The Reluctant Were-Wolf

Sir Anthony Hopkins has been one of my favorite actors.  This week he played the lead role as the ancient wolf in the production “The Wolfman”.

Benicio DelToro supported Sir Anthony as the reluctant Werewolf, and all the characters were played by excellent actors.

This story was well-written, staged in 17th Century Europe, and had a fine twist in the final scenes.  It was a very decent rendition of the Were-legend, with the Were-Wolf being Sir Anthony’s curse.
During the movie I jotted down thoughts from the point of view of the tortured “Reluctant Wolfman”. 
Not a standard version of a quatrain, so don’t look for it to follow an accepted pattern.

    The Wolf-Man’s curse:
The autumn moon, the cool of night, the prayers said, to ward off fright.

The wolfs-bane shine, iridescent blue, gives pause to fear, from me, and you.

But the one who cries for relief so dear knows retreating day brings his curse so near.

The autumn moon, the night so cool, the change begins, the pain so cruel.

His painful cry, Screams stifled for fear, that others nearby might possibly hear.

The change complete, now eyes so bright, and ears so keen, in full moon light.

Light gone, now dark, now others fear, the ancient beast, watching so near.

No wolfs’ bane feared, no silver gives pause, no bane-soaked spears, can match my claws.

This night, my friend, your life will end, with screams you shout: The Beast is out!

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Police Recruitment Difficult

…Anyway, that’s been the news from Police Administrators all over the Nation for the past couple of years.

Some of the very highest administrators in our Country have been publicly wondering, and generally offering unlikely reasons for the recent difficulty of recruiting police in various departments.  Others are commiserating because there has been a raise in crime in their cities or in neighborhoods, and they just cannot figure it out.

I’m not offering any personal opinions here, just offering a letter written by an officer on the East Coast.  If his “reasons” sound “reasonable”, or if his “reasons” are “unlikely”, the opinion is all up to you, the reader.  I’m not interested either way because as one of my old worker buds used to say with his south-pacific accent; “Eet’s no my pro-blem, mon”.

The writer misses a couple of very significant events that working police have been handed recently, but he hits about 80% of the problems with recruitment, retention, and criminal proactive enforcement.

I don’t know how the “San Francisco Vigilante” association works on this subject but it was part of the letter.  “Vigilante” actions don’t work today.

Here you go:

From a police officer in Maryland:
CDS enforcement (*Note: CDS means Controlled Drugs & Substances) by patrol is on life support as it is and total arrests have dropped by about 90% where I work. There were guys on my shift who used to go out and get 17 legitimate lock ups per shift, the majority of them felonies.  (*Note; “per team”, “per shift”) Now, the department is lucky if the whole shift gets 17 lock ups for the month. The hand writing is on the wall: do nothing and save your job. Folks on the street are acting accordingly.
I asked one guy I work with why he stopped making arrests. His answer “I can’t risk getting fired.” This is by no means a brutal or corrupt Officer. Very polite, very professional and at one time a very hard worker.
Not anymore. The same goes for everyone to his left and right. They’ve all shut down. Police work is effectively over for them and that means that police services are effectively non-existent for the thousands of people who live and work where they patrol. Occasionally someone will ask me why we don’t Police the way we used to. I tell them why in explicit detail and suggest that they write their elected representatives.
A lot of guys refuse to run code anymore. They won’t activate their lights or siren for anything other than a call to assist another Officer.
Assault in progress? Drive the speed limit. A shooting or a cutting? Drive the speed limit and make sure to stop for at least three seconds at every traffic control device. Why? Because every accident where the Officer runs code is now the Officer’s fault regardless of the transportation articles. So be it. Patrol will adjust accordingly.
EMS will not enter the scene where someone is injured as a result of armed criminal action if we are not present. The longer it takes for the Police to arrive the longer that victim bleeds. The problem is that you can’t be fired for getting there a minute late even if the victim dies but you can and will be fired if you crash trying to get there in time, even if you didn’t violate the law or department policy.
Cameras will only make the situation worse. We have already been told that if we get cameras they will have to be turned off when we enter private property to avoid running afoul of the current wiretapping statute.
That right there knocks their effectiveness down by about fifty percent. Domestics, EPs/mental cases (*Note: EP is Psychological) and investigate the trouble calls account for a good many uses of force. You can ignore a drug dealer on the sidewalk. You can’t ignore a knife wielding schizophrenic who refuses to take his medication. If the Officer thinks that entering that house or apartment to deal with said EP will result in the loss of his job he’s going to pull back and wait for SWAT. Why? Because if he forms a perimeter and everyone in the house is murdered he cannot be disciplined. If he enters the house and kills said EP when attacked with said knife and the family claims racism/brutality/murder he’s looking at termination.
When the cameras come, arrests for loitering, disorderly, CDS possession and distribution as a well as a host of other offenses will all but cease.
A use of force can be justified but looks ugly at the same time. High ranking Police Executives and Mayors don’t like ugly – even if ugly is both lawful and necessary. The result is that Officers will be fired or suspended until the message is received that ugly will not be tolerated.
At that point active police work will cease – the process has already started.
A lot of folks want body cameras. They’re not going to like what they get…namely Police who will arrive slowly and will simply go through the motions when they arrive – if they come at all. The only thing that Officer is required to do is show up for work on time and get to his call for service eventually (which could be hours). If the Police go into hibernation they are untouchable. No one can be fired or prosecuted for doing the bare minimum. Sadly, that’s the future. It’s unfolding right now.
I completely understand the frustration that all police officers are feeling about the recent events. In many instances the problem can be traced to the fact that their superiors (i.e. chiefs, mayors, councils, etc) are more interested in protecting their political positions than in defending the officers when the actions are defensible. What may result, if the scenario that the Maryland officer outlines becomes wide spread, is anarchy where all law breaks down. In that case the citizens who are able will begin to react with predictably uncertain results. It is the same set of conditions that existed in the west in the middle of the 19th century.
Are we headed in the same direction as the Vigilantes?
* * * * *

(*Note: He mentions the “Vigilantes”, but does not explain them nor place them in historical perspective:
The “Vigilantes” were formed during the 1850’s Gold Rush Days. Here is a reasonably accurate explanation:)

WHEREAS it has become apparent to the citizens of San Francisco, that there is no security for life and property, either under the regulations of society as it at present exists, or under the law as now administered; Therefore the citizens, whose names are hereunto attached, do unite themselves into an association for the maintenance of the peace and good order of society, and the preservation of the lives and property of the citizens of San Francisco, and do bind ourselves, each unto the other, to do and perform every lawful act for the maintenance of law and order, and to sustain the laws when faithfully and properly administered; but we are determined that no thief, burglar, incendiary or assassin, shall escape punishment, either by the quibbles of the law, the insecurity of prisons. the carelessness or corruption of the police, or a laxity of those who pretend to administer justice.


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Beating The Devaluation of the Dollar

My Neighbor’s Plan To Beat The Rising Prices of Big-Ticket Items went like this:

