Let’s get started by looking at some pros and cons regarding different active home defense issues.
1. If you are the “primary” weapon carrier, when you leave the house, is there a “secondary” means of defense that stays in the Castle?
2. Are ALL of the other members of the family, who are of a responsible age, able and trained to use it?
3. What type of weapon should you consider?
A. 12ga pump-action shotgun with 00 buck
PROS: It’s hard to miss the BG (Bad Guy) when firing a shotgun at close range. Massive stopping power.
CONS: Massive hearing damage for you and your family. A shotgun requires two hands in a situation where you need one for operational necessities (dialing 911, closing doors, etc.) A 12ga is pretty heavy; they can be intimidating to persons of small stature. Shooters unfamiliar with the action can “short stroke” a pump action gun, rendering it inoperative. Semi-automatic shotguns are pricey and less reliable. Very messy! Over-penetration is an issue; there’s a high possibility of stray pellets penetrating walls.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: There are many smaller gauge pump shotguns on the market. Mossberg makes a tactical, pump-action .410 and there are plenty of 20ga shotguns from which to choose. There are also various new tactical loads (rounds) which minimize over-penetration and maximize carnage.
PROS: Small, easy to hide in an accessible location, leaves a hand free for self-defense in close quarters combat. Easier for maneuvering in tight spaces. Depending on the type of gun, relatively easy to operate by primary and secondary (perhaps unskilled) defenders.
CONS: Large caliber handguns may be so intimidating that a smaller person may fear the recoil enough to hesitate engaging the threat. Smaller caliber guns may not get the job done. Handguns require more training and practice than other options. If bullet A misses Threat B, Child C may find it in their body D, after it passed thru wall E, resulting in a sucking chest wound, F. We all know that an “F” is a failing grade in most schools.
C. Less than lethal:
PROS: I keep snake shot as the first round in my CCW. When things go south, and bad things start happening fast, certain things begin to happen to our bodies.Without going into a health blog, it’s the things our bodies do under stress: sweaty palms. tunnel vision, and the dreaded ADRENALINE SHAKES! If I am forced to engage, the snake will prevent me from wounding a bystander, and perhaps terminate the encounter. If not, Plan B can be put into effect with a mere squeeze of the trigger.
PROS: None come to mind. The only chemical agent I would use is the foam that sticks to the face, and then only in an emergency.
CONS: If you engage a threat with mace in your house, most likely you will be in the same condition as the threat. If the central heat/air are running, you may gas every room and every member of the family. Very bad situation! It may not work on the threat, and you may have to decontaminate everything in the Castle.
PROS: They look bad to the bone when you use the test mode!
CONS: The threat must be within arms reach. Depending on the unit, it may or may not have any effect on on the threat. I may just make him very, very angry!
BOTTOM LINE: It’s not all about you
The “right” firearm for Castle Security: the one with which all the individuals within the home are comfortable. NOT the one the King likes! Let your family test-fire various options and see what THEY feel good about. It’s them that must defend themselves if you are are absent.