Dangers That Confront The Engineer
Engineers are exposed to danger whenever they are assigned to infrastructural projects in rebel-infested areas or suburban areas where petty criminals abound. This is true, not only in the Philippines but also in other countries, third world or not where, peace and order conditions are weak. Engineers are like soldiers without anything to protect themselves against attack. They don’t have the specialized training to prepare them to survive an attack or assault by criminal elements.
Engineers are vulnerable to attack when they go out to buy food supplies or other personal necessities, get out of their barracks on weekends to enjoy themselves in cheap karaoke bars, night clubs where lowlifes always around. These clubs, restaurants, karaoke bars are usually located at some distance from their barracks or place of work that immediate help is not available when they are assaulted in the absence of police officers.
About Fear and Panic
“Never forget this: Fear is natural, panic is an uncontrolled fear.” I learned this from a retired officer of The Philippine Marines. Please remember this well too: “your best and most important defense weapon is what you have between your ears…”
As engineers, we are assigned to different places to either conduct a feasibility study, survey an area for a proposed power plant, build a bridge or power plant in dangerous or rebel-infested areas. This task requires us to always be alert most of the time since we are not provided with police or military escorts all of the time. If your country can give you a permit to carry firearms, then, by all means, get one! Buy a very concealable weapon powerful enough to stop an attacker. Learn how to control and use the weapon you acquired so you can shoot it well and not hit or wound innocent bystanders in case of a deadly firefight.
Majority of unarmed self-defense response requires some degree of physical strength, thus the physically weak will always be seen as an easy target by the criminally inclined. The great equalizer for the physically weak and the physically strong will always be the gun. However, in a society where a gun is looked down as a means of offense rather than defense, chances of possessing or carrying one will be almost impossible.
Soldiers are always vigilant when they are in a war zone but not very vigilant when they are in cities or urban areas buying food or supplies. Meaning, they tend to have a civilian mentally when they are in peaceful areas and rebels and kidnappers observed this and thus not threatened by their weapons kidnap them or kill them. This happened several times in rebel-infested areas in the Philippines. Civilians, on the other hand, are vigilant when they are under threat but no more after the threat had passed away. YOU MUST BE VIGILANT AND PREPARED ALL OF THE TIME! TAKE CARE, the threat to you and your loved ones’ existence NEVER ceases! An assassin can mistake you for somebody and kill you, etc. I was mistaken for somebody else several times but fortunately, they were not violent mistaken identity encounters.
The Jeff Cooper Color Code
Col. John Dean “Jeff” Cooper – Creator of the “modern technique” of handgun shooting.
John Dean “Jeff” Cooper;(May 10, 1920– September 25, 2006) was aUnited States Marine and the creator of what is known as “the Modern Technique” of handgun shooting, and one of the 20th century’s foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms. – Wikipedia
1. Condition White – Total Unawareness
People who are either daydreaming, thinking of job-related problems, listening to loud music while driving, walking with either head down or up looking at the sky, etc. Criminals have a trained eye spotting these people. They may have that mighty .45 tucked in their waist, but criminals will still see them as soft targets.
Too, because you are not aware of your safety, you tend to go to bed not checking your doors if they are properly locked and secured. You might even simply empty an ashtray, without looking for any lighted cigarette still in it, to the garbage bin.
You will die, without even knowing it in this condition.
It takes time before you can master this condition, (I mastered for about a year!) but continue doing it since it can only be achieved after you have trained yourself well on the following.
1. Train your peripheral vision. You can discreetly observe the people around you with it. You can watch and observe the expression on people’s faces and their movement as they walk near or towards you by just slightly tilting your head left or right to expand your field of view or to focus your eyes – in a split second – on something that caught your attention and by looking straight ahead and acting naturally. You can even observe the body languages of people standing on street corners or people passing you. If any man was observing you, that man will have the impression that you did not even focus your eyes on anything.
If you happen to see a stranger eye to eye, just nod. I have had noted this on Americans I meet in my country which I feel is an expression of friendliness. I now do it to any foreign nationals and also with the locals, too. Nodding also gives you the excuse of taking your eyes off them.
However, some people still don’t like it even if you nod to them and these are the people, sad to say, who might be thinking they are superior to you.
