When we think of bad guys, how much time do we spend exploring the mind, motivations and methods of the criminal? Are we setting ourselves up for failure by ignoring the important details of how the criminal operates when we seek out our self defense training? Does simply buying a handgun, loading it, and putting it in the nightstand prepare you for a life and death fight with a bad guy?

Dan Lanotte of Falcon Personal Security in Falcon, Colorado, has written a short blog post on his observations of the character of the bad guy. Understanding the criminal mind is key to preparing to defeat him (or her!). Your training should certainly include educating yourself on what you are potentially up against. And an often ignored element of this training is identifying threats before they become threats, so they can be avoided if possible.

What I want to address is the character of bad guys, a category into which Wahhaj fits. Reports coming to light tell us that Wahhaj was training the children to shoot up schools. So, what does this tell us about the character of bad guys? Primarily, they are cowards. Wahhaj was going to send children into schools to do his bidding. There is no indication that he was going to take an active part in any of this…

…I also encourage all responsibly armed citizens to get training on how to respond in case of a coward coming in and opening fire. My training emphasizes avoidance rather than engagement.

Training is a word that encompasses many possible areas of learning, including physical, mental and emotional preparation. Don’t neglect the brain when you’re developing your skills. Your ability to identify a criminal before the fighting starts could very well save your life.

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