We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, July 30. 2007
We posted a piece this week on the terrible recent home invasion in Connecticut, about 20 minutes from where I live. By coincidence, this was the same week I was taking my required Concealed Carry course down in Bridgeport (which was excellent, and good fun blasting away at targets with 9mm Glocks and H&Ks, plus some .22 revolvers).
One could not help but wonder what good protection might be from home invasion. In the reported story, the good doctor was downstairs, and knocked out by the invaders with a baseball bat immediately, then tied up and carried to the basement. No handgun in the bedside table would have been of any use.
As home invasion becomes more common, I wonder what good protection might be, unless you carry 24 hrs/day, as many do. I had a good chat, during a break in the course, with a husky young black kid with a du-rag, silver earrings, and pants half-falling off - nicest kid in the world - who wants to be a bank guard. He told me that he was dozing in front of the TV when he was awakened by an intruder, while the rest of his family was upstairs.
The intruder was a bit frightened, and this kid told him to leave in 3 seconds. The minute the guy turned, the kid slammed him in the back of the head with an aluminum baseball bat that was lying around. The kid had been at softball that afternoon, and never put his bat away.
The one swing knocked the guy out. He called the cops who cuffed the skull-fractured intruder and took him away in an ambulance. He said the cops came back one more time to ask more questions, and told him "You done good, kid." He never heard any more about it.
I told him to forget being a bank guard - go into the Army. He told me his Dad was a jarhead, and his granddad was in the Army. I told him he had an innate tactical sense. The way my life is, I do not have enough contact with du-rag kids. (I told my wife the story, and told her that the kid looked scary until I chatted with him. She said "It's just fashion: he wants to look scary, and you want to look dorky.")
A man's home is his castle. My friend and I concluded that a short-barreled pump 12 ga., like a trench gun, might the the best tool - assuming it's handy. It is tough for an amateur to hit anything moving with a handgun, unless it's ten feet away.
Photo on top: The Petit family of Cheshire, CT, the victims of the home invasion/rape/murder. Photo below, The entrance to The Tower, of course.
An unarmed home
The terrible story of the home invasion-murder-rape in a peaceful, leafy Connecticut suburb this week reinforces the necessity to have an armed home, as Never Yet Melted notes.The right to self-defence is the most basic human right.It matters not to me th
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Mossburg Cruiser - 18" barrel, loaded as follows - 2 rounds #7 shot, 2 rounds double aught, finally, a 12 gauge slug. Your intruder gets to trade up from bad complexion to missing chest cavity in 5 racks of the slide...
Yes, fine. But where do you keep it? Locked in a closet upstairs?
There are some very, very good sliding doors that are being manufactured in Chile. If you are going to have sliding doors anywhere in your home these are the most secure:
A second thought comes to mind. Not to long ago two young men up in your part of the country broke into the home of two professors and murdered them. In tv documentary about this story there is another father and son who might have been also been victims except for one thing. When these two killers knocked on the door (glass window pane in the door) the father came to the door holding a pistol down by his side. The killers could see from outside that the homeowner/father/might-have-been-victim was armed and ready to shoot. The killers vanished immediately. Lesson: let them know you are armed before they think about it!
Not knowing the layout of your home it is difficult to make any firm recommendations (know your client rule), however it sounds as though you're off to a great start with the shotgun.
You made the proper assumption also ..assuming it is handy..you've really answered you own question. Multi arms will be needed unless you live in the Ted Kaczynski model home.
A shotgun is the best home remedy for the home invader, but what if this and what if that etc...take an inventory .... do a home pattern path chart ..where do we go, what are our normal routes?
Suppose you can egress through a window to the outdoors? Where would you put one? Infrared detectors are cheap and plentiful, use them on any staircase if you sleeping quarters are upstairs. In your "easy chair or "your spot" have a pistol in the cushion beside your hip.
It takes planning, family practice, and probably more guns ..loaded guns..but then all guns are ALWAYS treated as loaded ALWAYS.
PS...most shootings take place within 10 feet so don't waste your ammo at the range shooting at a target 25 yards away ..leave that to Jack Bauer.
Re range: You must be right, but it's fun to try to hit the damn paper itself at 30' with a handgun - forget the bullseye. Speaking as a handgun beginner, of course.
Dedicated phone line to a security camera system. Also, several well placed cameras outside. They see em, they go somewhere else.
