By Bill Tallen, VP Tactical Operations, Pulse O2DA Firearms Training, Inc.
America is on the verge of massive civil unrest, and San Bernardino may be only the first example of a wave of terrorist violence to come. Conventional mechanisms like law enforcement, the judicial system, and insurance policies will not cope with these increasing dangers, and will no longer provide the level of security that individuals, business owners, and communities have come to expect.
The foundation of security in this evolving situation is self-reliance – the ability to defend one’s self and family from violent threats.
The next logical step is to build upon that foundation by forming networks of armed citizens, self-organized to protect specific locales or larger communities. We spend a large fraction of our lives in the company of others, at work, in school, in houses of worship, conducting commerce, and in transit.
Private defense networks are the only practical way to fill the gap between emerging threats, and the state’s diminishing ability to protect us. Some parts of America already have the wolf at the door, or at least howling at the end of the block: Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Boston, New York, San Bernardino; elsewhere the need may seem farther round the corner – which is a very good time to start thinking about it. At Pulse we attempt to anticipate emerging conditions; to be on guard against what is not yet in sight and on the alert for what is not yet within hearing.
Prologue Sometimes Is Prediction
Given the nature of our business, it is both validating and chilling to see our predictions borne out. In order to learn from others’ experience, and leverage our preparations and actions on what we observe elsewhere, let’s take a quick look at the current situation in Sweden. This nation, once culturally homogeneous, has been a target for mass immigration from Muslim nations for years before the 2015 Syrian refugee crisis. But in the latter half of 2015 alone, 190,000 refugee/migrants have arrived, 2% of Sweden’s total population of less than ten million (equivalent to 6.4 million arrivals in the U.S.) in less than six months. The social fabric is tearing.
With this immigration has come an explosion in violent crime rates, once largely confined to cities like Malmo, which absorbed much of the earlier influx, but now occurring in small towns and villages across the country, where the government is placing refugees in “asylum houses.” Perversely coupled to this explosion in crime has been a cutback in police services, as police stations have closed, their officers consolidated in regional centers from which their response time – when they respond at all – is now measured in hours.
Sober commentators in Sweden, including their Foreign Minister, speak of “imminent collapse” and “anarchy.”
What does the educated population of a developed Western nation do under such conditions? They are not heeding the advice of our own Department of Homeland Security, which tells victims of an active shooter to “RUN” (for your life), “HIDE” (cower silently if you can’t get away), or “FIGHT” (with improvised weapons like staplers, chairs, and Bibles, but only as a last resort). Nor do they take comfort from the insipid British version, with replaces “FIGHT” (since civilized Britons don’t do that) with “TELL” – calling the authorities to share what you know, before the shooter silences you forever.
The Swedes (like many other Europeans) are arming themselves. The number of firearms permits is growing rapidly, and over half a million people now own almost two million firearms, significant numbers for a modern European country long committed to strict gun control and nanny-state socialism.
And they form private defense networks. One Swede, whose farm has been robbed three times recently, asks, “Are the State and I now in agreement that our mutual contract is being renegotiated?” The police advised her that since their resources were all on loan to the asylum reception centers in nearby cities, she should contact a local “vigilante” group. That turned out to be a group of private business owners – a private defense network – that formed in 2013 to patrol their own area after being robbed nearly every night.
A private defense network is composed of individuals who share trust, vision, and initiative, drawing together to benefit from the depth and synergy of a collective approach to security. It may arise in a neighborhood or community concerned about crime rates or civil unrest; or at a business tired of expensive security contractors providing underpaid, undertrained guards who provide little actual defense in a crisis; or in a church concerned about the mounting incidence of armed attacks on worshippers.
The first step, always, is to start with yourself – become competent in the use of firearms for self-defense, and the defense of your home and family.
If you are a leader in your place of employment, or in your church, you can begin the process of organizing a functioning network. If not, you will have to pitch the idea to your leadership, who may well share your concerns but may not have your vision of an achievable solution.
A Civil Defense
We reiterate once again that all your preparations and actions must be within the law; and that we do not envision any circumstances where private citizens, in the name of self-defense, would be justified in acting against properly constituted authority. Remember that you are on the side of civil order and the rule of law and act accordingly.
First Steps In Securing Your Church Or Business
1-FORM A SECURITY CADRE. Select qualified volunteers from within your workforce or congregation, preferably those who have concealed carry permits and can document credible small arms training. Find or develop leaders who combine these qualifications with leadership experience and ability. Identify training requirements, and establish a program for initial and recurrent training. Create, rehearse, test and refine plans for normal times and emergency response.
2-IDENTIFY THREATS AND VULNERABILITIES. Apply the logic of Threat Assessment, Site Survey, and Vulnerability Analysis discussed in earlier installments of this series, and presented in detail in Pulse’s online Manuals.
3-MONITOR & CONTROL ACCESS to your property by enhanced physical security (locks, alarms, and barriers) and by the vigilance of trained observers who can give advance warning of threats.
4-ENSURE ONSITE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE. Enlist qualified personnel and equip them to provide lifesaving care before first responders arrive.
5-COORDINATE with local law enforcement. Obtain their support for the steps you are taking to enhance your security.
For more detailed discussion of these steps, click here to sign up for a free online webinar with Pulse.
Please welcome the team at Pulse O2DA Firearms Training to the Daily Caller. This series will appear every Saturday. Over the next 10 weeks we will cover: