Comments on: Practical Security http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Fri, 09 Jan 2009 21:10:38 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: emeeathome http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9641 emeeathome Thu, 28 Aug 2008 23:00:38 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9641 Bear in mind that this is from Australia, where we don't have as many guns as the U S of A I'm an 'invite them in for a coffee' sort of person. Remain calm, be solicitous etc, etc. I have survived three occasions. Two of them involved a state-wide 'do not approach this dangerous person alert', and the other was a very angry man who wanted to kill Charlie, but he was looking for him at the wrong address. I have been VERY, VERY lucky. But I'm sure my apparent lack of fear and panic helped. Also when my kids were very young we lived in the middle of nowhere, but not far from the lock-up for the crininally insane. The criminally insane seemed to be always on the run. My two kids were instructed that if I ever asked them to go down to the chook house to collect some eggs while there was someone else at the house, they were to go down to the chook house and to continue going past the chook house and to hide in the gully and not come out till they heard me or my then beloved calling them. I ran a trial run when they were 6 and 4 and it worked perfectly Bear in mind that this is from Australia, where we don’t have as many guns as the U S of A

I’m an ‘invite them in for a coffee’ sort of person. Remain calm, be solicitous etc, etc. I have survived three occasions. Two of them involved a state-wide ‘do not approach this dangerous person alert’, and the other was a very angry man who wanted to kill Charlie, but he was looking for him at the wrong address. I have been VERY, VERY lucky. But I’m sure my apparent lack of fear and panic helped.

Also when my kids were very young we lived in the middle of nowhere, but not far from the lock-up for the crininally insane. The criminally insane seemed to be always on the run. My two kids were instructed that if I ever asked them to go down to the chook house to collect some eggs while there was someone else at the house, they were to go down to the chook house and to continue going past the chook house and to hide in the gully and not come out till they heard me or my then beloved calling them. I ran a trial run when they were 6 and 4 and it worked perfectly

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9622 Sharon Thu, 28 Aug 2008 18:54:07 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9622 Greenpa, not to be a pedant, but I think this is more than just "there are exceptions" - I think about 1/3 -1/2 of the child-household population probably falls into this category, simply by virtue of age. That is, it isn't just that once in a great while there's a kid who can't be trained, but that very young kids, or households that contain both older children and quite young ones have to deal with the reality that the lowest common denominator defines things. Add in children with disabilities and those with common sense deficiencies greater than the natural one for their age group ;-) and I think the norm for young children should be "lock 'em up" at least until the statistical dangers change and people are in different situations. I know there are households that by necessity and preference will do things differently even with toddlers, I assume yours is one, but I still think that the general policy for households with kids under 8 should be lock 'em, barring a high risk situation or other special scenario. With older kids, training should be the default, again, barring specific situations. Sharon Greenpa, not to be a pedant, but I think this is more than just “there are exceptions” - I think about 1/3 -1/2 of the child-household population probably falls into this category, simply by virtue of age. That is, it isn’t just that once in a great while there’s a kid who can’t be trained, but that very young kids, or households that contain both older children and quite young ones have to deal with the reality that the lowest common denominator defines things. Add in children with disabilities and those with common sense deficiencies greater than the natural one for their age group ;-) and I think the norm for young children should be “lock ‘em up” at least until the statistical dangers change and people are in different situations. I know there are households that by necessity and preference will do things differently even with toddlers, I assume yours is one, but I still think that the general policy for households with kids under 8 should be lock ‘em, barring a high risk situation or other special scenario. With older kids, training should be the default, again, barring specific situations.

Sharon

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By: Greenpa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9611 Greenpa Thu, 28 Aug 2008 17:37:38 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9611 "For those who comment about training kids, one point is that SOME KIDS ARE NOT TRAINABLE -" Sure. One of the things that is probably not fixable about the blog format is the endless possibility for "of course I didn't mean THAT!" kinds of stuff. It's not possible to include all possible ifs and maybes, yes? You're right to point this out here; the approach should definitely depend on the kid. “For those who comment about training kids, one point is that SOME KIDS ARE NOT TRAINABLE -”

Sure. One of the things that is probably not fixable about the blog format is the endless possibility for “of course I didn’t mean THAT!” kinds of stuff. It’s not possible to include all possible ifs and maybes, yes?

