If someone, you think, has broken in, and you have a gun, plan to possibly go down with them... if need be. In not taking them down, because of thinking no matter what, you mustn't get damaged in some way or killed too, you have left things open for them to continue on into your house for other family members, or doing this again in another house.
|Intruder, or unexpected family?|
Police run into this at a far higher rate of incidence than civilians. Yes, even today. They need to try more to protect themselves, to go home at the end of their shift. But not to the point of shooting innocent people, "accidentally". But that's another issue than I'm addressing here today.
There are various gadgets, devices, programs you can have to help other than a gun, but we're talking about a gun here for now. Still, do check out options. Anything you can add to your home is a plus for you and a minus for intruders.
Police have protections civilians, certainly ones in their own home in the middle of the night have. Police have access to ballistic vests, other police, communications, an active network supporting them and so on. And training. As we've seen, not always such great training. It is the nature of their job they may fire on someone innocent, but that has happened too often.
However, when some stranger breaks into your home, they have abdicated the right to being innocent. If they have a weapon, even more so. Unless they are not a stranger....
With that in mind, always validate your target before shooting. Validate also what is behind the bad guy in the case that on the other side of the wall behind him, when you shoot your .44 magnum (or some other ridiculous weapon for home defense), may be your child whose head you just blew off after you killed the intruder.
THINK. Think ahead of time, be proactive, so you have to think less when it's hard to think during an action.
First thing I was taught about using a gun was... "use the right tool for the right job". An assault rifle is NOT agood home defense weapon. A magnum is not a good home defense weapon. A shotgun with proper loads is. Certain handguns are, and with proper loads. You do not want to pass through walls, or houses into other houses. That's kind of paramount. Certainly if you live in a neighborhood close to other homes.
Second? Verify your target. Dark? Lighten it up. One thing nice about smart speakers like Alexa? You can say things like, "Alexa, turn on the living room lights." And voila. An intruder standing in a lit room, their worst nightmare.
Third? Verify what is behind your target (Third plus? What is behind that?). If a wall is behind an intruder, what is behind that wall? You spouse? Child? Children? A window, and beyond that your neighbor's bedroom window? THINK!
Safety first. Always
VERIFY your target. NEVER do "sound shots" (shooting at sounds visually unverified). IF you know exactly what is on the other side of a wall and you can penetrate that wall, that is a consideration, but if you do not have a positive ID on a target, you are always taking a risk. And this is all about risk analysis and acting correctly for the moment.
This stuff is great in movies, great in reality if you're a professional and in the right environment. Look. It's tough. Cowards don't do well with this. They love sound shots. Shooting into the dark.
Part of the problem we're seeing with both police and citizens is they are trying to walk away unscathed. So they shoot too soon. Too often. Before proper verification, before validation. Lacking proper target acquisition and control.
Yes, this all takes practice, not simply gun ownership. That is one of our biggest problems in this country, the 2nd Amendment and all. The "right" to gun ownership without enough verification and education and training. Even cops get it wrong. So an untrained citizen? A disaster waiting to happen. Even with training, you can screw this up royally. So why not take the training and decrease the risk? Do walkthroughs of the house, run through scenarios. Like any good Boy Scout, Be Prepared.
Sounds great surviving a gunfight unscathed. We all want to live (barring ISIS type believers).
But in trying to make a real life and death scenario into a videogame and not real life, in seeing guns as toys and not manslaughter machines, is childish, ignorant, immature.
This is where you have to be prepared if you own a gun. If you may actually be in a gunfight. IF you OWN a gun, you MAY actually end up in a gunfight. IF you do not own a gun, odds are you never will be.
It's not only a gun you own just in CASE you MAY ever be in a gunfight. Ownership does not and simply cannot realistically guarantee your safety. That is magical thinking.
"I own a gun, God will protect me." Next up for you with that belief? The coroner looking at your cold dead gun empty hands on a slab in the morgue.
Wake up. Deal with it. It sucks. But it's reality. And any time you are dealing with lethal force, you are dealing directly with reality. This isn't your partisan reality where your mistaken beliefs take time to damage you and even then you can rationalize them away. A bullet is one of the great equalizers and forces of reality there is.
Do not think that grabbing a gun and blindly firing on an intruder in the dark (or is it your son or daughter home from college unexpectedly?), will work out just fine for you without proper training, preplanning, and preparation of the entire family who lives with you.
Could it? Sure. Do you want to rely on maybe though? Or take the time to increase the odds and decrease the risk of firing a weapon in a house and merely hoping it will all be OK?
Because the other end of that argument could very likely be that you just shot your child. Or in the case of the police, someone else's.