I am constantly amazed at the number of people who believe they’re prepared for a home invasion who are clearly, absolutely not. Don’t get me wrong: if someone doesn’t want to contemplate the idea of bad guys entering their home, that’s OK with me. Depending on whether or not you keep an ounce of blow somewhere on the premises, the odds of a home invasion are lower than the odds of injuring or killing yourself by slipping in the bath. But I have real issue with people who say they’ve got a plan and don’t. After having a friendly chat with (i.e. interrogating) dozens of shooters on the subject, I’ve identified several common profound weaknesses. Let’s start with this: they don’t have a gun . . .
Oh they have a gun. Most have several. Know how to shoot them too. But they don’t have immediate access to a gun in their home. Which is the same as not having a gun. They all think they’ll be able to run to their gun at the start of a home invasion. That is one seriously dangerously delusion.
You think the bad guys are going to make an appointment? Knock three times? Wait while you prepare for them? Allow you to secure your kids before you get your gun? I wouldn’t bet my life on it. And neither should you.
Experience has taught bad guys the wisdom of Adam Deciccio’s recipe for personal defense: speed, surprise and violence of action. Even the craziest of them get it. Ironically enough, I can illustrate the problem with a report from wfie.com:
The victim, Tabitha Inge, told deputies she awoke to find Stevens, who also goes by the name Lorie Dunn, standing over her wielding a knife.
The sheriff’s office says the two women did not know each other.
Inge said Stevens forced her to cook a meal for her and load computers, mail and other items into Inge’s van. That’s when deputies say Stevens told Inge she was going to assume the victim’s identity and ordered her to help her die her hair.
Inge broke away, grabbed a rifle and tried to shoot Stevens. The weapon failed to fire, though, and Stevens then ran into a bedroom where Inge’s daughter was asleep. Inge followed and began hitting Stevens with the rifle. Stevens then ran out of the house, leaving in Inge’s van.
Don’t get distracted by the fact that Inge was asleep at the time of the invasion. Yes, she should have secured her doors and windows. A perimeter alarm helps me sleep like a baby (when I do).
Don’t worry about the strategic error of not fighting like hell as soon as possible. Some people can’t summon sufficient mental and physical strength when faced with a deadly threat—especially when they’re caught on the hop. Sometimes strategic concerns (such as children in the house) mean you gotta go with the flow, and wait for your chance to escape or attack.
Focus on the fact that Inge didn’t have a self-defense gun strapped to her body. Or, less MikeB302000 antagonistically, anywhere within easy access.
I highly doubt Inge’s weapon failed to fire. I bet Inge failed to fire the weapon. The rifle was probably unloaded. Or had the safety on. Or something. Again, bad planning almost cost Inge her life.
But even if it had fired, the odds of shooting a home invader with a rifle (or shotgun) are far lower that the odds of shooting the perp with a handgun. Handguns are more accessible. More wieldy. Less obvious. More versatile. Rifles and other long guns are easier to deflect and “confiscate.”
I’m down with that whole “handguns are for fighting to your long gun” concept. In that order. But the best way to think about this is simple enough: if Inge had been home carrying, this story would have had a different arc. As would the tale of horror endured by Dr. Petit.
If you’re going to rely on a gun for part of your home defense plan, observe the first rule of a gunfight: have a gun. And the second: no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
Remember: that bump-in-the-night I’ll get my gun out of the safe or grab the one by my bed scenario that most people like to prepare? It’s only one possibility of many. Unless you’re home carrying, you are only ready for a very specific set of circumstances.
There are plenty of “common sense” objections to home carry. It’s unsafe for the kids (definitely not true if you keep your gun on you at all times). I’ll look like a nutcase (who’s coming to dinner?). Etc. And there’s one common sense reason to man (or woman) up and carry a gun in your home: if you need it, there it is.
As John Lennon said before he was shot to death, life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Semper fi baby. Semper fi.