I’d suggest that this is a serious matter, not unlike the making of a will, and sooner or later you’re going to have to face this, especially with the new face of Britain.
“I killed a burglar – and it haunts me to this day”
Wouldn’t haunt me in the least – no compunction at all and this is the reason why below.
Every person is expected to behave in a civilised way but in that dark split second when you’re 78 years old and a 39 year old thug comes at you in your own home with a screwdriver, then what would you do?
And now the second question – what would you truly do? Honestly? Do you even know? [See the photo in the sidebar]
1. Your past – was there any military in there, are you in a profession, or have you ever been, which required quick reaction time?
2. Your own age, physical condition and reaction time today;
3. The imperative to act a fraction before he does or they do, otherwise you will be too slow;
4. Preparation – that you have left a variety of implements around the house, at strategic distances, implements which are not weapons which would interest Plod in the least but are innocuous household items you’d use on anything, such as building a boat;
5. You have adequate perimeter defences already, such that anyone inside them is fair game;
6. Have you answered the big question honestly;
7. Have you run some simulations already and tested out your responses?
The Big Question
The big question is more a series of smaller questions which you really must now face up to.
1. Would you really, if he or they came at you very quickly, surprise you in fact when your mind is on other things, both have time to grab your non-weapon and plunge it into his/their heart[s]? Have you ever, seriously, been in such a position of seeing something in your hand go into someone’s heart? I haven’t but I was stabbed when I was 22.
That is a major barrier for any human being to cross unless a nutter or victim. And behind this are a whole lot of other questions:
2. Anything you do in this situation, anything at all, is going to alter your life forever. You may have lived a life, as Boris said, of quiet, blameless domesticity, you might talk gung-ho and watch action films but when that thug comes at you, your life has been instantly changed.
3. One reason is that Plod and the State are not your friends – they don’t turn up to save you, they turn up to prosecute you after the event and give you maximum grief for their masters purposes in society. And inside that prison are Muslims and indigenous inmates waiting to poohjab you with their diseases.
You have two choices in that split second – defeat him/them and save yourself from a severe beating, torture, acid, death, then go to prison to be set upon by Muslims and locals alike …
Get a severe beating, torture, acid, death right there in your home. This is a major thing you must grapple with in a very real way.
You must be firm in this decision – no I would never stab him, yes I would stab him at the drop of a hat.
4. Are you on your own or are you protecting family? I’d suggest that the presence of family would certainly sway your decision and the firm resolve in that decision.
5. You do understand, don’t you, that if you do employ self-defence, you are then targetted by the thug’s mates forever – things will happen as you step outside the door next time [acid in the face, your vehicle’s brake cables cut] and you cannot live there in your domicile any more.
All arguments about how unfair it is, how you’ve spent decades getting to this point – these come to nothing in that split second attack.
6. I therefore strongly suggest that you sort this out in your brain now. If you are not prepared to instarespond with violence, not truly-ruly, not when it really comes down to it, then you must expend considerable time and resources on perimeter and immediate home defences which will prevent anyone from ever getting into your home. And I include a cage just inside your front door, into which the intruder walks.
7. Or else you now get real and, having decided yes, I would actually do this – now the real business begins.
The real business is to do run-throughs and practise with the various implements, putting yourself under pressure and imagining through your having to fight physical attack, right there now, grabbed from behind – your task is to get that implement into that person. There are no niceties, no “I’ll only maim”, you don’t have that luxury.
8. One of the most formidable white-anters of your resolve is that constant little voice saying that the attacker was only intimidating you, that he had no intention of actually harming you and is his death at your hands just a response to intimidation, not real threat?
Again – you have to think all this through and have made your decision before any incident occurs because in that moment when you respond, you don’t think. You certainly respond to changes in circumstances within seconds and that must also be factored in.
I’ve done my thinking and this was put into my book around 1998 when I did face physical danger every day in Russia – one slip off the beaten track and you were fair game to a local.
The book plot was just a talking out of my decision, a decision which came from my military days anyway. And yes, here’s an excerpt:
A little before five, Zhenya felt Hugh’s back stiffen. The door handle had turned, almost imperceptibly. Hugh caught his breath and a great tightness constricted his chest. Zhenya glanced behind him, then again at the balcony, like a cobra, coiled, ready to spring.
Hugh went over and over it in his brain – breathe out normally and fractionally raise the muzzle of the weapon as you breathe in, aim perfectly once at the top of your breath, take the first pressure and wait, respond to what you see – fire and in the same instant, both men must shift body position to avoid the counter shot.
No thinking or rationalizing was required, just follow the drill.
Many thoughts wanted to crowd into Hugh’s brain, all at the same time and the most insistent was whether his reflexes would be fast enough at his age. Doubts gnawed and this is what had to be suppressed.
All ‘ifs’ were to be expunged.
But what if it was only some child, going to the toilet? No, all toilets were in the rooms.
What if it was one of the workers locking up late, after a relaxing few drinks downstairs?
What if -?
No one had any business there at that hour. Anyone turning that door handle now, at this hour, as was happening right now in front of him, was 100% for the chop. His eyes remained rivetted on the door and still he breathed normally – the regular breathing from the diaphragm was important.
Had the door opened a few centimetres more?
Yes. Yes, it had. He wanted to go wee-wees but he knew he had to remain calm and the only way he could do that was to continue to breathe normally and relax, without pity.
The faintest light from the hall now crept into the room then, with inexorable deliberation, the door moved further and further ajar, painfully, slowly, silently. It moved very, very slowly.
Zhenya redoubled his own scrutiny of the balcony, he could feel Hugh’s back. They’d agreed the torso was the best bet, in the centre and he could try for the head with the second.
He could now see into the corridor.
A pale pool of light played on the carpet from the nightlight but there was still no sound, absolutely no sound.
Then came a slight rustle from the hall and suddenly the shadow of a form down on one knee filled the doorway, something in its hand …..
And so the incident happens.
I don’t believe your situation will be like that. I believe you’ll be sprung by someone in there, probably grabbed from behind and you must have your responses and breathing ready to go. This is why I admire that 78 year old – fine man.
9. My last point is a quote by John Arbuthnot Fisher, from 1902:
The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility.
It’s not unlike making love – you do it completely or you do not do it at all. Like the sucker punch, it must be done instantly or not at all. And the only way you can guarantee that you will not fail to do that is to have it sorted in your mind and to have practised, practised, practised.
And then to actually do it.
In fact, I would say that if you have a family to protect, then if you have not considered all the above, you are almost committing a crime against your wife and child.
But there are going to be implications to your action afterwards, no matter what you do. Ignore them for those few seconds.