Protecting Yourself in an Emergency
We’ve said this before and no doubt we’ll repeat it more than once in the future. But the recent school shooting in Newtown has given new life to the continuing controversy about firearms – especially assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, etc. – for self-protection. If you’ve watched any of the “Doomsday Preppers” TV shows on the NatGeo Channel, you may have been shocked by the extent that some people go to for their imagined need for survival in a major catastrophe. Their arsenals look more like preparation for war.
Here are three things to think about if you are truly worried about having to protect yourself and your property in the event of a major disaster event. The first two are, in our opinion, negative approaches to life. The third is in keeping with our philosophy of taking positive action.
Assault weapons are a terrible choice.
First, as any combat veteran will tell you, few people have the natural ability to calmly shoot people with a handgun, much less a rapid-firing assault weapon. Such weapons require training and discipline if you ONLY plan to hit a specific target while the adrenalin is flowing fast and heavy. The chances of hitting innocent people or things around and beyond the target are usually very high. There’s a reason mass murders use these weapons . . . they kill and destroy indiscriminately.
Shotguns aren’t a whole lot better.
Second, the best firearm in a self-defense circumstance is usually a shotgun. It has a limited range but a “spread” in the shot pattern that makes it more likely to hit the intended target on the first shot. You don’t have to be a marksman or highly-trained soldier to be effective with it. The bottom line, however, is if you find yourself having to use it, it’s still likely to take someone’s life. And, regardless of the situation, even if there is no legal consequence, that’s something you will have to live with.
Trusted Friends — Absolutely Your Best Protection.
Third, and most important of all in our opinion, your best protection in an emergency will be good neighbors – people you know and can trust immediately, instead of mistrust. We have seen over and over again the natural tendency of people to help one another following a catastrophic event. And, the more your neighbors are trained and prepared to survive themselves, the better equipped they will be to help you and vice versa. Unlike the first two means of self-protection, you can count on having enough friends if you have allowed for them. And unlike the first two means of self-protection, this is one that saves lives instead of taking them.
Programs like the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training are excellent examples of the best way to prepare yourself and to work along the side your neighbors as an effective team. CERT neighborhoods will not only have a better chance of surviving, but will emerge as a true community with pride in having known what to do in advance . . . and possibly having saved lives and property because of their training.
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