Archive for category Society

Call Ahead Convenience Going Too Far

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 24 March, 2010

The fast pace of today’s society is moving at lightning speed, and nowhere is the demand faster than in the good old US of A. We want fast food, fast cars, 24/7 communication, fast computers on faster broadband internet connections, 1 hour photos, instant music download, same day repairs, and faster than fast service from the businesses we patronize.

I’m all for faster service and convenient accommodations. Drive through windows at banks and fast food restaurants are good. Free delivery at pizza joints, call ahead seating or curbside carryout… Some people even pay a nominal extra fee for this without question. Whatever allows for quicker transactions or lazier customers, we live in a fast pace, fast food world.

But somewhere you need to draw the line. And I’m not just talking about the speed for quality trade off. Somewhere common sense must kick in…

Let’s take this pair of would-be bank robbers from the fast paced area of Fairfield, Connecticut. Police arrested the 16-year-old kid and 27-year-old Albert Bailey in the parking lot of a People’s United Bank before the crime actually occurred.

Apparently the pair decided to test out the speed and helpfulness of the customer service department at the bank and called ahead so the bank would have a full bag of cash ready for them to steal when they got there. I mean they don’t want to waste anybody’s time…

10 minutes later when the speed demons arrived to quickly collect their loot, the police apprehended the guys. Police commented that the suspects were simply “not too bright.”

Hopefully they get a speedy trial.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Be Fast, but not too Fast.

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Stun Guns and Tasers Don’t Kill, People Do

Posted by Rob on Monday, 1 March, 2010

To borrow one of the anti-gun control slogans “Guns Don’t Kill, People Do”, I’d like to offer the following:

“Stun Guns and Tasers Don’t Kill, People Do”

If a person really wanted to kill or otherwise injure you, just about any object could work. A steak knife, a tire iron, a two inch thick tree branch cut into a club, even a ball point pen used in a certain manner… Equal opportunity at its finest.

Yet you will not find crazed opposition picketing in front of Bic Pen Headquarters or otherwise trying to ban and regulate pen use.

But seriously, even if some sort of ridiculous legislation was passed to specifically make it illegal to stab and kill someone with a ball point pen, it would not stop a criminal from doing so. Criminals could care less what the laws are. Best case the killer may opt to use a legal mechanical pencil instead… yeah right.

Let’s for the sake of argument, we use the newer, politically correct term of “Less-than-lethal” self defense weapon, since “Non-lethal” falsely implies that a fatality could never occur… (insert eye roll here)

arrestSo now a police officer, doing his unenviable job of keeping the peace, and protecting the public comes across an unruly person resisting arrest or attempting to harm someone. It does not matter if this person was pulled over for speeding or is being chased down the street after robbing a liquor store with a gun.

The uncooperative suspect is going to be tasered if he does not comply with the orders of the police officer. Stop means stop, no means no. If the officer does not have a “less-than-lethal” TASER Device as an option, he is left with his baton or gun.

But then you are going to have people question their judgment while trying to uphold the law, protect civilians, and keep themselves safe in the process? I’m not talking about blatant Rodney King style police brutality, which is wrong and would need to be dealt with on a case by case basis. No one is arguing that. I’m simply talking about police officers doing their jobs, apprehending the bad guys, and protecting themselves from those who resist arrest. And OMG possibly having to use a TASER device!

It is so easy for those not in harm’s way condemn something, but these same people would be wishing they had a stun gun or a TASER device if they were being beat half to death by some thug in an alley. That is unless they would just rather have their cell phone to call 911 instead, I mean violent criminals have rights too, who are you to fight back…

Did you see that story the other day about the math teacher who tackled a shooter in a Colorado school parking lot? A 32-year-old gunman was walking through a middle school parking lot with a bolt-action hunting rifle, taking shots at students. He shot 2 kids before David Benke tackled the man, and wrestled him to the ground.

What the hell is wrong with some people these days, you may ask?

Good question. You just never know when minding your own business, some random lunatic with a gun, baseball bat, pocket knife or machete might turn his head funny and trigger a chemical imbalance induced act of violence.

