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“The three men who broke into a house Wednesday evening and assaulted the 66-year-old homeowner were intent on stealing his guns, according to police. Police Chief John R. Desmarais said the three suspects had targeted the house at 124 Overhill Road because they’d learned that the homeowner had an array of guns.” Did you catch that? The good folks at published the street address of a guy who just got robbed because someone knew where he lived, and the fact that he had guns. I’m repeating this mistake for one simple reason: in the Internet Age, the idea that you’re invisible is a dangerous fantasy. If you have something somebody wants to steal it’s easy enough for them to find out where you live. Here’s what happend in nearby Cumberland, RI . . .

The suspects had gotten into a locked cabinet where the weapons were kept, when they were discovered in the basement by the homeowner, Desmarais said.

The man struggled with the intruders, one of whom had a gun and another who had a knife, Desmarais said.

The man was grazed in the head, whether by a gun firing or the knife blade, the chief said. The three suspects fled with some of the guns, stealing the homeowner’s gray 2000 Jeep Cherokee in their escape.

The stolen Jeep was later found a street away. Police are investigating how the intruders arrived at the house in the first place, and how they knew about the guns in the house, Desmarais said. They are also determining how many guns were taken, he said.

I’ve written before about the need to keep stum about your guns. Yes, this advice is coming from a guy who writes about guns for a living. And has very few weapons in his house. And tells people to practice home carry. And has an alarm system. And and and. But even if you keep a lower than low profile and tool up from toaster time to twilight, don’t kid yourself: there are bad people out there who want what you have. Guns. Be ready.

And if you hear someone in your house, if there’s no one to defend leave and call the cops. No gun is worth a human life. Especially yours and your loved ones’.

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  1. It’s all about OPSEC (Operational Security). The old saying “Loose lips sinks ships” applies when talking to the news about what you do or don’t have. The same could be said about those apps that people use on their new phones that updates their location on their Facebook Page. I call them “Break into my House I’m not Home” Apps.

    • Oh man, I hate those apps.

      I’m tempted to break-in to friends homes who use them, just to prove a point.

  2. So, to borrow from a certain movie, “The first rule of owning guns: Don’t talk about owning guns.”

  3. Robert,
    Great column and I’ve often thought about the potential for home invasions specifically for my guns. As a trainer, I’m assuming that crooks assume that I have plenty of guns. While I have a fairly robust home defense plan (I think) I’m going to re-evaluate after reading this column.

    I do have a small bone to pick with you however. You write that if one hears a noise in the house and there is no one home to defend one should leave and call the police.

    I submit that this is not sound tactical advice. By leaving your house you are unnecessarily exposing yourself to danger from the threat that has invaded your home and to his accomplices waiting outside. If a threat has entered your house you should retreat to your safe area, arm yourself and then call the police.


    • Paul, I’m with you. I’m not leaving my home. If something fishy is happening in my home, I’ll call the PD, investigate and, if necessary, I’ll shoot. Not to defend my guns, no. But to defend my home, yes.

  4. “And if you hear someone in your house, if there’s no one to defend leave and call the cops. No gun is worth a human life. Especially yours and your loved ones’.”

    Criminals don’t steal guns because they’re really enthusiastic about deer hunting, they steal guns to hurt people. Fortunately, the people they’re hurting with guns are usually other criminals, but not always. If you have the ability to stop someone stealing your guns, I say you should do so. Opinions on the matter may vary, but that’s mine.

  5. The worst is when an elderly homeowner is forced to use a gun and they advertise it was the only one they had and the police take it away as evidence.

  6. Do you wonder why I only use my first name? Or won’t show my face in any photos or videos? Am I paranoid, or just wise?

  7. I believe it’s my responsibility to make sure my firearms don’t fall into criminal hands. Properly securing them is foremost, but if I have to, I will not hesitate to use deadly force to ensure my weapons don’t harm innocent people. I think that is the duty of a responsible gun owner.

  8. If this home owner had a CCW permit and had been carrying when he found these morons he could have killed them all, but he was unarmed and defenseless. I hope they come to my house next cuz I have almost as many video cameras as guns and they can become instant video stars.

    • “I hope they come to my house next”

      JOE, I hope this is the one single time that you don’t get what you wish for.

  9. And if you hear someone in your house, if there’s no one to defend leave and call the cops. No gun is worth a human life. Especially yours and your loved ones’.

    I disagree with this, for a number of reasons.

    I don’t own a cell phone.

    There might not be anyone there.

    The local cops aren’t exactly up to dealing with an armed robber IMHO. Ticketing teens for driving 3mph over the speed limit, no problem. Using the appropriate level of force in an efficient and safe manner? I doubt it. What happens if it’s a family member in there? I don’t practice nearly as much as I should but I have more confidence in myself than in the mobile DMV crew.

    Guns are worth human lives. If stolen they can and likely will be used to commit robberies, rapes, and or murders.

    Time is of the essence. The longer the crooks have the more likely they are to escape, with your guns.

    Finally: they are stealing GUNS and you want to turn your back to them? Bad idea. What happens if they load them or have loaded guns and see you running away?

  10. If you hear someone in your house you can be sure that they know you are there. They will be prepared to deal with you and your family. Act accordingly.

  11. In this world you are at risk now more than ever. Practice. Stay ready. Stay sharp and shoot to kill.

  12. 1. Why would you need a carry permit in your own house?
    2. Don’t shoot to kill, shoot to stop the threat. It may end up the same for the perp, but it will make a world of difference for you in court.

  13. “I was in fear for my life, I took every effort to warn the perpetrator to stop his/her advance . . . then I blew his head off his shoulders . . . I apologize for any inconvenience I’ve caused your police department . . .”

  14. If you stay and play Special Forces with malicious hooligans as targets, your likelihood of becoming a casualty is much higher than if you run away. So just be sure that you know what you’re about to die for: namely, chattel.

    Sitting in the corner of your safe room, soaked in adrenaline, breathing too fast, holding a shotgun and a flashlight is not a situation where you are likely to perform well.

    It’s true that you may prevail. It may be true that you have a greater-than-50%-chance of prevailing. But your chance of prevailing will never be higher than your chance of not getting hurt if you simply leave.

    Robert often talks about the priority being to get away from any situation. The fact that you hold a mortgage on your immediate surroundings should not cloud your judgment on this issue: GET AWAY.

    There is nothing in your house worth dying for.

  15. I feel that you should absolutely defend your home and your life the same. Just because you may get away the first time doesnt mean they wont catch you sneaking out the next time. I am all about shoot to stop the threat even if that means shoot to kill as long as I feel threatened and the situation call for it.

    Thank you.

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