Neighbor said that he believed inflation was going to increase substantially in the near future.  This, he thought, was because of the ongoing political banter between Beijing and Washington D.C., and that the Chinese negotiators are clearly smarter than the American politicians.  He said the Yuan is taking over the advantageous place in international trade that the dollar has enjoyed until now.  Serious devaluation of the Dollar is inevitable, according to his calculations. 
Be that as it may, whatever it is; “it is what it is”, as the saying goes.
His master plan, at any rate, was to beat the imminent devaluation of the dollar by stabilizing his major expenses.  He was going to buy his dream car with today’s dollars, thereby having a specific payment of specific dollars, then repay that specific amount with tomorrow’s dollars which would be worth much less.  Therefore, his “dream car” tomorrow would cost perhaps  25%   more than today, but his purchase price and contract would be at today’s prices.  Same with a summer cabin he could buy today, saving the increase that would be added tomorrow with the devalued Dollar, according to the realtor giving him all this good advice.  He had a few other clever ideas, but these two were the major part of his grand plan.
Sounded like he had it all figured out.  Except for a couple of problems he may have overlooked while developing his grand plan to beat the future.
I asked him what the payments would be on the car, and what the principal owed would be.  The purchase price (“principal”) was just over $50,000.00 and monthly payments would depend on the length of contract.
I asked what the cost of the vacation cabin would be.  He had been looking at both property and cabins.  Property was about $150,000.00 and property with a nice cabin might be $350,000.00.
A total obligation, and payments with interest, of a half-million dollars.  Give or take.
I just looked at him without comment.
He eventually asked:  “Whaaat?”
“Do you really need a new dream car?”
“Uhhh, not really, but I’d be beating the coming dollar devaluation.”
“Does your family want to spend vacation the same place every year?
“Uhhh, well, maybe it would get old, but it would be an investment…”
“So you plan on spending fifty thousand for a car that will be worth ten grand less, as soon as you drive it off the dealer’s lot?  That’s a twenty-percent loss in ten minutes, so where are you beating the dollar devaluation?”
“Well, the payments would be stabilized at today’s rate, not tomorrows higher rate, and I’d be paying with tomorrow’s less valuable Dollars.”
“Stabilized on a car you don’t need, which is loosing value every mile, right?
“……. Well, Riiiiiiight…”
“Stabilized on a vacation cabin that will become monotonous to stay at?”
“……. Uhhh, maybe, but it’s an investment to beat the dollar devaluation.”
“OK, so you’re obligated for a half-million dollars, plus interest.  The car has lost ten thousand the first mile, which is 20% of your car investment.  The coming dollar devaluation you expect will tighten up the vacation property market.  Because, simply, the other side of currency devaluation is inflation.  Living expenses increase; disposable income decreases.  That means everything your family needs today will cost 25%  more tomorrow.  If the increases in your income do not keep pace with inflation you’re going to have a net decrease in your purchasing ability.  In other words, your income has to increase 25% just to maintain today’s comfort level.”
“OK, well, maybe that idea was a little optimistic.  So what would you do?”
  “Follow the advice of the wise man.  That way no matter what happens you’ll be in the best possible position you can achieve to provide for your family during good as well as bad times.”
He thought about that for a minute.
“So, what does the wise man say?”
“First the wise man says to avoid debt like the plague.  That means you buy what you need, not what trips your ego trigger.  Second he says to gradually build up the resources your family uses to sustain themselves.  Food, water, clothing, non-food items essential to running your house and property, transportation.  Idealy, try to save sufficient funds to see your family through a period of difficulty.  Difficulty may be caused by serious inflation, disruption of the supply system, or a loss of  employment income.  If you want an investment pick something that will be in demand and in a market niche that can afford it.”
“I don’t know; that sounds like an expensive project…”
“OK, but what was the down-payment, out-of-pocket cash, you were going to invest with that uber-super car and the vacation resort?”
“Well, maybe twenty-five thousand or so.  The car was no down except my trade-in, the cabin was ten percent…”
“So, why not put twentytwo thousand into insured savings at the bank or credit union, and three thousand into all the other supplies, and you’d be right up there with what the wise man recommended?”
“Yeah.  May be the way to go.  And my wife would be a lot happier too.  She wasn’t too supportive about the car and cabin.”
“So, there you go; one fell swoop and you make your wife happy, do everything the wise man suggests, and sleep better because you don’t have a fifty-grand investment that is loosing money every day.  Plus, you don’t have a white-elephant over-priced property that you’re trying to sell in a depressed market so you can buy food for your family.”
“Good plan, I should have thought of that a long time ago.”
“Good decision!”

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Please, don’t harass the wildlife

(It makes defense attorneys way too happy….)

