Where’s the Line Between Paranoia and Preparedness?

My life has been, well, kinda weird, lately. Strike that. My life has been VERY weird for the past two years, to be perfectly blunt. And when life gets weird, it forces you to do some re-evaluation regarding your frame(s) of reference. Nowhere is that more glaringly apparent than in my perspectives on personal safety. Which is how I found myself answering the door last night, fully armed.

The weirdness started back in ’09, when my marriage suddenly veered off into the shoals of discord, right around the same time that we learned my father would be undergoing extended treatment for cancer. I traveled to Shreveport to look after him, which inexorably devolved into staying to care for him, divorce, his death, mourning, and getting custody of my daughter. In short, just about everything in my life that I counted on as a “constant” switched to a “variable” within the space of 24 months, give or take.

Upon returning to the family manse, as it were, I found the old hometown to be greatly changed. The family home’s part o’ town is still a sleepy little bedroom community, a neighborhood of single-family homes built in the post-WWII era. Nice places. Cozy. Well-kept. But the city around it has changed quite a bit. Between the time I left and the time I returned, Shreveport has added riverboat gambling to the already existant horse racing track, and gone from a predominantly white, middle-class town to a predominantly blue-collar city, where whites are in the minority. I’ve never been big on racial politics. Never saw the point. Apparently, that view is not in the majority, and from what I can see, the spoils system is alive and well in Shreveport, LA. With organized gambling comes organized crime (not that Shreveport was unfamiliar with this back in the day), and a caravan of vices that raise the game for the local constabulary to control. “White Flight” across the river to Bossier City has gone from a trickle to a flood, with families seeking lower taxes, better schools, lower crime, and higher property values.

While my dad’s neighborhood is still in good shape, I can’t say the same for his office. What was once the edge of an older neighborhood with stately homes, now occupies the front lines of a growing urban blight. I don’t think you could get any argument from most people by using the term “slum.” It’s become a place where I simply won’t go at night without being armed, and even then, I try to avoid the place after dark, if possible.

Lately, there’s been a number of things that have tripped my radar. A burglary. A double-murder in a supposedly safe, well-lit, heavily-trafficked part of downtown. Nothing that’s unusual for any big city. But it’s not how I remember the city of my birth. So it’s got my Spidey-sense tingling.

Let’s just say that I’m quite a bit more aware of my surroundings, and decidedly more prone to caution with a soupçon of “worst case scenario” thrown in for my evening’s pleasure. For instance, last night, late, there was a knock at my door.

My thought process went like this:

  • I wonder who that could be, this late at night? (It was close to 10 PM)
  • I’m not expecting anybody, am I?
  • Given all the weird stuff, I should get my gun. (I don’t typically carry inside my home)

I got my gun and tucked it in my belt, in the small of my back, under a sweatshirt. I turned on the porch light and peered through the peephole. Couldn’t see a blessed thing. I opened the door, cautiously. There’s a guy there, holding one of those soft-sided bags for keeping pizza warm, and a 2-litre bottle of soda. He looks at me and says “Oh…is this thirty-seven…” then he looks at the house number.  “Oops. Sorry. I’ve got the wrong house.”

Pop quiz, hotshot: Was this legit, or was this some guy using the pretense of a pizza delivery to see if anybody’s home, before breaking in?

Fair question. Let’s look at as many facts as we can muster:

  • I didn’t recognize the driver, and the pizza carry had no store logos or markings.
  • He didn’t pull his car into the driveway. No headlights on that I could see.
  • He didn’t look me in the eye, and appeared startled when I opened the door.

On the other hand:

  • It’s not like I would know every pizza delivery guy in town.
  • Sometimes when delivery guys are unsure of the address, they’ll park on the street and kill their headlights.
  • I stand a relatively-imposing 6’4″ and weigh around 240. Most people won’t screw with me because of my size/weight.

My verdict? Something about this was…off. I don’t know what. Can’t put my finger on it. If was a betting man (and I’m not), I’d say this was a pretense, to cover a break-in.

