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Home > Magazine > Thinking > Thinking of Gun Rights & Security/Safety... 1st Things 1st!

Thinking of Gun Rights & Security/Safety... 1st Things 1st!
January 17, 2013

There's a new push these days to "magically" reduce crime and ban certain talismanic devices said to cause crime.

In opposition to this push are folks who magically believe that the devices can help their safety and security situations.

Yeah, it's all about guns.

In truth, gun crime rarely affects the general public except when they live near gangs. If you remove that factor then all western nations cluster similarly despite varying gun ownership rates.

Safety is a legitimate concern, no doubt, as is security. But what affects it? Guns rarely are involved. Probably 90% of security involves locking up something. And 90% of safety involves thinking mere thinking ahead.

Most of the thinking ahead that's trainable in terms of safety must relate to First Aid. If someone wants to take a class to improve their family's safety or to be of public service then they should take First Aid and CPR and maybe EMT training.

What is the most effective safety device to keep around? Probably a first aid kit, then a blanket, water jug, shovel, tool-kit, spare small can of gas, a rope, flares, flashlights/beacons/blinkers, reflective gear, rags, towel, hat, gloves, coat, tarp, raincoat, duct-tape, zipties, wire, leatherman, binocs, GPS, lighter, camera.

If people want to be helpful they should first of all make sure that their cars are equipped with commonly helpful safety gear and that they know how to use it.

In terms of self defense, what's needed most and most often? Certainly not a gun. Now, a gun is smart and handy. (For likely safety work it might be helpful in case of dispatching a deer that's been hit by a car.) But it's rarely needed. What's commonly needed? Well, in terms of defense there are a bunch of handy items to have and know how to use well before a gun. Here's the list:

*RUN
*cellphone
*whistle/horn
*wrestling/pinning/fisticuffs
*pepper spray
*body armor
*sap and baton
*net, net-gun
*handcuffs, zipties, leg-cuffs
*taser
*beanbag/rubber bullets
----only then lethal

Sure, you might not go thru all options but they should be available. There's a pyramid of likelihood as well. In any case of badness, it's best to get away if possible. The badness usually has the element of surprise so your best chance is instinctive, instant flight. But in cases where you have the upper hand or some time, you're far more likely to need to call 911 than you are to have to shoot someone. You're more likely to need to restrain someone than to hurt them. All these things are more likely than the need to shoot. So cover your bases!

Of course, the main "training" we can do to prevent attacks is to not go to bars at night, especially while we're young.

(The sad thing is when cops show up to some guy flinging around off his meds and all they have are pistols and he won't obey the command to stop so he gets shot. That's where tasers, nets, beanbags come in.)

Then, too, we have to respect the limits of training. Cops train hard and a lot and pre-select and they have a very hard time of it and a low success rate. If someone wants to get involved in a light way, join the VFD and help at a few community fires and traffic accidents. That will help adjust and point your dial maybe a third of the way in the right direction toward real criminal attack prevention. Actual fight training might go a quarter of the way because life isn't like sport at all. But still it's good to do what we can. We just need to appreciate, even a little, how the real thing is so different.

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