Before I go any further on the topic of security, I should reveal that I'm not afraid of guns.
My father comes from a family of hunters, and while I've never known him to hunt, as an officer in the US Army, I know he knew his way around a gun, and there was always a gun (or several) in our house when I was growing up. We never had any lessons on the proper handling of guns, but as far as I know they weren't locked up in a safe out of reach and unloaded. In fact, I don't even recall where he kept them, just that I knew they were in the house and that it was none of my business to be touching them. So, I never did.
When my sister moved to "the big city" and was living alone, her going away present was a shotgun that she kept under her bed (reckon that made for some interesting conversations among her friends :).
When I enlisted in the Army, I became acquainted with the semi-automatic M16-A2 assualt rifle, and I named mine "Mark", saying that he always was ... on his mark ;). It was incredible, and I could feel the awesome power of this weapon with every squeeze of the trigger - inhale, exhale, hold, squeeze ... exhileration! I was a sharpshooter, and my best target was the 300 meter, which means most aggressors don't have much chance of getting close enough to bother me ;).
I'm not afraid of guns. I know how to use them, but I've also been raised with a healthy respect of the fact that guns are not toys, and that one should never become so complacent around guns that one thinks of them as such. They are weapons, and they were designed and created to mete out death.
There are those that are predicting a tumultuous and violent future. Those same people will have a lot of great information about the various weapons one may wish to invest in, and the array of choices is staggering. It is unlikely that I will ever feel comfortable advising others of the type of weapon they may wish to procure, and neither will I say that the best defense is having a gun. Guns are weapons, and they are meant for killing. If I brandish a gun, knowing that I won't be able to pull the trigger, I've made a huge mistake, because whoever or whatever is on the other side of that barrel may not have any reservations.
If one is comfortable, as I am, with guns, then have one - or six, whatever - but just don't disillusion oneself about their purpose. They aren't for "protection." They are for killing.
There are protective measures one can take, and the best has already been covered, only I called it "networking" :). A close second would be to develop a keen awareness of one's surroundings, and then, design one's surroundings with an eye toward security.
In Medieval times, castles had moats. Think of your home as your castle, and while you may not want to dig a pit around the perimeter of your yard, you might want to plant some dense, and, perhaps, thorny, plants around that perimeter. Humans tend to be a lot like water and tend to take the path of least resistance. If it's more difficult to get to you (at least in the beginning), most aggressors will go elsewhere. In the military we used concertina wire around our perimeter. It, maybe, didn't stop aggressors, but definitely slowed them enough to give us a chance to take action. Brambles are a lot nicer looking than concertina wire, but no less slowing ... unless one is Br'er Rabbit ;).
Additionally, depending on the season, anyone who might be considering attacking you for food, will see your berries, and stop there for a snack ... and then, they'll leave you alone, because they'll be full ;).
With that in mind, today's giveaway is a raspberry bramble. Well, not exactly. The giveaway is for a $20 gift certificate to Johnny Seed, and with security in mind, my suggestion would be to spend it on a raspberry plant ;). As usual, if you're interested in the gift cert, please leave a comment.
AND THE WINNER IS ...The winner of the book And the Skylark Sings With Me is Marygee. Congratulations! Please leave a comment with your full name and address. Comments are moderated and I will not publish your information.
The End is Near ... Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps this petty pace until the last syllable of recorded time. Time doesn't really seem to be "creeping", but flying, and we're almost out of it! Be sure to check back every day, and comment, if you would like to be entered that day's drawing.