You wake in the night, hearing glass breaking, or maybe someone pounding on the front door hard enough to rattle the walls. INTRUDERS! ALERT! Condition RED! Check. You jump out of bed, grab your gun and charge down the stairs…
OOPS! WAIT a minute. Not so fast.
Do you have a plan to deal with something like this? If not, why not?
First, if you have family or, especially, little children, you need to have a safe place for them to wait until the danger is past. A “safe room” is a good idea, especially if a spouse or other adult can stay with them, be prepared to defend them and call the police. Usually that’s going to be you. If you have a gun and don’t regularly carry it or have it available at your bedside, the safe room is a good place to keep it and the ammunition needed to make it useful.
There are as many possible ways to provide a safe room as there are different homes and people, and no one idea is ideal for everyone. Obviously, this is something that must be planned ahead and the use of it should involve practice sessions by the whole family. Everyone should understand their role and the importance of carrying it out. Regular practice must address changing needs and circumstances.
Then, you need to consider your skills and abilities. You should have given careful thought to what might be involved in confronting an intruder, and learn the safe and effective way to do so if it becomes necessary. This isn’t something you can learn from a book, obviously, and will require some serious training to become competent.
But no matter how hard you train or how brave you are, there is no guarantee that you will prevail, or that you won’t make matters worse. Nobody can decide that for you, but most of the best trained people I know or read about are clear that avoiding the confrontation, if possible, is always the better plan.
If the intruder comes toward you, especially with a weapon, there is little doubt then that you can and should use whatever force is necessary to defend yourself and those who depend on you. But if the intruder does not confront you, you are putting yourself and others at greater risk by going after them. This is something only you can decide, but it deserves careful thought, especially in light of the customs and laws in place where you live. You may wind up being the one arrested, especially if you have some “legal” duty to retreat.
A “hot” home invasion, one where the criminal knows that someone is home, is still relatively rare, but it does happen. It’s well worth thinking about and planning for. If you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.
Obviously, this is a gigantic topic, and I’ve only touched on a few of the possible points. What are your plans in the event of a home invasion? What steps have you taken to provide barriers, locks, lights, alarms or other things that would discourage an intruder?’
Your comments, as always, are most welcome.