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ADD and Casual Conclusions

ADD (Avoidance, Deterrence, De-escalation) and Casual Conclusions

I admit, I am an addict. I like guns, the martial arts and ‘man cars’. While I may never get my ‘man car’, I do have my guns and my martial arts to keep me company. As a student of the martial arts – to include shooting – for over 54 years, I have grown quite fond of certain handguns, rifle and shotguns. I also have found that certain martial arts systems are more attractive to me and I’m sure others feel the same way. We have all seen or heard the arguments for/against the 9mm vs .45 cal. or the Weaver vs Isosceles or shotgun vs carbine for home defense, and probably even participated in a few discussions. What has generally come out of all of those debates is that people like what they like and that’s acceptable. What’s not acceptable is the over reliance on the ‘tools’ rather than developing the mental agility to avoid their use. IMHO, we have become too reliant on technology in our daily lives. Just look at all the ‘cell phone zombies’ meandering around. As a society, we have become far too absorbed in the magic of electronic devices. This has caused many to lose the ability to think through a problem - as all they have to do is ‘Google it’ or ask Siri for the answer. While this is amazing technology, it is useless in a self-defense situation. Individuals with their heads down and inattentive to their surroundings can easily become the model victim. Over the years the advice that has been given out by innumerable instructors has been to avoid a confrontation and not get involved in a fight if you can help it. Avoidance has always been preferable to physical confrontation. This is especially true as you get older as you tend to be injured more easily and it takes longer to heal. Being situationally and environmentally aware has been a common teaching point ever since the inclusion of Jeff Cooper’s Color Code in many firearms and self-defense curriculums. While the Color Code is a good place to start, we can’t leave it there. We must practice ‘active awareness’ and make it a significant part of our EDC ‘tool kit’. Deterring a VCA (Violent Criminal Actor) from choosing you as a victim is another important factor to consider. Deterrence is defined as, “the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences”. Read that again. Let's consider it in more detail. Walking down the street with a rifle strapped across your back may be a deterrent to some - while others may see it as a challenge. Realistically, we probably don’t need that level of deterrence during our daily commute. However, how we carry ourselves and our overall ‘aura’ can speak volumes to those around us. The look that says, “Do not trifle with me”, can make the criminal think twice about the consequences. If, even with all our precautions and deterrence options in place, we are forced to confront an attacker, we still can make an attempt tp de-escalate the situation. Verbal de-escalation techniques are easiest from a physical effort standpoint. Setting a physical ‘boundary’ by putting your hands up in a defensive, but non-threatening manner can also be effective. Offering an apology – even if the problem was not of your making – is another option. During a potential altercation, especially if you have family members nearby, is not the time to be concerned with your ego being bruised. Be the bigger man and walk away. Clearly, the responsibility for ‘victim-prevention’ lies with the potential victim. We can’t reach the casual conclusion that just because we are armed, we are prepared to handle any situation that may arise - you need more than one tool to build a house. Remember, the assailant will pick the time and the place for the attack. However, the more you know about your environment and plan appropriate defensive responses, the more aware and safer you become. There will be no time to ‘get ready’. You must be ready. “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready!” – James Brown to Usher





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