Ralph and I were discussing my recent training experiences at Plano’s Patriot Protection. I was bummed. My instructor instructed me to ditch my beloved Seiko. During nighttime ops, the chrono’s illuminated dial would alert bad guys of my location. “Are you kidding?” Ralph asked. “Criminals are morons, not ninjas. They’re looking for your TV not your watch.” So really, how much training do you need to repel a home invasion? It’s better to have a lot rather than not enough, right? Maybe not. Maybe there’s a level of training that gives non-operator-types false confidence, leading to fatal bravado. Whataya reckon?

108 Responses to Question of the Day: How Dumb Are Home Invaders?

  1. “The more you sweat in training the less you bleed in combat”. Sorry ; the idea that to much training makes you more wreckless in a real self defense scenario is up there with the anti gunners saying that carrying a gun turns a regular person into a homicidal maniac.

    Or the other is that wearing a seat belt will cause you to drive more wrecklessly.

    No, the more you train the better you will understand your limitations and will make you have a better understanding of what is doable in a real scenario.

    • If my home is invaded, I’m not in combat, I’m in defense. I get in the best defended position I can, call 911, and wait. I assume the person in the house will be walking around, either to find me, or to find valuables. If they cross into my field of fire, they are dead. If they don’t cross I’ll be glad to let the police clear the house. I don’t need a lot of training for this, just some planing.

      • 1. Combat- definition- A fight between two people or groups, especially between armies.

        Well Bruce; Combat is usually talking about a war between large groups of people. But you are definitely in a fight and when you are in a fight, you can go on the defense or go on the offense.

        In most situations; being on the defense, forted up and letting them come to you is a good plan. But some times going on the offense should also be an option; what happens if you have a wife or children on the opposite side of the house and a predator has invaded your home where he is now between you and your family? Would you still just go on the defense?

        This comes down to what each person thinks is an adequate level of training for what they expect or assume is the most likely attack by a human predator(s).

        But my view is that good realistic training with a lot of different possibilities is just plain fun and it could save my life or someone else some day.

    • The wrong kind of training may be worse than none at all. Take for example the kind of training that was discussed in yesterday’s home invasion thread. If you take that training seriously you are likely to end up in the morgue. It doesn’t matter how much you train if you train for the wrong thing.

    • This is all so much easier than what everyone makes it out to be. Just leave bear traps laying out around the house at all points of entry…..

      • Actual bear traps are too noticeable and can be used against you in the court of law. Now, to really confuse a prosecutor, what you need is a box of shotgun shells, some particle board, a drill with a bit that is exactly as wide as a shell, some springs, and some nails. Homemade claymore that explodes into wood particles and fires 12 shells at whoever sets it off. They’l never know what hit them

    • “Or the other is that wearing a seat belt will cause you to drive more wrecklessly.”

      First, the word I think you’re looking for is “reckless,” (which ironically has almost the opposite meaning), but I fear that seat belt usage has been shown to reduce a driver’s alertness, and driver’s seat belts save exactly the wrong person. Wherever mandatory seat belt laws have been imposed, the negligent drivers get saved and the danger to innocent bystanders increases.

      Rather than mandate seat belts, modify the cars: http://richgrise.tripod.com/images/Safe-Car.gif

    • 1. If you think you are going to be worrying about which watch you are wearing when you wake up in the middle of the night, you’re wrong.

      2. If you are fussing with your watch while when you should be getting into a defensive posture or taking control of your home invader, you’re wrong.

      3. If you’re trainer is talking to you about glow in the dark watches and home invasions the way Marines light discipline and night ambushes/raids… you’re going to the wrong instructor.

      If Tiger McKee or someone from Gunsite starts teaching watch discipline, I’ll happily eat crow. Until then, I have way more important things to focus on, like the front sight tip.

  2. Ok… If your home intruder is on the ball enough to spot the glow from your watch… You’d better fort up and let them take what they want. You’re fighting super ninja.

    • I disagree. Even a dumb animal is smart enough to note a flash of light, whether it’s emitted light or the glint of a reflection, and react to it. If you’re not a hunter, ask one about this.

      What I’ve never been able to understand is the widely, yet sometimes incorrectly held assumption that someone who has broken into your domicile with theft (or worse, you don’t know) on their mind, is normal/rational. You don’t know if they have been “fortified” with drugs or alcohol, or are under the mind-numbing or maddening effects of drug withdrawal, making their responses completely unpredictable to anyone else.

      Predicting what these folks will/might do, and basing your actions or responses on these predictions, is building a house of cards and hoping that is doesn’t collapse on top of you and yours.

      Good luck with that.

      • If the only shining object in the room is my wrist watch, yeah they’ll see it and notice it. If, like me, every room in your house has electronics in it with little led lights on it that are always on, i don’t think they’ll be able to tell the difference between the lights on my wrist from the blinking lights on my internet router, or my surge protector, or my microwave, or my… it goes on like that.

        • DJ9 has it right: the microwave, stove, VCR, wall clock, etc. are all stationary, whereas you’re(hopefully) moving. Moving lights, even just a glow-in-the-dark watch face, tend to attract a lot of attention.

        • Make sure you wear camouflage face paint to bed, also you should wear sunglasses so they don’t spot the whites of your eyes!

