Sunday, April 3, 2011

Barbed wire is misunderstood

"Inside the Wire" is a military slang term meaning the enemy is not just on your doorstep; he's breaking through the door!

"Oh jeez! What's he going on about NOW? Are we supposed to wrap our homes in barbed wire to keep the barbarians out?"

Well maaaaaaaaybe, kind'a sort'a; you see a home invasion is like an ambush in reverse.

In a classic military ambush (or a street mugging) the attacker(s) lie in wait and strike the victim(s) as they move past.

A good ambush is over before the victim knows it has started. With ambushes the purpose is always the same: overcome the ambushee, with overwhelming force, before he can recognize the threat, reorient to oppose the threat and react to the threat.

In SWAT team raids (and home invasions) the role of the mobile party is reversed. The attacker is on the move and the building's occupant(s) are the ambushees. But the attacker's goal is still the same: overcome resistance before it can form.

Why? Because given sufficient time to recognize the attack and organize a defense almost any attack can be thwarted. Whether it be by rallying the troops on hand or calling for reinforcements; if the attacker can be stalled the attack, no matter how well planned, can be defeated (as stupid generals proved over and over and over again in World War One with hours – sometimes days long – artillery bombardments of enemy positions prior to going "over the top").

Barbed wire is misunderstood. The purpose of barbed wire (nowadays razor ribbon) is not to stop the enemy's attack, but rather to delay the attack and give the defenders time to react. So, what do you do to keep the barbarians at the gate and not inside the "wire" that protects your home?

As I pointed out in an earlier article home invaders often try to con their way past your first and best defense: your door. Failing that they'll try to break in.

We have iron barred gates (they also serve as screen doors) on the outside of all our doorways so that we can open the inner wooden door without opening ourselves to attack by whoever is knocking at the iron gate.

You should have iron gates on your doors too. They not only prevent home invaders from rushing you as you open the door to see who's there, but they also discourage burglars because he sees he'll have to break down not one but two doors to get inside.

Bars over windows (or at the very least cactus, rose bushes or other prickly plants under them) also discourage burglars.

Remember the old joke about the two hikers who find themselves suddenly confronted by a hungry bear?

The first hiker says "Let's run!"

The second hiker says "What's the use? He can run faster than either of us."

The first hiker says "I don't have to outrun him; I only have to outrun you!"

And so it is with burglary and home invasion in your neighborhood. You don't have to live in a fort, just put up enough "barbed wire" to make the criminals look elsewhere for an easy score.

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