A really interesting List this week! We start with geese as a defensive tool (no, I’m not kidding); considerations to make before deciding to engage an active killer; a woman is dead because of an irresponsible and untrained gun owner; women shopping for defensive handguns; what to do and what not to do at a drive-through; how to secure private information on your smartphone; and how to use that phone to deal with 9-1-1.
A feathery alternative to the Rottweiler?
I’ll admit this is one of the more unusual articles I’ve shared with you, and it’s only applicable for those who live on acreage. However, I do have some experience with geese from my childhood on the family farm and can confirm everything in this article. Geese are loud and vicious — and they’re extremely aggressive with people they don’t know. I’ve witnessed them inflict wounds that required stitches, all while screeching at an ear-splitting volume. It’s hard to discount their utility as guard animals, but beware: unlike dogs, they can’t be trained to accept new people once they’ve bonded with you!
Engage or evade? It’s not an easy choice.
Lots of people on social media will be more than happy to puff out their chest and tell you just how they’d draw their concealed pistol and take out a mass killer in a public space. The decision to engage an active killer isn’t one that you can make so cavalierly; there are a lot of things to consider, many of them situational, and the outcome is far from guaranteed. This is a good article that examines some of the issues you need to consider before you decide to take action. (I’m not suggesting you should or shouldn’t, only that you educate yourself beforehand so that you can make a good decision should that time ever come.)
What happens to the bullets that miss?
This is a sad story from KOMO News in Seattle: an irresponsible gun owner lobbed rounds at some people who were driving away in his Jeep, and one of those rounds killed a neighbor who was sleeping in her bed. I hate to sound like broken record, but your firearm is a tool to defend yourself against death or grave bodily harm — not to stop someone who’s getting away with your property. Let it go; that’s what insurance is for. I’m sure the shooter in this case will have plenty of time to wish he’d followed that advice. (For my Texas readers: I don’t care what your laws say. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s moral or ethical, particularly when someone dies over a piece of mere property.)
How should a woman shop for a gun? The same way a man should.
Every so often someone will ask me “what’s a good gun for a woman?” My usual response is “the same as for a man: the one that fits her properly.” This video from Personal Defense Network looks at the topic of “guns for women” and lays out what anyone shopping for a gun should be considering, whether than person is a male or female. Gender doesn’t fit into the equation, but things like hand size and strength do.
Safety tips for the drive-through
I don’t like the drive-through lanes at fast food places, but like most of you I use them from time to time. The reason I don’t like them is because I feel like sitting duck; I’m in a line of other people, money in hand, and anyone could come up and try to rob any of those cars — maybe mine. This collection of tips from veteran trainer John Farnam is superb and worth putting into practice. (I’ll add one of my own: if you have a wait between the time you order and you get to the cashier, roll your driver’s window up. Many times the area between the order kiosk and the cashier is planted with shrubs or perhaps has a dumpster enclosure — both of which make good hiding places for crooks.)
Some security tips for your smartphone
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: personal security is about more than just shooting bad guys! Protecting your privacy is becoming more important in this ever-connected age, and this article from the Ultimate Security blog gives you some relatively easy ways to make it harder for someone to get into your phone.
Have you practiced using your phone in an emergency? Maybe you should.
There are a lot of survival and defense skills that you can practice, but there’s an important one which is usually overlooked: calling for help. Dealing with the 9-1-1 operator, particularly after a traumatic incident like a defensive shooting, might be a little confusing if you’ve never dealt with a 9-1-1 operator before. This article looks at the information you need to give them, in what order, and why. Like having a fire drill, it’s important that you learn how and what to give them and that you occasionally “war game” talking with a (pretend) 9-1-1 operator so that you can do so efficiently. It’s not fun and it’s not sexy, but it’s probably just as important a skill!
– Grant Cunningham
Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons