Home invasion (courtesy seattletimes.com)

“Police are looking for two men who knocked on the man’s door about 8:30 a.m.,” yakimaherald.com reports. “One of the men punched the resident in the face as they forced their way into the home. After stuffing unspecified property into backpacks, they tied a plastic bag over the victim’s head and struck him several times with the tire iron.” Unspecified eh? The kind you smoke or snort? Setting aside the vic’s theoretical involvement in the illegal drug trade, we can learn from his series of unfortunate events. There are three main takeaways for people who don’t wish to to know what it’s like to have someone beating on your head with a solid object in the former privacy and comfort of your own home . . .

1. It pays not to advertise

My FFL handles estate sales. Over a fine Cuban cigar he told me about a former colleague who’d share clients’ antiques and firearms ownership intel with a crew of thugs. They’d break in to the owner’s home, tie up the residents, rough them up (for fun) and steal their valuables. There was big money and not a small amount of bloodshed.

This could be you. Be extremely careful with whom you share the joy and excitement of owning fine things, especially firearms and cocaine. That’s doubly true when dealing with appraisers, pawn shops, gun dealers, etc. As for stunting and flossing on the Internet or throwing down at the gun club, you boost your ego, you take your chances.

2. Don’t open your door to strangers

“According to the news release, the two men knocked on the victim’s door and asked for a woman whom the victim did not know. It was then one of them punched the victim in the face and entered the residence.”

I know what you’re thinking: who does that? Most people will open their door to a person who doesn’t look threatening, especially during daylight hours. Bad idea. Even if the visitor seems genuine. What if the bad guys had asked for a women the victim did know? What if they came dressed as cops? Canvassers? Mailmen?

I don’t want to go all Three Days of the Condor on you but you don’t know who you don’t know and who you don’t know could kill you. With a tire iron. Best to play it safe. If someone service-oriented (e.g., gas meter reader) shows up out of the blue phone the company to verify their employment.

Even if you kinda sorta know who’s knocking on your door and open the portal, why not keep a little distance between you and the person coming on deck? One punch in the face can ruin your whole morning. Open the door and step back. Way back. Armed.

3. Home carry

Anything that happens home invasion-wise is going to happen fast. Evolution has eliminated the bad guys who don’t understand the advantages of speed, surprise and violence of action. The window of opportunity for a counter-attack is going to be very, very small. Which you can realize with a very, very small gun.

I’ve got no problem carrying my Caracal C in an RKBA Kydex holster around the house. But I understand the desire for slob around comfort. That’s why I bought and recommend a Kahr PM-9. Also good: the Ruger LC9 and Smith & Wesson 642. There are loads ‘o mouse guns that fit in any size pocket. Answering the door to an unexpected visitor with your hand in your pocket resting on a gun is just plain common sense.

Like hurricanes in Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, home invasions hardly ever happen. But sometimes they do. When they do, you need to be as ready as you can be. Home carry, people. Home carry.

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42 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: 3 Rules to Defend Against Home Invasions

    • But in those “intimate moments” do you keep a firearm handy? I am reminded of the transformation of the she-goddess into a harpy in “Conan”. I’ve been married to one woman for almost 30 years, but I’m still not that sure she won’t turn into some she-beast when my back is turned. I’m just sayin’.

      😉

      • Being on, shall I say my “second deployment” I have noted the inherent dangers in being in close proximity to beings capable of shape shifting. Some would point to my current wife. She’s a wonderful woman who has never thrown a baseball but sometimes can transform into Sandy Koufax and nail you in the head with a shoe at distance.

      • Well like Bugs Bunny said ” Yea, I know. But aren’t they all witches inside?” as he strolled away with the sexy bunny who seconds before was the hideous Witch Hazel…… Can’t be too careful.

      • OOuch! Hurts to think about!

        The thing I find most comical about the Man/Woman (I wonder how soon some feminist sues to have woman changed to just woe) experience is how they have us, talkin to da boyz now, believing they are the weaker sex. Anyone who experienced the birth of even just 1 child knows that ain’t so.

        • Sorry, but getting kicked in the testicles is much worse than child birth, and this can be studied and proven scientifically.

          I have known HUNDREDS of women that have gone through the pain of child birth, that after a few years, has told me: “You know, I think I’d really like to have another baby.”

          To date, I’ve never known a single man, that has been kicked solidly in the testicles, that has told me: “You know, I think I’d really like to have another kick in the nuts.”

    • In my single days, a surprising number of ladies I’ve been with in an “Intimate encounter” understood the importance of home carry even during those wonderful “Intimate encounters”.

      They would all kiss me deeply, look me in the eyes, and quietly whisper: “You do have protection don’t you?”

      To which I’d reply: “Oh yes baby! . . . a 1911 right here in the headboard bookshelf!”

      Isn’t romance with a safety-conscious lady wonderful?

  1. Excellent advice.

    As “victims”, we’re already behind the curve. The only way to regain the initiative is by acting quickly, aggressively, and violently. Seize that moment and put the attacker on his heels.

    *HUGE FAN of Home carry*

  2. Thanks and praises to RF for getting me to home carry. Except for before dark; then I keep my EAA Witness (.45 ACP, comped) close to hand in an OPMOD pack. For which I also thank and praise RF for bringing it to my attention. Except for one zipper pull that broke the first day, it’s proved sturdy and ultra-reliable. Recommended.

  3. I installed a locking storm door on the front door. I can open the front door, and talk to whoever’s out there, but there’s still a locked glass door between us. Now, sure, they could charge into it, but they’re going to get cut to shreds on the glass, and that’ll give me plenty of time and warning to respond.

