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I had a phone call with a member of our armed intelligentsia. Turns out he’s more intelligent than armed, and maybe not so intelligent either. The TTAG reader has a pocket-carry Smith & Wesson revolver for home defense and . . . that’s it. He keeps the Smith in a bedroom safe. I told him flat out: if you’re attacked in your home, you’re dead. Not only are you bullet deficient, but you’ll never get to that safe in time. And if you do, you’ll never be able to open it. And if you do, you’ll have spent too much time with your back to the bad guy. It’s home carry or nothing. Literally . . .

“Do you have a gun on you right now?” he asked, incredulously. “I couldn’t do that. I don’t even lock the doors.” “That would be an excellent place to start,” I counseled, offering a piercing glimpse into the blindingly obvious, with a soupcon of sarcasm. “But I’m telling you right now: your security isn’t good enough. You hear me? You can’t un-ring that bell.”

Do not ask for whom that bell tolls. It tolls for anyone who thinks they’re safest at home. Unless you’re a jeweler, landlord, Brinks guard, drug dealer or some other cash-carrying professional, your home is the most dangerous place in your personal geography. (For the cash-rich, your home is only relatively—not absolutely—safe.) There are four main reasons why home is where the danger is . . .

1. It’s where you spend most of your time Let say you work an eight hour day, Monday through Friday. Add in two hours of commuting each day. That’ll be 50 hours outside hearth and home. Home time? At least 12 hours per weekday, and some 17 hours per weekend day. Call it 95 hours. Ding dong! If trouble comes looking for you, it’s going to find you at home.

2. It’s where your stuff is Again, people who carry cash, drugs or jewels are “high value” targets outside their home. You’re not one of them—until and unless you’re near an ATM, scoring some weed “for a friend” or at home. Where your valuables live. Like . . . guns! Let me guess: you have guns. Criminals like guns. Big TVs too. Jewelry. Cash. (Bug out money that.) Criminals operate according to my late father’s favorite adage: “If you want to hunt ducks, go where the ducks are.”

3. It’s where you let your guard down Sitting ducks are even better. Generally speaking, home is place where you go to relax. An environment you and your family have constructed for maximum comfort, sustenance, privacy and pleasure. Because it is so damn nice, it’s where gun owners let their guard down. People who’d never walk down a street without scanning for scrotes unlock their front door, put their carry gun in a safe (hopefully) and switch off their personal defense radar. Do you think that criminals haven’t figured that out?

4. It’s where you’re most vulnerable My man Deciccio and I have done a few home security evaluations, with an eye towards creating a home defense plan. Early conclusion: it’s a friggin’ nightmare. Stairs everywhere, hiding places galore, points of entry a plenty. Your movements within the space are entirely predictable (kitchen for food, TV to relax, bathroom for ablutions, etc.) A criminals? Not so much. They could come from anywhere and go to anywhere.

[NB: a lot of gun owners prattle on about how they have a huge advantage over home invaders because they know the territory. IF you have a gun and aren’t caught unawares, then maybe. If you don’t have a gun and are caught unawares, then no. You lose. Everything. Think about it: on the street, a criminal has limited time. In your home, once they’ve neutralized the threat (you), they have all the time in the world.]

Time to face facts: either carry a gun on your person around your home or acknowledge the fact that your firearms-based home security sucks. They’ll get to you before you can get to it. Try it. Play tag. Have someone chase you to your gun. Tag! You’re it! You’re dead.

If you don’t want to carry a gun around the house because it’s uncomfortable or scares the kids (I think it educates them), then fine. But don’t get to thinking that having a gun in a safe is sufficient security for, well, anything. Strengthen your perimeter defenses (lock those damn doors). Raise your level of alertness. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

My left-leaning BFF wouldn’t dream of carrying a proper gun around his humble abode; he doesn’t want to abandon his illusion of perfect safety. He doesn’t want to “let the terrorists (criminals, whatever) win.” Guess what? Neither do I.

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  1. Slightly off, but I get there eventually.

