Since posting this, I have read more information on the events that occurred. I was unaware that the number of protesters was over 200 people, or that the sidewalk in a gated community is private property. I was also unaware that the protesters tore the gate down. I am leaving the post up because, regardless of the new information, I stand by my advice. Going outside was not the best option. I will leave this one up.
By now most of us have seen the video of a couple in St. Louis who greeted a group of protesters by steeping outside of their home brandishing firearms. Having been asked, I will give my answer here on best practices for such situations.
Before I begin, I want to stress that the odds of you ever finding yourself in such a situation is extremely small, regardless of how frightened the media is trying to make you feel. However, as much of this advice crosses over quite well for what to do in a home invasion, we will move ahead with it.
Had the couple asked me, I would have advised against them going outside. Obviously, they didn’t ask me, and I freely admit that I do not know all of the details of the event.My knowledge of the event is limited to what I have read from…yep, the news media, and from the video of the event itself. So, my advice is based on best practices only.
First off, stay inside if you can. In our time, there is simply no reason to not have security cameras outside of your house. Yes, the cheap ones are, well, cheap. You do get what you pay for. But does it really make sense to spend another $1500 on an AR-15, when a decent security camera setup is less expensive? There are some really cool ones available! You can see the entire perimeter of your home from your smartphone while you are in the bathroom!
Next, put yourself into the moment that the couple was in. A large group of people are allegedly outside of your home shouting that they are going to burn it down. If that happened to you, there is no denying that you will be going through a lot of emotions, and I am sure the St. Louis couple were. The emotional agitation is undeniable, but emotion based decision making is bad. Is it wise to step outside of your home, with a weapon in hand, with a group of protesters outside? I say no. From what I can see on the video, they were on the sidewalk shouting unkind things, but they did appear to be moving through the neighborhood. And before anyone gets all weirded out, I am not saying either party in the scene was right. I am saying that stepping outside with the guns in hand made the chances of this scene going sideways much higher.
Me? I would have watched them on security cams from inside of my home. Firearm at my side, but inside of my home. Until they actually trespass on my property, that is where I would stay. I would have called the Police once I was aware of the protest in the area, and I would have made sure that the dispatch knew of the threats to life and property that were being shouted. But angrily confronting people who are already angry is playing with fire.
These are tough, crazy times. Yes, defend your home and Family if the need arises. Don’t make bad situations worse, and don’t take unnecessary legal gambles. Stay calm, as long as you can. The calm mind makes fewer mistakes, within the limits of your experience and understanding.
Be kind if you can. Be patient. Wait out the storms. Hopefully things settle down soon. Take care of each other.