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  1. He’s on the wrong side of the stairs for one and aiming too far to the right.
    That and his light and lazer are on for no reason, surprise is no longer on his side.

  2. Just throwing these out there:

    If all family members have been accounted for, it’s probably best from a both a tactical and legal standpoint to retreat behind a closed bedroom door, having called the police.
    If they all haven’t been accounted for, it looks like it’s a great way to kill someone you care about through a nervous “reflex” shot, as they cut across the field of view.

    • “tactical and legal standpoint to retreat behind a closed bedroom door”…

      You think this is the best thing to do? Putting yourself behind a door when someone has entered the house is both not necessary from a legal standpoint, and is tactically “funneling” yourself (and possibly your family) into a “death trap”.

      Legally, the castle doctrine will likely protect you in your house no matter where you are or where your family is. In states that haven’t recognized the castle doctrine, the picture clearly shows the “defender” to be upstairs at night. I haven’t run across any case where a person has either retreated upstairs or was woken up and had to fire defensively where a jury said that the duty to retreat was not fulfilled.

      From a tactical standpoint, putting yourself (aka the defender) in a room with other family members, behind a closed-door, limits your ability to see or fire upon intruders and turns you (and family) into a barrel of fish just waiting to be shot at wildly and randomly. It is much more effective to stand at the top of the stair (perhaps not in that location or with lights on) and to give precise warning (aka LEAVE NOW, I’M CALLING 911), while also keeping watch to see if anyone tries to come up the stairs.

      • Mr. Carrube, #1 being holed up in a “safe room” with you and your family also has the effect of ‘funneling’ the bad guys into the “fatal funnel death trap” called a doorway. What’s the problem with that? My “safe room” has a room within a room for my family members with a 1 inch thick solid oak door,its called my closet. I simply place myself between said bad guys and my family. It allows me to ambush them if they try to come through the bedroom door one at a time. Hopefully after the first one gets torn apart by my Mossberg Tactical the others will lose the will to continue and bug-out. #2 in this picture/scenario,this person could conceiveably be in the process of clearing his home from top-down when this picture was taken;that’s not necessarily my favored technique but,hey,different strokes. Going out to meet the bad guys at the stairs isn’t such a bad idea either. It acts as a funnel of sorts also,and allows you to use the bedroom as a fallback position. I live in a ranch style home with no upstairs,so my deffilade technique makes sense to me. But,that’s just me.

        • @reaganmarine84 – understood, but I’m afraid that you logic may has some fatal flaws. You’re assuming that the bad guy(s) is going to come through the doorway, instead of getting spooked at the light/laser/noises and then proceeds to start shooting randomly through the walls, door, etc. Also, it doesn’t matter if you’re door is made of AR500 plate, the 2 layers of sheetrock and some plaster around the door frame won’t do much to thwart bullets.

          The fact that you think you’ll be able to “ambush” one or more attackers as they gingerly make their way through the doorway is a pretty good indicator that you haven’t have much force-on-force training yet. You mention of “clearing the house” further solidifies my suspiscion. I think there are some articles here on TTAG that discusses how “easy” it is to clear a house – even when the attackers are known to be present.

          Your particular house may pose different requirements, but the original response was about this situation. The fact of the matter is is that the top of the stairs is the most tactically advantagous position available. There IS no way to get upstairs (and thus to you and/or your family) without going up the stairs. Now, if you don’t have access to windows and neighbors nearby, don’t have a cell phone close, disabled people in house, etc – that can certainly change how this situation should be handled. My “safe spot” is also a closet (a large walk-in) for the kids, with my wife and a pistol between them, and me between her and the intruders. Like an onion, it’s about providing layers of protection – not sitting all bunched up in a closet asking not to be shot!

        • I wasn’t assuming anything. If they get spooked and bolt,that’s awesome;I hope they do. That’s the best case scenario because everyone lives another day bad guys and good guys. I wasn’t trying to “draw them in” to my ambush. I was simply trying to state a technique of allowing them to come to me,when I clearly would have the tactical drop on them;much like treestand deer hunting. They could ransack the rest of the house,steal my electronics in the living room,whatever,and leave back out. But, if they come through the bedroom door,then woe on them. I am working on re-inforcing the interior walls and ceiling of the closet with steel plating. This would also double as a type of safe room for natural disasters like tornadoes and such. I haven’t got it all quite figured out yet. I do realize the vulnerability of the sheet rock walls.

          Clearing a structure can be done from starting high and going low or starting low and going high. Each has its own sets of challenges and pros & cons. And I may have to do it alone. Much like a first responder to a active shooter. So what is you point exactly? I had plenty of “force on force” training during my time in the corps. But, because it was in the mid 1980’s a large portion of the training focused on more open terrain fighting. We had some MOUT training in clearing structures;but you have to remember the time period I was active duty. We were more focused on Russia coming across the plains of europe with massive armor and troop movements. And the MOUT tactics weren’t as “refined” as they are now 2 1/2 decades later and 8 yrs of urban warfare (i.e. Fallujah,Ramadi etc.). I was trained to fight a totally different type of warfare. Although I have taken some ‘civilian’ home defense/offense classes in my area,taught by current S.W.A.T. team and Iraq infantry veterans over the years to try to stay up to speed on current tactics.

