The streets are almost literally filled with all kinds of homeless and mentally ill people these days and a lot of them have become desperate enough to take up the career of “Panhandling.” (Begging for money from complete strangers.)
Did I mention yet that some of them are suffering from one kind of mental challenge or the other? I don’t know about you, but in my book that makes some of them potentially dangerous.
If you think there is no potential for personal danger when you are approached by a panhandler these days, I think you are seriously mistaken because a lot of them are so desperate to finance their drug or alcohol habits or to find something to eat, it is no telling what they are capable of doing or willing to do.
We are living in times when you can’t even trust your next door neighbor sometimes, much less a complete stranger you encounter on the streets.
Competition among these beggars is fierce because they all suffer from a shortage of potential resources from which to beg and bum (or steal and rob) and I think it is becoming increasingly important that we, as honest, hard-working citizens, protect ourselves whenever we are out and about on America’s ever-increasingly dangerous highways and byways.
One method of self-protection is to refuse to ever get caught out on the streets or in lonely places while alone. I always take somebody with me wherever I go.
You have to remember that what makes some panhandlers dangerous is not only the concept that they might be stoned out of their gourds when they accost you and are not, therefore, in complete control of their actions, but they are also sometimes so desperate to get some money that they are willing to take great risks even if it means harming their targets.
Some of them think they have nothing to lose no matter what they might do to somebody else.
As for me, I believe my best defense against some of these people is to avoid them altogether if possible and to refuse to make eye contact with them if you are caught. I try to ignore them if I see them coming and if I can’t ignore them then I make tracks to somewhere where I can be among other sane and reasonable people who might help me in case I am attacked or whose very presence might deter the would-be assailant.