  3. Some home invaders are smarter than others. Your common street thug who sees your open window as an opportunity isn’t very bright. A career criminal on the other hand is smarter than you–because he knows step one is to wait until you’re not home.

    • Every time they commit a crime they are getting training. Every time they go to jail they get institutionalized training and when they get out they are far better criminals.

  4. 2 quotes come to mind whenever I see the average Joe talking about force on force training, and home invasion room clearing tactics………

    A sucker is born every day……………….
    And……………
    A fool, and his money, are easily parted………………..

    Unless you spend all your time in an “operator” mindset, this is all a bunch of useless **** to spend your time on.

    Learn to shoot, and have a plan. If the crash in the night comes, hope you remember the plan.

    • This sounds like taking self defense classes where you punch the air and practice moving “away” from the knife when they “launch” at you.

      Even a simple paintball game will give you a slim idea of what might be to find yourself in a gun fight.

      And when you wake up in the middle of the night with the bad guy rushing in the bedroom you will remember no plan. At that point only your training will take over.

      This doesn’t mean you take a couple of classes and now you think you’re part of Seal Team 6, but just like someone else said here, the more you train, the more you realize what you can and CAN’T do.

    • The SALESMEN on the youtube videos are just as laughable as the wannabe ninja “operator” cops with their schtick. Scruffy beard-check (just back from the sandbox and haven’t had time to shave); Terminator shades-check; 5-11 pants (nice overpriced pants) – check; operator ball cap – check; BS “operator” lingo – check.

      The cops just add shaved head and “I’m in charge of everything” attitude.

    • A home invasion is READY TO HAPPEN TO YOU! Thugs are waiting around the corner at night to rob just YOUR HOUSE while you are HOME!!

      Most of this crap is geared to make you paranoid, then spend money on these classes that won’t teach you anything and have you all dressed up like some tooled out mall ninja.

    • LOL.

      So, be like my old neighbors and spend your money on golf lessons instead of defensive shooting classes.

      That way you can have good form swinging that 5 iron at the bad guy at zero dark thirty.

      I’d rather rely on training to come out on top in a deadly force encounter than pure, dumb luck. As Louis Awerback wisely noted: People also win the lottery with pure dumb luck. Most of us don’t though.

      If you don’t come out on top of deadly force encounter, you will probably come out dead.

      John

      • But your neighbor swings his 5 iron more times in a month, than most probably train all year……………..

        A couple of classes a year, won’t create the “muscle memory” needed to fall back on your training. Why do you think cops do such a ****** job?

  5. I don’t know, how bright is your watch and how dark is the house at night? Do you sleep with your watch on?

    I could see a home intruder potentially shooting at your glow in the dark watch if that was all he could see of you.

  6. Home invasions in my burg are typically druggies looking for drugs and or money and or stuff to steal to sell to buy drugs. They typically know who and what they are up against so they are not dumb in that regard. They are dumb to attempt what could get them shot or killed. They are dumb in the fact that they are drug addicts in the first place and criminals in the second place. The other kind of home invasion that occurs in my area are gang on gang. Good riddance factor there if someone gets killed. Only problem is the gang bangers around here are so dumb they frequently hit the wrong house and injure or kill innocent people.

  7. Intruder might think it’s a ghost and run away leaving a man-sized/shaped hole in the door.
    If you walked around going “oooooooooooo” “woooooooooooo” you’ll really spook him.

    • My friggin word. I might have peed a little at this. “Oooooooh, oooooooh!” makes me think of that classic Gilligan’s Island episode with the ghost.

  8. I’m thinking if the bad guy is in a position to see my watch, I probably should be firing by now. Maybe some of the more trained folks hereabouts can correct me on that.

    • Here’s an idea, light up the watch and throw it on the floor, and after the bad guy empty’s his magazine on it, you can “light him up”.

  9. When we talk about home invasions are we talking about;
    – a break in to steal valuables hoping no one is home?
    – a break in where the intent is to cause harm to the person?

    If we’re just talking a property motivated break in I would posit that most trespassers are focused on valuables/easy to remove items. They will still be cautious about residents, but not actively looking for them.
    If we’re talking an assault motivated break in then the trespasser is more likely to be looking for signs of the occupants, and there is a slight chance that the watch might be a giveaway

    Unfortunately you are unlikely to know the motivation in advance

    • “Home invasion” is usually taken to mean breaking in when the perp knows or suspects that someone is home. It’s not very common in the USA, because some Americans have guns, and even a criminal knows that the odds tend to catch up eventually. In less well armed countries like the UK or even Canada (yes, Canadians have lots of properly stored long guns – doesn’t help) they are much more common, since when someone is home it is less likely that the alarm is off, and there is someone to “help” open the safe. In Canada at least, criminals of certain immigrant/ethnic communities tend to victimize members of the same community and threaten them so as they don’t report the home invastion to the police.

      • Anon in CT,

        Home invasions “common” in the UK? Any numbers on that? Living here, it’s something you’d think I’d notice if it happened much…

  10. I know I’m not cleaning my house in a home invasion. I’m hunkering down in the bedroom with my wife and three HD weapons and waiting for them to come to me. Most likely the force ratio will not be enough for them to be successful. I’m also not doing operators operating operationally training but I have more than basic firearms and tactics training. Enough to know that clearing my house during a HD scenario by myself is pretty dumb. I have a plan, and it is simple.

