. Being wise is not /assuming/ that an unknown someone is not a threat. (Double negative, yes I know.) Leaving yourself unduly vulnerable is unwise. Being fearful can be expressed by being in denial about the reality of actual threats, by taking no action despite being informed about actual threats, or by panicking and taking actions that are not useful or harmful to your situation – whether or not a threat is real. Be prepared to take useful and constructive actions, so that when an emergency happens, you have the option to act with courage in spite of fears – whether or not those fears are warranted.

    People should not confuse being a hard target, with having a high-profile security posture. They’re not the same. Your house doesn’t have to be a bunker to be a hard target. In fact, there is no building on Earth that is impenetrable. (For those who don’t know my story, I came from the Air Force, which has some of the hardest targets on Earth, literally.) You only have to be a harder target than the other potential targets around you, and hard enough that the risk and labor involved vs. appearance of potential gain just isn’t worth it for the criminals.

    Security works best in layers, with measures covering the the weaknesses of other measures. All of the little things do add up. Not living in a high crime street. Having good line-of-sight with your neighbors, and good illumination of possible entry points. Not leaving valuables unattended in plain sight or leaving clues that they’re probably in obvious places. Keeping doors and windows of your home and vehicles secured, and preferably obscuring exterior glass from what is inside, with things like tinting, blinds, curtains, etc. Throwing blankets or jackets over valuables, or hiding them under the seat of your car will not fool a criminal – it’s about #3 on their list of what they look for. Have things that will draw attention to their unwanted presence, like security systems with audible alarms, and animals that make noise, such as dogs. It helps if they also are physically intimidating and capable of being an active responder in your defense. Cameras are not deterrents by themselves – some thieves around here have even stolen the cameras!

    How quickly would you know that you are being or have been broken into if you? How do you plan to keep your family safe if it happens? How about if you weren’t home when it happens, but your family is? (Actually happened to me.) How about if it happens while nobody is home? Who is going to notify whom, and how? Who are your responders? What are their actual response times like during real-world incidents? How much force are they prepared to use in defense of life? How about in defense of property? Do you and other responders know how to render first aid? Do you know how to avoid contaminating a crime scene? Do you know how to give a public safety statement after using force? Do you know how to get a lawyer? Do you have a plan for what to do about your children or vulnerable adults in your care if you are detained?

    Or, the most important question ever: do you know Jesus? If your life or the life of a loved one should be accidentally or wrongfully taken, what happens next? If you’re not spiritually prepared, all your other preps are ultimately of minimal to no value to you personally.

    1. Please ignore the “if you” at the end of the first sentence of the last paragraph. Not sure how that happened. My apologies.

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