When it comes to a home invasion, some gun gurus say you shouldn’t speak and carry a big caliber stick. They reckon that yelling out to a prospective perp gives away your position — removing the “surprise” element of the “speed, surprise and violence of action” recipe for armed self-defense. As Annie Lenox would say, who am I to disagree?
But let’s consider the alternative, using a recent video of a police search gone wrong . . .
Bodycam video was released Thursday after an officer shot a man Wednesday in the Russell neighborhood. A neighbor said she called police because a man appeared to be doing drugs outside a home near Magazine and 26th streets. When the officers arrived, the neighbor told them that the man had gone into a vacant house. Three Officers went into the house and announced their presence multiple times while searching the house.
Multiple times? I counted three announcements over three minutes. That was hardly enough warning, given that the officers were searching a multi-story house for someone suspected of doing drugs. Someone you’d expect to have trouble processing information, especially if they’re scared or angry.
Equally, did you hear how timidly the cop called into the house before his team entered? The other two shout-outs were equally soft-spoken. If you’re going to call out during a home invasion, CALL OUT! Not only does a loudly spoken command/alert ensure that the bad guy(s) can hear you, your tone of voice signals interlopers that you mean business.
Hang on. You’re not a cop responding to 911 call. How do you know it IS a bad guy in your house?
As a father of four daughters, I strongly suggest that anyone with children above teenage age must consider the possibility that an intruder is a sneaky suitor. Or their own child returning from a secret assignation. There have also been numerous cases of drunk neighbors breaking into the wrong house.
In short, sh*t happens. A shouted warning could save an innocent person’s life — and prevent a lifetime of regret and remorse. And even if the intruder IS a bad guy, wouldn’t you want them to reconsider their plans and leave, rather than face an armed confrontation you and your family could lose?
I know: intruders might leave after a shouted warning or they might not. But unless you alert them to your presence, the first option isn’t even on the table. If you’ve got your friendlies safely behind you, if you’re in a good defensive position, why not to issue a verbal warning? Again, there are two schools of thought. It’s your call.
So what should you call out? I’m down with a plain and simple LEAVE NOW! Some say you should yell I’VE GOT A GUN! Others think that’s inadvisable; preparing the bad guys ready for a fight to the death (assuming they aren’t already).
But saying “If there’s anyone here . . .” and “If you’re in here . . .” (as the Louisville officers did) is a dumb *ss move. If you don’t know if someone’s in your home you sure as hell don’t know where they are in your home. You might as well call out “ready or not, here I come!” Actually, that would be better . . .
Notice that none of the cops yelled POLICE! They sure should have. And I recommend you do, too. THE POLICE ARE COMING NOW! tells the bad guys that they’re facing more than a scared homeowner or two. That they will soon be outnumbered and outgunned. (John Wick need not apply.)
I could point out the Kentucky cops’ Keystone Cops room clearance techniques. Suffice it to say, the ballistic incident in this video shows that “surprise” cuts both ways. If you’re surprised during a suspected home invasion you might do something stupid, too.