Self-defense in an America where laws are disregarded

Emboldened by the lack of consequences, the political left in this country has escalated from yelling at people in restaurants to physical assaults, property destruction, and even murder.  Senator Rand Paul's account of the harrowing events of the leftist mob following the last night of the Republican convention serves as another reminder for Americans to consider their personal safety.

Self-defense is often an uncomfortable topic for many.  A friend recently asked what he should do in circumstances where he and his wife are accosted in public.  Setting aside the grief that this is even a topic in our country, he referred to his own health issues as an impediment to self-defense.  My response: "The question needs to be asked and answered long before any altercation."

"What are you prepared to do?"

Now in my 35th year as a caregiver for my wife who lives with severe disabilities, I clearly understand the need for her protection — and mine.  While she cannot be left defenseless, she also cannot be left without a caregiver.  Both of her legs are amputated below the knee, and fleeing on prosthetic legs is not an option in an assault.  When flight remains impossible, fight is the only option.

If, while in an urban area (which I have no plans to ever visit again), a mob approaches our vehicle, the decision is already made.  The vehicle becomes the instrument of self-defense, and the mob endures the consequences.  When the choice is to trust one's vehicle versus the benevolence of a mob, the car wins every time.  Being pulled from a vehicle could be a death sentence for either of both of us, so one prepares for the worst.  Preparation always beats "luck."

YouTube screen grab.

Living defenseless in an America allowing lawlessness in urban areas is like playing Russian roulette.  Doing so while caring for an impaired loved one approaches suicidal.  Part of self-defense often involves owning a firearm.  Since an unloaded and inaccessible weapon is useless, a gun-owner bears the responsibility of learning to properly wield and secure the firearm.  Furthermore, if one is a caregiver, that weapon must never be accessible to an impaired loved one (or child).

When violent assault is upon you and a loved one you care for, self-defense remains paramount.  Yet the fear of legal charges leads many down an erroneous path of passivism.  If attacked by lawbreakers, caregivers themselves may be required to become law enforcement.  The legal consequences cannot be as important as survival in those moments.  At the beginning of my martial arts instructions, my instructor often stated, "I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six."

While some may cringe at such statements, serving as a caregiver provides clarity and perspective about self-defense.  Self-defense is not about bloodlust or rage.  Standing between an assaulter and a loved one in a wheelchair is not about hating the one in front of you, but rather loving the helpless one behind you.

The challenge is to prepare for those moments long before they arrive.  For an increasing number of Americans, those moments are here.

The left continues the absurd desire to defund the police — which makes pillaging and plundering much easier.  Yet, in a world where elected officials fail to discharge their responsibilities while receiving cover from a compliant media, one cannot solely depend upon the protection of even fully funded police officers.  Ironically, the same terms used to describe law enforcement also describe the role of a family caregiver: to serve and protect. 

Family caregivers are often the first — and last — line of defense for the most vulnerable among us.  Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to be prepared.

Peter Rosenberger is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program Hope for the Caregiver.  Peter is a 2nd Dan in Hapkido. www.hopeforthecaregiver.  

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