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As this advertisement illustrates, an alarm system can stop a home invasion. Here’s the problem: can does not mean will. Let’s set aside jealous ex-boyfriends for a moment. Burglary is a far greater threat to your safety at home. Burglars tend to strike when you’re not around or asleep. If a professional burglar trips an alarm, he’d probably withdraw. But then, he’d probably have clocked the alarm company stickers and targeted a different house in the first place. Or, if he did target your home and saw the alarm company stickers, he would have cut the phone lines linking your Broadview system to the security company’s monitoring center. Unless you paid for the radio link upgrade, you’d be SOL. Needless to say, it gets worse from there . . .

For example, “he” is really “them.” Professional burglars work in teams. Typically, one breaks in through the front door while the other (or others) enter at the back. Or some variation thereof. And they’re not stupid. If they know your house is alarmed (nice sign), they’ll attack you just before you get to the house and force you to disarm the system. Or break into your house and hold a knife to your throat while you tell the alarm company everything’s alright.

Keep in mind that this analysis uses an arbitrary term: “professional burglar.” There is no burglars’ guild. Robbers don’t submit to a mental health exam and swear an oath promising not to hurt home owners and avoid drugs and alcohol. So, while these pros may have a plan, they may not. Or they might start with a plan that quickly descends into chaotic violence, including senseless torture, rape and murder.

In fact, your fancy Broadview alarm may send home invaders over the edge. They may respond to the alarm by upping the pace and intensity of their attack. At which point, you’re going to be asking yourself a question: will the police arrive in time to save my life and the lives of my loved ones and/or stop the rape? Unfortunately, the home invader(s) will be asking themselves a similar question: how much time to I have before the cops arrive?

Or not. They may decide to take a stand inside your home. That’s all kinds of not good. For one thing, the cops may not be all that, uh, effective at eliminating the threat. For another, the po-po’s arrival could trigger the home invaders’ final, brutal, murderous assault on you and your family. To the accompaniment of your endlessly annoying alarm.

You want worse?

The Sig Sauer Academy home defense experts identify three classes of home invaders: High Dedication, Quick Score and Stalker/Sexual Deviant. I’ve described the High Dedication home invader above (and suggested ways their financial goals can go seriously south).

The Quick Score invader is a step up (down?) on the OS (Oh Shit) scale. They’re drug addicts looking for money for their next score. That’s it. No worries about long-term consequences. The invade without anything remotely resembling a coherent plan. Bottom line: “they’re more likely to harm you than flee.”

So much for your fancy alarm, then. But we’ve saved the worst for last.

The Stalker/Sexual Deviant wants to hurt you and/or your family. That’s their goal and they’re highly motivated to achieve it. They’re smart. And patient. They’ll wait for the perfect time to attack. They know when your alarm is not armed; perhaps the delay between entering your door and turning on the alarm. They’ll implement their plan without hesitation.

Alternatively, the Stalker/Sexual Deviant won’t have any plan at all. They don’t know what they’re doing or why. But they’re going to do it. “It” being extreme violence. How extreme? Sig says: “death or serious injury likely.”

Ironically enough, that’s exactly the scenario this ad presents. The woman is attacked by a jealous ex who’s stalking her. When his rival leaves, he acts with speed and savagery. What are the odds he’ll hear the alarm and reconsider his assault? Slim to none. He probably won’t even hear the alarm. How much time does he need to do what he’s been thinking about doing for days, weeks, years? Not much. By the time the cops arrive, you and yours will be goners.

Truth be told, the woman in this ad probably wouldn’t be answering the phone. She be seriously injured, in the process of being raped, or dead. Her date could have experienced an even worse fate (just ask Ron Goldman’s parents).

The problem isn’t the alarm system. The problem is the woman’s self-defense plan. Let’s start with the basics: awareness.

Clearly, she knows her ex is a psycho-burger (“bad relationship,” indeed). Her radar should have been pinging like mad. Unless the bad guy rented that car; she should have recognized it. And reacted: called 911, left the area, etc. During an attack, time is your most precious resource. The sooner you recognize a threat, the greater the chances of surviving it.

Now, let’s add preparation. The alarm was an excellent idea, but she should have hardened the door frame against a kick-down attack (a common occurrence for home invasions generally). As most attacks occur immediately before entering or leaving the home, office or car, she should have had some weapon at the ready. Pepper spray’s OK. A sharp object (e.g. key, knife) is better. A firearm would be best.

Yes, there is that. Remembering that a gun is part of a self-defense plan. If the woman in this ad hadn’t been aware of the threat, I doubt she could have found and readied her weapon, fired, hit and stopped her adrenalin-charged assailant. Not in the two to three seconds he needed to gain entry into her house. If, however, she’d entered her premises and walked straight to the most strategic place for a home defense and readied her weapon, the outcome might have gone in her favor.

Now I’m not saying Broadview should have shown their customer shooting her mentally unhinged ex. But there is a disturbing undertone to this ad and the previous ads in the series: women as passive victim. If nothing else, why the hell is she just standing there on the phone yakking to Broadview’s manly man. Hide FFS. Or attack. Practitioners of Krav Maga will tell you that the time to defend yourself is instantly, with as much force and violence as you can muster.

This Broadview ad is like a neon sign. It’s beautiful and expensive. But it’s not effective. In fact, the ad is incendiary, due to its politically correct misinformation and misdirection.

Broadview is perpetuating the idea that women—it’s always women in Broadviews’ ads—must depend on someone else for their safety and security. As a sales technique, it’s highly effective. As a message to society in general and women in particular, it’s unconscionable.

Ladies and gentlemen, in truth, self-defense is your responsibility. Not Broadview’s. Not the police. Yours. Whether or not you arm yourself with a gun, you need a home defense plan. A strategy to protect yourself and your loved ones until the cavalry arrives. Or, as one of my HD experts calls them, the clean-up crew. That plan should include an alarm system. Just don’t bet your life on it.

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