On the other hand, this has pointed out to me a couple of things I need to do around the house. First, I really need to get a wireless webcam and rig it to view the front door. Peepholes are fine (when they work) but they really don’t do you a lot of good, if you don’t already have the light on. And if you turn the light on, then look through the peephole, you’re putting yourself in the crosshairs for someone who wants to shoot his way in for a home invasion.

So, am I being paranoid? I don’t think so. Just cautious. But I can see how paranoia can creep into your life, when you have to be on guard all the time. For the record, I think paranoid would be defined as being afraid to open the door, opening the door with gun in hand, or aiming it at the person on the other side of the door.

In every situation, there’s a number of possible outcomes. You have to weigh each one, carefully, to determine your course of action. The thing is, no matter what you do, nothing is going to keep you 100% safe. You can choose to live your life in fear, or you can take reasonable steps to keep yourself as safe as possible. The question is – what is reasonable, in this day and age?

comments

  1. avatar DonWorsham says:

    I’d give the local PD a call, let them know what happened. Couldn’t hurt.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Some on here though think their local police officers (and all public sector workers) are parasites. So probably not best to call!

  2. avatar sdog says:

    i think your reaction was pretty justified. you did not order any pizza and were understandably surprised at the arrival of one on your door step. The “fake delivery” move has been done before to burglarize homes.
    The actions of the delivery guy were also weird, but there might be a possible reasoning for this: how old did he look, he might just be an insecure kid trying to make some gas $. Either way you were ready to rock if you needed to, but were not brandishing a tacticool ar when you opened the door either, so good job IMO.

  3. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    Did you watch him to see if he went to #37 on your street? What did you do after you broke contact? Did you get a description of his car and a plate number? Did you write down what he looked like?

    1. avatar Texan says:

      Good points.

  4. avatar ralphrotten says:

    I keep my porch light on a timer, that way I can view the front from a side window and I don’t necessarily have to use the peep hole. If you don’t have the side view then at least the porch thru the peep hole, or the web cam, will be readily visible.
    At 10pm I’d be ready, too. I think that your actions/reactions were entirely reasonable.

    RR

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      my porch lights are on an electric eye so when dusk hits, they kick on. surrounding house lights (more decorative) are on timers.

  5. avatar bobby b says:

    Sell. Sell everything, and fast, and cheap if you have to.

    Prices are still dropping. I doubt that you’ll get today’s price for the properties again before you die. This next set of cycles back to our pre-crash values is going to be long and slow, and, from what you said, I’d guess that your neighborhoods will fall more than most others.

    1. avatar Kirk says:

      No! Don’t sell: rent. But do move.

      And, no, you’re not being paranoid. I once had a late-night example of same. Now I wish I’d pushed him backwards over the porch rail to a nice 18-foot drop to the sidewalk, below. Doorstep wit too belatedly realized, as the French say.

  6. avatar DrewR55 says:

    This is a wonderful question and I feel your assessment of last night’s encounter is reasonable. I am surprised that you do not home carry and I would imagine this practice of yours will be up for review. My family is my most priceless asset and I will protect them at any cost.

    A healthy level of paranoia is good for you. You are responsible for not only your safety but for your daughter’s. This means that you must be aware of your surroundings and the activity around you at all times. Take the needed steps to protect your loved ones. Be prepared for whatever may happen. Auto and Life insurances, first aid kits, food and water, emergency funds in cash. All of these things are important.

    Another point, the purpose of a neighborhood is for people to band together under the auspices of safety in numbers. This is one thing that the gangs have in the lower income neighborhoods over the residents of the white collar communities. An organized community watch that is aware of who comes in and what they are doing isn’t a bad thing. And I do not believe it to be excessive to have control of the entrances to community you live in.

  7. avatar GS650G says:

    The Pizza delivery ruse has been used many times in home invasions. You had the right idea but I would not have opened the door too far.

  8. avatar irock350 says:

    I don’t know where you have been for the past two decades, but Shreveport has been a rundown sh!thole for a long time, especialy after hurricane Katrina.

  9. avatar seth says:

    how valid is it to take time of day into consideration? Seems like lots of home invasions are happening in late afternoon to early evening.

  10. avatar BC; MT says:

    Kozak is back. With a good post at that.

