The Costs of Family and Personal Safety

In this post I’ll examine some of the many and various costs associated with family and personal safety.  I’ll begin with the unacceptable cost.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Benjamin Franklin

Safety always costs you something.  If you abdicate your safety over to the government in the long run it will cost you your freedom.  In the short run it may cost you and those you love their lives. The qualifying terms are “essential liberty.”  Essential liberty has to do with rights endowed by God.  The Declaration of Independence spoke well of our essential rights; chief among these are the right to life.  The right to defend ourselves from unjust criminal aggressors.  Bad guys don’t have any moral, ethical, or legal rights to cause harm, great bodily harm, or death to innocents!  

Those who willingly give up essential rights are saying in essence that they place all of their trust in their governments ability to keep them safe.  This is a fantasy.  This is a lie.  This is NOT logistically possible! I was blessed with a twenty six year career in Law Enforcement retiring at the rank of Lieutenant.  I can tell you solemnly that police officers cannot be everywhere all of the time.  An unjust criminal aggressor can ambush or attack you anywhere and at – any – time! 

Did you know that depending upon the day of the week and the hour of that day a city with a population of 100,000 may only have 15 to 30 officers working the streets?  Should you actually have the opportunity to call 911 before a violent crime begins, there’s just not enough time for officers to save you from whatever it is that wicked man desires to do to you.  Why?  Upon calling 911 there is an exchange of information which takes several seconds:  What’s your location?  What’s your emergency?  That information then needs to be broadcast to all responding officers.  The officers assigned to the call then must drive from wherever they were when they received the call for service to wherever you and your problem are located.   On average this will take minutes not seconds.  Typically you don’t have minutes. How long does it take a bad guy to repeatedly beat, stab, or shoot an innocent human being?  Blows begin in just milliseconds.  Innocent victims suffer multiple blows and can be paralyzed, unconscious, dying, or dead in just a couple of seconds. Many violent encounters are over in just a few seconds.  The truth of the matter is if you want to protect your family and yourself you need to learn how to defend against unjust criminal aggressors.  That is the reality. The government is merely a supplement to your safety.  You are your family’s primary protector.

Most of the time police merely respond to the aftermath of violence.  Police secure crime scenes and gather evidence.  They document what has already happened.  They investigate, track down, and arrest the suspect(s).  Now here’s the part you’ll want to pay particular attention to:  In most instances there is more than enough time for the unjust criminal aggressors to escape. 

Additionally, no one is going to care more than a husband and father (or mother) about the lives of their family because these are bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2: 23). There is a Catholic principle at play here as well. The Principle of Subsidiarity essentially says that responsibilities ought to be handled at the lowest level possible. In other words the government ought not usurp a man or woman’s responsibility to protect their family. If things were right in this country people would be told these truths and encouraged to take seriously their grave moral and ethical duties. Things are not right in this country nor in many places throughout the world. Just read any news outlet.

The wealthy and powerful often employ hirelings while simultaneously attacking second amendment rights.  Hypocritical?  Yes, of course I guess that’s the point of communism.  Having the logistical, strategic, and tactical knowledge of how executive protection works would be of great value to a husband, father, or a mother.  Why? Again, because you’re bound to care more about bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh.

Individually we need to make an investment of our time, sweat equity, and some of our money to acquire the tools (firearms are equalizers), knowledge (logistics, strategy, & tactics), and skills (abilities) to protect our families and ourselves.  

What are the primary costs of familial and personal safety? Time, hard work, and money are the costs of familial and personal safety.   Mostly we’re talking about time and putting in the work as having a great work ethic can make this whole process far more affordable. Why? Most of the knowledge and skill building are available for free but you have to be willing to do the work to secure that knowledge and those skills. Skills take longer than knowledge to acquire.

Criminals are typically willing to kill for gain but rarely are they willing to die for anything or anyone.  When things begin going badly their motto becomes: Every man for himself! Or; Leave EVERYONE behind!   They will abandon all of their brothers or sisters in crime and they will look to save themselves. 

Indeed, and those who did not understand looked on to the Cross and said to Jesus:  Come down from the Cross and save yourself! Innocent people of good will are more likely to risk death for their wife and their children but there are no guarantees.  Talk is cheap for a human being.  We all find out just how much you love when a big test like this presents itself.  Authentic love is tested love. My advice is to pray for the grace rather than merely relying upon your own strength. Simultaneously striving daily to build your up your own strength (will).

Then we come to the mercenaries.  Jesus spoke of such men in John chapter 10: 

12 He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, 15* as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Strive to become a good shepherd. Remember man is the apex predator in relation to any animal analogy. Sheepdogs and even lions don’t stand a chance against a thinking human being who can set traps. Young warriors often begin as sheepdogs by building in a trained response. That is good and that is necessary but we don’t want to get stuck at that level. That is a bare bones beginning. A caring thinking shepherd is far more capable and dangerous (to the unjust criminal threats) than is a sheepdog.

At last we come to the quiet professionals. Warriors who fight for the man on their left and the man on their right.  In most instances these types of warriors would rather die than fail their brothers or sisters in arms.  The word most being the qualifying term.

In these dark days where sin runs rampant we increasingly observe progressive prosecutors who have begun calling good guys-bad guys and calling bad guys-good guys.  Doing that next hard right thing of protecting and defending might cost you prison at the hands of a crazy, blind, or confused prosecutor (Deuteronomy 28:28).  It might cost you your financial stability by means of civil lawsuits and bankruptcy.  It might cost you your employment or where you choose to live.  The spirit of the world and spirit of the mob might not like what you did, said, or thought and you might get canceled.   These are all additional costs.

For civilians one of the fundamental principles is learning how to avoid violent confrontations to begin with. This involves expenditures in time, work, and money. For instance as a retired police officer when possible I use a rural interstate that boxes around the big city near me to patronize the stores out on the periphery of that big city.  This requires a willingness to do the work of identifying where all of the illegal shooting and killings are happening in addition to allowing more travel time and the cost of more gasoline to avoid driving my family through those high crime dangerous areas.   Once an untrained, unskilled, and unjust criminal aggressor begins shooting; any and all folks in the immediate area are in danger of becoming collateral damage. It doesn’t matter how great your knowledge and skills are because action beats reaction and if you’re placing your family in those areas of vulnerability you cannot control where any of those poorly aimed bullets go.  Where you must go into those areas there are mitigating strategies that time doesn’t permit me to unpack in this post.

If you’re willing to work hard you can acquire the knowledge base and skill sets to be able to protect your family and yourself.  The costs are primarily measured in time, hard work, and money.  Don’t think that your cell phone is going to save your life. In most instances that phone only serves as a distraction from you doing what you need to do to win the fight and that phone call merely lets the police know where to find your body. You cannot farm out family or personal safety.