November 18th, 2006 01:48 PM
things that go bump... in the morning.. (was i wrong?)
my wife and i awoke thismorning to someone tapping on our front door.. and i mean a very faint "tap" not like a knock..
i gave a quick look out a small crack of a curtain away from the door to see who it was.. (people that know us know not to ring the door bell because the dogs go nuts and they also know to call first) anyway i saw younger man i didnt know standing at the door and a white SUV in our driverway with a passenger...
call me paranoid if you want, but i DO NOT answer the door for people i do not know.. i dont even give them the "who is it?" i just dont answer.
all was fine with me until my wife decides to pull the curtain open a bit to get a look.. if you ask me thats a mistake as you give away your location and let them know someone is home if it is someone meaning to cause you harm.. (dont know why anyone would want to bother us... we have no enemies... but i think about these things)
at anyrate i motioned to her to get away from the window..
after a few min they gave up and sped away after they left our driveway.. and left me wondering what the heck that was all about..
i am not one to go for my gun as the first option.. but i always have a few close by if needed.. but it got me thinking maybe i should teach my wife a little about laying low and being a little more stealth in situations like this.. she seems to think everyone is a nice person (which many people are) but it just takes one bad one to shoot that idea down and cause a problem that can cost you your life.. i had to talk to her about this before when we lived in the city to not just open the door without looking first.. i think today was a wake up call for her because now she wants me to leave her a loaded revolver when i go out and she is home alone..
i dont know what do you all think? did i do the right thing?
should i leave her a loaded gun?
she does knows how to shoot and knows the safety rules but i am a little leery about it at the moment until i teach her when its "ok" to use it in self defence.. i tried to teach her before but she was to busy with some reality TV show to listen.. maybe now she will..
also would I be going overboard making a plan of attack/retreat for us if there were situation where someone did come in our home by force? like having a "safe" room and an escape/stop them/911 plan if needed?
November 18th, 2006 01:54 PM
Personaly I have knocked on doors to get directions , so in one sense i think you are a bit overboard here .. but other parts of you post are good sense , the safe room and a plan are all good . Just remember .. not every stranger who comes to your door means you harm .. be cautious yes .. the same as you would with folks you see in the mall ... turn your house into a fortress ... well you have to live with it . good security can easily become parinoia .. keep a balance . ( whateaver that is ) .
Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
November 18th, 2006 02:05 PM
You've got multiple people to worry about. You're missing a retreat/defensive plan. She's apparently still got her head in the clouds, regarding security threats and reasonable precautions.
No, you're not paranoid. Yes, ignoring the basics can put you both at risk, should a situation blow up in front of you. Conditions can cascade very quickly, as you well know. Does she, really???
IMO, it's time to have a sit-down, to discuss basic risks, your security posture, what you both can/cannot do given your preparations. It's all a balance, between liveability and security. But the basics and simple precautions need not cause undue hardship or change in your routine.
Should you "let" her use a gun in defense, in advance of her being comfortable with knowing when to use it? If that's the case (discomfort with knowing when), then ... she's not really ready. Still, she's an adult and your partner. You care about her deeply. You want her safe. And that means: capable, knowledgeable, working in concert with you to defend against threats.
Seems like it's a good time for a quality course in general preparedness, defensive tactics, defensive firearms usage. Might consider a decent book or two, as well, perhaps including Ayoob's "The Truth About Self Protection."
Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
self defense (A.O.J.).
How does disarming
the number of victims?
Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos)
NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.
November 18th, 2006 05:43 PM
I live on a highway with an old wooden RR bridge at the end of my backyard. I cant count the number of accidents there have been out there from people hitting the bridge. Not long ago i was awoke by a loud boom and went out to see a car overturned and catching fire. He hit a tree. He burned up in the car. Ive had lots of people knock on my door at all hours from accidents that i dont hear, or someone just runs out of gas and pulls off onto my road. So i do always answer the door because i want to help anyone i can. My house is the only one right here near the highway. But i am very cautious and see who it is first and take my gun with me (concealed).
