Stop Forecasting and Prepare for all Contingencies

There is a disturbing trend in the community of self-defense, shooting, and overall preparation in which many people “forecast” and try to predict the nature of the danger they may face and what that will actually look like.  This can be seen in a number of ways.

In his best-selling book The Black Swan renowned economist Nassim Taleb argues that history is shaped by “black swan” events which emerge in an unpredictable fashion, with little warning.  One of Taleb’s arguments is that trying to “forecast” what adversity may arise leaves one vulnerable to these unpredictable black swan events and instead of focusing on forecasting and prediction the focus should be on overall robustness to withstand the unpredictable.  This is exactly how a sound approach to self-defense should be built.

Stop forecasting by saying things like “after the first shot is fired the rest of the scumbags will be running for the door.”  Yes, that happens quite often, but sometimes it does not.  Sometimes scumbags post up and fight back.  Are your skills up to the task of defending yourself against the black swan criminal attack?  Also, is the small 380 auto or 5-shot revolver you carry due to convenience up to the task of finishing such a fight?  The old standby “I am not going to war, I just need to defend myself” is snazzy, but what if the war comes to you?

Stop fooling yourself into believing that the gun in your glove compartment will be accessible when you need it.  “If things get bad I will just leave and go to my car.”  Stop lowering your preparedness when in “nice” neighborhoods.  Stop thinking that a fight will happen under ideal circumstances that allow you to use your ideal skill set.

Don’t become myopic and focus only on the skills that you like best (shooting, hand-to-hand, etc…) and ignore the other elements.  Have a good skill set in awareness, avoidance, de-escalation, combatives, less-lethal weaponry, and lethal weaponry, and have some emergency medical skills.  Build a robust package of skill so that you remain ready for any event whether it be the more standard affair or the black swan of violence.

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