You’re right to point this out here; the approach should definitely depend on the kid.

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By: Chile http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9604 Chile Thu, 28 Aug 2008 16:57:05 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9604 Well, I suppose it's not a problem for me anyway, Sharon, since I can't remember the last time I was in a bar. Not that I'm a prude, but I simply have no desire to spend my time drinking that much with strangers. Ya'll want to come over and sample my ginger liqueur and limoncello, that's fine. (Limited samples, though. Don't want any drunk drivers on my street!) ;-) Well, I suppose it’s not a problem for me anyway, Sharon, since I can’t remember the last time I was in a bar. Not that I’m a prude, but I simply have no desire to spend my time drinking that much with strangers. Ya’ll want to come over and sample my ginger liqueur and limoncello, that’s fine. (Limited samples, though. Don’t want any drunk drivers on my street!) ;-)

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By: Traverse Davies http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9556 Traverse Davies Thu, 28 Aug 2008 13:35:02 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9556 Oh, one other thing I forgot one the knife point: Sharon, you are absolutely right about knives being much harder to stab with than we think. In that vein, never stab someone with a kitchen knife. The reason fighting knives and swords have a guard between the hilt and the blade is to stop your hands from slipping up onto the blade. People have in fact died as a result of blood loss from hand injuries when they tried to stab someone with a knife that lacked hand guards. If you are going to use a bladed weapon, train with it, if you haven't trained with it simply put it down and get something else. Oh, one other thing I forgot one the knife point: Sharon, you are absolutely right about knives being much harder to stab with than we think. In that vein, never stab someone with a kitchen knife. The reason fighting knives and swords have a guard between the hilt and the blade is to stop your hands from slipping up onto the blade. People have in fact died as a result of blood loss from hand injuries when they tried to stab someone with a knife that lacked hand guards. If you are going to use a bladed weapon, train with it, if you haven’t trained with it simply put it down and get something else.

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By: Traverse Davies http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9553 Traverse Davies Thu, 28 Aug 2008 13:30:05 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9553 There are a few things I found were lacking in what was a very well though out piece. On the prevention side... when things get to the point where you have to make a fight or flight decision, flight is often the better choice. Seriously, run the hell away and let the marauders have what they want if you are likely to lose a fight with them. Hell, even if you are 50/50 (or even 60/40) on your odds of winning the fight... run. You can learn to get better at running away (I have a post about preparing yourself for how to survive gearless on my blog http://logic11.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/physical-preparation-how-to-survive-when-your-gear-doesnt/) but even if you aren't that good at it, if all the goodies are left behind then odds are good the people robbing you will stay and keep the goodies. As to martial arts, one of the biggest things that my current master (and pretty much all the ones I have studied under) stresses is reaction to assault situations. A classic drill is practicing a defensive kick and having one of the senior members of the class run at you with a kicking pad. You get to the point where you automatically kick when approached. This is actually far more useful in a real fight than any other single aspect of martial arts, as it takes the defensive tactic and makes it an automatic one. On the other hand, early on before I had learned to control it I did find myself playing football (and yes, to all who know me in person... I actually played a game of football once in my life, hell maybe even twice, but that's it, I draw the line at two) with some friends, and reacted before I had a chance to think and took a close friend down with a well placed kick to the gut... The domestic violence against men thing is one of my trigger issues... probably mostly because I suffered it for several years, but I do believe it is far more widespread and endemic than it is given credit for (it turns out that a sizable portion of what are called single partner violence incidents are coming from women at this point... men often simply don't make any effort to defend themselves). There are a few things I found were lacking in what was a very well though out piece. On the prevention side… when things get to the point where you have to make a fight or flight decision, flight is often the better choice. Seriously, run the hell away and let the marauders have what they want if you are likely to lose a fight with them. Hell, even if you are 50/50 (or even 60/40) on your odds of winning the fight… run. You can learn to get better at running away (I have a post about preparing yourself for how to survive gearless on my blog http://logic11.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/physical-preparation-how-to-survive-when-your-gear-doesnt/) but even if you aren’t that good at it, if all the goodies are left behind then odds are good the people robbing you will stay and keep the goodies.
As to martial arts, one of the biggest things that my current master (and pretty much all the ones I have studied under) stresses is reaction to assault situations. A classic drill is practicing a defensive kick and having one of the senior members of the class run at you with a kicking pad. You get to the point where you automatically kick when approached. This is actually far more useful in a real fight than any other single aspect of martial arts, as it takes the defensive tactic and makes it an automatic one. On the other hand, early on before I had learned to control it I did find myself playing football (and yes, to all who know me in person… I actually played a game of football once in my life, hell maybe even twice, but that’s it, I draw the line at two) with some friends, and reacted before I had a chance to think and took a close friend down with a well placed kick to the gut…
The domestic violence against men thing is one of my trigger issues… probably mostly because I suffered it for several years, but I do believe it is far more widespread and endemic than it is given credit for (it turns out that a sizable portion of what are called single partner violence incidents are coming from women at this point… men often simply don’t make any effort to defend themselves).

