Since publishing my essay “Guns” yesterday I have had several messages and emails remarking upon just how I would protect myself from the growing threat of criminal invasion or mobs. It’s really fairly simple: first, I live at the top of a ridge that is four hundred feet higher than the surrounding terrain and I am surrounded on four sides by a series of steep, forested hills; second, there is only one way in and one way out of my property, a 1900 foot long driveway the last 900 feet of which is very steep and curvy. No mob is going to climb that hill; third, the driveway empties onto a one lane county road that has no turn offs for more than a mile to the left and almost a mile to the right. Since my house is protected by an alarm system that connects to the local sheriff’s department there’ll be sheriff’s cars coming down both ends of the road by the time anyone could exit the property. That is unless they want to run off into the forest.
As for personal protection I was a catcher from the time I was in little league until I quit playing ball in my 30’s. Even with a bad shoulder I can peg you with one of my bedside golf balls at fifty feet and eighty miles an hour. Get closer and I’ll show you the Nellie Fox signature on my Louisville Slugger. There’s a secret that most people don’t understand about using a bat for self-defense. You don’t swing it, you thrust it. A good thrust to the solar plexus or the groin and your assailant is down. If the passengers on the hijacked flights had simply taken their shoes off and kept throwing them at the hijackers and then used their belts as weapons they could have thwarted the takeovers. The key to responding to any situation is “WILL.” You don’t fight fair and you put all your energy into your efforts. In the Agency we were taught to put the assailant down and leave the area as quickly as possible. This should be your goal as well, but sometimes there is no place to run so keeping your assailant down or allowing them to retreat are your options.
If you’ve disarmed an assailant it is probably not a good idea to attempt to use their weapon for your own purposes, especially if it is a firearm. You may not be familiar with the weapon and may accidentally discharge it or not realize the safety is on thereby giving the assailant time to recover and assault you again. Stick with the weapon you have already had success with while keeping the assailant’s weapon out of their reach.
Defense is a situational undertaking which requires you to have given it some prior thought and then making use of the “weapons” at hand. For example, anything that can be thrown can disable or distract an assailant long enough for you to run, if running is an option. If you are going to use a firearm and have been trained in the use of that firearm consider two things: first, you’re about to shoot another human; second, if you’re in a dark room the muzzle flash is going to blind you and the 150+ decibel noise is going to deafen you. You will be blind and deaf after firing the first shot. You can stop this from happening by using a suppressor on your handgun but you’ll have to have a Federal Tax Stamp ($200) and be registered with the FBI to own one. Still… If a handgun is your defensive choice it’s not a bad idea to have a suppressor. But here’s something else to consider: Do you live in a jurisdiction with an anti-gun administration? Will you have to hire a lawyer to argue your case in front of a court? Will you then face civil litigation for having used a firearm? Given the number of criminals who have become “victims” in the past few years these are real problems you should think seriously about before using a firearm. Remember, the burden of proof in a civil case is a lot lower than in a criminal case. In a criminal case the rule is beyond reasonable doubt and in a civil case it is simply the preponderance of evidence. It’s a lot easier to defend “he knocked me out with a golf ball,” than “I’m in a wheel chair because he shot me with a gun.” You should definitely carry a personal liability insurance policy that would cover use of a firearm to defend yourself.
Now, just because I don’t own a gun and that I’ve concluded that owning a gun will stop neither a totalitarian takeover of the government or mobs in the streets doesn’t mean I don’t think you should own a gun. That’s a purely personal decision. Heck, I’m going to a gun show this weekend, who knows maybe next week I’ll write a blog about owning a gun. My reason for writing “Guns” was to get you thinking that waiting around and relying on the fact you have a gun isn’t going to stop the collectivists from pushing a totalitarian agenda nor is it going to stop the mobs in the streets. Law and order doesn’t come from the barrel of a gun it comes from the “WILL” of the people who demand it.