Home Defense

wsgYesterday I talked about Home Security.  You may be wondering “why is she writing about home defense, isn’t home defense and home security the same thing?”  The answer is no, they are not.

Home security is to build a barrier around your home to prevent intrusion.  Home defense is what you use to protect your family and yourself in case the barrier is violated.   Although home defense involves personal protection, actual personal protection is a bit different and not what this post is about.  I will be talking about personal protection in a future post.

Before I go too much further, please review and understand the laws of the area you live in.  Believe it or not, there are some areas where it is illegal to use “deadly” force in your own home.  You may use non-deadly force, but not deadly. Sound stupid?  I agree, but I am not here to debate law, just remind you that is it your responsibility to know the law in your area.

So what is home defense? Well, first I do believe in doing all that is possible to prevent an intruder from entering in the first place, I am a firm believer is avoiding bad guy conflict. With that said, I am not one from running from my own home, nor do I believe a nice conversation with a bad guy intruder, asking him about his feelings will deter his intentions.  I do believe that a call to 911 is imperative along with praying.  However, I also believe there may come a time when the good guys may not get there before the bad guy gets to me.  That is why I do believe it insuring you are able to defend and protect yourself in your own home.

Did you know that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that local law-enforcement had no duty to protect individuals, but only a general duty to enforce the laws. First ruled in 1856, South v. Maryland, 59 U.S. (How.) 396, 15 L.Ed.433 (1856), upheld multiple times, here is just one in 1989 DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services .

For many years I felt safe with my little .22 cal. hand gun, until recently I realize that although a .22 could cause pause for an intruder, it would most likely not stop them if they proved determined enough to get past all my home security.  So I now have two shot guns.  A .410 and a 12 gauge.  Why two? As prepper saying goes, one is none and two is one. In other words, always have a spare regardless what the subject matter is.

Home defense is about hitting your target while avoiding overshooting or over penetration through walls into kid’s rooms or if in an apartment or close quarter living, into a home that isn’t yours.

12 Gauge

For woman especially I recommend low recoil ammo, because this big boy packs a punch when you pull the trigger.   My loads, the first two rounds out the tube will be bird shot, a less lethal warning but a huge attention getter.  After that 00 buck.  It is a beast of a weapon and with a full load is a bit heavy.

With more study, I realized that as much as I love the 12 gauge, and count on it in extreme situations, I thought maybe the kick would be a bit much.

.410

Enter my .410, an excellent shotgun for women IMHO.  The .410 is lighter, and shorter than a standard 12 gauge.  It is easier to handle even when fully loaded.  I still have the same types of ammo loaded, bird shot warning, then out goes the 000 buck.  Remember, the purpose is home defense and ideal for close range encounters like what will occur in your home.

This is not to say that a hand gun cannot be used for home defense if that is all you have, and for me that was all I had for years.  But the sound of a shot gun slide is unmistakable, it will announce you are home and serious about defending yourself.  If the intruder continues, the spread of the shot will stop them hopefully without collateral damage to friendlies (family).

Safety First

Regardless of what you choose for home defense make sure you are trained to use it. Practice with it and know what to expect when you fire it.  Everyone in the home should be trained to use it. Insure proper safety and locks especially if you have kids.

Be sure if you have a multi-person house hold you have some form of verbal notification/verification before shooting.  Have a secret code phrase you speak and must receive verification back prior to shooting to avoid accidentally shooting of a family member.  It is best to come up with something that an intruder couldn’t figure out.  For example:  if you yell “23″ the come back from family could be “mustang” .  Two totally unrelated words that an intruder would never figure out.  I have a friend who is bi-lingual.  The family has a secret pass phrase that will be spoken in their native tongue.  So if you are in an English speaking area but your family knows German, you have a two layer security for your pass-phrase (words and language).

Seriousness of any weapon

Remember, if a bad guy is in your home he is not there for a visit, he is there, un-invited, he broke in and it must be assumed his intent is to do you and your family harm your intent is not to scare but to stop the threat to you and your family’s safety.  Before you purchase any weapon you have to decide if you are capable of taking a life and if so, if you will be able to live with your decision if you take a life.  Owning a gun of any kind is serious business, it is not for play or show.  It is deadly force.  If you are not able to live with the consequences of pulling the trigger both mentally and legally, it may be best not to purchase the gun and look for other means of home defense, such as pepper spray, stun guns/tasers.

Again, the first line of a good home defense is great home security; make it too hard for the bad guy to get in in the first place.