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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Personal and home defense

Do most people give priority to personal protection? It is obvious that some people do so as a matter of practice while others seek to do so only
after suffering a violent attack. I will assume that many people give personal security little thought.

One of the blogs that is an essential daily read for me is
Gun Watch, which covers news media accounts of citizens using firearms to defend themselves against criminals. Mike Pechar and Johnjayray (of Australia no less) keep the site current. I offer them a tip of the hat for a job well done. The accounts are an interesting study and I often find myself pondering many hypothetical questions on tactics. Why did the homeowner leave the doors to his home unlocked, or why did the homeowner open the door to a stranger? Why did the homeowner need to run to the upstairs bedroom to retrieve his firearm instead of having it with him when he answered the door? Was it necessary for the crime victim to go to the bad side of town for a carwash at 3:00 a.m.? The citizens in the articles often appear to be untrained and sometimes poorly armed. Most of the defense shootings appear to be righteous but occasionally one will appear tainted by questionable judgment.

We all know many people, but none of us knows “most people.” Many people make statements about what “most people” do and what “most people” think or feel. If survey results or statistics are available for substantiation, referring to “most people” probably is acceptable otherwise it implies an expertise that the speaker or writer may not possess. Many people who I know do not lock their doors when they are home during daytime hours. Many people who I know do not own any guns. Many people who I know give little thought to personal security, in or out of the home. What do “most people” do for personal and home protection? I often wonder, because I believe that many people would be quite surprised at the amount of crime occurring in their safe little area of the world. Most of the crime reports that I get for my area are from listening to the local police radio frequencies; the local newspaper only covers the crimes they (or the local police) consider extraordinary.

The wife of an employee called the plant one day wanting to speak to her husband. I told her that it would take some time for me to hunt him down, but I would have him call her back. With some urgency in her voice, she said that it was important, that she thought someone might have come into her house while she was taking a nap, that she had heard some noises and that the family dog was acting strange. Politely but firmly, I told her she must hang-up the phone, immediately dial 911, and that I would get her husband and personally drive him home. She affirmed that she would call 911 using her home phone and asked that I have her husband call her cell phone ASAP. When he returned her call, she told him that the police dispatcher had instructed her to gather the children, to leave the house immediately, and to wait for the responding officers at the curb. Once the police arrived, she said they checked the house, found that there were no invaders, and guessed that the wind had probably caused the noises that she had heard. In this case, everything turned out just fine. When asked, the employee told me that they did not lock their doors during the daytime hours if someone was home. I asked if he felt secure in doing this, and he replied that he believed that burglars don’t bother occupied homes in good neighborhoods. Being as diplomatic as possible, I said that home invasions occur in the best neighborhoods, and that the difference between burglary and something worse may only be whether the invader finds someone at home or not. I asked if his wife had a gun for protection and he said she did not, that they did not like guns. No wishing to lecture, I ended the conversation by suggesting that they might want to do some research on how to improve their home security.

How far should each of us take personal security? I have no answers. Doing something often is better than doing nothing.
Click here for glimpse at a couple using pump shotguns to practice taking care of business. I’d say that they have a good handle on their personal security.

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