jerkingthetrigger.com warns that “Meeting strangers off the internet for a cash transaction carries some amount of risk. Be armed, alert, and early so that you can observe the area and the other party as they arrive on the scene. This is especially true for you ladies. If the arriving party just doesn’t look right then don’t be afraid to abort the transaction and make a hasty exit. You don’t owe anybody (especially a stranger) an explanation here and not wanting to appear rude in the face of an uncomfortable or threatening situation is a good way to end up as an ugly statistic.” Alternatively . . .
Don’t ever meet anyone selling anything on Craig’s list. And don’t sell anything face-to-face (FTF) with anyone from Craigslist. Craigsist killers? Yeah, they’re out there.
Although I’m more reclusive than most, I’m not recommending a hermitic lifestyle. Meeting new people FTF is one of life’s greatest and most important adventures. The chances of a non-gang banging American experiencing a random act of violence are lower than the odds of Behati Prinsloo driving a minivan.
But it’s also true that predators aren’t stupid. (Or, if you prefer, the stupid ones have already been caught.) Aforementioned gang members excepted (sometimes), predators prey on people they don’t know. They rape, rob and otherwise molest strangers.
To paraphrase Will Rogers, a stranger is just a victim a criminal hasn’t met.
It’s one thing to experience a home invasion. It’s another to “bump into” a criminal. It’s another to invite strangers into your life. Opening your door to door-to-door salesmen, doing FTF with Craig’s list buyers or sellers, striking-up a conversation in a dodgy bar—that’s nuts.
Sure, these activities are relatively safe in the statistically safe country in which we live. But they’re also relatively dangerous. If you wear a seatbelt to reduce your risk of injury or death, why would you wear a smile for everyone you meet all the time everywhere?
There are two reasons why most people cling to what’s called “Condition White”: they’re trusting or they’re cheap.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Trusting people as the default option is childish. It ignores the reality of evil.
Which is fine, as far as it goes. As I said, America is a safe country. But no country on earth can eliminate the innate human tendency to use violence or the threat of violence to obtain resources. (How do you think Uncle Sam gets people to pay taxes?) To close your eyes to the possibility of evil is to invite it into your life.
No really. Predatory criminals are experts at identifying victims. They can read you body language like a Classics professor can read Latin. Only faster. They can instantly ID your state of preparedness from your voice.
If you believe you’re safe, a criminal will recognize your unprepared mindset in a New York minute. A criminal masquerading as a door-to-door salesman, Craig’s list buyer or a potential pick-up at a bar will know you’re an easy mark.
Carrying a gun changes the way you stand, walk and talk to strangers. Or maybe people who carry a gun are naturally wary. Either way, and even if you don’t carry a gun, trusting your fellow man or woman without reality checking your assessment makes you a mark.
Trust no one, at least until you do? Why not? Despite the antis’ assertion that gun owners are mentally defective—paranoid people on constant perp alert—there’s nothing psychologically damaging about keeping your guard up when you need to. So what’s the downside?
Companies must have a good reputation to survive. Creating, promoting and maintaining a good rep—through people, places and marketing—costs money. Even in America’s hyper-competitive market, consumers have to pay for this “peace of mind.”
Obviously, unscrupulous people can fool some of the people some of the time. (Thank Al Gore for the Internet.) But it’s almost always less expensive to buy things from private sellers. Low overheads, low price.
Cars, guns, sex—its all the same. Buying from an individual saves you tons of cash. And exposes you to a greater chance of fraud and criminality. People who buy from private sellers eventually experience false economy. In other words, it’s worth it right until it isn’t.
You could carry gun to FTF private transactions and submit private sellers/door-to-door salesmen, one-night stands, etc. to close scrutiny. Or you could exercise some restraint pay a little or a lot more and reduce your risk.
The bottom line remains the same as it ever was: avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things. Step one, when you meet someone ask yourself “Is this person stupid?” ‘Cause criminals are stupid. Except when they’re not.