Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.
So here’s a link to an article about the Brits kinda sorta re-legitimizing self-defense. The article in itself isn’t anything noteworthy. It’s the usual soundbites and domestic politics that you’d encounter in pretty much any First World country. What is interesting, however, are the comments that are posted to the article. More than one subject says how that by legitimizing a homeowners violent actions against a criminal intruder they are ‘escalating’ the arms race and that criminals will now feel a need to be armed when they commit their crimes. “Peace for our time”, indeed.
If taking violent action against criminals results in future criminals feeling the need to arm themselves then your response wasn’t violent enough. Someone bent on breaking into your home and killing you for the coin jar on your dresser should be made to feel that even showing up with a bazooka wouldn’t be enough to keep them from landing on a morgue slab.
No, read the comments and see for yourself the difference in mindsets and attitudes that exist there. On the one side are the Neville Chamberlains willing to give everything to appease and on the other side are the genuine honest-to-god Rambos who think shooting is too good for ‘em. My own opinion is, naturally, somewhere in the middle.
Defense of self? That’s a given. Someone tries to do violent physical damage to me then I have no doubt that anything other than a violent response is warranted. I’d really, really prefer not to but I prefer being in a hospital even less.
Property is another issue. If I look out the window and see someone trying to steal the truck do I prop the AR in the window and shoot them? Probably not, they aren’t threatening me. Do I trot outside with the AR and try to convince them that maybe theres a better career choice for them? Absolutely. If they flip me off and drive away do I send bullets down the road after them? Absolutely not.
On the other hand, theres only a couple circumstances I can forsee where deadly force comes into play regarding property. (And this is my own personal belief paradigm, your mileage may vary.) First is arson, someone tries to set fire to my house I’m going to shoot them. End of story. No ifs ands or buts. If Joe Anarchist is out there with his Molotov martini screaming about “Capitalist swine” and is winding up to take a throw at my front porch, well, then I don’t think anyone would think that shooting him was a bad idea. (Although shooting the flaming bottle in his hand might be more satisfying from an irony standpoint…but I’ll take the easier target, thanks.)
Under normal circumstances I’d say arson is pretty much the only property crime I’d think warranted a bit of trigger time. What about abnormal circumstances? Much trickier. Theres probably guys pushing up daisies in Louisiana who tried to steal a generator out of the wrong garage or who had the misfortune of meeting the owner of the car they were siphoning gas out of. If the property that’s being threatened is property that is critical to my well-being, then I think it might be worth violent defense. They wanna take the garden gnome in the yard? Have at it. They wanna take the stockpile of 5-gallon gas cans? Not so fast, pardner.
Unfortunately history has shown that predations against the prepared do not come exclusively from the ‘normal criminal element’. Sometimes those predations come from people operating under what we have come to call ‘color of authority’. That’s the noble way of saying “A guy with a badge is demanding all my [gasoline/food/shelter]”. Katrina, the defining disaster of recent history, showed police and other ‘authorized personnel’ engaging in behavior that, were it not for the badge on their uniforms, would have almost universally been met with gunfire by most people. The unfortunate truth is that, by and large, no one gets into a violent confrontation with the police and gets away with it. If the cops kick in the door to the gun shop and say they’re taking the guns ‘for safekeeping’ and the owner says ‘no way’ and points a gun in their direction how do you think that’s going to end? The chief of police walks in, sees the uniform guys on the floor and says to the shop owner ‘sorry about that, we were gonna fire these guys anyway’? Nope. The cops bring more cops, there may or may not be a fatal fusillade, and the result is the shopowner, if he’s lucky, gets a few years in jail instead of being taken out in a bag with the local gendarmes shrugging and saying ‘we were just trying to do a job and the guy went nuts’. Part of staying safe is knowing when to pick your battles. Probably 99% of the time its better to smile and say ‘yes sir’ than to dig in your heels and face a virtually certain (and probably final) defeat. But wait…hows that different than those Neville Chamberlains in the comments to the article mentioned above? They want to give up the goods to the criminals to prevent a nasty consequence…isn’t that what your advocating? Hey, if Im being hypocritical then tell me… If Im walking down the street and someone points a knife at my belt buckle and says ‘gimme’ then, yes, we’re going to have some exciting moments. Unless, of course, the guy with the knife has three of his friends standing behind him idly playing with their lengths of pipe and baseball bats. Then its “I don’t want trouble. Here you go.” Im no dummy, and Im betting you aren’t either. When you think the odds are on your side, you fight. When the odds are against you…well, different story. (And, sure, there are times the odds are against you and you’re still probably going to fight..you’ll lose, but maybe that’s better than not fighting at all. Winston Churchill [who would probably slap the face of the average Brit politician if he met them today] has a rather famous quote that is somewhat applicable.)
Under threat from ‘rogue elements’ of the local PD (or military, or .gov) you really don’t have much choice except to go to ground and stay out of the way…(unless you have a very, very large amount of armed friends on your side who are willing to go all the way on this). Theres a bloody good reason Im not keen on ‘the authorities’ knowing what I have socked away for that Rainy Day…because I don’t want them showing up on my doorstep ‘requisitioning’ my stuff. I believe it was in Massachusetts a while back when they had some nasty blizzard and massive snowfall. Owners of four-wheel drive vehicles had their rides ‘commandeered’ for the emergency. As you would expect, some cars took a while to get returned, some had damage, and some never got returned. (Same thing in Katrina, by the way, car dealerships lost a lot of stock and the cops had some mighty nice rides. Hmmm.)
Anyway, back to the original paragraph – read the article and read the comments that are posted to it. Its an interesting example of different mindsets. While you’re at it, if you want to, give some thought to what you’d do when ‘the man’ shows up and asks why you’re the only house in the area with electricity and water and do you mind if we use your place as our command area? Hint: he’s not really asking, that’s why theres a couple deputies standing behind him on the lawn.
The Japs have a saying, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. Sometimes you just need to know when to keep a low profile, have your gear safely hidden, and to look as uninteresting as possible.
Sure, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. More often though, the squeaky wheel is yanked off the axle, frog-marched out of the yard and made an example of to the other wheels, and then its place is taken by a nice, new, quiet wheel.
Stay off .gov’s radar as best you can and avoid the whole confrontation. Sure, volunteer for your local disaster services or something. Make a difference, learn some valuable skills, network a bit…but keep it under your hat that you’re better prepared than they are or you will get the visit someday when a flustered local ‘emergency management’ guy shows up on your doorstep and asks if maybe they can borrow your generator…and some fuel..and your truck…and that radio…..