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!