Saturday, September 18, 2010

"It Can't Happen To Me"

The topic of home invasion crimes is hotly-contested, even within the "tactical community" elite of self-defense-oriented gun owners and trainers. Some believe that special preparation for this class of crime is not needed, since an individual's risk of being the victim of this crime is statistically low; however, as we have learned from the tragic story of Dr. William Petit in Connecticut, one cannot afford to believe that this crime "can't happen to me".

Dr. Petit's daughters were tied to their beds, raped and tortured, and then burned alive. Scroll back up to the photo and look at their faces, and as you do so, recite the words "raped", "tortured", and "burned alive".

His wife was kidnapped, taken to a bank and forced to withdraw money for the criminals- and then she was taken back to the house, raped, forced to watch her daughters burn to death, and then murdered. Dr. Petit's torture is worse than death. His wife and daughters were horribly murdered, and he has to live with the knowledge that he escaped and was powerless to save them.

This was an upper-middle-class family, living in an upscale community with an exceedingly low crime rate.

In fact, home invasion crimes are most often committed against nuclear, well-to-do families in upper-middle-class neighborhoods, because the primary motive for this class of crime is a combination of profit and class envy. These criminals deliberately target, and seek to "punish", those who appear to be wealthy. The information contained in this document, which discusses Asian gangs in California, is equally applicable to all home invasion criminals anywhere in the United States.

There is also considerable criticism about the police response in the Petit case- specifically, that the police were notified, via bank personnel, of Mrs. Petit's situation, and that their response based on the information in hand was inappropriate, and that the Petit's daughters may have survived if the police response had been more fitting to the circumstances. I won't comment on this until more information develops.

The two criminals in this case were also lifetime predicate offenders, with numerous prior convictions for violent crimes.

LESSON: Self-defense is your inalienable right, your prerogative, and your sole responsibility. In this case, as in most self-defense cases, both the courts and the police were not able to prevent this atrocity. Horrific crimes can happen anywhere, to anyone.

I will note that, as I write this, this very topic is being discussed on Geraldo At Large on Fox News. Amazingly (and satisfyingly), host Kimberly Guilfoyle- a former ADA from Los Angeles, and the ex-wife of Gavin Newsom- and her guest, Rod Wheeler, a former homicide detective from Washington, D.C., are in agreement about advice on home protection: (paraphrase) "make the decision to be a VictOR rather than a VictIM", develop a security plan for your home and discuss it with your family, own firearms, train everyone in the home to use them, and specifically, store a handgun under the bed where it can be accessed from the floor, as many home invasion criminals will force the homeowners out of bed and onto the floor. I would take this as virtually definitive advice- a homicide investigator from D.C., the nation's "murder capital" (and where handguns were illegal until 2008) believes this can prevent many home invasion crimes, and a former Los Angeles criminal prosecutor agrees with him.

This advice is exactly what the most knowledgeable elite of the "tactical community" have been espousing for decades- Mindset, Preparation, and Tactics.

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