Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 644, November 13, 2011

"Who do you trust more, somebody who will tell you the
truth, no matter how unpleasant it may turn out to be,
or somebody willing to lie to you to keep you happy?
Better make up your mind—if you haven't already—
because we have a lot of unpleasant truths to deal
with, if we want to save America."

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Personal Security
by Jim Davidson

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I'm contemplating another chapter in my continuing effort to write Sovereign Self-Defence and get it published before Christmas. Here are a few thoughts.

In nearly five decades of living on this planet, neither my wallet nor my keys have ever been stolen. I have lived and worked in high crime areas, in places where physical security is extremely hard to come by, and I have slept out of doors on more than a few occasions. I have spent considerable hours at a time in various pick-pocket-rich areas, during high crowd seasons.

What do I know that you don't know? I know that there isn't a pocket anywhere on my person that cannot be entered without detection by a skilled pick pocket, unless my hand is already in there. So when I'm where criminals prey on the unwary, I put my watch, wallet, and keys in one pocket, put my hand in there, and I keep it in there. If that makes shaking hands a difficulty, so be it, though I find my left front pocket is just as good as my right.

Do I carry a purse? No, I don't. I have carried brief cases, satchels, and at many times been called upon to carry purses for women. I don't rely on the straps, as they may be cut. Generally, if there is a long strap, I wrap it about my wrist, and grip the main handle. If there aren't two handles to hold the bag closed, I wrap the long strap, or a rope or cloth, around the entire satchel.

Yes, I do understand that women are widely regarded for the shape of their anatomy. Yes, I am aware that some men have limited intellects and would not be able to mentally edit out the shape of a wallet or keys. So what, ladies? Are you seriously interested in a feeble minded man? Is your physical security less important than the shape of your hips, ass, or front? I know you wear pants with pockets at times. Have you considered how few men have their purses stolen, because they don't have purses?

Maybe some women should strike a new path. I've seen many activist women carrying backpacks, or fanny packs, which they wear, rather than leave aside while they are engaged in other tasks. Maybe putting your wallet and keys in your pockets could become a new fashion style, and the purse industry can go to the devil.

Yes, your attention is going to be split. Anything you have in your direct physical possession is necessarily safer than an object at some remove from yourself, such as a purse. If you aren't in a position to watch both the children in your care and your purse, consider the usefulness of assigning someone else to hold and watch your purse, preferably someone you can actually trust. You probably have an instinct about other people, about who is and is not trustworthy. Use that instinct. Grow it into a useful tool.

Awareness of your surroundings is key to your physical security. I've read several coding schemes about awareness. One of them uses the following colours.

White—you are off in "your own little world." You are in a daze. Your mind is clouded with thoughts. You are distracted. You are thinking about something else. You are not paying attention. You are in very grave danger. If you let yourself get into this condition while you are not alone and secure behind locked doors, you are in danger. You are relying upon the fact that only 1.8% of persons ever commit a violent crime, and only about 4% of persons ever commit a property crime.

Yellow—you are in cautionary mode. You are looking about you. You are watching others in your vicinity. You are aware of where you are, where your belongings are, and you are very watchful. You should make a serious effort to be in and stay in this mode of operation at all times. Even when you are addressing a group, or engaged in an activity, if you cannot be present to your surroundings, you should explicitly delegate the physical security issue to someone else. Otherwise, forego the activity. When you are in yellow-as-caution mode you are not willing to be surprised. You know when people are approaching you. You know when you can and cannot see the hands of other people. You are constantly thinking not only about sources of danger but routes of escape. You know where to go when things go wrong. If you are watching a child for someone else, you also know whether the parent is around, where that parent may be located, and how to put the parent and child together quickly in an urgent situation.

Orange—you are now aware of a direct threat. "Going orange" is a security service term. It means focusing on a direct threat, watching for other threats, and moving to intercede. It may mean putting your hand to your personal weapon. It may mean getting the digits 911 entered on your cell phone, with your hand ready to push the green call button. It may mean gathering your children and belongings and heading to safer places. It means that you perceive a threat to your safety, and you are ready to proceed quickly to address the threat.

Red—you are responding to attack. You may be drawing your weapon. You may be firing your weapon, if it is a projectile weapon. You may be shouting warnings to those you love. You may be shouting warnings at the attacker. You may be taking position to cover the retreat or withdrawal of those you care for. You are acting.

Black—you are engaged in combat. You have left behind all your pre-conceptions about what is and is not acceptable behaviour. You are doing whatever you must do in order to survive, in order to protect those you care about.

These are, of course, arbitrary assignments of colour. You may choose your own colour scheme, but the levels of awareness and the intense need for your attention is a scale, and you should be aware of that scale. If you find yourself slipping out of "yellow-cautionary-mode" and into distraction, you should get someone else to help you watch over yourself or your things.

Various stories I have heard indicate strongly that being at yellow-caution can be extremely useful. Simply being aware of danger helps you to avoid it. People who are looking to hurt others or steal their property are looking for signs that you are vulnerable. Or that your property is vulnerable. You can do more to stay safe, and you should. (So can I.)

On "going orange," Boston T. Party aka Ken Royce relates a story in one of his books, or possibly on one of his web forums, about an encounter in a convenience store. Not only did he see two men enter the store bent on robbery or other action, and not only did he "go orange" in this situation, but one of the men saw him, was aware of the heightened attention, and signalled the other man. Instead of doing whatever they were there to do, they left.

So, it is not necessarily the case that you are going to proceed from yellow to orange to red to black in every situation. You might be able to avoid any difficulty by simply being present and alert. You may be able to discourage wrongdoing simply by going to a heightened level of attention. Yes, you may end up in danger, red alert, and have to take steps to protect yourself and others. Yes, you may find yourself in combat. But those things could happen *anyway* even if you don't take any precautions.

Please do what you can to exercise more care, and encourage it in others. The life you save may be your own.

Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and anti-war activist. His 1990 venture to offer a sweepstakes trip into space was destroyed by government action as was his free port and prospective space port in Somalia in 2001. His 2002-2007 venture in free market money and private stock exchange was destroyed by government action in 2007. He's going to Mars if he has to walk.

His third book, a joint effort with Harry Felker and Shaun Lee, is now available from Lulu.

His second book, Being Sovereign is availble from Lulu and Amazon. It has also been released as an ePub from

Contact him at or Come visit IndSovU teams at gatherings in December 2011 in Florida, and March 2012 in Austin, Texas. Or join State Busters [see below].

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