Home Defense

28 03 2012

Home Defense

There are some that believe that the sound of a shotgun cycling or chambering is enough to deter a threat inside one’s home. It is possible, but anything is possible: having your cat jump towards and hiss at a threat inside the home could deter a threat also but you are not going to rely on that, are you?

Being prepared means being ready and practicing what “could” happen, not what is going to happen because no one can predict what is going to happen day to day. Having an adequate defense device or plan, is important for the safety of those inside the home.

Some States make it Law that you would have to run away from someone breaking into your home. You are to run to a room, lock the door and call the police. I guess at that point, you should also hope the threat will not attempt to come to your location. The “Duty to Retreat Law” says just that. This is why having a safe room is vital for your safety and the safety of those you love.

Some States have the “Castle Doctrine” or versions of it, such as “Make my day Law”. These laws allow the homeowner/occupants to defend their home and allow them to defend it without fear of a civil trial if the threat (the one trying to break into your home and cause you harm) becomes injured while inside your home.

Let’s talk about that for a second: We have all heard about:

-Man falls through skylight of this couple’s home. The man was trying to break into the home to burglarize it. When the man fell he fell onto the couple’s kitchen counter/cutting board and landed on some knives. He cut himself. Police arrive, man gets taken to hospital, man sues couple for injuries sustained while on their property and …..that man won the case and the money!

Actually, the man in the above mentioned paragraph was a teenager. He was a teenager and the injury occurred at a school because of a skylight. The boy fell through a skylight: why? Because it was painted black and he did not recognize it as a skylight while walking across the roof. One explanation was that the teenager(s) were trying to steal the lights off of the roof and their explanation was that they were attempting to redirect the light so they could play basketball. The school got sued. {http://overlawyered.com/2006/09/the-burglar-and-the-skylight-another-debunking-that-isnt/}

-Man breaks into a home of a doctor and his wife, doctor gets his pistol and shoots burglar in the back. The burglar, who is in jail, decided to attempt to sue the doctor stating the doctor deliberately “tried to severe my spine”. The doctor fired once at the threat who refused to leave his home.

Some States have laws in place to take care of their citizens and other States seem to have Laws that take care of those that conduct the home invasions and burglaries. Confusing? Yes? How can a State not see that a home is someone’s safe haven, a place to raise a family safely? I am not sure but in VA the “Duty to Retreat” is a real thing. It is important to gain the information on the rules and regulations because the mindset of “If someone were to break into my home I will shoot them dead” could get you prison time.

Firearms: As mentioned above, the sound of a shotgun chambering a shell is not always going to “scare” away an intruder. As a matter of fact, it may give the threat/intruder the early indication that someone is in the home with them, awake and coming their direction. This could give a threat enough time to find a hiding spot to gain the advantage.

There are some that will purchase a shotgun specifically because they are told the sound will make the threat run away every time. Now, in their mind, they do not need to fire the shotgun, maybe not even purchase any shells for that shotgun thinking the pure “shock and awe” of producing a shotgun will cause a threat to fall to their knees and plead for their lives. This is sad.

If a shotgun is the defensive item of choice, ensure it is a well thought out choice. Ensure you choose ammunition that can be used adequately in a close quarter’s situation. You would not want any ammunition to travel through walls into a neighbor’s home or into anyone passing by. Having the correct ammunition for the situation is vital. Being able to handle it safely is paramount, especially if there are others that live in that home.

If a semi-automatic pistol is the choice, ammunition is still the main topic: ensure the ammunition is the type that will provide the end result desired without damaging anything else. Know where the bullet will go if it does not hit its intended target and ensure it does not go any further than your property. You own every bullet that comes out of your firearm, regardless of the reason for pulling the trigger.

Caliber is important. Some people go straight towards the bigger pistols thinking that the size alone will cause the threat to run away. A Desert Eagle is not the firearm for home security. The bullet will travel through most everything and nothing good can come from that. That would be excessive. Know the caliber that works for your location but also a caliber that you can shoot extremely well. Coming close will not save your life!

Revolvers: make sure caliber is taken into consideration but also ensure accuracy is top of the list. It does not matter what you fire or what you carry as long as you practice with that item and become proficient in firing it accurately every time. Stressful environments are very different from range shooting and can make the difference between a survivor and a memory.

Practice at home (without ammunition) from throughout your home to ensure movement is possible and 100% control can be acquired and achieved every time. It is your home; you must keep it your home! Practice also at the range: fine tune your accuracy with different courses of fire and different distances. It is worthless to place the target at the far end of the range and then shoot at it because you would not have that ability in a real life situation. Keep it close, keep it accurate and keep all firearms clean and ready!