    • Home invasions are a terrible time for domestic chores. It’s best to wait until the invaders are gone to clean your home. They’ll likely not notice the pigsty you live in in the dark anyways.

      • Agreed. Cleaning during a home invasion? Different strokes for different folks.

        Besides, that’s what the wife unit is for.

        I kid. I kid.

        John

    • “I know I’m not cleaning my house in a home invasion.”

      Well, mopping your floor could be a good idea. First of all, the home invaders will leave fresh footprints and DNA on that just cleaned floor. And, the home invaders could wipe out if the floor is still wet. What’s not to like? ; )

      • If you absolutely must clean your house during a home invasion for goodness sake do not wear your watch!

  11. I don’t know… there are plenty of stories of grandma/grandpa ventilating the bad guys with a rusty old revolver that probably hadn’t been fired in 40 years.

    Is training bad? Of course not… I’ll be taking the NRA Personal Protection in the Home course next month, actually. If you can get it for cheap of free, take advantage of it, but I don’t believe that Joe Homeowner needs thousands of dollars of “operator” training to defend himself against a smash & grab junkie looking for the TV.

    If you’re in a spy vs. spy tiptoe death match you’d probably already be dead in your sleep because you wouldn’t have heard them enter the house in the first place.

  12. I would have referred to that instructor as “Instructor Zero” from then on…and ensured he knew it too.

  13. I think the best first step to deal with home invasion is a bullet-resistant vest, preferably Level III A with a bulletproof insert and a groin guard.
    As Ayoob says, “If you expect to be in a gunfight, obviously someone will be shooting at you, too.”
    Considering multiple opponents are likely and your loved ones are behind you, it’s a good idea to enhance your endurance and survivability through the fight as much as possible.

    • This is, of course, assuming you have time to put it on, and line up your family behind you. If you don’t have time , and the intruder is already in your space, you can maybe ask him to give you the specs on his weapon, and maybe explain to him how he can keep from having a negligent discharge, while you are putting on your vest.

  14. At least around this neck of the woods, home invasions over the past couple of years have been armed, multiple intruders with steal and who-knows-what in mind. Some victims have been terrorized, some beaten, most escaped with a few nightmares. That being said, I received enough training in the Army to protect myself and my loved ones: everyone scoot to the hide-out room, I post myself, armed w/push-button flashlight, at right angles to the entrance where my loved ones are, with a clear view of the passageway and stairs. While my sweetheart calls 911, I stay focused on what counts.
    There have been dozens of home invasions in central Arkansas over the past few years, so my friend Gaston stays on my bedside table.

    • Does Gaston have his friend Kathrin with him? You could at least invite her off the table and into the bed.

  15. Combat training, like many disciplines, has multiple levels. Many beginners, like beginning drivers, believe they possess special insights that make them better than everyone else. Many keyboard commandos fall into this category. Typically any decent training will reveal weaknesses. Novices quickly learn that they are not as good as the experts. As training improves, so also should wisdom and the knowledge of limitations.

    There is no easy answer as to how much training a person needs because life is unpredictable. The olde grandma might shot a young whippersnapper with virtually no training whatsoever. However, a couple facing a home invasion could definitely use all the training they can reasonably afford. Given the chance, most of us would choose to possess Navy Seal or SpecOps training.

    I like Simunition training because it tends to quickly reveal weaknesses in shooting techniques and judgement. Those things tend to diminish under stress. I’ll continue to advocate Simuntion, Airsoft, Paintball, and reactive laser training. The training environment is much more forgivable than real life. If you can learn from a mistake, without paying the price, than training is worthwhile.

    The flip side can be training scars. Simunition can’t penetrate walls, and the handgun rounds drop off sharply after about15 yards. The interior drywall of a house definitely won’t stop bullets. Simunition helmets impair vision, and can make getting a sight picture much more difficult. Still, it’s worth trying if you can afford it.

    • These are all good ideas and FWIW I think you’re correct. But talking about expertise begs the question “expert at what?”

      Training with sims to storm a building in Fallujah has absolutely zero to do with defending my home. Training with sims to defend my home has nothing to do with storming a building in Fallujah. So why do trainers insist on training me to do something that I will never do and don’t need or want to know?

      Pie a room — really? The only pie I’m interested in has blueberry filling.

    • I thought that I was giving those goblins a lot of credit when I called them morons. Most of them don’t even make imbecile on the Goddard scale.

      • That doesn’t mean that can’t be lethal, Ralph.

        Or worse, lucky.

        If “smart” won every confrontation with “less smart”, there would be far fewer dummies in society overall nowadays, due to natural selection. I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I’ve been observing lately.

        • To better illustrate the point: Think about all the times you’ve heard some newsreader complaining about some 30-something-year-old guy on Death Row that is about to be executed, even though he only has the intelligence level of a 10-11-12-whatever-year-old child.

          Well, the reason he is on Death Row is that he killed someone, and odds are, it wasn’t someone dumber than he is, because he is definitely way out on the far left tail of the I.Q. bell curve.

          Dumb/moron/imbecile does NOT equate to harmless, especially in the world of criminals.

