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Author Topic: Get Insurance!  (Read 9082 times)
Bradley Proctor
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« on: October 08, 2008, 02:08:57 AM »
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About two weeks ago two men broke into my home, with my wife and I inside.  We were in the living room and thought we smelled smoke.  My wife jumped up and went to the kitchen and I was right behind her.  As she turned the corner, they grabbed her and threw her to the ground.  Before I knew what was happening I was beaten down and lying in a pool of my blood.  They tied us both up and proceeded to ransack are home.  Fortunately, they were gentle with my wife apparently not seeing her as a threat and didn't tie her up very well.  My wife, in all her bravery, told them she had jewelery in the back bedroom closet, when they went back there, she untied herself and ran to the neighbors for help and called the police.  When they realized she had left they grabbed what they had already bagged up and ran off in a hurry.  I suffered a broken nose, large laceration to the face, and some cuts and bruises but otherwise alright and healing quickly.  My wife was not hurt.  I owe her my life as being gagged and having a broken nose makes it almost impossible to breath.

They stole just about every bit of photography equipment I own and a bunch of other stuff as well.  I learned the hard way that insurance is cheap and definitely worth it.  Just wanted to remind everyone of the importance of having insurance on your expensive camera equipment.

More importantly, things can be replaced, lives cannot.  Be careful out there.  I've learned many lessons from this ordeal.


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John Clifford
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2008, 03:05:31 AM »
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That's a truly horrible story, and I hope that you and your wife are recovering from this incident. Take comfort in knowing that your wife's brave actions kept it from perhaps being a lot worse.

In a previous business I spent considerable time dealing with law enforcement, and the stories I've heard would make most people very afraid, because most people are decent and see others as like themselves. They can't comprehend what criminals are really like, and what they are willing to do to their victims with little or no provocation.

The one advice I can give folks, besides 'get insurance' (which is good advice), is that unfortunately in today's world we have to worry about things like home invasions. From the story above, it appears that either the back door wasn't locked, or if it was defeating the lock was easy and quiet. In order to be secure in your house, you MUST make it difficult for anyone to get in without alerting you and giving you time to react. The first rule is to ALWAYS keep your doors locked... ALWAYS! Ensure that your doors are stout enough so that it will take more than one kick to get them open, so you have time. Most bad guys aren't looking to make a lot of noise, or to alert folks. If a door looks solid and it's locked, they'll move on.

Making it impossible for someone to get into your house without considerable effort and noise is the single best thing you can do to protect yourself at home. Think about it: what good will a gun do if you wake up because a criminal has just grabbed you by the throat? (I'm a believer in law-abiding folks owning a gun for self-defense, but guns are only part of a successful self-defense strategy and will do you little to no good if the bad guy can walk up to you in your bed while you are asleep -- if your only chance for survival is to somehow get to your gun at this point, you are in dire straits indeed.)

Every exterior door should be solid, with deadbolts that go deep into the doorjambs. Put peepholes in your doors, and don't open up the door to people you don't recognize. If you live in the country and the police won't respond for a while, consider getting a dog to alert you... and some sort of self-defense weapon. Many people put a solid, exterior-grade door with deadbolt on their bedroom door, or if they have kids they separate the sleeping area of the house with such a door. Keep your cellphone in your bedroom; a criminal can disable your landline phone by merely taking the phone in the kitchen off-hook (try it and see how you can no longer make a call on an extension), or pulling the wires out at the outside junction box. If you're not comfortable with a gun, get pepper spray (get it even if you are comfortable, because you can use it in situations where you can't use a gun). If you do own a gun, make the effort to understand the law and when you can and cannot use that gun legally. And, take a class... having a gun no more makes you armed than having a camera makes you a skilled photographer.