  11. avatar scott says:

    It seems like your response is reasonable to me. Regardless of the part of town (good or bad), someone unexpectedly knocks at 10pm then you should be on your toes.

  12. avatar Sean C says:

    Everyone that knows us calls before coming over.

    If we get a knock on the door (fairly isolated and hidden door), we do it with a gun tucked.

    We also have a metal outer door. You can’t push your way in.

    Yes, when your life is in shambles and it seems like everything you considered to be solid suddenly is not…

    you do everything you can to lock down and secure what you can.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      My god you do seem paranoid if you have a metal door, and everyone has to call before coming over otherwise you have guns ready. Have you been burgled?

  13. avatar CarlosT says:

    The classic line still applies: just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

    If something feels “off”, it’s probably because it was. We humans do a lot of information processing at the subconscious level, fitting in clues about context together and pieces that don’t fit throw up flags that we may not be aware of consciously. Instead we get “gut feelings” or “spidey senses”. You listed some items that were out of context – the missing logos, the car not parked in the normal place, the headlights not on, the surprise at the door being answered (a big one for me). It’s possible that all these have innocent explanations, and that you’re just getting a false positive, but they’re items out of context and your brain is going to raise the flags. Whatever the case may be, it’s better to stay sensitive and be occasionally overly suspicious of a delivery driver than become oblivious and ignore a real threat.

    1. avatar Pete says:

      Big +1. If the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, listen to your intuition. “Better to have it [your gun] and not need it than need it and not have it.”

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    Welcome back, Brad! We missed ya.

    I didn’t detect a single whiff of paranoia in your post. It’s not like you proned-out the pizza guy, and you showed admirable restraint by not grabbing a slice or two for your inconvenience.

    I have a different take on your question. The background you provided about your home town was to reveal your thought process, so that we could put ourselves in your shoes and make an informed decision as to whether you acted rationally. Well, we did and you did. So far so good.

    However, it seems to me that the only reason you’re reconsidering your actions is because you strapped up to answer the door. If you home-carried and therefore always answered the door while packing, you would not be second-guessing yourself now.

    So, what’s the answer? Home carry. It does a body mind good.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      I live in an area that is very low crime (not convenient access in or out), and I am always strapped when at home. It is process driven behavior.

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        I fully support what you’re doing. I hate it when people say, “I don’t need to pack or prepare for crime, I live/work/shop in a safe neighborhood.”
        Well, you can avoid trouble all you want, but sometimes trouble comes looking for you…

      2. avatar Mike says:

        Dirk – has it been necessary though to carry. Seems not, so why?

        1. avatar DonWorsham says:

          Why does one keep a fire extinguisher at hand when they have not had a fire?

        2. avatar TTACer says:

          I never wear my seatbelt either, because in the few accidents I have been were not severe enough to require one.

          /sarcasm

  15. avatar Aaron says:

    I do home service work, and when I have a spot of trouble finding someone’s address I park roughly where I think it should be. Then I’ll call them and get re-clarification on what their house looks like, what sort of car they have parked outside or in their driveway, etc. so I don’t have to make three point turns and repeatedly go back and forth, or get out of the car and reconnoiter around – both of which look suspicious.
    However, even when I do get to their home with no problem, I refrain from using their driveway for a few reasons. It’s more polite (IMHO) and I just seem to have bad luck – I’ve been blocked in by fuel delivery trucks, prevented other service people from getting in, or blocked in a family member that needed to leave. So I’d rather avoid any of that mess and just park on the street.

  16. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Situational awareness is your friend. The more you know about what’s going on outside your home, the more time you have to react to questionable goings-on.

    Installing a few security cameras around one’s property offers a huge advantage when assessing things that go bump in the night. These days they’re comically cheap, even for good, effective units.

    A lone teen in car with a pizza place bubble on the roof, lights on, looking at house numbers warrants a very different response than several men in a car with its lights off slowly creeping down your driveway.

    That information, and the extra several seconds to several minutes of reaction time, can save lives.