    • Good point about the storm door. When seconds count buy more seconds. A locked storm door doesn’t stop anybody but before they kick in the main door they will have to clear the remains of the storm door away.

      I recommend the following home defense drill. From any point in your house see where you can be in 5, 10 or 15 seconds. This will help you identify good defensive positions that you can get to before the actual SHTF. My baseline is 10 seconds warning. My dogs will alert when anyone comes on the property and I figure it takes at least 10 seconds to get through the storm door, sun porch door and main entry. In those 10 seconds I can get to solid defensive position where I can take good aim at the entry and my wife can handle the 911 call and back me up.

    • For about $600 installed, you can have a fairly attractive storm/screen door that is also a high-security door. They are made to resist up to 1000 pounds of force, have steel bars running vertically and horizontally, and use shatterproof glass. They will accept a locking doorknob and a deadbolt lock, and come with a steel frame that is screwed into your door jamb. They also have “pinned” hinges,so they can’t be easily pulled out. Check at your local hardware store, Lowe’s etc.

      One of these on your entry will give you a chance to react before someone can force their way inside. If the intruder is pointing a gun at you, tell him you have to go get the door key – it’s right around this corner in the hall – here, I’ve almost got it …. Or just shoot the SOB as you are backing away.

  4. Also, buy secure doors and locks. Too often do people place their safety in the hands of a door which can be kicked in or knocked open with just one strike from a battering ram – or put their faith in simple pin locks.

  5. I have a metal security door that allows me to talk to whoever is at my door and still protects me from grabs and punches. I have an airweight j frame .38 in my pocket and a pump shotgun handy. We’ve had a number of violent and unsolved home invasions around us.

      • So apparently my first reply to you was too harsh and got deleted. Ralph got booted to the bottom of the column. I guess that comparing you to a poser and a wannebe was a bit harsh. It’s just that shoot em once anywhere with a .45 and it ends the fight line you like to spout is just so untrue and unproven. Just using that line tells me you know little of guns. Do you even own a gun?

      • right, so you need to go get Vera.

        for real world problems .38 will work just fine, and if you are so sure of your opinion, volunteer to be a ballistic test subject.

  6. I have a rule when someone knocks at my door; if I’m not expecting you, I don’t answer it. Not even for a neighbor, who usually only knock on my door to see if I’ll join them in their quest to overthrow the condo association (another reason I stopped answering the door). And if they are knocking to see if I’m home before attempting a break in, I’m always ready for when you come in.

  7. .45 cal, because it’s just silly to have to shoot someone twice.

    Especially when there are more than one of them.

  8. I refuse to be paranoid. I refuse to compensate for my package. I want to be eliminated swiftly and quietly. that will be all.

    p.s. My little Elsie is always in my pocket.

  9. I’m continuously stunned at how many folks just reflexively open the door to ANYONE who knocks. In my home, we have an iron-clad rule…. If we don’t know you or aren’t expecting you, we will NOT open the door. I don’t care if it’s a girl scout selling cookies. We simply don’t open the door EVER for strangers.

  10. My wife and I do not open the door for strangers. Period. I also told my wife that when she is home alone, if somebody knocks at the door, make darn sure they go away. The trend around here lately is burglaries during the daytime when folks are at work. The perp or perps will knock on the door and wait around to see if anybody answers. If not, then they proceed to try and break in.

  11. There’s prudence, and there’s being antisocial. I’ll open the door for anyone whom I know or am expecting, or anyone who doesn’t make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. But, I live in a good neighborhood where the only crime I can think of in recent memory was someone’s stuff getting stolen out of their unlocked car a couple of years back. I know my neighbors, and they know me, and that is better security than a dozen cameras and alarms. I don’t home carry as a rule, unless I know I’ll be going out later, but I pocket carry with a Kel-Tec P3AT .380 whenever I answer the door. I also have handguns stashed in various hidden but quickly-accessible places around the house, so I can have one in my hand in seconds if necessary.

  12. S&W PC327 in my front PJ pocket at all times when I’m up. Eight .357’s beat a punch in the face any day.

    I prefer autos for edc but nothing beats a 2″ blaster for a potentially contact-distance encounter.

    • You carry that sweet beast in your PJ pockets (uh…I am talking about the firearm….of course)? I can manage my Ruger SP101 3″ for a short time in Jean pockets while in a 7-11 or something, and love my S&W627pro 4″ for nightstand (8 shots of .357 is kinda nice, huh).

  13. Ask whoever is outside what they want before you open the door,if it sounds like BS,don’t open the door,if it is an emergency situation you will probably need to call the authorities anyway.I always keep .357 close by when at home,I live out in the country and realize that it could take a deputy more than 30 minutes to get here,as I used to be a deputy in this county,Jones County,Ms.Also there are other weapons available to me,if needed,I never go to answer my door without a weapon on me,and I open the door a little bit as I step back,with my hand on my weapon,I just call it being prudent in this day and time.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  14. If someone knocks on my door the first thing I do is grab one of the Para P-14s I have stashed; I don’t answer the door carrying, I answer the door holding.

  15. Any caliber bullet placed nine inches below the belly button will be effective. Just aiming there is a powerful attention grabber.

  16. I am going to reaffirm my commitment to home carry. My loaded Springfield XDs is now going to always be on my person or within reach (but not in the reach of my kids). I think I’m going to get a new SERPA holster and train to draw from it. This way I can play with my kids freely with less fear of them getting the weapon and a resulting negligent discharge. Sucks that I can’t get a carry permit in this state though.

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