Through the joys of blogging and “suggested links” I stumbled upon a 3-part home defense series from Caleb/Ahab. Here are links to his part 1, part 2, and part 3. These dovetail perfectly into where I left off in my part 3, that equipment is important, but skills and mindset are more important.
I took a fantastic training course called Street & Vehicle Tactics, from InSights Training Center. When gun people take gun classes they want to shoot guns! But this class had no shooting whatsoever. Yes there was a lot of physicality and moving about, but most of what was taught was about mindset and tactics — it was all about using your gray matter. The course talks about Priorities of Survival:
- Awareness and preparedness
This list is in order, and notice that equipment is at the bottom of the list. This does show that equipment does matter: if you have unreliable equipment, ineffective equipment, it’s going to affect your chances of survival. What has a greater impact on your chances of survival tho are the other listed factors. In fact, there’s a level of “force multiplication” involved here. What this means is as you go up the priorities list, your chances of survival multiply. Equipment gives you the least multiplier, awareness/preparedness gives you the greatest and could even compensate for all the others. The items at the top of the priority list will take you much further than the items at the bottom, and the more/better you can have of all the items, all the better for your chances of survival.
Going back to Caleb’s articles, let’s look at parts 1 and 3. In his part 1 Caleb discusses some good first lines of defense: checking the outside of your home and setting it up defensively (trimming back bushes, well-lit, fences); minding your doors and windows (solid, locked); having an alarm system (deterrent, notification system); the utility of a purposely-trained big dog; other things such as flashlights and mobile phones. What is this? awareness and preparedness. It’s being aware of your home situation: these bushes block this ground-level window, this tree next to the house comes close to that second-story window, there’s a dark spot over by the trash cans. It’s preparing your home: let’s trim back that bush, let’s get those tree limbs trimmed back, let’s install some floodlights around the trash can area, let’s repair the fence for Fido’s sake.
In his part 3, Caleb talks about “the plan”. He discusses thinking ahead of time about what to do in a home-invasion situation. What to do, where to go, what role each member of the household has in the event — including children, where boundaries are. What is this? This is preparedness, and tactics. He has made a plan, it was made ahead of time, it could be thought through, and practiced. He is prepared. He has discussed the tactics: he arms and hunkers down, Mrs. Caleb removes herself from the line of fire and uses the mobile phone to dial 911 and report everything. A simple plan, but the tactics are worked out head of time.
In his part 2, Caleb does talk about equipment. While he and I have arrived at a different set of equipment, that’s the equipment that works for him, and he offers some interesting alternative suggestions. One thing I would add is to look around your home and see what could be used in a pinch. For instance, I have a Vaughan SuperBar which would make a pretty ugly weapon.
The take-home message from this part of my series? While we love tools and equipment because it’s fun, tangible, and we just like tinkering with and talking about cool gadgets, it’s really the least important part of home defense or any type of self-defense. Your mindset and mental conditioning are the most important thing, and the more you can invest there, the further you will go.