Category Archives: Home Defense

Home defense guide to tactical preparedness.

Use of Force: Home Invasions

9mm vs 45ACPA good portion of my concealed carry class deals with the proper use of force, more specifically, the proper use of deadly force. I believe very strongly that if you carry a deadly weapon for your protection, you must have a good understanding of the law as it pertains to employing that deadly weapon. We as American’s believe very strongly in the sanctity of human life. The taking of a life is a very serious thing and once it has occurred, there is no going back.

>>>Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense<<<

I am always surprised at the differing opinions people have when you ask them when the use of deadly force is justified. Generally people error on the side of NOT utilizing deadly force, such as when a bad guy is not armed with what would traditionally be classified as a weapon. For instance, many people don’t think that it is ever justified to shot an unarmed person, even if that person is on top of you and smashing your head into the pavement. Generally I can explain to them what disparity of force is and why deadly force can be justified, even if the assailant is unarmed. Usually after some discussion they come around and agree that the presence of a weapon is not always required. But, the harder argument to win is when discussing when deadly force is authorized should you find yourself the victim of an intruder in your own home.

My students, almost to a person believe that should anybody enter you home without permission, they have the right to shot them. This is simply not true. The same elements must exist whether you are in your home or in the parking lot of the local shopping center.

“A person my use deadly force to protect themselves or others from what they reasonably believe to be an immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm.”

Legal definitions vary from state to state, but essentially the above is the gist of what most states consider the only time when a person, be it a police officer or a civilian may utilize deadly force against another.

So, with the above definition in mind, if a person breaks into your house to steal your television expecting you to be gone, and upon seeing the home is occupied, flees out the back door, would it be legal to shot them as they leave? The answer is obviously no. Deadly force is NOT authorized in the defense of property. A human life, even if that human life belongs to a really bad guy is more valuable than your television, or your computer, or you grandmothers diamond ring.

Let’s take a minute and delve briefly into the criminal mind. There are generally two kinds of people, type “A” and type “B”. The former is more of the aggressive, go getter type with the latter being the more passive, laid back type. A type “A” criminal would be the kind that doesn’t shy away from confrontation. This type of person would most like commit crimes against the person such as robbery, rape or murder. A type “B” criminal doesn’t want contact with another person and thus picks crimes generally involving property like theft or fraud type crimes.

Understanding the type of criminal you are dealing with is critical to your use of force decision making. A person who is interested in stealing your television isn’t likely to break into your home when you are home because he isn’t interested in human contact. Many burglars are non-violent types who will wait for you to go to work before entering you home.

A person who would break into your home when you are there is a whole different kind of person. In fact, the crime he is committing is different. If you are home when the break-in occurs, even if they are only after your property, they are still committing a robbery because the property they are taking is under your control. It makes no difference if the property is a television hanging on your wall or the wallet in your pocket. Now, some would argue that just because a person is home when their home is broken into doesn’t mean a robbery has occurred. It is true that a robbery is the taking of property from a person through threats, violence or intimidation. I suppose a person could come into your living room and take the television off your wall without displaying a weapon or uttering a word, but the very act of entering the home of another while they are home, I would argue, is a threat of violence or at the very least intimidation. I cannot see any issues with somebody being able to articulate fear should this occur.

With the above examples of the differences between certain types of criminals, I believe that it is easier to articulate why you became in fear for your life and that of your family should you find yourself confronted by an intruder in your home. An intruder entering your home knowing it is likely occupied has no fear of confrontation making it likely that they are a type “A” personality with a propensity for violence. Most of the time, at least in my experience investigating home invasions, the assailant or assailants (Almost all home invasion involve multiple bad guys.) are armed. In fact, while I am writing this article, I cannot recall a time when I had a case in which the bad guys were not armed with a deadly weapon. Once in the confined space of your home, there aren’t any third party witnesses and there is very little likelihood that somebody will happen upon the crime that is being committed. In other words, the bad guys have virtually an unlimited amount of time upon entering your home and gaining control.   A lot can happen with an unlimited amount of time and no witnesses.

So to conclude, understand that the same legal standards apply when employing deadly force in your home and outside. Deadly force cannot be utilized in defense of property, but know that if you find yourself the victim of a home invasion, that is, your home is broken into while you are there, there is a very strong possibility that a violent act will be perpetrated against you or a member of your family. Take the appropriate measures and be prepared to defend your actions.

Dennis

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.

