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Is no place safe?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have gotten used to having a police officer posted at my local library branch, these past few months. There have been some problems with bums and druggies using the library, to get out of the weather. If the cop isn't there, they harass the patrons and the librarians have to call for one.

This afternoon, as I exited the library, the officer was entering. As is my custom, I smiled and said "hi" as we passed. As I walked to my car (a distance of about 40 feet), a man began following me, shouting to get my attention. Since he was between me and the building, I opted to hop into my car and lock the doors. This man then proceeded to knock on my window. When I picked up my cell and dialed 911, he decided to walk away.

I kept an eye on him, as I talked to the operator. While I was watching, the officer came out and ran the guy off. I told the operator that I was going to speak to the officer, now that I felt safe.

These days, it seems that I can go nowhere, without being panhandled and/or harassed. I've begun patronizing gas stations, where they run these people off and I complain, when I'm hassled at a store. In addition, I always have my cellphone at hand and, when exiting a store, have my keyless remote/panic alarm IN my hand.

As a hard-working, law-abiding person, I'm sick of feeling threatened, while going about my daily business. Fortunately, I DO take precautions and I refuse to be a prisoner in my own home.

Enough is enough! I am taking the time, for concealed-carry classes and intend to get my permit. The next time, I might not be able to beat the guy to my car. This same thing happened, to my mother, some years back. Both incidents happened in public places, in broad daylight. I intend to fight back!
post #2 of 29
Bravo for you! I agree with you, Cindy!
post #3 of 29
my son's school. He sat at the only entrance to the school. I was so surprised(this was about 10 yrs ago). Now everywhere you go there is someone protecting you. It is very scary out there. I personally could never carry a gun, I have thought about self defense classes, but haven't had the chance to take any. I am almost 5'9" so most people don't mess with me, plus I grew up in NYC and have had the attitude if you mess with me you die, that has worked so far, and hopefully it always will. I am sorry for what happen, and am glad it didn't go futher.
post #4 of 29
To say that is maddening is and understatement. Where I live we don't have that many panhandlers in comparison, but I've always hated the way they harass and threaten people. I can see why you're going for a carry permit.
post #5 of 29
Some years ago, my mother was mugged right in the building where she worked. A man got on the elevator with her, selected the floor below hers, and as the doors opened, he punched her in the nose, breaking it, grabbed her purse, and ran.
post #6 of 29
I work at a bank and the ATM area is open for customers. Some mornings, I come to work and go through the first set of doors only to find one or two camped out in our building. This really angers me. I try to find them before I walk in but if it's light enough, the reflective covering on the windows blocks what I can see. I always scares the crap out of me. I used to just tell them to leave if they were sober enough to hear me. Now I just turn around, go around to the other entrance and call the cops because that's the only way to get them to stay out. What really burns me is that the shelter is only a few blocks away!
post #7 of 29
You know, I would strongly recommend that you not carry a weapon, other than your own mind and body. 'Lemme s'plain. You can't make a mistake with a firearm. If you carry one you have to be willing to accept two things: that in fear you could kill someone who was never actually a threat to your life, and that if you ever pull your weapon you cannot hesitate to use it. I can do the second one, but not the first. Lots of people carry weapons, and then when they are threatened they find that they hesitate, because they can't bring themselves to kill. Even if the hesitation is very brief, two things happen. One, even if the person threatening didn't intend to actually hurt you, he/she does NOW because you've made yourself a serious threat, and two, they take your weapon from you and use it on you. So, you have to be certain you won't hesitate. The other problem is that if you get it, you must religiously go practice with it at a range several times a week. Otherwise you'll fumble with it when you draw it.

Honestly, I think that you are better off getting serious martial arts training. NOT self-defense training. The short courses do not actually help you. Because when the moment comes you won't feel confident enough to overcome your panic reactions. Making a commitment to training at a martial arts school that emphasizes practical use over "sport" training, you'll learn to sharpen your mind, which is your most powerful weapon. Research shows that people usually only confront or attack people whose body language is not strong. If you become confident in your ability to defend yourself, through training, and exude that confidence, you'll find that perpetrators actually steer clear of you. Which is what you want, I think. It doesn't sound as much like you want to be able to kill someone when they threaten you as much as you'd like to keep them from approching you in the first place. Carrying a gun, that no one will know you have, won't do that for you.

You might try Isshinryu karate. That's what the marines learn.
post #8 of 29
I'm sorry to hear about your incident.

I feel very naive when it comes to this sort of thing, which I suppose is a good thing. I never had a security guard at any of my schools, all of the way up through high school, like the one person commented about with her son's school. My high school was actually very open and I appreciated the atmosphere I had there more than I can say. That was over in Ormond Beach (well, technically the high school is in Daytona Beach). In Ormond there really are very few homeless, so that was never really an issue. Over here in Orlando there are quite a bit more, but none really near the University which is where I am 99% of the time. The only times I've been panhandled by anyone is when I've gone downtown at night. Even working at the courthouse downtown during the day they were never there, only at night.

