Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just the Basics – Home Defense – Evaluation


There have been a number of notable discussions of late regarding home defense, specifically revolving around “house clearing”. Kathy Jackson of “Cornered Cat” had an excellent post with good comment follow-up – you can read the entire post here. So, I’ve been chewing on this topic for a couple of days and would like to spend a couple of posts on the topic. This is such a broad topic, I believe the best way is to break the issues/challenges/problems down into multiple elements and then tackle each of them.

Initially I plan to break down the topic into the following elements:

  • Evaluation: Planning and Reality
  • Perimeters: Exterior and Interior
  • Weapons: Handgun, Shotgun, Carbine
  • Engagements: Exterior and Interior
  • Aftermath

The goal here is to provide you a starting point for evaluating your defensive position, creating a defensive plan, selecting appropriate defensive weapons, walking you through exterior and interior engagements and then talk about the aftermath of such and engagement. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started.

In this initial post let’s discuss Evaluation – Planning – Reality. As I am fond of saying – “you have all the time in the world NOW to plan”. Let’s use it.

Evaluation: Planning and Reality

Home defense, while it can boil down to the last few feet as an attacker plunges through your bedroom door, is actually a much broader “plate” than that. So let’s start there – we’ll “drill down” over the next few posts.

State / County / Community

At the broadest level, let’s look at your individual state and their treatment of your ability to defend yourself. When I say the words “defend yourself” what I mean is the ability to have a loaded weapon within an arm’s reach to be used to stop an attacker – legally. For example – if I am walking down the streets of Chicago or New York City – I do not have the right to defend myself, period. If I am walking down the streets of my community – I can open carry my Glock 17. While I may get a glance or two, or possibly a visit and chat with our local Police Chief – I will not be stopped from doing so. Here I can defend myself.

That’s the two ends of the spectrum – and should be part of your defensive planning as you choose places to live and communities to work in. This is, today, my standard. I must have the ability to defend myself, my family or friends with my firearm of choice or I simply will not live there. This ability is dependent of federal, state and local laws. It is your absolute responsibility to KNOW THE LAW in your community and state. Places I cannot carry? Schools, Post Office, county buildings, “posted” buildings (though in our area if you carry into these places there is only a problem if you refuse to leave when asked). With the exception of schools or federal buildings – these laws may well be different for your community/county/state.


Once State and City have been chosen – take a hard look at your community. My son and his fiancé have just completed this process while purchasing their first home. We were invited to see the place during the required "home inspection" by a local inspector prior to final appraisal. While looking at the home, I also spent a lot of time looking at adjoining properties. I liked what I saw. The neighbor was putting on a new roof and was a fairly young fellow. Others out in their yard were younger as well. Homes and the street were well kept. Yards were fenced, a major shopping area nearby, a large regional hospital within 5 blocks. There were multiple “exits” should the need arise to leave the neighborhood quickly with a major highway only a 5 minute drive away.

While these items in no way guarantee safety – they do represent stability. Well-kept homes are a sign the owners are not transient but are putting down some roots. Well-kept roads and infrastructure indicates the community is also, at least today, stable.

A close proximity to a major hospital is always a plus in the event care is needed and the availability of multiple exit routes and a major highway provides some comfort that if TSHTF, the possibility of being trapped, without an exit is reduced.

Make your plans

Have “a plan”. Choose your Every Day Carry – E.D.C.- items and carry them each and every day. (videos are HERE)  Choose “rally points” – places you will meet your family in the event things go south and you must leave the area. DO NOT PLAN ON GOING TO GET HIM/HER. Work this out in advance – follow your plan.

Set a communications plan in place. Cell phones, text messaging, backup email, radio frequencies if you are into ham radio (if not, consider a basic license at least).

Define exit routes – have three. Some may depend on why you’re leaving. Fires, floods, riots, earthquake, mudslides – the list is endless. That’s why you define them now, game them, memorize them and practice them.

Have a “boogie bag” prepped. I did a whole post on this quite some time back. My approach is that this bag is the one I would take on a back-pack trip and could easily sustain me for an unlimited period of time with only a resupply of food and water being require. The base weight? 25 pounds less food and clothing.

Have a 3-day supply of food/equipment in your car at all times. Again, I did a post on this a while back.

Plans will very whether you are within the state, within the community, within the neighborhood or within your home. Prepare them, discuss them, and equip them.

You have all the time you need NOW to do these things . . . . do them!

Some Realities

Even with all the plusses for my son and future daughter-in-law’s new home or for all the plusses you may have for your home, that is no guarantee against an attacker coming to visit.

Armed assistance from LEOs is always (unless the cruiser is passing in front of your home when the call comes) moments away. In my particular case, it can be 10s of minutes away. IT IS YOUR RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY AS A FREE HUMAN TO DEFEND YOURSELF. No one else’s. If you depend on the LEOs coming in time to “save you” – you are trusting to God and the fates to keep you out of a Ziploc. I firmly believe He made you smarter than that.

We are talking about “death dealing”, the taking of a human life. You must “prepare” for this. I have no magic words or formula that you can do or say that makes you ready to take a life – no one does. Even with combat training a soldier never really knows how they will react at a kill/or be killed moment, only that there will be a choice presented. Live or die. Second times are not easier than first times. Nor should they be. Still, as I said above – you have the absolute right to defend yourself, your family and your friends from a lethal attack. Make your peace, make your choice and then learn the skills to make yourself lethal.

So in beginning to plan for your home defense, begin with where you live. As the Knight said: “Choose Wisely!” Some choices may be dictated by job/career. If so, mitigate this as much as you can. It you are thinking about accepting a job in a location where the law prohibits you from protecting yourself, your family or your friends . . . . I would encourage you to think very long and hard about accepting such a position.

Plan your defense – beginning with your community and neighborhood. Choosing vibrant communities and neighborhoods – while no guarantee against violence – can go a long way to provide a buffer between you and the bad actors that are out there.

Communicate with your family to make sure they know “the plan”. If the plan is only in your head, it’s useless.

You have all the time in the world NOW to start on your home defense plans. Help is NOT coming, the person you see in the mirror is the only one you can depend on in this moment to defend you, your family or your friends . . . .

Next up – Perimeters.


  1. "Place your clothes and your weapons where you can find them in the dark."-Notebooks of Lazarus Long by Robert Heinlin.

  2. Yep, could not agree more. I'm re-reading that book (about the 10th time I think) even as we speak. I find it comforting for some reason - hopeful that some day things will work out.

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