Saturday, March 30, 2019

Guys... don't box yourselves in.

Sometimes, you just can't make stuff up that's as dumb as reality. I recently saw a man in a public restroom set his pistol on the top of the urinal while he relieved himself. Now before you think or say you'd never be that dumb... would you use a wall-mounted urinal in a public restroom in the first place? Guys... don't box yourselves in.

I honestly can't remember the last time I used a wall-mounted urinal in a public restroom. It's also been six years since I posted about concealed carry and public restrooms, so maybe it's time to touch base on a few tips to consider when you're leaving yourself more vulnerable doing your business in such a private, transitional space as a public restroom.

So here are some recommendations and tips, in no particular order, for using a public restroom while carrying a concealed gun:
  • Practice at home. Before you head out, try your gear and set-up at home in the bathroom. If you can safely do so... do some dry-fire practice... accessing your gun while "doing your business" in the bathroom at home.
  • Practice pulling your pants up with your unloaded gun still holstered and attached to your belt. 
  • Use the stall, not the urinal. The urinal leaves your back to any potential threats and you're boxed in with no easy escape routes. I prefer to use the stall farthest from the entry door to the restroom, and in a corner if possible to minimize avenues of threats.
  • Leave your gun holstered and attached to your belt... even if it's down around your ankles. 
  • AIWB (appendix inside-waist-band)... or what we used to call one o'clock or belly-carry position in the old days... or a forward, strong-side hip-carry... work well when using the restroom for me.
  • If you can't do your business with the gun holstered and attached to your belt, then leave the gun in the holster and remove the holstered gun. Set it safely and securely in your pants between your legs... always being mindful of where the muzzle is pointing.
  • Don't set it on the back of the toilet or toilet-paper holder, you might forget it. You won't do that if it's still attached to your belt or you set it in your pants between your legs.
What tips and thoughts do you have to share? Just remember... Guys... don't box yourselves in.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Making space... before you need it!

I recently read a story about a gal who was assaulted and robbed between her vehicle and the fuel pumps while filling up at a gas station. I thought I'd share a simple tip: Create space at the pump!

You don't have to park right up tight, next to the fuel pumps. Most "lanes" between pumps at gas stations are large enough for a semi-truck or a large pick-up with "dualies" to pull through with plenty of room, so leave some space between your vehicle and the fuel pumps.

Park with a good three to four feet of space between your vehicle and the fuel pumps. That is usually enough space to allow you to exit the opposite direction of a person poses a threat to you. It's also enough space that makes it more difficult for two threats or attackers to "box" you in between them, the fuel pumps, and your vehicle.

Some additional tips to consider while fueling up:

  • Be observant. Yes, situational awareness. Whether it's a suspicious person or driver in another vehicle who isn't paying attention, gas stations are transitional spaces where both accidents and attacks can occur. Also, be mindful of someone trying to distract you while an accomplice takes advantage of you being distracted.
  • Lock your doors. If you're not in your vehicle, someone can get in via an unlocked door to steal your vehicle or something in it. If you're in your vehicle checking your phone, resetting your instrument panel, or whatever... an unlocked door will allow an attacker to get to you when you are vulnerable and distracted.
  • Don't leave your vehicle running. A running vehicle with an unlocked door is an easy target and car thieves look for it. Also, if you have children in the vehicle... a running vehicle with children inside and no adult is a recipe for disaster.
  • Leave space between your vehicle and other vehicles in front of and behind you. That will allow you to pull out and "escape" in your vehicle if needed. If you pull up tight behind the vehicle in front of you at the fuel pumps, a vehicle can pull in behind you and easily leave your vehicle blocked/boxed in.
  • Be patient, be polite. Getting into an argument about who was in line first or who "stole" a fuel pump spot from who isn't worth it. Smile, relax, and enjoy a couple of minutes of life while letting that other potential road-rager get their gas and get out of there.
There are many other tips that could be shared about gas stations, personal defense, and safety... but we'll focus on this specific aspect for now. What tips do you follow when you're at the pumps?

Stay Safe!