I came out to my car just last week ( in the afternoon ) and out from the side of my house stepped about a 6'4 man i didnt know 10 feet from me. I just got my ccw yesterday , so i was unarmed. The guy was out of gas. But he scared the hell out of me. I'll always atleast see what someone wants without opening the door. Too many people have needed assistance, some are life threatning accidents..
November 18th, 2006 07:08 PM
I guess you were not wrong... everything turned out ok.
November 18th, 2006 07:40 PM
in the past i may have asked "who is it" but the past few months there has been a lot of break-ins around here... i live in a rural area which is very safe but these dirtbags have decided to come in and get everyone up in arms..
i am not saying i wouldnt be willing to help someone if they needed it but i am not going to risk my life being a good person if i dont feel it is safe.. my gut feeling on this one was to not even take the chance.. something just didnt seem right.. if they needed help they could have stopped at my neighbors house after seeing i wasnt gonna answer.. but they didnt they just tore tire out of here.. and IMHO someone that really needs help isnt gonna just tap on the door at that time of the morning.. heck i have a doorbell right there..
i have also knocked on ppls doors before for help getting a tow truck to pull me out of a ditch (before i had a cel phone) but i sure didnt just tap on the door.. i knocked hard till someone answered... and if they didnt id move on to the next house if it was close enough..
today for me was just one of those days where i "listened to my gut to save my butt" (saying also works with to much spicy food) even if i was wrong about them..
November 18th, 2006 07:49 PM
Pardon me if I'm off base, but this is my take on the post. I don't know where you live or what your capabilities are physically so i could be wrong on this. If you live in a real bad neighborhood or are elderly then some of what I am writing may not apply.
Your current plan= Isolate yourself in fear and remain baracaded inside the house?
Better plan = arm yourself and answer the door in a safe manner (ie.. find out what they want and if they need help and so on) all the while knowing that if they pose a threat, you are prepared to deal with it if need be. 99.99% of the time, they just need directions or something.
As far as your wife, get her some practice and training with a gun and make certain that she knows what to do when push comes to shove. Personally, I would never leave my wife at home without a gun.
When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.
November 18th, 2006 09:40 PM
Whether or not you choose to answer the door, I have to disagree with the "stealth" strategy.
There are basically two types of BG to worry about here: burglars and home invaders (the latter can include robbers, rapists, spree killers, etc.) I tend to think that laying low increases your chances of trouble in both cases. If the person knocking at your door is a burglar, they may be testing to see if anyone's at home. Laying low may convince them that the house is unoccupied, encouraging them to break in. Now you've got someone in your house. Even if you've got the means to defend yourself it could escalate to deadly force and lead to all sorts of trouble you don't want. If the person at the door is a home invader, laying low could convince them that you're not at home and get them to go away. However, it could also convince them that you are asleep (particularly in this case, since you said that was a soft taping, the kind less likely to alert a sleeping person), encouraging them to break in and try to take you unawares.
I think in both these cases, some sign that you are at home and awake, regardless of whether or not you choose answer the door, is the best option. Letting the person on the porch know someone's home and awake is like being visibly alert and aware in public; most of the time it's going to make a BG think twice about selecting you as a victim. There are exceptions of course (home invaders looking for a house with somebody at home, gangstas on the street who think anyone who makes eye contact is dissin' them, etc.) but I think advertising your alertness is going to lead to a better outcome for you in the vast majority of circumstances.
November 18th, 2006 10:09 PM
sgtD & Blackeagle: i really had not thought of it like that.. good advice i wont soon forget..
answering the door to me in a safe manner means just asking what they want or who it is from inside and off center from the door... and then after finding out what they want decide if i want to open it.. or thats not a good plan either? i am always trying to learn more so any advice is welcome.
November 18th, 2006 10:15 PM
Just last week the timing belt on my car broke and I had to go to a house and ask for assistance. I knocked on the door then moved back about twenty five feet with my hands clearly by my side, so the person inside would feel safer about coming to the door. After a moment, this elderly widow cracked her door open and gave me the courtesy of calling my brother (my cell phone was dead). I never came close to her door while she was there and everything went great, had the car towed and fixed within three hours. The next day, I took the lady whose name I still don't know a thank you card with a gift card for a local grocery store inside. Just to let her know there are some decent people left in the world. BUT as you said, if it doesn't feel right, I would be very cautious! But I agree you can't live in fear behind steel walls.
