Personal and Family Defense Plan
In part 3 of this series, I made some mental assertions. Here they are.
- I chose to be mentally prepared to protect myself, and my family.
- I chose to do whatever it takes so that we will not become victims
Remember that our goal is to be safe as individuals and as families. We want to know that in case of an emergency, where our safety is threatened, we can act in such a way to escape the threat, or repel that threat.
The first step towards being prepared is to prepare my mind. I must look deep within myself and make a commitment to do whatever it takes to keep myself and my family safe should the need arise.
I am writing this from the perspective of a husband and a father. You may be viewing this from the perspective of a single person or a mother with young children. No matter what angle you are coming from you need to be willing to count the cost.
In order for me to be mentally prepared to protect myself, I must be mentally aware. I need to be paying attention to my environment, and I must be in condition yellow at all times. What does condition yellow mean? It means that I am scanning my surroundings looking for threats at all times. I am on the lookout for threats that can cause harm. Being mentally prepared, means that I am in a state of awareness that will enable me to act in case of an emergency.
When I am mentally aware of my environment and I have made the decision to protect myself and loved ones I am putting myself in an optimal situation. I will be better prepared to consider all my options and make a good decision. To be mentally aware means that I am not walking around with my head in the clouds or being distracted by my iPhone, iPod, MP3 player or some other electronic gizmo. My head will not be down and I will not be so focused on my gadgets that I fail to see danger approaching.
It is very important that you are confident in your ability to make the right decisions and that you equip yourself so that you can act in such a way to either escape a threat or repel the threat. Criminals know what they are looking for in a victim. They walk around looking for folks that are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. They look for easy targets to hit. They look for someone that they believe they can overpower easily and do what it is they plan on doing.
Your mental awareness and body language go hand in hand. Paying attention to those around you and giving them eye contact will let them know that you are not going to be a victim. You are aware of their presence and you are prepared to act. This does not mean that you will never be attacked; but it does mean that your attacker will not be able to take you by surprise.
Being mentally aware also means that you understand the different types of dangers in your environment and that you have purposely considered your ability to escape or repel a threat. Have you ever heard of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Being mentally prepared means that you think about what you are going to do before you do it. We must think about the consequences of our actions before we commit to them. If I find myself in this situation what will happen if I do this or that?
Personal defense scenario at home:
One evening you come home after work and you drive up in your driveway. You start to get out of your vehicle but you notice a stranger on the sidewalk and they are approaching you. You do not know the person and now you are nervous that they might not have the best of intentions. What are some of the things that are going through you mind?
- Who is this person?
- Could this be a sales person?
- Why is this person on my property?
- How is this person acting towards me?
- Am I expecting someone?
- Is anyone home that can help me?
- If this person becomes aggressive towards me what will I do?
- Where is my cell phone?
- Should I yell for help?
- Do I feel threatened or am I being overtly paranoid?
If you are mentally prepared you will have already worked through this type of scenario in your mind before it ever happens in real life. As you can see, when something happens you have to quickly assess your environment and all of the variables so that you can either escape or repel a threat. That means that you have to act decisively.
How would I process my environment in this scenario?
- How far is this person from me once I notice them?
- Is the person visibly aggressive or passive in their body language?
- Can I see their hands or are they wearing bulky clothing that could hide a weapon?
- Are they the only unknown or are their multiple threats?
- What is my gut instinct telling me? Do I feel threatened?
I will need to process my environment and make a decision within 60 seconds so that I can ACT one way or the other. I may choose to get back into my vehicle, lock the doors and call the police. I may decide to back out of the driveway and go to a neighbor’s house and ask them for assistance. If the person is threatening me and I am in fear of serious bodily injury or death, and I am carrying a concealed weapon, I can announce my intention to use deadly force to protect myself.
The closer that the person gets to me the shorter amount of time I will have to react and my options for escape will diminish quickly. I heard the other day that the FBI put together a 333 rule. Most shootings happen within 30 feet within 3 seconds and 3 shots are fired. I will leave it to you to do the research on how correct that statistic is but I can assure you that when things happen they do not happen in slow motion like in the movies.
How many times do we do things repetitiously? We leave, we go to our different destinations and most of the time we take the same route over and over again. We become comfortable in our routine, and if we are not careful that routine could give us a false sense of security. Years ago, when I was in law enforcement the number one killer of police officers was routine traffic stops. They key word here is routine. There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. The moment something becomes routine, that is when you can become the victim of a crime.
In the next article we can look closer at the environment and how to identify different threats to us as individuals and families. How well we plan for threats to ourselves, and our families will determine whether or not we will become a victim.