  17. avatar Aharon says:

    Your caution was justified. Hypothetically, you could open the door with a gun under your shirt for protection and a violent thug might already have his hand on a trigger underneath or inside the pizza warmer. Actually, I think something just like that occurred this year.

    Whether it is late at night or in broad daylight, I will never first open the door unless it is UPS or something else I am expecting. I always stand off to the side of the door and call out loudly demanding to know what the person wants.

    While I am obviously a supporter of owning guns for possible home defense, I am also increasingly considering other safety measures such as a two-way audio intercom system with or without a video camera.

  18. avatar mikeb302000 says:

    Isn’t sticking a gun in your waistband at the small of your back a bad practice?

    Wouldn’t calling out for the visitor to identify himself BEFORE opening the door have been a bit better?

    Overall, I agree with Ralph, almost. I thought you were a little paranoid but not too much. Of course, I’ve already considered you that before this incident.

    1. avatar Sam Wright says:

      mikeb3020, a holster is much safer. Just ask Plaxico Burress about sticking a gun in your waistband. I try not to do that, but when I do, I put the gun in front to compensate for my male short comings.

  19. avatar DrewR55 says:

    Speaking of paranoia versus preparedness I have a question for everyone. Here lately I have been considering placing an AR in my truck and I am wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on the subject.

    This isn’t for a particular reason but it is due to the natural prgression of the human mind. An example of this progression would be to start with a spare tire and jumper cables. Then you think you should have a road kit and cat litter. Next you keep blankets and a change of clothes. So on and so forth.

    We live in a semi-rural region of the country. My wife and I carry firearms concealed. I also carry either a multi-tool or a good knife (often both). In the truck we have an emergency road kit and a basic survival/first aid kit. I cannot help but think I should also pack an AR and half a dozen magazines.

    What is everyone’s thought on the idea?

    1. avatar mikeb302000 says:

      My thought is that you are a total paranoiac. Brad just has a touch of it, but you’re totally gone. Drew, after you get the AR, just in case, you’ll certainly need something stronger, maybe one of them stinger-type missile launchers. You never know what may happen. It’s better to have it and not need it, you know.

    2. avatar Todd94590 says:

      back in the ’70s, seeing a gun rack in the back of pickup trucks was…. well, *not* seeing one was less an occurrence than those having them. Here, 30 years later, thinks have changed; my opinion would fully be based on where you live.

      I now live in Kallyfornia, where honest thinking on guns is completely upside-down, so my opinion may be skewed by time (and location): first question would be, are you planning on stowing the gun on a gun rack (back window)?; will the gun be within quick reach, if/when needed? — I’ve seen many versions of the bed-liner “trunks,” which, in my opinion would put a serious delay in getting to the gun (and depending upon local laws/restrictions, might constitute as concealed).

      Our laws regarding travel to/from the shooting range are: gun(s) unloaded, in trunk, with ammo completely separated from them (carried inside car. If pulled over & cop discovers, I’d better have a good reason, and be somewhere directly between said gun range and my home, else could be charged.

      I do like the way your mind thinks, your ‘natural progression of the human mind.’

      ….is there any property for sale a half mile or so from you, would love to have you as a neighbor 🙂

      1. avatar DrewR55 says:

        Out here in Oklahoma the open display of a loaded firearm (Read on a rifle rack or back seat) is legal without a permit. Things get sticky when you want to place a firearm somewhere other then in plain view (glove box or center console). To do that you must have a concealed carry permit (I know, very strange).

        I have as much, or more, to worry about from the four legged critters as I do from the two legged ones. This would likely go in a bag in the cab. Lately the cats have been getting more daring then years gone by and the damned coyotes are always a nuisance… Plus I am on the I35 drug corridor.

    3. avatar CarlosT says:

      Is there a realistic threat in your area that a handgun would likely be insufficient for? Say, bears, mountain loins, or something like that? If so, then I’d say it would be reasonable. Otherwise, a rifle would probably be more trouble than it’s worth, and I’d worry about it being stolen. Personally, I’d prefer the portability and convenience of the handgun.

  20. avatar Eric says:

    Brad:What you did was entirely unreasonable.

