How To Be An Unattractive Victim

The following is a reprint from Student of the Gun.
Check them out, they have a ton of great info.

In the firearms culture the words “sheep” and “sheepdog” are tossed
around quite often to describe people who would seem to be all-too-willing
victims and those whose job it is to protect the potential victims. In the
strict sense, a “sheepdog” is specifically tasked with protecting the sheep.
That’s his job. For the average armed citizen, it is not their job to protect
the citizenry. They might do so on occasion, but that is not their purpose or

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The Porcupine Example

My good friend and one of my original mentors when I began writing professionally,
Walter Rauch, introduced me to the term “prickly people” nearly twenty years ago.
The way Walt explained it, the normal armed citizen does not really fall into the
sheep category, but neither do they truly fit the sheepdog role. Mr. Rauch suggested
that armed citizens should attempt to instead emulate the porcupine.

Consider this, in the animal kingdom, the porcupine is not a predator, but neither
are they an attractive prey. The solemn porcupine goes about his business not
molesting a soul. Should the immature wolf or coyote chose him as their prey they
soon discover the error of their decision, painfully. You may have seen these seemingly
docile creatures in the wild or at very least in the zoo. The porcupine ambles along,
seeking to live their life in peace. It is only when attacked or pushed into a corner
that their sharp quills come into play. The porcupine doesn’t use his quills to prey on
other animals. This prickly creature’s sharp quills lie flat and even appear soft until
the animal is threatened.

Prickly People

Walt’s advice to the concerned citizen was to be the “prickly person”. You don’t
need to be a sheepdog to stay safe in a dangerous world. You should, on the other
hand, appear to the potential predator to be “prickly” or an undesirable target.
The seasoned predator upon considering you as a prey should pause to think twice
and consider a softer target.

How do you become a prickly person?

Does it mean you have to be coarse or unapproachable?

Not at all. Start by keeping your head up and paying attention to what goes on around you.
The difference between a good driver and the average driver is awareness. Good drivers have “near misses”.  Average or poor drivers are in crashes that they never saw coming.

Don’t allow people into your personal space unchallenged. Every human has a personal
comfort zone or their own personal space. This will vary based on age, sex, and your
upbringing. Nonetheless, strangers don’t have some kind of unspoken right to enter your
personal space. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up, give them the universal stop sign
and back them off. Polite people should not be entering your personal space uninvited anyway.

Along the same lines, you are not required to shake the hand of strangers. Be wary of
strangers who begin their interaction with you by sticking out their hands. Unless we’ve
been introduced by a trusted friend, don’t stick your hand out to me.

Mind your back. Putting your back to a wall is always a good habit to practice. The criminal predator is not seeking a one on one boxing match. He wants to land a surprise blow, take you off guard, and commit his crime upon you. Make their job difficult. Don’t surrender your back needlessly.

The prickly person advice doesn’t just apply to your time spent out in public. You can
apply the same thought process to your home. Does your house appear as a choice target or will the predator have to work for it. Do you have an alarm system, ample exterior lighting, and a free-roaming intruder detection and early warning system (dog)?

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Use your Quills

Despite your best efforts to remain aware and alert, the immature coyote may decide you
are going to be their prey. In this case you must have your quills ready. Your attacker
may not be smart enough not to attack you. Having a concealed handgun on your person does not provide some kind of cone of invincibility. Carrying the gun is only part of the equation. You should be both skilled in the gun’s use and mentally prepared to utilize it.

It never ceases to amaze me that people will walk into a gun shop, purchase a compact .380 pistol, drop it in their pocket and think that somehow they have covered all the bases for personal protection. A pocket pistol is not a magic talisman to ward off evil. Sometimes, despite your most valiant endeavors, evil finds you. If that happens, its time to give them a face full of quills.

As always, the choice is yours to make. You can put your faith in luck and chance, hoping
nothing bad will ever happen or you can choose to be the prickly person, the most unattractive victim possible.

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