EDC Firearms Training

Home Invasions

We recently discussed some of this during the Shooting it Straight radio show on http://www.TalkSTL.com

The Statistics are a little hard to interpret since only a few states actually record ” Home Invasion” as an individual crime. What? How can that be? That’s a serious crime! If we dig a little deeper into the numbers we see that in many states they fall into different classifications like robbery or burglary, forcible rape, violent crime, murder etc. Burglary is breaking in, entering without permission. Then if the burglar goes on to steal things it is theft, but just the breaking in is burglary. Robbery is theft of goods, money, your belongings,  through fear, a threat of violence, intimidation or the actual use of violence to get your belongings.

According to FBI Crime statistics 60% of rapes and 38% of assaults occur during home invasions. 1 in 5 homes will be Burglarized or invaded. The most popular entrance for burglary is THE FRONT DOOR.   So don’t answer it!

Here are some simple low cost solutions that we can do to prevent being a victim in our own home.

  • Installing a burglar alarm, AND using it properly. This means arming the system when you are home and not at home. The alarm system will deter crime. Install it when you move in.  Most burglaries occur withing the first two years of moving because homeowners wait to install a security system. Did the bad guys  scope out your belongings as they being unloaded off the truck?
  • Locking the doors when you are at home and when you leave.  Surprisingly people still leave doors unlocked, really. Lock the windows too.
  • Close your garage door, even if you are working in the yard. Get your lawnmower out, put the opener in your pocket or install a key pad. I see this all the time, easy entry and bad guys can see what kind of stuff you have to steal when they are casing the neighborhood.
  • Don’t let sales flyers or newspapers accumulate on your door or steps. This is a telltale sign that you are out of town, even if you are not. Have the neighbors get the papers.
  • Get to know your neighbors when you move in.  Introduce yourself and your family. Maybe if they see someone suspicious they will call the police instead of thinking “it’s just the new people”
  • Pet doors, just don’t use them. If you must install one, have one that can be secured and cannot be opened easily. This is an easy access point to your home.
  • The landscaping may look nice but you should consider security when planning and pruning. For example a large bush or tree near an entry is a very nice place for a criminal to wait for you. Bushes alongside the house that block street view of windows make excellent cover for entry into that window and no one can see them breaking in.
  • Window shopping. Thieves do it too, but from your front yard instead of the mall. Do not make expensive items easy for people to see.  Think about mounting that 90-inch flat screen on a different wall instead of in plain view from the street when your shades are open. It makes you a target.
  • Lighting is very important, install motion activated lights both near entry points and along side of the house. If the criminal shows up at night they expect to work under the cover of darkness. When the lights go on you have most likely disrupted their plans and they will move onto another house. If you rent your house look into some solar powered landscaping lights, they are cheap and temporary.
  • Designate a safe room in case of a home invasion, with a phone and a weapon. (More on safe rooms in an upcoming article)
  • Get a Firearm or Firearms for self defense in the home AND have it safely accessible. 

Getting a Firearm 

Sorry, Mr. Biden but we don’t want to shoot a double barrel shotgun off the back porch when we hear a noise… it’s not legal to shoot at a noise that is not or has not yet ACTUALLY become a threat, nor is it tactically the best decision for several reasons. You keep the VP job, at least for now and I will tell people how to defend themselves at home, please.

Now that you have a tool to save your life you need to be able to access it VERY quickly. Consider a key pad access safe near your bed while you sleep, or now more recently Hornady Mfg has introduced a RFID quick access safe.Here’s an innovative idea. There are these things called holsters. You put it on your belt and it holds the gun on your body, you can even cover it with your shirt in case someone stops by to borrow your ladder or lawnmower. The holster is secure, no unauthorized persons have access to it while you are wearing the holstered gun.

You could get a smaller gun for your pocket, WITH A HOLSTER that covers the trigger. With a little instruction and some practice the average person should be able to get their gun out and ready for self defense in just over 1 second.