        • If you read the article, were specifically addressing the BG “reading” RF’s watch and using his ninja powers to track and shoot him. I’m not saying that BGs aren’t mean bast@rds, but they’re waaaay too stoopid for that.

          They come into an occupied dwelling to steal the TV and the drugs and to rape the womenfolk. Just shoot them. Call 911 before if there’s time and afterwards if there isn’t.

          Helpful hint — if you call ServePro before you call 911, it will be used against you. ‘Cause to ServePro, “like it never even happened” is an advertising slogan. To the cops, it’s evidence tampering.

  16. I don’t wear a watch, but if I did, I probably wouldn’t have it on during the hours a creeper would likely come a calling. And I certainly wouldn’t waste time putting it on.

  17. I’m an engineer, I do engineer things. I am not a cop, I don’t do cop things. If the local police want to take some college calculus and physics courses and become more knowledgeable, by all means, they should. They shouldn’t expect to be able to do my job.

    Defending family is a basic responsibility of being a man. My family has a plan, and it’s a defensive one: get out of sight and under cover and wait for the cavalry to arrive. I’ll let the cops do the cop things.

    All of this tactical operational training should come with a disclaimer:

    FOR ENTERTAINMENT/RECREATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY! DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

    • The local cops will be happy to do an investigation to determine how you and your lovely family were killed during what appears to have been a home invasion. Still no suspects at this time, but police say the investigation is on-going.

  18. A lot of training is very bad, not because it breeds a high level of bravado, but because instructors are teaching us the wrong stuff — stuff likely to get us killed. Some of the trainers have come home from the sandbox and are teaching us to be home invaders — which is similar to what they were trained to be — and not the home defenders we actually need to be. Forgive me for saying it — it’s utterly ridiculous.

    Why are they teaching what they teach? Well, for one thing, it’s what they know. They may also believe in it. The cherry on top is that it takes weeks, months, years to reach a high level of that kind of training. And every hour is bought and paid for with good ol’ American cash.

    Teaching us what we need to do to defend our homes might take a day, if we’re slow learners who can’t shoot straight. Where’s the profit in that?

    And yeah, slugs who knock over homes are stupid. I’ve met some and not a single one had an IQ exceeding room temperature. Frankly, if thugs had brains, they’d be running a mob or CeaseFire office in Chiraq or something.

    http://www.suntimes.com/28283937-761/crime-fighter-and-rapist-ceasefire-worker-charged-in-attacks-on-teen.html#.U7L3r_ldWSo

    • If its an either – or question- do you do nothing, or do you train to take down Falluja, then of course, I train to do nothing, but hide and call 911. Probably not even wake up, if I am lucky and they can have the dang xbox.

      I think it bears mentioning other means, which I suppose we are taking for granted here, but to Ralphs point- what even the dumb burglars in prison know is that its a numbers game, and they all say ‘get a dog”. They hear a dog barking, they just go to the next one…

      Lots of pound puppies out there looking for a home, and a terrier breed, or better, a GSD mix will bark at the door, and investigate the bump in the night for you, automatically, and wake you and probably the neighbors, too.

      That gives you time to wake, fumble for your flashlight in drawer, gun in gunvault, and the phone on night stand, reading glasses to fat finger the itty bitty buttons on glass screen (gawd I hate these smart phones but not enough to buy a jitter…;).

      Hmm, thats three hands right there, better wake the wife, GF, or diverse other, give him/her the phone and the pistol, while I get the baseball bat to kill the racoon that found its way in to get the dog food, that’s now chewing the crap out of my GSD too dumb to back down.

      This way I dont go to jail for pulling the trigger on a neighbors kid I stumbled on hiding behind the couch. He will get the point and run like he11 when I wave the bat and tell him the cops are on the way, and if its a bad guy with gun the GSD has backed into a corner, I can always retreat to the bedroom, and will, fast, with only a bat!

  19. Yeah, I am not hunting the BG down. I might be quiet but I am not Rambo or Bruce Willis where every bullet (conveniently) misses me.

    -Assume defensive position
    -call 5-0
    -wait

    Nothing more, sure some “tactical” training is useful but all that Seal Team 6 stuff isn’t. There is a reason they are a team.

  20. It depends… if we are talking the average burglar looking for easily fenced items in your home while you’re there, the watch won’t matter. The BG is more likely to be alerted to your presence & location by hearing the floor creak, or you fumbling for the phone or your gun. Chances of him seeing the glow & figuring out that it’s a watch on a wrist attached to a potential threat in time to stop you from adjusting his number of body openings is really, really small.

    Now, if we are talking about a pro hit-man coming in, and he (or she) is expecting a well trained, armed opponent, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. Might be good to lose the watch here.

    But – since most of us are not ex-CIA being hunted by elite, trained killers, or 8-figure-income CEOs whose families are at risk of being kidnapped, the watch is not really a factor. I agree that most folks will need more training than the CC class or NRA basic pistol class will provide, I also don’t think the vast majority of us need to train like we are going to find ourselves in a Jason Bourne style situation. Having a plan is critical, and being able to stay cool is important.

    One of my major gripes with the notorious ABC bit “debunking” the usefulness of concealed carry for students (http://youtu.be/8QjZY3WiO9s) was that the “killers” were well trained & had foreknowledge of the location of the untrained or lightly trained “concealed carriers” in their little experiment. It was unrealistic. If you go for additional training, make sure it is realistic for the lifestyle you lead. No need to learn firing a rifle as you repel down the side of a 10 story building if what you want to do is stop a burglar. (Of course, if you want to learn that for the fun of it… well sure!) YMMV.

