Rich at Shots Across the Bow has a good post up about one of the fundamentals of self-defense – avoiding the need to defend yourself. You should read the whole thing, but here are some
Today, my son texted me and asked me how much it cost to get a Handgun Carry Permit. I gave him the ball park figures for the class and the application. He thanked me and told me that his roommate had been robbed at gunpoint the night before.,
Yeah, I called him immediately.
That should prompt a call from any parent.
“Your roommate was robbed by two men with guns right at your front door, on a well lit street, and they got away clean. You live in a bad neighborhood.”
This is really the only point I disagree with. While crime happens more frequently in “bad neighborhoods” (which is usually why they’re considered bad neighborhoods), it’s certainly not limited to bad neighborhoods. This could have happened in the most upscale, hoity-toity part of Beverly Hills or the most run down part of Detroit. This one incident, by itself, doesn’t make it a bad neighborhood. Crime knows no boundaries.
“The first step in self defense is being aware of your surroundings.” [emphasis mine]
That is the money quote, right there. I’ll repeat it – The first step in self defense is being aware of your surroundings. The three steps of self-defense are avoid, evade, fight. You cannot avoid danger if you are not aware of your surroundings before you enter the area of danger. If you take nothing else from his post, take that truth with you.
His final paragraph sums things up nicely.
Anyway, I believe I got the point across to my son that carrying a gun is only one small part of self defense. The first piece is maintaining an awareness of your surroundings, and the people in them. The second is forethought. Have a plan. Know what you’re going to do when things go south. The third piece is to have multiple layers of defense, but that’s a post for another day.
The idea of awareness as the first part of self-defense is especially important in my town today. It seems there are still no leads in last weeks double homocide in Jefferson National Forest. There is no indication that there is a suspect, and no way to know if the killer is still around or if he’s fled the area, if he lives here or was just passing through, if he targeted the victims or if they were randomly chosen, or if it was a one time event or if he’ll do it again.
Maintain awareness, please.
(h/t to SayUncle)