Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Defending the Ponderosa

Several readers in my blog have asked me questions concerning home defense and how to do it properly. I am no expert but I have a lot experience and have conducted research into the topic (including talking to police officers) and here is the best I have come up with. It is not the only solution so do your research properly and thoroughly.

Where most homeowners make their biggest mistake is they purchase a weapon without doing any real, thorough research into the topic. They don’t consider the type of weapon to best suit their needs; do not seek out proper training classes prior to and after the purchase, there’s no real “gameplan” developed or talked about with the family, no thought as to proper, safe storage of the weapon, and they really don’t know their own house any more than the intruder does. They approach the subject with no real clue as to how to defend themselves, much less, the family or the house.

Generally, most people shoot a weapon under “ideal” conditions and it is usually a pistol. It is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT story when you’re stressed, scared, and it’s dark. Realistically, you can’t hit anything with a pistol unless you’ve been shooting in varied conditions for years. It is beneficial to seek training or training references through your local police department, REPUTABLE gun shop, or the NRA. All three are excellent starting points.

Generally, the best choice for home defense, tactical movement inside buildings, firepower, low cost and pure fear factor is a shotgun. They're easy to use and criminals, as well as insurgents, dread getting anywhere near the business end of a shotgun. It has been my first hand experience, through years of training and multiple combat tours, that a shotgun is the top choice for home defense. The 12-Gauge Remington 870 “Youth Model” makes an excellent choice because of it size, dependability, ease of use, and cost. It is also best suited for women due to their smaller frame. Several sources and schools are available to help the homeowner out with the research and training. Talk to your local police department prior to your purchase and gather the information concerning licensure, regulations, and registry of any weapon in your possession. It makes your life easier and you get to meet some of your local law enforcement under great conditions. Remember, BOTH of the adults in the house need to know how to use the weapon. The kids should learn through the same training source used by the homeowner when they reach the proper age. *Billy’s brother-in-law the avid squirrel hunter is not a viable source.

The other issue has to be addressed by the homeowner himself. They may know what the square footage of the house is, but they don’t “know” their own house. They have no clue as to the quirks of the house, normal versus non-normal noises, and layout of the house. They have no idea where the vulnerable points of entry of the house are. They cannot navigate from one end of the house to the other when it’s dark (try it once blindfolded, you’d be surprised). Then there’s the furniture layout that is too varied to describe but they don’t pay attention to it until the situation is too late. Memorize your house and where the furniture is. This will give you the “Home Field Advantage” and, more practically, it could actually save your life. Research the neighborhood prior to the house purchase, in other words, talk to the cops about crime in the area. Check the home inspector’s report. Find out about emergency services in your area. This will save them a ton of headaches later on.

Finally there’s the attitude of today’s homeowner. We can thank lawyers for the majority of that through frivolous lawsuits where the intended invader/murderer lived through the experience and successfully sued the homeowner for defending himself and his family. The other part is the “softening” of Americans as a whole through various mediums. They’ve taken the “Cowboy” out of today’s American. When you decide to purchase a weapon, specifically for home defense, you better make sure you know the intent of that weapon is to kill something in order to save your life. Don’t worry about the damage to the house and your stuff because it’s going to happen, and you can always replace it. You can’t replace your family. Put time into your research and training in order to assure success for yourself and your loved ones.


Anonymous Damsel said...

Coconut Commando, “currently enjoying an extended, all inclusive vacation package to Iraq,” composed a very good article on home defense. I especially liked this recommendation for a home defense weapon. I love mine!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Beach Girl said...

Thanks for the great comment. Mind if I post on it over at my blog? Glad to find you. Enjoying that all-expense paid travel package are you? Give my love and my appreciation to you fellows at arms.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Judee Dufresne said...

This is what my husband Steve says too, He served in the army during the Viet Nam war and was in Vietnam for a year. His guns are almost sacred to him (our son Jason too) and I have one for trap shooting. I have to agree that we need to be aware it's not Mayberry anymore and to be ready and prepared. Thanks for the advice, it woke me up! Hope you feel lifted up. Judee Dufresne

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to BG for directing me to your blog. It's always a pleasure reading what our military has to say. Nice work, I will be checking more of your posts and I invite you over to my blog, likewise.

Regarding the use of a shotgun for home defense, I'm with you on that. Shotguns guarantee more body perforation on the intruder's behalf. I have a Mossberg 10G under my bed and the shells are in a box in my sock drawer. While most people would keep it loaded and ready, I'd rather not, just a personal pref. I know it's an extra step to the dresser and all, but I know how to combat load and the action is easy.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Beach Girl said...

Commando, my friend Steve has added you to his blogs to read. I mentioned you - not by name - to the young soldier I'm sponsoring (?) - anyway, I'm sending care packages with plenty of stuff for more than one. We civilians want to be a part of this war with you and this is the only way we have.

We are blogging on the many of the same subjects. Have you been to Redneck's Revenge. I think it is Redneck's Revenge. You may like the posts there including those of Papa Ray. If this is the wrong link, I'll get back on the correct one. I'll check this one now.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Beach Girl said...

Sorry, forgot I can't check it until you approve. I'll check it when you approve.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Beach Girl said...

How about for condos and townhouses? Shotgun still? I took a handgun self-defense course. We had our final test in the dark. That was fun. :)

I hardly ever turn on lights in the house at night if I get up for any reason. I have found that is good practice in knowing where things are. How to get around. Good info, thanks.

7:31 AM  
Blogger MK said...

"Currently enjoying an extended, all inclusive vacation package to Iraq"

I love that. Thanks Beach Girl.

Thanks for the advice on home defence but I need to ask you, what about home defense without a gun?

You see, some of us schmucks down-under in Australia are not allowed to bear arms and do old-fashioned things like defending your home. We're supposed to dial 1800-lawyer or call the cops, assume the lotus position and hope the criminal, wanting to help himself to your possessions and wife will wait patiently for the police to turn up.

For us good quality kitchen knives and praying are the few remaining options.

Stay safe and thank you for what you do.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous fasternu426 said...

As a former police officer of 13 years, This is sensible advise. Your weapon is a tool. Learn to use it. Practice, practice, practice! Teach your kids. The NRA is a good source of information and can point you to reputable sources in your area. The Eddie the Eagle program is a good way to teach the kids about firearm safety. Join the NRA!

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That reminds me - I need to write to the NRA. thanks!

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!


3:00 AM  

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