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Old January 16, 2010, 09:09 AM   #1
N.H. Yankee
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Do we focus too much on being reactive verses proactive?

We banter back and forth about training and tactics and mostly its dealing with a situation already upon us. The old saying an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure holds true in many aspects of life. Yes being prepared for the event despite all of our methods of prevention is absolutely needed, but prevention seems to be an afterthought at times.

I would like your thoughts on this and what do you do as far as prevention..
I like to have a game plan in place when I do most anything, flying by the seat of ones pants can result in disaster. I keep winter clothing boots and blankets in my car in case of a breakdown, including snowshoes, I have an emergency kit also as well as emergency phone numbers printed on a sheet of paper kept in a visor pocket as well as a phone book in the trunk. I keep my car doors locked as well and when parking I scope out any suspicious activity and try to park in a well lit area etc.

At home I keep my doors locked, I have bars across my cellar door and windows, these are common entry points of perps. I also have 2 dogs, a small parm that sleeps with one eye and both ears open, if a mouse farts down cellar we know about it. Then we have the enforcer, 100lbs of muscular black lab with no sense of humor. She was an abused dog and isn't trusting of anyone outside the immediate inhabitants of the house. lets just say I have no problem with Jehovah's wanting to come in and convert me.
We recently had a woman butchered and her preteen daughter almost killed by knives and a machete. The 4 ( mostly teens ) were going to do the house next door, but a barking dog made them decide to change houses. They were on a mission to rob and kill as they stated.

Everyone in my home knows NOT to just answer the door, especially alone, though once the dog comes charging no one seems to want to stick around long enough. Everyone also knows there is nothing outside worth anyone going outside to investigate a strange noise, if you perceive a threat call the police and stay put armed. I like to keep the dogs inside because if a perp does break in, they now have to focus on a dog. Their having to contend with a dog is a distraction which benefits our survival. Alarm systems are good, but in my area we have part time police and response time could be 45 minutes, so being self reliant equals survival.

If we here someone in the house, DO NOT automatically assume its an intruder, let the dogs do their work, it could be one of US! When we awake from a deep sleep especially we are not 100% coherent and this is when disaster could strike, once again a dog buys you time to get your wits about you to do a assessment of the situation. Automatic outside lighting can also be beneficial, aside from the obvious it can startle a perp and cause confusion which may make the perp leave.

SITUATIONAL awareness, this is often mentioned and rightfully so, here's where an ounce of prevention can really pay off especially when your outside of your comfort zone, HOME! Being in unfamiliar surrounding, on the bad guys turf has us at a distinct disadvantage. Parking lots, many car jacking's, robberies, kidnappings and ambush's happen in these settings. Suspicious people should be treated as such, also check inside your car BEFORE you get in!

Being macho can get you in a serious predicament, even if you have to swallow your pride and go back in a store or area with people and ask for assistance or express your concerns, it may not only save you but someone else. Having a form of defense at ready can make all the difference as one may not always have the opportunity to make it back to a safe place.

When I see a suspicious car I DO write down the plate number and description of the vehicle and inhabitants, plates are stolen all the time. I am not talking about EVERY car I don't recognize, but things that don't seem right many times aren't! Last but not least having a cell phone can be a lifesaver not only for criminal matters but for health situations and accidents. last thought, I also ask friends and relatives to please call us in advance if they are going to visit, this way we know to expect them. Do we have to live in a constant state of paranoia, absolutely not, life is to be enjoyed, but a little common sense can go a long way.
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Last edited by N.H. Yankee; January 16, 2010 at 09:16 AM.
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Old January 16, 2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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I agree with you that so many of the threads we read here deal with what happens/happened after somebody gains access to our houses, rather than the easier side of making our homes more difficult for the boogermen.

A bit of proactive security like enhanced locks, lighting, and common sense stuff like putting toys and lawn/garden tools away before dark and closing garage doors will send the dirtballs to somebody else's house that has yet to get the message.

That and getting to know who your neighbors are and how they view the need for security around the area,combined with whatever capabilities they have for HD or SD will make your neighborhood less friendly for the bad guys.

Lastly, put the local police force on notice that you have a need for more surveillance and attention due to strangers cruising your streets. The cops will try to tell you that they have budget problems and can't help out, but be the squeaky wheel and they'll know you are serious.

Once the perimeter is breached no good results. Keep 'em outside is a better approach.

