How to Avoid Looking Like a Good Target


It has been said that guns are the great equalizer. Concealed carry gives you the confidence to know you can deal with a threat because you have the firepower to defend yourself.

To avoid looking like a good target

  • Stand up straight
  • Walk Purposefully
  • Be alert
  • Organize your belongings before you leave home
  • Keep your children close
  • Wear shoes that do not impede your travel
  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Make eye contact with strangers
  • Park defensively
  • Lock your car
  • Speak clearly and audibly
  • Give commands when you sense danger
  • Radiate confidence
  • Get your Concealed Weapons Permit

I have noticed a difference in bearing with those who carry concealed. Sometimes I think I can tell who is armed just by noticing posture.

A woman with the ability to defend herself doesn’t scurry toward her destination, hoping that no one will notice her existence. Having been trained in self-defense, she knows how she appears to a potential attacker.

Having armed herself, she knows she can use her weapon. Having made the decision to take on the extra responsibility that comes with being armed, she is on the alert for the need to protect herself and her children.

In the wild, the lion looks for the weak, sick, and old. The young buck leading the herd is on the alert. He has the giant antlers to give the predator a fight if he cannot outrun him. The stragglers at the back of the herd are the lion’s target.

Criminals are like everyone else. They want to do their job efficiently, with a minimum of trouble.

A mugger looking for an easy paycheck is going to bypass a 200 pound Marine with wrist-to-neck tattoes in favor of a 120 pound woman with two bags of groceries and an unzipped purse dangling from her arm.

The Marine and the distracted shopper are sending out different signals.

Most of us can’t turn ourselves into 200 pound marines, but there are some things you can do to make the criminal element think twice about making you the target.

Get Your Concealed Weapons Permit

The most obvious thing to do is get your Concealed Weapons Permit. This gives you a tactical advantage against your attacker and imparts the confidence to look like a difficult target.

But that takes time: you have to find a class, take the class, send off the forms, and wait for your license to arrive.

Stand Up Straight

Meanwhile, here’s how to look the part. Start by standing up straight. You will look taller and more imposing, and you will appear willing to face whatever is coming rather than piled with a load of distracting concerns. You will also look healthier and therefore more likely to put up a struggle.

Walk Purposefully

The way you walk signals your ability to fend off an attacker: are you hunched over, scurrying along, with one hand on the sore place on your back? You look easy to defeat.

Is your head held high, with your chest up and your stomach in? Do your arms and legs move freely in a natural stride? You look like you could get away from an attack.

Be Alert

Engage your mind. Put your phone in your pocket and look at your surroundings. Scan the area with your eyes. Note dark corners and suspicious looking people. The crook wants to catch you by surprise.

Organize Your Belongings

Organize yourself before you start your journey. Put small items in a bag instead of juggling them in your hands. Put your sweater on or carry it in your bag. Zip your purse.

Keep Your Children Close

Make sure your children stay close when you are out in public. Make sure they know that you need quick obedience in public because you are the person who keeps them safe.

It doesn’t have to be a scary conversation. Even the smallest children learn safety drills at school, so your kids may be more aware of stranger danger than you realize.

Wear Shoes That Don’t Impede Travel

Wear serviceable shoes. Those stilettos are gorgeous, but can you run in them? If not, you may be running in your stocking feet when an emergency occurs.

This advice is not just for dealing with criminals. Keep proper shoes in your car for walking to the next gas station if your car breaks down where there is no phone signal.

Understand that people dealing with earthquakes and burning buildings need to get to safety in a hurry regardless of the shape of their shoes.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

Make yourself look aware by paying attention to where you are in a crowded room. Look for the exits. Keep your back to the wall.

I know a retired police officer who won’t sit in the middle of the Sunday School room because of the possibility of someone slipping in behind him. He has the room set up with chairs lining the wall rather than in rows so that everyone can see the door.

Make Eye Contact With Strangers

Pay attention to the people who enter your environment. A polite nod and brief eye contact make it clear that you could identify the potential assailant in a lineup later if necessary. Criminals prefer to work anonymously.

Park Defensively

Park in a way that allows you to leave in a hurry without having to ask anyone to move. When I visit a home, I often park at the curb rather than in the driveway so that no one can park behind me and hem me in.

I leave an empty space next to me in the parking lot when possible, and I pay attention to people sitting in their cars. The big, white, windowless van is the international symbol of kidnappers for a reason.

Lock Your Car Doors

Good parking lot hygiene includes removing shopping carts left in the wrong places so you don’t have to go around obstacles.

After you load your groceries, while you are putting the cart away, lock the doors of your vehicle with your remote. Criminals notice who has left doors unlocked.

Speak Loudly and Clearly

When you speak, use a clear, audible voice. Rightly or wrongly, we humans associate quiet voices with weakness and submission. If you have to deal with someone who is causing trouble, clear loud commands are more likely to stop the behavior than a quiet plea for understanding.

You want your potential assailant to understand that attacking you will require too much work because you will yell, bite, kick, and do whatever else is required to avoid being dragged away.

Give Commands When You Sense Danger

Even though you may feel silly doing it, be willing to give commands to strangers.

If someone is approaching you and it just does not feel right, yell “Stop!” or “Get back!” That might be enough to interrupt his plan by earning the publicity he was hoping to avoid.

God gave you instincts to keep you safe. Think of the times when you ignored an instinct out of politeness and regretted it later.

Radiate Confidence

Above all, fix the space between your ears. When you feel confident, it will show. The criminal looking for an easy target will move on because you are too much trouble to subdue.

The best way to look like you can take care of yourself is to equip yourself for the task. My ten-year-old daughter tells me she likes knowing that Mommy and Daddy can take care of her in difficult situations.

We are going to make sure that she can take care of herself, too.

When you are ready to get your Concealed Weapons Permit or develop more confidence using your gun, contact Double Eagle Gunworks LLC. Chris will be happy to meet with you privately or in a group. See our course catalog to find a topic that interests you.

See our calendar for upcoming Concealed Weapons Permit classes. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed.

Watch the Double Eagle Gunworks channel on YouTube for helpful videos on gun related topics.

As a Federal Firearms Dealer, Chris can help you with the purchase or transfer of a firearm.

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Carla Pittman

Carla is a Speech Pathologist working in Home Health by day and a blogger by night. She married Chris in 2008 and is working to help him unite his love of guns with his passion for teaching others to carry safely. Her other impetus for blogging is to make Americans aware of their Constitutional rights, which are at risk in the current political environment.

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