While researching for my book How to Defend Your Home with a Shotgun, I’ve come to a fork in the road. As Yogi Berra recommended, I’m taking it. More specifically, there are two schools of thought on whether or not you should lock up your gun at night. The first says what are you, Meshugana? In a Bump in the Night (BITN) scenario, you need immediate access to a locked and loaded firearm. With adrenalin flowing through your system, with the clock ticking on terror, there’s no way you’ll be able to successfully negotiate gun locks, safes, ammo, etc. You’ll die before you get older. The argument against this POV: you’re much more likely to make a mistake and shoot the wrong person if you have a “here’s one I prepared earlier” firearm at hand. Or miss the right wrong person. You need to WAKE UP, god dammit. The extra steps needed to prepare deadly force—unlocking, loading—will force you to do so and, this save your life. And, potentially, the life of an innocent BITN-generator. I can see both perspectives. But there’s simply no hard data on this. Once I get to Colorado, I’m going to find a sleep clinic and set up a proper experiment (list of variable after the jump). Meanwhile, what do YOU do for nighttime home defense?
Firearm Sleep Study – Is it better to lock up your gun at night?
Seeking to measure:
1. Ability to accurately ID target – Friend or foe?
2. Reaction time – How long does it take from initial stimulus to weapon and target acquisition and firing?
3. Accuracy of fire – What are the odds of a successful shooting?
In a controlled setting, arouse sleeping subjects with an audio stimulus. Measure their ability to acquire a firearm (paint ball gun), ID a target and hit it with various safety measures in place (or not).
1. Subject – age, race, marital status, children, firearms experience, etc.
2. Sleep drugs
3. Ability to accurately ID target – Friend or foe?
4. Reaction time – How long does it take from initial stimulus to weapon and target acquisition and firing?
5. Accuracy of fire – What are the odds of a successful shooting?
6. Depth of sleep
7. Nature and strength of initial audio stimulus (breaking glass, alarm, nudge from partner)
8. Type of weapon
9. Weapon position
10. Weapon acquisition procedure – by the bedside, safety on or off, in a safe, etc.