[Note: author not shown in picture above.] Before I retired from the Army, I spent 1968-1971 on the ground in sunny Vietnam. While in country, I had an M14a1 ,which I miss dearly, and an early M16. I refused to carry that weapon after the first dance with Charles. I “acquired” an M1 carbine that jammed more the M16. And then I found the “girl of my dreams”: an M3a1 Grease Gun. It never jammed, ate all the dirt, sand, and mud it was fed, wasn’t picky about her make-up. A shower, dip in a rice paddy every now and then, and she was happy. In the same way, establishing a good armed home defense plan isn’t a goal in itself. It’s a process. Finding the right weapon or weapons is only one part of the puzzle. Answer these five questions in the comments section below, and then we’ll move on . . .
1. Do you have alarm system? An alarm systems should not be relied upon as sole protector of your castle. However, whenever you protect an asset, you need to establish a perimeter. It’s an early warning system that tells you to get your game face on. Unless you’re going to hire armed guards (who come with their own set of problems), an alarm system is key (so to speak). You can install non-police-monitored systems with sirens loud enough to send some third world residents to their bunkers, interior motion sensors, and strobe lights brighter than aircraft landing lights, at less cost than you might believe.
2. Are you ready for violence? If you have to defend your home in your home, it’s going to get rough. Very rough. Probably bloody. And painful. And messy. Will your wife object to massive amounts of blood on her carpet, or brain matter splattered over Grandma’s antique chair? (At the time of death, almost all corpses loose their bowels and bladder with no regard for location.). Yes, you CAN train for combat, through hard physical exercise and some sort of martial art. And quiet contemplation of a simple query: are you ready to kill another person if you have to?
3. Have you mentally prepared for a home invasion? Ready means ready for action, including weapons choice and tactics. We’ll go into this in more detail later, but how about this: have you ever done a self-defense walk through in your house with your unloaded weapon at the ready? If he comes in here, I’ll go there. If one comes in here and one comes in there, I’ll go there and then there. Do you imagine these scenarios at the range? Have you ever done force-on-force training?
5. Have you explored “less than lethal” self-defense options available that may be more appropriate to your needs? I know you’re on a website called The Truth About Guns. But the truth about guns is that they’re not for everyone. [see: question 2] And it’s not all about you. Your spouse can be a key ally in any fight. If he or she isn’t a shooter, why leave them disarmed? RF insists on home carry. You might want to carry a can of pepper spray and keep your gun locked up. Think of it this way: you are the gun.
I am not by any means trying to talk anyone out of armed home defense. But I am trying to talk EVERYONE into THINKING about all aspects and responsibilities that come with armed encounters. Types of lethal and non lethal force (weapons and gadgets) later. In the meantime, My All Your Targets Be Paper!