Editor’s Note: The following is a post from Sammy Reese, a former Marine Corps Artillery Officer and retired police officer from California. He is a part-time range master for the police department he retired from as well as a life-long martial artist and combatives coach.
Check out the last five episodes in this series:
- Ep. 11 Should I Shoot? Inside the Home
- Ep. 12 Should I Shoot? Spare Parachute
- Ep. 13 Should I Shoot? Understanding Disparity of Force
- Ep. 14 Should I Shoot? ‘Gun-Free Zone’ Doesn’t Mean You’re Helpless
- Ep. 15 Should I Shoot? Carrying a Gun Around the Home for Defense
“Should I shoot?” is a moot question if you aren’t carrying your gun or you don’t have one within arm’s reach while you are in your home. If you have a concealed weapons permit or are blessed with living in a constitutional carry state, the gun you have at home while you are out and about can do nothing for you. The same concept applies when you are home and all your guns are safely locked away when you need one to save your life. Please don’t take it for granted or conduct your life in the mode of, “Bad things don’t happen where I live or travel.” Plan for the worst and the rest is gravy.
Unless you live under a rock or have zero contact with the outside world, it doesn’t take much to grasp things have gotten really bad. Five Dallas Police officers lost their lives in the line of duty — murdered in cold blood. Several more officers in other states have also been ambushed. There are a few places I put the blame for lighting the fuse, so to speak. It starts at the top and then add in the media who won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. With tension already at an elevated level and then adding emotional kerosene to the fire, it makes for the perfect storm. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, I’m afraid.
An argument on Facebook between two “friends” turned into a deadly confrontation for an off-duty police officer in Missouri. The suspect decided duking it out on the keyboard wasn’t getting his point across, so he went to the officer’s home and forced entry by throwing a planter box through a door. The officer’s family was in the home and he used a firearm to defend himself and his loved ones. What if he didn’t have a firearm nearby or on him? This story could have had a much different ending.
Yes, it has gotten this bad. What was once just a site to look up old friends and, for some, a place to share every aspect of their day has turned into a launching pad for violence, so please act and prepare accordingly. I’m not saying not to voice your opinion on “your page,” but be mindful that some folks, for whatever reasons, are looking for a fight that goes beyond the keyboard.
Playing the “what if?” game here, ask yourself what you would have done if a similar event happened at your home. Are you prepared to defend your loved ones? If you have already thought about it and have a couple plans to deal with someone breaching a door and entering your house, then you are ahead of the curve. If you haven’t envisioned this happening at your house, now is the time to get a plan or three worked out and make sure the entire family is on board with it.
Taking the planning a bit further out of the house, what if the suspect had decided to ambush you while you were walking to the car or mailbox? I’m not trying to scare you into putting bars on your windows and never leaving the house. I’m trying to get you mentally prepared — let’s call it permanently locking you into Condition Yellow (relaxed but aware of everything going on around you).
Situational awareness and proper training with your firearm could be the difference between being a victim or being someone who prevails in a deadly force encounter.
For more critical information on the use of deadly force and other firearms and self-defense topics, visit www.uscca.com/GunsAmerica.