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By: Stephen B. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9551 Stephen B. Thu, 28 Aug 2008 12:40:19 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9551 Sharon, I completely agree when you on the 2nd amendment and the constitution as you restate them. I'm still a bit queasy, however, that as an American (a US American that is), I am missing an understanding of an alternative to being so security-centric as I think Bob is saying. I just don't read enough from outside the US I guess and that's something to fix. As an alternative, community building and sharing comes right to mind of course. If it's as simple as that, and that's what Bob means, then I guess I'm already there, I hope. As for the "action hero mentality" that Bob refers to, I don't watch TV (except to tune in to the local news at exactly 15 minutes into the show for the local weather person - then tune out again before the sports guy gets his/her head on the screen), and seldom ever watch movies. Most "us vs. them" shoot outs, from old westerns to the Star Wars series, are very American, and very tiresome for me. I gave up on that line of thinking 25+ years ago. Although I love Star Trek TOS, and Star Trek TNG, even those episodes that basically devolve into 2 landing parties or 2 ships shooting phasors and photon torpedoes at each other are, in fact, tiresome and dull. As in interesting side note, I would except the latter series' episode sequence involving the Borg, however, as that story, though it too is a shoot-out thing, is fun in its treatment of individual vs. collective thinking. That's still a very American idea I suppose, (expecially since the "collective" basically is the devil incarnate - anything "collective" is bad), but an interesting one just the same. Sharon, I completely agree when you on the 2nd amendment and the constitution as you restate them.

I’m still a bit queasy, however, that as an American (a US American that is), I am missing an understanding of an alternative to being so security-centric as I think Bob is saying. I just don’t read enough from outside the US I guess and that’s something to fix. As an alternative, community building and sharing comes right to mind of course. If it’s as simple as that, and that’s what Bob means, then I guess I’m already there, I hope.

As for the “action hero mentality” that Bob refers to, I don’t watch TV (except to tune in to the local news at exactly 15 minutes into the show for the local weather person - then tune out again before the sports guy gets his/her head on the screen), and seldom ever watch movies. Most “us vs. them” shoot outs, from old westerns to the Star Wars series, are very American, and very tiresome for me. I gave up on that line of thinking 25+ years ago. Although I love Star Trek TOS, and Star Trek TNG, even those episodes that basically devolve into 2 landing parties or 2 ships shooting phasors and photon torpedoes at each other are, in fact, tiresome and dull. As in interesting side note, I would except the latter series’ episode sequence involving the Borg, however, as that story, though it too is a shoot-out thing, is fun in its treatment of individual vs. collective thinking. That’s still a very American idea I suppose, (expecially since the “collective” basically is the devil incarnate - anything “collective” is bad), but an interesting one just the same.

