Let’s establish what were are talking about here. There is a big difference between someone quietly sneaking into your home in the middle of the night to steal your flat screen TV and sneak back out again (while trying not to wake anyone), and the brazen pack of 2 or 3 thugs who kick in your door while you’re watching that same TV, then threatening your life (or your spouse’s, or your children’s, or all three) and demanding your money and / or belongings. No time to retreat to a safe room, no opportunity to call 911, no way to retrieve that discreetly hidden firearm that you stashed where “no one would find it.” Emasculated, you watch helplessly as they tie you and your loved ones up and take their time going through your house while threatening you with unimaginable horrors.
But, fortunately, you live in upper-middle class suburbia where that kind of thing doesn’t happen…until it does. Two days ago in another subdivision very similar to the one where I live, and fewer than 3 miles away, there was just such an encounter. These types of “strong arm robberies” are quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Hitting so close to home, it caused me to re-examine my own “preparedness plan” and evaluate its potential effectiveness in light of such a situation. As a personal defense instructor, I am always giving advice on personal and home security and usually follow my own advice as well. However, I did step things up a bit. While it had been customary for me to “check the perimeter” and make sure all the doors were locked and secured prior to retiring for the evening, I have now made it a priority to make sure the doors are always locked period…even while watching TV in the evening. I have also beefed up the security on our sliding door wall to prevent it from opening – even just a little – and I am looking into installing an additional bolt on my front door. Anything to “slow ‘em down” and prevent a “blitz attack”. Even the best preparedness plan needs time to execute.
There is one thing, though, that I will not change. I realized long ago that a life saving tool that is inaccessible is unavailable. When someone bursts through your door while you’re sitting on the couch, don’t expect to be able to call “time out” in order to evaluate the offense and call a play, or substitute players. It’s on, and it’s you. With that in mind, an integral part of my preparedness plan involves a firearm, and no matter where I go in my home I am never more than arm’s length away from a fully loaded and chambered firearm which is, at the same time, completely inaccessible to unauthorized persons. Remember, it’s all just “paranoia”…until it isn’t.
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