The Nature Of Danger

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To prepare for anything, especially danger, you have to first acknowledge the need for being ready. Then you study the nature of the problem. Where will danger come from, and what will it look like? Once you’re familiar with the problem you can begin to prepare for it in a clearly defined manner. So do the research — first.

Make no mistake about this — personal protection is an individual responsibility. When trouble appears it’s up to you to deal with it. Maintaining your vehicles makes it less likely they’ll break down. You probably have the know-how and provisions to make it through a power outage during cold weather. In the same way, you prepare to defend against a violent attack.

The million-dollar question here is what will the danger look like? There are common difficulties, like vehicle breakdowns and natural emergencies. Then there are menacing, dangerous troubles, like a violent attack. The dangerous category is harder to define. People will prepare for an attack from another person, but are completely surprised when set upon by a vicious dog, a friend, co-worker or family member. The threat might be armed with an unusual weapon. The dictionary is a cool book, until someone tries to bash you in the head with it. The probability of having to battle a team of highly trained North Korean assassins is extremely low. You can’t prepare for everything — nor should you try — but you can be ready for almost anything.

Good books are one of Tiger’s favorite sources for reliable info. He likes to mark pages, highlight and under-line solutions. Tiger cautions you should be very careful about the source of information when searching online.

Read A Book

The best way to get acquainted with violence — before it happens — is research, and books are my favorite way. True Tales Of American Violence, and Lead Poisoning, 25 True Stories From The Wrong End Of A Gun, by Chris Pfouts are two good ones. Lessons from Armed America, by Mark Walters and Kathy Jackson is another good source. To get an idea of what law-enforcement officers face I recommend David Klinger’s book Into The Kill Zone. The stories in these books come from a variety of people who willingly and unwillingly were involved in violent attacks.

Be careful when using the ’net. Personally, I don’t read “war stories.” Whenever something starts with “A friend of mine,” or “I heard,” disregard it immediately. You’re looking for facts, such as videos of assaults or reviews of these incidents by actual experts, like the Ayoob Files in Handgunner. You’re looking for vetted, trustworthy info. Watch a violent attack, over and over, closely observing body language. That’s part of your research.

Over 90 percent of human communication is non-verbal. A person’s body language tells you what they’re thinking, as opposed to what they’re saying. What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro isn’t a tactical book, but you’ll learn some surprising facts. The most expressive part of the body is the feet. The feet tell you what someone is thinking, usually before they’re even consciously aware of their own thoughts or decisions.

Left Of Bang by Van Horne and Riley is based on the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program, and teaches you how to read individuals and large groups. Knowing the warning signs allows you to avoid and escape a dangerous situation — or prepare to defend against an assault.

A modern person looks at this and thinks, “Oh, these are tools I use.” Primitive man would look at these and think, “weapons.” Almost anything can be used to seriously injure or kill.

How’s It Affect You?

As you study different situations, consider how these scenarios relate to your life. You study an attack occurring in a parking lot. Now think about how this situation is going to look with your family. Maybe you don’t live in a large urban area where there are gangs, but a rowdy concert in the country with alcohol involved might turn into a situation where you’re facing multiple attackers.

A big part of what you’ll personally deal with is what happens after being forced to defend against an attack. At some point after an attack it will be necessary to interact with cops and the courts. Officers will arrive to secure the scene, followed by detectives, lawyers and justice officials eventually. You’ll be making statements to justify your actions, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Thankfully you can prepare yourself for the aftermath by being aware of the procedures and pitfalls. Recommended reading: Deadly Force by Massad Ayoob. I also think it’s mandatory to attend Ayoob’s MAG-20 class — 20 hours of information on the legal aspects of lethal force. It’s part of your responsibility to be in the know.

The first step to preparing for problems is to get educated, studying the nature of the trouble. You accept the fact responsibility is a 24-hour job. It’s a religion with a little “r.” You learn while violence may seem random and chaotic, there are identifiable, definable baselines. Learn how these will apply to your life.

The next step is developing a response to an attack, and learning how to use the best tool for the job — a firearm — to efficiently defend yourself. Along the way you realize, yes, there are dangers out there — but there is security in being ready. Make sure you’re ready.

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