I love it when someone knocks on my door. It usually means that someone on the other side has a present for me, whether it’s gooey and cheesey or (more commonly) a box full of bullets from a man in a brown shirt. But what if someone knocks on your door who you weren’t expecting? It seems like someone locally had the brilliant idea to exploit our desire for cheese and meat, and they’re packing a different kind of heat.

From the Fairfax Times:

Two men wearing pizza delivery uniforms attempted to rob a Reston home with a gun hidden in an empty pizza box, according to police and a neighborhood resident.

Yep, fake pizza delivery guys.

It’s a little brilliant actually. Who wouldn’t want a fresh pizza, especially if it’s a “delivery error” and yours for free? The ruse is just good enough to get the victim to open their door, and then BAM! Gun in your face.

The moral of the story is short and sweet: if you’re not expecting someone, don’t open your door. Avoiding conflict is the best way to prevent violence, and keeping a locked door between you and and an unwanted guest is always a good policy.

But if you absolutely cannot keep the door closed, follow three simple suggestions:

  1. Only open the door far enough to converse with the caller — don’t simply fling the door open. This gives you some cover if you need to duck and cover, and will help you close the door on unwanted houseguests before they can get their foot in the door.
  2. Use security chains. You know, those things that you put on your door that let you open only a little bit. It’s not going to deter a determined attacker, but it might buy you some time.
  3. Pack your own heat. There was a story not too long ago about a man who successfully defended his home from an unwanted invader by firing through the door. Not that I recommend blindly firing and violating rule #4, but if all else fails you might have to defend yourself. As RF likes to point out, home carry is a good idea.

As they say, beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Especially if those gifts are the perfect hiding place for a firearm.

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9 Responses to Self Defense Tip: Look Before you Leap

  1. A front-door peep hole that a homeowner can see through is a nice addition and these days a video camera which can observe the outside is an easy and inexpensive addition. The video camera can be visible or discreet (know your state & local laws). I never open the door to discuss what any uninvited person wants. I speak through the door. A free pizza or other similar gift is suspect (food can be poisoned) and so is the presence of two delivery drivers.

  2. We get the Jehovah witnesses a lot. Suits , dresses, Sunday best outfits with pamphlets in hand. I don’t have my iron in my pocket when I open the door, maybe I should.

  3. My dogs announce the arrival of any visitor wanted or not. When someone I don’t know shows up I just point to the dogs, who are going through their “We are going to pull you apart like a stuffed doggie toy” routine, and motion to them to depart the premises. I have yet to find anybody willing to see what the dogs will really do. My Plott hound’s canines are about 1.5″ long.

  4. Being prepared is one thing. Being unpleasant to and suspicious of strangers is something else, I think– something that tends to make the (paranoid, myself included) armed intelligentsia look bad.

    There are times when a situation just starts to look bad (since when does it take two people to deliver a pizza?). A stranger knocking the door does not in itself qualify as one of those situations. When some one knocks on my door, I open it all the way and make an effort to be polite and friendly to whoever it is. Sometimes I will step outside and shut the door behind me (a precaution that has the benefit of a friendly appearance). The remote possibility of trouble does not, for me, justify rudeness at every chance encounter.

    But then, I also home carry.

  5. Home carry solves most of this. I’ve been paranoid on peepholes since I saw a movie where an assassin stuck a muzzle to the other end and shot the peeper in his right eye but I don’t throw my door open, either. I open it enough to see them, left hand on doorknob and right hand holding weapon of choice. It is presented away from them behind my leg and considering I’ve had very suspect visitors who confuse my house for a drug dealer’s quite commonly I find no better recourse. Additionally its easily hidden if I need to admit someone if I swiftly turn around if its someone like a distant relative.

    House chain likely is a good move. This new door needs one. I have a lot of deliveries myself and even if I do not answer the door, anyone else home certainly will. Part of why the front door needs oil very badly and I leave it squeaky on purpose.

  6. If I haven’t ordered a pizza, I won’t open the door. I had a guy try to gain access to the building with a delivery of a package for someone who does not live here. I not only refused to buzz him in but I called police and told them that he was in the neighborhood trying to gain access. The best self defense is common sense and having a locked door between you and a criminal is one of the best ways to give yourself time to call police and grab either your gun or in my case, my cast iron skillet.

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