Two pilots are indicted under Federal Law for harassing migrating waterfowl resting on an Iowa reservoir.

Sounds like a good indictment. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows migrating birds, waterfowl and others, are teetering on the edge of death from exhaustion and starvation during their long flights. The poor creatures barely survive on the very best of days.
These pilots both knew exactly what they were doing when they flew at a twenty-foot altitude over birds resting and feeding on the water, driving thousands of resting waterfowl into a flight frenzy to escape the sudden violent attack from the huge predators coming at them. This was a deliberate act of both pilots, with predictable results on the first pass.  On their second harassing pass they knew absolutly that their act would result in yet another frantic attempt by the resting waterfowl to escape death from the air.

 With professional witnesses of this episode, and photographs by wildlife professionals testifying of the pilots abominable acts, they would not want me on their jury. I hope the jury members are smart enough to see through the fog of bullcrap being laid out by the pilots attorneys. And, in accordance with the Federal charges, I hope the government ends up owning the airplanes.

We used to assist the Wildlife Resources on certain cases, especially if they suspected they were dealing with someone who was…  “uncooperative”.  The F&G Agents used to seize shotguns and other weapons used in violation of our game laws.
On one occasion I know of, we seized both the expensive weapon that was used to poach an elk and the new pickup truck that was used to transport it.

Whether using a firearm or an airplane, there is no difference in the  harassment, only the tools used to harass. 

If one person can be charged with harassing one waterfowl, then why not file thousands of individual charges against the pilots for harassing thousands of individual wildlife?   With professional testimony and photographic proof of each of the thousands of individuals being harassed, it might be “do-able”.

[quote]…Both sides agree Austin and Martin were flying low on Nov. 16 as they passed over Saylorville Lake, a reservoir north of Des Moines known for birdwatching. Tens of thousands of pelicans, ducks, geese and other birds stop there every fall to rest and feed before continuing south.
A natural resources specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake, saw the two planes pass about 20 feet above the water, disrupting thousands of white pelicans and other birds. Once the birds settled on another part of the lake, the planes passed by again, sending them back into flight, prosecutors said.
Natural resources specialist Jonathan Wuebker snapped photographs and eventually cited Austin and Martin for flying “in a careless, negligent or reckless manner” over protected land.
Then in February, a grand jury indicted the men on charges of violating the Airborne Hunting Act, which carries up to one year in jail. Prosecutors also aim to seize their small planes _ a 1974 Magnus Bowers Fly Baby and a 1946 Aeronca….[/quote]
Full Story at: [url][/url]
Additional Story at: [url][/url]

Digest of Federal Airborne Hunting Act: [url][/url]
This Act, Public Law 92-159, approved November 18, 1971 (85 Stat. 480) and subsequently amended by P.L. 92-502, approved October 28, 1972 (86 Stat. 905) added to the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 a new section 13 (16 U.S.C. 742j-l), which is commonly referred to as the Airborne Hunting Act or Shooting from Aircraft Act, prohibits shooting or attempting to shoot or harrassing any bird, fish, or other animal from aircraft except for certain specified reasons, including protection of wildlife, livestock, and human life as authorized by a Federal or State issued license or permit. States authorized to issue permits are required to file reports with the Secretary of the Interior containing information on any permits issued.

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Be Aware, Be Safe

Recently there seems to have been an increase in criminal home invasions, car jackings, burglaries, and other crimes against the home, property and person. If you have never been the victim of such an offense, or have never been sent to assist someone who has, it is difficult to imagine the depth of despair these events leave the victims in.

Below are a few ideas, suggestions, thoughts, for you to consider when thinking about your personal and home security. Everyone has a slightly different situation, so there is no “one size fits all” plan for your particular needs. However, by considering a few basic techniques, you may come up with a good overall plan for your own needs.