    Your pistol should have been drawn, in your hand, behind your thigh as you made small talk with the pizza man:)

    Seriously though. If he were armed and had wanted to force his way in, you would have had little to no time to draw and I doubt your pistol would have been of use to you.

  21. avatar NR says:

    Brad, why not home carry?

    I rarely carry outside of the house. My family’s usually not with me, and I can run like a bunny.

    At home, running isn’t an option. And I’ve got my family to think about. So I carry.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Exactly.

  22. avatar Ron says:

    No one ever need worry if they are paranoid. If you begain showing signs of paranoia, your friends and family will let you know.

    I’m not talking about those who claim you are paranoid because you carry a gun. I’m talking about those who are concerned because you are acting “abnormal.”

    I live in conditional yellow. Most people would say that I have no reason to do so. I would agree, except for the large number of crime victims I have seen on the news, read about or met personally, who lead lives very similar to mine.

    I carry a .38 revolver at all times when I am at home. It is the lightest gun I own. If I am making a quick run to the neighborhood market I carry this same gun. If I will be out for an extended peroid of time, making multiple stops, I carry a .40 semi. Do I think I will actually need a gun? No. Do I think it is possible? No. I KNOW it is possible.

    As most of us know living in condition yellow is to be constantly aware of your surroundings. To be always on the alert for trouble. It also means being prepared to take appropriate action if trouble is suspected. The key words are appropriate and suspected. Don’t wait until trouble developes and then react.
    If you suspect the possibility of trouble take appropriate action to avoid it.
    If you are wrong, no harm. If you are right, you will never know it.

    At least three times I believe my life to have been in danger. I will share one of these.
    My wife and I were shopping at a mall. I had been looking at cell phones but did not purchase. As we were on our way to the mall exit I noticed two young men (18-22ish) looking at a sandwich board type coming attractions poster for the mall theater. The reason I noticed them was because they were both staring at the poster but neither was talking. In my experience when two or more people are looking at a movie poster they are usually discussing it. Of course they could have been reading it, or even strangers to one another. Still living in condition yellow I noticed it. As my wife and I passed them, I was talking to her with my head turned toward her so that I could see them using my peripheral vision.
    When we were approximately ten (10) feet past them they both turned in unison without speaking a word, and began walking behind us, still not speaking. This was enough for me to decide we were not leaving the mall. So I stopped and said to my wife, ” I want to take another look at those cell phones.” Which is what we did for several minutes. We then left the mall by a different exit.
    Now it is entirely possible that I am completely wrong. Still I believe they were following us with bad intentions in mind.
    At the time I was carrying a Ruger SP101 .357 the sight of which I believe would have been enough to send them elsewhere, but by being alert and taking appropriate action I was able to avoid unnecessary contact and any possibilty of trouble.
    Was I right to be suspicious? I will never know. If I was not, no harm. If I was , again, no harm. Had I not been suspicious, harm may have been a very real possibility.

    As stated at the begining there is no need to concern myself about being paranoid. I know that I am not because those I associate with know that I am not. I live in condition yellow but only those whom I have told know it.
    When I am socializing I appear no different than those I am socializing with. I simply notice things they do not.
    Those who live all their lives in condition white can rarely spot someone in condition yellow.

    Carrying a gun does not make me paranoid. Living in condition yellow does not make me paranoid. Carrying a gun and living in condition yellow are the reasons I have nothing to be paranoid about.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Living in Condition Yellow is not paranoid, it’s prudent. Condition Yellow is “relaxed awareness” and is the correct state in which to live. Living in Condition Orange, on the other hand, would be paranoid and mentally exhausting.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Living in Condition Yellow is not paranoid, it’s prudent.

        Absolutely correct. None of us who are in our right minds would cross the street without looking both ways. Why should we act any differently in the middle of the block?

  23. avatar Tom says:

    Sounds sort of like my racist post about the Mall on the South East Side of Fort Wayne.
    Speaking of which, I have had friends of the family stick it out there and they were robbed and had thefts and break ins on an almost routine basis. I would recommend you get out of Dodge before you cannot give awy your house.

