According to homefacts.com, three registered sex offenders live with one mile of my house [not shown]. Two of these monsters sexually assaulted adolescent females. I don’t know what the third one did, but I sure as hell know what he—and the others—looks like. I also know the patterns of criminal activity going on in or near my ‘hood, thanks to crimereports.com. And I pay attention to the local news. By the time my neighbors started pinging me about a series of home invasions within five blocks of my castle, I already knew what was what when and where. I amped-up my security measures accordingly . . .
Thanks to Al Gore’s interwebs, home defenders have immediate access to intel on potential threats to their and their family’s well-being. The amount of fresh, geographically-specific crime info is astounding. Smart phone friendly too. And yet several of my local [entirely unofficial] militia don’t scan the net for threats.
Stock quotes? Email alerts from Bloomingdales? Roger that. Registered sex offenders? You can do that? You can do that. And should do that. There’s really no excuse for owning a home defense firearm without keeping abreast of the chances that you’ll need it. And how you might need to utilize it. For example, I saw this tonight at courierpostonline.com:
A father came home to find his family held hostage at gunpoint at his home in the Cobblestone Farms section of Gloucester Township just after midnight Saturday, according to Gloucester Township police.
Police were already en route to the home on Gray Pebble Circle [map above] for a reported residential alarm at around midnight when a call came reporting a home invasion robbery had occurred.
The victim reported he came home with his family to find 4 or 5 men inside the residence holding one family member at gun point. The family was then tied up as the father was ordered to turn over money and jewelry, police said.
No one was injured in the robbery. The suspects fled the residence and a search of the area by police did not turn up any suspects.
Do the math. If you live in that area then . . .
1. If you’ve got large amounts of cash and/or expensive jewelry in your house (for some strange reason), you are in deep shit. These perps are not amateurs.
[Note: Someone who’s wired would know that what the media and the cops aren’t saying about this crime: this is not the first time these guys have struck. I remembered blogging about something similar in the area, hit Google and found this.]
2. The perps waited for the man of the house to leave. Time to train the family to look for trouble and use those panic buttons. And whatever else needs be.
3. Also time to establish a code word for bad shit going down, to be used (or not) during a pre-arrival call to the homestead.
The bottom line: staying safe is not a general deal. As Benelli’s Mike Leeds said when I asked for advice for SuperNova buyers, “don’t just buy a gun and throw it under the bed. Have a plan, practice and be alert to the various threats you might face.”
To that end, stay on top of your local web news re: crime reports. Click on specialized crime maps from time to time to get a feel for patterns and hot spots. (Some sites offer email alerts). And then use the information to refine your home defense plan.
Call it electronic situational awareness or computerized paranoia. But if you’re not in the loop, you’re out of the OODA loop—if you know what I mean. If you don’t, it’s simple enough: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Wash, rinse, repeat. But don’t forget to do it based on fresh, local info. Just as all politics are local, so is crime.