Home and Personal Security Thoughts:

Security for your family, home and person has always been a serious matter. Most likely the same problem existed in antiquity. In recent years crimes against the person have become even more frequent. Home invasions, burglaries, robberies, and strong-arm crimes can catch the unwary at any location whatsoever. The person who is observant, aware of their surroundings, and who take a few simple preparations will be much safer than someone who floats through their environment ignorant of their surroundings.

These few thoughts may prime your own thought process, increasing the safety for your family’s own particular situation.

Doors and Windows:

Replace old style lock sets with the newer “pick and bump resistant” ones, for your outside entrances.

Use separate deadbolt locks, besides the doorknob set, on outside entrances.

(Key-way on outside of lock, knob on inside. If glass door also use key on inside, hang key away from door.)

Lock doors, windows when leaving house.

Lock doors, windows when sleeping.

If windows are open at night make window stops (admits air but prevents person coming through).

Nail, pin, wooden dowel, etc, not reachable from outside.

Use pin-lock to stop glass doors from being slid open from outside. Sliding glass doors are crooks favorite.

Use “smash-resistant film” on glass doors, sliding glass doors, & windows accessable from outside ground level.

Don’t leave ladders or other items around that can be used to climb to upper windows.

Never leave keys “hidden” around outside of house, in doormat, ledge, fake rock, flower pot, electrical box, etc.

Install “peephole” in solid doors, check outside before opening.

Alarms of various types:

“The Family Dog” can be a very good “first alert” if properly trained.

Learn if your dog is on alert, or is just having daydreams.

Let it see outside when alerting, even if it is having daydreams.

If your dog is actually a very good alarm.

Never scold it, when you just don’t want to be bothered.

(Neighbor scolded his dog, burglar took his truck wheels.

Truck was in the driveway, dog heard but neighbor couldn’t see.)

“Electronic alarms”

come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.

Some are “monitored” by the alarm company,

Others are monitored by you. (alarm calls your phone, the police or trusted neighbor)

Vehicle keys by bedside can set off your car Panic alarm.

(Test it for distance!).

Properly placed and aimed motion-activated lights are handy for you.

Bothersome to burglars.

Too many bushes and other hiding places around your house are bad.

They allow burglars to lurk around or to hide while gaining access.

“Safety In Your Vehicles”

Most newer cars automatically lock their doors when moving.

Go one better: Lock the car doors when you first get in.

Lock your vehicles when leaving them, at home or at store.

When returning to your parked car, be aware of your surroundings. “Situational Awareness”.

Set your automatic lock to only unlock the drivers door with first signal.

Keep records and photos of any serialized equipment you own.

Keep descriptions, photos of all other valuables.

Mark your un-serialized possessions (T.V., Electronics, etc)

(Your City may be participating in Operation I.D.)

Keep alert around your neighborhood for suspicious vehicles, etc

Ladies should not use first name on phone listing, mailbox, etc.

If you return to find your house broken into, don’t go inside, call the police.

Most home invasions are accomplished with very little or no “forced entry”

Other home invasions are accomplished with violent forced entry.

The above tips are to help prevent the less violent intruders from entering your home.

Violent home-invasion criminals may require a more drastic response.  That is not partucularly the subject of this post.

Without compromising your family security in any way, please consider these three additional thoughts:

First, realize there have been instances where family members were wandering around, or returning home, when they were not expected. This middle of the night surprise can cause initial distress and fear with other family members.

Second, understand that there have been instances of innocent people going to the wrong house/apartment. Were they drunk, tired, stupid, or just careless? Who knows? Some neighborhoods have houses that all look alike. “Cookie-cutter” developments. That is why, if you live there especially, you lock your doors and secure your windows; to prevent neighbors from making that mistake too easily. A secured house also helps you to know immediately when the invader is most likely breaking into your home uninvited.

Third, “Call 9-1-1” as soon as you know there is an intruder. And stay on the phone until the police arrive.

(“disclaimer:  Laws change, check for the latest version”)
Utah Code 76-2-405.