Personally I’d rather have a telescopic steel baton and some pepper spray first, then my cell phone to call in the cleanup crew afterwards. Unless there is a real “protect and serve” police officer already standing there. But I’m not going to wait around and take a beating, especially if there is only a “observe and report” security guard watching from a safe distance.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Please Rob Me, I just left my house…

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 18 February, 2010

I have most of the major social networking pages somewhere, not that I still use all of them. I have still, or have in the past used MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Buzz, Digg, Technorati and probably a bunch more if I felt like checking all of my internet book marks.

To tell you the truth, it takes up way too much time trying to “stay connected”. But there are even apps that tie 2 or more of these sites together, which I suppose makes keeping up with friends, followers, and stalkers much easier. That way you can tweet a message and it automatically posts to your Facebook. Or you can status your Facebook and it will tweet it too. Hopefully you don’t have it set up to FB to Twitter that tweets back to FB which goes back to Twitter in an endless loop of insignificant social babble…

One of the latest Facebook/Twitter fads is called geolocation. Which is when you can download an app to your smart phone that grabs your precise physical location and tweet or status that spot to all of your friends. I have a Facebook buddy that does this all the time. He is always letting us know what restaurant he is waiting in line at, or other event he is hobnobbing around.

A while back, when he first started doing that, I thought, “Hrrm, “Ted” isn’t at home and he just told the world… and if you wait an hour or two, he’ll probably let you know when he is heading back.” Sure enough he did. Perfect time to rob his house, if you were into that sort of thing.

Usually your Facebook account is only full of your nearest and dearest friends, not 100s of casual acquaintances, and people you hardly know but sent to a friend request, right? …RIGHT?

What about those college kids that friend everyone on campus? Probably not the best course of action. You know how those mature co-eds act.

How likely would it be for some loser college “friend” to ransack your dorm room when they just saw your tweet that you and your roommate just took off for the long weekend?

Worse yet, leave it to some techno-nerd to one up the whole geolocation snooping. There is actually a website called Please Rob Me dot com. This site will filter out all the “I’m taking a shower” and motivational quote spam on Twitter and just get down to the nitty gritty. It takes all the real-time geolocationing info and displays them in a one-stop-shop list. Here is a snippet of the results from last night:

Listing all those empty homes out there

Recent Empty Homes

@HolzJS left home and checked in about a minute ago: I’m at Celebration Town Tavern (721 Front Street, Sycamore Street, Celebration).

@amisij left home and checked in about a minute ago: I’m at Kirkhof Center (GVSU, Allendale) w/ 2 others.

@jacobkampen left home and checked in about a minute ago: Woot! #fb (@ Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) w/ 2 others)

@argonman left home and checked in about a minute ago: I’m at Edwards movie theater.

And of course there is a search box if you have a specific target in mind, perfect for selecting a burglary target, or narrowing down your night’s stalking route.

From their home page, you can click on the WHY link and get their reasoning for creating this site, which states their goal is to raise some awareness on the potentially dangerous issue of willy nilly geolocation spamming and have people think twice about how they use those services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc.

The danger is when you get in the habit of publicly telling strangers where you are, and consequently where you are not… which is at home. “So here we are; on one end we’re leaving lights on when we’re going on a holiday, and on the other we’re telling everybody on the internet we’re not home.”

They also state their “intention is not, and never has been, to have people burglarized.” But it should make you wonder. Who is keeping tabs on you, especially when you are so freely giving out boatloads of personal information, intentionally or unintentionally.

Take a piece here, take a tweet there, read a couple social profiles, and then use Google. You’d be surprised how much info you can find on someone. I hope you have some sort of home security or a dog (real or fake) keeping an eye on things at the homstead.

I’m just waiting on the following:

@geotweeter is at the new restaurant, long wait to be seated, I may be here awhile.

@geoburglar is at @geotweeter’s house. Wonder if he’ll get back in time before I clean it out…

Be Safe, Be Prepared. Keep your geo tweets to yourself.

Related Posts:
Infidelity and Facebook Cheating
Burglar Smacked Silly with a Shovel
Another burglar drops his cell phone
Home Ransacked After Fake Craigslist Ad

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Cold Weather Crime Rates

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 17 February, 2010

When the air gets frigid, and the snow starts to fly, it’s just a simple fact that things start to slow down. No one likes to brave the cold weather more than they have to. This in turn, means less people to target and fewer criminals out to commit their acts. Like supply and demand… and being lazy.

