It’s Wednesday, and time once again for my hand-picked selection of this week’s best articles to increase your safety, security, and survivability!
It isn’t about the weapon
It never has been, and it never will be. Self defense is about the resolute refusal to be a victim, and using whatever means you have at hand to enforce that decision. This group of middle-school girls understands.
Avoiding a widespread outbreak
I decided to include this article for two reasons: first, it is the cold and flu season; second, I came home from a teaching trip last week with a nasty cold, and I’m in an avoidance mood right now! There’s some good information in this article about how pandemics happen and how to avoid becoming a patient yourself. (I think I know where and how I caught my bug, and it was probably due to a momentary lapse in my normal germ-avoidance procedures.)
A sad, but predictable, outcome
When the police are called to a violent incident, they arrive with certain expectations (and possibly some preconceptions.) If they know someone in the scene is armed and shots have been fired, they’re looking for someone holding a gun. When they find that person, and he or she is (in the words of Massad Ayoob) “doing a convincing impersonation of a bad guy” by holding a gun over someone who’s been shot, that person might just get shot themselves. That’s likely what happened in this case.
Remember that the police don’t know you’re the good guy (or gal). They can’t see the halo over your head. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this negative outcome: first, tell the dispatch operator what you look like, including what you’re wearing. You want responding officers to be able to quickly differentiate between you and the bad guy, and a good description is one way to make that happen. Second, put the gun away as officers arrive. Put it back in its holster, on a table away from you, or simply on the ground (and step away from it). Don’t have it in your hands as the officers approach with their own weapons drawn.
An important preparation if you have kids
During any disaster, small or large, kids are likely to get bored very quickly. Their routine has been disrupted, it may be dangerous to stray from home (or even from the living room), and their normal outlets (television, the internet) may be unavailable. Bored children can quickly become obnoxious kids, which in turn can significantly affect your ability to make proper decisions and provide for the family’s safety and comfort. Thinking ahead and planning ways to reduce their boredom may be one of the more prudent things you can do. (I’m not sure about the CDs and DVDs, particularly during a long-term power outage, but for the short term — assuming you have power available — they can be useful. Oh, and one more thing: on the musical instrument idea, I’d strongly suggest anything other than drums!)
Making good training choices
I’m not in agreement with the author on some of the specifics, but the concept he expresses is, I think, very important. Don’t focus on one singular aspect of your shooting skills as being dramatically more important than others. Yes, getting the gun out efficiently is important — but there are other parts of the shooting response that are important as well, and that includes the stopping of the response because the threat has diminished (I.e., sometimes it’s about NOT shooting.)
Watch what you say!
Many people still don’t know that social media posts are not only forever (even if you delete them, there’s a server somewhere with a copy), but they’re also admissible evidence in court. Your posts, tweets, and pictures can all be subpoenaed and used against you in a trial. How do you think a jury will look at the picture of a muzzle with the caption “we don’t call 911” that you shared back in 2015? It’s not likely to be favorable to you.
Think about what you post. No, it’s not “fair” — but who said life was fair?
Dehydration — in winter? You bet!
I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth revisiting because dehydration can happen in winter almost as easily as in summer. In some ways, more easily — because a lot of people don’t realize that strenuous activity depletes fluids in cold weather just as surely as in warm. It’s easy to think that because it’s not hot you’re safe, but you’d be surprised how many dehydration cases occur to people shoveling snow off their driveways (or cross-country skiing, or snowboarding, or hiking in the rain…)
– Grant Cunningham
P.S.: Big news is coming on Monday — watch for it!