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. 25 Should I Shoot? Take a Deep Breath
- Ep. 26 Should I Shoot? Do I Assist An Officer Engaged in a Gunfight?
- Ep. 27 Should I Shoot? If You Fail to Train, You May Fail to Fight
- Ep. 28 Should I Shoot? Gun-Free Zones, Problems with the 1911
- Ep. 29 Should I Shoot? Are You Afraid to Shoot Because of Media Backlash?
If you haven’t been the victim of some type of crime, count yourself as one of the lucky ones. Being a victim is an awful feeling even months or years later. Just thinking about it takes you back and your gut starts to churn. Regardless of the crime committed against you, it changes the way you live your life.
From my own personal experience, I’ve been assaulted, targeted for a mugging, had personal property stolen and my wife was home during a hot prowl burglary attempt at 11 a.m. Things being taken without permission — stolen — aren’t personal attacks, but they can leave you feeling like your personal space was violated. For some, it takes a long time to feel safe in their own home.
This past week, friends of mine had their house broken into while they were both at work. They recently bought the house and were still in the setting-it-up-like-they-want-it stage. The house sits on a few acres back from the main road and is what many would call a “fixer-upper.” I won’t get into what was taken, but the theft has left the husband very angry and the wife scared to be in her own home. He immediately got cameras installed with real-time notification and an alarm system. He’s also upgraded the entire perimeter lighting as well as window and door locks. The property is a bit overgrown, so he’s been on the tractor clearing up the yard to limit places for individuals to hide. Even with the new security measures, she is still not feeling safe and her anxiety levels are maxed out when home alone or even thinking about going home.
I knew at least one question was on the way: “What kind of gun should I get for her?” He owns some hunting rifles and a few pistols, but she’s not comfortable shooting any of them. In fact, she’s almost as scared of guns as she is the thief coming back.
Bringing her up to speed will be a process that I’m willing to work through to get her comfortable and competent if she chooses to go that route. Notice I said “if” she chooses to. It’s going to take some time, but in the meantime, I’ve taken her to school on how to be more aware of what’s going on in her busy life. We are working on skills to make her feel like an active participant in her personal defense plan. We’ve worked on getting out of the phone and functioning in Condition Yellow while conducting business and moving about and what counter-measures to take if she is being followed or approached. The self-defense skills we work on are all gross motor and are kept as simple as possible so she can defend and get out of dodge.
I told her when we first talked that there isn’t a magic wand to fix the problems or prevent anything from happening in the future, but that she can elect to bite down on her mouthpiece and choose to not be a victim. It’s empowering to take responsibility for your own personal safety.
For more critical information on the use of deadly force and other firearms and self-defense topics, visit www.uscca.com/GunsAmerica.