AWARENESS = SAFETY
Who is Ultimately Responsible for your Safety?
It is my belief that your personal safety is your own responsibility, no one else’s. There are some exceptions to my opinion. If you are unable to protect yourself due to a handicap, illness, or other impairments that would preclude using some of the later mentioned methods for protecting yourself, then we must depend on others to help keep us safe from those who would do us harm.
I am not advocating for everyone to get a pistol and start carrying it to fend off any crazed attacker or rabid animal that we may come in contact in everyday life. I am encouraging adults to understand that we live in complicated and many times dangerous environments and must take steps to ensure we remain safe and retain the ability to defend ourselves.
Is Help Nearby?
With our society’s recent treatment of our Law Enforcement officers, it would definitely stand to reason that one of the cities finest would not be with you, or near you the moment that another person wanted to do you harm. I will even go so far as to say that the predator will choose a place and time that puts us the furthest away from help from the Law Enforcement professional. That leaves us to be the first responder. Remember no one else is responsible.
Avoid if Possible
I heard on the Mr. Guns and Gear YouTube channel, that if you wouldn’t go to a place without a gun, you shouldn’t go there with a gun. That’s a wise statement and great advice. Avoidance of areas that we could possibly be less safe in seems like the best course of action in our plan to conduct daily life. That works if you can pick and choose the part of town, time of day, and most secure route to and from daily activity. What should we do when we must work in an area with high crime, travel late at night, and be forced to be in a place that is not secure? This is a reality for many people. This is the decision point that adults must face daily.
Do we take the steps and preparation needed to mitigate some or all the dangers we could face, or simply hope nothing will happen to us? I am going to prep myself for the worst case I can imagine. How I do this and how others do it are as varied as the people doing them. It must work for you and your situation.
I first will try to use the tactic of avoidance. I do not go places that have larger risks than I am comfortable with the risk associated. For example, if I need gas and I can drive to a well-lit and well-maintained part of the city, that’s where I get the gas. If the bar that my friend wants to meet for drinks has a history of fights or drugs, I recommend another venue.
I also Carry a Firearm
With avoidance, I also carry a weapon. This is a very personal and serious decision. I have carried a weapon wherever it was legal, for almost 4 decades. Every time that I leave the house, I remind myself of the responsibility surrounding being armed. Over the years I have changed my weapons and method of carrying to fit the situation and whether I found myself in.
The one thing that I am glad that I have continued to do is seek out and participate in training. Being armed is the smallest part of responsibly carrying a firearm for self-defense. Being trained to deploy and engage a threat while taking any number of variables into consideration is imperative. Once you have the skill needed to change your mindset to one that is neither predator nor prey, remind yourself it is perishable and newer skills must be sustained through practice. Train like your life depends upon it. Your life is precious, sacrificing time and treasure to ensure you keep it is extremely worth it. From where I sit, I can watch people spend a ton of cash on the tools to protect themselves and very little on training to use the tools. Being highly trained and confident is significantly more effective in the role of self-defense than a barely fired, two-thousand-dollar BBQ gun in a custom holster. Seek out training and trainers that will make you better, more confident, and safer.
Regardless of your skillsets, take a basics class, everyone needs to train the basics of marksmanship as it pertains to our carry weapon. Training is never a bad investment. Find a low light class, half of our lives are spent in times of darkness. The odds are greater of any threat faced will be in limited visibility. If you have an optic on your gun, a red dot class would be money and time well spent. Training hard and with purpose will ensure you are taking charge of your own safety. When possible, train with a significant other to double your ability to fend off anything dangerous.
Many of us are the head of a family or responsible for others in some way. All the topics discussed earlier are magnified greatly if children or others we care for and about are in peril. Our responsibility to our loved ones and the community can wear greatly. However, by training ourselves and through sustainment of training we can develop the mindset which allows us to be careful and confident in this role.
I ask again, who is responsible? We are. It cannot be delegated unless deterring circumstances diminish your capacity to save yourself. We are the ones who will stand up to evil, and evil lives among us. It is up to you. You can be ready, responsible, and confident. Be honest with yourself, if you are not, ask me how you can be in a short time.