Sunday, April 14, 2013

Modern Survivalism : Getting your Family On Board

Hi Fernando.
I want to start of by saying I'm a big fan. I watch your videos almost everyday.
I am a highly trained member of the usa army. I am very big on self defense. I am currently stationed in the usa and visit/ communicate with my family everyday to make sure they are ok. I am deploying over seas at the end of the month. I offered to buy each member of my a family a firearm and send them to shooting class. They have all declined saying they don't believe in guns or weapons for that matter. And they believe they don't have to develop survival skills.
My question is do have any ideas or tactics on how I could encourage them to take self defense more seriously or any ideas at all on actions I can take to make sure they are safe before I deploy and while I'm away?
Thank you,

Hi Matt,
This is a common problem that many readers experience themselves.
It seems that for the lucky ones, the family, parents or spouses, simply “tolerate” their little hobby. They are not at all involved but see it as harmless so they put up with it even if they have no interest in it themselves. For others, they end up either not doing much preparedness or hide it from their families that see it just as a waste of time and money. It seems that few are lucky enough to have their family on board.

The problem is that for some important preparedness steps such as home and personal security, you need your family to be on board. It’s of no use to have an alarm, good locks and doors if the rest of the family won’t bother to locking the door every time. Family Preparedness should be a team effort and it is important to have the on board. If you’re the only one that remembers restocking the food you all eat, the batteries that others just use up, it can become frustrating to have all the weight on your back and no one helping.  

Something along those lines happens with firearms as well. You may be a good shooter,  get the training and know what to do, but that wont help a family member that doesn’t know how to handle a gun and is alone to deal with an intruder.
Right after getting married I explained to my wife where I was keeping my Glock and how to use it. She listened but I knew guns weren’t her thing. A few weeks later I came back home to find the Glock on the table next to my wife. Someone had tried to open the front door and she went for the gun. Luckily the door was of course locked, and whoever it was didn’t try to force it beyond that.
My point is, in some cases its only when an actually incident hits close to home that people react and start taking it seriously.
My advice would be not to force it, and try going little by little. It’s a good idea to start with an informal plinking session if there’s a fear of guns, and bring up and mention whenever you see or read about a crime incident in your community. This can be very effective. Some people just unconsciously seem to ignore crimes and other violent incidents around them, and its only when you start mentioning it that they join the dots and realize “hey, we better do something to improve our security situation”. 

Being overly dramatic or going for fear mongering can have the opposite result, or bring unnecessary fear and stress to the family. Just keep it real, go little by little winning one small battle at a time.
Regarding other aspects of survival and preparedness try finding common ground. Going out for a walk is a nice family activity. Soon enough you find yourself doing nicer hikes with them. Suddenly that jacket isn’t as warm or that shoe isn’t as good for longer walks as initially thought.  In terms of supplies, it makes sense to buy in bulk when cheap and stock up, and nothing beats producing a can of tomato sauce of roll of toilet paper from your stock when everyone else thought you had run out of it. Its in those moments when the family sees the wisdom in it.

In your case, you do have a leverage tool- You can use guilt to at least get away with some of it. Oh, yes, its a cheap shot but hey :-). You’re deploying anyway, right ? I would go for something along these lines: “I’m leaving soon and as a favor I would feel much better if I know you can at least protect yourself. Just a trip to the range for some basic instruction and you can just leave it in the safe after that, but I’ll feel better knowing that you not only have it, but at least learned its basic handling and fired it once."
Good luck!



AnonH said...

How I got my girlfriend shooting: I brought her to my Cowboy Action Shooting club.

If you don't know, CAS or SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) is a very family friendly group; one of the only shooting clubs you will find that has a significant number of female participants.

Those women shooters just took my girlfriend under their wing, and talked her through all of her fears of firearms. It was like having a few big sisters around, helping out their little sister.

In addition, we were shooting old fashioned revolvers with low recoil ammo, which is about as beginner friendly, positive stereotyping as you can get in the firearms world.

My then girlfriend (now wife) went from having an irrational fear of firearms to getting her own concealed carry permit within the space of a few years. And it all started with those women in my CAS club.

k said...

Most likely your family has been brainwashed by decades of watching the boob-tube and have gotten fat at the same time while getting obese from CONsuming soda-pop and junk food. If you had the time, you could try reasoning with them, but you don't have that.

You could dump them and try and get a better family. That too would take time, which you don't have and won't have for a while. If you get lucky, it would be worth it. You could also wind up alone, or if you are unlucky or not careful, get a new family that is also unsatifactory.

Or you could take take drastic action, such as staging an realistic nighttime attack on your house before you leave. Such an attack would be crime, most likely a felony. If you fail, then your life will be forever ruined. Even if you don't get caught and succeed in getting them to practing shooting and self-defense, they may after a couple of months slack off and resume watching the tv and eating garbage.

You could do nothing more about it and concentrate on improving your own personal lot in life. This option may be easier to do than the other options. No need to commit extra felonies or risking self-induced heart-ache.

Don Williams said...

1) It is not clear from Matt's letter where his family is. If they are civilian dependents
living on a military base then they probably won't be allowed to have personal firearms
unless those firearms are kept secured in the base armory --not in living quarters.
Although he obviously would know more about the local regulations than I.

2) If they are parents, spouse or family living off base then the situation is different, of
course. But , as Ferfal noted, protection in that case involves a lot more than basic firearms training (awareness, surveillance detection, locks, alarm systems,
anti-carjacking tactics,etc.)

3) Matt might step back and analyze the possible threats to his family, their probability and what are reasonable countermeasures to take. What the executive protection guys do.

4) His local MP unit may have
someone who could provide a lot of good advice on this and who could possibly speak to Matt's family, maybe only for the price of a few drinks.

5) Some of the best protective services out there are in the US Army Military Police units. People think of them as guys with batons beating on drunks but they are much more. They don't police civilians --they police soldiers. In a foreign area, they are responsible for dealing with enemy special forces like the
Soviet Spetnez (with the help of borrowed assets like Army Aviation--e.g, armed helicopters.) They handle counterterrorist/force protection and are bodyguards
to key personnel (generals, some intel officers, etc.)

When I worked on an army project decades ago, I remember the
infantry guys grumbling over the MPs having weapons (automatic grenade launchers)that even the infantry didn't have. One former MP I knew had been trained as a sniper. When you see a news photo of a general getting off the airplane in Kabul, look at the
guys in diamond formation around him --and those are just the visible defense.