Sure there are still burglaries, muggings and whatever other nasty crimes going on in the winter, just less of them. Let’s face it criminals are lazy. You go out and get a job, work hard, make some money, cash your check and then some loser on the street mugs you and steals your wallet, iPod and cell phone. Why work when you can just rip off someone else who does? Hrrm, that kind of sounds like this redistribution of wealth crap, Obama’s answer to the US economic troubles? Well that’s another story.

Back to lazy criminals. So basically you have fewer criminals willing to camp out behind the bushes in the freezing cold or less hoodlums hanging out on the streets causing trouble because it just isn’t fun to stand around freezing your butt off. And it’s just too hard to run away with your loot in 2 feet of snow and on icy streets.

Many of the areas that have been recently affected by the sudden back-to-back(-to-back) Mid-Atlantic blizzards have noticed a temporary lull in criminal activity. Don’t get too excited, it won’t last long.

Once the streets get plowed or the snow starts melt, the stir-crazy thugs will be back in business. The economy isn’t getting any better, and the criminals are not getting any less lazy.

Once the good weather hits and spring has officially sprung (it isn’t too far off, no matter what that stupid groundhog says), the thugs will be back in full force.

Get yourself ready now; don’t wait until the streets are hopping.

If you are living in a location that isn’t experiencing Jack Frost Winter Wonderland conditions, you probably are not getting any seasonal breaks and should be tooled up year round. Just in case. You never know when the next lazy thug may target you for a redistribution of your wealth… or worse.

Be ready to redistribute your supply of pepper spray or voltage from your stun gun. Fair is fair, right?

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Tom and Jerry Vs. Tommy Vercetti

Posted by Rob on Monday, 1 February, 2010

Back in the day (and by that I refuse to admit it was that too long ago), we used to play “cops and robbers” or “cowboys and indians”. Opps, am I still allowed to call that game that or is there a newer politically correct term? When we played video games, we were playing Centipede, Pac-Man and the original Donkey Kong. Yes, the one when Mario was second billed to a monkey.

We used to actually play dodge ball in gym class! We watched violent cartoons like “Bugs Bunny” and “Tom and Jerry”. And it seemed like society was pretty normal, at least it seemed the news wasn’t reporting as much crime and adolescent mayhem.

More recently, children are exposed to the likes of Tommy Vercetti, the popular character from “Grand Theft Auto 4 – Vice City”. He is a perfect stereotypical bad guy that gets what he wants by any means necessary. Not the best role model.

Computer games don’t affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.
Marcus Brigstocke

You are always seeing reports about how today’s video games are negatively influencing our youngsters to such an extent that they actually want to gravitate towards violence. The sad part is that some misguided adolescents actually find it funny and amusing, while killing “school mates with a gun”, slashing your dad’s throat with a knife over a video game, or just trying to rob a jewelry store for kicks and laughs.

I suppose this is a far cry from a cat and mouse smacking each other silly with a frying pan or wooden mallet, then immediately getting up and returning the favor before running away. Did we just understand action/consequence better back then? I mean I would watch the cartoons, laugh, and then NOT hit my brother with a frying pan. I knew the difference. What is so different today?

Take for instance that botched “Benson Jewelry and Loan” robbery attempt a couple years ago by Brandon Bowie and Kendall Tealer. Fortunately for the owners, but unfortunately for the would-be burglars, there was a gun behind the shop counter for security.

While Bowie pulled a gun on one of the owners, the other owner pulled their gun on 18-year-old Bowie and 17-year-old Tealer. Bowie was shot and fell inside the business and ended up paralyzed, Tealer was shot then collapsed and died outside when attempting to flee. The authorities found in favor of the store owner, and deemed he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot the two armed robbers.

It was later reported that both of those burglars had a disturbed childhood and a history of criminal activity already at an early age. You can bet it wasn’t from watching “Tom and Jerry”, but is quite similar to something you might see in Grand Theft Auto I, II, III or IV.

Nonetheless, the important thing is that in this unfortunate day and age of violence, you can never be safe enough. I personally consider those people with Pepper Spray cans or TASER Devices for self defense to be much wiser than those wandering around oblivious to the possibility that they may need to protect themselves. Even worse, when you might need to protect a loved one from harm.

