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When I realized how unprepared I really am

This is a discussion on When I realized how unprepared I really am within the Gun Tactics forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I will apologize for this long thread. I just feel like I need to tell the story how it unfolded for me. Last night my ...


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Old 01-07-2017, 08:49 AM   #1
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When I realized how unprepared I really am

I will apologize for this long thread. I just feel like I need to tell the story how it unfolded for me.

Last night my wife and I went to a friend's birthday party. I work early mornings and left the party early to go home and sleep. I wake up and hear her car come into the garage at some point so I know she is home. I wear glasses and cannot see well without them. So even though I don't know the time I know she is home. She comes to bed at some point.

Suddenly I am awoken by my wife telling me that she has heard a noise like a door closing in our house. She is freaked obviously. I am a pretty heavy sleeper and am trying to come to at this point and process what she is really saying.

I lay in bed without moving and listen. I hear something but can't tell what it is or where it is coming from. Time to get up!

I put on my glasses and go get my loaded and round chambered pistol (Sig P239 SAS 9mm) from my bathroom counter about 4 or 5 steps from my bed.

I realize at this very moment that this is the first time that I have HAD to produce my firearm for what is thought to be real defense. I close the door to my bedroom and start making my way through our 2nd level. Checking each room, each closet, behind each door.

I then realize that I may be in over my head. I carry daily but have NEVER taken a class with regard to home defense. How to clear a room let alone an entire 3 story home.

Little things creep into my mind as I go down to the main floor. I sure wish I had a flashlight or a railed gun with a flashlight. Did I just leave the 2nd floor without looking under a bed? Yes. Is there gonna be someone waiting for me down here? How do I turn on the lights without removing a hand from my pistol?

I get to the sliding glass door and it is unlocked. Now the heart is really pumping...

As you can imagine the list of questions goes on from here.

I ended up checking the entire house. Yes back to the bed that I didn't look under. There was no-one in my home other than my wife and I.

I lay awake in bed for an hour plus milling over all the things that I could have or should have done differently.

Being prepared with training and equipment are tops of course. So I am looking for some help on where I should look for some good training on this. Not looking to spend a ton of money on traveling for classes but general knowledge. I also plan taking a flashlight up to my bedroom and keeping it there.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:16 AM   #2
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Take your unloaded gun and a flashlight one night and practice clearing your house. Know where your blind spots are. Do it once without the flashlight then do it with the flashlight.

Do you have ambient light coming in through windows from the outdoors?

Is there a second gun you can leave your wife so she's not undefended? You need to announce to her when you return to the bedroom so you don't get shot.

Haven't trained with my wife yet but will get around to it soon. Growing up, my dad trained us how to clear our own house. It was a lot of training since you have five people with guns moving through the house. It didn't work so we ended up locking down in each of our own rooms until my dad cleared the house. We had safe words to let him know we were alone and okay. My dad would get my younger brother and sister into their room and they locked down (my mom had a Glock 19, my brother and sister had 22 pistols). I stayed in the basement with my gun and waited for my dad to come get me after he searched the rest of the house then we'd go search outside together.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting that. I keep flashlights in my and my wife's nightstand drawers and my pistol safe is just a few steps away. It is one of those with the places for your fingers and a keypad combination, so I can open it very quickly in the dark. My pistols are all loaded and have a round chambered. That said, I don't have any training on clearing a house either. I have already decided that if we ever face that situation I will hand my wife a pistol, have her go into the bathroom and lock the door and call 911. I'll get down on my side of the bed and wait. If someone comes into our bedroom I'll see him clearly but he won't see me. I don't plan to try to clear the house. I feel that ambush is a better strategy.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:21 AM   #4
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Interesting story -- thanks for telling

As you live in a 3 story house, I can appreciate your dilemma. That would not be fun to have to clear. I too have never taken such a class, but here is what I would do in your case.
First I would buy a light or even laser/light for your pistol. Have night sights on the pistol also.

I would NOT turn on any light (including pistol light) until you know more about what you are facing. I would first lay on the floor at the door to your bedroom facing into your hallway. I would stay there for a few minutes listening. Any sounds made -- you should be able to determine if they are coming from your bedroom floor or one of the lower floors. Assuming it is a lower floor, I would then crawl to the top of the stairs -- again, not putting any house lights or gun light on. Once again, I would wait and listen for a few minutes to get an idea of where the perp is. If he is making any noise at all, you should be able to determine at least which floor he is on.