B, one small solution is to lay the shotgun flat on your mantle or handy high bookshelf right where you usually lounge. You can arrange knick knacks around it and it won't even show. It's handy, fast, you know where it is, and you can keep it loaded without fear of youngsters playing with it (unless they get up on a stool or somesuch).
You want it out of easy sight in case an intruder gets between you & it. Of course, in that event you need the second stash elswhere--highly recommended. Better to have the back-up and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Varying your loads is a nice idea but all #6 is just as good in my opinion, and less to think about under stress. You could have a lite field load or two to fire first, than standard or magnums to fire last, tho to my mind make every shot as lethal as possible, and if the situation demands a warning or disabling, just fire into the floor immediately in front of the intruder, raising the muzzle immediately to the kill zone, with as loud and nasty a rebel yell as you can conjure. You might thus end it without having to kill.
If your shotgun allows you to "pull the plug", I'd say do so, so that you can load to the max (probably 5 rnds). Standard two or three (if kept chambered) shots gives you little to warn or suppress with, unless you have ammo stashed everywhere--and reloading's no good anyway if someone (or if more than one, as in the recent crime nearby) is moving toward you.
Of course, you have one more shot if you keep the weapon 'chambered' but personally I keep the chamber itself 'dry' in a nod to the safety compromise.
As Habu says, take and hour with the other householders and walk thru a few possibilities. Defend the likeliest events. You can't be perfect, so play the odds. Remember the perp will always have the drop unless you have dogs who bark at strangers.
Also it is a good idea not to join anything more basic than your local shooting range. If they have configured themselves into teams I recommend taking a pass.
Seek the advice of the rangemaster when you need it, and initially you will need it but just get the A-1 off the shelf membership. Why?
If the day comes when you kill an invader ( and I would always recommend shooting to kill in that scenario) and an over eager prosecutor still brings charges you want to be just Joe Average Citizen who was protecting his family and home...If the prosecutor finds out you've developed into the best shot on "Team Blast Away" at XYZ Range you have a problem..... it doesn't mean you can't become highly proficient, even expert with a handgun, but just keep it to yourself. Others at the range will note any increase proficiency but ,"Golly guys, I'm just real busy but thanks for the invite" is a great answer. They'll quit looking your way.
I have noticed that in all of the home invasion reports that I have read there is never a dog mentioned. Though I am well armed, my Doberman is my first line of defense against an intruder. I am sure that with him hanging on to anyone who comes in uninvited I will have plenty of time to retrieve my Glock .40 from the nightstand. Even an alarm dog (if you are unable to keep a guard dog) will give you enough warning to be prepared to defend yourself.
Very important to have at least a few seconds warning--esp if the perp is armed. A little house dog can perform that service very well. Dog doesn't have to be fierce, just alert and a barker.
Barrister, that was good advice you gave the kid.
Childhood friend with no mental health history brain- damaged/disabled himself trying to commit suicide with the weapon his relatives thought was safely locked away in their farmhouse [there had been some holdups locally].. Although I'm mostly inclined to agree w AP on the value of deterrence, i have never yet figured how you keep a weapon both safely stowed and accessible in an emergency. Or are we to be Darwinian and write off as lambs to the slaughter those families who do not keep guns because of concerns about members with mood disorders [bad genes, why bother, some might say?!]. Incidentally, my friend gave no warning signs, and is still not able to do much to this day 30 years later. Guns don't kill people, people do. But I suspect that a botched overdose might have left him more faculties to recover and go on to have a better chance at life;
We cannot keep guns in our house because of family members with past issues. Only thing we can do is to forbid kids to answer the door or phone ever [anyone we would want to talk to calls on the cells] and anyone we would want to let in, we already know is coming. That leaves FedEx the only gaping hole in our castle's security.
The retriever might lick an intruder to death and he did conveniently trigger asthma attacks in a past nosy social worker who used to call.
My current plan includes cheerily emulating Hans Solo in Star Wars and calling thru the locked door "just a minute, we're all fine in here, just a small reactor leak and I don't think the kids have ebola, really!"
Horrific story. It could have been any of us. Am afraid that eye for an eye is my un-Christian response. We shoot sick and badlyg injured animals, we should just put these killers before a firing squad now with instructions to shoot to maim, then lock them up in a burning buiding. God forgive me, but torture before death for these guys would be a minimum.
