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Who You Calling Paranoid?

By Dana

In the eyes of some of my friends and family, my new love of firearms and interest in personal safety, have changed me from fun loving, friendly, and “normal” to paranoid, fearful, and maybe even crazy.  How the heck did that happen?  Maybe those who now consider me "crazy" have forgotten the difference between being prepared and being paranoid. Let’s give them the benefit of e doubt and take a quick look at some definitions according to the iPad dictionary:

prepare definition of prepare
paranoid definition of paranoid
paranoia definition of paranoia

I'm sorry. I did not realize that a contingency plan was a bad thing.  If you’re having a party outside, would you not consider that it may rain that day? No one would think you were being paranoid in preparing for the possibility of rain.  Furthermore, if it did happen to sprinkle on  the day, you would be applauded for not allowing a little rain to ruin the event.

Many of us have fire extinguishers in the kitchen but that doesn’t make us paranoid it makes "smart" if a fire does occur. This leads to my question: Why should preparing for one's personal safety be any different?

Generally, I don’t fear or distrust others, but I’m getting ready just in case. I prefer to have a plan, as opposed to thinking crime could never happen to me.  Those who know me best, say I’m overly friendly, sometimes, to a fault.  My husband often compares me to the girl in Silence of The Lambs who gets into the van to help the creepy dude.  Being friendly and helpful isn't a bad thing either, but I'm working on a balance.

No one should expect that crime is going to happen to them, but to assume a crime couldn't happen, would be living as I used to, in complete denial.  I thought that because we live in a “nice” town and we don’t put ourselves in bad situations, we were "safe". However, earlier this year I was awakened by a number of incidents. Two people, I know, had their homes broken into; A friend had her purse stolen out of her car; Another friend had her GPS stolen out of her car; Not a one of these people expected that crime was going to happen to them. The last one I mentioned, had even left her car unlocked. I wonder, what if the thief had tested the knob on her front door instead? 

The fact is, crime can happen at any time to anyone. Criminals don’t care what color our skin is, what time of day it is, if we are rich or poor, and they definitely don’t care how we’ll be voting in November.  They want an easy target. Therefore, I’m educating myself, becoming more aware, and changing my mindset. As I see it, if a criminal is looking for a target, why should I be an option?  But I don't think this makes me paranoid.

Now that my perspective is changing, friends and family roll their eyes at me and poke fun. Do you know how many times I’ve been called Annie Oakley in the past few months? They may intend it as a slight but I'm honored. To someday shoot like she did, is an awesome goal I'd love to put on my bucket list.

I’m just not sure why they are disapprove.  Is it because they want me to continue to think as they do?  Perhaps they believe that by not thinking about crime, they can keep it from happening? Or maybe they want me to revert back to my old ways so that they don’t have to hear me talk about personal safety anymore? I guess it's my friendly helpful nature that doesn't want those around me to continue burying their heads in the sand.

I’d much rather have a plan and be prepared, than be caught off guard.  If the first time we  address being assaulted, is when we are attacked, it's probably not going to turn out well.  After all, decisions made during emergencies are not usually our smartest.

I will no longer be labeled as:

naïve definition of prepare
sheepish definition of paranoid
living in denial definition of paranoia

So as much as I love my friends and family, if they disapprove of the changes I’m making, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.  This is my new way of living and I’m not turning back.  I’m educating myself and, in-turn, becoming more confident and empowered... And not at all paranoid.

©2012 ArmedCandy,LLC


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