Good article about home security and the lack thereof. I built a fake beam around the exit door that leads to my driveway (I have a detached garage on two acres). I also have a picture in the entry foyer that is hinged. It is larger than what you see for sale in gun magazines and looks as if it belongs on the wall. Both contain short but legal 12 gauge Mossberg 500’s (loaded and chambered) and one pistol in each box. The two door pistols and my “car” gun are of the same format.
I have a halogen 500 watt light on each side of my door controlled by a separate switch than the porch lights. The lights and the guns exists to cover one problem, when someone unexpected knocks at the door or otherwise makes a himself a pest in my driveway or yard. Another must is changing out the doors if they have glass in them. My carry gun is a J frame or I carry my car gun which is larger. I am a big believer in the first rule of a gun fight: have a gun. I am also a big believer in dogs. Your picture made me smile.
I agree with you that the vast majority of people are unprepared for a home invasion but in my experience the greatest threat may not be at home under the circumstances outlined in the article. I have worked security for a well known [professional sports team] owner and for some people under extreme danger. Of those in danger, one had fired a highly paid woman manager who had ditched her husband for a convict who she had been writing to in the pen. She controlled about five million dollars electronically and the employer could not take the risk. He became aware of the problem when the ex-con started showing up at work making suggestions as a management consultant. When his girl friend was fired he made death threats to the employer, employer’s wife, and to the staff.
The problem areas for the client were #1: at the office which had public access, #2 public restrooms, #3 elevators, #4 parking lot and parking garages, #5 during the drive home, #6 entering or leaving his home garage which was exposed to the street and #7 everything else. He carries now and has done a lot of work on situational awareness. The answers have been expensive. He has bought a different house with a garage that can be protected by the two dogs he has added to the family and has no street view. He and his wife both have carry permits and pack at all times.
They remodeled the front foyer of the office to a buzz in bullet proof box and changed the back door of the office to an alarmed always door. They also added alarms to both home and office as well as added video cameras to both. The cameras are recorded off site via internet. He also shielded his phone lines as well as his cable and computer cables on the exterior of the house. The landscaping was changed out to Holly bushes around the new house and it has the added benefit of a panic room. He also got in the habit of taking the stairs which eliminates what has always seemed to me the be the most dangerous place to get hit.
For awhile I supplemented as a body guard. I testified in court against the ex-con and got a death threat myself for my trouble. The judge gave us restraining orders which are worthless for defense but handy to have if we get in a shootout with the convict. While history suggests enough time has passed that the threat level has decreased, the client is much, much more aware about the threats in this world to him and his family.
He travels a lot and has been to over eighty different countries according to his passport (which has been re-stitched twice by the State Dept.). He has to travel unarmed but believes his situational awareness training has prevented several crimes in other countries. Since training he has also had to evacuate from a boat off the coast of Brazil as it sank in the middle of the night. Interesting guy.
The biggest hit he has taken from Baltar (our code name for the convict) however, has been from the employees who quit when he threatened them. Most of the employees were women and they knew enough about the guy to be afraid of him. They felt that if they changed to other firms they would no longer be targets or be around when it all hit the fan. Between that and the business directory of the firms customers that the lady stole as she went out the door business has been off. Baltar has slurred the firm’s name with a number of lies that customers have no way to check out for themselves. In his mind the employer should have kept his girlfriend and hired him also (management consultant).
This is no joke. His actions have been the result of not getting what he wanted out of his post prison life. The expense to the employer has been in the millions. And all of it because a person he hired became involved later with this Baltar. With bonuses her pay ranged from $85,000 to $105,000.
Please note I have not revealed the time period, city, industry, names, or any details which could identify this client. I do believe this type of employee problem is far more common problem that generally known as disgruntled ex-employees are everywhere. The only thing that holds most back is a desire to get on with the next employer without baggage. Others may fear a lawsuit but in the case of the employer the problem people were judgement proof and the bad publicity would have hurt him more that the other side. For what it is worth, they got married to each other several years later. All I can say is: wonderful, they deserve each other.
Neither this client nor the [professional sports team] owner were the most interesting. Another client in extreme danger was however. Enough time has passed that he may approve of my writing a book about his case. I will not do it without his approval but a few books have already touched on the circumstances surrounding his life so I believe he will be supportive if I ever write the thing.
Go feed that dog.