Saturday, August 19, 2023

Not Paranoid... Just Prepared

"Oh, why do you carry guns and knives and tools and so much stuff... Are you paranoid?"

No... I'm not paranoid... I'm PREPARED.

Yes, I was a boy scout, and yes I absolutely believe in the motto "Be Prepared"... Mentally, physically, and materially. 

Not just for criminal assault... I try to be prepared for whatever may happen in my life, to the extent I can be. You may not need a weapon or tool or medication etc... Often... But when you need them, you REALLY need them.

... And I need them more urgently, and more often,  than most others.... In many cases a hell of a LOT more... 

I am a long term cancer patient with other serious medical issues. I am significantly disabled. I work on or with cars, motorcycles, electronics gear, and computers a lot... And these things break a fair bit, and I'm dependent on them. In fact, I'm a lot more dependent on what I call my "support infrastructure" than others, which means I both need more of it than others, and I need to have it closer to me and easier to get to than others. When things actually do break, I have a greater need to fix things, faster, than others. 

... And then there's more specific risks and potential dangers... 

I live in a physically very hostile and unforgiving environment... A very hot desert in summer, and a surprisingly cold desert in winter... But always a desert;  where it's very easy to get into a remote area a long way, or a long time, from help.

I also live in an area where home invasion and kidnap for ransom are popular among Mexican and Salvadoran gangs; where we have fairly serious meth and opiate problem; as well as a serious problem with mentally ill and/or substance abusing homeless people. 

Just as an example, a few days ago, what appeared to be a homeless tweaker decided to try walking in my front door.

Because Im seriously ill, and significantly mobility disabled, I may look like an easy target to a stupid, tweaked, jonesing, or mentally ill assailant.

Also because of my illness and disability, I carry up to a weeks worth of opiates, adderall, and other controlled substances on my person at all times (and at times, as much as three weeks worth, more on that below), and may have up to a 90 day supply in my house. And again, accordingly may be seen as an easy, and high value target. 

And again, because of my illness and disability, I have a very high risk of... And in fact several times have needed to be... Hospitalized, without any warning or notice. At any moment I may be stuck somewhere far away from home for days or even weeks. 

Thus, I do my best to be prepared.

I sleep with a defensive AR carbine (and a bunch of mags in a handy package)  about 12 inches from my head, with a defensive carry pistol and 2 reloads next to that, and another one... My pocket gun... about 24 inches from my right hand. 

As it happens, I sleep, work, play, and watch TV all in the same spot all day (yay cancer), so I have three ready defensive firearms within easy reach at all times.

If I have even soft shorts or pants on... anything more than my boxer briefs... I have at the very least my pocket carry gun on me. If I'm wearing any pants heavier than dress slacks, or I have my bailout bag...

...(I don't leave the house without a cross body bailout bag. As noted I am seriously ill and disabled, and I may easily end up suddenly and unexpectedly hospitalized, or otherwise unable to get home for a few days. I also sometimes take long car trips or motorcycle rides that have me far away from easy help or rescue, and I'm not physically capable of hiking out of anywhere. I have to be able to last until someone can come get me out. 

Accordingly, I carry at least 3 days worth of my meds, and up to 7 days worth normally... If necessary , I can easily expand that to up to 3 weeks worth {I take more than 20 pills daily, plus several injections. If I don't take some of them for a few days, I can easily go into a coma or otherwise have to be hospitalized, or I may even die}, my med test kits and accessories {glucosimeter, strips, and lancet; plus my continuous glucose monitor, pulse oximeter, and blood pressure cuff}; a blowout, trauma, and first aid kit; CA superglue, some paracord and a couple of carabineers and clips, and some ranger bands and small bungees, along with a basic "survival kit"; a multi tool and a small but fairly comprehensive tool kit; two very powerful but small flashlights, and a second pocket knife or compact utility razor blade knife {or both. Two is one and one is none}, plus at least two different ways to make fire {usually a classic zippo, plus a modern electronic plasma torch lighter, and a firestarter set in the survival kit}; a sharpy and a pen, a small notepad, various replacement batteries, a large USB battery bank and various cables and chargers; and I usually have a Kindle and an iPad, a headphone amp and some in ear monitor headphones, a set of wireless earbuds, sometimes a handheld ham radio and spare battery etc... 

Oh and molle loops where I can hang other pouches on the outside of the bag, including straps/bottle carriers for up to two 32 or 48 oz nalgene water bottles. I usually just carry one, usually in my off hand (though I could have up to three if I use the bottle carriers, I usually don't)... Because I live in a desert, I need to take pills a lot, and my meds both make me sweat a lot, and give me dry mouth... And hitting someone upside the head with a 48oz water bottle is a pretty handy emergency backup self defense method, to give yourself time and space enough to get a more effective defensive weapon into play. I also walk with a cane, which again, is a good tool to get time and distance to better respond to a situation)... 

... Then I probably have my primary defensive carry gun with me as well. Either in a holster on my belt, or in a holster in a hidden compartment in my bag specifically designed for a holster; along with two reloads. 

... (Yes, I absolutely strongly prefer on body carry, but I have to go into and out of a lot of doctors offices, hospitals, medical testing centers, and other non-permissive environments etc... I have to take my clothes off a lot, or to wear clothes without metal etc... for medical exams and tests. I carry in the bag for that, rather than on the body, so I can either keep the gun in the bag, in sight and in hands reach at all times, or easily lock the bag with the carry gun in secure storage in my car, or in a secure locker etc...)... 

... I think you get the picture...

Yes, if it sounds like all of that weighs a lot, it does... About 12 pounds not including the water, and then if I carry three nalgene jugs, another up to 9 pounds of water.

... But everything I carry... EVERY SINGLE ONE of the things I carry... Is something that I have absolutely needed, several times. Often something I badly needed but didn't have. I don't carry any of it just to have it. I carry it because there's a decent chance I'll need it, and if don't have it when I need it, I could be in serious trouble, up to and including dying. 

I absolutely AM at a much higher risk than others, and my responses are much more limited than others, so I have to think about, prepare for, and give myself the tools, to have better response options than others. 

When it comes to potential criminal assault...  I'm too crippled to run away, so standing and fighting back is my only option. I'm damn sure prepared to do so if I have to.