You want irony? Here’s irony. “Santa Clara County sheriff’s detectives are searching for three men who are accused of breaking into a Gilroy homeowner’s home,” mercurynews.com reports. “Tying him up, beating him and making off with his collection of guns.” Assuming that some of the guns in his collection were suitable for self-defense, the vic’s decision to protect his home with firearms led to a home invasion to take those firearms. Not only did he make himself a target, when push came to shove, he got pushed, shoved, humiliated, tied-up and beaten, during a nine-hour ordeal. Here’s how you can avoid making a similar mistake.
1. Don’t discuss your gun collection with anyone
I’m serious. The invaders knew where they were going and what they were going to steal. Without that intel, the home invasion wouldn’t have happened.
According to an insurance investigator buddy, gun dealers are the criminals’ number one source of firearms information. Sometimes directly, sometimes through silent co-conspirators. You know how people love to gather at gun dealers and gun shows to shoot the shit about their guns? Some of those people are not your friends. Not at all.
The same applies to the Internet. Joining a forum to discuss your rare or expensive firearms makes for hours of amusement. But never forget there are bad guys lurking in the shadows. Do NOT reveal personal details that would give away your location; such as your favorite local gunsmith or gun dealer.
While most criminals are brain dead opportunists, some are like African lions. They follow the herds. Stalking. Waiting. Looking for prey. And when they pounce, you need to be prepared.
2. Carry a gun— to get a gun
Not to put too fine a point on it, a home invasion of this type is some serious shit. The thieves are not coming alone and they are not coming unarmed and they know you’re armed. In short, they’re ready for a firefight. Are you?
Not if your gun is in the next room or upstairs you’re not. The invaders will rely on speed, multiple anges of attack and overwhelming force to take you down. You won’t have time to get your gun. Which may not be in the ideal place to engage. And even if you do find your firearm, you’ve wasted time that should have been spent identifying the threats, organizing the friendlies and seeking cover or concealment.
I also recommend that your significant other home carry. And that children of responsible age should have access to an emergency firearm. While crossfire is a concern (ameliorated by a suitable and flexible home defense plan), the more armed people on your side, the better. I know this is on the far side of paranoid for some folks. But there’s no getting around the first rule of winning a gunfight: have a gun.
As this kind of home invasion involves multiple attackers, your handgun probably ain’t gonna git ‘er done. You (or someone on your team) is going to need the extra firepower of a long gun: shotgun, rifle or carbine. As long guns are not the most wieldy of weapons, and they’re relatively easy to grab, they’re best left at a defensive location (a.k.a. safe room) where, hopefully, you can gather and protect any friendlies while you wait for the police.
Install panic buttons
Yes the police. The cavalry. The brave guys and girls willing to put their lives on the line to save your collective ass. You want them on site, ASAP. That said . . .
A lot has been written about who calls 911 and what you say when you call. I am of the firm belief that 911 calls are best made AFTER the threat is neutralized, or at least diminished. Calling 911 takes way to much brain power, and those stupid friggin’ operators won’t shut the ‘frig up.
“Where are they now? Are they making a sandwich? What kind of sandwich? Stay on the line. I’m there with you. Not literally of course. But the police are on their way. They will be there any second. I swear to God.”
A panic button’s the answer. Press the button. Instant alarm activation. Instant cop call. Done. I recommend panic buttons in all major living spaces. Not to mention an alarm in general. If you’re not alarm equipped, when you can, dial 911, hit CALL, throw the phone down and yell your address.
Irony is the discrepancy between expectation and reality. Narrowing that gap can be the difference between life and death. Alternatively, just because you’re not paranoid, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared.