Heavy Clothing in Hot Weather: Know the Danger

For people who have done any amount of training in defensive tactics and situational awareness, the sight of an individual, or multiple people, wearing heavy clothing during hot weather indicates the possibility of concealed weapons.  This is a tactic that has been used for decades, likely centuries, by criminals to hide weaponry so that they can keep their tools concealed until the last moment when committing a robbery or some other felonious deed.  Such a strategy is obviously more conspicuous during the summer in warm climates as such unseasonal dress as a coat or jacket are completely out of the norm.  Therefore, certainly consider the possibility of such unusual clothing choice as being the means to conceal weaponry during the commission of a crime.

However, there is more to the danger of heavy clothing in summer than only this consideration.  The other, in fact more common, though less nefarious, reason for heavy clothing during warm weather is mental illness.  Severe mental illness, such as advanced cases of schizophrenia, often manifest in many ways, including the wearing of heavy clothing during hot weather.  While most people would find such a garment intolerable during such heat, some mentally ill people are all but impervious to it, or at least show no reaction to it.  Now, mentally ill people on the street can certainly be dangerous, but more often than not they are the victim rather than the victimizer.  Mentally ill, homeless, people are far more often victims to terrible predation than the perpetrators of.  However, be wary of anyone who displays mental imbalance. 

Knowing the difference between the habit of the mentally ill to wear unseasonably warm clothing and the criminal element using it only for concealment purposes is sound.  Again, yes, some mentally ill people are dangerous, but it is the minority, and individuals with all of their faculties who utilize unseasonably heavy clothing to conceal weaponry for criminal behavior are obviously more dangerous.  The dirty looking, oddly behaving, guy who is talking to himself at the bus stop while wearing an unseasonably warm coat and a watch cap is likely mentally ill.  However, what about the two young, seemingly healthy, men who enter the 7/11 while wearing coats during a 90 degree heatwave?  What about them?  Know the difference. One is likely much more dangerous than the other.

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