Building a Personal Defense Strategy
I begin this Post with tongue-in-cheek because of its many implications. In reality, even in my current day-to-day life, I am defending myself against those things or persons that could negatively affect my lifestyle and peace of mind. I have insurance, alarm systems and locks and methods and plans if those first lines of defense fail.
In a public emergency situation, there would be an increase in the potential for public unrest and my level of alertness. I WANT to believe that if a situation occurs that requires me to put my Emergency Plan into effect, those who are knocking on my door are those naïve, stupid, simpletons who thought nothing could ever happen in this land of milk and honey to ever disturb their rose-colored world. I would, of course, be partially correct; the other types would not only be knocking on my door to make sure no one is at home but may not knock at all before they break in and find themselves face-to-face with my second lines of defense.
Neighborhood Watch: Neighborhood Watch is an organized effort by concerned residents to look out for each others safety, and to help law enforcement officers protect people and their homes against criminals. If your neighborhood has not yet become a crime statistic, consider crime preventive measures by starting a Neighborhood Watch Program. At the very least, call the police any time something looks suspicious or out of place. If your neighborhood has already become a crime statistic, a Neighborhood Watch Program can tackle this problem. Ignoring the problem will not fix it.
Secure Premises: It should go without saying that I need to secure my property and structures. Post "No Trespassing" signs, build fences, keep gates, doors and windows locked (with QUALITY locks), arm alarm systems and reinforce walls, doors and windows/glass within budget. In a real event, tape windows to reduce flying glass in case of damage. Consumer home window (laminated) glass (similar to car windshields) is available that can withstand a thrown brick without penetration.
Make Paths Difficult: While you need a clearing to see who's coming so you're not caught off guard, you also need to make it difficut for the bad guys to navigate your property or inside your home (if they have managed to get in). Where there is a straight path, place, plant or create obsticles (trees, shrubs, hedgerows, debris piles, holes in the ground, large rocks, sand bags, nets, boobie traps, barbed wire, trip wires, furniture, etc.). This will help limit the line of sight to reduce detection or surveillance, allow more time for your escape, increase time for the bad guys to navigate or reduce time for the bad guys to react to your ambush. Obviously, when you create such barriers, you must know where they are and how to easily naviagate around them. Practice.
Be Forewarned: The first line of defense is being alerted, well in advance, of visitors. I don't want my doorbell to ring before realizing I have visitors. I want to know they are on their way, from as far away as possible, so I am prepared for them before they arrive at my door. These alerts can be as sophisticated as electronic motion sensors, listening devices and surveillance cameras or as simple as barking dogs (I understand that Lamas are good "watchdogs") or fishing line with bells or other noise-makers attached. I've even read that developing the skill of interpreting bird sounds can be used to alert when setting up bird feeders around rural property. Several options should be in place in case any of the others fail.
Self-Defense Training and Refresher Course: You may not always have a "weapon" at the ready so learn how to make your body a weapon. Take a course on street fighting and take refresher classes periodically. This can also help you stay in good physical condition.
Defense Tools: Selecting non-lethal and/or lethal personal defense weapon(s) will be based on availability and level of proficiency, trust, hospitality, beliefs or paranoia or a combination of these or others. The obvious are guns, hunting knives, stun guns, and cross bows but thinking outside-the-box, when none of these are readily available or desired, may be the difference between surviving and dying. Consider, also, that marauders will be on the lookout, and searching, for the obvious weapons. Taking lessons for fist fighting, hand-to-hand combat, martial arts, kick boxing, even fencing, are good as backup options but, generally, defense at-a-distance is preferred to up-close-and-personal to reduce the possibility of injury to yourself. Striking tools like a baseball bat and fireplace poker or pepper spray may already be available in the house and are good distance weapons. For keeping predators further away, a high-powered rifle with scope and sniper training may be considered. Dogs with a "big dog bark" may deter a predator but a dog that has been trained to attack is a formidable defense weapon.
Conceal-Carry Weapon (CCW) Permits: Laws vary, from state to state, on carrying a concealled firearm. Their qualifications range from taking a class, submiting proof of necessity, qualifying on a target range, background check, getting a permit, and all, or combination, of the aforementioned, to just being of legal age. Also, with some variations of laws, 35 of the 50 United States honor CCW Permits from other states. If you have an interest in carrying a concealled firearm, research your own state laws and requirements, or search the web for those states that will issue a CCW Permit to non-residents. It should go without saying that training and obedience to the laws of the state of residence, or state being visited, are the signs of a responsible CCW Permit holder.
Know Your Tools: If you are going to protect yourself, others and the supplies you have stored to prepare for, and survive, an emergency, you MUST be proficient with whatever tools or abilities you have planned to use in your defense. Simply having a gun is a worthless piece of metal if you have never taken lessons to use it and maintain it. So it is with any method of defense. You must practice, practice, practice and then practice, practice, practice again until everything about your defensive tactics is second nature.
Decide Your Responses NOW: Make no mistake; as the world is right now, where others still want what I have, a disaster situation will amplify that a thousand times. Right now, as I make plans for what I will do if disaster strikes, I need to decide if I will fight or cave when the dogs of society begin to howl. If I decide to turn my back and walk away, I better be ready to scrounge for water, food and shelter or die trying. If I decide to share, I better have tons more than I ever thought I would need and watch my back while I hand it over. If my choice is to defend and protect, I need to decide, right now, at what point I will run, give up, or fight and, possibly, take a life. I believe, in a crisis situation, most of us will have to make these choices. We will not be in a protective bubble. We will come face-to-face with thirsty, hungry, homeless people; some who will ask and some who will not. Thinking through different scenarios will help prepare for the real thing.
I saw a TV show about a group of "preppers" who did not believe in the use of guns but one of them said that if hostile visitors would come, take over and not leave, eventually, those visitors would be poisoned or have their throats slit as they slept. These anti-gunners had established a tolerance level and a plan.
Attack with a vengeance: The purpose of defense is to deter or stop an attack. If you don't STOP an attack in progress, you will just make the attacker angry and more determined to continue attacking. The attacker is not playing a game and you cannot be shy with your response. When necessary to defend, do it as if your life depended on it; IT DOES!
Even in today's "peaceful" societies, it doesn't hurt to have a defense method in place, and at-the-ready, while jogging, walking the dog, driving, shopping, at work, or watching TV at home. Whatever it is, it's important to know how to use it effectively BEFORE it is necessary and know that you are emotionally and physically ready to use it when it is necessary.
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When Is Lethal Force Justified?
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Street Fighting Tips: How to Use Body Weight in Self-Defense Techniques
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Responding to an Active Shooter Situation
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Gun Safety course (basics)
Multi-Ammo Adapters for Shotguns
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The Best Way To Store Your Ammo
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