The courage to live in uncertain times

Not many people in my immediate surroundings and circle of friends really and truly know what it is like to wonder about the safety and security of the place they live in. However, lately the people around me are starting to raise these questions and panic due to a couple nearby, violent home invasions, a couple gas station robberies, and an armed robbery. That last one happened not 90 yards from my flat, while the others happened a few blocks to about a mile away. And, just to think, I supposedly live on the good side of the city.

A lot of the local homeowners have been calling for increased security, the Carmelites are freaking out because it’s so close to their well manicured society, and my working poor neighbours are clucking their tongues saying, “What the Hell is wrong with these people?” in reference to the criminals doing this stuff and the rich people across the way not realising reality of the world beforehand. My fianc√© and I took a different route with sighing and upping our flat’s security. We had already installed a deadbolt and secured the door with a metal strip before, but we recently installed new electronic alarms to sound and wake us up if anyone tried to break in. We also fixed the locks on all the windows that previously had issues locking. We then installed a final touch of motion detector activated cameras both inside and outside to go with the motion activated lights.

We then took a last and final step of cleaning our weapons and filling our spare mags with ammo. While the idea of this is a bit too much for some and not enough for others, I’m rather comfortable with the fact that I’d rather be prepared and armed rather than become a statistic. I’m a survivor, not a victim, which is a very good distinction to have. I’d rather defend myself than be violated in my home or while I’m out walking to the post in the middle of the day. I will definitely not live in fear.

This courage doesn’t come from some sort of warped psychological issue, but rather a determination to live life on my terms. It’s not a violent mentality that should be frowned upon, neither. It simply stems from the decision that I will not be a victim because others are bullies. It is my job to protect my body, my home, my life, and my privacy from the utter assholes of the world that would attempt to take it from me. And I, for one, would rather go down fighting if I’m to lose those precious things in my life.

Some call this strength or lacking fear, and they would be wrong. The idea of having to fight for my life scares the shit out of me. I will not deny that one bit. However, I know that there is no guarantee that the criminals will be caught, locked away, or even reformed. There are lots of stories about criminals being released due to lack of space — just look look up “criminals released due to lack of space” in your favourite search engine. We all know that criminals may or may not be caught — and if they aren’t caught right away, they have a higher chance of doing it again. And, even if they are caught eventually, it’s possible reform will not work. I’d like to have faith in the system, but these facts are even scarier to me than the idea of fighting to protect myself and my home. So, I choose the non-delusional route, take a deep breath to steady my hands and my internal reserve while I apply the finishing touches to the electronic security system, load the spare mags, and hope I never have to use any of it. This is living with the courage to do what is necessary to live my own standards in these uncertain times with my head held high and a genuine, hopeful smile on my face.