When a stranger knocks on your door at some ungodly hour, it’s best not to open it. Should you pretend you’re not home? Probably not. Professional thieves tend to knock on a door before breaking in — making sure there’s no one home before they make their move. By not responding to your doorbell or a knock, you’re increasing the odds that the bad guys will invade your home. On the other hand . . .
Once you respond — through a closed-door — the bad guys know where you are. They just might bust down your door and attack. Which is why it’s a great idea to have a really strong front door and an even stronger reply to strangers: “GO AWAY NOW! The police are on their way.” A bit harsh for Jehovah’s Witnesses, perhaps, but appropriate for anyone seeking “help” at 5:00am.
Issue your warning with a handgun in one hand and your cell phone in the other. If your visitors refuse to leave, call 911 and say loudly “Hello, police? Someone’s trying to break into STREET ADDRESS.” Alternatively, instruct someone on the home team to do it. In either case, make sure you don’t stand right in front of the door.
In the video above, the homeowner opens fire on his aspiring houseguests from the middle of the doorway. I guess he didn’t watch enough war movies to know that doorways are “the funnel of death” — a confined space creating a perfectly-framed target. Nor did our homeowner realize that once you commit to dominating a space, retreat isn’t [usually] your best option. And if you do retreat you should really retreat, finding cover or concealment.
Anyway, why take all that risk? Why not warn bad guys to go the hell away? And if they don’t leave, if things seem dangerously dire, why not place friendlies behind you, assume a defensive position (preferably hidden), call the cops and wait for the enemy to come to you?
Some people don’t want to surrender the element of surprise. Some people live a long way from police; they can’t hold a defensive position long enough for the cavalry to arrive. No one strategy covers all possibilities. But generally speaking, the more you can do to stop a gunfight before it happens, the better. And the less you go looking for trouble, the less likely you are to find it. Defend defensively, until you attack.