While we work to rebuild from the recent storms here in Texas, a lesson: just like dealing with a historic storm, you can’t wait until the last-minute to prepare for a violent encounter and expect to fare well. Stockpiling supplies is all well and good, but are you prepared for the civil unrest that follows these natural disasters?
Most people are capable of dealing with the physical deprivation that follow a natural disaster. But the indifference and cruelty they may encounter can come as something of a shock. It shouldn’t. There will always be people who take advantage of a dire situation to rob, loot and generally exploit the disintegration of social structures.
I abide by a simple life theory: give people the benefit of the doubt. But I also operate under the assumption that unfettered violence is restrained by a short, fragile leash. Good people must stand ready to defeat the amoral, destructive, base instincts that are unleashed by circumstance.
I don’t care what your personal beliefs are. When the rule of law is no longer respected you’re on your own. There is no 911 to call, no police car rolling up/floating to your rescue. You need to be able to defend yourself and your family. They are your number one priority. So ask yourself now, how would you make that happen?
How are you going to repel a gang of criminals robbing and looting at will?
A duty grade pistol and duty grade rifle/shotgun are the bare minimum. Ammunition, maintenance equipment and medical supplies are equally critical. But mindset is your most important weapon. You must be ready to use violence to prevent or end violence against you, your loved ones, your community and, perhaps, your property.
You can and should train hard enough to be able to run your gun(s) smoothly, efficiently and instinctively. But you should also train your mind to be mindful of what you have — and what you’re prepared to do to protect it. Before it’s in danger.
As you watch the TV images of hurricane Harvey survivors, as reports arrive of looters and armed protectors, resolve to be the man or woman you and your loves ones can depend on. Keep your powder dry, your guns clean, your skills fresh and your mind clear.
This isn’t all doom and gloom. I also want to draw your attention to how our nation has come together in the wake of Harvey. How strangers and neighbors have pitched in to lend a hand where they can. Everything from food drives, to medical supplies to opening their homes to those in need.
I am so damned proud of all my fellow Texans who stepped up, assisted in rescues or who, in some cases, stood between those very volunteers and those who would try to do them harm. Without much thought, they left their families behind so they could help those in need. Take a moment to appreciate that generosity and support; it’s good for our soul as a nation.
These events bring out the worst in some, but the best in others. To be your best, don’t be a victim. Be friendly, generous, caring, armed and (if necessary) dangerous.
Jeff Gonzales is a former US. Navy SEAL and preeminent weapons and tactics instructor. He brings his Naval Special Warfare mindset, operational success and lessons learned unapologetically to the world at large. Currently he is the Director of Training at The Range at Austin. Learn more about his passion and what he does at therangeuastin.com.