Smitty writes: Would you be willing to either reply or blog-post about your home defense plan?
Excellent question! Understand, for obvious reasons I'm not going into specifics about my home, but I can give some general tactical advice for home defense, and rest assured, if I leave anything out, Bane, Bill, Resispa, and JAC will be happy to fill in, and mock me for my omissions.
Let's start with the basic layout of the house. This was something that I was thinking about when we bought this house. I looked for a house with the bedrooms grouped together on the same floor with one one way to access that floor. The benefit to this is pretty obvious. If someone breaks in at night, you have a buffer between your family and the bad man. This gives you two options. You can't totally ignore your windows, unless they are, like mine, totally unaccessible from the ground. I generally set up stuff around windows that are accessible, giving any invader something to step on or trip over. Anything to distract them and buy me some time. This can be anything... Rocking chairs, clothes hampers, or kids toys are great for this.
Plan One. Wait and Shoot.
Tactically you want to establish a safe area first. So you set up some type of barrier at the top of the stairs. Baby gates are fine, because you just want to slow the bad man down. From cover, you simply watch that entrance, and wait.
From cover means, you are not exposed, or you are minimally exposed to return fire. It's your house, so take some time to figure out a spot to shoot from. If for example your bedroom door faces the stairs, you can lay prone inside the doorway, using the wall for cover, while only the necessary aiming bits are exposed.
My Father-in-Law has a great plan. His master bedroom shares a wall with the stairwell. So he can stand next to the wall, and listen for the rattling of the babygate, then simply blast them through the wall with his 12 guage and 00 buck! There is much debate on whether such a tactic would be fatal, but there is little debate that it would stun the victim, cause him to fall down the stairs, and give the old man time enough to finish the job. The thing to remember is you have to know where the baby gate is with respect to your wall so you have a good aiming point, and you have to be able to find it when it's dark and you're keyed up.
For home defense, it gets no better than a 12-guage shotgun. I recommend a pump. You can use all manner of specialty ammo for the things. Everything from rubber slugs, to nasty razor filled projectiles. heh heh heh.
Plan Two. Clear the House.
People write books on this stuff. It's far to indepth for a blog. The best advice I can give here is, if you have dogs, and you SHOULD have dogs, let them lead you to the Bad Man. Listen for the ruckus, and go shoot the bastard.
If you don't know where he is, it gets tricky, and you better revert to Plan 1. If you're hell bent on sweeping though, I can offer some general advice.
You know your home, so you should be able to predict how/where he entered, or at least the most likely spots. From safe cover, listen for any movement. Listen for anything at all. You're eyes are used to the dark, and your ears are keyed up from the quiet of the house. Use them. Once you hear him, provide coverfire for youself. Lets say he's in a room to your left. Start shooting before you turn the corner. Shoot as you walk. The guy will be pissing himself, and will never have a chance to return fire. He'll either panic and run, or he'll stand there and get shot. This also eliminates the rookie tendency to hesititate. You'll simply see him, and fire.
Again, I do not recommend this tactic. Sit and wait for the guy.
You should have them. They are by far, the best alarm system money can buy. I get woken up all the time because someone had the nerve to walk down my street. But you can tell the difference in the warning bark, and the Bad Man bark. Dogs sound distinctly different when they are actually about to engage a threat. So you hear the warning barks... you wake up, get your senses about you and listen for anything else. Until they make a guard cat, that will wake me up and then try to kill the Bad Man for me, I will continue to be a Dog Person.
Dogs are invaluable, particularly in a home invasion situation. remember the most important thing is, they are not expecting resistance. The whole point is to shock you, and catch you with your pants down. They are not expecting a couple 100 pound dogs to meet them at the door. We're ok, simply because we know that the dogs will provide us enough time to deal with them.
At anytime of the day, from anywhere in my house, I can produce a firearm almost immediately. They are all safely out of the hands of children mind you. Often, I can be found simply wearing one though. Hey, you think it's wierd maybe, but look at it this way... My hip is the safest place for it. I know exactly where it is at all times, and I know no one is playing with it.
Some may call it paranoid. I call it prepared.