Fellow blogger 'Officer Smith' has some cogent advice for anyone concerned about their safety and security, and that of their families. Here's an excerpt.
I'm going to say something here that is going to raise some hackles. Then I'm going to explain my statements and, hopefully, make everyone buy it. Here we go. Ready?
Buy a gun. Get a bat. Own some weapon and have enough skill to use it to save your own life and the lives of your family members. DO NOT RELY ON THE POLICE TO SAVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU.
. . .
Suppose some bad guy comes into your driveway and starts to attack you. When you (or perhaps your hopefully observant neighbor) call 911, what happens? The phone rings in some dispatch center and hopefully gets answered immediately. Now, let's assume for simplicity's sake that you are calling from your own home phone and your call is actually going to your local police. Remember that if you call 911 from your cell phone the call is usually routed to a mobile 911 call center, not to mention they will have the added chore of figuring out where you are if you're unable to tell them yourself.
Anyway, your call in this scenario is answered by your local police and a call taker begins collecting information from you such as your location, the type of emergency and what response is required. Elapsed time so far while you're getting your ass kicked: 2 minutes.
Now the call goes to a dispatcher who has to read the call, decide which officer(s) to send, and dispatch the call. On a good day: probably another minute.
So now you've been fighting for your life, or more likely laying there being beaten upon, for three minutes. The police are on the way. If an officer is immediately in your neighborhood, you may get a response within a minute or two. With four officers covering your entire city, figure 5 minutes is more likely. So you've now been under attack for 8 minutes. And that is under ideal circumstances. Longer times are far more likely. If your attacker is using a weapon of some sort you are most likely already dead or dying if that was their intent. Otherwise, they have most likely made whatever point it was they were trying to make and they have probably fled the scene. At this point the police arrive and find your bloody, beaten carcass in your driveway.
There's more at the link. I highly recommend reading the whole article. It's worth it.
His article brought three previous references to mind. One 'Street Robberies And You - The Basics', was published on the AR15.com forum, where it's deservedly become a classic. Here's a short excerpt.
No one wakes up in the morning one day and decides to become an armed robber. It is a gradual process that requires some experience and desensitizing. Before a man will pick up a gun and threaten to kill people who have done him no harm in order to get their usually meager possessions he has to get comfortable with some things.
He has to get used to seeing others as objects for him to exploit. He has to accept he may be killed while robbing. He has to accept the felony conviction for Robbery will haunt him all his life. He has to accept he may need to kill a completely innocent person to get away with his crime.
This is a process that starts with stealing candy at the corner store as a child. It progresses through bigger property crimes that may also involve violence. But one day [he] gets tired of selling his stolen property for nothing and decides it would be better to steal cash. Cut out all that tiresome sales stuff.
Keep in mind many petty thieves, auto burglars, residential and commercial burglars, paper thieves, and hustlers will get to that point and decide not to become armed robbers. Most will. It is a special group of outliers who decide threatening to kill people for a few dollars is the way to go.
Once a man starts armed robbing he has crossed a line most won't. Don't forget that when you are looking these bastards in the eye. Their decision to kill you is already made. Your life means nothing to him. Only his does. His sole motivation for not killing you is he doesn't want a murder case. He has already accepted he may pick one up though.
Again, more at the link. Please, for your own sake, go read the whole thing.
Finally, fellow blogger, fellow forum moderator and all-round good guy 'Xavier' wrote two excellent articles on personal defense back in 2006. The first was titled 'Surviving A Gunfight'.
Rule #1 Don't Get Shot! When people get shot, they get hurt. When people get hurt, their survivability dwindles. With each bullet that enters their body, their ability to survive another minute evaporates. Not getting shot is the crux of the matter. The witticisms seem to accept the idea that a gunfight is unavoidable. In fact, the opposite is true. Many conflicts that end in death are avoidable. Therefore:
Corollary #1 Don't get into gunfights! If you can avoid a gunfight, avoid it. People get killed in gunfights. They are not healthy environments to be in. The risk factors with lead flying past you are greater than the risk factors of most other endeavors. Compromise. Let the other guy win verbal challenges. Walk away with hoodlums heckling you. If you do not have to engage others in a lethal conflict, do not do so. It may be your last day on Earth, and you just don't know it yet. Luck plays a huge part in gunfights. A lifetime of building shooting skills of every type can be blown away with just a smidgen of luck, good or bad. Because you are right does not mean you will survive a gunfight. The goal in a gunfight is to survive, not to win, and not to prove you are right. People get the idea that being right is more important than being alive. It isn't. You can prove the veracity of your argument some other time, but not if you are dead. Avoid gunfights if at all possible.
Corollary #2 If you are getting shot at, make it to where you are NOT getting shot at. This may involve running away. There is no shame in running away from things that might kill you. Ferocious animals do this all the time. It is the instinct that allows grizzly bear cubs to become big bad ass grizzly bears, who may still chose to run away rather than become injured in an unnecessary fight. Distance is a target's best friend. A shooter's skill is negated by distance. The more an opponent has to chase and hunt, the quicker he will lose interest.
His second article was 'Recognizing Threats'.
To recognize threats, one has to understand how the criminal mind works. The criminal is a predator. He (or she) sees the world as having two types of people . . . other predators, and prey. Many honest gun owners like to think of themselves as "sheepdogs" but to the criminal, the sheepdog is simply another brand of predator. Like other beasts, it is a matter of survival for the criminal to prey on those weaker than themselves. To select the wrong victim is to become prey. If you want to survive in the criminal's world, you must be seen as a superior predator. Once you understand the criminal's thought processes, most attacks can be avoided simply by removing oneself from the victim selection process. There are several steps to victimization.
Both his articles are well worth reading in full, and highly recommended.
There you are. Four articles and associated comments and responses, all of which will help to keep you safe if the worst happens and you're targeted by one or more criminals. I hope that never happens; but if it does, the information they contain will help you to prevail and survive.