  24. avatar Bruce W. Krafft says:

    Answering the door armed sounds perfectly reasonable to me. One evening a few years ago the doorbell rang around 9:30 PM. I wasn’t expecting anyone and my housemate Bjorn (pronounced b-yorn for you non-Minnesotans) said he wasn’t either, so I threw on a towel (hot night, AC on the fritz and I was nekkid) and my shoulder holster and went downstairs to answer the door. It turned out it was a visitor for Bjorn. After the visitor left, Bjorn told me I had completely and totally freaked out the visitor. He said the conversation went something like this:
    Visitor: He had a gun!
    Bjorn: Did he point it at you?
    V: No, but, he had a GUN!
    B: Was it holstered?
    V: Yeah, but, he was wearing a TOWEL and a GUN!
    B: Would you rather he’d answered the door naked with a gun?
    V: No! But, but, he had a GUN!

    Some people, I tell ya . . .

    1. avatar O.N. says:

      Maybe answering the door naked with a gun is the way to go. Word travels quick on the street. Why rob a guy that freaky? Now there’s some preparedness.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        Could backfire though, if there’s someone in the neighborhood who’s turned on by that.

        1. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

          Pink Tu Tu would have been better with a tinfoil hat, LOL!

  25. avatar Silver says:

    Preparedness is being in ownership of at least the basic skills and equipment for logically possible scenarios, including those such as fire, first-aid, or violent assault.

    Being paranoid is thinking that law-abiding gun owners are something to be feared for exercising their rights.

  26. avatar Roadrunner says:

    When somebody knocks on my door whom I didn’t invite and don’t recognize, or don’t otherwise want to talk to, I just don’t answer it. Same with the phone. Blessed be he who invented caller ID. If someone tries to bust through a locked door home-invasion style, or climb through a window, he’s likely to be surprised at what’s waiting on the other side.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      Bingo. I was surprised to not see more answers like this. If I’m not expecting someone, I do not “answer” the door by opening it…. EVER… PERIOD. Never, ever, ever, EVER. And, that is a cardinal rule in our house. Wife and kids abide by it, too. If we don’t know who it is or aren’t expecting them… we don’t open the door.

      1. avatar Roadrunner says:

        We must fight our programming sometimes.

      2. avatar ralphrotten says:

        totally agree, but I just can’t get my wife to understand this..she just heads to the door and opens it like a pre-programmed robot…very frustrating, to say the least

  27. avatar Joe Doakes says:

    “Why is wisdom so rare when it is needed most?”

    October 14, 2011

    Dear President Obama,

    You and I actually have a few things in common. Our parents got divorced though for very different reasons, and you spent some time being raised by your grandparents. The similarities end there though. I’ve tried hard through various ways to forget that, but I’m told I never will. So I’ve given up with that fight and done my best to make peace with it. But, in the interest of saving this Nation I’d like to re-tell a piece of that story to demonstrate what kind of character was once the norm in this The United States of America, and not the exception. It is my belief that is why the vast majority of those citizens are in various cities in this great land and not protesting you, and your failed policies, in Washington DC at this very moment.

    Divorce sucks. It tears at the heart of a home and it shreds such gentle tapestries that are so precious as to be priceless. That would be the heart of a child. Yet, in my case it was absolutely necessary. I have a sister, and she got it far far worse then I did. But I’ll leave that story for her to tell. Abusing a child is wrong. It must be met with swift action. Which my father took. I often joke that my mother hit me because she was nuts, and my father hit me because I deserved it. One time after watching “Mr. Wizards World” I decided to disassemble a wall outlet and create a spark, I could have burned down the whole house, I deserved a whack and it was summarily delivered. Besides you can’t blame it all on television:) Regardless I needed a place to go during that time and it turned out to be my grandparents home. They welcomed us with every affection and love in this world. My grandma almost spoiled me rotten and my grandfather would bring home all sorts of projects from the hardware stores he sold to. Everything from those polystyrene models to lead filled paint to paint every toy I then owned. I did save the yellow Tonka Truck, painted as it is with all of that wonderful lead filled paint; though and I knew enough not to paint my Daisy Dukes lunch tray:) Everyday when my Grandfather would come home he would take three drinks, I’m not going to share the reasons for the first two, but the last one was for the German he killed in WW2 while defending his bomber and crew from an ME-109.