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Old January 16, 2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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Situational awareness is everything. Being alert to your surroundings. Preventing a gunfight is MUCH better than being in one. Although there is no duty to retreat in SC, the wise man avoids confrontation, if at all possible, with safety. Obviously, if walking away would put you in a chase situation or allow you to be cornered or moved into a less public/safe area, then retreat is not optional.

Low or no retaliation is the word. Protect yourself but don't continue the level of threat or escalate. Again, retreat or defuse, if possible, with safety. I know "swallowing your pride" and walking away is sometimes very hard, but it's better than swallowing lead. And, if you are at all responsible for the incident, you may be charged as well as the perp. Don't jump out of the boat and chase the sharks.

But, if you have to strike - strike hard.
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Old January 16, 2010, 12:27 PM   #4
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While I believe a forum is a place for open discussion, even to the negative, I have to admit I tire very easily about such things as war stories and "the warrior mindset." Frankly, most of it rarely happens, or never has happened.

As for trolling, that's slippery slope for me, if something is BS it should be called. I once antagonized one of those internet sensei ninjas with a simple but true statement.

"There are no such things as knife fights. I've never seen karate work in a saloon."

In the 1970s everyone carried a Buck 110--blue collar guys, hunters and bikers. At a neighborhood bar there might be 40 guys with that model of knife. Added, David Carradine's TV show "Kung Fu" was quite popular, most folks had seen it.

So, mix young men, angst, 40 knives, martial arts and liquor together on a Friday night and what do you get?

Well, you get nothing.

In five years I never saw one knife fight or one kung fu slug-fest. I saw plenty of drunken pushing and shoving and a lot of vomit, but very little else.

Granted, I watch my surroundings, walk in "yellow" if you will, I carry something with me (an ASP or pepper spray) and I will definitely carry a rationally designed auto pistol when Wisconsin adopts a CCW provision.

But, I also lock my truck, I have installed an ADT system, I've upgraded my doors and windows and we have nightstand guns.

But I told my wife that as I approach 60 years of age I'm going to quit "self censoring" my speech. And here it is:

I admire the idea of being proactive. Tell me about better advances in security technologies and latest firearms and guns. Post informative links to documented news stories. Show me how to maximize the equipment I already own. But, there ain't no kung fu fighting, and if you want to be a warrior then join the army, they need folks.

Last edited by The Tourist; January 16, 2010 at 12:36 PM.
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Old January 16, 2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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The main problem as I see it, . . . we are kinda like the old caboose on the trains. Everything has happend and gone by when we finally come through.

Attempting to be "pro-active" is all well and good, . . . but other than security steps and situational awareness, . . . we have very little else we can do.

In the serenity prayer, the praying individual asks God to grant them the serenety to accept the things they cannot change, courage to change the ones they can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I know I will be behind the curve when I realize I am in the pickle that requires firearms and/or deadly force, . . . therefore I use my training time to better my reaction time, . . . better my shooting skill, . . . I attempt to keep my body from being in places that could get it hurt, . . . and I am more or less constantly on the "lookout" for things that are out of place. Something that does not belong, doesn't add up, is less than optimal, . . . I'm outa here!

So far, . . . I've done this "pro-actively" for 65+ years and it has worked.

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Old January 17, 2010, 12:57 AM   #6
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I agree with a proactive strategy unlike, for example, our TSA that is reactive. Simply stating that "I've never seen anything like this in these parts," or "This is just a bunch of warriors playing games that will never be," is setting one self for disaster.

I spent part of my life being a professional warrior and a reactive strategy is simply a great way to get yourself wiped out. By being aware of your surroundings and second guessing the next move is not only the best way to keep yourself alive, but is a challenging venture to stimulate the mind, educate the family, and make everyone think safety. These are very different times...and don't kid yourself that they are not. Hardly a day goes by where we don't read of horrific murders, kidnappings, home invasion were people are raped, maimed, slaughtered, etc.

In a previous life, I always looked for the best way to set the defenses for the protection and well being of my squad or platoon. It wasn't taken lightly and took some brain storming and forethought. Everyone became involved, being part of the team and some wonderful ideas were born.

Today, especially when our home displays the art we have collected around the world, and many expensive material things make life easier for us to enjoy the use of the house, we seek to keep our perimeters safe from any unwelcome intruders.

First and foremost is the alarm system that covers the entire house, garage included. We went the extra step with motion and infra red sensors. Arguably the next best line of defense which will warn us long before any alarm system in our dedicated family dog. She is the biggest teddy bear in the world until a stranger approaches the house. Her ultra sensitive hearing and keen smell have alerted us on many occasions when we heard nothing only to find someone or something lurking in the yard.

Our house is our castle and we are fortified with food, water, supplies which includes what some might call huge stockpiles of ammunition. All doors and window are hurricane proof and will withstand concerted attempts to break in. The house is a two story house with the "command center: being the master bedroom. Here is the heart of the arsenal which contains an AR-15 with night scope, shotgun, bolt action rifle, and at least three handguns. All with enough ammo to get thru any insurgency. We have flashlights, cell phones, land lines, wireless laptop computers, and maybe a surprise or two. This room is a 20X35 room with large, double doors that can be barricaded. And the panic button is located right near those doors. Family members that visit know the drill that we have rehearsed. The bedroom also has a commanding view of the entire community and there are two separate and distinct escape routes from their and they can be accessed with adequate suppressing cover from above.

The only weakness to this plan is my wife and I mean this not as an insult. She is not and probably will not ever be comfortable with guns. With each passing day of bad news in papers and TV, she is expressing an interest in some self protection techniques. I keep telling her the shotgun has her name on it. She knows she will do it in the near future because we are planning on her support to keep the home fires burning.

And situational awareness does not stop at the front door. Last year a mother and young daughter were murdered at the local mall parking lot. One must be complete and totally aware of what goes on. And as aging Americans we must know, even if the testosterone levels are still high, we may not be a match against three or four younger people with knives, guns, bats, etc. Our plan is to walk to the car/mall with my .45 in condition one with something hiding it from view such as a sweater or light jacket draped over it.

So, yes. Preparedness is mandatory. We must be on heightened vigilance and must not so naive as to hide our collective heads in the sand or say it will never happen to us.
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Old January 17, 2010, 04:43 AM   #7
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Common Sense

You were born with it ( most humans with not a lick of it) it can not be taught,bought or drank from a soda can..ain't no pro-active in a defense and survive
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Old January 17, 2010, 07:10 AM   #8
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Diamond lawDawg; I totally agree when it does go to a life threatening level you fight, and fight to win period. One thing I have noticed through the years, some people ( most not ) act 6 inch's taller and 50 lbs heavier when they are armed. They take chances going places and say things in places they normally wouldn't.

It astounds me even in this day the amount of people who leave house doors unlocked, even all night, and car doors unlocked while driving around. We cannot defend against everything, but a little common sense can be a big payoff. Sadly I have known quite a few who have a total lack of common sense, I have to think either your born with it or your not and for many people they can't be taught to think independently. They can be trained but if they haven't the ability to adapt on the fly on their own.
The real danger to America is not abroad but within..
Having an open mind is a good thing, but not so open that your brains fall out!
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Old January 17, 2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 45Gunner
I spent part of my life being a professional warrior
Many members have professional experience, as well. Most of us do not. I have no military experience. And frankly, my little burg is not down-town Basrah. And we do ourselves no good to pretend that it is.

My house is a home. It is better served with good doors and locks and an alarm system than a case of 5.56 in every room. I go to the local shopping mall to buy clothes and hobbyist magazines, not to duel in the sun.

Of course, I have good firearms, cleaned and maintained for proper use. I consider Jeff Cooper's ideas on awareness to be its own proactive mandate.

My concern is that this good, basic idea goes haywire and spins out of control. I cut steak with a "steak knife," not a field bayonet. I live in the suburbs, not in a dojo.

You can be aware, and live a happy life within a reasonable point of reference. And I'll put my money where my mouth is.

Below is the exact pair of jeans I wore to Madison's East Towne Mall yesterday. No ninja junk. Just a wharnecliffe knife (a basic knife for chores) and a Spyderco with a 1.3 inch blade. The only thing secreted away is a SureFire E1e flashlight.

However, I can assure you that my wife and I were proactively aware of our circunstances, where we parked, conscious if someone closed distance on us or followed our movements and we didn't flash cash or jewelry. We had a great time.

Edit: BTW, I use that little Spin most of the time. I'll probably wear it out! Great for loose threads, envelopes and UPS boxes.

