Welcome to the Hump Day Reading List! Here are what I believe to be the three most important articles you can read this week to enhance your personal and family safety:
This week in Defense and Training:
“He’s just a kid” can be a fatal assumption
There is a very strong tendency in the firearms training world to assume that a threat always comes from an adult male. (Frankly, I’ve seen too many instances where threats were assumed to be a specific ethnicity — but that’s another topic.) As a result, we tend to not consider women to be threats. We also don’t usually think of children as being a threat, either.
But when you think about it, the firearm doesn’t care if its trigger is being pulled by a 30-year-ol or a 12-year-old. As long as the person holding it has enough strength in one finger, the gun will fire. The bullet which comes out is likewise completely ambivalent as to the age of the firer. It’s going to do its job, regardless.
Greg Ellifritz talks about the threat of children in this article, using an example from my own state of Oregon. How would you react to a lethal threat presented by someone who hasn’t hit puberty yet? Could you shoot a child who pointed a gun at you?
(The article he shares points out another defensive blind spot: most people think they’re safe when they’re at church. Be honest — are you as cautious in the church parking lot as you are at the local mall or convenience store? If the answer is ‘no’, think about why that is.)
This week in Safety and Security:
Using your own gun against you
This is a story from New Jersey about a home invasion robbery where the invaders used the victim’s own gun to steal his Cadillac. The homeowner apparently had a gun stashed (some people use the term “staged”) under a table. The crooks found it and used the threat of death to extract the victim’s phone, wallet, and car keys. They made their getaway in the homeowner’s car.
There are a lot of people out there who have guns placed in various locations around their house so that they have quick access in case someone breaks in. The problem is they don’t have control over those firearms should someone else get to them first. In this case, I’m sure the gentleman felt “safe” having a gun nearby, but once he was under someone else’s control his gun became a distinct liability.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again in a different context: the only safe place for your gun is on your person, or securely locked up. Whether crooks or curious children, if it’s not under your direct control it can quickly be turned into a liability.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
What are the chances of a “grid down” event?
A lot of speculation abounds about the possibility of a long-term loss of power resulting from damage to our aging electrical distribution systems. While our generating facilities themselves are fairly well protected and prepared, what happens after the electricity leaves those sites is another matter entirely.
The GAO (General Accounting Office), among many others, has warned that significant damage to the electrical grid could result in parts of the country being without power for months — and possibly, they conclude, for as long as a couple of years.
What are the chances of this happening? Since there are multiple threats which could initiate this scenario, it’s hard to say. My general point of view is that when you see multiple independent threats creating the same end result, that possibility should get more attention in your planning.
Think about all the ways in which a long-term loss of electricity, regardless of the reason, could affect you. Plan accordingly.
– Grant Cunningham
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