Do you even have a home defense plan? Or do you think you’ll quickly be able to come up with that plan AFTER you hear the sound of breaking glass? Don’t get complacent, thinking that you live in a safe neighborhood, and a home invasion probably wont happen to you. Home invasions happen, and when they do, even if you are in a position to defend yourself with a firearm, the scenario will be very, very different to the casual, relaxed, comfortable atmosphere that you normally shoot in at the range. NOW is the time to come up with a home defense strategy, and rehearse it with all members of your household.
NIGHT INVASION – NO KIDS
If you do not have children in your home, it’s a little easier for you. You could keep your bedroom door locked while you are sleeping, to buy time. Even if you don’t keep it locked, hearing a noise doesn’t mean you have to go room to room, looking to bring the fight to the invader.
You DO want to react to any noises you hear – ie., don’t lie there waiting to see if you hear the noise again. Get out of bed immediately, arm yourself and be ready to spring into action. The noise will be nothing 99% of the time, but the one time that it isn’t, you will be ready.
Make sure your weapon of choice is within reach and ready to fire. A gun locked in a safe, that requires you to enter a combination 3 times to get it to work, does you no good when you have seconds to respond. Unlock that safe before going to bed – every night. You wont have time to load an empty gun. And you don’t want to realize, as the bad guy is coming towards you, that you forgot to take the safety off. Your home defense weapon must be accessible and ready to use within seconds.
If the invader is already in the room or within sight, identify first, then take action to stop the threat. If you have time (eg. you can still hear noises/voices but they are downstairs), get yourself into a pre-determined defensible position, or “safe room”, probably the bedroom that you’re already in. If there are family members in other parts of the house, a different plan will be needed (we’ll address a “family plan” in the next blog post).
This room should contain everything you might need if you have to defend yourself. At a minimum, it should have a phone with which to call the police, a flashlight, and your weapon of choice. Once you’re in it, stay there until the police arrive. No-one has to be a hero. No matter how well-trained you are, no matter how indignant you feel that someone has invaded your space, you have to ask yourself whether “stuff” is worth dying for.
Do you really want to get into a gunfight over a TV? Because if the invader is also armed, or there are multiple armed invaders, you could lose your life for that TV. If they want your stuff, let them take it. Just stay put, but be ready to defend yourself if the fight comes to you.
Position yourself within the safe room to have the best line of sight to the door, behind cover if possible. You have the advantage – you will do far better in your own home, in the dark, than a stranger will. If an invader is determined to get into the safe room, despite your warnings that you will shoot, then when that door comes down, you will do whatever it takes to stop whoever’s coming through it.
Be aware that many criminals work in pairs, so be prepared for a second or even a third invader and don’t drop your guard after taking action against the first. Even if you don’t hear anything after stopping the invader, even if you think the house is empty, there is still no need to leave the safe room. Stay ready, and wait for police.
There is no “one size fits all” home defense plan, and this post is just touching on the basics, just giving you something to think about. YOUR plan will depend on your specific circumstances, your weapon of choice, the layout of your home and many other factors. But the most important thing to take away from this, is that you must have a home defense strategy in place BEFORE you need it.
Next Post: Having a plan when there are kids or other family members in the home.