If, having taken these precautions, someone breaks into your house, you will hear them. The people who break into houses when they know the residents are inside are the most dangerous criminals. Your strategy should be to ensure your family is behind that strong locked door (in your bedroom or between sleeping and living areas), and call the police. If the criminals insist on breaking that door down and entering your safe area... well, that's why you have the gun. DON'T go out looking for them... that gives the advantage to the bad guys. Your insurance will cover lost property. Your goal is to ensure that your family stays safe.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008, 06:12:05 AM »
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I carry my Smith & Wesson Insurance on me.

I'm VERY glad it didn't turn out worse for you.
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spidermike
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008, 01:03:00 PM »
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You have my deepest sympathy. Only a week ago our house was broken into  - we were asleep upstairs and we think they broke in to get the keys to our cars: one was a relatively new Ford Focus ST2 (a souped-up hatchback) and the other a 6-year old Honda and both went missing. My wife's (work laptop her purse and a set of all house keys were probably opportunist extras!) Although we have a dog, he does not bark much but both the police and the guy who fits our alarms both said he is probably the reason they did not move out of the lounge (the door was shut but they probably heard him moving around). So he may be doubtful as a guard dog but he seems to have been helpful. We were unhurt and there was no damage so we were lucky - I would probably have been more upset if we found they had been wandering around the house around us in the dead of night.

Our story does not compare to yours but it is a salutory lesson and I agree that having insurance can help soften the blow.

I wish you both all the best on your recovery.
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Petrjay
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2008, 09:59:43 PM »
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Bradley, I'm happy to hear your ordeal ended as well as could be expected. If your living circumstances allow pets, I'd second John's advice about a dog. You don't even need to buy one - animal shelters are full of homeless hounds that would be more than happy to keep your premises safe. And unlike guns, they can never be used against you by an intruder. As our plumber recently said after meeting our canine security staff: "no sane person is every going to come into this house uninvited." Again, I'm glad you're both OK.

Peter Jacobson
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2008, 11:37:20 PM »
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Quote from: bproctor
About two weeks ago two men broke into my home, with my wife and I inside.  We were in the living room and thought we smelled smoke.  My wife jumped up and went to the kitchen and I was right behind her.  As she turned the corner, they grabbed her and threw her to the ground.  Before I knew what was happening I was beaten down and lying in a pool of my blood.  They tied us both up and proceeded to ransack are home.  Fortunately, they were gentle with my wife apparently not seeing her as a threat and didn't tie her up very well.  My wife, in all her bravery, told them she had jewelery in the back bedroom closet, when they went back there, she untied herself and ran to the neighbors for help and called the police.  When they realized she had left they grabbed what they had already bagged up and ran off in a hurry.  I suffered a broken nose, large laceration to the face, and some cuts and bruises but otherwise alright and healing quickly.  My wife was not hurt.  I owe her my life as being gagged and having a broken nose makes it almost impossible to breath.

They stole just about every bit of photography equipment I own and a bunch of other stuff as well.  I learned the hard way that insurance is cheap and definitely worth it.  Just wanted to remind everyone of the importance of having insurance on your expensive camera equipment.

More importantly, things can be replaced, lives cannot.  Be careful out there.  I've learned many lessons from this ordeal.

Gosh, Bradley; my thoughts are with you and your wife for a speedy recovery.

Bruce
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alainbriot
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2008, 11:45:07 AM »
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Gosh, Bradley; my thoughts are with you and your wife for a speedy recovery.

Bruce

Scary.  I am glad you came out of this "OK" and I hope you can put it past you and continue doing your photography.  I decided to move to a gated community and now live in a  home with a built in, high end a security system in part because of these concerns.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 11:45:44 AM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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Farkled
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2008, 07:10:53 PM »
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I'm very glad you came out of this alive.

My observations:

I have a large German Shepard Dog whose mission in life has become guarding the grandchildren.  He would be a terror if the grandchildren were here overnight as they often are.  Also have a Tibetan Spaniel, who like most little dogs, will yap unceasingly about not much.  That pretty much covers the alarm aspect.