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Old January 20, 2010, 10:05 AM   #10
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On Saturday mornings around 10am, the little 6 year old girl would get a
dime off of her father's dresser. She would go down the stairs and on to
the street alone. A 2 mile walk would lead her to the ferry to cross into the
city. There she would first go to the store and get a 1/2 pound of caramel
for .02. The next stop would be the movie theatre. for .05 she could watch
two short movies and a feature which was usually Shirley Temple or a western. Around dark she would begin the walk back to the ferry and
then the other 2 miles home. Happy with a couple of pennies left, some
caramels to snack on, and great memories from the day.

The little girl was my mom. The City was Detroit Michigan. She was born
in Dearborn. She never heard of situational awareness. Crime was something
that occasionally happened around Chicago.

Have things changed? You bet. Do we do most everything we can to
stay safe and avoid trouble? you bet. And it's a daily demand.

Stay alert, stay alive.
"It'll happen fast once I start" - Charlie Waite
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Old January 21, 2010, 01:03 AM   #11
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I don't see how its wrong to train for a situation. I don't see how its wrong to prepare for any situation. I do see a problem with hiding in your shell and hoping you don't get stepped on. Sure that turtle saw you. Sure he ducked into his nice hard shell. Sure I had a nice hammer to crack it open.
Locks keep honest people honest. Simple as that. Locks are man made, and can be defeated by man. Same with Alarm systems. Cut the power to the house and what happens? Dogs can be defeated with a spray of mace. Or a sig mosquito. I'm not saying don't defend your house.
But you're always more vulneralbe outside your home. Sure you were safe monday when you went to an uncrowded mall, but what about friday night when you want to take your old-lady to the movies and its crowded so you gotta park in BFE and walk 2 blocks? Them two handi-dandi box cutters are sure gonna be effective against a couple of teenagers with whatever weapons they have, who pick the time and place they want to jump you. Scream fire and run, but animals usually chase running critters, reminds them of prey.
And so what if you think you're 6" taller and 50lbs heavier? Its a psycological fact that a criminal is more likely to attack someone who isn't confident over someone who is. Without even conciously thinking about it. I don't advocate swaggering around picking fights and p*ssing in people's cheerios. But keep your chin up, look people in the eye, walk like you're clint eastwood, he's a bad mo'fo. How many people you know want to mug clint eastwood? Everybody thinks that guy's packin.

Now for the sake of argument, say you're the criminal. And you're scoping the likely victims of tonights fun. Are you going to choose slim-diesel, walking like he owns the place? Or Mouse and wife scurring from car to car, eyes darting around like they're checking the sky for hawks? Easy choice right?

Now I'm not saying don't defend your house, or you wouldn't be safe if you were set up like Ft. Knox gold reserve. Cause you would be, right until you walked out the door. I'm saying set up like Ft. Knox gold reserve and Train like 1st group SF. And pack like Clint Eastwood. And pity the fool that even thinks about stealin your lunch-money. The only wrong answer in self defense is no answer.

P.S. Does that harley logo on your pants make you go faster or fart louder? Just had to ask.
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Old January 21, 2010, 03:24 AM   #12
1911 Jim
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P.S. Does that harley logo on your pants make you go faster or fart louder? Just had to ask.
It adds 100#'s to his curb weight.

Situational awareness still only gets you so far. The criminals are in the drivers seat, because face it, you can't shoot every suspicious looking kid with baggy pants.

Planning for the worst and hoping for the best, but being ready for it when TSHTF is how you survive in this day and age. Awareness is what buys you that time to react instead of being overtaken by the surprise forced upon you.

I don't live in fear, and I don't up my presence because I'm armed. It's actually the opposite - I do everything I can to not make waves. The very last thing I want is someones feelings hurt to the point they want to get in my face and it forces me to escalate an otherwise trivial encounter. I'm just not willing to shoot someone who merely thinks I'm an azzhole. The fact I've got a gun means I need to keep things under control.
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Old January 21, 2010, 04:55 AM   #13
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Yes being prepared for the event despite all of our methods of prevention is absolutely needed, but prevention seems to be an afterthought at times.
I tend to agree. Standard precautions we're all aware of, including being aware and alert are obvious preventive measures.

While the above measures can prevent attacks, when they happen, we become REACTIVE in our responses.
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Old January 21, 2010, 11:59 AM   #14
The Tourist
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Originally Posted by semi_problomatic
P.S. Does that harley logo on your pants make you go faster or fart louder? Just had to ask.
LOL. A quick survey amongst friends confirms your suspicions..

