The internet and gun forums are filled with opinions on what to do when someone breaks into your house while you’re there.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll put forth the ideal scenario with the understanding that things rarely ever go as planned, and that having a plan b is necessary.
No matter what you get from this article, one thing is absolutely certain: both you and all of your household need to know the plan in case anyone ever breaks in while there are people there.
Let’s take a more in depth look.
Home Defense Gun Strategy:
This home defense strategy is what is known as isolate and defend. It’s not the only strategy, but it is the safest especially when you have family members like kids to look out for.
The main principle, which we’ll go more in depth on below, is that the best thing to do is to have a room in your house that you can remove yourself to, and then defend that position, instead of the other thing that people usually do (which we’ll get to momentarily).
Of course, this strategy assumes that you will have the time to get to this position, and you may not (like from the above picture). That’s where plan “b” comes into play.
We will discuss plan “b” another day, but for now, let’s tackle this —
Should you go investigate the bump in the night?
If there is one thing that the defense pros mostly all agree on, it’s that you shouldn’t grab your home defense gun go looking for a fight. When I say go looking for a fight, I mean that it’s not the best idea to go investigate the suspected burglar in your home whether you’ve got your gun with you or not.
Your pride and/or your ego may tell you that you need to go see who broke into your house, but there are some inherent problems with this thought that many people don’t think about.
On the bare minimum, at least hear me out on this and then make up your own mind.
While you may feel that you’re at your strongest at this point because you have your gun and you know your own house like the back of your hand, you’re actually your most vulnerable when you go to investigate what’s going on.
A homeowner taking matters into his or her own hands is often the most popular outcome as seen whenever we report on home defense stories. Sometimes, they don’t go as planned and the homeowner ends up getting hurt, or worse.
What’s going on here?
You lose your tactical advantage:
The truth of the matter is that when you go to investigate a burglary or break in, you really have no idea what you’re walking into. You have no clue if there is just one bad guy, or if they’re traveling in packs of more than one.
You also don’t know if they’re armed, what frame of mind they’re in, or really, anything else.
Because of the simple fact that you don’t know what you’re walking into if you do go investigate, you’ve lost a huge tactical advantage even in your own home.
Of course you know your house better than they do, but if you walk into your living room and there are three masked men in there, all with stolen guns, you can be certain that you’re screwed.
There are plenty of defensive gun uses where the homeowner gets shot because he or she lost the tactical advantage their home affords them by going and looking for trouble. While these people don’t always end up dying, they do often get shot or worse.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that bad guys generally don’t like to be identified and are usually willing to keep themselves out of jail if you see them. This means that at least some of them are more than willing to eliminate a witness to their crime to stay out of jail.
This ultimately leads us to the point of this entire article, which is what the better idea is.
Isolate and defend:
The main idea behind isolation and defense, is keeping as much of your tactical advantage as you possibly can. When someone starts to break into your home, you must round up your family members and isolate them with yourself and gun in a room.
Then call the police.
Remember, the key to winning any battle is to maintain your tactical advantage. While you’re isolated, the police have been called and are on the way to your residence. What happens next depends largely upon the bad guy and if he’s willing to come through the bottleneck of your bedroom door to get you.
If he is willing to, he’s in for a bloody surprise because the bottleneck of your doorway forces him to enter through a very narrow entrance. That very narrow entrance also has a gun trained on it. And, because he cannot come through the wall and has to use the door, you’re more likely to hit your target.
Thus, you remain much of your tactical advantage as the bad guys are forced to go through a pre-determined course that is set by you. You control the variables and you control where the meeting occurs if it absolutely has to.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
But before we even get to this point, you have voice commands you can be giving out to the bad guy(s) on the other side of your room’s door. Yelling things like “I’m armed and already called the police. They’re on their way but If you come through the door I’ll be forced to shoot you.”
With isolate and defend you remain mostly in control as the bad guys have to come to you in order to engage. If you go to them, your control goes out the window because you have no idea what is on the other side waiting for you.
(Read: can you use a bolt action rifle for home defense?
Of course, it should go without saying that this is a perfect scenario and that no scenario will end up being perfect like this. All we can ever do is train for this and other situations and be as prepared as we can be.
It’s always a good idea to let your family know your plan, which room you’ll go to, etc., so that they’re all on the same page with you. That way they can help you instead of hinder you.
Remember, the key throughout this type of scenario is always maintaining the tactical advantage if at all possible and to try and let the police do the rest. Inform them on the phone where you’re holed up so they know not to engage you, and if possible stay on the phone with them the entire time.
There is a very good course I recommend that you can find here called Complete Home Defense. In fact, I got this home defense strategy from those guys because I used to have the notion that if someone broke into my house that I’d go investigate to see what was going on.
That course changed my mind on that, and also taught me how to prevent the attack from ever taking place.
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How voice commands can save lives.