ID'ing the 'attacker' - in the home.

This is a discussion on ID'ing the 'attacker' - in the home. within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My step son is in the Navy - he won't be visiting until a month's time. My step daughter is with her fiance to be, ...

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Thread: ID'ing the 'attacker' - in the home.

  1. #1
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    ID'ing the 'attacker' - in the home.

    My step son is in the Navy - he won't be visiting until a month's time. My step daughter is with her fiance to be, and living elsewhere.

    So - in theory at least, anyone in our house is not an invited guest!

    However ... were my step daughter to, for some reason .. appear in the early hours - and come in (she has a key) ........ the last thing I'd want is to see her as an aggressor and start shooting! Hopefully she'd call out announcing her presence but there is this small concern about the legitimate visitor.

    If however the ''guest'' is uninvited - there is that short spell where ID'ing the person is probably ideal if not maybe a wise move ......... certainly before shots are fired. However - too tardy and the result might be incoming from someone with malicious intent.

    The concern is premature action ....... how do you folks handle this?
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    This is gonna sound silly, but I use sound to identify the people allowed in my house. I do have the advantage of living in a small house and you can hear anybody coming in. One identifier are the key rings: they all have a specific sound and I can tell you if my mother or my wife just got in. Both sliding doors are a pain to open on purpose: the wheels squeak and they have different sounds so I know which is the kitchen and which is the living room. Also, if all of the sudden I hear an increased amount of outside noise, it alerts me.
    Also people tend to do things the same way over and over. Opening doors is no exception. Any variation of the things (and the corresponding sounds) they do attracts my attention. One big drawback: I can't sitdown anymore and listen to music with headphones, I cannot enjoy the music.
    One thing absolutely forbidden in my house is sneaking in. My wife tried to pull a Psycho shower scene prank on me once when we were newly wed and she almost had two broken wrists.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    I can't sitdown anymore and listen to music with headphones,
    That's a total no-no for me too Miggy - in fact I won't and don't use any music source that is earphones any more.

    I do want to be aware of odd noises and like you can ID some that folks in family might make but - always that lingering doubt tho over time for ID and avoiding getting shot! Even re someone battering on front door late at night!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Chris , My daughter just moved out for higher learning .. so its me and momma at home ... at least that is the idea . However .. my son lives in the same town , and my daughter the next town up the road ( 50 miles or so .. nothing in colorado terms ) . I have noted that both kids have their habits in movement that i recognize even from a dead sleep at midnight . I still wake , but i seem to sense its one of the kids , and i can tell if someone is with them before i roll out of bed .
    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 .
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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Well for me I am able to tune in on hearing, even though I don't think it is quite as sharp anymore. The other is that I am able to see very well at night. Some genetic trait on my father's side where we have more rods than cones or vice versa. I can't remember which is which.

    Now my wife, for her comfort, has placed various night lights around the house so that she can see. At first I was against the idea, but after weeding out the brightest lights and elimnating half the number I have found them to be a great advantage. If I don't look directly at the lights, they provide just a enough low level light in the whole house that I can see everything without ruining my night vision if I had to go dark.

    Lastly, and one of my most important, we have 3 pets. 2 cats and a dog and they are all indoor. All of them freak out if there is an unwelcome stranger here, and the dog gets very aggressive.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Everyone that has permissible access to my house knows who I am and what I do (firearms/self defense instructor.) They would definitely announce prior to coming in or upon entry.

    My children knew/know not to sneak around in my house. Sneaking out of the house to have some fun is not worth the potential consequences. They know I sleep light and that I am very serious about my "provider of protection" obligations.

    I have never had a "situation" so far.....and I am very happy about that.

    Even with the possibility of a loved one encounter being low.....the ID still has to be made.

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    ID'ing the 'guest'

    I keep a 4 cell mag-light right next to my little safe by the bed. I'll light up anybody, son (who just married and moved accross town), daughters, or 'others'. I also trust in my ability to asses a given situation at night after being woke up. Familar sounds/habits are my first informational asessment, my german shepard is second, the light/gun is third. I also have a SF G2 next to my wallet on the dresser that'll get the attantion I need. A recently aquired CT laser for the 'deterrent' of a 'lil red dot for the house gun if my hypothetical 'guest' doesn't belong there. Those items are my own means of handling the unknown of my dark house. That and the training I've had and still practice with from time to time keep me where I need to be.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

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    Chris, a good tough question and an important one too since we're talking about how to avoid hurting a family member, yet needing to defend ourself at the same time. A tightrope walk! There's not a real simple answer; we've talked about that same question here at our house long ago when our kids were teenagers. I think it gets back to situational awareness. My primary way of preventing this is for anyone that has a key to our house to know they will positively call us before they enter here unexpectantly. That one requirement helps a lot.

    The sounds someone makes when they come in your house in a normal fashion are subtley familiar to you. You may unconsciously hear the car pull up, motor off, car door slam, walk on the porch, key unlock the door, door close back, re-lock door, probably a light turned on, etc. At this point your alert will probably be low.

    The unfamiliar noises at unexpected times are the worrisome ones (I'll tell you about my son's experience shortly). Wood cracking, loud bumps, muffled glass break followed by periods of silence would have me on full-alert. Those aren't normal sounds.