  21. The criminals who break into homes while people are home are not the professionals, the pros wait until you leave for work or go out of town. They want your stuff, not you.

    The wannabes, idiots, drug addicts, and violent sexual predator types are the ones breaking in while you are home.

    They are dangerous, yes. But, they’re not well trained and certainly not the types to want to prolonged or fair fight.

    Training is great, I’m a fan, but I hold no illusions that I, nor anyone else, needs to be highly trained to protect themselves.

  22. In this scenario, the parents get to and defend their baby. That’s not necessarily operator stuff. There’s also the “bump in the night” scenario. Could be your teenager sneaking home, the neighbor’s cat, or a burglar. Who hasn’t checked out one of those? I don’t automatically lambaste people for checking or defending their own homes. I’d rather not have a different police officer rummaging through my house unless I am reasonably sure that I’m actually facing a bad guy(s).

    • When I took the CHL class here in Texas the instructor asked what we’d do if we heard a loud crash in the middle of the night, and said that anyone who did anything other than hunker down in the bedroom and call 911 was dead because we didn’t know how to pie a room and have kevlar vests and night vision. I thought that was a bit silly. Frankly, if I hear a crash in the middle of the night, while I’d take my rifle to check it out, realistically it’s going to be because I left a window open and the wind picked up and blew something over.

      Also, I actually _do_ know how to pie a room and own a kevlar vest and night vision, but it’s irrelevant to a middle of the night home invasion, because I’m not a rich person with a big house they can hide in the corner of. I live in a second-floor apartment. If someone breaks my door down in the middle of the night, the most I’ll even have _time_ to get is my rifle, and that’s if I’m lucky. And there’s no (additional) danger from moving towards the door, because there’s no way in my apartment to be outflanked (well, short of a midnight home invasion by Delta Force using breaching charges). By the time I could wake up, grab my rifle, run the charging handle, and take a step towards the closet where my armor and NVG are, either the home invaders would be _right there_ with me, or they’d have run away when they heard me.

      • I have space, slicing the pie training, a spare IIIA vest, and a couple of dogs. The wife also has a Taser. Each plan needs to be tailored to the circumstances of the home.

  23. How “dumb” are home invaders? I addressed that question with my comment on Mr. Farago’s recent post about training.

    The “average” home invasion means an impassionate attacker whose primary objective is to get something of value and go. Unfortunately there are also “atypical” home invasions where the attacker decides or intends to seriously injure, rape, or kill you or a family member. Of course a home owner cannot know for sure which type of home invasion they are trying to survive.

    In general I recommend using cover/concealment in your safe area and stopping anyone who enters your fatal funnel.

    On the other hand, if the proverbial excrement has hit the fan, allowing a home invader to steal critical supplies could be a death sentence for your family and offense might be in order. Offensive action may also be the choice of the day if you have political or criminal enemies or a violent stalker … it is better to counter-attack on your terms (familiar surroundings) than trying to respond to some future assassination attempt when they have the element of surprise.

  24. I see a lot of comments talking about hiding, calling 911 and waiting for the good guys, which sounds like an AWESOME plan if you are alone, or with your wife, or with your wife and bigger kids, BUT what do you do if you have a couple young ones (or very young ones). Are you gonna do the same? I highly doubt it and at that point you better be VERY well trained or you’ll be in no position of protecting yourself and your loved ones.

    And once again, I don’t mean taking a couple of classes. Take various classes, from different instructors. Filter our and retain what applies to you and your specific situation. Everyone is different. Homes are different. Specifics are different. Unless you take a private class where the instructor(s) comes to your home you will have to apply yourself what you learn. And is not going to take days, or weeks, or months.

    Most likely, the vast majority of us will never be type I operators, but we can all prepare as much as possible to be ready if need be and at the same time, pray that we will never have to use the skills.

    • Was just thinking that. I have 3 kids plus my wife at home on any given night of the week and due to my home layout. There is no way I can Bunker down somewhere and keep all of them safe. Not to mention the youngest is not quite two and is in no way going to make collecting everyone easy, quick or quiet.

      Basically my only option for bump in the nigh stuff is to use my handgun or carbine with a light on it to go room by room and check on everyone so they have a clear path to get back to the master bedroom or hunker down in their bedroom after I know they’re ok. The house is small enough I can do this in about a minutes time, and they all know that if they wake up to something like that to lock their door and hide and only open up when they hear dad on the other side of the door. Makes me envious of all the people with bunkering down and waiting as an option.

  25. I see “training” mentioned a lot here, but I don’t see Jeff Cooper’s name.

    He had a metal grate near his front door (or was it each exterior door?) that he’d shut and lock when he left or when he went to sleep.

    “They’re welcome to anything on that side of the grate.” I likely misquoted him just there, but I’m having lunch so go giraffe a stop sign.

