Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Nod of the Head to Gabe Suarez

If you've been around a bit, you're probably familiar with firearms trainer Gabe Suarez and his Suarez International. I've never trained with Mr. Suarez, but a while back I signed up for one of his newsletters, which I have found to be thoughtful, articulate and very useful. The December Training Update #1 on "Too Much Information" was particularly insightful:
Watch what you say in public. Think the worst of those within ear shot. You want a private conversation, don’t have it in a public place. And if you must, then keep your voices down so only those involved in the conversation can hear it.

A stranger asks you for personal information? Tell them to pound sand. Or if you must provide it for some reason, make a “mistake” and give them bad information. Yes, lie. Change the numbers of your address or give them a different address. Same for phone numbers, dates of birth, and social security numbers. If you must give out the true information, be as guarded about it as you would be with your pin number to the ATM.

Look at your daily dress. Sometimes the job will determine the clothing, but if not, then avoid all the gun school wear and CCW Gucci gear as it will mark you for scrutiny or for targeting. If you don’t care, then keep doing what you are doing. What I will say is the casual construction worker look or the moderately paid office worker look will not get any attention, while the pressed and starched 5.11 CCW vest with matching pants and gun logo hat will get stares from everyone.

Look at your car. How many unnecessary stickers describing you or your family appear there. My favorite OpSec faux pas is the stencil cartoon of all family members along with their names and ages sharply detailed on the back window.

Come on guys. How many of you would walk into the “soon-to-be-released” ward of the local mental hospital for the criminally insane and give a 30 minute briefing on your family and where they can be found? That is in effect what you are doing.
A lot of excellent information here! It's scary information for me because I am, by definition, a "public person." You know a lot more about me than I know about you. Which is weird, because in my previous career as a journalist, I was relentlessly private...comes from prying personal information out of people for a living. I knew how much info people like me could extract from non-pros; accordingly, I didn't give interviews, my numbers weren't unlisted, etc.

Strange how things change...

Anyhow, you can sign up for Gabe Suarez' newsletter here...I strongly recommend you do!


JoeMerchant24 said...

I love the stores that want my phone number. I always invert the last few numbers. The first time my wife heard that, she started to correct me (and think I was an idiot)... now just last night I heard her do the same thing.

HaroldB said...

Sorry, but I disagree with some things here. There is nothing "illegal, immoral or fattening" about my participation in the Shooting sports. I won't let the Gun-Haters dictate how I dress or keep me from showing the SASS sticker on my truck.
I'm proud of our sport and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my ............. well, you know ~ ; - )

RVN11B said...

Well lets see....construction/farmer/outdoorsy type of clothing...(check)
Equine sports related window sticker along with my NRA sticker...(check) oh lets not forget my really cool bumper sticker that states my other 'car' wears four horseshoes (four on the floor) heh!

Yep quite inconspicuous!

Anonymous said...

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people aren't following me...Once I get rid of those pesky black helicopters I'll be able to backtrack my way to the bunker!

Kristopher said...

Hey, anon:

Just having an NRA sticker on my vehicle was enough to get it searched when traveling to Canada.

This ain't about black helicopters ... it's about keeping the police and criminals ignorant about you.

I don't see you putting your own name on your little taunt ...

Anonymous said...

Gabe has many wise things to say - and hearing some of them seem to disturb folks quite a bit. Oh well, I'm glad he keeps saying them.

Erich Martell

Anonymous said...

when I'm at the cash register and they ask for my phone number, I just give them the number to... well... how shall I say... back when I was on active duty on the STU III, it would only display Department of Defense.

Take that you telemarketers.


Lawrence said...

I used to give people the number for a strip bar that I knew about.

Either that, or the health dept.

What Gabe says makes a great deal of sense if you believe in the gray man concept, which I do.

BigNug45 said...

Thanks for the tip on the newsletter!

Anonymous said...

On the phone number/zip code thing at stores, like Nancy Regan put it, just say "No." Politely, of course.