    Normal sounds or not, if I'm doing my "job" I'll be ready with gun and light, wishing I had NV Gen III Since I can't ID them yet, it's a wait-and-see mode until I do, or I stalk and surprise them. I don't shoot a deer unless I know positively it's a deer. While waiting, at some point a trend should develop. For instance the frig opening, and hearing a cupboard open are probably friendly sounds and allows you to flip on a light, or close a door to make yourself known but not yet located (just in case!).

    If the sounds aren't friendly and doors, cabinets, drawers being rifled, rushed/hurried movements, stuff dropping, etc is of course a bad trend. You'll have to call this play at the time of the event because there are so many variables. Once my son (a heavy sleeper)was sleeping on a couch at a friends house, when the subtle sound of the sliding glass door opening caused him to actually wake up. He peered in the darkness at that door area, and in the darkness he could see the outline of someone standing there. He armed himself with the ever-so-deadly "couch pillow" and heaved it at the intruder while cursing loudly and suddenly at him. The intruder instantly left.

    I would try and wait as long as I could, and I think eventually I'd be able to determine friend or foe. At some point I might need to "break the ice" if I wasn't sure, especially if they are in another part of the house. I think that tossing something towards the worrisome sounds to "check their response" is an option. Also I could yell for the person to "freeze" (while moving myself) and see how they react. Turning on a light, while I move, may be good to draw some reaction. Racking a shotgun is a possibility. At that point, the response I get should begin to help with their ID, hopefully the response will be one of familiarity. Tragically the fault lies being too lethal too fast, and a friendly not hearing my commands because they were listening to an Ipod, or a neighbor kid on booze acting stupid in my house. It's a tough call, though I definitely wouldn't shoot, then ask questions later.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  10. #9
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    I won't shoot at dark shadows... I work for a small EMS service and I can expect a LEO or someone from work who might need my help on a call to come banging at my door at any hour of night. I have sent LEO's to my bosses house at 3 am before myself.

    I don't blindly open the door however and I think everyone I know pretty much knows NOT to Break and Enter into my house. They can knock but not just decide to enter.

    I won't shoot anything I don't have a visual ID as a threat. Plain and simple. Hopefully it doesn't put me at a tactical disadvantage. I can pretty much bet if they are in my house, they are a threat. Still, I will visually ID before I fire on someone.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    TBH, i think a much more simple solution would be to have a circit breaker in your room and a pair of NVG's. A noise you don't like? Off go the lights and on come the NVG's. This way you have many tactical advantages the majors ones being you'll have enough time to indentify your target before he even knows your there, and two, if he wants to shoot you, he has to shoot in the dark. Maybe I play too many video games, but it sounds like a simple/effective solution.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    I've got an alarm with zone divisions to allow perimeter sensing, and an "away" mode to sense all portals and entry/egress routes. I don't give out keys. If I were to do so, I'd also configure a special, short-term alarm code to allow entry/egress during times when I was not with the guest. I'd also disclose that the home was protected by firearms and appropriate caution was due, as any "breaking in" would likely be construed as time to defend against attack (thus, that silliness in guests' behavior is nicely reined in).

    My basic rule: If inside the same walls, all know and play by the same rules ... else, bad things might happen. It literally is that simple, given the risks of failure to correctly ID, failure to avoid noises like a burglar, failure to enter/leave either with the homeowner or at reasonable, agreed-upon times. If anyone staying at my home does not know the ground rules, I've utterly failed in my duty to protect them, from the outset. Won't do that.

    Haven't ever given a copy of the key, hence have not needed to configure a secondary alarm code for visitors. Have divulged the home is protected via firearms. Have set the perimeter zone alarm when guests are in, so there's no entry/egress after hours. Hence, I have yet to be surprised by unexpected activity by a "stranger." Still, none of this gets around the need to ID the target in case of an attack, given the new folks in the house. Shouldn't be any different than with children, IMO. YMMV.
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    Member Array LastManOut's Avatar
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    Point one, be sure to always wear your hearing protection around loud noise. A loss of hearing and/or chronic tinnitus will affect your ability to distinguish those 'night sounds'. An alarm system or a yappy dog will help offset the disability.

    Point two, I have some of the wife's Miniature Village dust collectors plugged into timers. They have small 2 watt bulbs that faintly light the kitchen dining room area of our home, the exterior landscape/security lights will illuminate the rest of the house enough to see who is inside, and I have automatic night-lights with motion sensors in the hallways. If something moves past the light it will turn on and shine under the bedroom door. I still keep a Surefire light handy next to a loaded weapon on the floor.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    I have motion sensors on my doors, and those that would come in unexpected 1. don't live in town 2. know better because of I've told them about a neighbor I have that walked in. 3. When I'm home there and the door is locked there is not a key that will get through so they would have to call.

    Failing all this with any question I'm going to start yelling for them to spread eagle on the floor then Identify.
    "[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
    They are left in full possession of them."

    Zacharia Johnson (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,25 June 1778)"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." ~Alexander Hamilton

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    Excellent set of responses - thx folks.

    Plenty of useful food for thought.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  16. #15
    Member Array crankshop1000's Avatar
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    Why not just have everyone entering the home after a certain time announce their presence. "It's me, Jane dad.go back to sleep!" Seems like a plan. Or get a guard dog like my avatar and give it free roam of the house at night.

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