By Mike Sherman
Over the past few weeks we have discussed gun safety, types of weapons and to arm or not to arm. Hopefully everyone has learned a few things or had your own conclusions reinforced.
All of the comments were thoughtful and informative. The goal was to start a dialog and you responded well, keeping the conversation civil and enlightening, in my humble opinion. For those of you trying to decide if you should carry a weapon in your RV, I’m confident you have gained some insight from a well-informed readership.
I especially appreciate all the positive input from retired law enforcement and military personnel. Having a wealth of personal knowledge and experience is a plus for anyone looking for answers. Your contributions are appreciated, and I’m sure helped those trying to make decisions.
Decisions regarding your protection are personal, and one should use caution when sharing your situation. Whether you carry or not, what your choice of weapon is, where you store it or if you carry it, etc., is probably best kept to yourself. If you elect not to arm yourself, it is best to keep that a secret also. Your decisions should be kept personal and private. Your friendly neighbors sitting around a campfire don’t really need to know your status. Keep ’em guessing.
Regardless of whether or not you are armed, I recommend you consider the supplemental items and actions listed below that most likely will enhance your safety:
1. Keep a powerful flashlight handy – You need to be able to light up the person knocking at your door in the middle of the night. If you can’t see them, ask them to step over to a window.
2. Consider an air horn in a canister – Three short blasts, then three long blasts, then three short blasts (repeat the sequence several times) will send out a universal SOS signal to everyone nearby, hopefully prompting a response from a friendly neighbor who happens to be carrying their own flashlight, and maybe a gun if the circumstances warrant.
3. Consider a CB radio – If you have no cell service, a CB radio could be a lifesaver in any type of emergency.
4. Use a lawn rake – I see you scratching your head. Let me explain. I like to know if anyone has been around my rig. If I’m parked on dirt, sand, etc., I like to run my lawn rake around the rig when I leave for the day and sometimes before going to bed. Makes it easy to spot footprints. Gives me information. When neighbors walk by, some ask me why. I tell them I was a Boy Scout in my younger years.
5. More than one entry? – If you have two points of entry, extend the steps for both, even if you only use one door. I watched an ambulance carry away an older woman who got up in the middle of the night and for some reason decided to step outside via the second entry, before the husband could alert her that the steps were not extended. Down she went, resulting in a broken hip.
6. Traveling solo? – Set out 2-3 chairs around your campfire … keep ’em guessing. I could go on but want to urge our readers to post their own suggestions. I’m sure we will all learn something new.
NEXT WEEK – “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
Note: We know what we discuss in this column may be controversial. While we invite your polite, constructive comments, inflammatory remarks will be immediately deleted.
Mike Sherman is a retired street cop and investigator with 30+ years of RV experience as a traveler, camp host and all-around advocate for the joys of living on the road. His articles are for general discussion purposes only – you should always consult your local authorities or legal counsel for specific answers if necessary. Write him at MikeShermanPI@gmail.com if you have questions or comments.