Thursday, October 25, 2012

When Seconds Count...

...the police are only moments away.

It seems Dunwoody PD's "scare 'em into giving us more money" tactic is working. The 2013 budget is likely to sail through on the headwinds of the HOST windfall with staffing and pay increases. But there also appear to be some unintended consequences.

Anecdotal data suggest that folks in Dunwoody, not just The Other Dunwoody, have begun to take their personal safety, well, personally. This really all started back when the City was formed with the bumper sticker crowd who painted Dunwoody as a pretty dangerous 'hood. You know, those "Bad Guys Beware" stickers. But the public reaction now goes beyond the home alarm system which primarily serves the purpose of initiating the police-report process and generating false alarm fines. Folks are taking the PD's most recent chicken-little justification--recent and future increases in crime--to heart. And Dunwoody is up in arms. Literally.

Unsubstantiated reports indicate an increased interest in firearms for personal and home defense. In other areas this might be seen as over-reacting, but in the South and in a conservative community like Dunwoody, it should come as no surprise. Still, the image of an SUV-driving soccer mom with a cell phone in one hand, a latte in the other and an LCP in her purse might give even the most ardent libertarian occasion for pause. Since this trend appears irreversible it is prudent that those considering substantial personal and home protection become well informed.

The first suggestion from those in the know about personal defense is to avoid danger. Dangerous areas and dangerous people. If you believe you live in an area where "Bad Guys Beware" is a cogent message you should move. If that means leaving Dunwoody, so be it. After all, the pros are telling us crime is on the rise.

The next suggestion, much like the first, is that you should immediately extract yourself from any dangerous situation you inadvertently find yourself in. This is often called "running from danger" but in The Other Dunwoody it is called "Flight Before Fight". You are always well advised to determine just what ground is beneath your feet before "standing your ground" as running from danger rarely lands one in prison. Combat duty is a special case.

Even for those that remain undeterred these first two suggestions are still the best options for personal safety and should always be top of mind. If arm you must, just remember that managing your personal safety in a responsible manner has two key requirements: training and practice. To that end, anyone considering such an important step, such a pro-active role in their own safety, should ensure that their actions do not compromise that very safety they seek to maintain (see "unintended consequences" above).

This is not difficult nor is it expensive. Just outside our City borders are two fine and related facilities, the Sandy Springs Gun Club on Roswell Road and the Norcross Gun Club on Peachtree Industrial. These clubs offer training, equipment rentals (try before you buy) and guidance on acquiring a Georgia Weapons Carry License. While you may think going all "Dirty Harry" and toting a forty-four magnum around sounds like a good idea, you just might want to see if you can hit the broad side of a barn with that cannon. The folks at these clubs will help you out and you may find that shooting is primarily a sport and a fine one at that, but one best engaged in at a range.

Get the training, keep it up with practice, then decide.