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9549 Sharon Thu, 28 Aug 2008 12:10:03 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9549 Stephen, I think you slightly mistook me - first of all, I don't think that the intention of the founding fathers was the nationalization of militias, and when I say "militia" I am referring only to self-organized community or at most state level organizations - by definition if the federal government has a finger in that pie, you are in trouble. But the term "well regulated" does matter in the 2nd amendment, I think. As for it being an individual right - again, perhaps I misspoke - I believe it refers to an individual right to gun ownership with the presumption that gun ownership is primarily a collective responsibility. I think both parts of that matter. Nor, honestly, am I a founding father fetishist - I think that the constitution is a useful document, and a fascinating one, that shouldn't be lightly overthrown, but I don't think that those who came before me were gods, or that we should ignore all present realities. That is, I think the fact that the militias in most cases are functionally arms of the state now effectively means they can't serve the primary purpose of the right to bear arms, so private uses have to. But I would like to see real militias re-enter the lexicon, and ones that aren't tied to a particular political ideology - that is, I'd like to see, say Massachusetts and New York liberals and leftists start militias ;-). I am joking, but not, if that makes sense. Chile, I don't know, I know a couple of people for whom a good bar fight is a major form of recreation, and since they are good at it, who am I to argue ;-)? Applejackcreek, that's really good advice. For those who comment about training kids, one point is that SOME KIDS ARE NOT TRAINABLE - my oldest, autistic child *CANNOT* understand what a gun can do to him - or at least he cannot indicate that he can, and "maybe" isn't sufficient in this. The best trained 3 year old on the planet is still a three year old - so those with very small kids aren't going to be able to use this advice for some time. And the reality is that there are some kids who can't resist a challenge, no matter how well trained - we've all met a few of them. So it really depends - how old are your kids? What kind of kids are they. For those with quite young children and with disabled kids, I think that the comparatively small risk of a sudden home invasion of which you have no notice (and assuming that you have the common sense to make it hard to sneak up on you - dogs, security lights, etc...) is probably not equal to the risk of having unlocked guns in the house. On the other hand, for someone with older kids who can understand the issue, the ground shifts. As I said, I was 10 when my father taught me to shoot, and I have no objection to rational children learning gun safety - and, in fact, agree it makes them safer than not knowing anything about guns by a good bit - but not all children are rational. Sharon Stephen, I think you slightly mistook me - first of all, I don’t think that the intention of the founding fathers was the nationalization of militias, and when I say “militia” I am referring only to self-organized community or at most state level organizations - by definition if the federal government has a finger in that pie, you are in trouble. But the term “well regulated” does matter in the 2nd amendment, I think. As for it being an individual right - again, perhaps I misspoke - I believe it refers to an individual right to gun ownership with the presumption that gun ownership is primarily a collective responsibility. I think both parts of that matter. Nor, honestly, am I a founding father fetishist - I think that the constitution is a useful document, and a fascinating one, that shouldn’t be lightly overthrown, but I don’t think that those who came before me were gods, or that we should ignore all present realities. That is, I think the fact that the militias in most cases are functionally arms of the state now effectively means they can’t serve the primary purpose of the right to bear arms, so private uses have to. But I would like to see real militias re-enter the lexicon, and ones that aren’t tied to a particular political ideology - that is, I’d like to see, say Massachusetts and New York liberals and leftists start militias ;-). I am joking, but not, if that makes sense.

Chile, I don’t know, I know a couple of people for whom a good bar fight is a major form of recreation, and since they are good at it, who am I to argue ;-)?

Applejackcreek, that’s really good advice.