It’s nice to think you will just run away and make it, but that is pretty weak when you leave your wife in high-heels lagging behind, or your children unable to catch up.

You see, some people understand that dangerous opportunities don’t leisurely stroll up to you and wait until you are ready after knocking. They just run right up, violently knock you over and can leave you completely lifeless.

Your best bet is to be alert, and be prepared, packing self defense weapons at the ready, backed by having practiced using said items so you are both competent and confident using them. It is NOT enough to have pepper spray with you, if it is buried at the bottom of your purse or if the first time attempting to use the device is at the brink of being attacked. Epic Fail.

Self defense and personal protection, by definition is personally defending and protecting yourself. When seconds count, the police are minutes away. And like that story last week from Toledo, Ohio, you can’t even count on people driving by in broad daylight.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Black Friday Deals? No Thanks.

Posted by Rob on Monday, 23 November, 2009

I’ll tell you where I’ll be at 4:30 AM on Black Friday… in bed sleeping. And at 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM… You can have your once-a-year Black Friday deals.

Let’s see, ridiculous traffic, jam-packed stores full of irate, obnoxious and combative consumers, as well as empty shelves that were supposed to be stocked with what you wanted to buy? Yeah, no thanks.

Especially with the tighter budgets this year, I’m expecting hotter tempers and more unfortunate incidents. There shouldn’t be any Tickle-Me-Elmo fist fights this year, Elmo is so couple of years ago. But what is the hot present starting scuffles going to be now? Hopefully the hot-pink Nintendo DSi. I already got one, they NEVER go on sale anyways so there was no point in waiting. They were sold out in that color at one of the local Toys-R-Us stores; I had to grab one at Wal-mart.

I think I’ll stick to shopping online for the rest of my shopping list, from the convenience of my bedroom, in my pajamas if I feel like.

Amazon is your friend if you are looking for the same-old same-old; however, if you are looking for more useful and unique gift ideas this year, check out Worth Protection Security and show your loved ones how much you love them with the gift of personal safety.

Our prices are low everyday. We don’t need to mark down inflated prices to celebrate made-up holidays like Black Friday. Get the best deals any time of the year.

Looking for stocking stuffers? We have the perfect choice with a wide variety of keychain pepper sprays and small stun guns to suit everyone on your Christmas list. Keep them safe, keep them secure.

Looking for something a little bigger? Check out our selection of other personal protection and self defense items, instructional DVDs or home security devices. Perhaps even a TASER Device?

Although we may find ourselves unable to afford many of the frivolous things that our hearts desire, many of us are approaching this holiday season with a different attitude this year. This occasion is now more than ever, an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. We are forced to make the best of what we are able to manage, and put the safety and security of our family first.

Shop Smart, Shop Safe, Shop Worth Protection Security for all your Holiday shopping needs.

Other Sort-of Related Posts of Interest:
Grand Theft Eggbeater?
Self-Defense with a Candy Cane?
Merry Freaking Christmas Dad!

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What’s luck gotta do, gotta do with it?

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 21 January, 2009

“I know what you’re thinking, ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ But to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

I didn’t win Powerball last week. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of $165 million. Some lucky soul in Indiana hit it. I believe the odds of winning are around 150,000,000 to 1, give or take a couple hundred thousand (which is twice as likely as the 300,000,000 to 1 chance of being killed by a shark, cue the Jaws music)… But whatever the odds are, be sure they are not in your favor. However, those with no lottery ticket have absolutely ZERO chance of winning, so if you buy a ticket, at least you have that micro-chance of god shining some favor on you.

I read this story last week about a guy, down on his luck in Kentucky. Apparently, he walked into a building, which to his credit, was in fact a bank at one time. However, presently it is an office that takes payments for water bills for the Jessamine South Elkhorn Water District.

So the guy walks in to what he still thinks is a bank, flashes a gun and demands some money. One of the office employees tells the guy they don’t really have money on hand (just checks), to which the robber says “I know you have money. It’s a bank.”

Having to be convinced the establishment is no longer a bank, the confused robber left the building empty handed. What are the odds of that?

Sometimes if it wasn’t for bad luck, some of us would have no luck at all.

