I’ve been part of many discussions over the last few months about how our country, our states, and our communities are becoming more and more violent, every day. At the time of this writing, two disturbing topics of conversation include the abduction and murder of a realtor who was showing a home in Arkansas, and the gruesome beheading of a woman in Oklahoma. These horrific crimes are happening more and more frequently, all over. Our world is a mess, our country’s borders are unsecured, and our lives and our wellbeing are being threatened by malicious people who want to do us harm.
For those out there who think that bad things will never happen to you, I beg you to reconsider. Believing that you, your friends, or your family are untouchable just leaves you more vulnerable and unprepared. I never felt impervious to tragedy, but I was still utterly shocked and horrified when I learned that an armed gunman was holding five girls hostage at my daughter’s middle school, just six miles from our home!
All of these terrible situations beg the question: Are you ready? Seriously, have you considered the fact that one day you may be faced with a dangerous or even a deadly encounter? Do you have a plan? Whether you open carry, conceal carry, keep a gun at home, or don’t own any firearms at all, you need to formulate and utilize a personal safety routine and an emergency plan. Moms—this means YOU! And if you have children, you need to get them all involved, as well.
There’s no need to be paranoid, but there is a need to be prepared. I have several friends who rehearse fire drills in their homes—complete with fire-escape ladders that the children know how to place in their second-story windows. I know countless people who have well-practiced routines if a child ever gets lost or separated from their group. And here in Alabama, we all know the familiar sounds of the tornado siren and the importance of seeking safe shelter. But what would you do if a violent situation occurred at your workplace? What if something happened during carpool at your children’s school? What if you encountered a violent person at the grocery store, in the mall, at a restaurant, or even in your own home? Where would you go? What would you do? Preparing for these situations is using the same mindset as preparing for all of the other safety activities. It’s thinking ahead in case of danger so you and your family are safe.
Beyond having emergency plans and drills in place, for those of us who support and participate in the Second Amendment, we need to ask ourselves if we are getting proper training. Heading to the range and participating in shooting sports are great places to start; that gets us to practice important skills that could save a life one day. But we also need to get formal training, defensive training, and/or situational training. It’s a never-ending learning process. And it’s more important now than ever.
Don’t just sit there and read the latest headlines. Do a little research. Look into local programs, online courses, and even one-on-one training. Purchase your first gun, or buy an additional firearm for personal defense. And get the whole family involved! Talk about a variety of different scenarios, make action plans, and practice them, together. It’s always best to plan for the worst and hope for the best…than to be left helpless and unaware.