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American COP May/June 2011 Digital Edition - Page 40

fAmIly flAshlIghts Practical Protection Richard Mann I The answer isn’t always a gun. For some people, a powerful, compact light and a less-lethal alternative might be the answer. This lineup from Novatac, Streamlight and Insight are all solid performers. ts9p.m.andDumbandDumberareinabeat-upDodge Neon in a dark corner of the mall parking lot. Dumb is suckingdownabottleofThunderbirdwinewhileDumber is rolling a joint. They’re looking for an easy score and havetheireyesonanewChevyMalibuparkedjustoutside the glow of a streetlight. Dumber notices a woman exit the mallsohepokesDumbintheribsandsays,“Let’sgo.”They stepoutofthecar. The woman looks across the parking lot and notices the beatupNeonnearhercar.Shereachesinherpurse,pullsout aflashlight,clicksthebuttonandsweepstheparkinglotwith thebeam.Shestopsthelightonthecrappycarwiththetwo goobersstumblingout. Dumbshieldshiseyesfromthe110lumensoflightandblurts, “Aw shit, man!What the hell!”They jump back in the car and Dumbturnsthekeyandflicksontheheadlightstocounteractthe sunshineradiatingfromtheirwould-have-beenvictim.Hethrows thecaringearandspeedsoutoftheparkinglot. Don’t Fear The Darkness Somepeopleareafraidofthedarkandfranklytheirfears arejustified.Notbecausethedarknessiswherevampireslive, butbecausethat’swherereallifevillainsthrive.Iworkedthe nightshiftfor13years;longenoughtorealizewhytheprivilegeofworkingdayshiftcamewithseniority.Darknessgives theadvantagetothepredatornottheprey. Nature’smosteffectivepredatorsarecreaturesofthenight. Weliketothinkwe’resophisticatedmammals,butwe’repart ofnatureandeventhedumbesthumanscoundrelknowshis chancesforsuccessaresubstantiallyincreasedintheabsence oflight.Copsknowthisalltoowell.Howmanyofficerswould worktheirbeatwithoutaflashlight? Light signifies authority and facilitates control. Bad guys liketheanonymityandtheelementofsurprisedarknessoffers. Ifyoucanseethem,theycan’tsurpriseyou.Asacopyou’ve learnedtheworldisfullofallkindsofrogues.Whileyournoncopfriendscallyouparanoid,you’veseentheelephant;you knowwhatlurksintheshadows.Youalsoworryaboutyour 40 Any kid can use a flashlight effectively with virtually no training. Stick one in their book bag or coat pocket. familyandthebestwaytoinsuretheirsafety. Not all your loved ones are gun people and even if they are,agunisn’talwaysthebesttooltodefuseeverybadsituation. Regardless of how old or gun savvy family members are,iftheycanwalkandtalktheycanmanipulateaflashlight. Crookslookforeasytargets;theonewhowillofferthemost opportunitywiththeleastrisk.They’lllurkintheshadowsand strike at the most opportune moment.They don’t want light shinedonthemandthey’llavoidtargetinganyonewavinga lightaroundattractingattention. Sometimes we’re so caught up in providing our loved WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • MAY/JUNE 2011

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