   Force in defense of habitation.
     (1) A person is justified in using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon his habitation; however, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if:
     (a) the entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner, surreptitiously, or by stealth, and he reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person, dwelling, or being in the habitation and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence; or
     (b) he reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony in the habitation and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
     (2) The person using force or deadly force in defense of habitation is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the entry or attempted entry is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.

Amended by Chapter 252, 1985 General Session


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When The Smoke Clears

So today I’m reading a short piece in a forum. The writer is telling everyone that after a shooting (self-defense, home setting, etc) that the person who defended themselves and shot the attacker should not call 9-1-1. He says that you (the shooter) should have someone else call 9-1-1. Preferably your attorney. The reason for this is that all 9-1-1 calls are recorded, will be scooped up by news jerks, and the recording will come back to haunt you.

I’m not so sure that was good advice, at least for the vast majority of people who have to protect themselves with fire.

Unlike the person on the forum, I do believe that if you are put into a position where you have to defend your family with deadly force and the attacker is lying dead in the doorway (or wherever) that the obvious thing to do would be to call 9-1-1, BUT, don’t be talking non-stop after the dispatcher answers. Report simply what has happened, where the address is. Answer the questions the dispatcher needs to ask, but don’t get hysterical, don’t swear, don’t volunteer unrequested info.

The VERY BEST time to call 9-1-1 is before the attacker actually gets into your home! Get the dispatcher on the phone, report what is happening, the address, and leave the line open as you engage the aggressor with whatever level of force is required to protect your family and yourself.

The 9-1-1 line is a recorded line. Read that twice. Whatever you say, and how you say it, will be recorded and available to the whole world. There used to be an old TV program where the detective repeated these words over and over:

“Just the facts, Ma`am”. Very good advice. Stick to the facts.

“BUT”, do call 9-1-1 as soon as you know there is a threat. And just stick to the facts.

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How Did The Perp Gain Access?

Watched a documentary today regarding a rapist/home invader who plied his trade among the affluent neighborhoods around Nashville, TN for over a decade. He always struck on rainy nights, and his victims were of various diverse ages and appearances. Unlike most serial rapists/killers he did not limit his depredations to “look-alikes”, but females from the age of sixteen to sixty and of every possible different look. Most, if not all, of the victims had “security alarms” for their homes. That glossed-over fact was very nearly ignored by the documentary, and only a fleeting side shot of the alarm company manager at the company console was given among interviews with everyone else in the story.

The criminal escaped detection for a decade, and at least thirteen home invasions and vicious rapes.

Nobody’s security alarm activated on any of the home invasions.

The perp came from the woods, invaded the home, brutalized the women and went back into the woods.

Every time, without fail, he attacked on a rainy night.

The police finally got the perp after years of hard work on their part and a very clever DA. By DNA evidence they convicted him on the first two of thirteen cases. The DA is going to try him on every case, so every victim can have personal vindication of some sort.

But that is just the skeleton view of why I’m posting this.

Most homes had a security alarm, none of which activated.

It was always on a dark rainy night.

How did he obtain entrance to the home? That question was never asked nor mentioned. I have my own ideas, and some involves him having been an employee of the alarm company.

He had also been a rent-a-cop but got fired from that job for having an affair with a co-worker.

So here’s the short-version message for today, regarding home security (Other locations are a different discussion):

1. Security involves “layers” of security, not just an alarm system. A good alarm system is essential to your “layers” of security, but it is not the whole tamale. First of all, even if it is activated by someone bumping a door lock, or breaking a window, the “lead time” for the alarm to activate is most of a minute, maybe more. After the lead time, there is an additional time lapse for you to hear the alarm and wake up. There is also an unknown lead time for the monitoring service to react to the alarm, waste time calling you, and then waste more time calling law enforcement. These wasted minutes take forever when someone has invaded your home.