If the home invasion is in progress you won’t have time to run to your gun safe, remember the combination load the gun and then run back to save your children.  Look at the work done by Dennis Tueller. The original article was entitled How Close is Too Close?  Personally, a bad guy In my house is too close for sure!  In summary, the average healthy adult can travel 21 feet in 1.5 seconds.  So if a violent attacker gets into your house they are probably less than 21 feet away, unless you have a bowling alley in your living room. Perhaps some parlor pistol shooting before tea?

So where is your gun? As I type this, one of my guns is on my hip, in my holster. Anther accessible handgun is sitting next to my mouse pad, and i have a reload that fits both in my pocket. Most readers are going to think that it’s paranoia, but it isn’t really because 1 in 5 homes in the US will get hit. Is tonight the night my house gets broken into? I hope not! If tonight is the night that we get invaded then,  have I  done everything to prepare? The only people that ever seem to realize this level of preparedness for violence are combat veterans that have seen front line action, LEO that have survived a shooting or two, some firearms instructors, some civilians that have been shot, stabbed, mugged or beaten, and then there are only a handful of civilians that just understand. To be honest, most people won’t understand, and honestly that’s OK. I hope you never have to understand.  I hope that if you don’t understand you are the other 4 out 5 houses that won’t be invaded.

What? You said Guns!!! But, but I have children. Yep, all the more reason to EDUCATE them about firearms and firearms safety.  That way you can confidently own a gun, have access to it and use it to save your children. It’s actually best to have a professional firearms instructor do this rather than your uncle who was in the civil war teach them the wrong way. There are many affordable classes for kids. Contact the NRA about youth shooting and basic classes. Also, look into The Revolutionary War Veteran’s Association have excellent affordable classes for children and adults called Project Appleseed.

Definitely get some advanced training with the gun for you and your whole family.  Get practical training, using the gun or guns you might have to use to defend yourself in a home invasion. I’m not talking about just a gun 101 class where we learn basics only. The basics of firearms must be understood and mastered first, however when SPLIT SECONDS count you can’t be trying to remember how to reload under stress, or how to manipulate the gun. TRAIN

Gun Skills 

Can you shoot one handed? How about weak handed? Can you reload one handed or weak handed? Can you carry your child in your arms  and shoot? What about while your heart is beating at a VERY high rate?  Can you shoot accurately from an awkward position because you’v bladed your upper body while moving to shield the child from the criminal’s weapon to save the child? These are all serious question you must ask yourself.

This may come as a shock to some readers but here goes nothing. If a violent criminal attacks you or your family you are going to be in a fight for survival, your life. You better know how to fight. You must be aggressive, and use the tools at your disposal. You must counterattack with everything you have. You must stop the attacker, completely and quickly. You don’t need to worry about his life, you need to stop the threat immediately. At the deadly force level there are no rules and you must do whatever necessary with whatever tools are available to survive. If you aren’t willing to do this, you will die.

If you are defending yourself in a home invasion with a firearm you must train. You won’t be able to shoot effectively to defend your family if you do not train and practice. The BS that you saw on The Bourne Identity or most other movies with guns is just that… BS.  Proper skills require training and practice. The training must be specific to your needs. In a home invasion it is close quarters fighting, fast deployment of a sidearm, very accurate shooting, shooting from unorthodox positions, or while moving. You won’t be able to learn these skills magically when the door gets kicked in.

Remember, get your gun first then the phone. How many people have been beaten, raped or killed while on the phone with 911?  A phone reports the problem and calls for back up, just like the alarms system calls the police.  A gun can save your life. Yes, your alarm system may make noise too, but it won’t stop a threat in it’s tracks.

Finally and very important, the total cost is zero.

Get a plan together in case of a home invasion. Who will go where? Who will get the infant? What about guests? Plan this with the kids! The children will be your #1 concern during an invasion so they need to know the plan also. You don’t need to scare them to death, simply explain the realities of life and the importance of being prepared for the worst, compare it to the fire drill at school. In fact work on the plan and run a drill a couple times a year, just like at school.

Your children are in school and they have fire drills a few times a year to prepare for a fire emergency.  Now go back to the stats earlier,  1 in 5 homes.  I can assure you that 1 in 5 schools will not catch on fire, nor will 1 in 5 homes burn down. So maybe the importance of planning for a home invasion and running a home invasion drill just got more important on your list.