I have to say that I am very grateful to still have that feeling of safety. In my hometown (not in Orlando) I still feel that I can leave the door to my car unlocked all day and night and not have a problem. I really love the small beach town atmosphere.

So sorry to hear of everyone's troubles. Hopefully I can remain naive as long as possible.
post #9 of 29
It really depends on the person as to carrying a firearm, IMO. I was kidnapped at gunpoint almost 20 years ago, and fortunately escaped unharmed. I decided at the time that nothing like that would ever happen again. I have carried one most of the time ever since, and am quite proficient at the distance someone would have to be in order for me to feel threatened enough to even consider showing it. I have been attacked with a torque wrench, had my money taken in a robbery by someone that said they had a gun, but neither time did I feel like it had escalated to the point that my life was in danger, so I did not pull my gun. You must have the mindset that it is absolutely the last resort, and you have retreated to the point of no other option. Guns are not for scaring people, they are for saving your life, or that of your children or other loved ones that are in immediate danger. Never should it be shown unless you are prepared to use it and accept any consequences of your actions. If you can't do that, you have no business even owning a gun. These people that wave them around to show others not to mess with them are IDIOTS!
I do agree that alternate forms of protection, most especially martial arts training for those of you physically capable of it, (I am not) is best. Pepper spray is a very good non lethal method of self protection.
post #10 of 29
This is why we need more REAL programs for people who are homeless and mentally ill. Reagan started emptying out or closing the State Mental Hospitals in the 1980s. Did the politicians and policy wonks just believe that discharging these folks would make them "well", or did they not just give a damn...I side with the latter. While Nancy Reagan was saying just say no to drugs, her husband's cronies were telling the mentally ill-go blow.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've been handling firearms, since I was 10 years old and am not likely to panic and shoot someone, without good reason. I had one of the best instructors, a person could have. That Marine gunny made sure that I learned the proper respect, for a weapon and made sure that I was comfortable with it. Thanks, Pop.

Middle-aged and arthritic, I am no match for anyone, mano-a-mano. I will NOT be a victim or a statistic. Therefore, I intend to tilt the odds in my favor.
post #12 of 29
I'm so angry these incidents occur! It's just wrong that we should have to feel threatened or at risk when going about our lives. I feel you are making an excellent, well thought out decision, Cindy, and have considered doing the same for my own protection.
post #13 of 29
This is one of the reasons why i dont want to go to america
they steal too much! (movies and whats been posted on here)
I mean in big cities you always have to be careful about people stealing your handbag
but :censor::censor::censor: people approaching you in that manner?
IMO george bush has to ban these weapons, because if you look at every other country their crime rate isnt so high (with the guns)
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
This is one of the reasons why i dont want to go to america
they steal too much! (movies and whats been posted on here)
I mean in big cities you always have to be careful about people stealing your handbag
but :censor::censor::censor: people approaching you in that manner?
IMO george bush has to ban these weapons, because if you look at every other country their crime rate isnt so high (with the guns)
You've been watching WAY too many movies. Many crimes are PREVENTED by law-abiding citizens, who own guns. In states with concealed-carry permits, the bad guys think twice about attacking someone.

A few weeks ago, a young woman was abducted and murdered in Texas. Her murderer was captured in Arizona, after he was shot by a store owner, who he tried to rob. Thanks to that store owner, the killer is back in Texas, awaiting trial and he won't ever hurt anyone again.

Since this thread is moving into politics, I'm moving it to IMO.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
This is one of the reasons why i dont want to go to america
they steal too much! (movies and whats been posted on here)
I mean in big cities you always have to be careful about people stealing your handbag
but :censor::censor::censor: people approaching you in that manner?
IMO george bush has to ban these weapons, because if you look at every other country their crime rate isnt so high (with the guns)
Please don't lump all those criminal statistics to one country. There are other countries with high crime rates - for example, south africa. Movies are just that. Movies.

I went to New Orleans and I got told a lot of bad things that crime may happen to me, but when I went there, everyone was sooo friendly, I loved the place, everyone was so nice to me, I was nice to everyone and they were nice to me in return. It made my trip pleasurable.
post #16 of 29
What gets me is you aren't safe in place you should be like you said. A friend of mine had her wallet stolen from her elementary school desk, she is a teacher. She was so used to just putting it in her desk she didn't even notice it was stolen until she got home. I have started locking my valueables in a locked room now, I work at a college. And I don't leave my purse unattended in my city college class.