For those who comment about training kids, one point is that SOME KIDS ARE NOT TRAINABLE - my oldest, autistic child *CANNOT* understand what a gun can do to him - or at least he cannot indicate that he can, and “maybe” isn’t sufficient in this. The best trained 3 year old on the planet is still a three year old - so those with very small kids aren’t going to be able to use this advice for some time. And the reality is that there are some kids who can’t resist a challenge, no matter how well trained - we’ve all met a few of them. So it really depends - how old are your kids? What kind of kids are they. For those with quite young children and with disabled kids, I think that the comparatively small risk of a sudden home invasion of which you have no notice (and assuming that you have the common sense to make it hard to sneak up on you - dogs, security lights, etc…) is probably not equal to the risk of having unlocked guns in the house. On the other hand, for someone with older kids who can understand the issue, the ground shifts. As I said, I was 10 when my father taught me to shoot, and I have no objection to rational children learning gun safety - and, in fact, agree it makes them safer than not knowing anything about guns by a good bit - but not all children are rational.

Sharon

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By: Meadowlark http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9541 Meadowlark Wed, 27 Aug 2008 22:42:58 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9541 Chile - I would say, “Don’t start bar fights.” Period. Loosen up!!! Life is much more fun with the occasional bar fight ;) Just kidding. I have always wanted a secret room. You've got me thinking about drywalling the entrance to the middle basement room and putting in some sort of secret entry. Being a basement, I'm assuming people wouldn't necessarily think it was the same shape as the upper floor, would they? I mean, especially since it's not already. (Did that make sense?) I can't discuss weaponry, as I'm biased FOR. But I will remind you of that ol' revolutionary, Tommy J and his words: "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." - T. Jefferson Which of course reminds me of the corollary: "You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go around repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard Chile - I would say, “Don’t start bar fights.” Period.
Loosen up!!! Life is much more fun with the occasional bar fight ;) Just kidding.

I have always wanted a secret room. You’ve got me thinking about drywalling the entrance to the middle basement room and putting in some sort of secret entry. Being a basement, I’m assuming people wouldn’t necessarily think it was the same shape as the upper floor, would they? I mean, especially since it’s not already. (Did that make sense?)

I can’t discuss weaponry, as I’m biased FOR. But I will remind you of that ol’ revolutionary, Tommy J and his words:
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.” - T. Jefferson

Which of course reminds me of the corollary:
“You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go around repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence.” Charles A. Beard

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By: Theresa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9538 Theresa Wed, 27 Aug 2008 20:57:52 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/08/26/practical-security/#comment-9538 Another comment about pepper spray. I work in a jail and it gets used quite a lot here - every couple of days probably. There are some people on which it has no effect for some reason - most of the time these people are high on some kind of amphetamine, but there are some people that just don't react to the capsicum in the spray. So if the sprayer reacts to the spray, but the sprayee doesn't, that would be bad. You wouldn't want to count on the spray being 100% effective, and it could actually incapacitate you. Also, my husband is a truck driver and carries with him a 'tire tester' - essentially a club, but clearly labeled as a 'tire tester' in big writing on the side. Handy to have in the vehicle with you when you are doing walk-around inspections of your semi in darkened parking lots or rest areas. I would imagine it would be handy in a car too. Another comment about pepper spray. I work in a jail and it gets used quite a lot here - every couple of days probably. There are some people on which it has no effect for some reason - most of the time these people are high on some kind of amphetamine, but there are some people that just don’t react to the capsicum in the spray. So if the sprayer reacts to the spray, but the sprayee doesn’t, that would be bad. You wouldn’t want to count on the spray being 100% effective, and it could actually incapacitate you.

Also, my husband is a truck driver and carries with him a ‘tire tester’ - essentially a club, but clearly labeled as a ‘tire tester’ in big writing on the side. Handy to have in the vehicle with you when you are doing walk-around inspections of your semi in darkened parking lots or rest areas. I would imagine it would be handy in a car too.

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