A weekend in America can become a nightmare when a fellow traveler visits Washington, DC and encounters a sniper. While there are several government buildings and museums in the city that are well protected by security forces, private citizens who choose to visit the capital and settle on a Washington vacation may be at greater risk of attack. The capital’s closest neighbors are Maryland and Virginia, both of which have had sniper attacks in recent years. In fact, sniper attacks on US soil have occurred in recent decades, and there is very little law enforcement can do to stop them. A weekend away in America is no place to go without bringing a self-defense product.
One way to avoid an uncomfortable situation is to know your way around Washington, DC before leaving on a vacation. If you’re visiting the capital with children or young adults, it’s a good idea to carry a personal alarm, pepper spray, or a stun gun with you at all times. Many visitors prefer not to carry such personal items, but even if a shopping mall has security guards, it’s possible for an unsupervised individual to carry an illegal weapon. When shopping in a public area, it’s crucial to always bring a reliable self defense product.
There are a number of other ways to avoid an uncomfortable situation. If you do encounter a gun-toting tourist, calling the police right away will help prevent a dangerous confrontation. Just as important, carrying your own self defense product can give you a way to escape safely if you feel threatened by an attacker. Whether you are shopping in a large shopping mall or walking down an airport, carry pepper spray in a key chain or purse, or toss a stun gun in your back pocket, you can avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
As with most cities with a large police presence, Washington D.C. has a professional law enforcement presence. But even if you feel safe shopping at a popular mall, armed security personnel are stationed at all major establishments. The MallPD has a great deal of experience with law enforcement cooperation and crime prevention, so you can call them if you have any concerns. They can help you identify troublemakers and keep shoppers safe.
If you are shopping at a major mall, it’s wise to call mall security and make sure that you and your companions are allowed to enter the mall before you leave. The MallPD can be reached by phone and can offer direction on where to go or what to do. It’s also a good idea to call the U.S. Capitol Police Department atrium on the same day that you visit the mall to make sure that there are no problems. A representative from the U.S. Capitol Police can help you navigate the public facility. While visiting a law enforcement facility, keep in mind that you may be prohibited from carrying a weapon or have to fill out a form detailing your intentions.
Even if you are not concerned with security issues or law enforcement, you should still consider leaving your doors locked when you are out and about. Some people become lax on their security after visiting the White House, but even celebrities should always take steps to safeguard themselves. There are plenty of instances of assault and rape reported each year near prominent resorts and hotels. If you are on a business trip, don’t leave your hotel suite door unlocked. You may not realize it, but there are plenty of predators in the area who would love to take advantage of a nice night alone with you.