If you read this space regularly, you have probably deduced that I have a special sort of hatred for people who offer bad advice on self defense. Doesn’t matter much to me whether it’s some ridiculous gunstore lawyer telling people they can’t take aggressive action against a carjacker or a doddering old fool in political office telling people to fire “warning shots” to scare away bad guys, it really urinates in my Cheerios when feckless idiots shotgun unforgivable ignorance into the public consciousness. In the moment where someone is facing a grave threat to themselves and their family, they need clarity and solid information…not the vapid pontifications of gasbags who lack the experience or intellect to avoid beclowning themselves every time they open their benighted suck.
That leads me to the Today show’s recent foray into offering advice on dealing with a home invasion. It was, without exaggeration, one of the dumbest bits of “journalism” I have encountered on my years walking this planet. It was that extra special kind of stupid that makes you feel slightly light-headed to the point where you start to question whether you’re awake or not. Highlights of this advice included keeping a can of wasp spray…wasp spray…next to the bed to spray presumably at the eyes of a home intruder. I can’t really see any of the smiling idiots on the Today show encouraging you to, you know, shoot a home invader, but apparently they don’t have any reservations about advising you to soak someone’s face with a cocktail of potentially lethal chemicals.
The other unforgivably stupid bit of advice was to cooperate fully with the home invader, including telling him/them where all your valuables are. In the story a victim of a home invasion, Susan Dawson, recounted being on the floor bleeding while tied up and wondering how, exactly, the man who invaded her home was going to kill her. After presumably interviewing a woman who contemplated the method of her execution at the hands of a violent felon, these dumbclucks went on to tell honest citizens to cooperate fully with these people. It takes a special type of blinkered idiot to reach such a conclusion.
Yes, yes, I know the root of the advice: Be nice to the violent felon who has kicked in your door and assaulted you in the hopes he won’t kill you. That’s **CENSORED** stupid. In a 4 minute story about home invasions they manage to find time to talk about using car alarms (because we all know EVERYBODY pays careful attention when one of those goes off, right?) and wasp spray, but they utter not a single word about useful measures to harden your home against an intruder. Instead it’s 4 minutes of improbable dumb-cluckery and the cherry on top of the stupid sundae is an admonition to be nice and rely on the moral recognizance of a violent felon to keep you and your family alive.
I want you to do me a favor. Click on this link, and fast forward to the 33:00 mark. At that mark you’re going to hear William Aprill discuss an interview he did with a violent felon who murdered a man by stabbing him and skinning him alive. I’m not using hyperbole, folks. He literally took a knife and peeled another man’s skin off. Why? Because, and I quote:
“I had some time, and he was there.”
The smiling idiots on TV presume that violence is rational. In other words, that criminals are after material gain and that if you don’t obstruct their efforts to take your stuff that they will leave you unharmed. Mr. Aprill gives the account of a thief who had successfully completed his crime without any interference from the sleeping home owner, and yet decided to gruesomely murder the man anyway because “He was there.” A couple of weeks ago I wrote a little something about opportunism in bad guys and I used the murders of Jennifer, Micheala, and Haley Petit to try and illustrate that “opportunity” is not confined to financial gain. I want you to read this next line very carefully, and burn it into your mind:
Helpless victims bring out the worst in bad men.
Good people like to believe that criminal offenders think like they do. That if you don’t give the bad guys a reason to hurt you, then they won’t hurt you. After all, you don’t hurt people because they give you no reason to. The sort of man who busts into another’s home in the middle of the night is not like you. He doesn’t think like you. He’s not going to perceive helplessness and find his conscience. His instinct won’t be mercy. 11 year old Michaela Petit was utterly helpless against the two men who busted into her home and tied her to a bed. Their response to her helplessness was to sexually assault her, then douse her in gasoline and burn her alive. Stop for a minute and imagine the scene…there’s a battered little 11 year old girl tied to a bed, and a couple of home invaders start pouring gasoline all over her. Think of the terror she must have been in at that moment. Ponder the sight of an 11 year old girl becoming aware that she’s about to die in a horrifically brutal fashion.
If you are a normal person and you go through that exercise you’ll either be on the verge of tears or physically ill as every cell in your body reacts in moral revulsion. Probably both.
But not the bad men. No, they caused that scene. They witnessed the terror of that helpless little girl…and then they flicked their Bic.
I’m going to take a radically different tac to the geniuses at the Today Show. I don’t think you should treat home invaders like royalty. I think you should treat them like invaders. This means hardening your home against intrusion in the first place, having a plan for your loved ones should those measures eventually be defeated, and having an effective defensive tool to use as a last resort.
Don’t allow yourself to be helpless. Don’t let bad men tie you or your loved ones up. Fight. Fight because your odds of survival do not improve when bad guys have complete control of the situation. To hell with all this wasp spray, treat-them-like-royalty nonsense. If someone means to harm you or your loved ones, mean to harm them first. Harden your home and harden your mind.
Helpless victims bring out the worst in bad men. Those willing and able to fight, on the other hand, usually put them to flight.
Contrast the Today Show’s wasp spray idiocy with the coursework of someone like Tom Givens. Over sixty of his students have successfully used lethal force to defend themselves from attack. I asked him once how many of his students had pulled a gun but not had to use it because the bad guy buggered off when confronted by someone who had the means and mindset to kill them on the spot…and he basically said there were too many to count. How many success stories do you think Mr. Wasp Spray has on his side?
If you could go back in time to early Sunday afternoon in Cheshire Conneticut, would you tell Mr. Petit that two men were coming to rape and murder the women in his life and then give him a bottle of wasp spray and tell him to use his car alarm? Or would you give him a shotgun?