I don't know on the gun thing, I hear that more people end up shooting family members with them so I don't think they should be in homes. IMHO
post #17 of 29
Please! Here, elementary schools are often targets. We have had many instances where people come on campus during dismissal when all the rooms are empty to grab as many teachers' purses as possible. We always caution teachers to keep their valuables locked up. Whenever we get a hit like this, the people travel in groups and hit multiple schools, a different one each day.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb25
Please! Here, elementary schools are often targets. We have had many instances where people come on campus during dismissal when all the rooms are empty to grab as many teachers' purses as possible. We always caution teachers to keep their valuables locked up. Whenever we get a hit like this, the people travel in groups and hit multiple schools, a different one each day.
That happened at our school, and a couple of others in the city. It was organized - people were sending children into the schools to steal anything that wasn't nailed down.
Though I do have to say that I had two of my textbooks ripped off two years ago. They were my personal copies with notes in them, paid for out of my own pocket, not the copies supplied by the school. Since I had a good idea of which class was involved, I ranted and raved and told the class that I expected the books to be put in a certain place within the next 24 hours, and that only then would I agree to teach them (empty threat, but they didn't know that). Guess what? I got the books back.
post #19 of 29
When comparing the crime rate of the U.S. to other countries, the only relevant comparison is with other developed countries that also have a codified system of law, established criminal justice system, stable government, etc (e.g. Canada, Germany, France, Great Britain, etc). As compared to other developed countries, the U.S. has by far the highest homicide rate (and other violent crime rate). That isn’t to say that guns are causing that high crime rate (because there are other developed countries with more guns per person), but there is certainly something going on there.

I notice a lot of people discounting their ability to defend themselves without a weapon. Those stories of very small, very old martial arts masters beating up the tough young bucks aren’t just stories. I’ve met some of them. The master at my school, though not yet what I would call "old", is in his late 60’s, and none of the 20-something black belts can beat him. There will always be someone stronger and faster, which is why real martial arts is about training the mind. Strategy will beat strength. Sure, there are people for whom martial arts won’t work (like those who use wheelchairs), but don’t think that you can’t defend yourself purely based on your age. You do yourself a disservice!

Lastly, I agree that pulling a weapon is last-resort only. I feel the same way about my martial arts training, actually. I’m not going to hurt someone unless I think it’s deadly serious. The trouble is, that’s hard to judge sometimes, and there is no margin of error with a gun. Once you pull it, all the things I mentioned before are possible. I also emphasize the point I made before, that it sounds more like people on the forum are tired of being harassed and feeling anxious, not that they feel their lives are in daily peril. Having a concealed weapon will do nothing to stop people harassing you (unless, as another person said, you’re an idiot and you start waving it around), and it won’t keep people from stealing things when you aren’t around. The gal who told the story about how the teacher got her books back is a great example of what DOES help accomplish those things: approaching the situation from a place of mental strength and confidence.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan
This is one of the reasons why i dont want to go to america
they steal too much! (movies and whats been posted on here)
I mean in big cities you always have to be careful about people stealing your handbag
but :censor::censor::censor: people approaching you in that manner?
IMO george bush has to ban these weapons, because if you look at every other country their crime rate isnt so high (with the guns)
Fwan,
When I was in highschool (ummm...28 years ago) there was an exchange student from Aulstralia. She actually believed that when she got off the plane there would be cowboys shooting at each other! She loved the USA and never had a problem.
Of course, we do have our share of crime. I think it gets worse every year, but there are so many good people too, please don't let it keep you away!
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
Fwan,
When I was in highschool (ummm...28 years ago) there was an exchange student from Aulstralia. She actually believed that when she got off the plane there would be cowboys shooting at each other! She loved the USA and never had a problem.
Of course, we do have our share of crime. I think it gets worse every year, but there are so many good people too, please don't let it keep you away!

That is so funny, I know people who came to CA and thought they would see movie stars all over!
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
That is so funny, I know people who came to CA and thought they would see movie stars all over!
Or that everyone in CA would be a surfer and say "Duuuuude . . ." a lot. They were shocked to realize that CA has everything from deserts to alpine tundra, instead of being just one big beach!!
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
That is so funny, I know people who came to CA and thought they would see movie stars all over!
Funny story...My family moved out to Colorado in the early/mid-1970s. The first time someone in the family came out to visit from Nebraska, they happened to be filming a Western around the Julesberg area (which is still pretty desolate, BTW). They FREAKED because they really, honestly thought that Colorado was still Old West with Cowboys and Indians, and that they were in danger of being attacked by Indians! It's funny how perceptions of areas can be so skewed.