I have firearms, but not readily available because of the aforementioned grandchildren.  I need to deal with that conundrum.  I also need to get a shotgun because most slugs will go thru my house, the neighbor's house and maybe the neighbor.

Most homes, especially single story, are quite indefensible.  If someone want to throw a brick thru your window, they are in.

Maybe half of 911 calls do not connect or are left waiting.  Even if the call goes through, you may be looking at a 5 - 10 minute response.  You are essentially on your own.

Baseball bats may be good.  Funding Police & Fire is good.
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dseelig
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2008, 10:54:10 PM »
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Smith & Wesson well all I can say is using a gun in situiation you have never been in is alot different then watching a dirty harry movie. For those without insurance call the hartford great  professional insurance, home owners is generally a joke. Bradley I hope you heal fast and never have such a horrific event again in your life. David
Quote from: Farkled
I'm very glad you came out of this alive.

My observations:

I have a large German Shepard Dog whose mission in life has become guarding the grandchildren.  He would be a terror if the grandchildren were here overnight as they often are.  Also have a Tibetan Spaniel, who like most little dogs, will yap unceasingly about not much.  That pretty much covers the alarm aspect.

I have firearms, but not readily available because of the aforementioned grandchildren.  I need to deal with that conundrum.  I also need to get a shotgun because most slugs will go thru my house, the neighbor's house and maybe the neighbor.

Most homes, especially single story, are quite indefensible.  If someone want to throw a brick thru your window, they are in.

Maybe half of 911 calls do not connect or are left waiting.  Even if the call goes through, you may be looking at a 5 - 10 minute response.  You are essentially on your own.

Baseball bats may be good.  Funding Police & Fire is good.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2008, 11:07:44 PM »
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Yes it sure is, but no one is talking about the movies.  You have no idea what training anyone here has, or background information.

I have a dog as a wake up call.  My doors are always locked even when I'm home all day.  Every door has a deadbolt too.  Unless I am doing children portraits, I am never out of arms reach of a pistol, to fight my way to a rifle.  It's not macho BS, it's simply being prepared and trained for every situation possible in life.

There are plenty of situations I have not been in and hope never to.  That doesn't mean I'm not prepared to the best of my ability for them.

Firearms for some is more than something to say they have.  For some it's a hobby, others a living, others a way of life - many still a mix of all three.

Last night the cops rolled up in front of my house to talk to me and the kids next door that were in the driveway - a house behind us was robbed and they were questioning everyone that may have seen something.  Shiiiit happens.  Be prepared or be lucky.
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geotzo
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2008, 02:12:32 AM »
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Quote from: kaelaria
Yes it sure is, but no one is talking about the movies.  You have no idea what training anyone here has, or background information.

I have a dog as a wake up call.  My doors are always locked even when I'm home all day.  Every door has a deadbolt too.  Unless I am doing children portraits, I am never out of arms reach of a pistol, to fight my way to a rifle.  It's not macho BS, it's simply being prepared and trained for every situation possible in life.

There are plenty of situations I have not been in and hope never to.  That doesn't mean I'm not prepared to the best of my ability for them.

Firearms for some is more than something to say they have.  For some it's a hobby, others a living, others a way of life - many still a mix of all three.

Last night the cops rolled up in front of my house to talk to me and the kids next door that were in the driveway - a house behind us was robbed and they were questioning everyone that may have seen something.  Shiiiit happens.  Be prepared or be lucky.

