Home Defense Planning 2
Continuing our discussion from the previous article: The homeowner is responsible for the health and wellbeing of each and every person given permission to be on the property and/or entry into the home. This responsibility also extends out to the maximum range or distance of any specific cartridge, caliber, and bullet weight combination if their firearm is negligently discharged inside of or out into the surrounding area of the home.
This is where the “management” aspect of your home defense firearm(s) is critical! The manner in which the firearm(s) may be kept and prepared for use under a specific set of circumstances will not always support the various possibilities or combinations of activity that can happen (number of people, age groups, time and types of activity) in and around the home on a daily basis, let alone special occasions or holidays.
Constant vigilance is a necessity if you are to ensure the physical safety of everyone in, and around your home. Never hesitate to change the “ready condition”, location, or the physical security level of your firearm(s) to protect yourself and everyone else from unauthorized access and/or use.
Responsibly demands that you do the right thing, at the right time, every time. If you are required by your employment, or have reason to maintain a specific “security posture” regardless of the number of people and physical activity in or around your home, maintain positive control of the firearm on your person or within your immediate physical reach/control.
For those that have young children, teach them to how conduct themselves responsibly whenever they are in the presence of firearms. When you determine your children are an appropriate age, teach them how to use firearms responsibly for recreation and sport. Teach them to respect firearms out of knowledge and not to fear them out of ignorance.
The respect for firearms that your children gain through knowledge and experience should enable them to conduct themselves responsibly whenever and where ever they are in the presence of firearms. Above all else, they should strive to gain your trust to earn the privilege to use firearms for recreation and sport under your guidance or on their own when they are of the appropriate age.
Only qualified users should possess the knowledge of the firearms location, and the manner in which it is prepared for use. Revolvers are simple when compared to semi-automatic pistols. If you choose to keep the revolver “unloaded”, I strongly recommend you use “speed loaders” for loading the cylinder, and have at least one additional “speed loader” in reserve. Loading one cartridge at a time into a revolvers’ cylinder is simply inviting disaster under the time sensitive circumstances of responding to a possible home invader.
Having a plan is half the battle; you must rehearse all aspects of the plan in order to execute the plan well. You will respond to a violent confrontation based on your level of mental & physical preparedness. Above all else, you must condition yourself for rapid and flexible decision making.
The safest storage method is to keep the firearm unloaded and the ammunition separated, but each must be securely stored. In doing so, realize this will require the most physical action and time to prepare the firearm for use. The amount of time is relative to your confidence, training and the condition you choose to store the firearm(s).
The firearm can be loaded with an empty chamber, and will require the action of chambering a cartridge before use (the type of firearm you choose to employ may require decocking or placing the safety on etc. after chambering a cartridge). Storing the firearm in this manner offers an additional level of safety and requires less time to get the firearm into action.
When using any physical technique for chambering a cartridge, do not try to maintain noise discipline! Fully “action” the pistols slide, otherwise you run the risk of inducing a malfunction. Visually observe (if lighting conditions allow) and listen for the proper audible and kinesthetic (feel) inputs to ensure a cartridge is chambered and the slide is fully forward in battery, and/or use your light source and visually verify the pistol has a chambered cartridge. These actions do violate noise and light discipline, and you should always consider risk versus gain.
The user may sacrifice noise & light discipline getting the firearm into action, and despite any Hollywood influence, you should never rely on the audible effect of loading the firearm to intimidate an intruder.
The firearm(s) can be fully loaded and prepositioned throughout the residence but they will absolutely need to be physically secured to prevent unauthorized access.
Regardless of how you prepare the firearm(s) for use and practice getting the firearm(s) into action, you must first “detect” the threat, (based on the time of day or night sufficiently “wake up”) and determine if getting your chosen firearm into action is necessary, and continue your decision making process accordingly!
Let’s look at the recommended support equipment for use in conjunction with the firearm(s) for home/personal defense. For the revolver of choice you should have a minimum of two fully loaded speed loaders, and for the pistol, two fully loaded magazines (the one that is “loaded” or will be the “initial load” magazine for the pistol, and one reserve magazine). Speaking directly to the issue of providing yourself with reserve ammunition; “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
You should have a primary and secondary combat light source for the recognition of family members and/or positive threat identification.
Based on the circumstances of “an alert situation”, if you sense you have the time to do so, secure your “reserve items’ first (so you don’t forget them), and then get your handgun/primary combat light source into action. If you sense you don’t have the time to secure your “reserve items’ first, get your handgun/primary combat light source into action! This is a time sensitive decision you will have to make on the spot based on the information that you have at the time. Make a decision! Don’t hem and haw about what needs to be done. Securing your reserve items first allows both hands free to get your handgun/primary combat light source into action. If you get your handgun/primary combat light source in action first, and then decide you want to secure your reserve items, you now have to put down one, the other, or both, to secure your reserve items.
Based on your specific activity any time during the day or night, you may or may not be adequately dressed to have a way of carrying your reserve ammunition and secondary combat light source. In the event your clothing (or lack of) does not allow you to carry these support items with you, or you decide that you don’t have the time to muck with them, understand that is a definite risk versus gain decision point.
You may also fashion a home defense/personal protection “bandoleer” that can easily be “slung” over/around your upper body that carries your reserve ammunition and secondary combat light source and securely retains the items but allows immediate access for use. There are many types of affordable body armor set-ups that answer the call nicely.
In closing, consider this; your home defense plan should be flexible enough to allow you to handle any number of possible scenarios, but the reality is your preparedness coupled with your “skill at arms” will allow you to “accomplish the mission”. See you at the range………….SDH