I would only go to the proper floor via the staircase and then still wait in the dark. Let the perp come into your vicinity. Kind of opposite strategy from clearing each room or house.

I would think that a perp would have some kind of small flashlight to help look for stuff to steal. When you see the flashlight approaching or you hear him getting closer, you can probably gauge pretty well if the perp is going to be in the open when you go active. That is when you hit him with the blinding light from your gun. I keep mine set on pulsing light and steady laser beam, so one button push and it is doing its thing. If I know for sure that the perp cannot possible be a family member or for some reason a neighbor, then it is Sorry Charlie time, as soon as I have him in my light and laser on center mass, he is history.

That would be my plan. A shortened version for a single story home, but basically the same tactic. Experts will probably tear my plan apart. Go for it, I can take the criticism. This is a good discussion topic though.
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Last edited by DerBiermeister; 01-07-2017 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:23 AM   #5
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As an assistant instructor, I've seen many people come through classes, confident they have it all figured out, only to be humbled. To me, that's a good thing.

Biggest influencer to that is our Simunitions class, scenario-based training. People quickly learn that it can and does happen quickly, and that their level of gun handling AND decision making is grossly insufficient.

Again, to me, those are the winners. They learned what they need to work on. They got the wake up call before their lives were in jeopardy.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:36 AM   #6
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Well you know what you need, now you just have to find it. As a military guy, I am a huge fan of training--and defensive firearm training is a must for me and I seek it out wherever I can find it. Fortunately here in Florida there are several great options. I've been using Florida Firearms Training--instructors all come from a heavy combat military background--they have 4 levels of defensive handgun and I plan to take all 4--have one down. They also have carbine classes--as well as speciality classes such as building clearing. You need to be comfortable with the instructors and you need to find a place that has instructors who know what defensive training really means. It is not target shooting or competitive shooting--it is whatever it take to protect yourself and those around you. I guess the best way to find competent instructors is to ask around--at gun clubs in your area, shooting ranges in your area, other friends who shoot. Finding competent defensive instructors is a must--shooting accurately at a target is not the most important thing in defensive training--staying alive is. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:39 AM   #7
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Sounds like a very tense evening at Mr Billybob's house!! Thanks for sharing and a glad no one got hurt. It's a great example of how dangerous & difficult something going 'bump' in the night really is.

I'm no expert, but have taken a few classes with very qualified instructors - home defense, low light shooting and shooting from unconventional positions. And, have learned that responding to a suspected intrusion shouldn't be a 'clearing' operation. Room or house clearing is not something even a highly trained individual can do alone. At least, not if you want to survive.

Home defense is all about making your home a 'hard target' to either slow an intrusion &/or encourage a bad guy to simply go somewhere else. Things like lighting, locks, security cameras, laminate coating for exterior glass, local LE residential watch programs, etc, etc are home defense topics.

Probably the most important elements are your defensive plan, and training up the family on that to do. These plans are unique to your family and how your house is arranged.

The objective is to call 911 with clear information and either quickly & safely get everyone out of the house - and to a neighbor's. Or, to gather everyone in the most defensible location in your home - as quickly as possible. This 'hunker-down' location is stocked with weapons, ammo, flashlights, pepper spray - whatever defensive force your families members are comfortable using.

Hope we never have to use our plan, but it's a good thing to have...

Cheers

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Old 01-07-2017, 09:55 AM   #8
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Asymmetric Solutions in Missouri.1st class.100% of what your looking for.

Civilian Course List - Asymmetric Solutions USA
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:04 AM   #9
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I had a very similar experience around 3:30 AM recently when my wife woke me to what sounded like gun shots nearby. I still don't know what the source was if it wasn't shots but the first thought I had when it was happening was why in the world did I limit my bedside firearms to handguns only with so many other choices locked in my safe downstairs. My bedside resources have changed slightly since that night.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:24 AM   #10
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It is good you have come to this realization in a fairly innocuous event. You are wise to consider the alternatives and seek out what training options and knowledge is available to you.

