Yesterday was my father’s birthday. If he’d lived past 88, he’d be 120 years old today. Born in 1900, he lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. He and his father, the first of our linear family to arrive in this country, both had to shoot criminals to survive. Not surprisingly, Dad brought his only son up with a gun in his hand, and in the house and in the family jewelry store, where I carried a gun at the age of 12 when I started working there. (It was legal in that time and place. Ayoob’s Law #9: Never break the law, know the law better than the other guy and you’ll probably never feel a need to break it.) He told me that if it was just a robbery, offer to carry the cash register to the getaway car for them, but if I thought the armed robbers were going to kill, put them down first and by surprise. His teaching was the genesis of what wound up being my life’s work.
Now, during the pandemic crisis, it pains me to see that twits on Twitter and fools on the Internet are giving dystopic “kill them all and let God sort them out” advice. They seem to think “Walking Dead” was a training film instead of fantasy entertainment. Got news for those folks: history shows us that after disasters that break down society, society comes back, and applies all the rules it had before. I have an article on this very topic, with case studies, coming out in my Self-Defense and the Law column in Combat Handguns magazine, in the July-August 2020 issue.
I know none of you are gonna get all bloodthirsty and if society breaks down, put a sign up in front of your house saying “We have toilet paper, food, and booze: come and get it if you dare.”
I do, however, have to share with you something I received from my old friend John Bellah who, like me, is a retired cop in the senior citizen age bracket. He did his decades of police time in California. Speaking of the current crisis and fears of societal breakdown, he writes:
“I just read your article on the home invasion in Jacksonville, Florida. Foster Coker’s armament after the incident reminds me when Richard Ramirez (aka The Nightstalker) was terrorizing Southern California. He picked yellow, single story residences, with sliding glass doors, located within a mile of a freeway off-ramp, in a cul-de-sac. I was chatting with an LAPD buddy about how our house fit the profile except it wasn’t yellow. We kept the St. Bernard inside, Mossberg 500 under the bed and my Detective Special in the nightstand. (Back then my department limited me to .38 Special). The LAPD Copper exclaimed; ‘You son-of-a-bitch! I’ll bet you’re painting your house yellow, too!’ I replied I wasn’t repainting, but my next door neighbor’s house IS yellow—and he IS nervous.’”
If the first victim(s) of The Nightstalker had been able to reach a six-shot .38 Detective Special and/or a 12-gauge pump shotgun, the murder spree would have likely been nipped in the bud. My retired friend in California, like me, now has somewhat more sophisticated protective hardware than that.
That home invasion article, if you haven’t seen it, can be found here: https://americanhandgunner.com/our-experts/home-invasion-the-coker-family-incident/. Note when you read it that the husband and wife who had to kill the home invader immediately called 9-1-1 as soon as the death battle was over, and were treated very fairly by the justice system.
If you have panicky friends who think “Walking Dead” is about to become a documentary, tell them, “NO! At worst, it’s gonna be the Rodney King riot in LA or the looting that followed Hurricane Katrina…and our world is gonna come back when it’s over!”