    September 22, 2010

    Dear President Obama,

    "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."
    – President Barrak Hussein Obama (July 2010)

    One of the reasons we have a President is to leads us in a time of war. Now, in this day and age, full of easy and invasive diversions we can shield ourselves from the reality of war. We have attained such an advantage on the battlefield that we have fooled ourselves that we can accept a covert war at the expense of the overt war. Now, it would be preferable if we could always determine that one particular fellow was attempting to place a nuclear weapon in a container in New Jersey, find them and kill them, and stop the bomb from getting anywhere in the first place. It’s obvious that we use various methods to find and kill people who have this objective. But, just like the Nazi Bombers, until we changed our attitude to fight the war overtly, and smashed the luftwaffe, we could not win the war.

    Let’s look at this from my perspective as a family man, and a homeowner. I know that there is an infinitesimally small chance that while my home is occupied a criminal is going to attempt entry. They are wisely deciding that I may be armed. In my case, they are correct, 16” group at 50’ with a .45, my home is extremely secure, I always say “call first I already had target practice and volunteers need not apply.” Actually, most homes are secure because the potential intruder does not want the trouble of dealing with some hot lead, they know the odds, and they don’t want to take the risk. Admittedly this doesn’t rule out a Cheshire, Connecticut scenario, deterring the violent lunatic is not possible, they need to be put down either by Capital Punishment, the police, or the armed citizen as soon as the meeting can be arranged. No one in their right mind would defend the acts of men who tied up children, raped them, and then burned them to death, and did the same to their mother, after thinking they just killed their father, who survived. In short, there is no political constituency that is willing to stand up for the armed robber, the murderer, or the terrorist, Islamic or otherwise.

    Or is there? Your quote listed above is naive in the extreme. It implies that we ought accept the murderer, rapist, or terrorist because the defense of an attack is worse then the attack itself. In addition, when ever these events occur the liberal leftist media does not direct it’s ire on the enemy or the criminals, but on the American people. Why is that? Why would the Democratic party decide to stand with criminals and terrorists? Who is allying with who here? All the liberal left appears to be is the political wing of the criminals, and the terrorists constantly softening the ground for overt rape and violence.

    On September 12, 2001 we should have gone to all out war with those countries that assert radical Islam as a common course of life without regard to borders, our goal ought to have been to crush their will, so the next Arab born in that part of the world would not even entertain the remote concept of “Jihad,” (much the same way that the vast majority of burglars work very hard to avoid entering an occupied home, and Germans today reject Hitlerism with a passion), and redraw those borders to better suite what is left, if anything. We chose to side with one side of the Arab coin to avoid that very difficult choice. The decision has led us to a nightmare because experience hath shewn that from Major Nadal Hassan at Fort Hood, Faisal Shazad(a son of a Pakastani military officer), to the attempted bombing of Times Square, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted bombing of his genitalia, and the fuel tank below. (Maybe he did not get enough stimulus money for genitalia washing?) that it is our perceived weakness that provokes evil.

    Thus, I know whose side the liberal democratic left is on. It isn’t mine or my fellow American’s it is theirs; as your quote indicates you are willing to accept the murder of thousands of innocent lives to avoid overt war. In addition your overt attempt to continue this not so covert farce from Yemen to Waziristan, is asinine, and will only lead to a greater animosity in that part of the world, let alone the remote possibility of honest friendship. Regardless, I know that the toughest days are ahead in this war, and in our economy, and every week we delay in going in the right direction, the harder it will be to correct the problems we face. My Grandfather did not climb into a B-24 bomber for 35 missions, barely survive, only to have this nation commit suicide. Screw that noise, I’m not down for it; and neither is the United States of America.

    Joe Doakes

  2. Yeah but that's entirely based on the idea that only one threat ever occurs at a person's home. perhaps he lives in an area that home invasions and armed robbery is so exceedingly rare that the (non-zero) risks that come with constant carry are greater than the risk from a barely potential home invasion. having a gun in a safe may not protect you from someone trying to kill you to steal all your stuff but it does add quite a bit of security from threats that are not well thought out like impulse visits from shirtless ex boyfriends or drunken brawlers from a party down the block or cougars in the neighbors backyard. Why do you people need to harp on everyone that does something half assed; it's not hurting anyone. your 2 hi-cap semi autos in your waist holster won't protect you from mechanized infantry but you don't hear anyone saying it's man portable recoilless rifles or nothing.

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