I hear a lot of chatter from the world of the internet on an almost daily basis about how “if someone breaks into my house, I would engage the threat directly and then clear my home.” This type of bravado is nothing more than pride taking over the otherwise intelligent gun owner. I’m going to talk about a couple different situations and address things from an honest perspective. The first I want to talk about is the situation where you come home and someone has broken into your home. The second situation I want to talk about is the late night home invasion. Both of these scenarios are ugly, realistic scenarios where you must be honest with yourself about your level of training and your capability.
The very first thing I want to address is the absolute fact that nothing in your home, short of your family is worth killing someone for or getting yourself killed. Your TV is not that important. You have insurance for a reason! Let it pay out. Your only priority in these situations is survival.
Secondly, lets be real. Myself and others on this team have been through training for clearing homes, have served multiple warrants and encountered violent scenarios. Not even the most elite can be prepared for every situation. My plans for the following situations were developed from my training and do not include actively clearing your home. Unless you have family in need of assistance on the other end of your home, there is literally no reason to deal yourself the garbage hand of clearing your home. You know your home better than anyone, use it to your advantage.
Situation 1: You arrive at your home after dinner with your family and find your door has been compromised. You have your concealed carry weapon with you. If you read Beyond the Sights or any other firearms blog you probably have an extra magazine with you. Be real with yourself when you think about this. Don’t assume you have an extra magazine if you don’t normally carry one.
Your first order of business is safety. Your family does not need to be involved in this situation, have them leave. Their safety is your number one priority, not your new 4k UHD TV. Call the police and inform them of the situation, inform them what you are wearing and that you have a firearm. Assume a position on the strong side of the entry door (if possible) that was breached well away from your house. Your job at this point is to be a good witness. Observe everything you can. Is someone still in the house? Can you hear them? How many are there? Do they have a vehicle at your home? What is the tag number? Maintain this position of observation and be vigilant. Once the police get there, tell them everything you have observed and let the guys with body armor do the clearing. If while you are waiting for the police to arrive, the invader decides to leave; your best course of action is to let it happen. Take note of their height relative to your door frame. Hair color, skin color, distinguishing markings, and clothing are all details that will serve the police well in finding the persons responsible.
Not what you wanted to hear is it? Not what you would expect to hear from someone in the industry? Being a hero in these situations will get you injured at minimum, at worst killed. While I am sure this article will receive some negative responses from the keyboard operator collective, even if they are honest with themselves this situation is best left to a professional team to clear rather than an individual. Be a good witness. Don’t be a Hero!
Situation 2: Something goes bump in the night. Your wife wakes you informing you that she heard a loud bang and now she hears voices that aren’t supposed to be there. You spring out of bed…er, never mind you are groggy. You are shaking off sleep, trying to get your brain working. Now what?
Before we discuss this situation, remember I mentioned you know your house best. How well do you know it? What room in your house would be considered the hardest room? In other words, what room has the most real hard cover? You want to set up your home to take advantage of your floor plan. My wife and my room is furthest from the entry points and takes advantage of as many walls as possible. My son’s room is directly across the hall and utilizes the same distance from entry and walls. It also creates a situation where an assailant must traverse down a hallway (fatal funnel) to get to my family and I.
Back to the scenario. You have shaken off the sleep. Where is your gun? Is it readily accessible or is it locked up? Locked up, unloaded guns are nearing on useless, they require too much time to access and get into the fight! Teach your kids about guns! Subject for another time. You retrieve your gun and begin thinking about how best to protect your family. Your first order of business is to isolate your family. You get your wife and proceed to your child’s room. Your wife calls 9-1-1 and explains the scenario. Now most of the chatter I hear on the internet, people say that they would go on a seek and destroy mission. I’m here to tell you not to be a hero. You are running in blind and groggy. Professionals at the height of awareness, and the best trainers in the industry will tell you that one man home clearing is at the very least ineffective at the worst a recipe for you to get yourself killed. Isolate your family, do your best to barricade and then defend your position. If the assailants force your hand before the police get there, do whatever it takes to keep your family safe. Let the guys with body armor do their job otherwise.
Bravado is not your friend. People talk a lot of tough talk on the internet. Do not let their misguided bravado influence you into making a stupid decision. If myself and others who have the appropriate training will tell you not to go it alone, what does that tell you? Again, you and your family’s survival is what is at stake here. The average person does not have the training, or mindset to effectively clear a home especially not after just waking up. Best case scenario you move through your house semi-effectively and end the scenario. Worst case scenario, your lack of training and your sleepy, slow reflexes get you killed and your family suffers at the hands of the assailant as well. Survival should be your mantra, not some false bravado built out of pride. Don’t be a Hero. SURVIVE!