  26. It’s a good idea to review your particular environment and think out probable entry points and your feasible defensive positions. It’s also good to clear your home, as if your life depended upon it. My minimum is once every three years (kind of like my Air Force training requirement). I try to visit a range at least once a month – but that’s as much for fun as it is for training 😉

  27. It is reasonable to believe that a violent criminal who targets a well trained and armed citizen will regret his/her decision. There are many valid and intelligent reasons for spending the money to attend a training school. However, in this country, armed citizens with no training have used firearms to successfully defend their lives for over two hundred years. Have they been doing it wrong?

    I have been reading the NRA’s armed citizens columns for forty years. It is common for the descriptions to begin with something like, “the homeowner heard a noise in the middle of the night and investigated”. How is that functionally different from “clearing” your home? I have reacted to such nighttime events three times in the past four decades, twice, armed with a 12 gauge double barreled coach gun, and as far as I know the miscreants are still running. I was armed with a S&W Model 10 when a large, angry thug tried to push his way into my home at 1:00am, he also changed his mind and left. Have I been doing it wrong?

    Combat veterans and law enforcement trainers who run private schools have hard earned knowledge to share and that is great, but I utterly reject the notion that “training” is or should be a requirement for citizens to exercise their civil rights.

    • There’s a big difference between investigating a noise that could be nothing, on the one hand, and clearing a room or building where you know that a BG is lurking on the other.

      Soldiers don’t clear a building alone. I wouldn’t either, but YMMV. OTOH, if I hear a strange noise in my home at zero dark thirty, I’m going to investigate. Almost all the time, it’s one of my cats telling me that I’m a bad daddy for not refilling his bowl of kibble.

      In any case, I am armed. I home carry everywhere except the shower. I haven’t figured out the whole shower carry thing yet. Yet. But when I do . . . .

  28. Take your watch off at night. Fixed it for you. I don’t assume the home invader is stupid. I just know he ( or she ) is up to no good. And my neighborhood south of Chicago is changing-NOT for the better.

    • My Luminox watches shine even more brightly than my tritium night sights. Stuff that’s designed to be seen in the dark can be seen in the dark. I’ve got 20/10 vision in my right eye, and I can make out my watches from the other side of the room.

      Whether that could or would make a difference in an encounter is another story entirely. I don’t consider my watches to be much of a liability of I wouldn’t wear them during the day or while on duty. I don’t sleep with my watches on.

  29. Folks, get realistic, recent and relevant training tailored to your needs (credit to John Farnam for the ‘realistic, recent and relevant’ aspect).

    You’re not going to be kicking doors in Falluja (sp?) or defending against unshaven hordes of mutant bikers with crooked teeth at RF’s house.

    Get some training in the fundamentals and for the most part you’ll be fine.

    If you want to get better (and who doesn’t?) take more training in different platforms/weapons types.

    John

  30. Hmmm. I think it *depends* on your personal situation and the potential threat.

    The most likely home invader in my semi-affluent burb is the coyote that jumped the fence looking for neighbors cat, the possom or ‘coon searching for the dog food bowl left just inside the back door, or the rats digging for oranges dropped from fruit trees.

    The German Shepard takes care of those, automatically, if I leave the dog door insert in the back door open.

    The second most likely is the neighbors teen who according to cops is 70% of the typical burglaries- looking for vicodin in the medicine cabinet, or a stereo/ipod to feed his drug habit.

    Or third most likely, mine or one of their kids sneaking home from their first illegal kegger too wasted to know they are in the wrong house. I’m not saying they would, as hypothetically, they are all “good” kids, and I would *never* have done that myself, of course…

    So I really DOUBT that I will never-ever need to slice the pie, or clear the hall way, but I would MUCH rather have done it calmly on a dry run a couple times, so I am not so wired up that I might shoot someone by mistake the first time, and kill the neighbors or my own kid. Avoiding THAT very low probability, but very bad outcome is worth taking the time to practice it once and refresh dry fire once in a while.

    I also dont think I will EVER need to “shoot and scoot” in the field in a no-$hit tactical situation, but it is FUN AS HE11 in paintball, with my son, and its obvious those who practice as a team dominate, even if its just a pair of shooters. Its not that expensive to rent gear a couple times.

    I mean, you will probably never EVER need to do a malfunction drill in a real world shooting, but you DO practice those with snap caps, along with dry fire and practice un-holstering drills, right? Right?

    It would be fun and good team building to do simunitions with a spouse, or partner, for HD scenarios, even if you never ever need it, like in the vid above, while one goes to kids rooms and the other covers the hall, to herd them back to the pre-arranged safe room.

    Just like you might never ever need to shoot from your front seat out the window at a car jacker, from a knee around a corner of a concrete wastebasket holder in the mall, or one-handed while moving to the emergency exit in a crowded theater, while herding kids in front of you. I mean what are the chances right? Whats the cost, vs the downside of never doing it, even once and just freezing on the spot, instead of knowing to get off the X, and just move?

    Doesn’t take much to establish the memory, and a habit, that experience shows is what your lizard brain reverts to, when your monkey brain goes EEEK…and real world experience and training shows it is exactly that difference between those who freeze in place and die, just as the bad guy expects, when he shows up in one of those places, and you are there.

