Ferguson, Missouri is back in the news as local authorities and concerned residents prepare for the possibility of violent protests in the wake an upcoming grand jury decision.
The grand jury will be deciding whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
According to a report by Fox 2 Now in St. Louis, at least two nearby cities have sent out warning letters to residents with instruction on preparing for of a "period of disruption"...including "staying in their homes for several days".
Meanwhile, Ferguson police are stocking up on riot gear. According to an article published by ABC News affiliate Big 550 KTRS, St. Louis County police have spent around $100,000 on equipment to use "if protests turn violent".
Some people are comfortable hiding in their homes unarmed and relying upon an outnumbered police force to keep them safe.
Others are more inclined to take more direct responsibility for their own safety...including purchasing a new firearm, or dusting one off from storage and preparing it for use.
There are lessons here...no matter where you live.
First, most people had never heard of Ferguson, Missouri before Michael Brown was shot. And as tragic as the death of any human being is, Michael Brown wasn't the first person shot in Ferguson...and sadly, he won't be the last.
Any town in any state can quickly degrade from relatively stable to dangerously volatile without much warning. No one know exactly when or where a trigger event will occur. So it's prudent to always be prepared, especially for the unexpected. You won't always have the luxury of a warning.
Also, as we say so often, simply owning a firearm doesn't necessarily make you safer.
Preparation includes more than possession...it requires training and practice. It's what law enforcement does. And if you're going to take a more direct role in your personal safety, then you'd be wise to take it seriously...like a pro.
It's been said, "Better to be prepared and not have need, than to have a need and not be prepared." That's especially true when the stakes are life or death.