Just the Facts: What Really Happens in a Gun Fight

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 10.46.23 PMMost peoples perception of reality comes from movies and TV.  Unfortunately, neither is particular accurate most of the time in conveying any real facts.  Most of the time all we want out of movies and TV is to be entertained and most of the time we are.  But if you are relying on Hollywood to give you accurate information about what to expect during a gun fight, you will be shocked and disappointed should you ever find yourself involved in one.

So what really happens in a gun fight?  Kevin McGlouwski at the United States Concealed Carry Association gives you some insight.  It’s important for you survival should you find yourself in a gun fight to know what to expect.  Check out the video below to find out.

 

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Gunlights: To Attach or Not To Attach

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 11.44.30 PMIn my last article I explained why it is important to have a flashlight if you rely on a firearm for personal protection.  Here I will try to answer the next logical question, should the light be attached to the firearm or of the handheld variety.

As with most tactics involving personal protection there are pros and cons to both attaching the light to the gun and carrying it on your person.  And like most other tactics, the situation will dictate your approach to low or diminished light situations.

<<<Fight At Night: Tools, Techniques, Tactics, And Training For Combat In Low Light And Darkness>>>

The advantage of affixing the light to the firearm is that it frees up your support side hand to do other things.  Generally that other thing is establishing your support side grip onto the gun.  Certainly holding a flashlight in your support hand and also gripping the gun with the same hand is doable, but it does take some practice to master before it will feel comfortable.

In addition to using the support hand to grip the pistol, you may need it to open a door, turn on an interior light, give a hand check to a bad guy or carry a child to safety.  In all those situations, having a flashlight affixed to the firearm is a real plus.  It’s also nice to know that if you need a light, it will always be there on the firearm.

Now, there will be times that you will need a light, but not the gun itself.  Your gun should never be brandished unless there is a potential that it’s lethal abilities may be needed.  So if you need a light to look for the keys you just dropped, using the one affixed to the gun while its still affixed to the gun is a huge no no.  Maybe you see what might be a potential threat heading your way in a dark alley or parking lot but you aren’t sure.  A handheld flashlight is your only option until you can say for certain that that shadowy figure heading your way is a threat.  If you are at home and you hear a suspicious noise, you don’t want to use the gunfight to identify it, especially if the suspicious noise was caused by a loved one getting a drink of water.

So as far as a handgun is concerned, my preference is to utilize both a gun mounted light as well as a handheld light that I keep in my pocket.  In doing so I am ready for any contingency and I maintain a degree of redundancy that is always a plus in any SHTF situation I might find myself in.

Should your choice of firearm for home defense be a long gun, be it a shotgun or a rifle, your only option is a gun mounted lighting system. I would certainly not ever elect to utilize a headlamp that is generally used for outdoors activities unless you want a beacon that serves as a giant bullseye on your forehead for the bad guy to aim at. Since you should be using two hands on a long gun, a gun mounted light is your only option.

Lastly, when deciding on what type of light to purchase, be it a gun mounted light or handheld, you should go with an LED over an incandescent.  If you need to use the light in short on off bursts for searching and you don’t want to illuminate your position more than needed, the incandescent light will give off a second or two glow after it is turned off.  This glow is sure to give away your position where an LED will turn off and not glow as soon as the switch is engaged in the off position.  There are tactics that can be employed with incandescents to minimize the glow the bad guys sees, but since LED’s are so readily available these days, to me it’s a no brainer.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.

 

The Mandatory Accessory for all Gun Owners

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 4.16.25 PMIf you possess a firearm for personal protection, be it for everyday carry or home defense, a flashlight is a mandatory accessory.  Just like peanut butter and jelly, ebony and ivory and Abbot and Costello, a firearm and a light go together perfectly.

According to FBI statistics, 80 percent of police shootings occur in low or diminished lighting conditions.  And you don’t have to look at statistics to know that bad things generally happen at night because it offers a tactical advantage to the bad guy.  There are several ways to take away this tactical advantage, one of which is the use of a flashlight.

Even if you aren’t out after dark, you may find yourself in low light conditions during the middle of the day.  Pulling into your garage, walking into a basement or an interior room at work are just three examples of low light conditions during the middle of the day.  And all three put you, the law abiding citizen at a tactical disadvantage.

The right flashlight can also be used as a weapon, both as an impact weapon and as a means to temporarily blind or stun a bad guy by shinning it in their eyes.  The later can give you the extra couple of seconds needed to deploy another weapons system or retreat to safety.