I honestly have no intention to offend anyone, but there is a question that keeps rolling in my head when I read this topic and some of the replies: "which part of the world do you people live?". I mean... guard dogs, firearms, weapons, triple locked doors, special trainings etc. Is it really so bad? Are you in such a real danger and the potential of getting robed, bitten and raped so great? If so I could not stay in a place like that for the rest of my life. I would seriously consider to move out in a more civilized place where I and my family could live peacefully, because in my dictionary the culture of guns bring neither civilization nor peace. I sleep with my doors and the windows open, when weather is hot, I carry no gun and I will never own one, I fear no neighbors or strangers and I still fill safe. Yes I was robbed once years ago, but that is no reason to get a canon at the front door and blow up anyone who trespasses my property. I served my country in the special forces for a couple of years and I one thing I learned well is that violence will only bring violence and that game has no end and no winners, it simply takes us nowhere. If I was a thief and I was about to get in a house of someone with a gun, I would make sure I'd carry something bigger and also, usually, serious thieves can use it better than a simple citizen, because crime its their "Job" and maybe they are god at it. I am very glad nothing more serious happened to our friend and would like to express my sympathies, but getting insurance in a high crime area will only be a small relief. I moved away from the city years ago, because of the pollution and the noise and never looked back. If you can, think that possibility. Will sleeping with a gun under your pillow bring calm and happiness, peace and quietness? I think not but if someone thinks yes, maybe something is not right up there.
My best sympathies,
George

p.s. please accept my apologies if in any way I have offended anyone, for something I have misunderstood.
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2008, 02:57:10 AM »
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Quote from: geotzo
I honestly have no intention to offend anyone, but there is a question that keeps rolling in my head when I read this topic and some of the replies: "which part of the world do you people live?". I mean... guard dogs, firearms, weapons, triple locked doors, special trainings etc. Is it really so bad? Are you in such a real danger and the potential of getting robed, bitten and raped so great? If so I could not stay in a place like that for the rest of my life. I would seriously consider to move out in a more civilized place where I and my family could live peacefully, because in my dictionary the culture of guns bring neither civilization nor peace. I sleep with my doors and the windows open, when weather is hot, I carry no gun and I will never own one, I fear no neighbors or strangers and I still fill safe. Yes I was robbed once years ago, but that is no reason to get a canon at the front door and blow up anyone who trespasses my property. I served my country in the special forces for a couple of years and I one thing I learned well is that violence will only bring violence and that game has no end and no winners, it simply takes us nowhere. If I was a thief and I was about to get in a house of someone with a gun, I would make sure I'd carry something bigger and also, usually, serious thieves can use it better than a simple citizen, because crime its their "Job" and maybe they are god at it. I am very glad nothing more serious happened to our friend and would like to express my sympathies, but getting insurance in a high crime area will only be a small relief. I moved away from the city years ago, because of the pollution and the noise and never looked back. If you can, think that possibility. Will sleeping with a gun under your pillow bring calm and happiness, peace and quietness? I think not but if someone thinks yes, maybe something is not right up there.
My best sympathies,
George

p.s. please accept my apologies if in any way I have offended anyone, for something I have misunderstood.

Unfortunately, George, I think that you have understood and summarized this aspect of American society quite well.  It appears to be a mindset among many (but certainly not all) Americans.  Guns at home, American guns and soldiers abroad, weapons everywhere to solve all sorts of problems (even economic problems).  By gosh, we'll bomb our way to a democratic world if all else fails, even if it kills us and them (and of course, it does).

I agree with you that violence begets violence.  Once our last teenager is off to college in a couple of years, my wife and I are strongly considering a move to a more peaceful part of the globe.

Bruce
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geotzo
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2008, 05:39:15 AM »
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Quote from: BruceHouston
Unfortunately, George, I think that you have understood and summarized this aspect of American society quite well.  It appears to be a mindset among many (but certainly not all) Americans.  Guns at home, American guns and soldiers abroad, weapons everywhere to solve all sorts of problems (even economic problems).  By gosh, we'll bomb our way to a democratic world if all else fails, even if it kills us and them (and of course, it does).

I agree with you that violence begets violence.  Once our last teenager is off to college in a couple of years, my wife and I are strongly considering a move to a more peaceful part of the globe.

