First Line of Defense

I’m sure many of you have seen this story.  I actually hadn’t until my friend and trainer Craig Harper brought it to my attention this morning.

As he often does, Craig turned this incident into a teachable moment for students of personal defense.  I think it’s particularly important for new permit holders to keep in mind what Craig is saying here (and for HCP/CCW instructors to impart this message to reluctant carriers).  So with his permission, I thought I’d share Craig’s thoughts:

The Three Big Lies

You know: “The check is in the mail” and “I promise I’ll bring it back.” The third is: “The government/ police/ security/ cameras will keep you safe.”

Trusting a third party for your personal safety is a fool’s folly. Here is a vivid example. Somebody recently replaced the American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City with white flags. Here’s a picture:

White Flag

Notice the sign. Yet nobody saw who did this.  On top of that, if you have been to New York City recently, especially after 9/11, you know that there are police stationed on every bridge and at every tunnel entrance.  So, we have cops on duty and video surveillance and NOBODY saw the people responsible for this act.

I have no idea what this flag swap is all about. For this posting, it doesn’t matter. The point is this: If cops and video surveillance couldn’t prevent this incident, how likely is it that a third party is going to be able to protect you?

Personal safety is personal responsibility. You can’t delegate.

– Craig Harper

The news coverage (that there were no cameras) seems to contradict the sign, which might have been there just as a deterent.  Who knows.  Bottom line: I am eternally grateful to law enforcement for doing whatever they can to protect me.  But of course, chances are I won’t have an officer strapped to my back when the stuff hits the fan.  So the first line of defense will have to be me.

P.S.: I’m pretty sure that the point of Craig’s note — and I’m absolutely certain that the point of me choosing to share it here — has nothing to do with whatever political message or agenda these elusive banner bandits were hoping to advance.  So, let’s save that debate for another day on another blog, shall we?  Great. 🙂