Four Public Safety Rules

Humilitas First recommends four rules to reduce your chances of facing a deadly force confrontation.  Here are a few reasons we find ourselves breaking one or more of these rules:

  • Family Commitments 
  • Unique Shopping Opportunities
  • Work or Business Related

Strive to avoid breaking all four rules at the same time.

Rule #1 Avoid High Crime Dangerous Areas

The gold standard for identifying a high crime dangerous geographical area is illegal shots fired.  Good luck finding a city willing to plot these locations on a map.  If your city uses a service like ShotSpotter, you could submit a FOIA request to identify where city fathers have deployed the acoustic sensors.  For every gun-related homicide, there are multiple times more shootings involving a gunshot wound where the person survives.  For every shooting involving a gunshot wound, there are numerous times more illegal shots fired.  Look at the shooting map above from Peoria, Illinois, from 2017 to see how the shooting victims plotted on a map provides us with a fairly well-defined geographical area to avoid.  This well-defined area would fill in and grow if the illegal shots fired were added to this map. 

These violent crimes do not occur in a vacuum.  The geographical areas where you have unjustified shootings and murders include all other violent crimes—robbery, vehicular hijacking, vehicular invasion, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.  When my children were old enough to drive, they used one of our two vehicles.  My police career was in Springfield, Illinois, population 113,394 (2021).  The first thing I did was print off a map of Springfield and geographically define for my children where my vehicle is not permitted to go.  Thereby limiting where my children were allowed to go.  

To understand what geographical areas should be avoided, befriend a police officer and ask him or seek out the data showing where most violent crime occurs.  If you cannot find a shooting map that plots out where the shootings and murders are happening, then I’ll give you a couple of other useful tools that I trust. offers mapping with tabs for violent crime overall, and then, under more, you’ll find additional tabs for individual crimes like murder, robbery, assault, and drug crimes, to name a few. provides a more intensive research capability as you can look at how many murders, robberies, rapes, assaults, etc, have occurred in a particular city over a several-year period.   

Rule #2 Avoid Dangerous Men

I’ve heard firearms instructors ask the question: Can you look at a person and tell whether they’re a potentially dangerous man?  Then, they’ll let you know that you cannot tell whether a person is potentially hazardous by their appearance.  They are wrong.  This is about probabilities. Some would then use the Ted Bundy argument.  Ted Bundy could dress and comport himself to appear helpless, injured, and in need of assistance or polite and helpful.  Ted Bundy was an outlier.  Even with an outlier like Ted Bundy, some principles can assist you and your family in avoiding such extreme murderous traps.  

With an outlier like Ted Bundy, you have to understand proxemics.  Proximity is king when it comes to identifying a potential threat. Here are three leadership rules I frequently ask myself during my law enforcement career.  

  1. Where am I leading my people (or where am I being led by others)?
  2. Can I, should I?
  3. Why now?

Where was Ted Bundy leading his victims?  What emotions did he tap into to move his victims towards his murderous traps?  Ask yourself where your feelings are leading you.  If you’re being led to an isolated, lonely place of vulnerability, then yes, you can, but no, you should not!   Proximity is king.  

If a man dresses like an outlaw-type motorcycle gang member or an inner-city gang member, they are making a statement to the world, and that statement is: I’m a dangerous man!  Why wouldn’t you believe him?  Some would argue that a particular person is just playing dress up as a want-to-be.  My response is in the form of a question: What do they want to be?  In other words, what vices does a particular person value highly?  What do they want to be? The difference between a want-to-be and someone who is what they purport to be through things like dress, adornment (prison & gang tattoos), and comportment is time and opportunity.  If they want to become something long enough, an opportunity will eventually present itself, and they’ll become what they want to be.  Do you want to be their opportunity?  I don’t.  So I’ll box around or avoid those kinds of men.  If you believe that a Christmas toy drive for children means outlaw biker groups are a bastion of virtue, then you are exceedingly naive.  If you buy into the political correctness of not saying anything negative about inner-city street gangs, then you are not dealing with personal safety from the perspective of reality.  You are entertaining fantasy, myth, and grave errors.  

A man’s disposition or mood is another aspect of identifying a potentially dangerous man.  If I hear a man screaming profanities into his phone as he walks down the street, I will simply move offline so I don’t have a ‘meet and greet’ with that man.  If I hear a loud argument in a high-crime, dangerous area, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next thing I hear is shots fired.  Of course, not every argument in a high-crime area leads to such an event, but the point is that it wouldn’t surprise me.  Say I was visiting my sister-in-law, who lives in a high-crime, geographically dangerous area, and outside, I heard angry, profane screaming begin.  While most folks would want to look out the window to see what’s happening, I’d rather move our conversation downstairs to her basement.  Why?  The same reason as an officer, when we had a standoff with an armed barricaded subject, we’d tell the neighbors if they didn’t want to evacuate for the afternoon, our recommendation was they shelter in place in their basement.  Fox holes stop bullets.  Here are some other dispositions to avoid:

  • Lawless Spirits
  • Party Spirits
  • Spirit of Madness

Rule #3 Avoid Dangerous Periods

Avoid going to high-crime, dangerous areas and around dangerous men from sunset to sunrise. Summertime or warm weather is another period to avoid entering high-crime, dangerous places.  If I had to go to such an area, I’d prefer to do so during the early daylight morning hours up until about noon.  Pay attention to times when shootings are being reported in your geographical area or those areas nearby that you frequent.  

Rule #4 Don’t Loiter or Hang Out in Areas of High Vulnerability

With good planning, you can reduce the number of tasks needed in a dangerous geographical area with high crime rates.  Learn to be more efficient when arriving and departing in a high-crime, dangerous area.  Humilitas First has a YouTube channel dedicated to educating innocent people of goodwill on this subject matter. It is at  

Unjust criminal aggressors hunt for and exploit opportunities to make you their next crime victim.  They exploit vulnerabilities.  If I need to go to Peoria to shop at Sam’s Club, I will box around the heart of a city like Peoria using an interstate bypass like Interstate 474.  I’m not stopping in Peoria for gasoline, fast food, banking, or other tasks on my list.  I’ll save those tasks for the more conservative county where I live, with a far lower crime rate.  These choices don’t provide a guarantee as there are no guarantees.  They provide common sense probabilities to help keep your family and yourself relatively safer than the bad choices.