    My Grandma was even tougher then my Grandfather. She had to put up with those who thought my Grandfather was nuts for joining the Army Air Corps when the losses being suffered were almost 50%! She also had to put up with his sisters, holy cow, I think that is half the reason my Grandfather went to Europe to fight the Nazis, he needed a break. Regardless she did everything she was supposed to do during and after the war. My Grandmother help to found an organization that served children who were then labeled as “retarded” now we would call them “delayed or disabled” or even “autistic.” The labels have changed, but the organization remains and is strong today and helps thousands of families who find themselves dealing with these massive challenges. She also taught me about the value if using our resources wisely, we would collect scrap paper and sell it to a guy for a nickel a pound, a nickel to me then was one pice of Bazooka chewing gum, complete with a joke and a fortune! There are untold driveways that are cleaner because of that nickel and my Grandmother and Grandfather trying to get a broken hearted boy back in action.

    Well, long story short, they did. My father and my new mother did their part too. But it wasn’t government that did that, you are living proof of the Mr. Obama. No amount of government could make you love your countryman like a citizen of this exceptional nation should. No amount of government could turn you into a leader of men and woman who are meant to live freely, and to accept responsibility for themselves, and their families. Those protesters on Wall Street and points far and wide have also suffered a similar fate as you, and I came within the width of a human hair of suffering, you and they believe that if only you take enough from someone else you will be happy. Well, I’m hear to tell all of you, no matter how much you manage to take, it’ll never be enough. One day you’ll wonder why you had to take three drinks every time you came in the door, and you will not want to tell anyone the reasons for the first two either.

    Respectfully,

    Joe Doakes

  28. avatar Charles says:

    Brad,

    You don’t say this in your article, but I hope you made a call to the local PD to alert them that there was a possible poseur looking for a house to break into.

    I’m one of them “paranoid” gun nuts who carries whenever I am awake, home or not.

    Peace.

  29. avatar kirsten says:

    the gun over there on the night table instead of in your hand… cant help you.

    being in the habit of carrying can be a lifesaver. your gun will be where you are used to it, where you have drilled on your draw and use…and at hand. why not carry at home? if you havent undressed then your carry holster should still be on you.

  30. avatar Sean says:

    I don’t worry about excuses, or anyone else’s opinion about what I do, to make myself and family secure. I just do it. To even care what anyone else thinks, or to constantly be questioning yourself is an invitation to disaster. Sure, skull it out beforehand, and let your conscience be your guide. But my plan is to be ready to kill everyone I meet. It relaxes me. Because, like R. L. Ermy, in my eyes, it makes everyone equally worthless. Their worth rises, or falls, based on their actions. So you can give your heart to Jesus, but your ass is your own responsability.

  31. avatar revjen45 says:

    A couple of days back the doorbell rang, so I took the Home Carry gun out of the pocket of my bathrobe held it behind my back, and answered the door. It was UPS with a delivery that had had to be signed for. I give the UPS man credit for not acting like he even noticed when I put the gun back in my pocket. Come to think of it, maybe it wasn’t the first time for him.

    It ain’t paranoia when there really ARE people who are out to get you.

  32. avatar "gunner" says:

    a while back i was at my computer around zero darkthirty, going through e-mail when the door opened beside me, about five feet away to my right. somebody i never saw before started to walk right in. i showed him a side view of a SIG p220 and said “where the hell do you think you’re going?” he didn’t answer, just went di di mau mos’ ricky tick. the cops came by and did “area search, no trace” but i suspect he was still running hard getting someplace else. even at home keep your civilizer handy.

  33. avatar ExNuke says:

    When I first glanced at the page I read that as “My wife has been, well, kinda weird, lately. Strike that. My wife has been VERY weird for the past two …..” and thinking “I know exactly what that feels like”. Love her completely but just the same…..

  34. I like the quote “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” The world has become a less safe place. It is always good to have such things as first aid kit, self defense tool and flashlight with you. You never know what may happen with you.

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