Bruce

Dear Bruce,
I fill so glad every time I discover I am not the only one thinking that way. I do travel in America once in a while to visit family members and I see some of them would disagree with my opinion on the subject. Though I can partially understand why their perception of the world is so different to mine, I cannot fully understand how they try to make a better personal or family world and future through violence and hate. I can't remember how many times I had this conversation with people around me. Fear is he worst adviser, I believe.
Anyway, I know it is not easy for everyone to move out of a city where he grew, worked etc, but I took my decision while expecting our first child. Now I have to travel a few miles to my studio every day, but I don't mind really. It is not always perfect, but at least I fill I gave my child, my wife and me, a much better way of living, in the countryside. Especially escaping Athens where there is really no space for any more people.  
Once you get settled away from any hectic city, you will change your lifestyle in a much healthier way.
My best wishes,
George
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 05:42:22 AM by geotzo » Logged
David Piet
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2008, 08:02:11 AM »
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Wow, scary story.  I'm glad you made it out of the situation relatively ok.  I hope everyone realizes that if they are using their camera equipment professionally, most homeowner policies will not cover it.  Please follow the recommendation to get a policy on your equipment.  You can get a policy that covers the equipment even when you're away from home.  It's well worth it!
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kaelaria
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2008, 10:07:32 AM »
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Absolutely no offense taken George, I can completely understand where you are coming from.

It's just a fact of life, that when you live around larger and larger groups of people, you get more variables in the pot, including crime.  I prefer to be nearer metropolitan areas and will gladly deal with the downsides.  I'm from Detroit, so living here (North of Tampa) is actually relaxing in comparison.

My wife on the other hand is from a tiny town in southwest NY, that had but a blinking light in the center of town, and no one ever locked the doors.  They had one cop, but a call to a parent usually solved any problems.  Violent crime was unheard of.  We visit there periodically to see family, some of which never leaves the county.  They have no concept of life outside their little safe bubble.

The world has many facets - you can either accept and deal with them or be happy with a smaller experience.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2008, 10:11:55 AM »
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Quote from: kaelaria
*chomp*
I'm from Detroit,
*chomp*

Ah!  Say no more.
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Rob C
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2008, 04:14:38 PM »
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You donŽt have to be injured or even see the thief: my late in-laws were robbed one afternoon just after they came home from the shops. They had gone upstairs to change and by the time they came down again her jewellery, left on a table, had gone and his wallet stolen from his jacket where heŽd left it over the back of a chair. Why? They forgot to lock the back door.

The fuzz were less than helpful and the insurance worse, almost accusing them of making a false claim.

That was in the better suburb of a small Scottish town on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Here, in Spain, the oldtimers tell you how good it was in FrancoŽs day: everybody left their dooors open and crime was virually unknown. They believed in using the law in those days, not like now when they take civil liberties with your liberty.

There would be little point in owning a weapon here: if you used it you would end up in prison, possibly beside your attacker. Much like the good oleŽUK, too. For my part, I believe in the dictum that a manŽs home is his castle and if you break in you deserve every goddam thing he can throw at you. End of case. Why is this wrong in the eyes of much of the western world? That old political correctness again, making excuses for every dumbass there ever was, not one of whom is ever held responsible for his/her actions when there is a parent (or lack of) or a society that can be blamed instead.

Makes you wanna vomit! Or nuke Žem all.

Rob C
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Farkled
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2008, 09:44:20 PM »
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In California, a home invader is presumed to put one in fear of one's life.  Fear of one's life is a legal basis for lethal force.

A conservative is liberal who just got mugged.
A liberal is a conservative who just spent a night in jail
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kaelaria
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2008, 11:22:27 PM »
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OK thanks for jinxing me.

Long story short - I'm advertising a promotional deal for free 15 min child sittings, in Halloween costumes (see the front page of my blog for the ad) - they just buy prints.  Anyway, tonight I started getting death threats on my phone every few minutes.  At first I thought it was someone with the wrong number or a prank, since I had NO CLUE what this guy was upset about.  I finally got him to speak to me for a few seconds before hanging up by calmly telling him I had no idea what the problem is, do you have the wrong number, etc.  