A 26-year-old man from Worcester, Massachusetts was shot multiple times in front of Golden Pizza this month. Sadly, last April the same guy was shot multiple times, in front of the same pizza joint. It looks like the man will recover again, but I am thinking he will want to avoid this general area after being shot on two separate occasions.

Come on guy, if Golden Pizza doesn’t deliver, I’m sure someone else in the neighborhood does. Just stay at home. Or buy a lottery ticket. After your past year, you may be due some good fortune.

Did you know the odds of a your house being hit by a meteor is a mere 182,138,880,000,000 to 1 but your chance of dying from a part falling off an airplane is 1 in 10,000,000?

The odds of being struck by lightning typically range 500,000-576,000 to 1 but most people actually survive if hit, with the odds of being killed by lightning at 2,320,000 to 1. Running around during a storm with a large metal pole or flying a kite with a metal key attached would swing the odds back into your favor of taking some damage, but I’m thinking most normal people are generally safe.

So with most odds, there are always circumstances that can vastly increase or decrease your chances depending on what actions you choose to do. Not buying that lottery ticket at all, jumping into shark-infested water with a bleeding wound, etc. Nevertheless, sometimes, no matter what precautions are taken, you cannot always beat fate.

Sure you can take measures to prolong life, such as eating well, exercise… but you have a 1 in 1 chance of death at some point whether it is by shark, meteor, lightning, auto accident, old age… eventually mortality will kick in. Sorry.

Since this is ultimately a self-defense and crime related blog have you ever considered the odds of crime happening to you or a loved ones?

Without a real personal sense of frequency, statistics state one violent crime occurs every 22.2 seconds, a property crime every 3.2 seconds, a larceny-theft every 4.8 seconds, a burglary every 14.4 seconds, a motor-vehicle theft every 26.4 seconds, an aggravated assault every 36.6 seconds, a robbery every 1.2 minute, a forcible rape every 5.7 minutes, and a murder every 30.9 minutes according to the 2006 FBI Crime Clock Stats.

But what does that actually mean to you?

Well, independent of other considerations, your chances of being the victim of a serious crime in your lifetime are about 1 in 20. Drop the “serious” qualifier and your chances of being the victim of a crime in your lifetime are about 1 in 7.

Hopefully, that means someone steals your lunch out of the office fridge and your cosmic quota for being a crime victim is satisfied. More realistically, you or a loved one has a relatively good chance of encountering an unpleasant situation when crime rears its ugly head.

Locking yourself in a fortress and never leaving would be an effective measure of personal protection, but extremely unpractical. Since we all have to live life and interact with the real world, we have collected a number of safety tips for you to consider and leave in the back out your mind. You never know when you may recall one of these tidbits and possibly inadvertently prevent a dangerous situation by employing some common sense, but often overlooked tips for many common daily situations.

We also strongly encourage carrying some sort of personal protection device. Our extensive line of self defense products are of the highest quality and have been proven time and time again that they are effective.

Hopefully, you will never need to use our products in a self defense situation. It is far better to have it and not need It… Then to need it and not have It… Think of it like automobile insurance, except for your personal safety.

However, if you find yourself requiring a means to defend yourself, your family or your home, we have made it our specialty of offering non-lethal ways to accomplish. Your self-defense arsenal may be comprised of stun guns, pepper sprays, Mace, tasers, keychain kubotans, telescopic steel batons, folding knives, instructional fighting DVDs or other featured products.

Once your assailant is incapacitated, run to safety and call the police. This products do not prevent crime from ever occurring, they assist in defending yourself and getting away if and when something unpleasant occurs.

Again, whether it is 1 in 20 or 1 in 7, and after you add or subtract personal habits, environmental concerns, neighborhood safety, Murphy’s Law or your degree of good or bad luck, I’d still wager the bet that it would be a good idea to tool yourself up and be prepared.

Do you feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?

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I’ll bet you 5 bucks on the pizza guy…

Posted by Rob on Monday, 27 October, 2008

A quote from Jeff Marder states “We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police do.”

I’m not sure if I totally believe this, but some pizza delivery is really fast. Sometimes it’s like a guy is driving around with hot cheese pizzas in his car and a side bar of toppings in the center console. Made to order on the way to your house.