          I did admit in my post that going out to meet the bad guys as they are advancing up the “stair funnel” wasn’t such a bad idea either,as you could always displace to the bedroom. I did fail to mention (because I didn’t think I needed to) that my wife is also armed and has posession of the cell phone with which to call the authorities. All of our children go out shooting with us regularly and are trained in the usage of firearms. I wasn’t about to not have them be able to pick up a weapon and defend themselves in the event that my wife and I go down;or something like this happens when we (the parents) are not at home.

  3. The laser is shining right through the ghost he is aiming at. Lasers are no good for ghost hunting.

    Also, it looks like there are 2 bannisters.

  4. First of all, that’s not the homeowner looking down the stairs. It’s the interior decorator. And while I don’t blame the decorator for wanting to blow the crap out of that tacky wrought iron corner etagere, the poor idiot is aiming six inches left. Finally, he’d be better off using a 12 gauge and really getting the job done.

  5. This defender has a psychologically superior defensive posture, because he’s just let the bad guys know that he’s armed and alert. With a height advantage, situational awareness and a capable weapon, he will only be defeated by invaders with grenades or lots and lots of heavy bullets to shoot him through the floor from the storey below. The quick flash of light and laser probably cost him his night vision, but it served a purpose because the burglars have probably run like hell. If they proceed to the foot of the stairs they’ll die there.

    • +1. thumbs up. Hitting the bad guy with a strobe light/laser function as he hits the first stair would work too. Bad guy is fully exposed and disoriented. That also allows you to keep your night vision until the last moment.

      • What if he turns the lights on first and distracts you? Then you’re in his position – best to turn on all the lights that you can in the hallway area. What if you have to shoot and become quickly blinded by muzzle flash? In my low-light training courses, they show how easy it is to get blinded by your own shot and how long it takes to recover. Unfortunately, by then you’ll likely be shot…

  6. If space allowed it might be a good idea to have some sort of barrier object, a piece of furniture, or something near the top of the stairs that a defender can take cover behind to potentially hide themselves from view of an intruder and to absorb a bullet.

  7. Why all of this talk about “spoiling night vision?” Why not flip on as many lights as possible, to deny bad guys the concealment/surprise that darkness gives them, while reducing the chances of clumsily bumping into furniture, other obstacles, etc.

  8. Given the warning of the light, and knowing the gun’s aiming point, this is a perfect setup for an armed intruder to edge up to the wall in a crouch, then reach around and shoot upwards. If t’were I doing the intruding, I would aim a little low, in case the gentleperson upstairs was also crouching. Even if not, a pelvic or thigh hit would ruin the defender’s day, and probably give me the chance for a few more shots.

    Far better for the defender to wait around the edge of the stairwell, out of sight, listening for footsteps. [I’ve never run into a set of wooden stairs that didn’t creak somewhat.] Flashlight OFF, laser on, but covered by support hand until last moment. Even without a well-aligned laser pointer, a quick snap-shot or two at point-blank range would resolve the issue quite favorably. An added precaution would be for the defender to be crouched as low as possible [prone would reduce maneuverability excessively].

    Of course I agree with a previous comment: a twelve-gauge with 00 buck would be just lovely for stairwell defense. And solve the aforementioned interior-decorating issues.

    In any case, the scariest thing about this scenario is the family-member inventory.

    • “If t’were I doing the intruding, I would aim a little low, in case the gentleperson upstairs was also crouching”

      Or is a MIDGET!!

  9. If we are seeing a shadow cast on the left wall — what is the laser emitter wash doing in the handgun shadow? Unpossible. Besides, s/he should be using a grenade.

    Geometry points to the shooter being left handed with the right hand holding the flashlight to the right and significantly behind the firearm. Those darn Lefty’s can’t get anything Right.

  10. he has telegraphed his exact location to any intruder who may be there. an intruder could simply stick the gun arround the corner anfd fire up the stairway at him. he would be done for . the bad guy wouldn’t even be exposed .

  11. He let his wife buy that really awful black metal corner shelfy thing. Is there any worse piece of treacle than those made-in-china-faux-American- traditional-knockoff-metal corner shelfy things? The intruders would take one look, safety their weapons and say “there’s nothing of value here, let’s go to Walmart and buy some plastic chairs to cleanse our designer palet.”

  12. He is not using glorious soviet Mosin Nagant rifle with bayonet fixed! Also the laser would give away his position to anyone looking at the bottom of the stair case.

  13. Clearley, if there was propper technique and ligth discipline used, the photo would have just been all black.

    And that doesnt lead to very good advertisments.


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