Self-Defense of home and property can look completely different from person to person. As a follow-up to yesterday’s LL Cool J incident, I wanted to take a look at home invasions and property protection a bit further in-depth. There are a lot of factors that come into play as to how you choose to defend yourself and your belongings. Family and friends, children, pets, and personal property all come into play when taking a stand in your defense. Whether you live in a single family home or an apartment or condo makes a big difference, too. The cost and quality of your personal effects and, more importantly, their sentimental value or how hard and long it took you to acquire them.
If you live in a rental unit, whether it be a house or just an apartment, there is usually far less pride and care you will have for that property. That’s good and bad all at the same time. What’s good about it is that there is rarely any type of sentimental attachment or built up pride in the domicile. It’s not usually on your own dime if there is any damage to the overall structure or well being of the grounds.
You most likely care very dearly about the contents and people living with you, but not the property because it’s not yours. This lack of personal attachment is good, but, at the same time, also promotes a problem. When you don’t own the property you live in, you tend not to care about it much. If you don’t care about the interior, exterior, and grounds as much. This can lead to laziness in the upkeep of your environment.
Failing to upkeep your house and property can shoot the probability for home invasion or burglary way up the statistical ladder. Having overgrown garden shrubs and bushes can pose for easy hiding places for criminals. Faulty lights and electrical mechanisms for gates can prove to be the invitation that bad guys were looking for. If you have the idea that a rundown property will get a pass from the perps, think again. You might just be creating the opportunity for a violent attack to occur against you or one of your family members. Rapists are just as much of opportunists as robbers are.
If you live in an apartment or condo, leaving the blinds open all the time or a bunch of prime merchandise on your deck is an invitation to burglary and theft. I had a client get an expensive bike stolen off of a second story balcony. The intruders just brought a ladder one night and climbed right up. The bike was always in plain site, but the people thought that being on the second floor was enough of a self-defense against any crime. For the record, this wasn’t a bad neighborhood, either. It was just five minutes outside of Beverly Hills, CA.
If you live in a single family home, you have a chance to acquire a lot of things. Not just a bigger TV or multiple cars, but the tools, art, china, and the list goes on and on… But just because you own it, would you actually desire to defend it with your life? I’m not talking about your wife, kids, family, and loved ones. Yes, even fluffy the cat or fido the dog, too. I’m talking about the stuff like electronics or doodads that could possibly be worthless in less than 5 years.
I believe that every person has a right to defend their property. Though, I do question what it is that people consider to be potentially worth more than their life. Would you put yourself in front of a bullet for your car? A lot of people do during a car jacking. Would you stand between a knife and your purse or wallet? Is it really worth rolling the dice on your life for those types of personal possessions? I’m just asking the question, so don’t shoot the messenger if your answer is a resounding “yes.”
Many people put themselves in harms way everyday to protect what they possess and believe in. I don’t question anyone’s right to take a stand and fight to defend what is rightfully theirs. I honor it. I do suggest before putting your life on the line that you truly gauge whether it is potentially worth dying for in a violent attack. Defend your family to the death, but please – let the bad guys take your rolex… fake or not!
Was LL Cool J’s use of Self-Defense the right thing to do in stopping the intruder in his home? LAPD responded to a 911 call made shortly before 1 a.m. on Wednesday August 22, 2012 in Studio City. LL Cool J had reportedly caught, taken down, and restrained a male intruder having just broken into his family’s home. Supposedly his whole family was home, as his daughter made the call. Did he put his family at risk by his actions?
Personally, I think LL was just plain lucky. He was lucky there was only one intruder. He was lucky that he was unarmed. And he was most certainly lucky that it wasn’t a professional job and that the whole thing wasn’t a set up to let his guard down.
I know LL is completely ripped and in awesome shape, especially at 42 years old. In addition to his extreme physical workout regime, I have heard he has had extensive boxing and MMA training. I’m also sure he has done his fair share of stunt work on this military police show – NCIS Los Angeles. The thing is, none of that is real world experience for how to handle yourself when it comes to true self-defense.