Police response time will however vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, and district to district. But you can fairly easily surmise that by the time the police get there, most of the time the incident will be over, and all that is left is the report to write. Thanks for the info, we’ll get back to you shortly. By the way, lock your windows and doors…

Lets face it, pizza joints outnumber police departments probably 15-1. Check your local yellow pages.

The bad guys don’t want to get caught. Typically they will be in and out or hit and run, not sticking around long enough to wait for you to call the cops and have them show up. Then when they don’t get caught, they are able to do it again to someone else.

You need an immediate deterrent, solution or equalizer, on hand and at the ready. An alarm, some pepper spray, a stun gun or Taser. Many choices to fit your situation and comfort level. Pick the one that suits you best, then pick the next one as a secondary option. I’d personally go for a triple decker, and practice using all of them until it is habit forming. Never leave without them, and always know how and when to deploy them.

I just had a buddy telling me about some creep causing some problems in his ‘safe’ neighborhood. He wanted some information on self-defense and security products for himself and his neighbors.

Apparently, some homes were broken into and one of his neighbor’s wife was grabbed but got away from the guy over the course of a week or so. All the women were scared, and all the guys were anxious.

So I typed up a recommendation e-mail with some products, descriptions and links to the webpage. He was going to forward it off to the group and figure out what he wanted. A couple days past, and no orders from his neck of the woods, my buddy let me know that the creep was caught and everything was all hunky dory again.

The excitement was over as quick as it started and everyone was back to feeling safe and complacent again. I hope that he saves the e-mail for the next time. Oh well. Maybe they should just have a neighborhood pizza party.

When you hear it on the news and it happens miles, states or countries away, random acts of violence, theft and other ‘bad things’ don’t always sink in as a potential reality. If you don’t know the victim, or it didn’t happen to you personally, it is hard to relate.

The most surprising gal from my buddy’s neighborhood is the woman who got grabbed by the arm and managed to get away without being assaulted, robbed, raped or worse… I would have expected her to be the first and probably largest order.

I used to end every post with the following slogan, but I recently decided to just add it to the page sidebar next to every post.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Don’t wait for the first time or the next time. Be ready now, just in case. It may save your life, or the life of a loved one. Or at least detain a creep until the police arrive and prevent something bad from happening to someone else, even if you don’t know who the next victim is.

Then you can order your pizza in peace.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Conscience and Consequences of Self-Defense

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 15 October, 2008

It has been reported that the rate of justifable homicides has been rising in the past couple years to the highest levels in over a decade.

A justifable homicide is when a private citizen kills another person in self-defense while the person is committing a felony or when a police officer kills a suspect in the line of duty. Analysts claim these numbers represent a change in the attitude on the street where regular citizens are taking greater responsibilities concerning their safety, while police officers may be feeling increasingly threatened by well-armed criminals.

Police departments have been faced with arms escalation where they have been forced to utilize higher powered weapons to keep up with criminal offenders, who in turn keep upgrading their arsenals.

Besides Illinois and wisconsin, the other 48 states allow law-abiding citizens various rights to carry some sort of gun. In a recent landmark Supreme Court ruling of the Second Ammendment, law-abiding citizens are allowed keep firearms in their home for self-defense purposes. Still, non-law-abiding criminals are able to freely carry whatever weapons they see fit in blatant disregard for whatever laws or restrictions are in place.

Pepper Sprays are restricted in some way in Alaska, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts or Wisconsin. Stun Devices are regulated or illegal to own in the states of Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin or the city of Baltimore, MD, and Philadelphia, PA.

Besides the country wide reality check of the Septemeber 11th attacks, widespread looting, chaos and violence after Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, and the increasing desparate acts by desparate individuals in the midst of the current financial turmoil, many people are being spurred to take a greater responsibility for the safety and security of themselves and loved ones. Sad what it takes to turn some folks around, but as long as they finally realize before its too late…

“Americans are simply refusing to be victims,” say a NRA spokesman.

So this brings us to Conscience and Consequences. While few can (but some still do) argue about the benefits of owning, carrying and using a hand gun to defend themselves or their family, either their conscience or fear of consequence prevent them from purchasing and using a firearm.

Are you actually able to pull the trigger and shoot someone? Even if they are dead set on harming or killing you or a loved one? Maybe, maybe not.

Let’s say in the heat of the moment, you are able to muster up the conviction to pull the trigger. Are you so afraid of a possible consequence afterwards that you would rather not have a gun readily available to save yourself and spare a court appearance?

