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“A Connecticut doctor whose wife and two daughters were killed in a 2007 home invasion took the stand Tuesday to testify against one of the accused killers,” CNN reports. “Recalling horrific details of being beaten and tied up by his alleged captors while fearing for the well-being of his family.” You may remember this case, wherein Steven Hayes, 47, and Joshua Komisarjevsky, 30, broke into Doctor William Petit’s Connecticut house, strangled his wife Jennifer, raped his 11-year-old daughter Michaela and set the house ablaze, killing Petit’s other daughter, Hayley. I was going to blog it from a tactical point of view. I can’t do it . . .

Although there are plenty of lessons to be learned from this crime, I don’t want to minimize Hayes and Komisarjevsky’s culpability by suggesting that Dr. Petit is in any way responsible by “allowing” this heinous crime to occur. The focus here should be exactly where it was today: on the two wretched examples of humanity whose actions proved that evil is not a theoretical construct. And nightmares can come true.

Those of you who keep guns for self-defense understand exactly how this crime justifies, explains and reaffirms your right to bear arms. Yes, you are a thousand times more likely to die in a car accident than perish at the hands of home invaders. But your natural desire to prepare for the “black swan” of a home invasion can not—will not be stifled by statistics.

We’ll discuss firearms-based home defense strategies and tactics on some future occasion. For now, I want to make one point and one point only: fight. As soon as you are attacked, fight for your life. Don’t wait for the right “opportunity.” Fight quickly and visciously. Don’t show your opponent any mercy. Fight until your attackers can no longer harm you, and then stop. But not a moment before.

As a Jew, as a student of firearms self-defense, this much I know: there is no point in compliance. Evil men do not value life in general, and your life in particular. Nothing you can do or say or give them will make them respect you any more than a wolf respects a sheep. All compliance can do is forestall the inevitable in the hopes that your attacker is distracted or a rescuer arrives. This is not a plan. It’s a form of suicide.

Sure, doing what you’re told might work. (It works on TV all the time.) But that’s a gamble you can’t afford to lose. Again, you must attack as soon as humanly possible, no matter what. No matter how. Before they tie you up. Before they put you in a car. Before they lead you to the back room. If you’re going to die, die before. Choose your spot to die. Die fighting.

As a firearms owner, you [may] have one advantage: you know you can survive a gunshot wound. Several, in fact. You realize that “stopping power” is a myth; death by bullet is strictly hit or miss on both sides of the gun. And sometimes you gotta take one for the team. Even if it’s the last one you’ll ever take.

A lot of firearms-based self-defense writing focuses on weaponry, strategy, tactics and training. There’s a lot of excellent advise out there. But all of that will count for nothing if it doesn’t flow a simple, single determination: that you will do whatever it takes as soon as you can to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm. Heaven can wait. You can’t.

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  1. Absolutely true, fight hard, fight viciously, fight immediately and show no mercy. It is the only way you have a chance of surviving.

  2. I don’t want to minimize Hayes and Komisarjevsky’s culpability by suggesting that Dr. Petit is in any way responsible by “allowing” this heinous crime to occur."

    Why do we shy away from truth in the face of death. The Second Amendment wasn't designed to protect this family. It's just words, it can't jump off the page and do the duty of the husband, father, citizen. Yes, the two criminals are the guilty party and had they not committed the crime the family would not be in the position that it is in. However, we all know that crime exists and we must do what is required to protect ourselves and our families. Had this doctor fought against these criminals with all of his ability the family may not be in this position either.

    I wouldn't ever convict a person on a weapons charge that had used that weapon to defend the lives of his or her family from criminals. I don't know a single person that would. There probably are some but hopefully not enough. Even if there are enough to convict, I would rather be in jail knowing my family was safe and alive.

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