Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Back-up For The Contingency Plan

Here is my personal security plan.

My favorite solution to any attack or situation where I may be called upon to defend myself is to never get into the situation to begin with. Stay out of the bad part of town. Don’t be out at 3 in the morning. Choose the gunfighter chair in the restaurant. Back my vehicle into the parking spot. All these ideas are to get me out of, or away from, any problem or altercation. I don’t want to have to pull my weapon. I don’t want to use my tactical pen, but if need be, I’m prepared.

After avoidance my plan is to try and defuse the attack or situation from turning into an attack. If Bubba is upset because I took “his” parking spot, then I can politely move my vehicle. I’m not a wimp, but I don’t need a fight. If it’s just ego on the line then make me look like the little guy. I don’t need to prove anything with anyone, and I will stand my ground to a certain extent, but I pick my battles. This means keeping my emotions, especially my anger, under control. If Bubba wants to strut around like a Rooster he can knock himself out! I really don’t want to shoot anyone. I have to be the bigger person because of the responsibility of carrying a weapon.

How can I get away from this situation? If someone starts a fight I’m outa there. If a riot or big brawl starts I want to have a quick exit. The gunfighter seat is something you can work out in many places other than restaurants. Just remember that having a good view of entrances and being close to an exit can be had in many places. You do have to be aware and sometimes assertive about where you want to sit or stand at events. I like to be on the outskirts of crowds so that if something turns nasty, I have room to maneuver. It does take situational awareness and a little planning.

Things don’t always go as you plan. Even operations don’t always go as planned. This is why you must have a contingency plan. Would a situation be better served with a can of pepper spray rather than my gun? You have to have the spray, and the training, before it can be an option. You also must be open to an alternative path. Going to guns is actually a contingency plan. When we display or fire our weapons, it means that our plan to follow our other priorities has failed. In my particular case, those other priorities are Avoid and Escape.

There is a saying:
“Wise people learn from their mistakes, super-wise people learn from OTHERS mistakes!”

I like to read of other people’s perils. Not because I like to see others having problems, but to learn from them. One fight that I particularly learned a lot from was a couple in Seattle, WA who ended up having to kill their assailant. The steps that they took, right and wrong, teach us a lot.

You can read their story here:

This young couple was staying at one of their parents’ home when in through an unlocked door walked an intruder who robbed a young woman, slapped her around, and left. I’m sure the woman was terrorized after that incident but the guy came back. They were not sure, but it appeared he had snuck into the house during the day (the husband checked ALL the locks 3 times!) and then attacked again at night. The husband had fought with the attacker AFTER he had sprayed him with wasp spray. The attacker had been hit with a baseball bat but had continued. He was stopped by the wife stabbing him several (10 or so) before he stopped fighting with her husband. The attacker later died at the scene.

I know that this is a synopsis of a newspaper article so the details are general at best. Also, the emotion of going through this is never in a newspaper article. So I’m not trying to judge this couple, but to learn from their horrible experience.

It sounds like the guy stalked the family some before his attack. I’m thinking some situational awareness might have made some difference here. Now that may not be so, but it looked like the guy had “cased” the house. Maybe looking at the bushes and “blind spots” and making them more visible. More lighting or providing a way to let the dog out and to roam around the house, might have made a difference.
From the beginning, locking a door looks like it would have made at least a small difference.
Having access to a weapon and the training to use it might have made the difference in the first encounter.
After the first attack I would be on “high alert”. Maybe they were and this just was circumstances. But paying very particular attention to the doors and windows, if it looks like they were breached at all, and keeping them locked day and night, may have gone a long way.
By way of weapons they had wasp spray. It doesn’t say if the spray was kept as a weapon or just happened to be near, but it proved ineffective. Not sure if he just missed his eyes, or it just had no effect, but maybe even pepper spray would not have worked. After the fight started the wife hit the attacker with a baseball bat, I’m assuming several times, until it broke. It does not say if the guy was on drugs or not, but several hits with a bat until it broke is a lot to take even with adrenaline flowing. After getting sprayed in the face with wasp spray, fighting with another guy, taking several hits with a bat until it broke, you’d think this attacker would be easy to stop by now. It took 10 stabs to stop the guy. Now having some training in knife fighting would have probably helped.
One thing I can say for this couple, especially the wife, is that they would not stop. The husband stayed in the fight and the wife kept at it too. They used multiple weapons, some improvised. That is impressive.

What this article also taught me was always have a contingency plan. It’s good to have a back-up and even a back-up for the back-up. Sounds like over kill but this couple needed several things to stop this attacker. He had already shown that he had no problem with physical violence. His taking on the husband showed his intent, to harm these people. From the attackers Youtube videos he was clearly having a problem with women. The police concluded that abduction and sexual assault were his intent.

The first attack should have been a wake-up call. They didn’t mention an alarm system and I guess deciding to get one after the first attack would have been too little too late. But I think I would have been hyper alert and would have suspected any unusual thing. I would have wondered how the guy knew the door was unlocked. I would have wondered if the first attack was a crime of opportunity or something planned. I would have wondered if the guy was still around and would have done some recon of the area noting vehicles and unusual things. But that is me. Not everyone is as nutty about security as me.

Having that security mid set is important for you, and your families, safety. Learning from what others experience is important.
Look at your home and neighborhood. Know your neighbors and their vehicles. Look for blind spots on your property. Cut back shrubs and plant pointed plants under windows. Have your dog able to be all around your house. Lock your doors and use your alarm if you have one night and day.

Having a plan is something each of us and our families should have. Building in contingency plans is also important. These plans don’t have to be elaborate, they can be simple. The next time you read an article like this think to yourself, “Would we be ready for such a situation?” “What back-up plans do we have?” Have a contingency. Contingency planning is part of developing your personal guidelines for using force as part of our Personal Protection plan. It should be part of your family plan as well.

Semper Paratus
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