Long story short after expletives, more threats etc. he tells me that he KNOWS I am a pedophile because im trying to lure children.  Never mind my business, website, other ads that have been running for over a year, etc.  He's an off the rocker redneck.  So after sending more calls straight to VM and recording more death threats, logging emails where he says he's coming tonight, and I better hope the cops get to me before he does, etc.  I get to stay up on sentinel duty.

The Sheriff was 100% useless.  They said he hasn't done anything illegal, there's nothing they can do because he blocked his phone number, etc.  I said to the deputy "sir, I believe death threats are illegal.  He went off for another 2 min speech.  Bottom line was they wouldn't do anything.  I said, alright, so if anything happens, I just want it documented that I called and what's going on (I gave him all the prior details).

The world is a CRAZY place.  If you don't 100% believe there are crazy people everywhere you go that can and will snuff you out for absolutely nothing, you are just plain in denial.

How about we start a thread about winning the lottery now?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 11:32:34 PM by kaelaria » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2008, 12:48:27 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
You donŽt have to be injured or even see the thief: my late in-laws were robbed one afternoon just after they came home from the shops. They had gone upstairs to change and by the time they came down again her jewellery, left on a table, had gone and his wallet stolen from his jacket where heŽd left it over the back of a chair. Why? They forgot to lock the back door.

The fuzz were less than helpful and the insurance worse, almost accusing them of making a false claim.

That was in the better suburb of a small Scottish town on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Here, in Spain, the oldtimers tell you how good it was in FrancoŽs day: everybody left their dooors open and crime was virually unknown. They believed in using the law in those days, not like now when they take civil liberties with your liberty.

There would be little point in owning a weapon here: if you used it you would end up in prison, possibly beside your attacker. Much like the good oleŽUK, too. For my part, I believe in the dictum that a manŽs home is his castle and if you break in you deserve every goddam thing he can throw at you. End of case. Why is this wrong in the eyes of much of the western world? That old political correctness again, making excuses for every dumbass there ever was, not one of whom is ever held responsible for his/her actions when there is a parent (or lack of) or a society that can be blamed instead.

Makes you wanna vomit! Or nuke Žem all.

Rob C

Very interesting. These are things I hadn't heard before.

I think it's useful to remember that many of us live in completely different conditions than others. For example, it's easy for some folks to say that weapons inexorably lead to a culture of violence, and should therefore be eliminated. I'm sure that makes sense in some localities, but not all of them. A few months ago, a grown man was killed and partially eaten by a cougar not two hours drive from here. My wife and I did a short vacation centered around that town about a week later, and of course I carried a gun. That town is almost unchanged in over a hundred years, so we can't go surmising that recent development has pushed people into the cougars' territory. In this case at least, it was more a problem of an exploding cougar population (due to decreased cougar hunting) leading to more contact in a formerly cougar-free zone. We can certainly debate over what to do about the cougar issue, but I'll always believe it's reasonable to allow people to carry weapons in locations where lethal animals might eat them.

Another aspect of life in the US that may be hard for those in other countries to understand is the incredible diversity of this place. True, we have an awful lot of people concentrated in large coastal cities where help from police might be readily available. But we also have many millions of people living in places where that kind of response could take several hours, and ordinary folks aren't willing to be left waiting. My town is only 50 miles from the border with Mexico. This year, nearly 1,000 people have been killed in Juarez, Mexico, only an hour's drive from here. It's a strugle between rival gangs to control the flow of drugs. Recently, some of the drug gangs have even sent hit squads acrosss the border to take out US and Mexican citizens. I doubt many europeans have that sort of situation to contend with. Again, the root causes of this violence can be debated, but in the mean time, I wouldn't be in favor of taking away a law abiding citizen's ability to defend himself, or herself.

The events that befell the OP are truly horrible, and I offer my deepest sympathies.
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