I've mainly stayed out of this because I get too hot about this issue. My idea of gun control is hitting the target. Thing is, you don't hear about the hundreds of thousands (if not more) who own guns and never have an accident, never have to pull it in self-defense, and are responsible owners. You hear about the idiots who think they are toys, have no respect for the weapons, who don't take the proper precautions, or who are criminals to begin with. Overall, the crime rate has been dropping in the US for quite some time, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports. (2003 (last year for which data is complete): http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/03cius.htm) According to that, the overall rate of violent crime in the US has dropped 25.6% in gross number of offenses, and to keep a statistical straight line has dropped 33.4% per 100,000 people between 1994 and 2004. Even in the recession years, and years since Bush has taken office, the crime rate has continued to drop. The first half of 2004 saw a 2.0% percentage drop in overall violent crime as compared to the same time period in 2003, with a 5.7% drop in murders. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2004/6mosprelim04.pdf The US's crime rate is vastly overstated if all you see is the news.
post #24 of 29
these people make me soooo mad
my poor little brother was attacked a couple of weeks ago, hes only 12, he was going to the shops with his friens, and a gang of men jumped out a bush, hitting them and stole my brothers mobile phone!!!!!!! these men were between the ages of 18-21, my brother is 12!!!!!!!!
The good thing is that they were caught in the end
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb25
Please! Here, elementary schools are often targets. We have had many instances where people come on campus during dismissal when all the rooms are empty to grab as many teachers' purses as possible. We always caution teachers to keep their valuables locked up. Whenever we get a hit like this, the people travel in groups and hit multiple schools, a different one each day.
In my friends case it was never a problem, but word must have gone around this is a new easy target! Ugh.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Overall, the crime rate has been dropping in the US for quite some time, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports. (2003 (last year for which data is complete): http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/03cius.htm) According to that, the overall rate of violent crime in the US has dropped 25.6% in gross number of offenses, and to keep a statistical straight line has dropped 33.4% per 100,000 people between 1994 and 2004. Even in the recession years, and years since Bush has taken office, the crime rate has continued to drop. The first half of 2004 saw a 2.0% percentage drop in overall violent crime as compared to the same time period in 2003, with a 5.7% drop in murders. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2004/6mosprelim04.pdf The US's crime rate is vastly overstated if all you see is the news.
You're so correct about perceptions being skewed. There's an article in our local newspaper entitled, "Fewer Crimes, but More Fear", which makes the same point about Germany. The number of sex-related homicides dropped by 37.5% between 1993 & 2003,that of non-sex-related homicides by 40.8% in the same period. Auto thefts declined by 70.5%. Public opinion polls show that the population estimates that sex-related and non-sex-related homicides increased by 260% and 27%, respectively! Why this perception of increasing crime rates? The Criminology Research Institute in Hanover believes the answer is the increased number of television stations, and thus broadcasts of "crime news", and the increasingly popular shows/series about forensic science and the like.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
You're so correct about perceptions being skewed. There's an article in our local newspaper entitled, "Fewer Crimes, but More Fear", which makes the same point about Germany. The number of sex-related homicides dropped by 37.5% between 1993 & 2003,that of non-sex-related homicides by 40.8% in the same period. Auto thefts declined by 70.5%. Public opinion polls show that the population estimates that sex-related and non-sex-related homicides increased by 260% and 27%, respectively! Why this perception of increasing crime rates? The Criminology Research Institute in Hanover believes the answer is the increased number of television stations, and thus broadcasts of "crime news", and the increasingly popular shows/series about forensic science and the like.

Yes as Moore pointed out so well in "Bowling for Columbine" the perception is there is more crime but there actually isn't. I don't watch much local news anymore, cause they focus on it. But that is what the viewers want. People like to see violence, the movie "Million Dollar Baby" talks about this, how people will slow down after a crash to see the victims. I don't, but I am a wimp!
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Funny story...My family moved out to Colorado in the early/mid-1970s. The first time someone in the family came out to visit from Nebraska, they happened to be filming a Western around the Julesberg area (which is still pretty desolate, BTW). They FREAKED because they really, honestly thought that Colorado was still Old West with Cowboys and Indians, and that they were in danger of being attacked by Indians! It's funny how perceptions of areas can be so skewed.

Overall, the crime rate has been dropping in the US for quite some time, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports. (2003 (last year for which data is complete): http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/03cius.htm) According to that, the overall rate of violent crime in the US has dropped 25.6% in gross number of offenses, and to keep a statistical straight line has dropped 33.4% per 100,000 people between 1994 and 2004. Even in the recession years, and years since Bush has taken office, the crime rate has continued to drop. The first half of 2004 saw a 2.0% percentage drop in overall violent crime as compared to the same time period in 2003, with a 5.7% drop in murders. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2004/6mosprelim04.pdf The US's crime rate is vastly overstated if all you see is the news.
Every crime has gone down, EXCEPT RAPE..every news story seem to forget that, so in turn "we" forget it as well.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
People like to see violence, the movie "Million Dollar Baby" talks about this, how people will slow down after a crash to see the victims. I don't, but I am a wimp!
You might be preventing another crash.
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