As the old saying goes “Better Judged By Twelve Than Carried By Six…”. Or whatever the juror to pallbearer count was.

Even Jiminey Cricket had an umbrella that he could use to lay the smack down if need be. (Bad conscience reference, I know, it’s less funny if it needs to be explained.)

But you do have to weigh the facts of the situation during those spare split-seconds during a confrontation. We aren’t shooting that unarmed teenage punk trying to grab a purse. He can have some pepper spray to the face. But that naked sex offender in your daughter’s bedroom with a knife at 3 am in the morning is probably getting a bullet. Sorry dude.

Unless you are Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Steven Segal or any other martial arts movie actor that can effortlessly disarm and disable an attacker. Well, Steven Segal does usually pack a gun in the movies.

So for all us normal guys and gals, Is there a day that goes by that crime isn’t in the news? Child abductions, rapes, robberies, assaults, car-jackings, break-ins and home invasions are in the headlines every day. Every law-abiding can use a slight edge. The bad guys have them. Shouldn’t you be protected?

Whether it be a firearm, pepper spray, stun gun, Taser, steel baton, or better yet, a combo of 2-3 items to use at your discretion, Be Safe, Be Prepared.

It looks like things will be getting worse before they get better. Economy goes down, crime goes up. It is simple math, make sure your personal protection measures add up.

Popularity: 10% [?]

How safe is your bike?

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 9 October, 2008

Rule of thumb, if you want to decrease your chances of someone stealing your bike, lock it up. But realistically, if someone really wants to go to the trouble, they can easily clip the chain and be on their way. I have even seen people lock the front tire of the bike and then have someone unhook the rest of the frame an steal everything except the secured front tire. They need a new front tire, you need a whole new bike.

But a rather ingenious safe city gauge has come out of Buenos Aires. The basis of the test is “How long will an unchained bicycle last on a city street before someone steals it?” How safe is your city or neighborhood?

“It’s not a statistic but in a way it shows that the places where the bicycle gets robbed really quickly perhaps the quality of life is poorer,” said Mariano Pasik of Argentina.

Hidden cameras monitor the bait, which is a cheap bicycle, unsecured, laying out in the open. His hypothesis is the longer the bike remains in place before it is stolen, the safer the area is.

Pasik edits the video footage, blurs the thieves’ faces, puts it to music and posts the results to his website. Pasik runs his own publicity firm called Liebre Amotinada Ideas (Mutinous Hare Ideas), and says this safe neighborhood project is “part art, part reality show, part journalism and part fun.”

“What you see on the videos is that they aren’t professional thieves, they aren’t people who went out to rob. They are people who ran into temptation and decided to commit a crime, they become thieves at the moment they take the bike,” Pasik says.

“The popular fantasy is that the bike will be stolen in seconds, and it isn’t quite like that,” Pasik said.

In a recent video, a bike lasted only a few short minutes on the upscale shopping street of Santa Fe, while another lasted a whole hour without being stolen in the unsavory Constitucion neighborhood.

A neighborhood “passes” Pasik’s bicycle test if an hour passes, the filmer gets tired or the camera runs out of batteries. Pasik hopes other videographers around the world will join his nonprofit “Bicycle Test” project and help create a worldwide insecurity index.

Fans of his site have already offered free bait bicycles and some have sent in test footage from Uruguay and Spain.

The thieves from these videos are often more opportunists than hardened criminals. “You see the person thinking and thinking and thinking, coming and going. Sometimes they talk by phone. They go away. They come back. It’s more about an internal dilemma between good and bad, than about the bicycle itself,” Pasik says.

Another interesting fact, so far in Pasik’s Bicycle Test, a woman has yet to steal a bike on film…

As a side story of note. Did you see the one about the guy who got busted stealing an unchained bike next to a police station in Fargo, ND? Apparently some guy was in detox at the station, and his bike was put into the bike rack outside of the police station. So while a cop is outside doing some paperwork in his patrol car, he sees this other guy walking down the street, approach the bike rack, grab the bike and attempt to take off. He tried to plead his case that it was in fact his bike, but the cop wasn’t buying the story.

Come on guy. That’s almost like trying to steal a donut in a donut shop.

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