2. “Layers of security” for “at home” consideration involve several measures, just a few of which I’ll mention on this post.

a. Make it difficult for perps to approach your home without being seen. Motion-activated lights, trimmed bushes, alarm-company signs, motion-activated security cameras,

b. Make it difficult for perps to enter your home. Closed, locked, curtained windows, doors locked/blocked, security film on any glass accessible from outside and large enough for a person to crawl through. Door locks that cannot be “bumped” by anyone with a blank key. An open/unlocked door at anytime of the day or night is easy access for strangers.

c. If a perp has to make a lot of noise (trying to break glass, or bashing on doors to gain entry) it will wake you up even if the perp gets discouraged and runs away. At the point you wake up to a commotion at your doors or windows, you activate your own final levels of personal security. You don’t run headlong into the noise demanding; “Who’s There!”

So what might your final layers of personal security be?

d. You probably have a house phone or a cell phone by your bedside. Program the “9” to automatically dial “9-1-1” when pressed and held. Even if you cannot talk, any progressive PD Dispatch already has your address. If the dispatcher is actually a professional (instead of some gabby fool who thinks all the questions on the contact form is the mission, instead of getting the police headed to your location) there will be an on-duty officer headed your way immediately. Lights and siren probably. That should scare the perp away as he hears the siren getting closer.

e. You probably have a set of car keys which activates your vehicles’ door locks. It also has a “panic-button”, so press it and get your car alarm screaming.

f. You probably have doors on your bedroom. If that’s where you are when the commotion begins, lock them. If that isn’t where you are, then head for the nearest room that does have locks, and hole-up until the police arrive. If the perp starts breaking down your locked inside door before the police arrive, you still have a couple of final options.

f.1: Pepper-spray or tazer-type hand-held battery-powered zappers. Properly applied they are quite effective if the pepper gets into the perps eyes/nose/mouth. The battery-powered zapper is quite effective if you have the strength to actually make it contact the perps body. Unless you are very physical, this might be a problem with a strong attacker.

f.2: There is an old saying goes something like; “God made man, Sam Colt made them all equal”. At least it does in the states that allow honest citizens to defend themselves. The revolver, in all it’s iterations, is a very dependable and effective weapon for personal protection. For many folks it is the final layer of personal security. If you prefer an auto-loading pistol make sure you can easily activate all the functions including the slide and any external safeties. As long as you purchase a quality firearm and take good care of it, it will serve you well. As for what caliber you should buy for your defense, the answer is a simple one: Whatever caliber you can accurately and comfortably shoot. If you choose too-heavy a caliber that becomes uncomfortable for practice, then it will be uncomfortable when you actually need it. Go to a reputable firearms dealer who has an indoor range and he will allow you to test- fire several calibers and brands to see what fits you best. After the purchase, keep it clean, keep it secure and practice with it regularly. A good “concealed carry” class will give you a lot of information, familiarity with your state laws, and a comfortable association with your revolver after the class firearms target qualification.

f.3: If you choose to have a firearm for your final layer of security, be sure to keep it away from children and other unauthorized persons.

It would still be interesting to know how the Tennessee perp actually gained access to the victim’s homes. The program did not even mention that part. It was mentioned that he did “recon” the homes for some time before he broke in. Obviously to recon the victim’s daily patterns and see which rooms were occupied at various times. The “last light out” usually being the bedroom. “But”: Did he disable the alarm system? Did he simply locate an unlocked door or window? Did he break out a window, or “bump” the lock on the door? (see for bump-proof locks, or just search the term for other makes). Whatever the method of entry, all victims said they did not detect his invasion until he was standing over them. They had no idea their home had been invaded until the perp had his hands on them.

And that, dear friends, is the entire reason for having layers of security. Each layer provides either physical safety or a time-buffer to become aware of a threat. If the first layer fails, the next becomes active. If the second one fails, the third becomes important. And so-on.

Hoping you never become a victim of personal violence.

Hoping you never have to engage your final personal level of security.

But, if you do, here’s hoping you hit what you aim for.

Very Best Regards, TheOldMan

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