I have the good fortune to have an acquaintance fairly close by that has a live fire shoot house that I've used several times, with both live fire and simunitions with live opponents. The instructor that comes in to run the sessions is a local SWAT officer that is the first man in on house clearing calls, several hundred per year. I have learned through these activities that there is probably only one set of circumstances that would bring me out of my bedroom - the perps have a loved one in a hostage situation. If my loved ones are all safe and secure, we will stay ensconced in our safe place, calling 911 and letting the professionals do the house clearing. Too many things can go wrong in these situations to make it worth taking the risk.

In the meantime, I will remain at the top of my fatal funnel with 12 gauge and suppressed AR at the ready, should the perps ignore my warnings to leave the house and come upstairs on the attack. Just my $0.02.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post

In the meantime, I will remain at the top of my fatal funnel with 12 gauge and suppressed AR at the ready, should the perps ignore my warnings to leave the house and come upstairs on the attack. Just my $0.02.
I have a different layout. Single story house where my bedroom opens up to the great room (where a lot of the goodies are that a perp would go for). We leave our door open at night so that our dog can roam the house if she detects any strange sounds.

My plan would be to not move from a prone position at the doorway. My wife ITMT would be calling 911. The only change I am going to make soon is to buy some gun-grabber mounting hardware to stow my 12 gauge Mossy in the back of my bedroom closet. I should have had it in the bedroom all along.

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Old 01-07-2017, 10:59 AM   #12
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I've had a ton of classes, all taken from people who have either gunfight or combat experience or both. House clearing classes were included.

I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. I've got motion detector lights all over the house including one for each of our two hallways going into bedrooms.

One night, the one in the hallway going to my master bedroom went on. Mrs. Flash and I are both light sleepers and it woke us up. She rolled off the bed on the side away from the door and I did the same after grabbing my P220 and a Surefire flashlight from the bookcase headboard.

Waited for around 10 minutes to ambush whoever it was but the light went off and stayed off. I did clear the house, something which can be extremely dangerous unless you really know what you're doing. I almost never had the light on while I was doing so as I don't telegraph my whereabouts unnecessarily.

Anyway, after I finished, I got back in bed and the light tripped again, so I took it out of the outlet and tossed it.

After 15 years, it decided to occasionally trip by itself. I got a new one the next morning at Home Depot and it works well.

BTW, these motion detector lights are great. They're LED, plug into any outlet and pick up motion from at least 20' away and stay on for short periods. Just the thing for getting a glass of water in the middle of the night or picking up unauthorized personnel in your house. I also have some on the front porch and garage as well as the back yard. I recommend 'em highly.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:04 AM   #13
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The only change I am going to make soon is to buy some gun-grabber mounting hardware to stow my 12 gauge Mossy in the back of my bedroom closet. I should have had it in the bedroom all along.
I own three QUICK ACCESS SAFES, strategically placed to give me ready and easy access. I like these as I can open them in the dark and they do keep the weapon secure from innocent hands than may come across them.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:22 AM   #14
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I've had two similar false-alarm scares. They truly are terrifying.

Consider getting a dog and a state-of-the-art security system.

As far as clearing the house goes, I'd only do that to the extent necessary to secure my family. Let the dog deal with the intruders while you get 911 on the horn and then wait in a position of tactical advantage (fatal funnel) for anyone foolish, desperate, or high enough to disregard your instructions to cease and leave immediately so that you are not forced to shoot them.

And be sure to yell these instructions loud enough for them to register on the 911 recording.

As far as training goes, house-clearing is probably a low-priority vs. learning to shoot dynamically, reload, and clear malfs under pressure. I also strongly suggest some low-light training. The game is significantly different in the dark.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:34 AM   #15
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Consider getting a dog and a state-of-the-art security system.

As far as clearing the house goes, I'd only do that to the extent necessary to secure my family. Let the dog deal with the intruders while you get 911 on the horn and then wait in a position of tactical advantage (fatal funnel) for anyone foolish, desperate, or high enough to disregard your instructions to cease and leave immediately so that you are not forced to shoot them.

And be sure to yell these instructions loud enough for them to register on the 911 recording.

As far as training goes, house-clearing is probably a low-priority vs. learning to shoot dynamically, reload, and clear malfs under pressure. I also strongly suggest some low-light training. The game is significantly different in the dark.
Spot on! IMO
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