Monday, September 15, 2014

Family Security Plan Part 4: Personal Security

Personal security is something I’ve talked about a lot. For this series I will revisit it once again. It’s a very personal thing that you must decide what is right for you and your family. I take my own and my family’s personal security very seriously. I have taught my children about self defense with and without weapons. I’ve taught them situational awareness. They know one of my rules is never leave home without a knife or gun. Those are the things I have done. You must find your own way.
I don’t have little children anymore but there was a time when I had a lot. My biggest fear was trying to defend myself AND them. That is why I exposed them to “security” at a young age. When my oldest was about 8, he and my wife and 3 other younger kids were in the store in a small town. My second and third oldest was having a problem getting out of a bathroom so my wife was assisting them. I was at work. The oldest was watching my daughter who was about 2. Apparently a woman had taken my daughter and was leading her away by the hand. My oldest was not sure what to do so he followed them and was talking to the woman who was taking my daughter. He was trying to get his sister. I guess we had never covered that scenario and he wasn’t sure how aggressive he could get. Well he finally was able to grad his sister away from the lady and get back to my wife. My wife was a little frantic. She wasn’t gone but a minute and she had two kids missing. A moment later they found each other and when told what happened, my wife talked to a manager and they locked down the store and called the police. Apparently the lady had gone straight out after she let go of my daughter. The police took a report but nothing ever came of it. But my wife and I learned a valuable lesson. You can’t turn your back for a moment. And you need to train your kids that they have permission to fight and make a lot of noise in a situation like that. You don’t need to scare them and make them paranoid, but prepared.
Talk about stranger danger. Use programs out there that are designed to keep kids safe. Then keep an eye on them all the time.
As they get older, it’s your choice to expose them to weapons and self defense. It doesn’t have to be hard core of either. They could learn to shoot with the Boy Scouts or 4H. They could take a karate or taekwondo class. These activities are good for them in many ways. In the 50’s our public schools had shooting ranges in them. Can you imagine that now? They can learn the basics. All kids should learn about gun safety. Even if they don’t shoot. They should not be afraid of a gun, but have a healthy respect and knowledge of them.
Teens can learn anything. We have worked with our kids as teenagers with lethal and non-lethal weapons. They have learned a variety of weapons from shotguns to pepper spray. They have also learned advanced hand-to-hand combat. Only one of my sons went on with it further. But all have learned the basics of this type of self defense.
If you start your children young, it will not be any big deal to them. My kids as adults naturally do some or all of these things. Some lean toward weapons, others try to stay current on self-defense. When we get together this Christmas we’re going to all take a hand-to-hand combat class taught by my home teacher who has taught it for years. We’ll also do some other classes on preparedness together. I’m not sure how my daughters new fiancĂ© will feel about this, but hey, that’s what we do.
Your own personal security is something you and your spouse can do together. Take classes together. If you are inclined get your concealed carry license together. Practice together. My wife is my partner in everything. We back each other up. We take care of one another. We’ve enjoyed spending time together getting better trained. Some say that a husband should not train his wife in firearms, I do not agree with that. We’ve taken outside training, but I have trained her in the basics. You can be an arrogant know-it-all, impatient and prideful, or you can humble yourself, know you don’t know everything, and teach your family what you do know. Your choice.
Once your family has training, practice together too. Make it a family activity. Make it fun and competitive. Have a family “hot shot” award complete with bragging rights.
In the area of weapons I would suggest some redundancy. Here are some you may be interested in:
Gun – Usually a hand gun, but training in long guns and shot guns is very desirable. Mostly lethal.
Knife- Learn from someone who really knows this weapon. Can be lethal.
Stun Gun-This is an up close and personal weapon but it has it’s place. Usually not lethal.
Pepper spray-Learn to use this correctly. There is a right way and a wrong way. Usually not lethal.
Defense wand-This can be lethal if used in the wrong way. Get trained. Can be lethal.
Tactical pen-There are only a few ways to be effective with this. Usually not lethal.
Fighting-Learn this from someone you trust and who really knows. Can be lethal.
Situational awareness usually needs to be taught. Most Americans don’t live in a place where they need to always have their head up. Some may learn it in a “green zone” or in a really bad neighborhood. But most of us have other things on our minds. Being aware of your surroundings is not hard to learn, and can eventually be a usual mindset. It just takes practice and a little discipline.
Operational security (OPSEC) is something most Americans are pretty bad at. From throwing away trash that has personal information on it, to telling the world on Facebook that you are on vacation. OPSEC is what you do, and how you do it. Under rule of law, Americans can just about have no OPSEC and live a good life. But with crime as it is, I would not chance it. Here are some OPSEC reminders:
Trash-Be careful what you throw away. Personal information should be destroyed (shredder, burned). If you don’t really want someone on the street to know you just bought a gun or a big screen TV, dispose of the boxes somewhere else.
Social media and e-mail-These mediums of communication, including phones (cell and hard line), can be intercepted really easy. Don’t say, type, or post something that can be compromising. Be very liberal in what you think is compromising. Check your personal foot print on the internet often and make changes where needed.
Be aware of who is watching you. Most people are in their own world, so someone who pays more attention to you or your family members is probably up to no good. Choose different routes and various times to and from work/school/daily life. Don’t be predictable.
Secrets-Don’t open your mouth to the fact that you just bought, did something concerning your preparation or self sufficiency. Keep these things private. You will know with whom and when to share them. Sometimes with no one, and never.
When you consider a family security plan don’t forget all of the above. You may think of things I did not mention. That is good, it means you’re really thinking this through. The police cannot protect you. They do what they can, but as always, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Take your personal security serious and do something today.
Semper Paratus
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