Every so often I read something that makes me scratch my head — not necessarily because the thing is stupid, but because we’ve covered the topic before. I’ve covered it when I was editor at Concealed Carry, other people have covered it on other publications, and yet people still do it.
So, it obviously needs to be covered again. Specifically, we’re going to answer the question, “is it a good idea to clear your own home,” or if you see that your home was forcibly entered, should you go in?
Most of the time the answer is no. No you should NOT go in and clear your home or go looking for a bad guy. The only time you may need to is if you have a family member unaccounted for and need to protect them.
I cover what to do if you’re already in your home and a break-in occurs while you’re in there, in this article. This time around, we’ll cover why you should NOT go in if you’re coming home and see a forced entry.
Your house or any of the BS you may have inside is not worth risking your life over.
I could end it there, but I obviously cannot. I clearly need to give a few reasons why it’s a bad idea as well as what you need to do instead of going into the unknown because this is still a practice of some people.
Why shouldn’t you clear your own home?
- Because you don’t know what you’re walking into
- You grossly overestimate your skills
- Even people who know what they’re doing make mistakes
- Movie tactics, which is what most people poses, are garbage
Let’s take a look at each more in detail.
Because what is on the inside isn’t known
The best reason why you shouldn’t go in and clear your home if there has been a forced entry is because you don’t know what is waiting on the inside.
Details matter. What details?
- How may guys broke in?
- Were they high on drugs?
- Were they armed and if so with what?
- Where might they be located inside your home?
Ultimately, unless you have a way of accessing your camera feed throughout your entire house, you have no clue what you’re walking into. What if there are three armed guys in there who are more willing to kill you than go back to prison?
Chances are good, especially in light of the rest of this article, that you’ll lose that battle.
You grossly overestimate your skills
The author of the thing I read admitted that he was served a big slice of humble pie as he realized that he overestimated his abilities.
Here’s the thing though, after having worked for the gun industry for about a decade, give or take a year, and having trained in the Marines and as a corrections officer, most people don’t know what they’re doing tactically.
The real kicker to all of this, is that the folks who do know what they’re doing would never step foot in a house by themselves. Even then, because the first bullet point above about not knowing what is inside is true, they’d rather not go in at all.
You cannot go to the gun range a few times per year, put some rounds downrange at a static target, and call it training. That is not training, that is target practice.
There is a massive difference between training and target practice. Most of you reading this, do not train. You practice. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with target practice. I do it, and the best shooters in the world also do it.
But that cannot take the place of actual training. Again, the two are not the same.
The truth of the matter is that most people are woefully unprepared for a real defensive gun use that happens out on the street.
Their gear sucks, their holster is a piece of trash that may or may not come out with the gun on the draw, they don’t have a round chambered, they haven’t practiced flipping their safety off, and the list goes on.
What makes you think you’re capable of clearing a house by yourself if any of the above is true?
Because even those who know what they’re doing make mistakes
Even the folks who have been trained in how to clear rooms make costly mistakes. They make those mistakes even though they’re constantly training for these scenarios, and if they make mistakes you can be confident that you’ll also make mistakes.
The differences between you and the pros are many. First, they understand that they shouldn’t enter the house unless under a strict set of circumstances.
Second, they recognize their limitations and know when they’ve made a mistake. If you can’t even admit that you shouldn’t go into the house unless there is a risk for loss of life or serious bodily, you’re not equal.
Third, because they have actually trained for entry, a lot, and actually know what they’re doing. And, even though the pros know what they’re doing they can still make mistakes and get killed.
Even if they didn’t make a mistake they know they can get killed.
Because movie tactics aren’t usually legit
I’ve found a sad reality in that many people see something on TV or the big screen and think it’s real. For example, I have friends who saw John Wick and thought they’d pick up his tactics from the movie.
They’ve switched from a traditional shooting stance to the CAR, or Center Axis Relock stance, how they perform reloads, and even move with a gun. It’s not all bad, because there are certainly some positives to CAR, but to relearn how you shoot based on a movie may not be the best idea.
Keanu Reeves has done a lot of training to get into character for those movies, but if you look at his training videos you can see that he doesn’t always use the CAR stance during his time at the gun range.
However, the best training doesn’t come from Hollywood no matter how realistic it may be. The best training comes from in person training from someone who actually knows what they’re doing.
Find an instructor and up your level of skills. And even then, don’t go thinking you’re going to enter your home to clear it without fearing that your kid is in danger on the inside.
What to do instead
If you suspect that someone broke into your house, a good place to start would be calling the police. Report the break-in and that someone may be in your house.
The post in question said that the police didn’t respond but something doesn’t add up. I’m not sure what is going on there, but hopefully the police in your area are willing to do their jobs.
At the end of the day, it’s not my job to tell you what to do. All I can do is inform you on the best practices as considered by the experts (no I’m not an expert) and hope you take my advice.
Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to go clear your home by yourself, especially without any training. You just have no idea what you’re walking into, and that is enough of a reason to not go in. The other reasons are just the icing on the cake.