I was watching a Sylvester Stallone movie last night – D-Tox. I didn’t much like the movie, but there was one bit in it that struck a chord, and had me reaching for the keyboard to write this note now.
The thing that resonated was how the bad guy overpowered his victims. He would go to their home and ring the door bell. The victim would go to the front door and look through the peephole to see who was outside (conveniently for the movie’s plot line, all the victims had peep holes in their doors).
As soon as the bad guy saw them getting close and peering through the peep hole, then Whammo! He had a power drill with a big long drill bit in his hand; he brought it up and plunged it through the peephole glass and into the victim’s eye. The bad guy would then crash through the door and overpower the victim, who was disoriented and grievously incapacitated from just having had a power drill bit stuck through their eye.
Sheesh! How do they think these things up?
Well, yes. I’m not sure that would work in real life. For one thing, it would be hard and time consuming for the drill bit to get a purchase on the smooth exterior glass; it would slip and slide and by the time it had drilled through and gone forward, almost certainly the victim-to-be would have had a reflex duck back/flinch response, such as any sensible person does without thinking when something sharp and pointy zooms in towards one’s eye. But it sure made for some gruesome scenes in the movie.
On the other hand, don’t chuckle in a superior way after reading this far, and then move on to the next blog entry. Please keep reading.
A power drill might be way too slow, and too uncertain a weapon to attack a person through a door with, but think some more about the peep hole. You’ve almost surely looked through both sides of one at some time or another, and in particular, think about what you see from looking through it from the outside.
Yes, you don’t see much, but you can see light and darkness, and you can see movement, and you can sense when a person has approached the door, and you for sure know pretty exactly where their head is, don’t you. To put it another way, the peep hole is like the 10 ring in a classic bulls-eye target. Whatever you want to do, do to the peephole or just to the right of it (most people are right eye dominant) and you can be sure of causing maximum damage to the person on the other side of the door.
Furthermore, even if the door is a solid core door, the peephole is not solid anything. So that’s another reason to shoot through the peephole – because you’re not only certain of a vulnerable part of the person being right behind it, but you’re also certain of being able to get your round through the door on on to its intended target.
Oh – my earlier description about being able to get some vague impression of what is inside the room by looking through the peephole from the outside? Some peephole manufacturers have ‘wised up’ and so they add a little privacy flap on the inside of the peephole assembly. For the person to look out the door, they first have to lift up the flap. This, we are told, gives the people inside the dwelling or hotel room or whatever more privacy.
But – hello! For the bad guy, it tells him exactly when to unload into the target. Wait until you see the flap lift up – an unmistakable sign that someone has just positioned themselves behind the peephole.
Okay, enough of thinking like a bad guy! Now think like the good guy again, please.
Knowing what you now know, do you really want to put a peep hole in your front door?
What’s that? Someone is still undecided? Okay, enough of movie make-believe. How about this story then, from the real world, of a person being deliberately shot through their peephole. Now are you convinced?
So what to do instead of having a peephole in your door – and what to do if you already have one?
Let’s answer the questions in reverse order. If you already have a peephole, cement some blocking material over the inside end of it so that it is completely inoperable and that no light or anything else passes from inside to outside the door.
So how to communicate with the person at your door before opening it?
In an earlier article, we recommended a Logitech (or any other) video surveillance system – ideally with infra-red assist for night vision. Supplement that with a low tech intercom, with your control unit being away from the door, and you have all you need to speak to and see the person calling on you.
Remember – do not open your door unless you know who is outside the door and who else is in the general vicinity, and you are satisfied there is no way they can be a threat to you.
And now that you’ve read this, please do two more things. First, act on it. Put in place a system that allows you to safely monitor your entranceway area. Second, impress upon everyone else in your household that they must follow the same steps you do.