This week, we take a question from an SOS Subscriber, who asked the following question:
“What are the best principles in mind for indoor firearms usage? How can I use doors, walls, stairs to my advantage – and NOT to an intruder’s advantage?”
We contacted experts in the field and included their responses to the question below:
Name: Alan Schwartz
Bio: Alan Schwartz got involved with law enforcement back in the 1980s when he was a high-end computer systems salesman. The FBI, suspicious of illegal technology transfers to hostile foreign powers, recruited Alan to keep an eye on the sales of high-tech products to China. After some successes consulting with them, Alan stayed in the corporate sector, helping many major national brands achieve exponential growth. Finally, after many years, Alan went into business for himself in the firearms industry, establishing “Alan’s Firearms“, and rapidly became one of the top gun shops in the Central Florida region.
Response: In my self-defense class when it comes to defending your home, I have some real concerns on the way this is done. First question do you have children or others living in the home that you may have to defend?
Next are the possible types of home invasion that are taking place. Were you woken up in the middle of the night with the sound of a break in? We need to consider a few things when planning your defense. First, what is the layout of your home? Second, how many firearms are in the home and where are they placed? Third, how quickly can you get to your loved ones to protect them?
Now what kind of firearm is best for a home? That depends on how much room you have and the money you have to spend. The best firearm is a shotgun because it is the easiest to operate under stress and takes the least amount of practice. Also a shotgun loaded with birdshot lowers the risk of overpenetration, i.e. the projectile going through a wall and hitting someone else. If storage is a factor and you want a handgun it should be a full size firearm for accuracy, and should be loaded with a frangible round so it will have less of a chance to go through a wall.
If you are in the bedroom when you realize you have an intruder, unless you have kids, get behind the bed with your firearm and flashlight. When the intruder enters the room hit hi with the flashlight. This will blind him just long enough to identify the person as a true threat and then you can shoot. Use this same plan in any room you may be in. If you have kids and need to get to them then move slowly and deliberately, make as little noise as possible. When moving room to room look around corners and show as little of yourself as possible as you navigate the doorway or corner. Keep the muzzle of your gun out in front and ready to use and remember to illuminate them with the flashlight first, it will give you the biggest advantage and it will slow them down enough to give you an advantage. Finally, the best thing you can do is train, train, and train some more.
Name: Adina Pitluck
Bio: Ms Pitluck earned her M.A in Government, and is a specialist in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security. She has vast experience in Counter-Terrorism Strategies and Middle-Eastern Studies. Today, she is a Security Analyst and Project Manager at The International Security Academy.
Response: When it comes to close quarter-combat, the best thing you can do is not get to that point in the first place. As far as I am concerned, the minute you get to a point where there is potential for a gunfight in your residence, you have lost more than half the battle. Shooting a firearm indoors is highly dangerous. A stray bullet can easily pass through a way and hit an innocent bystander, be it your neighbor, a sleeping baby or a girl-scout knocking at your door. Another danger is damaging infrastructure such as gas lines or electrics. Your home or office should NEVER turn into a battlefield.
No one wants to feel like their home is a warzone. If you feel you must have a weapon for self-defense in your home, I would suggest settling for a non-lethal means of protection, such as a Taser. Tasers are relatively safe to keep around the house, especially if you have children, and can be used in long range combat (unlike knives, which require close proximity to your attacker). It is much better to immobilize your attacker by non-lethal and debilitating means while you wait for the proper authorities to arrive. As well as the benefits of user-friendliness and safety, there is also a legal aspect to the use of firearms.
We must try to first detect and neutralize the threat. The emphasis here should be on perimeter deterrence and not close-quarter combat. It is relatively cheap and easy to set up an efficient security array of your home or office as long as you follow the Principle of Security Rings. Security rings should be created with a sense of awareness and not fear. Coming from a place of confidence will ensure that you use rational thinking to cover all your bases. The more rings you have, the harder, more challenging and more exhausting it will be for an intruder to penetrate the parameter of your home. The idea is to stop them as far from the indoors of your home as possible.
For example, you can start as far as your front gate, if you have one. If you have a yard, you can close it in with a high or electric fence and a locked gate. Adding a “Beware of Dog” sign could also be an efficient deterrent, whether you have a dog or not. Flood lights surrounding the perimeter of the house can catch an intruder off-guard. The inner security rings can include sensor-activated speakers playing startling music or dogs barking. You can also install sensor-activated tear gas or pepper spray devices to disorient and isolate the intruder. Catching an intruder off guard is an extremely important advantage because if you are able to scare them enough, it’s possible they will give up, which at the end of the day, is a win for you. Ensure that all family members are aware of the security measures installed in the house.
Name: Daniel Faggella
Bio: Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world’s best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.
Response: For indoor firearms usage – know your house. Imagine what it would be like to go through it in a home invasion situation. Learn how to maneuver and manipulate your firearm within close-quarters. Seek out qualified instruction from the experts. Many firearms instructors offer classes on home self-defense. Run drills within your home, seeking cover and concealment points. Be totally aware of your surroundings and remember the four rules of firearms usage – All guns are always loaded. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Also learn what materials your home is made of, this will influence your ammunition selection. You do not want to risk overpenetration, especially if you choose to employ a rifle in your home defense plans. A good resource is our Armed Defender instructional video, as well.
Analyzing the Experts:
- Takeaway 1– Alan presents a perspective of what to do when someone successfully breaks into your home. His strongest recommendations are to know the layout of your home, and critical points such as where your loved ones are, and of course the location of your defensive firearms.
- Takeaway 2 – Adina’s perspective is unique among our three experts. Her tactics center on discouraging an invasion to begin with. She advises a combination of practical and technical solutions for home security, which should prove more than adequate to discourage most people bent on a home invasion.
- Takeaway 3 – Coach Dan’s advice is similar to what Alan recommends. In order to successfully defend your home from an invasion, you must know the layout of your home. In addition, Dan recommends seeking out expert and qualified instruction in the science of home defense and indoor firearms usage. Furthermore, he emphasizes the importance of practice – drill with your chosen defensive firearm on a regular basis.