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Defending Your Home

Home InvasionWhile the nightstand is the favorite place for a home defense weapon, it is not the only place. We assume most cowardly acts are perpetrated under cover of darkness and while we are asleep. But if we read the monthly accounts of when citizens have used a weapon in their defense, there are many times that the occupant is at home but not asleep or even in bed. So how do we ensure we have a defensive capability throughout the house?

Most assuredly, a bedside weapon is not a bad idea. Those noises in the nightable gun safet that need to be investigated require an easily accessible hand gun, shot gun, or other easily maneuvered weapon to move about the house. But what are the other choices? Answering the door at night, particularly if you cannot easily see who is there, can be daunting. Certainly a good peep hole in the door, a good light on the porch, or even a nice security camera, one with a motorized motion detection flood light and recorder, will be a rational deterrent and early warning system. Having a weapon near the door is also a good option. Many houses will have a nearby book shelf or some similar easily accessed hiding place.alarm door stop

Here is a good strategy for after normal family traffic hours. There are nice little electronic wedges that one can put about six inches from the door. If forced open, these act as door stops, but also put out a piercing loud screech like a smoke alarm. This hopefully startles the perpetrator and letting them think there may be a security alarm warning the police. This also keeps you from being overwhelmed by someone slamming the door open into your face. I would still advise you, if you do not know who is at the door, to inquire without opening it and only proceed with caution. Preferably you will have a weapon in your hand to repel anyone making a concerted effort to enter uninvited.

Look at your floor plan. In my house I have all the entries in the middle of the building with two wings, each with bedrooms and dead end hallways. So if someone were to force entry through an existing doorway, they would be in the middle of the house. My master bedroom is at one end, the bedroom we use as an office and spend a lot of time in, is that the other. For defense in the one wing, the nightstand staged hand gun works fine. For the other end, the perpetrator is between me and my weapon. What do to?hidey hole

Place a second weapon in the other end of the building. There are some great hiding devices on the market or just use a small gun vault. One of my favorites is a clock with a hidden storage area. But there are also books with hollow insides and a number of other clever methods to hide a gun that are out of sight but not out of reach. Picture frames, wall safes, globes, or make something yourself. Cut out in the insides of your ancient copy of War and Peace and hide a snubby .38 cal. in there.

One technique for the well trained household is to create a “safe room.” If there is an intruder, all hands make their way to the safe room, which is a protected room, usually with a lockable door, perhaps a weapon and a phone. A walk in closet works in many households. Call 911 and wait it out. Not all floor plans accommodate this type of process, particularly if you have people sleeping in numerous rooms. But it is particularly useful if you cannot afford, from a safety perspective, to have weapons in and around the house. Households with small, inquisitive children are less friendly to easily accessed but hidden weapons. In that case, a gun vault or safe at the other end of the house is still very quick to access, but less likely to be accessed by children or inquisitive guests.home defense gun vault

Most of these safes and vaults have a capability of securing the box itself with a cable that you can wrap around a bed post or secure to an eye in the wall stud. That keeps someone from walking off with it easily.

In summary, you do not want to get caught in your own house without defense. Think about each room and how you might make your way to a defensive capability, whether it is a gun or a lockable, secure room. Think about communications as your first defense and the weapon as a backup. But remember, when some punk is kicking down your door and screaming obscenities, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. There is nothing wrong with being prepared and hoping you never have to exercise that preparedness.

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