There are too many people today that will purchase a firearm without learning how to use it. Then, if someone were to break into their home, someone gets hurt or killed because of a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is not a defense and will cause you to go to jail because of that. Seek the education on whichever defensive tools you try to use in your home in defense and protection of your family. A couple hours in a classroom could save you from a lifetime in jail. Be safe!

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When to take it seriously

28 03 2012

When to take it seriously

Most of us, if not all of us, has at one time or another thought something was “not right” or “very wrong” dealing with an event that happened to someone or something else…but then did nothing to ensure that “something” did not happen to us. Some still live like that currently while others do the minimum to secure their safety.

Example: A neighbor of yours gets their home broken into. You may have empathy towards the situation and you may even say things such as “I told them to lock their doors” or “they always leave that garage door open, I bet they will learn this time” or even “thank goodness it was not us”. But do you install security lights? Better locks on your doors? Do a home assessment? Nope. Most just hope that it does not happen to them.

When do you take it seriously? When your door is being kicked in by 3 armed individuals that want to hurt you? When the front door is being beaten down while your back window is being shattered? How about when you are peeking out your window at 2AM and see 4 individuals sneaking up and around your home carrying bats, knives and firearms?

If that is when you take it seriously, then you have already lost and it is only a matter of time before it comes to your home!

Events happen around us constantly and we are forced to hear about those events from different venues: TV, newspapers, coworkers and the internet. Each time an event occurs that happens to kill individuals, hurt families and cause great loss of money and assets, people will watch and think “if that was me…..” or  “maybe I should….” But end up doing nothing. Why? Because it is NOT happening at their front door.

Stories on the news: Home Invasion, Burglaries, Robbery, Rape, Murder, Gang activity, Workplace Violence, Drunk driving and Assault. These stories occur every single day and most weeks it seems to be getting worse and occurring in the “better parts of the town”. Crime is not biased, it will happen everywhere and anywhere and criminals are opportunists. If you give them an opportunity, they will capitalize on it. They care nothing about you or your home, be aware of that first and foremost!

If your neighbor happened to get their car stolen, would you go out and get ONSTAR for your vehicle? If your cousin’s home burnt down, would you immediately purchase fire insurance? Should you? Hence the title of this article: When to take it seriously? The average person will listen, watch or talk about events but not take it seriously. Why? Because it was not happening to them.

We would all go broke if we tried to plan for everything that could happen to us in life, we also would go nuts if we had to think about all of the “what if’s” and “maybe’s” that exists, but can be proactive about our safety and the safety of our families while keeping costs to a minimum. Know what is happening around your home by using sites such as “spotcrime.com” which will give you a daily update on events occurring around your home and neighborhood.

Most safety items cost:
-Security cameras: initial cost to purchase, install and if it is monitored by outside source.
-Security lights: initial cost to purchase, can be installed by owners and come with different options for power sources
-Alarms: installation, monitoring are associated costs but most Home Depots and Lowes will sell “Do it yourself” kits for home alarms that will only cost to purchase and that is the end of the cost. The “Do it yourself” kits also allow you to customize what you sensor in your home and how many sensors you may need.
-Motion sensors: initial purchase cost, can alert homeowner to anyone crossing the beam and does not require monitoring by outside source/business
-Egress ladder: initial cost only

No one knows when criminals are going to attempt a burglary or home invasion at their home but no one wants to spend their days worrying about when or if it could happen to them. We can all be safer inside and around our homes by being proactive about our own safety. There are many things that can be accomplished that can better our chances of surviving a home invasion or burglary:

Motion activated security lights: may have an initial cost but it has been proven that homes with motion sensor lights deter crime and anyone from approaching their home in fear of being seen.

Dogs: Home with dogs specifically are less likely to be burglarized because of the noise the dogs make and that the dogs are there protecting the home in the first place.

Locks: Having adequate locks on the doors can impede the progress of someone attempting to kick in the door expecting the locks to give out first.

Doors: Having reinforced doors for main entry points (front door, back door and Safe room door)

Window locks: having window locks are another great deterrent that will impede the progress of a burglar. If it takes a long time to gain access, it is less likely the burglar will take the chance.

Safety courses: There are numerous courses that exist that can give a household a better understanding about what they could do inside their own home to make it more secure. Courses such as:
-NRA Refuse to be a victim
-NRA Personal Protection inside the Home
-Smart Tactics Home Invasion Protection
-Smart Tactics Personal Protection
-Smart Tactics Neighborhood/Home Safety Plus safety seminars that cover specific topics. Is it worth your safety to attend a 1-2 hour seminar or maybe a 3 hour seminar for your safety?

