"Does that sound a little paranoid to you? It certainly does to me. Where is the line between reasonable precaution which constitute preparedness and over-the-top paranoid delusion? Can planning for every contingency to this degree become a trap for some people which itself diminishes freedom? Or, does it make sense to plan meticulously for the extremely rare event of armed home invasion and the even rarer event of home invasion by a team of commandos?"I typed up a response for Mike, and thought better of it. Chances are, since he did not have the courage to post a comment on my blog, he would simply delete my comment on his. So, I preserved it here prior to posting it. To wit:
Mike, we all form our opinion of the world around us based on our personal experiences. I do not "prepare for violent contingencies as if a squad of commandos is liable to attack at any moment" as you put it. I prepare for a violent and quick moving encounter that has me behind in the OODA loop. That is much more likely to be one or two criminals than a squad of crack commandos. Regardless, if I am behind on the OODA loop, chances are I will be impaired for life or dead unless I have the means of rapidly reversing the unfolding events.
Mike, the reason why a high school drop out failure at life thug can defeat and put down a well trained college graduate in a violent confrontation is not because he is smarter. It is because he has a plan and he is familiar with human behavior in violent encounters. To be able to survive such a situation, a person can depend on luck, or they can prepare themselves through training and education. To adequately prepare, they must understand the nature of a violent encounter and what their inadequacies are when attacked.
A gun does not protect you Mike. The ability to use the gun swiftly, effectively and decisively are what protects you when you are down to your last option. You will note, however, if you took the time to read before you decided to type out your screed, that I advocate first recognition, then avoidance and evasion of threats. To remain safe, the threat must first be recognized.
The fear of appearing "not normal" leads many people walking around totally unprepared for a violent encounter with a criminal. I do not know if you are a person such as this, or if you are a gun owner who simply believes that having a gun is enough. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me. I do encourage you to become a gun owner if you are not, and get solid, professional training in self defense if you are. Your lack of understanding of the nature of a violent encounter is readily apparent.
I took a look at your sidebar, and I saw "I'm an American expat living in Italy these last 20 years." That about sums it up, doesn't it? I'll put it to you this way Mike. I'm a law abiding citizen of a country where I can carry an effective means of self defense. I chose to do so. Because I do so, I invest the time to learn to use it effectively.
Now you can peck away all the you like about it, but that will not change. Am I paranoid? Are you talking clinically paranoid? Paranoia is a term that delusional people use in a derogatory fashion to describe those better prepared than themselves. It makes them feel more secure as they smugly cite statistics and anecdotes. All the while, people continue to die in violent encounters, while others manage to survive. I encourage you to investigate why some victims survive while others do not.
I'll answer a couple of your questions as well. Have I been a victim? Yes. Did it lead me towards gun ownership? No. I already owned guns. It did lead me towards effective, realistic training.
I recently had a friend, a police officer, die as the result of a violent encounter. He was holding a taser on a criminal instead of his gun. The criminal pulled a gun and shot and killed him before his partner could return fire, or before my friend could transition from his taser to his own gun. Should he have tased the criminal? IMHO, yes. However, he followed his training and went for his own gun when he saw the criminal produce a gun. As a result, he was behind on the OODA loop, was shot and killed.
These encounters happen with breathtaking speed. Training is essential, but more importantly, recognizing and understanding the threat is imperative. It is this aspect of self defense that so many people ignore, and if you had taken the time to read a bit deeper, perhaps you would have found it.
Excessive gun fanaticism? It's a gun blog Mike. Oh, occasionally it gets into photography, bicycles and such, but my core readership is gun owners and those who care about defending themselves if need be. I know my readers, just as you know your readers.
Rather than just address your blog post, I went searching through your blog for your true feelings on guns. I found it, I think, at the end of this post.
"Let me be perfectly clear. My own, extremely biased opinion is there are too many guns in the hands of too many people and something should be done about it."I should have known. Have a good life Mike. Enjoy your blogging. Goodnight.