Monday, July 9, 2012

Reader’s Experience and Lessons Learned



I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago, and have begun implementing a few of your suggestions.  Even with the little I have done so far, an incident last night showed me just how valuable a little bit of preparedness is.
At 4AM my wife shakes me awake and whispers, "I think someone may be in our house."  I jumped out of bed, fumbled around a bit for my 9mm Glock, then though, "Oh crap I need a flashlight!"  Obviously what I needed was a tactical flashlight, but those were in another room.  However, what I did have was a keychain LED I started carrying after reading your blog.  Not much, but at least I could see.  I then proceeded to check the house.  Thankfully it turned out to just be our cat making some noise. 

Even though it was a false alarm, I was glad I knew the basics of how to handle it.  Also, I knew that if it came to a fight, I at least had some knowledge of how those go down.  Nowhere near as good as actual training, but better than nothing.
Here are my lessons learned:
ALWAYS keep a tactical flashlight with my gun
Install a light where I keep the gun that comes on automatically when I open its container so I'm not fumbling around with a loaded gun.  I'm thinking one of these magnetic switches wired to a AA battery and a red LED.

Buy some JHP ammo.  I did not enjoy having to worry about overpenetration from my FMJ rounds.
Sleep in something I can clip a knife and a reload mag to.
Secure my doors and windows better.  It was hard to feel like I had fully proven that there was no intruder when there are so many EASY ways in.
Make sure my wife knows that if she thinks there is a problem, wake me immediately.  I later found out she had been awake for 10 minutes worried that someone had broken in but thinking it was probably the cat and therefore did not want to wake me up.  I told her what I read on your blog, that she has to wake me any time she thinks something is wrong because even though 99% of the time it will be nothing, that 1% could be life or death.  I will gladly trade a little lost sleep for the safety of my family.

Also, before I read your blog I had kept my gun with the magazine removed.  Now I keep it with the magazine in but no round chambered.  This is because my wife is absolutely not ok with having a round chambered before we go through Front Sight.  However, I was quite thankful last night that I at least had the mag in because finding both the mag and the gun in the dark and getting the mag in correctly would have taken a LONG time.
Of course, most of these are things you have said over and over.  They made sense when I read them, but now I am quite motivated to actually do them.  Even the few changes I have made over the past few weeks in both preparedness and mindset helped tremendously.  If this had happened a month ago, I would have been fumbling around with a magazine in the dark, blundering about the house with no light, and still convinced that a round or two of FMJ 9mm will put down an intruder no problem.
So in sum, thanks for writing this blog!  My family is and will be safer because of it.
John


Hi John, thanks a lot for sharing your experience.
You’re correct in assuming that time can be a significant factor. Sometimes you have more of it, sometimes its just a matter of seconds! A bad guy just kicking down the front door and walking inside can be in your bedroom in a matter of seconds. You’re reaction has to be as fast as possible. As soon as you’re conscious, WLL YOURSELF INTO MOVING, jumping out of bed, picking the gun, in your case chambering a round and get ready to face any intruder. Sometimes we hear something and just freeze. That’s our gatherer/pray instinct kicking in. Like a deer we straighten our head and listen to see if we hear that noise a second time, a very typical instinctive reaction. On the other hand, a predator would charge the noise the first time. What we have to do is will ourselves into developing a predator reaction in which we quickly move to fight instead of freezing. 

Should you stay put and defend your bedroom instead? I prefer to first and foremost react as if the potential threat was already attacking, think worst case scenario. If later I decide that its better to go pick the kids and get them to the master bedroom, confront before the breaking in is completed, the variations are infinite, but in my opinion the key is avoid freezing and move, react to the potential threat as fast as you can.

About gun, mag and flashlight, you might want to look into getting a load bearing vest with molle attachments for those as well as a holster, even better, make the vest one that includes body armor panels. That way you just get up, put your vest on, and all your stuff AND boy armor are already on you.
Again, thanks for sharing, take care,
FerFAL

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I simply don't get it. While I am a gun owner, I have **bear spray** in my room. Bear spray will **categorically** stop even a charging grizzly (I refer you to the top grizzly bear expert in the world, Stephen Herrero, at Univ. of Calgary, for verification). With bear spray (not the wimpy, short-distance human stuff), I don't have to worry about bullet penetration through walls, kids getting into it (it sure will hurt, but it's not fatal), having a precise aim, or killing some teenage prankster (I had a friend many years ago in high school who was killed breaking into factory on a lark). Yes, there is a place for guns, and, as noted, I own a number. But right now, in suburbia, this is my first choice. Maybe when things get much more out of control I will change tactics, but not at present.

flyboy said...

One more time (Front Sight or not!):

What do you call an unloaded (no round in the chamber) GLOCK 19?

A ROCK!!!!

flyboy

Anonymous said...

Fernando, this is a "refried". I have read this same article within your blog. Maybe someone copied & pasted it and se t it your way?? Check it out...

Anonymous said...

You might also want to consider attaching a tactical light to your gun itself - an application of the "1 is none, 2 is one principle."

With respect to JHPs, don't think they're going to buy you much in terms of reducing wall penetration - they won't. Any pistol bullet that will sufficiently penetrate a body to cause incapacitation, will also penetrate several typical 2x4 drywall walls. You still have to pay attention to what's beyond your target.

Anonymous said...

You might also want to consider attaching a tactical light to your gun itself - an application of the "1 is none, 2 is one principle."

With respect to JHPs, don't think they're going to buy you much in terms of reducing wall penetration - they won't. Any pistol bullet that will sufficiently penetrate a body to cause incapacitation, will also penetrate several typical 2x4 drywall walls. You still have to pay attention to what's beyond your target.

Anonymous said...

Bear spray will not stop a bear that has flat out decided to kill you. Bear spray only stops those bears who are still thinking about it (they are often still doing this mid-charge). It works by stimulating pain receptors. The majority of narcotics severely inhibit the function of pain receptors. In my neighborhood, break-ins are usually people doped up on a cocktail of a variety of narcotics. Therefore, bear spray will not stop the usual home invader in my neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

There you go... It's a refried! Refer to 21 March 2012 article titled "When something goes bump in the Night!"

Anonymous said...

If a criminal is sober and smart, isn't it more dangerous to stalk through your house with a flashlight leading your way? He can see you coming.

I keep a flashlight with the gun, but I don't turn it on unless I really think the threat is false.

I'd like to get other opinions, though.

Don Williams said...

1) If you think there is an intruder, walking around the house in the dark can be dangerous -- he can shoot you from hiding before you realize he is there. Where does that leave your wife?

Not a great job even for a policeman with an armed partner backing him up.

2) A small dog would be good to have--they can locate an intruder better than you can.