In the old west there were people who made their money with their gun. Hired guns, and hired killers were not necessarily frequent, but certainly existed. The old “Have Gun Will Travel” radio and television shows dramatically illustrated this willingness to solve other people’s problem with the dissemination of lead a high velocity.
But 2018 is a bit more civil of a society, except, of course, where it isn’t. Notably places like Chicago and Los Angeles, places with the strictest gun control, have the biggest problems with gang violence, shootings, and murders by gun. Gosh, it’s almost like you make the public sitting ducks when you take away their guns. Who would have thought?
Assuming Produces Bad Outcomes
This brings me to the topic du jour. Specifically, why it is necessary never to assume. You’ve all heard that “Assume makes an ass out of u and me.” But I like my drill sergeant’s statement: “Assume is the mother of all screw ups.” (I will point out, he did not use the words “screw up”). In a self-defense situation, assume is the mother of “you are dead.” All you have to do is read the news to know that criminals are not only losers, but they are cowards to boot. Very few go into a criminal enterprise alone. For example, let’s look at just the last 24 hours:
- Two men involved in a carjacking.
- Two gang members in a carjacking.
- Three men stage home invasion.
- Homeowner shoots one of three home invaders.
- Disguised Mailman and accomplice commit home invasion.
These are all from just one day. All these thugs were armed, and all came into homes or cars with the intention of committing violence. If you read the NRA’s Armed Citizen in print or on line, you know that multiple hoodlum robberies are quite a common report. This is because criminals know that 4 on 1 is not a fair fight, and they don’t want a fair fight. They want an unfair fight. They want a fight that they don’t have to work to win. That’s because they want to rob you clean and leave you in a pool of your own blood. Dying or wounded people have more trouble calling 911 (their hands are slick and they are not thinking clearly).
Carjackings are becoming much more prevalent. Recently four gang members attacked a young woman getting out of her Audi in the Birmingham, Alabama area. She was a person of regular habits, and they had learned those habits; they attacked her and took her keys when she parked at her regular parking place.
Whether it is a carjacking or a home invasion, the likelihood is that you will face multiple attackers, not just one. Again, criminals are cowards and fools; otherwise they would work for a living. Yet, if one is armed, you must assume the others are too.
How Do YOU Answer the Door?
So that begs the question: How often do you answer the door during the day unarmed? I never do. I live in a big neighborhood. I have observant neighbors. I have an alarm system, and I never ever go to the door unarmed. I blade the door with my left foot so that I can get to the gun on my right hip if that guy that looks like the postman (see above) turns out to have help and not be the postman.
These are habits I have developed. Like, when I travel, I always take a doorstop and place it under the hotel room door when I close up for the night. I do that because, if the bad guys manage to break the chain (one good kick will do it) or the auxiliary lock (again, one good kick) I want them slowed down mechanically by the friction of that doorstop. It might only give me 3 seconds, but 3 seconds is enough time to get my gun and flashlight up to defend myself.
Assuming that there is only one guy on your doorstep is exactly the kind of screw up that my drill sergeant warned me about. Unless you have a panoramic view, you have to assume that there could be others in the area, hiding, so that you do not see them. And, no, those peep holes are no substitute for thick Lexan™ panes in your front door. Just like that cheap Kwikset™ lock on the front door is no substitute for a deadbolt.
Here’s the key point: whether it’s day or night, if you get knocked down at your door, you are not going to be able to recover fast enough to get to a hidden gun. You are going to be powerless to defend yourself. So, day or night, if you answer that door, for heaven’s sake do so armed, with your foot positioned so that the door cannot be pushed open easily. And if it’s dark, always turn on the porch light. Light is criminal disinfectant. And if it is dark outside, and you didn’t order that pizza, (this actually happened to me) don’t open the door in the first place. Tell them to take a hike. No one needs help figuring out an address at 10:30 at night if they deliver pizzas for a living. Only bad things can come from this.
Similarly, many of us wear holsters that are difficult (read there: impossible) to draw from while belted into a car. Getting a car or truck holster (see ideas here, here and here) is important, particularly if you know you’re going to be stopping at stop lights in bad parts of town. Cars also present a very real problem of distraction if you are traveling with loved ones. While one person threatens your spouse, you have to deal with the person trying to get the car. That’s why you lock doors and never ever lower the window to someone you do not know. And keep in mind that a lot of carjackings start out as a single homeless guy offering to wash your window and morph into a violent confrontation with two or more people. No one wants to give you something for nothing.
In a follow-on article I will talk about training to take on multiple attackers and the reasons to drill this kind of thing frequently with your family members. Not because these things happen every day to you, but because they happen every day to someone, and today might be your day!