If you haven't seen the Tuscon, Arizona home invasion video posted on YouTube by now, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-gzI33CL_k
It's unlikely that the victim in this video clip was "innocent" in the way most of us are. Given the proximity to Mexico and that the participants were all hispanic, it's likely drugs are involved. I'll come back to this in a bit.
Crimes such as home invasions and residential burglaries are seldom random events. There is usually some identifiable reason, the biggest being advance knowledge on the part of your attackers. Either they know you, they know someone who knows you OR they have had some reason to notice you. If they know you or know someone who knows you, they are acting on information betrayed by you. This is easy to solve by adopting "need-to-know" - there's no good reason for telling anyone you have a years supply of food, a generator with fuel and 200 ounces of gold, and if you do you should be prepared to pay big for your loose lips.
If they just noticed you, it may be because you left the boxes that held your brand new audio gear out in the trash or that they delivered something to you and got a look inside or were simply working in your neighborhood and could see valuables through windows as they drove by. These are preventable occurrences as well.
Back to events south of the border and the spillover of these events in our country. The drug cartels are as brutal as any humans in history. The Mexican Government has suffered huge drops in revenue. The state run oil business is a great example: Not only has the price of oil plummeted, production at Mexico's giant field Cantarell is down by more than 30% this year over last as well. Millions of expatriates working north of the border no longer send money home from America every paycheck, and many have returned home to add to the burdens there. Things are coming unglued. The government, never highly effective fighting drug crime, has now lost any semblance of control. Police corruption is so rampant that one jurisdiction in Mexico recently tried buying houses for cops if they would not take bribes in exchange. (Thinking you can be the high bidder for someone's honesty has it's problems...)
Drug runners are held responsible by for the drugs they carry. If they lose a shipment, they will commit any kind of lucrative crime, often kidnapping others until they have collected enough ransom money to pay their overlords for lost drugs. Failure to do so results in death, so they act like desperate animals for good reason. These cartels are no longer shy about crossing north of the border to "conduct business."
Cartel violence is off the scale and follows the drugs wherever they are sold. The gangs operating here are brutal as well, and much better trained than one might suspect. According to an LE contact who is a gang specialist, they go so far as to recruit members who purposely keep their noses clean in order to join the military and receive special operations training. They then return home and pass that training along to the rest of the gang members. He views it as just a matter of time before the violence here rivals the violence in Mexico, and day by day the news is proving him right.
Jeff Cooper's doctrine on self-defense bears repeating here: First, I presume that your pistol is in reach as you read this. If not, remedy that and do not be caught without it again!
Second, I presume you are in yellow as you read this. If you are unfamiliar with the color code, here you are (from Volume 13 #7 of Jeff 's Commentaries, in which he restated the distilled code. This is a bit too succinct for the uninitiated, so my comments are in ( ):
"In White you are unprepared and unready to take lethal action. If you are attacked when in White you will probably die unless your adversary is totally inept." (You are unaware of people and events around you and will be caught unawares.)
In Yellow you bring yourself to the understanding that your life may be in danger and that you may have to do something about it." (The awareness produced by Yellow results in a relaxed but alert state that can be maintained indefinitely. You take in your surroundings and can quickly identify anything untoward, but you are not distracted from what you're doing.)
"In Orange you have determined upon a specific adversary and are prepared to take action which may result in his death, but you are not in lethal mode." (You have now identified someone untoward. You are paying specific attention to this threat but you remain aware of your surroundings.)
"In Red you are in lethal mode and will shoot if curcumstances warrant." (The adversary has left no doubt that he is a threat. Your gun is probably still holstered, but you are mentally prepared to present it and shoot immediately.)
Why is all this pertinent? The homeowner in the video was in Yellow. He saw his attackers coming, retreated to cover and then reacted decisively. Due to mindset, he prevailed in a fight where his attackers outnumbered him 4 to 1. Such victories are not unusual when the intended victim is in Yellow. Most attackers arrive with expectation of easy victory and will be deflated and easily defeated if you take from them the element of surprise and the advantage of aggression. Regardless of this person's probable complicity in events, he did everything right when he was attacked.
This kind of attack can occur anywhere, and sometimes it is completely random. However, our southern border areas are now a special case. Thanks to ineptitude and corruption the Mexican government has little left to say about matters. Having conspicuously failed to carry out promises of border security, we must sadly conclude that our own government cannot be trusted on this matter either. These border areas must be regarded as potential combat zones. Plan accordingly if you're traveling in the area.