A flashlight is also a must have even if you aren’t carrying a firearm or if the situation you find yourself in doesn’t warrant the use of a gun.  During the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, many of the surviving victims said that finding their way to the exists was a major problem, probably costing lives because without power, there was no light.  A simple flashlight in the pocket would have solved the problem and perhaps saves some lives.  And even if you don’t find yourself victim of a terrorist attack, low light conditions can be the result of a natural disaster or because of a simple electrical storm that knocks out the power.

The last critical use for a flashlight is target identification.  A responsible gun owner is responsible for every round that is fired from their gun.  And there is never, ever a circumstance when you should be firing your gun at a target that you have not yet identified as a threat.  In low or diminished light conditions, it becomes difficult if not down right impossible to do that without the aid of artificial light.

In a county not far from where I live, a police officer shot and wounded is own daughter when she set off the house alarm sneaking back into the house.  The officer grabbed his firearm when he heard the alarm and shot his daughter by accident.  His critical mistake was not illuminating the “target” to identify it as friend or foe.  Doing so would have prevented what was almost a catastrophic disaster.  And that incident is not an isolated one, I have heard similar stories in the past.

So as you can hopefully appreciate, a flashlight is an absolute must if you have chosen to defend yourself and your loved ones.  And  a light doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, a good one can be had for around 30 bucks so there is not excuse for not doing so.

In my next article, we will go into the types of flashlights available and whether or not you should choose a stand alone light or the weapons mounted variety.   Stay tuned.

Don’t just survive thrive!

Dennis

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.

Home Tactical Readiness Bag

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 12.11.07 AMI am absolutely not a morning person.  That explains why most of my professional career has been spent working the evening and night time hours.  I feel most comfortable after the sun goes down and I generally catch my second wind after 10pm.  But, there are times when I have to wake up and be out of the house early.  When I do, it is imperative that I have set out everything I need for the next day or I will forget something.  Happens all the time.

If I forget to bring something because I had to be up and out early, it is generally just an inconvenience that I can usually work around.  But in a tactical life or death type situation, such as a home invasion robbery, forgetting something is not optional.  Enter the Home Tactical Readiness Bag.

<<<<<Tactical Readiness Bag>>>>>

When I go anywhere outside of about 5 miles from my home, I always bring a get home bag, also known as a bug out bag. In that bag I have everything I need to survive 72 plus hours away from home.  Or if I’m home already, I can grab the bag and get out of dodge should SHTF.  In my bag is extra ammunition, a method to make a shelter, a water purification device and multiple ways to make fire along with food and first-aid supplies among other things.   Clearly you don’t need all of that in a home tactical readiness bag, but there are some things that will be useful to you should you come under some kind of assault at home.

The first priority in the bag is a flashlight.  Since bad guys tend to hunt at night, and because it is irresponsible to shoot anything you cannot see first and identify, you have to have a way to illuminate the threat.  I suggest you have a tactical handheld flashlight along with a gun light.  The reason I recommend a gun light is because there may a time when you need your other hand to open a door or carry a child and that cannot be done if you are holding a flashlight. Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 11.44.30 PM

Next, extra ammunition and magazines should go in the bag.  Most home invasion robberies involve multiple bad guys so the more ammunition the better.  And since most malfunctions with a semi-automatic handgun are magazine related, extra magazines are the fastest and most efficient way to correct that problem.

A first-aid kit or IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) is also included for obvious reasons.

I put a rubber door stop in my bag.  Not for propping a door open, but for helping to keep one from being opened should I have to hunker down in a room or perhaps secure a bad guy in a room while I deal with another threat or wait for the calvary to arrive.  These door stops won’t completely keep somebody, especially a motivated somebody from gaining entrance into a room, but it might slow them down or even give the false appearance that a door is locked causing them to go in another direction.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 12.27.02 AMAn optional item for your bag are small keychain strobes.  These can be used to mark a room as clear or one as unsecured as you clear your home.  These strobes come in multiple colors so I suggest red for uncleared or unsecured and green or blue for cleared.

Lastly is the bag itself.  My Home Tactical Readiness Bag has a single shoulder strap with multiple pockets and molle webbing on the outside.  It’s about the size of medium sized women’s purse and of course is black in color.  Seems to be more tactical if it’s black.

I keep my bag readily accessible in the room I’m sleeping in and have my gun secured inside a paddle type holster in the bag at nigh along with my cell phone.  If something happens, I can get up and grab the bag and sling it over my shoulder and have with me everything I need to defend my castle without having to think about it because I have set everything up in advance, when things are calm and I am thinking clearly.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.