Thus, avoid direct eye contact with strangers as much as possible. Look as if they are invisible when you meet them, but watch the shoulders and hands – always. The shoulders give the signal when a man is about to strike you or about to draw something from his waist or pant pocket. A boxer’s trained eyes watch for their opponent’s shoulders and hands for subtle movements because it gives them the “big” cue when their opponent is about to give a punch.
This training will also help to minimize the so-called *tunnel vision so prevalent in case you get into a fight or you are in particular danger. You should always be aware of “tunnel vision”, which is the tendency for one to focus his eyes only in one direction. If you have perceived something different from one of the men or group of men you have discreetly trained your sight with, focused on that man and – also the others around you – don’t let him get away from your “discreet” attention if he is still within your immediate surroundings.
All animals and insects God created have basic defensive/offensive instincts to keep them from being attacked by predators. God has given us this instinct, too – to a higher degree – but unfortunately, because of the cycle of our “peaceful” everyday life, many among us have taken this for granted.
Probably, the best asset that can be learned in order to survive a deadly threat is to be aware that danger lurks wherever we are, wherever we go, at whatever time of the day or night it is: and that we need to be prepared on how to effectively react – just in case…
The Value of Preparedness
Why do we need to be prepared 24/7 for defense?
The answer is simple and straightforward: To protect ourselves and our loved ones from animals with human faces.
Do we need to arm ourselves or take up some self-defense course in order to be properly prepared for defense/offense? The answer is both YES and NO! You can be an armed pistol expert or a martial art master, but if you are not aware of what is going around you, and know not a hint of what kind of people are around you or the person you are dealing with, can get you killed! You may be a layman in terms of armed and unarmed combat, but if you pay attention to that faint voice of your subconscious – and this requires training in order to enhance it – criminals and swindlers will always find you a hard target. Research about this and ask the experts.
Treat Guns with Respect
10 Rules of Safe Gun handling
Safety starts with you
1. Treat every gun with the respect due to a loaded gun.
2. Carry only empty guns, taken down or with the action open, into your car, camp and home.
3. Always be sure that the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
4. Always carry your gun so that you can control the direction of the muzzle.
5. Be sure of your target before you pull the trigger.
6. Never point a gun at anything you do not want to shoot.
7. Never leave your gun unattended unless you unload it first.
8. Never climb a tree or a fence with a loaded gun.
9. Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or the surface of water.
10. Do not mix gunpowder and alcohol.
The Author’s Addition to the 10 Basic Rules of Gun Safety
1. Do not engage in a heated verbal tussle or argument when you are carrying a gun.
Don’t let that gun turn you into a bully while driving, while talking to strangers or when you do get into a heated argument. Remember that you have the power of life and death in your hands with that gun.
2. Never touch your gun when you and your wife, a son or a daughter is having an angry exchange of words. Just have the sense to walk away if you can’t resolve it. Everything will be resolved later in a calmer tone.
3. IF YOU OR ANY MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY IS EMOTIONALLY DEPRESS, have a big financial problem, etc., have the gun/s locked in a safe and let a trusted family member hide the key so the weapon/s will not be accessible when depression/stress becomes life-threatening.
Note: Never use a gun vault safe whose combination you have already memorized. Let your wife or your son change the combination and keep the “new” combination away from you
4. Tell your friends if they want to see that “new gun” you have purchased before you start your drinking session. Remember the #10 basic rule above.
5. When unloading your pistol follow the rule: “Remove the magazine before ejecting the round in the chamber.” This is not complete! ALWAYS LOCK THE SLIDE WHEN UNLOADING YOUR PISTOL. This will enable you to see the ammo and the magazine if you did not eject the magazine FIRST. This is not applicable, however, to guns with no slide stop.
6. As much as possible, don’t unload your gun in the dark. If you do, lock the slide and insert a finger in the magazine well and barrel to make sure it is clear of ammo. Better leave the action open until good illumination is available especially when you had had a couple of drinks.
7. Never fire your gun into the air.
8. Never shoot at anything you have not properly identified. Always give a verbal warning after you have taken a safe cover.
A father investigated noises coming from his coffee plantation. The time was 4:30 AM and it was still dark. The coffee beans were ready for harvest. Thinking that thieves are harvesting his coffee (it is so prevalent in the provinces until now in my country), he got his M-16 rifle and sprayed the area with bullets only to discover that his three sons woke up early for the harvest.
This was one of his son’s last words: “Dad what happened? Dad …love you.”