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.