Last night while at home catching up on some reading, I received the following text message from a good friend of mine, “Spoke with some LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) friends and was advised that riots and aggressive mob-mentality incidents are expected Nationwide next Tuesday and at least a few weeks after, regardless of who wins the election. Advised to stay clear of urban areas and choke points and to remain alert wherever you are. So, be careful, be safe and most importantly be well equipped.”
Now some important points to share about that text message. First, the person who sent it to me was a Law Enforcement Officer for a major metropolitan department for over 23 years. He is not someone who panics easily. He has seen everything you can think of during his long and distinguished career. For him to send that type of text to a few of his closest friends speaks volumes about the credibility of the message. Second, his message was “apolitical.” Meaning, the warning was not directed at any particular group of people. Finally, his last sentence was very clear. Be careful…and be well equipped!
It is indeed strange times we live in. However, don’t think that this is the first time in our history that such unrest and civil strife has spilled out onto the streets. Our country is an ongoing experiment in personal liberty and freedom. I once heard a respected Social Scientist quip, “…if you send even nice children out to the playground and don’t supervise them…the result will likely be violent chaos.” While that is no doubt an over-simplification of societies current ills, it nevertheless reflects today’s climate.
The Perfect Storm…
According to ACLED (Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project), there has been more than 2,400 protests and/or violent demonstrations this year in the US as of September 2020. Many of these protests start out peaceful in nature and then escalate when they are infiltrated by militant actors and out-of-State groups intent on injecting violence, mayhem and looting into the effort. Unfortunately, in many cases it is a fine line between a peaceful and vocal protest and all out rioting. It has been compared to holding a lit match while ankle deep in gasoline. One spark and such protests can erupt into community bedlam.
When you consider all of the contributing factors in 2020 that have created an almost “perfect storm,” for civil unrest, it is hard to imagine things ever getting back to “normal.” Law Enforcement feels completely impotent at this point when it comes to addressing these situations. Research indicates that civilian trust in Law Enforcement is at an all-time low. It also indicates that Law Enforcement morale is also at an all-time low.
For the first time since such surveys have been taken, the civilian population feels like they can’t count on Law Enforcement to perform their duties with integrity, honesty and professionalism…while at the same time, the rank and file LEO feels that they are unfairly scrutinized and unsupported by their management. This creates an adversarial condition between the civilian population that relies upon the Police for protection and the Police that rely upon civilian support for those efforts.
Pandemic to Pandemonium…
No doubt we have all been through a tough 2020. The COVID-19 Pandemic has only added to the turmoil we are all witnessing. Grocery shortages, mandatory mask requirements, employment disruption and social isolation have all contributed to the intensity of our stress levels. When you couple that with the civil discourse associated with a pivotal national election, things are likely to get worse before they get better.
Now we find out that even law enforcement is concerned about what the next several weeks will bring. It is for the above reasons that now is the time to think about your personal safety. Now is the time to prepare. What steps can you take to help insure you are not caught off guard by potential urban unrest?
- Set up as many of your monthly payments on-line so you will not have to travel any more than you have to.
- Purchase enough food and sundry items necessary to “hunker down,” over the next few weeks. Remember, if it is not safe for you to go to the grocery store, it means it is also not safe for the material deliveries to those stores to take place as well.
- Buy batteries for your flashlights in case the power goes out.
- Keep your car fuel tank topped off so you will not have to stop at gas stations.
- Remove any signs of a political nature from your yard immediately after the election.
- Make sure that your outdoor lighting is functional.
- Keep whatever your defensive tools of choice are maintained and ready to go if you need them.
- Plan on staying home if you live in urban areas where civil unrest, rioting and looting gain a foothold.
It is hard to imagine that we may go straight from a Pandemic to urban pandemonium…but it is a virtual certainty that this may unfortunately be the case. As an example, we have sold more Yellow Jackets in the past few months than ever before. People are concerned about their personal safety and a discreet, robust Conducted Energy Weapon that they can keep with them all the time, like the Yellow Jacket, more than meets their needs.
Whatever you choose to rely upon for your personal protection, now is the time to make sure it is fully functional and you are intuitively familiar with it. Be smart, be prepared, be careful…and be well equipped. Sage advice indeed for these troubled times.