HUMOR – You have probably already heard the scuttlebutt surrounding an incident that occurred early last Thursday morning wherein St. George homeowner Eric Martin, held a burglar at gunpoint until the police arrived to arrest him.
It is not the fact that Martin’s house was burglarized in sweet, safe Dixie that made his story attention-worthy. Neither is the fact that it is an excellent example of an armed homeowner using his Second Amendment rights to prevent crime. What has caused the hullaballoo is the fact reported by some media that Martin stopped the burglar and the crime all while wearing nothing but his birthday suit; that is to say, Martin was home – bare.
Let’s be real. The bare naked fact is: Crime happens – even in St. George. It is an unfortunate reality, just like how excess calories turn into fat or how wearing my Crocs turns me into a nerd. Spending five minutes on Crime Reports should convince anyone that St. George is not as sheltered as we may think it is. It turns out that idiot criminals exist everywhere, not just on television.
But just because criminals exist does not mean that they should prevail. There are many preventative measures to help make you and yours safe from an idiot invasion. They may not always work, but they might deter a criminal long enough for you to have time to reach your gun. These same deterrents are, in fact, a bonus for those who especially like to be home – bare.
First, lock your doors and windows. This seems like common sense, but as has been proven year after year, a surprising number of people do not possess common sense. Lock your doors. Like so many other things in life that take 30 seconds or less – wearing a seatbelt, taking your medication, replacing the empty toilet paper roll – it can make a big difference, especially if you are home – bare.
Trim back your landscaping. The watchword suggests trimming your landscaping, especially around windows and doors, is best. The fewer hiding spots you provide a prowler, the better. Keeping the trees and bushes away from your windows will keep the thief away from your prized Star Wars Pez dispenser collection, although it must be noted that this one can also make the job of peeping toms easier, so you might consider it carefully especially if your habit is to be at home – bare.
Close your curtains. This hampers the ability of a prospective criminal to case your joint. It also prevents your neighbors from seeing anything they do not want to see after-hours. They will appreciate it, especially when you are home – bare.
Install a home security system and then remember to arm it. Put the little sign in your yard and the little stickers in your windows. Just like the deadbolts on your doors and my treadmill-slash-clothesline, the security system does not work unless you use it. It can also alert you to unexpected family and friends helping themselves in, especially when you are home – bare.
Do not brag about your upcoming vacation or business trip. If I were a criminal I would be tempted, out of spite, to rob the homes of those who are in Hawaii, especially when they are there – bare.
Adopt a small, yappy dog. Sure, a German shepherd might be able to knock a guy down and tear out his jugular, but anyone who has spent three minutes in the company of an unfamiliar Chihuahua can attest that they are the crack alarm system of the canine world; again, very helpful, especially when you are home – bare.
Leave a radio or small light on when you are not home. This will trick would-be robbers into thinking that you are home and hit your neighbor’s home instead; it works best if it is your habit to create low light music-in-the-background ambience when, especially, you are home – bare.
Finally, except for the especial benefits enumerated above for being home – bare, if there is one lesson to be taken from Eric Martin’s experience, it is this: It is always a good idea to sleep with your clothes on. Just in case.
Ed. note 4 p.m: Per clarification of Eric Martin, the inference that he is an “apparent Second Amendment enthusiast” has been removed. Image to the story modified.
Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.
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