A favorite choice in the local Carry community is a S&W 642 with Crimson Trace grips, carried in a pocket holster. Easy to drop into almost any pocket, and you can stand around with your hands in your pockets looking casual, if things look troubling, and never display a handgun.
excellent choice--weighs almost nothing, enclosed hammer (no snag), instant true sight from any angle, five .38 Special hollowpoints with revolver reliabilty. No, it's not a 15 shot semi-auto, but the smallness and lightness means you can tote it with little notice to you or anyone else ("anyone else" is not to say you want to "trap" a perp, but to say, you're around ordinary folks all the time and do not want to set off a commotion).
excellent pistol for ladies who are probably pistol novices, too. Forgive me, but not loud, no kick, light and small for a purse, and with plenty of wallop.
If you shoot maim and then go for torture why not make them watch Rosie O'Donnell.
If for whatever reason you simply can’t keep guns in the house, you still can try to do all you can afford – security, lights, a dog. With these three, you have more than half the battle won.
I have tried to make it impossible for any visitor to my house to know that I have guns. The safe is in a back room and behind a closet door. No gun books, no game cookbooks, no hunting catalogs or magazines or gun memorabilia anywhere in the living room or in any other “public” space within the house. People may know, or intuit, that I have guns, but I never talk about them in ordinary conversation.
Remember to treat all guns as loaded, all the time, even when you know they aren’t.
Never do anything while wearing a gun that you would not do if you weren't wearing a gun. In other words, don't allow yourself to feel emboldened by the gun, or to take unnecessary risks with the gun. If you don't feel a heightened sense of responsibility when handling a gun, then gun ownership is not for you.
There is merit to keeping a gun (preferably a shotgun with an 18.5 or 19 inch cylinder choked barrel, a short stock having a length of pull of about 12 inches, and maybe a light in the fore-end) somewhere other than in your safe and quickly accessible yet out of sight. You could keep it in a lockable armoire behind hanging clothing secured in any of several lockable gun rack systems used by police. Check first though, to see if such an arrangement is legal where you live. This could be in a bedroom or home office or den – any place where you spend lots of time. You can easily make such a system even more secure by affixing the unit through the back of the armoire to the studs in the wall. If you leave the house or have guests over, move the gun to your safe first.
But the only way I know to keep a gun secure and yet instantly available under all circumstances throughout the day is to keep it concealed in a good holster on your person. Yet another reason to get a concealed carry permit. And concealed means just that – concealed. The only person who should know you are armed is you.
Been to some zoning meetings lately and the first thing they ask is "anyone packing?".
I like the smalll dog alarm. Never had one before this one and she is GRREAT! Will shut up when told to, but doesn't let anything on her territory. Great Dane used to lick anybody that came around (except when in charge of the baby). Folks are importing a dog from So. Africa called the Boerbel (sp?). Makes your typical ghetto pit bull look like a cub scout. Look here and go to the video:
Of course, that is a lot of dog to feed and exercise in your later years, when all the dog really needs is a brain and a barker, and be a light sleeper! Some of the little dogs are too neurotic, or barky, and the terriers of course will give you an argument EVERY time, over just about anything. I refer to them as the attorneys of the canine world.
We had in-laws over for the weekend and they brought their Cairn terrier. The Johnnie Cochrane of canines.
You're getting some very solid advice. I hope none of us ever have to use any of it.
One aspect that is quite germane is the physiology of dark adaptation
When someone shine a flashlight in your eyes what is your normal reflex? Raise a hand to block the light, correct...but now your vision is messed up, just like a flashbulb going off.
There are some very high lumen ouput compact flashlights that will blind your intruder long enough for you to read War and Peace ....ok an exaggeration but you do "buy" time.
Disclaimer: I do not own stock in Surefire nor do I own one or have ever seen one in action.
One very prominent maker of these high output flashlights is an outfit called Surefire. They are according to the test I have read on then VERY effective.
Give one to each of the kids, the wife and of course the new sheriff in town, Boom Boom Barrister...(gotta have a handle) Badda Bing Barrister??
Now the exercise is to NOT turn on the lights in the house if an intruder is heard. Teach the kids to find a secure hiding place and have the entire family be proficient in painting the intruders face with high intensity light thus totally screwing up his dark adaptation...it will take him/her several minutes to recover .... blast him while he's
Blinded by the light
Gunned down by man
Another blaster in the night......
Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun, but mama
That's where the gun is ......
He got down but he never got upright, he didn't make it through the night.
apologies to Manfred Mann
Oh Skookumchuk--so sorry for the lost weekend--but your humor is great! It's nice to know there are others out there with a similar opinion ;-) !
Surefire flashlight --excellent suggestion. I have the 6P. Would also suggest the smaller one with the same capability. I asked s omeone to demonstrate to me what it feels like (stupid me) It HURTS! and it BLINDS! Great first line of defense weapon.
Re. Dogs. Retrievers are the best psychiatrists, so my wacky family has loved and appreciated them for 40 years. But useless as guard dogs. One black lab slept thru a burglar stepping over him to get up the stairs to steal all my mother's jewellry. Another black lab slept thru an intruder creeping into my parents bedroom with a nagn of swag from the other houses in the row. My dad's ferocious British prefect sneer "and just what the hell are you doing, scum, in MY bedroom!" so rattled the burglar that he bolted. Doggie slept. Only to awake and fight with the K9 German shepherd who promptly found and cornered the thief. Corgis are usefully vicious, except for one adorable one whose owners' loving disposition tamed the snappishness out of her. My golden retriever can't even barkAnd is basically a frustrated hunter who has gone into rehabilitating every unstable loser who crosses his path. Great for spreading love, but no protection.
The best combo of love and ferocious vigilance I ever had in a dog was our Rhodesian Ridgenack. Fellow imperialist oppressors, old family friends, were saved from the MauMau by several of them. Our Rhodie was very affectionate w us, but terrorized anyone he disapproved of. The iceman delivering 50 pound blocks to the next door hotel each am got bloodcurdling growls every day. The frightened
cockney finally affected cheery interest "wot's the nice doggie's nime, then?"
"killer!". I cruelly replied.
The Cairn was great. The cat however hid under the bed and was pretty surly Sunday night and this morning...
I find the E1L is good for everyday use. It fits in a pocket. I always take mine when going out at night. I also have an A2 Aviator that is more versatile, though larger. If you want to put a light on your shotgun, you need a good way to clamp it on. Also, it is easy to wreck the light since most flashlights can't stand the recoil. You may want to look at dedicated shotgun lights like the 618FGA.
ha ha--retriver, you're a hoot--
So long as we're drilling down, remember if the perp has a gun he may shoot at the flashlite you (or family member) is holding. Hold it at arm's length if you can, out from your vitals. Of course he may be a poor shot, and thus negate the ploy, but you have to bet one way or the other.
Retriever, Nothing unchristian about your response. An eye for an eye plus a tooth now thats unchristian like. I kinda like Habu's comment make them watch Rosie.
Yes, Buddy - good advice, despite my advocating a gun light on your shotgun. With a shotgun it is easy to see the rationale for an integral light, since you have to use both hands on the gun anyway. But certainly if you are using a handgun, you may be better off with a light in your free hand.
At the moment, all this is happily theoretical. The only recent robbery around here was when the visiting Cairn stopped off at the food dish of the one who was sulking under the bed. :-)
Follow whichever firearms advice you find most appealing. A couple of commenters above made note of dogs.
Two important things about keeping a dog in the house.
I doubt that my own mutt would be much of a self-defense weapon. She'd probably wind up licking the hand of, or running away from, any home invader who actually entered the house. Her behavior prior to making it beyond a threshold of my house, however, would discourage all but the most stout hearted from entering uninvited. She neither sounds nor looks harmless at the window.
Which highlights the most important point. Invaders are not likely to enter and, if they do, you'll have enough warning that they won't sneak up on you.
Dogs are one more thing to take care of, but they make excellent alarm systems.
agree--if you're only going to do one thing, get the alarm dog, and the large pre-deterrence that'll give you. I could be wrong about that tho--nuthin' like a shootin' arn.
By guard dog--you don't mean the Springer Spaniel which upon hearing the scream of a mountain lion, quietly dropped off of the couch and crept on her tummy across the floor to her kennel cage, climbed in, and said narry a bark? Not that kind of guard dog right?