"Let not your heart be troubled." John 14:1
USN Retired Vietnam/Desert Shield/Desert Storm
November 18th, 2006 11:23 PM
Some of you guys have a few decades on me. Even so, I have learned to listen to my "gut". I can think of several times I didn't and regretted it. Call it your, subconsious, or God's way of saying "I wouldn't do that if I were you..." but it pays to listen.
November 18th, 2006 11:42 PM
Let me answer your questions.
Originally Posted by TheDrew77
1.) What I think does not matter. It is your house and you should listen to whoever/whatever you want to listen to when it comes to answering your door. Your gut, wife, God, dog, Jack Daniels, little voices in your head, whoever, will give you better advice than us, as we weren't there.
2.) You seem like you did the right thing because you are alive now and you still have all your stuff (i.e. no one stole your favorite coffee pot).
3.) Yes you should leave her a loaded gun ONLY after you sign her up for a course. You wouldn't want to come home some night and have her get scared and shoot your eye out.
4.) Not at all. You would be smart if you had a plan. "If you fail to plan you plan to fail" saying always pops into my mind.
I you and think that you should feel good for not answering the door. It is too late to change your mind now too and why regret stuff?
There are too many times we all want to help. I like to help people like the next guy, but when it comes down to it no one is helping me, so I look out for numero uno.
Chances are that the person who came to your door was just selling junk/needed something, but you may have avoided a potentially nasty situation.
If you think you are paranoid, I didn't even give out candy this halloween. I just don't need the headaches.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of the ultimate CC gun!
November 19th, 2006 02:12 AM
What's that pounding noise? Oh, that's Blackeagle hitting the nail squarely on the head!
Originally Posted by Blackeagle
I have heard soooo many people say that they are not at risk of burglary or home invasion because they never answer their door unless they're expecting someone. Blackeagle's post kills that argument. I too believe it's better to take a more proactive approach to help keep the upper hand.
One more thing. Security screen doors may be a worthwhile investment. They allow you to answer the door and keep steel between you and whoever is outside. The fact that they open outwards is another valuable security feature that will definitely slow someone down. They can not be kicked in like a wood frame door that opens inward.
Last edited by AZ Dog; November 19th, 2006 at 02:19 AM.
"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188
November 19th, 2006 03:57 AM
You've gotten some good advice here, and will undoubtedly get more. A couple of things I'd like to reiterate / add:
IMO a plan is essential to home defense. Even if it is rudimentary and gets everyone into the same room where your firearm and a phone (preferably cell phone) are, it's better than no plan.
Don't underestimate you wife's ability/will to defend herself - Yes, get her training, but if as you say she "knows the basics" of shooting and safety, I wouldn't be concerned about leaving her armed, provided she's got the will to shoot. As an aside, I don't leave my wife alone without a weapon - She's not received any formal training (still working on her) but has fired and learned basics as well. Just the other day I suprised her - She thought I'd left for work, and I came inside the house, went back outside, and came back in - She was at the top of the stairs with my Rem 870 - Kinda brought a tear to my eye ...
I agree with the idea of a security door - In fact, depending on your area / risk, the outside "perimeter" can be just as important (if not more so) than your choice of home defense weapon and training. Motion sensitive lights, sturdy doors, secure windows and sliders, an alarm that will alert you to the breach of doors/windows, dogs, etc ... can all go a long way to keeping you safe and / or alerting you to trouble. If you decide to go with a security door that opens out as AZ Dog suggests, be certain that you get locking hinges - Seems obvious but easily overlooked if you're not thinking about it. Pin type hinges and your door is off easily with a hammer and screwdriver.
Finally, I agree - Don't obsess about this incident, although admittedly unnerving. Could be the wake up call that you and yours needed, and the fact that "everything is OK" should allow you to learn from it, and let it go.
November 19th, 2006 08:28 AM
Some very good advice.
Having a plan between you and your wife (she could call 911 )
Lights on outside makes sense(light em up, while you are still in the dark)
Letting em know someone is home and aware is a good deterrence
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
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