Self-Defense Tip: Onions Have Layers. So Should Your Home Defense


Whenever a newbie asks me what firearm they should buy for home protection I respond with a simple question: do you have a burglar alarm? I find it incredible that someone, anyone is willing to go to all the trouble and expense of acquiring, mastering and (potentially) deploying deadly force without first considering the option of scaring the bad guy or guys away. And many of the people who do have a burglar alarm don’t use it. The internal sensors ring false a few times—kids, late night snack, dog, etc.—so they just forget about the whole thing. And most of the people with alarms don’t have panic buttons. Or use the system during the day. Anyway, it’s not all about deterrence. (Did I mention that most people with alarms don’t have lawn signs?) It’s also about creating an early warning system. For example . . .

David and Jennifer Jennings will never forget what happened early Sunday morning inside their home in a quiet Surprise neighborhood near West Greenway Road and North 168th Avenue.

“That’s where he came,” explained David Jennings.

Through an unlocked door, police say 18-year-old Ivan Sanchez [above] burglarized the home passing from one room to the next, “He grabbed this black bag right here,” said David, and in the process he noticed a gun next to David and Jennifer’s bed.

“The gun that I had to protect my family was pointed at me,” said David. Then his wife told us. “It was close, it was close and he just kept saying, ‘Don’t’ move. Don’t move.’ Really quiet, really serious.”

Oops. The fact that Dad managed to fight back and subdue the intruder without serious injury or loss of life (as reported by is laudable. But his mistake shouldn’t be yours.

Leaving a firearm in plain sight by your bed is not sound strategy—especially if there are children in the house. There are plenty of small, quick-access handgun safes that will remove the possibility of unauthorized access. They can be locked tight during the day (removing the need to move and store your defensive handgun every morning, should it not be your everyday carry gun as well).

But more than that, letting the bad guy get up close and personal before you’re aware of his/her/their presence was his first mistake. So . . .

Two words: alarm and dog. If you have both, you have a pretty good layered defense system that will allow you to stay ahead of the self-defense curve. Which is the only place you want to be if your home invaders come a calling.

Oh, and don’t forget Dad’s advice: lock your windows and doors. Duh.