Home Defense: Paranoia’s Limits Are Out There, Somewhere

I practice Home Carry. I began packing a pistol on my person after the rabbi pointed out that I’d never have enough time to get a firearm out of my safe in time to cope with a home invasion. For some of you, that’s akin to saying I’d never have time to get under a kevlar shield in time to protect myself from a meteor strike. But the line between having a gun in the house and wearing one in the house is pretty thin, separated more by personal/political comfort levels than practical considerations. When the rabbi recommended carrying extra ammo as well, I balked. My Springfield XD-M holds 18 rounds. That’s a lot of counter-insurgency. That said . . .

I know just how quickly you can use up 18 bullets. And the type of threat I face could be extremely determined (zombies are known for their never-say-die spirit). So I keep spare ammunition magazines in various places throughout the house, on every level of my humble chateau.

From a safety point of view, I’m not-so-quietly confident that I’ve educated my children about guns and ammo to the point where they’re not going to play with real firearms—which are either on my person or locked in a safe—or bullets. Well, not without me, at the range, anyway. In fact, I’ve told the kids where these spare mags are so that they can retrieve them if needs be.

Uh-oh, my paranoia ping has pung! (Pinged?) What the hell kind of gunfight am I imagining—OK, anticipating that would necessitate Daddy telling one of his girls to leave cover and risk death by fetching him a spare mag? None, really. Well, none that I’m going to admit to. Any more than I already have. Bottom line: when it comes to home defense, options are a good thing. A lack of options is a bad thing.

Of course, that kind of thinking puts you on a slippery slope to an underground bunker. I know some people [who haven’t seen Conan the Barbarian] who have weapons stashed all over their house. And bug-out houses stashed all over the country. I reckon that kind of paranoia is better suited to a crack dealer than a rich white dude. But then again, how do you think rich white dudes got to be rich white dudes in the first place? Just sayin . . .

comments

  1. avatar Martin Albright says:

    Robert, did you ever see the movie "The Dogs of War?" Based on the Frederick Forsythe novel (although with all protagonists "Americanized") and starring Christopher Walken as the brooding mercenary, it came out in 1981. One of the opening scenes shows Walken in his NYC apartment. At one point he pulls open the drawer of a telephone table to jot down a note, and reveals a .38 snubbie in the drawer. A few minutes later he goes to the fridge for a beer and opens it up, revealing a .45 auto on the fridge shelf next to the beer.

    Kind of what I thought of when I thought of you stashing loaded mags all over the house.

  2. What is wrong with a bunker?

  3. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    You MIGHT be paranoid if: (an incomplete list)

    5. You have a vault-like 'Panic Room' stocked with weapons and food, and you're not a Danish political cartoonist.
    4. Your utility company had to show you where to bury the doomsday cache in the backyard without hitting a natural-gas pipeline.
    3. Your shirts and pants have built-in tourniquets below each major limb joint.
    2. Your 'Bug-Out Kit' cannot fit into your designated 'Bug-Out Chevy Suburban'.

    And you KNOW you're paranoid if:

    (wait for it…)

    1. You carry two guns. On your toilet. One on the strong side of the bowl in a ring-mounted 'toilet holster', and the other floating in the toilet tank sealed in a 'Meal-Saver' bag.

    1. avatar Paul Andreasen says:

      Wait! You mean 2 guns on/in the commode means I am, I mean, you are paranoid? Got news for ya Bubba! It AIN'T paranoia, when they ARE after ya!! (read any good newspapers lately? Oops, oxymoron..sorry)

  4. avatar Tony Curtis says:

    Uhh… Because they were born rich, and white?

  5. avatar Pete Grim says:

    When the SWAT team breaks in, the pea shooter aka .45 cal will be way underpowered as the thugs in black have armor and bullet proof shields to stand behind. No. What you need is a minimum .308 NATO round shooting rifle with minimum 30 round magazine. An M60 with bandoleers totaling 500 rounds would be better still. Wire the doors and windows and escape through a tunnel better better better STILL! Let's get crazy with this like a fox and survive, eh.

    1. avatar antelope_sniper says:

      Well I hope no one is planning to shoot at any SWAT team. That's not the reputation we need as law abiding suporters of the second amendment.

      Remember, the purpose of a pistol is to give you time to get to your rifle. Even if a group of home invaders is well armored, armor is not perfect, and the 18 rounds of cover fire may keep their heads down long enough for you to make it to your REAL gun. Unlike SWAT, and the homeowner protecting their family, most criminals are cowards and will retreat at the first instance of gunfire. Getting shotout significantly changes the risk reward ratio for their little venture. Although they may want to "get that green", they don't want to get killed for it.

  6. avatar JoeDoakes101 says:

    I've read and watched many videos, as I'm sure all of you have, of home defense situations. Vast majority of which the following occurs. The home owner draws his/her pistol begins to fire, hits one or two dirt bags, who ever is left continues to fire "un-aimed" shots as they try to find the car keys or just give up and begin to run away. Remember two things, you will not rise to the occasion, you will revert to what you know, and make sure you practice at regular intervals. Oh, and don't forget your primary weapon resides between your ears, use it early and often.

  7. avatar Taurus609 says:

    I have a older brother who was in law enforcement for over 20 years, he has a gun in every room of the house, stashed where only he and his wife know where they are. I've had my concealed carry license for almost two years now and because i can't afford that many guns, and I'm disabled, I carry everyday, everywhere and have it on me even in the house. I'm not paranoid and I'm not expecting something to happen, even though I'm already prepared in case it does, just like smoke detectors, seat belts or insurance on my cars and home. My main reason for carrying always is, that being disabled for me to try and get to where a gun would be for protection for myself or family, might not be the best scenario. And as most who carry, I hope that I die around 90 (I'm 59) and that I never have to pull my weapon in self defense, but if the need arises, I will.

  8. avatar mike from tucson says:

    While disbelief is a killer and hesitation is his henchman, no one can be 'ready' 24/7. So one must be prepared to start and perhaps finish from the bottom of a pit, aided only by one's constant companion: the natural hunter/killer instinct we're all born with. Death's journey downwards is long. If you have to go, why travel alone?

  9. avatar mikeb302000 says:

    What incredible comments! I'm laughing right now as I write this.

    I should have thanked you the other day when I linked to this post.

    I'm glad you're not as wacky as your commenters, Robert. But keep working on it, you'll get there.

    My favorite was the built-in tourniquets in the pants, and the famous, handgun is only useful to buy the time to get to your long guns.

  10. avatar Doug says:

    "wacky"? What's wacky about these comments?

  11. avatar Augy says:

    I used to keep eight loaded guns in my bedroom but now that I have cut it down to only four – 2 revolvers, a shotgun, and a scoped rifle, I still sleep just fine, PROVING that I am not paranoid.

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