LOL --no you need a smart dog --like mine. Why just the other day i asked her what was on top of a house, and she said "roof"
My miniature dachshund can identify people and dogs a half-a-block a way. I can tell by her bark whom she likes and doesn't like, before they get close to the house. 24/7, nobody gets close to the house without their presence being announced, loudly. I've had German shepherds and dachshunds for over 50 years and think of them as the first line of home defense. I then go on offense.
My household offensive weapon of choice is my Winchester Black Shadow 12 gauge pump, #4 shot, plug removed. I don't want to endanger my innocent neighbors or my own family by using my H-K 45 calibre semi-auto, 38 revolver, or any number of rifles available and loaded. The shotgun limits the range of danger to the immediate vicinity, and I really don't mind cleaning up the mess. The crossbow might be fun under the right circumstances. A half-a-dozen old aluminum baseball bats are strategically places around the house. I keep a conscious inventory of where things are in the house that are potential weapons (combustibles and flames, irritants and blinders like bleach and acids, sharp and heavy objects).
"Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.".
I've never seen a better guard dog than a Lhasa Apso ...specifically breed for alerting thier owners they are also loving and neat looking.
Wikipedia on LLasa's
huckleberry - The Boerboel looks similar to a Bullmastiff. We had a bullmastiff years ago. Every house in our neighborhood was broken into except ours. The few times somebody came around uninvited; our usually calm dog reacted "explosively."
Our current pet, a Golden Retriever, is useless as a guard. We are moving to a new house next month - a female Mastiff and a .40 cal carbine are both in our future.
Try the new Hi-intensity LED lights, I have a headband mounted unit that is blinding. Used it just this morning biking to the station in the fog, made the bunny rabbits eyes glow like the hounds of hell.
There can be a price to pay for being willing to defend yourself and your family, here in the people's republic you can depend on it.
Its better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.
Yes, I read that off a T-shirt.
That's always been my thought, too. I'm gonna worry more about legalities whenever legalities worry more about me.
Pug. Small, obedient and alert. At least mine is that way, not a yapper unless a person or dog is nearby, or she hears you in the house at an irregular time. I was relieved to know she'd bark even if the perp (me fumbling in the dark at 2am) was inside the house.
Plus-damn cute as hell and can hang on like a bull dog to the rope.
My big dog is a pitbull sheppard that just looks like a fat pit bull. Sleepy and stupid he's worthless, but I do put him out on the front porch to remind all the local speed freaks and gangstas that happen by.
Oh yeah, a big sign that says "BEWARE OF DOG" goes on the fence.
I have a couple of nice "tools" but I have to keep them at a buddie's house. (1911, S&W 66) These are strictly for WTSHTF.
My wife is severely hoplophobic. I am burglaphobic.
But what about the Korean who killed all those students b/c Redneck Virginia sold him a gun?? If you buy guns and bullets you are part of the problem and give blood money to an industry that deals in DEATH. irresponsible and politically incorrect. Many domestic disputes end in tragedy solely because of firearms.
Cheshire could happen anywhere but actually mostly happens in Hoods anyway.
If drugs were legal the Monsters would not have become over-institutionalized monsters in the first place n'est pas??
Far be it from me to be sympathetic to Hayes and Kojarsky...put them in supermax for life for all I care.
But that wont bring the victims back OR keep other thugs from doing the same deeds.
Ozone Park Queens
Lodi NJ all VERY safe b/c the wiseguy "generals" of crime do not take kindly to "Buck Privates" breaking in!
The chief decapitator of Saudi Arabia is tempting I admit
do you know of any study or survey that promotes dog ownership as a crime deterent?
If you use a firearm, use it with rounds that are designed to stop the intruder. #7 is not a good choice. It will not stop an intruder with enough force. 00 Buck or 000 Buck in 12 ga is the appropriate choice. Slugs for home defense are not a good idea.
Shotguns are also not that much easier to hit with than people assume. A Shotgun at 15 feet only has about a 3-6" spread. My 12 ga Mossberg patterns at 6" at 45 Feet.
A 20 ga is not a bad idea for people who are concerned about recoil. I should point out that small people can be taught to shoot a 12 ga without problem. Recoil is managed by technique, not size. In 20 Ga you should use 4 buck (They don't make 00 Buck in 20 ga).
This newly invented lock cannot be picked, bumped or be kicked in, and has a feature that when locked from the inside the outside key will no longer function. This lock is completely stops home invasions and abusive spouses from entering the premises .Any questions please email me. Thank You Denny Perkins