Safety in Numbers

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by Bob (Ram) Muessig


     Isn’t it great? What I mean is, isn’t it great how RVers always stick together, always help others who may be having difficulty or may be in trouble, and always do what they can for the benefit of the RV lifestyle? Perhaps I should rephrase that question. How’s this? "Wouldn’t it be great if they (RVers) DID?" Better? I think so, too.

     There was a time when people DID help each other on the roads and in the campgrounds. You could stop at a rest area for a short nap, or for the night, and you didn’t even have to lock the doors. Nowadays, it seems that a general mistrust has infected even the RVers to the point where feelings of "I DON’T WANT TO GET INVOLVED" prevail. Sad, but true all the same.

     To protect themselves, RVers and others have taken to carrying firearms, and who can blame them? Burglars, muggers, and other criminal types break into RVs easily. In most of these vehicles, there is no backdoor through which to escape, so, if the crooks come in when you’re there, you WILL confront them whether you like it or not.

     What can you do to protect yourself, your family, and your property from this kind of invasion? There are several answers to this question - some not so good - some worse. Let’s take a look...

     First, let me say that carrying firearms is NOT the best idea in the world. The crooks may get them and then there are even MORE idiots out there threatening people with guns than there were before.

     OK then, if guns are a poor solution (unless you’re an expert - not many of us are), how about using "Pepper Spray" for personal protection? Same answer as before, but, at least, pepper spray is not fatal if it’s used against you. However, pepper spray is not LEGAL in all areas either, just as guns aren’t legal everywhere. If you don’t believe that, then just pack up all your guns and pepper spray and head for Canada or Mexico. Just be sure to send us your "prison address" so that we can write to you.

     Well, let’s use "martial arts", you know, tae kwon do, judo, kung fu, etc. If you’ve seen some of the TV shows or movies, you’ve been led to believe that these martial skills make you "ten-feet tall, invisible, and bullet-proof". Nothing could be further from the truth. Surprised? In fact, the attempted use of martial arts (unless you are highly skilled) could put you in an even MORE precarious position. Some crook gets into your RV when you suddenly jump into your most intimidating martial stance and shout menacingly "HAI! KARATE!" The frightened crook whirls to face you, yelling "HAI! THREE-FIFTY-SEVEN MAGNUM!" as he pulls the trigger, thus bringing your worldly travels to an abrupt end. You must now consider, as you embark on your spiritual journey to one "world" or another, the danger in which you have put your family. Your assailant will more than likely wish to eliminate any witnesses to his heinous crime. ‘Nuff said?

     "All RIGHT already!" you anguish. "I’ll just give in to him and let him have what he wants. At least, then he’ll go away." Maybe...but that’s another poor alternative. That crook may think that you are a wimp and want to stick around to harass, assault, or torture you "just for the fun of it". It wouldn’t be the first time that something like that has happened, but you can decrease the chances of it ever happening to you.

     "So...if all these things are bad choices, how do I protect myself and my family?" you ask. Good question. You must take an active role in your own security. How? Put locks on all sliding doors or windows in your RV. Double-lock outside doors. Leave security lights on at night in rest areas (crooks don’t like light). Install alarms (LOUD ONES) at all possible points of entry to your RV (crooks don’t like noise, either) A thief may want your stuff, but he doesn’t want attention drawn to himself while he’s trying to get it. The BEST protection of all? Don’t travel alone. Stick together (with other RVers) and help each other when you encounter difficulties. Form a "MOBILE NEIGHBOORHOOD WATCH". Carry a CB radio and keep it tuned to the EMERGENCY CHANNEL. In case you don’t know which channel that is, it’s Channel 9. At least be sure your friends are tuned in to the same channel you are, so that if one of you has trouble, the others can get help.

STAY SAFE...and have FUN! See ya’ down the road...

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