    Ok, its a one in a million chance, but if that one in a million happens to you, it spoils your whole day. But, what else are you going to spend your money on, hitting those stupid little white balls with a stick, while dressing in funny clothes walking on carefully mowed lawns? Jeez. I’d rather watch pro-bowling on tv…

  31. I think that it is a correct assumption that a vast majority of crooks that are B&E at your abode aren’t really pros in the game. In short, a stern, “I am an armed homeowner, get out of my house!” may be enough to send them running for the hills (a wailing alarm or noisy dogs don’t hurt either). These people aren’t trained, so to speak, and most just want a quick crash-and-grab. I’d argue that many probably aren’t even armed. With that said, you always want to be one-up on the competition, so to speak, so SOME training can only help and should be suitable most of the time.

    Now, that stance doesn’t really apply if you are one of those people that LOOK for trouble (or associate with trouble), or if you live in a rough-and-tumble area of town. In that case, fortifying entry ways to your home and getting all the training you can may be a better idea. The last thing you want is to get bested by a seasoned street thug in your own home.

    • I would think a seasoned street thug would instantly recognize a “gun noise” and GTFO pronto. They’re allergic to being shot. They probably have been shot before, so they know the sights and sounds that go with that event.

      An amateur thug wouldn’t recognize that, hence an appropriate warning, THEN a gun noise. If they keep coming after that you’re prolly going to have to empty into them because they’re on drugs and won’t even realize that they’re being killed. Or you’ll be able to see exactly where they were when they realized you meant to use your weapon by the puddle of urine on the floor.

    • “I’d argue that many probably aren’t even armed.”

      Ed, they may not have been armed when they ENTERED your house, but unless you lock-up everything in your kitchen, they very well could be armed AFTER they enter your house. Easy availability of kitchen knives is pretty common knowledge among thieves, even teenaged ones, as they don’t have to worry about getting dinged for carrying a weapon when going to or coming from the scene of a crime (they can/do replace or ditch the blade on the way out of the house).

      A steak- or butcher-knife in close quarters can be more immediately lethal than a firearm, depending on cut/shot placement.

      • I don’t disagree with that, but if someone is breaking into my house in order to steal a TV or computer or whatever else, they would know that the less time they are in the house, the better…in short, get in and get out. If they spend the extra time to go into my kitchen and find a knife to use as a weapon, then I’d think that person would have other intentions. But, if you are prepared to begin with (previously mentioned alarm, dogs, armed homeowner, etc), then it probably won’t come down to being attacked at close range with a kitchen knife. Though, the camping knife that I keep not far from my bed would, at least, even out that type of fight.

        As for seasoned vs. not seasoned crooks, I would think they’d all be against being shot. You’re right in that a seasoned crook may be more aware of the ramifications, but I’d think that even someone who doesn’t have experience would balk at the stern warning from an armed homeowner. That TV probably isn’t worth possibly being shot and either getting killed or spending some considerable time in prison. Again, most home intrusions are meant to be quick and easy grabs (unless there is a reason for them to be there longer), so the likelihood of a confrontation is small, again, if proper prep steps are taken.

        • Ed, you explained that perfectly, from a rational person’s point of view.

          (The entry below is copied from one of my responses near the top of the page):

          What I’ve never been able to understand is the widely, yet sometimes incorrectly held assumption that someone who has broken into your domicile with theft (or worse, you don’t know) on their mind, is normal/rational. You don’t know if they have been “fortified” with drugs or alcohol, or are under the mind-numbing or maddening effects of drug withdrawal, making their responses completely unpredictable to anyone else.

          Predicting what these folks will/might do, and basing your actions or responses on these predictions, is building a house of cards and hoping that is doesn’t collapse on top of you and yours.

          Good luck with that.

          /copy

  32. Dead wrong on this one. More training is always better; stacking the deck in your favor is never a bad idea.

    • Unless your a mind reader; you don’t know if he’s after your watch; or he is there to eat your liver with fava beans.

  33. Clearing rooms to me takes place when the wife has invited family over for holiday get togethers. It requires intense vacuming/mopping of floors and moving crap to the basement.

  34. I believe the reason for the tactical movements was to protect the baby. I’m sure if they didn’t have a reason to run around the house they wouldn’t. And this was suposed to be worst case scenario with tips and tricks to be more effective and keep your fam safe. If my daughter was in another room training or no I have to make a dissision quick. Even if my “tactical” actions were worthless and only served as a distraction to point the attention to me not my daughter.

  35. I don’t that that many home invaders would stay and fight like that when given a way out. The only time I see this happening is if it’s a “revenge” type scenario or a true robbery meaning they know you have money, drugs, etc in your home and they’re not leaving without them.

  36. Look, to be absolutely accurate, you should be trained to roll out of a dead sound sleep around 3 a.m. and defend your bedroom door. Anything less is imperfect and artificial if you’re going to train for reality. Unless you sleep at home in shifts and your home is being invaded by Mossad Ninjas.

  37. Cripes.

    I continue to marvel at how many people who think that by taking a few classes and wearing UnderArmor shirts to bed, that they’re going to do so much better than what has worked since the days the Vikings and Muslim hordes were doing the home invasions.

    Get. A. Real. Dog.