Safety is the main concern because there are too many people that will go out and purchase a shotgun or pistol because there was a break-in at someone’s home in the neighborhood. They may have never fired a pistol or shotgun before but may think that they will be a “natural” if they ever had to use it against an intruder. This is a scary thought for many reasons:

1)Depending on the situation, if the homeowner were to fire at an intruder, the homeowner may go to jail and be in the “wrong”
2)If the homeowner is that “wrapped around the axle” about home security and the use of a firearm that they know nothing about, they could end up using that firearm with bullets or shells that can penetrate through their walls and into yours…or your children’s bedroom.

3)If startled, that homeowner could very well fire without thinking and hurt others inside their own home

4)If the homeowner purchases a firearm and does not seek the education on how to fire that firearm, they also may not know how to store that firearm. This could lead to improper stowage and access from the children that are curious inside that home or visiting.

With the amount of firearm businesses and instructors that exist in every State, there is no reason not to become educated with whichever firearm the homeowner desires, to include shotguns and rifles. Knowing more about the safety device you choose will make it more of an asset to you and possibly keep you out of jail and hopefully out of the morgue.

When do we take it serious? Now is the time to take it serious. Our safety is on us, no one else is going to look out for us except for us and we need to think about it and take it seriously. No one worried about losing their children in the past until criminals started to snatch children up from the streets and into vehicles and then safety was put in place to avoid such events. If education was given prior to that event, it could have saved lives…but how could anyone know?

We know what exists, maybe not everything that could happen but enough to arm ourselves with knowledge to avoid it. Becoming complacent inside our own homes and thinking “no one has the right to enter my home without my permission” will only make you a statistic and a victim. Be proactive about your own safety and the safety of your family and fix deficiencies you see that would allow access by a threat.

What can we do?
-Attend a safety course
-Assess your home
-Have a professional assess your home
-Attend a firearms safety course
-Use locks
-Know your home
-Have a safe room
-Practice scenarios with your family
-Know exit routes
-Have a safe haven
-Know your neighbors
-Remain proactive
-Take it seriously!

If you can think it up, a criminal has already done it. As long as you can think about it, you may be able to counter the action by ensuring your home is prepared to deter a home invasion, burglary or any other threatening or dangerous act. Preparing your children will also allow you to concentrate on events and safety steps that need to be taken to get everyone to safety and away from the threats or dangerous situation.

A motto of Smart Tactics is “It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it”. Having the education and not needing it is better than having some threatening event occur at your front door and you wishing you had the information needed to keep you safe along with your family.

A couple hours out of your life now spent becoming educated could be the reason you have a healthy, happy, safe life and provide a safer existence to your family. Without that education and without being proactive about your safety, you may end up on the news…and not in a story with a happy ending. Be safe, remain aware and attend a safety course today…it could save your tomorrow!





Being safe with a firearm

26 03 2012
Trigger lock fitted to the trigger of a revolver

Trigger lock fitted to the trigger of a revolver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You would think that just the mere mention of firearms that people would naturally be safe, but that is not the case. Too many times in the news do we see stories of kids shooting other kids with their parents firearm. There are many things wrong with that situation because responsible people should educate their children about firearms, the safety steps to take with the firearms and how to be safe around firearms. Children are naturally curious and will seek out those firearms when the parent are not around. Why? Because firearms are cool and children tend to want to impress their friends.

In order to maintain safety inside the home where there are children present, the firearms should be locked away and the key(s) should not be anywhere that can be found. Children will snoop around in the underwear drawers, under pillows and mattresses and in desk drawers. Having an adequate lockable storage location is important for the safety of those inside the home but the container itself is just as important. If someone were to break into the home they could steal a small container if it is not bolted down or secured in some manner.

Trigger locks are another way to ensure safety. The trigger locks impede anyone from depressing the trigger of the pistol and keeps the firearm and those inside the home, safe. What if someone were to break into the home? This is why planning is important: have the home-defense pistol in a location that can be easily and quickly accessed. Planning now can save the occupants of the home if a threat were to invade the home. Being safe is vital all the way around. Never assume the firearm is cleared: always make sure the firearm is safe and any magazine is located away from the firearm. Double check and triple check to make sure the firearm is clear and safe and maintain directional discipline: don’t point the pistol at anyone and know where the barrel is pointed at all times.