It is a vital topic, for two reasons. First, for most of us, it is the place we spend more time at than anywhere else. We probably spend half our lives; maybe even more, at home. That is one of the main reasons why ‘more accidents occur at home’ than anywhere else, and it is also one of the main reasons why you are most at risk at home – simply because you are there more than you are anywhere else.
The second reason is that our home is usually also the place we feel most relaxed in. It is our refuge, our ‘castle’, the place where we feel we are in control of our environment, and it is the place where we can relax and – oooops – let our guard down.
Think about this. We’re driving somewhere in our car, and while stopped at a light, someone steps off the sidewalk and walks over to our car. We respond with caution and concern, instantly recognizing the event as a possible threat. But if we’re at home and the front doorbell rings, we respond instead with a frisson of excitement – ‘Oh, I wonder which of my friends is visiting’ or perhaps ‘I wonder what the UPS guy is delivering for me’. About as bad as it gets is ‘Aaagh – damn door to door salesmen calling when I’m in the middle of dinner yet again’. Note the total lack of caution in all these responses.
Okay, so you’ve read our articles on the danger of opening your front door to strangers. Good. You’ve closed that point of vulnerability. But that’s not all. Oh yes – maybe you also have a gun by the bed, too, so you’re sort of prepared if someone breaks in late at night while you’re asleep.
But what happens if you’re seated at the dining table having dinner when suddenly CRASH! Someone kicks in the front door and bursts into your house. Now tell me how useful the gun in your bedroom is, while you’re at the dining table, and potentially the bad guys are standing between you and your bedroom.
Similar scenario for if you’re outside mowing the lawn. Or in the laundry. Or maybe relaxing on your deck on a warm sunny summer afternoon. The gun in your bedroom is only good while you’re within arm’s reach of it, also in your bedroom.
Not all bad guys are going to politely knock and wait for you to open the door for them. Some are less patient.
Now for the curious contradiction. The chances are, based on the fact that you’re reading this article, that you probably will carry a concealed pistol sometimes when outside your house. But – what do you do when you get home? You take the gun off, put it somewhere, and go from ‘Condition Yellow’ to ‘Condition White’ (read our articles on Situational Awareness for more on these terms).
Big mistake. We all know that concealed carry is a bit of a hassle, requiring us to accept compromises in terms of comfort, convenience, concealability, and caliber/power. We accept such compromises in return for the massive boost in safety and security we get in turn. Now, when we’re at home, we don’t need to worry about concealability. We can wear a nice comfortable on-the-belt range style holster, and wear a dual magazine holder on our other side, too, and carry as big a gun as we wish to.
It should be easier for us to have a gun on our hip at home than anywhere else.
There’s another thing to consider as well, and it comes back to the condition yellow/white thing. Not only are we (and probably unavoidably so) in more of a condition white situation at home, but a threat can suddenly appear without warning, no matter what condition we’re in. If the first sign of a pending home invasion is someone chucking a trash can through our sliding doors and rushing in through the shattered glass immediately behind it, we’ve only got a couple of seconds to respond before the bad guys have taken over the house and are controlling us.
If you don’t have your gun on your person when something like this happens, you’re probably not going to have a chance to go and get it. Even if you have multiple guns hidden around the house, you’ve only got a some chance of safely getting to one such location and extracting the gun from its hiding place before the bad guys are (quite literally) on top of you. Your best preparedness, at home, is to do the same thing you do away from home. Have a gun on your person.
Some people might think ‘Oh, this would never happen to me. I live in a good neighborhood.’ But, from a criminal’s point of view, ‘good’ neighborhoods are the best places for them to visit. The chances are there are more valuables inside homes in a good neighborhood, and – sad to say – the chances are also that ‘good’ people are going to be more trusting and less likely to be suspicious and ready to defend against a sudden surprise attack.
Do you commute to work? Guess what. So too do the criminals. It is actually considered impolite for criminals to attack each other; and they’re more fearful of recriminations if they should do so. But they all know that if they do a reverse commute out into the better ‘burbs, they’re going to find street after street lined with tempting tasty targets.
It seems that the prevalence of violent ‘home invasion’ type burglaries might be slightly increasing. Home invasions – when the criminals don’t care if there are people home or not (or, worse still, if they expect and are pleased to find people at home) are extremely dangerous for the home occupants, because the criminals have the privacy of the house they’ve taken over, and the luxury of uninterrupted time, during which they can do anything at all to the house, its contents, and its occupants.
Here’s an example of how home invaders suddenly swoop down on a house. Note, in this story, that the police, while promptly called by a girl already in the house, didn’t arrive until much later. We mean no disrespect to the police at all when we repeat the mantra that you must understand, accept, and build into your planning : When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
Are you ready to respond, right now, if your home is invaded?