  38. If they are close enough to see your watch you are behind the 8 ball!!!!!

    Home safety should be treated like anything else to keep you safe: LAYERS

    Put lights outside to not let them sneak in the shadows, lock your doors, get an alarm, get a dog, don’t go bragging about the nice stuff you have, have a security camera. And then, if they defeat all of this, and you are still worried about them seeing your watch send some molten lead at their head. If you do this then I guarantee the next thing you hear from them will not be “I can see your watch”

  39. Been through two home invasions and have trained with the guys in the video and fought in the shoot house shown above,

    First invasion was on July 4 morning several years ago, thought I had completely shut the door the night before but was wrong and the door was open a crack. Was woken up by my across the street neighbor, who when out on her front porch to get her first cig of the day, yelling my name saying that someone was in the house- she could see the BG stealing my lap top from the front room. By the time I realized what was going on he was gone.When the shakes when away I realized I had no idea what I was doing. After that I took the home defense class with the VATA guys (along with other training) good stuff teaching safe harbor defense, flash light work and room clearing. Several weeks after that course I am at home and hear the back door open and my dog went on alert growling but staying by my side. I did not see anyone. Flashlight and pistol came out and I cleared the back of the house and the back yard. No BG. Did to think anything of it- assumed the wife had not shut the door all the way and the wind had pushed it open. Three days later I learned that three other neighbors who share a back yard fence got hit on the same night as I heard my door open.I now have cameras so I can check the outside of the house w/o going out there.

    The safe Harbor idea is great but I if I holed up in a room with the AR and called the NOPD to clear my house every time my house built in the 1800’s made a bump or a groan then 1- I would never leave the room because NOPD response time for those calls is hours if not days and my house makes “bump in the night noise” 24/7 on its own, 2- I would be put on the short list of people who call wolf and the NOPD would never come.

    I feel much better having had this training and done force on force. It does not make me a ninja, it does not make me an operator, it does not make me bullet proof.

    It does make me a better trained armed-homeowner who has been there done that both in simulation and in real life.

    BTW- a good tip is to keep amplifying /noise canceling Pletor ear pro close by where you sleep- with them on you get super human hearing and if you have to shoot they protect your hearing.

  40. Keep your watch on. If your in a situation where your lurking in the shadows waiting on an assailant then clearly something has gone vet very wrong.

  41. I think 99.9% of home invaders are going to leave when the bullets start flying, even if they’re armed most people place their lives as more valuable than a stolen TV.

  42. This is a VERY wide ranging thread. I’m going to address only the original question, of the lighted watch face. There have been a hundred references to all manner of stuff including night vision gear, which I find incredible!
    I have a 3-story house with around 3000 sq. ft. of decking across all 3 floors. All the doors are glass, making it real easy to gain access if you’re a criminal. I also have buttons, all over the house, which when pressed will light up every room and every square foot of decking like it is noon. IOW, forget the watch, lock and load, then push the button and head downstairs in full lighting, be ready for a very confused burglar. I’m not sure I understand why anybody contributing to this discussion does not have that capability LONG before purchasing operational training from operators who are operating on you. BTW, I have had that capability for over 30 years and at least 3 houses, it moves with me.

  43. Robert Farago – Is this what you consider a well written, educated review of your experience at Patriot Protection? I would like to point out a few things:

    1. In the future if you plan on posting a video of your “review” you might want to consider using the CORRECT video from the CORRECT training facility. Also, if you are going to “quote” the instructor, you might want to try being a little more accurate. I’ve been through this course and I’m pretty sure he advises you to turn your watch to inside, not “ditch” it.

    2. Think about this, if you find yourself in this situation and chose to move to a position of advantage, you dont want to attract attention to yourself. It’s common sense! Your pretty little watch that you are so upset about “ditching” will illuminate you and create a target for the bad guy. In my opinion, the instructor was simply teaching you how to use the dark to your advantage.

    3. You are clearly misinformed if you think all criminals are uneducated morons. Though they aren’t Ninjas, most criminals are in fact intelligent and well versed in their skills and training in the school of hard knocks. Truth be known, they are probably more experienced than you when it comes to survival.

    4. Rest assured while you are spending your time shooting stationary targets and staring at your watch, the bad guys are training and learning every single day how to gain the upper hand.

    My personal opinion and initial impression of your review is this… You clearly lack attention to detail, you have no desire to do things the right way if the right way inconveniences you in any way. Obviously your experience is minimal and you might be just a touch jealous of those with a higher skill set than that of yourself so you find the need to make that other party look inferior to make yourself feel better.

    Good luck with that “lay and wait” I’m gonna do it my way because I know best attitude. Be sure to let us know how that works out for you!

    With that said, having been in several of Patriot Protections courses and instructed personally by this particular instructor, I can attest to the quality of training as well as the facility. For those who feel the need to chime in and comment on the instructors abilities, previous experience or this type if training, I urge you to do your homework and attend one of these courses before you open your mouth in criticism. Additionally I would personally LOVE to see all of you nay Sayers who think you know better, go up against this instructor and pit your skills against his. Then we will see who ends up on top!

  44. Couple of things, why are you showing a video from a different company?
    Second, I just was viewing the page and got redirected to a fake java updater, so the malware thing is still a problem?

  45. You’ve got to remember: no matter how much you demonize them a thugs, they could be smart. They could be retired LEOs falling behind on their rent. They could have combat training. You just don’t know. I think that a minimal amount of training and the knowledge that most heroes are dead heroes will keep you alive. DEFENSE. Of course, if you have loved ones that are not with you, then you have the duty to protect them no matter what.

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