Once again, a great crop of stories for you! In this issue: another look at defending yourself from someone you know; an alarm system that will cuddle and lick your face; expanding on the idea of training your kids how to respond; some Halloween safety tips; should you shoot a burglar?; the right way to clear bad guys from your home; Greg Ellifritz looks at how you might respond to a shooting in an isolated area; and Rob Pincus has some thoughts on avoidance as a defensive tool.
Mother shoots son in self defense: could you?
A while back I wrote an article about protecting yourself from someone you know, which pointed out that a very large percentage of assaults are committed by acquaintances — and sometimes even family members. In this story out of Augusta, GA, a women was forced to shoot her own son after he tried to kill his estranged wife, and then turned his anger on his own mother. This is a gut-wrenching story, but it serves to illustrate that self defense is more than just masked bad guys waiting to pounce from the shadows. Have you given any thought to where your “line in the sand” is with regard to friends, neighbors, and even family members? I’ll admit that it’s a tough thing to consider, but the statistics show that your angry attacker is likely to have a familiar face.
Dog’s are man’s best friend. Woman’s, too.
This story is from my own state of Oregon: an apparently drug-addled man tried to attack a woman in her own home, but he didn’t count on her dogs — five in total — getting between him and his quarry. The dogs first alerted the homeowner to the presence of the intruder who had come into her backyard, and then when he tried to break into the house they scared him off. This is a perfect illustration of the value of a loyal dog: they serve as both an early warning system and as a deterrent for many kinds of criminals, even if the criminal is high on drugs! Note that she was well prepared with a surveillance system, too. (One thing you need to understand about dogs, however: no matter how loyal they are, unless they’ve been specifically trained they’re not likely to attack a violent individual. If your attacker isn’t deterred by the sight and bark, an untrained dog is probably not going to do much more. Trained attack dogs, on the other hand, are expensive and difficult to live with. You should have a good dog, but know what he/she will and will not actually do. Dogs are great for warning and deterrence, which is what you’ll need in the vast majority of cases. Oh, and they make wonderful friends to adults and children alike!)
Kids, plans, and commands
I recently wrote an article about the need to factor your kids into your response plans, and someone sent me a link to this terrific article on the specifics of how to train your kids. More precisely, exactly what to tell them and what to expect. It’s a superb article for all parents to read, understand, and put into action!
Its the time of the year to talk about Halloween safety!
Halloween is coming up next week, and just in time for the festivities is this article on basic safety tips for both staying at home and going out to party. Halloween can be a dangerous day, but with a little forethought and effort, it doesn’t need to be. Make it your job to ensure this Halloween is a safe one for kids and adults alike!
You’ve found a burglar: hold him, let him go, or shoot him?
In Akron, OH a man broke into a couple’s home one morning and was confronted by not one but two armed defenders. They held the criminal for the police and then took to social media. I’m glad they weren’t hurt in the incident, but something in the story should give every law-abiding gun owner pause: one of the residents wrote “You know though, I am constantly second-guessing myself. Should I have shot him, was I too lenient? Did I make a mistake by letting him walk out of my house?” The answer is simple: unless your life is truly being threatened and you can articulate the threat, of course you don’t shoot someone. Pulling the trigger shouldn’t be a matter of “can I?”, but rather “do I need to?” I hope these folks take some lessons on the legal requirements of the use of lethal force, just in case they’re ever in another situation where they draw their guns. More importantly, I hope they do so that they can help educate their friends!
How do you clear your house?
It’s a trick question — read the article to find out.
A shooting in a haunted forest. What would you do?
I figured two Halloween safety articles was better than one! In this great analysis, Greg Ellifritz looks at a very unusual incident: a shooting in a crowd at a rural Halloween attraction. You might think that he’d advise you to up-gun, to carry more ammunition or even a backup gun, but you might be surprised at what he suggests you do. Personal defense, as I’ve said many times, is more than just shooting bad guys and the recommendations Greg makes show just how. Would you have thought of his points?
Avoiding is better than shooting
To follow up on my last comment — that self defense is about more than just shooting at bad guys — I’d like to share this video of Rob Pincus at the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings. In it he talks about your responsibility as an armed American to avoid the fight whenever possible. Even if you “win” the gunfight, the toll it takes on your emotions, health, and even finances may last for decades. Avoidance, in most cases, is a far better choice than using your gun to get out of trouble you could have prevented in the first place. This is a video that will get you to think about self defense in a much broader context, which in turn will keep you safer overall.
– Grant Cunningham
Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons