Tools for home defense

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Tools for home defense

Okay, I'll be stomping some toes, but if You know me in any way, You would know that I will not allow people to be misguided or get into a world of trouble as a result of any form of ignorance or lack of relevance. As I'm sure you know (otherwise you probably need to watch the news more often), the occurrence of home-invasions is increasing and the severity of it as well. Often a lot of friends and family members will advise you on a bunch of crap they use to smash in an intruder's face. Which is fine, in a sense, but is it as safe and effective as it could be? Sadly my friends and family members never gave me any proper advice on that matter most of them sounded purely insane or made me cringe (in a bad way).

So on that thought, Id, like to cover some basic tools every home should have handy. At least for 2 family members as well. And please do not stash your weapons and ammunition all over the damned home! You never know when, where, and at what time an intruder is willing to pop through your window for a surprise visit! And then, having stashed your weapons all over the home, you might find the least lethal weapon you can access facing a more lethal threat at hand! It's been seen over and over again that these invasions happen when least expected!

What is a home invasion?

A home invasion is not a normal type of crime, it is much more violent. Mostly committed by more seasoned criminals. A home invasion can turn very violent. With almost all home invasions the intruders have gained access using force, such as prying open a burglar bar or smashing in a window and even kicking down doors. Then they pull out their preferred weapons (force multiplier), usually a firearm or knife, they like to tie up the victims and beat them up for information on safes and other valuable items. In a worst-case scenario, women and children are raped and someone loses their lives. As such, you should take much more care to prepare for such a threat.

What type of tools should you have?

  • Flashlight with strobe and stun function
  • Force multiplier (Weapon of choice eg. a Firearm, Pepper spray, or Baseball bat.)
  • Bulletproof vest
  • Emergency phone
  • Medical kit
  • Tactical mindset - use your brain!

These are not necessarily in order of importance,  as you will have to rely on your skills and tactics to make things effective. If you're not trained in using a piece of equipment, then you should first seek some guidance and training. It is of no use if your out in the open swinging baseball bats and an intruder whips out a 9mm. Force either needs force or equally effective tactics to stop it. If handing over your car keys will save a family member's life, do it. If it would more likely lead to a family member's death or dare I say it, rape, then do not do it! Of course, you need to be ready to engage with all your might when that situation occurs.

Conclusion:

Having different types of equipment is not nearly as effective as having the proper training and mindset to go with it. Will tools save your life? No, your tools alone probably won't. But using them in the right combination will undoubtedly increase your chances of survival! The real solution lies in the plans you put in place for the tools and tactics you wish to use. Laws differ from country to country and state to state, making it easier or more complicated for some. Your job is to keep on learning and find a way to work around the barriers you face. Until then, keep safe and look out for coming posts on some tools I recommend.

Awareness training

Awareness

Awareness Training

Welcome to a series of posts about awareness! In a previous post, I talked about the importance of having yourself trained in the art of awareness and how it can help save your life. With the next few posts, I will take you through a whole course, to try and teach you the fundamentals of awareness. Use it, don't use it, it's up to you at the end of the day to apply the knowledge or not. Although I wish I could do it for you, unfortunately, I just can't. My only hope, for now, is that you apply it and continuously strive to learn more! Here we go...

Objectives of this series:

The objectives of this series of posts will include the following points:

  • Understanding how psychological actions can influence your survival probability
  • Improving your ability to evaluate and interact with your environment to increase your chances of survival in a life-threatening situation
  • Reading the signs

Understanding the background:

Like any other important topic, we need to look deeper into the background of awareness. To make it simple, you need to understand that criminals feed off of individuals' awareness, or the lack thereof anyway. They will generally wait for an opportunity where your awareness has been dropped or create a situation that causes your awareness level to be more relaxed or even completely sucker punch you both literally and figuratively.

There are 3 stages through which criminals would generally work through in anticipation of an attack:

  1. Selection
  2. Positioning
  3. The Attack

Let's dive into it:

Selection: So as discussed earlier, criminals would want to choose a target that is "easy" to quickly and efficiently attack. Meaning, they want to get what they want/need, get it with ease and as little resistance as possible, with the least likelihood of being caught or injured and with the highest risk to reward ratio they can get. And to achieve that, they have to carefully select their targets or create a scenario that gives them less risk and more reward.

The factors of the selection phase will vary from each situation, some criminals might not be afraid to get into a scuff, whilst others do not even want to be seen, more dangerous criminals simply might not give a damn and go all out Rambo on your ass just because they think they will easily take you down with their physical ability or even a more intellectual approach.

I cannot stretch enough the fact that criminals are not just "chancers" anymore and that they have evolved crime into a very lucrative business, and they will continue to do so for as long as crime exists! You increasingly see police officers, firemen, lawyers, security contractors, and even politicians getting involved in crime. And that just goes to show that, as always, crime pays! And more professionally trained individuals to join in. Just as we as protectors learn incredibly advanced skills to curb crime, they too can be well trained, especially with technology now bringing a ton of information right to your fingertips!

Positioning: After the target has been selected, the perpetrator will now work himself into the perfect position of opportunity. The positioning phase will feed of the selection phase in terms of what angle he might use with the least amount of risk and the highest chance of success. By positioning himself into the best angle of approach, he can be able to act swiftly and with great accuracy. Take for instance a man running down a crowded mall, clapping his shoes on the hard tiled floor, running toward a group of men that immediately notice him coming, his chances of successfully stealing something from one of the men are not too great are they? They will probably notice him from a distance. Now, take someone who is blending in with the crowd at a normal pace, right behind an old lady which has her purse loosely hanging from one arm....which provides the best opportunity? Grabbing the purse and then only to start running into a pre-planned escape route will be more challenging to block, right?.

The attack: Now he has his target set into sight, and he is positioned perfectly to his advantage, all that needs to happen now is proceeding with the attack. The attack might not necessarily be a physical pounding of a poor old lady's face, but maybe just jerking a purse hard enough to cause her to panic or jump into a state of fear. The more aggression an attacker shows, the more likely someone would be to co-operate. The attack again has many different varying factors, it might be lethal or non-lethal, it might include a weapon of some kind or it might just be a verbal assault or perhaps a persuasion that he has a lethal weapon on him which he does not. Think for instance the same guy had to walk up to the old lady, press his thumb into her thigh and demand the purse, or else he would drive the "thumb-knife" through her.

So how is all of this relevant to your awareness? Well, as you can see, there is a process that a perpetrator goes through before actually committing to a criminal act, that requires some time to go through. And, given that you know how to read these signs, you might curb his intentions by counter-acting his actions or at least buy yourself more time. You see someone observing you, you counter, you notice someone might be pulling up into a unique position, you act on it. You notice an attack is being made on you, well you have some time to re-position yourself and increase your chances of survival or escape.

This is part of a series of posts on awareness, be sure to check out the next post, where I'll explain the difference between soft and hard targets and how to make yourself less "attractive" to criminals.

“Once there is seeing, there must be acting. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Home defense

Barrier 1

Barrier 1

By now you should be able to successfully avoid or deter a serious threat to your family. Now you have time to work on a crucial element of security to any home. A barrier can be anything that prevents anyone from trying to enter your yard who does not have access. Examples of your first barrier can be concrete walls, palisades or fencing, etc.

Barriers have proven to be an invaluable system to keep out unwanted intruders and trespassers. The increase in crime has demanded more and more barriers be erected all over the world. After all, prevention is key. Barriers are not just walls marking out the end of your yard anymore. Those walls are now probably the least effective if they don’t have any spikes or electrical fencing installed on top of them! And even that can easily be overcome if an intruder thinks it is worth the risk. The greatest threat to barriers today is the influx and availability of technology, ladders, hammers, wire clippers, and blankets are cheap and cost-effective for criminals today. Some even get them for free from their actual day jobs.

The older designs like flat walls and six-foot slabs are now as much of a challenge to criminals like small hurdles are to professional athletes.  We have been chasing criminals in communities for centuries now and just cannot keep up to those little guys jumping those walls like it’s no issue. While we see police officers having to boost each other over because of the weight of their body armor and gear.

Although this can turn out to be the most expensive element in your security system, it can be the most invaluable one. When installed correctly and with some good planning. The trickiest thing with barriers is choosing one. You don’t want it too small, too high, too bulky or too expensive to maintain.

If you are not sure that your current barrier is suitable for your yard, or you are now considering installing one, follow these basic guidelines:    

  • Your barrier should be heavy and strong enough to resist anyone who tries to push it over or ram it with a light vehicle.
  • It should not be completely closed so to prevent anyone from seeing into your yard, that way no one will ever notice an intruder in your yard when a patrol is conducted. And you will never be able to see any threats in the yard when approaching the gate.
  • It should have some form of spikes or electrical shock wiring with an alarm system for when someone is tampering with the wiring.
  • It should be sloped outwards if possible as to make climbing over it harder.
  • It should be installed on all sides of your yard. Many times I find large gates and high palisades coming in from the front, only to find a small fence at the back or some gap right next to the neighbor’s barrier.
  • Electronic gates are preferable, to reduce time wasted on opening and closing the gate.

Keep in mind that these barriers can be costly, and it in no way guarantees to keep criminals out, but it does indeed require more effort to breach. There is not much more to be said about these barriers as most of it comes down to budget and preference. There are multiple building materials in today's world and great new advances and techniques are developed across the world.

How strong is your first barrier?