When it’s Time to Give-up and Go

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

There is a competitive nature that hides within us all. Some have it stronger than others; but we all have it to some extent. Different people compete in different ways; some choosing sports, others compete in the workplace and still others compete in their family life. But we all have an inner drive to come out on top in our lives.

This competitive nature can drive us to accomplish great things in our lives, when used properly. But it also has the potential to drive us into danger as well. We may very well choose to do things that are unwise, simply because we won’t let someone else get the better of us. Isn’t that what’s behind kids “daring” each other to do crazy things?

That’s bad enough in kids, driving them to do foolish and dangerous things. But when adults are driven by that same desire, it can be even more dangerous. As adults, we can find ourselves in deadly situations, such as facing down a criminal. That’s the wrong time to let competitiveness drive us.

Granted, we don’t want to let any criminal get the better of us. But that doesn’t mean that we need to vanquish them on the field of battle either. The desire to defeat them is what can turn an already dangerous situation into a deadly one.

When You’re Away From Home

We need to be clear about something. That is, our dual responsibilities in any violent situation we might find ourselves in, is to survive and make sure that those with us (our family) survive. That’s it. We have no responsibility to stop a criminal from committing other criminal acts, of seeing that justice is served, or to ensure that they have to plead their case to God. Herein is where we can easily get ourselves in trouble, simply by thinking we have to do more than get ourselves and our loved ones out of the situation.

There are two basic ways that we can get in trouble here:

  1. We put ourselves in greater physical danger, by staying in the situation longer than necessary. Every second you or I am in front of that criminal, our odds of being seriously hurt increase.
  2. We put ourselves in legal danger, by feeling that we have to put them down. While deadly force is legal for self-defense, there is always the chance that a good prosecutor will claim that you went beyond self-defense, making the case that you used excessive, unnecessary force.

Granted, the temptation is there to be a hero and save the lives of other people. I understand that. I would have the same desire; and to be honest with you, I would probably succumb to it; once I made sure my family was safe. But the point is, that’s not my responsibility.

But my own desire to be a hero aside, your responsibility has ended, once you have gotten your family to safety. The longer you stay in the situation, the more danger you are allowing them to be in. So, the decision you have to make is: what is going to be the safest for your family? Your basic options are:

  • Take out the bad guy (or guys) quickly, so that he isn’t a threat
  • Get your family out of there quickly, so that the threat to your family is removed
  • Try and rescue others, allowing your family to be at risk
  • Stay in a prolonged firefight, endangering yourself and your family for more time

As you can see, the options aren’t real good. Even if you are willing to risk your own life, in order to be a hero, do you think you have the right to risk your family’s life for that noble purpose?

When You’re at Home

Ok, so let’s take this to another level. What if you’re at home? Does that make a difference? In states which have some sort of castle doctrine as part of the state law, you are not required to abandon your home, when faced by an attacker; but can defend it. Is that always the best decision to make?

Once again, you’re faced with the same options that I just listed. Ultimately, the answer to that question has to boil down to what is best to protect your family. If standing your ground and fighting it out with the bad guy (or guys) is the best way to protect your family, then by all means, do so. But if your family would be at less risk by bolting out the back door, then your responsibility is to get them out of there.

I don’t mean send them out of there; I mean take them out yourself. They need your protection outside as well. You don’t know what could be waiting for them out there.

This decision process can become even more complicated in a post-disaster situation. At such a time, leaving your home, because you are under attack, could mean leaving everything you need to have, in order to survive, behind. In that case, it would clearly be better to stay and fight it out; but only as long as there was a good chance that you would win.

You can mitigate some of the risk of leaving your home, in such a situation, by having a bug out bag ready. But that’s only a limited solution. You can’t carry enough food in a bug out bag to last you very long. If you ever had to leave in such a situation, you’d need someplace you could go to, where you have supplies stockpiled that you could use.

This just shows all the more reason why we all need to keep our powder dry and our survival gear close at hand.

Chris and Dr. Rich

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