I am encouraged by the fact that more and more people are seeking to take responsibility for their own safety and security. Many do this through concealed carry, which is absolutely a major (and good) step. However, simply having a firearm and not taking any other actions or precautions will not lead to the most ideal security situation, and I will not focus on firearms in this article.
Instead, I want to discuss how to balance safety and reality. More precisely, I want to put some things in perspective.
What Is The Threat?
Many people are alarmed by mass killings such as those perpetrated in movie theaters and elementary schools. However, the odds of encountering such a situation are infinitesimally low. Furthermore, if you live and work outside certain high-crime areas, you are not extremely likely to be the victim of a violent crime, especially one involving a firearm (if you do live or work in such an area, you should probably leave).
As a result, you are far more likely to face death from a vehicle accident or medical condition than at the hands of a crazy person. But we are inundated with media reports of crazy people killing people, while we are not often told in prime time about the dangers of colon barnacles or diabetes of the heart or other such dangerous conditions. Furthermore, despite similar nationwide numbers, homicides are often highly concentrated in certain areas, but same does not go for drunk driving fatalities, for instance. Someone living in New Hampshire is not very likely to be murdered compared to someone in DC, but the statistics flip the other way for drunk driving.
So we prepare for mass killings instead of cutting back on Big Macs or paying extra attention to that girl who just traded her MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron and is now driving 5 under the speed limit and weaving in her lane.
While this does not mean that people in New Hampshire should never concern themselves with being attacked by another person, it does mean that they should not spend all of their mental energy - and money - preparing for a violent attack. Why not divert some of your self defense training or gear money to taking a high performance driving course, or putting better tires on your car? Both might give you an edge when fractions of a second matter while trying to avoid an accident.
If you text or do other things which distract you while you drive, you are similarly at risk, because you are denying yourself the ability to detect potential threats outside your vehicle. So...pay attention.
What I'm saying is, look at where you live and the things you do. Identify the things which are most likely to kill you, and work to isolate yourself from those threats. By all means, prepare to defend yourself against a violent attack, but do not do so at the expense of all other preparations.
Nikki Lane, lovely lady and shooter extraordinaire, has decided to start interviewing personalities in the gun industry. The series is called "Seven Minutes in Heaven with Nikki Lane." I was her first
victim subject. She asked me how I came to choose the name Vuurwapen, what I think qualifies me to do what I do, what I think of the current situation we find ourselves in, and things that my "perfect girlfriend" would like.
This will come as a shock to longtime viewers/readers, but she made me laugh and smile several times. There is video proof of the event here.
You shouldn't wear camouflage patterns because they make you stand out.
"What?" You say. "Has this guy lost his mind? The whole idea of camouflage is to blend in."
Yes, that is in fact the idea of camouflage. And in certain situations, you should attempt to camouflage yourself. However, camouflage is more than brown and green and tan. The true meaning of camouflage is to disguise something in its environment. For a tree frog, that might mean looking like part of a tree. For a person interacting with other people, that means looking like the other people.
For those in the military, camouflage uniforms do intend to hide the wearer in a field environment. But uniforms also serve to identify the wearer as a combatant on one particular side of a conflict. When not in a field environment, wearing a camouflage uniform doesn't hide you, it identifies you as something. Whether others would see you as a combatant in a military force depends on the pattern worn, but they would definitely pay more attention to you.
Of course, the gear you carry also makes a difference. If you sling an AR and walk into a bank, people are going to notice you even if you're wearing entirely nondescript clothing. But why draw more attention to yourself than necessary? And who are you hiding from - and in what environment - that you need to wear (or even own) a camouflage patterned uniform or gear?
I do not suggest that this is the case for everyone, but there is a definite attraction towards the newest and coolest camouflage pattern that is not justifiable. Playing tactical dress up at the range is quite pointless. Even some instructors get all dressed up for a range class - why? There is no need to hide at the range, and unless they are a member of some military or government unit, it is highly unlikely that they will be given the occasion to wear that uniform in a "combat" situation.
If you are "just a guy" like me - or "just a girl" - then camouflage has a different meaning than woodland, ATACS, or Multicam. I'll admit, I think ATACS looks cool and effective. So does Multicam.
However, I don't own anything in either pattern, because I have no need for ultra-effective camouflage. Solid grays and browns appear nondescript in a casual urban environment and are quite effective at the purely visual aspects of concealment, especially when you learn how to move effectively, whether that means low-crawling or adopting the mannerisms of a local populace.
At the individual level, successfully evading detection has far more to do with the manner in which you move from point A to point B than what you wear while doing it.
I bought this Luminox watch because it had truly "glow in the dark" hands and markings - not luminescent paint, but fancy capsules that glow for 25 years. It was great, until it broke.
I was doing some laps in a shifter kart when the second hand simply fell off and prevented the other hands from turning. Luminox advertisements show fighter jets and imply world-class durability; needless to say, I wasn't pulling 9 Gs in a shifter kart.
When I contacted them to fix it - I had owned it for less than a year at the time - they basically told me to take a hike. The chain I had purchased the watch from had closed a few locations, including the one I bought my watch from, and they couldn't verify my purchase. Therefore, Luminox had a convenient excuse to not even accept my watch for repair.
It also gave me a convenient excuse to buy a watch that didn't fall apart if looked at sternly. I now use a variety of Citizen Eco-Drives. The bands aren't ideal, but as timepieces they are quite good.