Another Wednesday brings more great defense and preparedness information! This week: how to make a response plan for a terrorist attack; an armed intervention gone horribly wrong; some novel methods to deter people from your home; some online privacy and security tips; considering the dynamics of criminal attacks; preparing for a power outage; a great pistol-caliber carbine to consider; Greg Ellifritz looks at the need to recognize gunshots. Enjoy!
“Why” may not matter — deal with the problem as you face it
How should you prepare for a terrorist attack? Probably the same way you prepare for any mass casualty event. In this video, Rob Pincus points out that the attacker’s motivation isn’t important, and you can waste a lot of time focusing on the reasons for the attack instead of making plans to deal with it. As he points out, you should even think in terms of avoidance: not being there when it happens. Nothing is absolute, of course, but planning ahead can stack the deck in your favor — as long as you focus on the right things!
Home security isn’t always about bars and guns
When thinking about home security, you need to think in layers. Instead of hoping to find some single, all-encompassing thing that will keep people away from your home and your family, think instead about overlapping and increasingly difficult layers of protection. In many cases the lowest-level criminals are deterred simply by making your house a little less palatable than your neighbor’s, and this blog article has some interesting ideas to do just that. Again, none of the items mentioned will stave off a dedicated criminal who has targeted your house specifically; I’m not implying that. What I’ll say up front is that these are ideas to make your house a little more trouble to target than someone else’s down the block — and that’s a “win” for you!
Keeping your privacy private
Staying safe online — keeping people from being able to see what you’re doing or capture important information from you — is becoming more difficult by the day. In this article you’ll learn many ways to obfuscate your online activities and make it harder for criminals to track your activities. I’m not going to endorse everything in this article; some of the more extreme measures cross the paranoia border, and some of them (like the Bitcoin example) are simply dumb for other reasons, but there’s still a ton of good tips to read. (Scrubbing EXIF information from photos, for instance, is important because so many cameras and phones use GPS data to locate where they were shot.)
Realities of knife attacks
This article has a good explanation of how criminal attacks (not just those involving knives) actually happen: quickly and without remorse from the attacker. I share it not to scare anyone, but to help educate on the realities of life, and what you might one day face. No matter how fast your fastest draw is, it’s not going to mean much when you’re attacked without first seeing your attacker. Learning a counter-ambush response pattern — techniques that are based on the idea of fighting back from a position of disadvantage — is where your emphasis should always be. Not because all attacks are ambushes, but because what works for the ambush will also work when it isn’t; the reverse is not true.
The electricity’s out! Now what?
I remember the first large-scale power outage I saw after moving off the farm to go to college. People ran around like they didn’t know what to do, but for me it was just another day. When you grow up on a farm outside of a very small country town you learn to deal with the frequent loss of electricity! In urban areas, though, it seems people have never been taught the “little” things to deal with the electricity going out. Here’s a good article from The Art of Manliness that gives preparation and response advice. (Oh, and if you have a generator: have an electrician properly wire in a transfer switch. It’s important.)
A great choice in a pistol-caliber carbine
Well, here I go again! The last time I posted something about pistol caliber carbines (PCC) on social media I got the expected responses from the hobbyists: “but it’s not a rifle!” Yeah, but the reality is that for home defense, particularly when you have people with a wide variety of shooting ability who might operate it, the PCC can be an ideal choice. Here’s a review of the Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine, one of the lesser-known but particularly capable carbines.
Recognizing gunshots may save your life
Greg Ellifritz penned an article about a number of active shooter incidents where victims didn’t recognize that shots were being fired. That’s probably because gunshots sound very different in real life than they do in the movies! Before you pat yourself on the back because you’ve spent time on the shooting range and “know” what gunshots sound like, understand that they sound very different indoors and when several rooms away. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever have a chance to run scenarios in a large shoothouse to learn that, so you need to do the next best thing: get past your own normalcy bias to understand that what you think are balloons popping in the next room may in fact be shots down the hall, and that you might need to respond appropriately. Important reading.
Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons