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Crime scene, Evansville, ID (courtesy

More “gun violence” in Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America jefe Shannon Watts’ backyard – which could have been prevented by “fixing gun laws.” Or, indeed, not. This time we offer our readers a story from of an Evansville, Indiana homeowner who wasn’t armed when home invaders came knocking, and almost paid for it with his life . . .

Evansville police say officers responded to an attempted burglary at a home in the 2700 block of Oakley around 7:15 Tuesday evening.

The victim told police that someone knocked on his door and when he opened it, a man pointed a handgun at him. The victim tried to shut the door, but couldn’t.

Police say the victim fought with suspect and they eventually ended up on the ground in the front yard.

Opening the door to a stranger at any time is a stupid idea – even if the stranger says they’re a police officer. By the same token, home carry, people. Home carry. Because you never know when you might find yourself in the middle of a life-or-death struggle. And if you are fighting for your life, a handgun is an excellent way to even the odds, or turn them dramatically in your favor.

During the struggle the victim says the suspect’s gun went off. He was then able to break free and run towards the back yard. The victim says the suspect tried to follow him, but he was able to turn and punch the suspect in the face several times.

Police say at that point the suspect had had enough and fled the area in a car.

The victim told officers that there were a total of three people involved in the attempted burglary and they all left in the car with the armed suspect.

The cops got the wounded bad guy when he showed-up at a local hospital. This could have easily have ended with the good guy (assuming he was so) in the hospital or morgue. But I want to make a wider point than the two self-defense suggestions mentioned above.

Most victims of assault find themselves in trouble “unexpectedly.” I’m not saying that situational awareness is all; as some gun gurus maintain. Bad guys are sneaky and ambushes are not uncommon. But just like pilots who experience an airplane “accident,” victims of violent assaults usually miss/ignore/fail to take action on a combination and/or series of warning signs.

In that sense, carrying a gun is like packing a parachute when flying a small plane: you don’t use it unless you have to and you do everything you can to make sure you don’t have to. I reckon people could avoid most defensive gun uses by using a simple life-saving check-list based on time-tested advice: avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things.

1. Avoid stupid people 

Ask yourself, “are the people I’m with stupid?” That could mean stupid drunk or stupid about safety. It could also mean plain old stupid. I’m no intellectual snob. But there are people for whom rational thinking is a serious indeed insurmountable challenge. (This group includes a great man so-called “smart people.”) Stupid people tend to operate on emotion. Emotions are volatile. People who operate on emotions are volatile. Or they can be under certain circumstances, especially when they’re in stupid places, doing stupid things.

2. Avoid stupid places

Ask yourself, “is this a stupid place?” It could be a roadhouse bar full of drunken louts at 2am or an alleyway between two perfectly safe streets at 2pm. It could be a stadium full of people where there’s no easy way out or a stop-‘n-rob in a bad neighborhood. It could also be a gun range where customers muzzle each other or a dinner party where the conversation goes beyond heated to dangerously aggressive (between stupid people, of course).

See how that works? A place becomes exponentially more stupid when stupid people are in it. That’s how this list works. If you’re with stupid people, well, that’s not always dangerous. If you’re in a stupid place, well, your odds of being at a stop-‘n-rob when someone decides to initiate a 211 are pretty low. But if you’re in a stupid place with stupid people, it’s definitely time to go.

3. Avoid [all] people doing stupid things

Ask yourself, “are people doing stupid things here?” Is that guy hitting on that cute girl at the bar when her steroid-infused boyfriend goes to the bathroom? Are rabid football fans screaming obscenities at rival football fans right next to them? Is that shopkeeper stashing thousands of dollars worth of bling jewelry in a case without any obvious security?

Again, any one of these eventualities should trigger a serious rethink about whether or not adding your presence is worth the personal risk. If two of these tick boxes are checked-off, it’s time to go. Stupid people doing stupid things? Sayonara. People doing stupid things in a stupid place? Ciao! If all three are in play, call your extraction team.

Or, at least, be prepared for what might happen next. In the news story above, a man was in a smart place (his home) did a stupid thing (opened his door) to a stupid person (stranger). Actually, you could say the stupid person was him. Which he couldn’t have avoided. So . . . always carry a gun just in case. Void where prohibited by law.

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  1. The victim told officers that there were a total of three people involved in the attempted burglary and they all left in the car with the armed suspect. Which is why you need the over capacity clips for your assault pistol.

  2. A shoulder thing that goes up is only good if you can shoot 600 rounds a minute out of your high capacity military assault clip magazines.

  3. maybe Shannon can be a good neighbor and share the armed security ball-headed dude the midget former mayor provided her with the local neighborhood watch? How far away is Evansville from Zionsville?

  4. The editor of the source article missed an incorrect usage of the word burglary. When you illegally take something from a person, it is called robbery; when you illegally take something from someones property, it is called burglary.

    • Almost

      The taking of goods from another under threat or force of violence is robbery.
      The taking of goods from another by stealth or other means not involving contact with the victim is larceny.
      The taking of goods from another by entering a habitation or other structure or automobile with the intention to steal is burglary.

      • I can’t believe I just replied to a two-year-old post!. Talk about situational awarness…!
        Oh, well, I will let it stand because the reply is none the less germane.

  5. This is a somewhat ham-fisted list of advice. Yes, it is good advice as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.

    re: Stupid people: Many criminals aren’t stupid. They’re cold, calculating predators, but they’re not stupid.

    re: Stupid places: Many situations where people are preyed upon aren’t stupid places, either. Criminals would love to find you in stupid places, but the really aggressive criminals go to where the victims are for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks. That’s where the results are.

    People need to learn to develop situational awareness. Jeff Cooper described the typical person as wandering around in “condition white,” and had he lived longer, Cooper would have created a “condition cotton-candy pink” by now to describe the idiots who wander around while fixated upon their cell phones and electronic widgets.

    Being alert and learning how to observe, assess and react to people and situations is a skill everyone should develop. Most people won’t do this, due to either incompetence or laziness (or a combination of both). These are the people who demand that we have “more police” and “more laws.”

    When I walk down a street, I’m in a constant state of awareness – of the environment, of the people coming into proximity with me, of animals around me. I take notice of what these people are doing, where they are looking, at whom, for how long, their body language, their gait and their posture. You can tell quite a lot about a person from how they handle themselves and where they are looking.

    The reason why I do this constantly is not because I’m afraid of criminals. I believe I can handle criminals. That’s the point of training, packing a CCW piece and practicing with it.

    The larger reason is that I don’t want to deal with cops, which would likely happen after I’ve had to deal with criminals. Ever since I lived in California and had several interactions with law enforcement there, my mentality on any street is “how do I avoid dealing with cops today?” and that usually starts with “trying to avoid any situation where cops think they’re ‘doing their job’, ” with me being part of ‘their job.’ Hence, I seek to avoid contact with people who look like they could cause me to come into eventual contact with the police. I drive exceedingly well, paying close attention to what and who is around me in traffic. When I’m carrying, I work hard to act as nonchalant and at ease around cops as possible, and then quietly and unobtrusively remove myself from their proximity – put this into the category of “avoid stupid people and stupid places.”

    People who wish to increase their personal safety would do well to learn how to maximize their situational awareness. Packing a piece won’t get you out of a dangerous situation if you allow the situation to develop very close to you.

    • Got to agree. Cute article, but,,,,,,, This guy was in his home, and unless it is a house of stupid, which is debatable, RF’s list does not really touch on the important point. Situational awareness. Lets us put that in caps, SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Even in your stupid house. Its night time, you have no expectation of a visitor, some yahoo is banging on your door, you walk over and whip it open without looking to see or asking who it is? I think the stupid simply resides IN the house, in this case.

      Like you I am constantly scanning when out in public, and I look to see when there is disturbance outside my house. Dogs start barking, I check. Here a vehicle doing a slow pass, I check. Hear what sounds like car doors closing at night, I check. Lots of people call this being paranoid, even POTG call it paranoid, right up to the point they get jumped by some booboo because they are not paying attention. Awareness of your surroundings just can not be emphasized enough.

      • Survivor skills; not the least bit “paranoid”, simply observant and aware.

        I find it hard to believe how airheaded-brainlessly unobservant so many people are. S/A comes naturally to me, and when I point out potential threats I observe from time to time to those with me, the lack of recognition and apathy expressed by those not looking out for themselves simply amazes me.

        Sheeple they truly are. They don’t see themselves that way, but when reality strikes it will invariably be a shocking wake-up call.

        • “airheaded-brainlessly unobservant” I like it! Going to shamelessly steal that one.

          And yes. Don’t even get me started on people driving.

      • Exactly.

        If someone comes banging on my door at an unusual time, unannounced and unplanned, odds are very high I won’t meet him at the door. I’ll slip out of some other door unobserved on the house and I’ll come up behind him at my front door very quietly, with appropriate tools in my hand.

    • +1. The 3S are just the start. You always maintain SA, and Coopers colors are a convenient way to put them in contexf, for someone who doesnt have street experience, hunting or tactical training. One thing to note and find a way to practice is what happens to your body in red or black. Buck fever or fear_response, whatever you call it, knowing in advance helps it not get in your way quite so much.

      So, something like ‘take a deep breath’, pause to assess, then move to cover’ or even tactical breathing, along the lines of the old BRASS reminder, might be something to practice, too. Note, I am NOT a wannabe an ‘operator’ nor do I have much “street”experience, so I defer to those that do, and what works, KISS, if you could suggest something for a ‘civilian’ to practice. Like dry fire, or malf drills, with a mnemonic to help remember when the pucker factor goes up by 10x and the monkey brain kicks in…

  6. This guy is just dripping with stupid. Some one bangs on the door and he opens it without asking or looking to see who it is? Wow. Talk about living in your own little bubble. Wonder if he was texting, too?

    • Meh, he’s only stupid if he didn’t learn from this. Either way at least he had some fight in him. The worst stories are the ones where people comply as if the assailant might have their best interests in mind.

  7. “Ma mama always said,”. “stupid is as stupid does” . Said by a wise man.

    Home carry; because it’s where they can’t hear you scream.

  8. Everyone operates on emotion, and should. Emotions exist for reasons. Stupid people(especially) respond improperly to emotions, and have imbalanced emotional triggers and/or imbalanced emotional response to those triggers.

    A good response to fear is increased preparedness.
    A good response to compassion is kindness.
    A bad response to emotional peacefulness is negligence.
    A bad response to compassion for murder victims is civilian disarmament.

    Related to TTAG in general, the civilian disarmament supporters are not wrong to be compassionate, care for children, encourage safety and responsibility, hold vigils, or cry. They are wrong to support the violent enforcement of disarmament regulations, which are both immoral and unproductive/counterproductive.

  9. You need to add to your list the fourth stupid rule, at stupid times. These are the “4 stupids” that I have taught my 3 daughter.

    Avoid stupid people, in stupid place, doing stupid things at stupid times.

  10. I’m far from an expert, but when I read Cooper’s color codes, it changed my outlook dramatically. There’s so many simple things one can do to avoid 99 percent of potentially dangerous situations.

  11. “Void where prohibited by law” ??? When the law prohibits home carry, it enters substantially into the ‘stupid’ equation.

  12. Stupidity is the leading reason for death and injury so avoiding stupid people, stupid places and stupid activities seems to be good advice.

  13. Would have been nice to attribute most of this article to the man widely believed to have coined the phrase, John Farnham.

    “99% of armed conflict can be avoided by following 1rule: Don’t do stupid things in stupid places with stupid people.”

    Please don’t act like you came up with the idea (or words). It’s disingenuous.

  14. There is no substitute for Situational awareness.

    It is a foolish person who lives under the constant illusion that he or she will never find him or herself in danger.

    A wise man will never enter a situation that might require more firepower than he is already packing (and he will be packing).

    And if one has to enter such a situation to save a friend or a loved one (I pity you if you have to do this but if you must)…

    Bring guns.
    Bring friends.
    Bring friends with guns.
    Bring LOTS of friends with LOTS of guns.


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