“According to court records, Churchill County [Nevada] Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call and found a purse in the driveway,” lahontanvalleynews.com reports. “Deputies conducted a search of the garage and found [Sally Jean] Whooley hiding underneath a blanket between a freezer and cabinet. Documents show Whooley broke in and was waiting for the victim to return home, although no motive was stated for the break-in.” Probably something to do with drugs, or access to cash for drugs. Also SOP: the planned method for gaining entry into the home. Catch the vic just before they get inside. Immediate access and potential concealment (just inside the door) for what follows. Not to coin a phrase, what’s your best defense?
Avoidance, of course. Any pilot will tell you: take-off and landing are the most dangerous phase of any flight. So heads-up! If you see someone lurking around your house when you’re driving up, keep on driving. Don’t be afraid to call the cops; they are your public servants.
Getting a visual on a potential perp depends on sight lines. Pulling your car into a garage full of crap is a bad idea, obviously. If you store a lot of junk in your garage, don’t pull in. Park outside of the garage in the relative open space of your driveway. Put the car away later, with eyes wide open and ears on full bat mode.
If that’s too much of a bother, get rid of hiding places. Of course, that’s not really an answer. Even if you pull into a sterile garage like the one above, you’re still vulnerable. You can’t see what may run into the garage as you’re getting out. Gun or no gun, you’re not going to get enough time/distance to do much more than hand-to-hand conflict.
So when you park in your garage, wait about five seconds with your doors locked and your window slightly lowered. Listen. A moment of silence, as the Quakers are wont to say. And then make positive egress. Don’t just kind of get out. Get out quickly and check out your environs. Without stuff in your hands.
Loading-up on packages before you exit the car eliminates a lot of options. If you’re going to be attacked, it’s better to attack first, with your hands free from clutter. Speed, surprise, violence of action. Oh, right. You can hold your keys in one hand to use as an impromptu edged weapon.
Getting out of your car with your weapon drawn is a sure way to earn a free gunloon T-shirt. Unless you have reason to believe you’re in danger. In which case, why aren’t you driving away? Generally speaking, forget about armed self-defense. You’ll be too close. Strike and run. That said . . .
If you’re headed to or away from your vehicle and see someone suspicious, do not get into the car. The chances of winning a footrace to your automobile with enough time to close and lock the door are minimal. Better to retreat to your house or put the car between you and the Bad Guy (BG) and draw your weapon.
You can circle around the car, keeping the car between you and the perp, easily enough. Unfortunately, multiple BGs put paid to that notion. In that case . . . RUN! Fight. Something. But you do not want to get caught struggling for your life in the tight confines of the driver’s seat. Imagine a knife.
Backtracking slightly, make sure there’s plenty of light around your garage. Not one of those instant-on motion sensor jobbies, either The BG can trigger it, stay still and return to darkness. And don’t forget that decorative hedges are perfect hiding places; they’re better off set slightly away from your structures.
Sorry to sound paranoid, but none of this advice is particularly onerous. Just incorporate good safety procedures (e.g., check the back seat for unwanted passengers) into your daily driving routine and they’ll become second nature. No harm, no foul. But if something does happen, you’ll be ready.