Here's an angle we might relate to firearms. We seek out good quality holsters, sports jackets with ample room, and even fireaarms themselves that can take a beating. My personal SD weapon is a CZ.

Without thinking about it much, we make these decisions based on ancillary use. For example, an SOB holster is of no use if you cannot reach it in an emergency. A shoulder holster can get you arrested if the muzzle "prints" on the back of your jacket. We either know these things, or find them out from experience.

I have often mentioned my stage in life, and as for clothing, I doubt my choices will ever land me on the cover of GQ.

But I do like quality, wear resistance (Harley still uses 14 ounce denim like when we were children) and the arms and legs of HD clothing are cut for sitting and leaning forward into the handlebars.

Flatly, it's a good choice.

Now, as that relates to the OP's question, it would appear to me that any flashlight, pair of pants, speed-loader, holster, ammunition choice and fire-control options (like cocked-and-locked or DAO) would fall into this "proactive status."

I have holsters from 30 years ago that are as comfortable as bedroom slippers.

But I have to agree with your feelings, old guys dress weird...
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Old January 21, 2010, 12:03 PM   #15
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This is a good read and is right on point of topic.

The Gift of Fear, by Gavin De Becker

Basically in short our sixth sense
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Old January 21, 2010, 08:20 PM   #16
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Just please for the love of the 2nd, DON'T BUY IT NEW!

(the author is a gun grabber)

Last edited by 1911 Jim; January 21, 2010 at 09:00 PM.
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Old January 21, 2010, 08:43 PM   #17
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I like some of the things this guy has to say:

The "fringe area" concept rings very true, IMO.
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Old January 22, 2010, 09:53 PM   #18
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I agree with some of you, it is our responsibility to secure our selves first then worry about every thing else. I can't afford an alarm system right now but we do have dogs that let us know when people are around, we have out door lighting on sensors, not sure why that is supposed to deter a thief they can see what the light is and that no one turned it on. But I do like that I can see what is going on when they do come on. Looking around and being aware of what is going on when you are away from your home is also important as some of you have said. Like I said it is our responsibility to keep our selves safe and make sure that we do all we can within reason to prevent an encounter, but also be prepared to deal with it and defend our selves if we have to.
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Old January 23, 2010, 08:50 AM   #19
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Interesting comments, when I say 6 inch's taller and 50lbs heavier I do not mean going looking for trouble, but having the sense of invulnerability. Normally you wouldn't go down this alley, but hey I'm armed. Don't do anything you wouldn't without the gun is my standpoint. While we cannot defend everything such as ambush's, training how to react can be lifesaving.

Sadly even in today's environment I see people living in the inner cities bad areas with unlocked and even open doors in summer. People leaving cars running at stores windows open doors unlocked. How many people don't lock their vehicles and don't look inside before entering. Perps often hide behind the seat on the floor in kidnapping, rapes and robbery. Unfortunately those who think they are living in Mr. Rogers neighborhood are the most likely to become victims.
Training ourselves is only half the battle, training those who live with us is just as important. Children and adults often leave doors unsecured, or answer the door before looking or to strangers.
The real danger to America is not abroad but within..
Having an open mind is a good thing, but not so open that your brains fall out!
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Old January 23, 2010, 01:12 PM   #20
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IMHO, being proactive is the most important thing anyone can do to protect themselves and loved ones.

At home keep doors and windows secured, at dark keep porch light on, if possible know who is at door before you open it, I also like to have the phone in my left hand when I answer the door. When I open the door I only expose as much of my left side as possible, that way I am able to block the door with my right leg and knee.

In car, keep doors locked unless you have a rear seat passenger keep rear windows up. Don’t be afraid to role up and lock any open window if you feel the need. When stopped in traffic, if possible, don’t get nose to tail with the car in front of you, leave yourself some room to move if need be. As much as I dislike them keep your cell phone handy, (note to self remember to turn the contraption on.)

Know the area you are in, it is seldom that most of us have to be in a bad or downright dangerous area. Watch out for anything that does not look right, and if something does not look right get out. As one very wise poster pointed out there is no shame in making a well thought out retreat.

Force of any kind is to be a last resort only. Even though I got one or two disagreements the last time I posted the following I’m a big believer in levels of protection such as pepper spray or if you feel comfortable using one, a striking weapon.

Be Safe All!
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