In fact, Hollywood stunt acting is about as far in the opposite direction that you can go. Now, Uncle L did grow up back on the east side of New York, Queens to be exact, so I’m sure he is no stranger to the way the world really works. I don’t know how tough his hood was, but I can bet you he knows how to handle himself. But chillin’ around the way is a big difference to protecting your now celebrity self from a violent attack. I know “Mama said knock you out…” and he did, giving the intruder a broken jaw and nose. But, LL is famous now, and that comes with a different set of responsibilities in protecting his famous family, too. He needs bigger security, better protocols, and more advanced self-defense mechanisms in place.
What should you do if you ever encounter a similar situation? Let’s take a look at this situation, taking into account that money is a factor and we want to protect our family and our bank account at the same time! Here are some simple questions you can ask and effective steps that you can take in stopping a home invasion before it even starts:
1. Be the brightest home on the block. Bad guys are like roaches, they hate light. So let them scurry to someone else’s house instead of yours. How can you go green and still get the job done? Utilize solar powered garden lights. They might cost you a bit more money upfront, but they will be worth it in the long run. Plus, solar is low maintenance and easy to install. Also look at motion activated lights. There is nothing more deterring to a bad guy than to think that he has been caught before he even commits a crime.
2. Don’t forget to always lock your doors. This may seem overly simple, but there is more than one time that police have responded to a situation that involves no forced entry. It means that the home invaders either had a key or walked right in an unlocked entryway. This goes for windows, too. Sometimes locks on the windows can be faulty and an intruder can just slide the window open simply by applying pressure to the glass with both hands. There’s a fast, effective, and almost free way of solving this using dowelling that you pick up from a hardware store.
3. Realize that the most important aspect of your alarm system is not the siren. It’s the set-up, monitoring, and response. There is a lot you can do in this area. Do some very good research online into the response times and actions of alarm companies in your area. There are always the big national players that have coverage nationwide, but there is also usually smaller, more responsive regional companies, too. Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. The accuracy and advanced technology that is available these days is only a factor if the security company actually utilizes it to their customer’s advantage.
4. What’s your action plan? Again, this is something that sounds overly simple, but is something that almost nobody ever does. Put together an action plan for your family. Even put it to the test. Because if you have some dry-runs through it, you will find the potential holes in it and be able to mend them. Also, it allows everyone in the family to familiarize themselves with it too. When it all hits the fan in a real emergency situation, that is not the time you are going to want to find out that the plan doesn’t work or no one remembers it. Also, realize that the more you can condense the plan to work for various different emergency situations, the better it will be in standing up during a real crisis.
Now, as far as the invasion of LL Cool J’s home, I believe he has every right to protect it any way he sees fit. I am just concerned about people getting the right type of training to protect there family and their home. This intruder that broke into his house was supposedly just a transient and LL overpowered him with ease. But, just because he was a vagrant, doesn’t mean the home invader wasn’t going to fight back. Had he done so, what would LL have done? What would he have done if the vagrant had a knife or a screwdriver (a favorite among those who live on the street)? What would his actions have been if there was a dirty blood-laden syringe involved? How would he have handled it? Could he have handled it?
It was lucky that nothing like that was involved, but those are the questions you have to ask yourself. Then take the time to search out the answers and the proper training to insure that you are applying the best self-defense to the situation. Your own life and the lives of your family and loved ones are at stake. You need to mitigate the risk involved in those violent situations. You need to be prepared with the best personal protection possible.
All self-defense programs are not created equal. Heck, a lot of them don’t even cover the basics in real world self-defense. They focus too much on history and belts, making them more like every other made-up martial art — the other MMA. Seek out the best source for self-defense instruction and a reality based training environment. If when you get there the guy is wearing pajamas (a gi), leave. If the guy has more degrees than a doctor, leave. If the guy talks about forms and kata, run out of the joint as fast as you can. Because in every one of those situations all you will do is lose your money and possibly lose your life if you try what they say in a real violent attack. Your life is worth more than the bullshit that they are selling. So don’t get sucked in and do yourself a disservice. Get real self-defense training.