Mindset: Active denial & self defense by way of prevention
This is a discussion on Mindset: Active denial & self defense by way of prevention within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Moments ago I noted the following thread in the Good, Bad & Ugly sub-area:
I won't re-tell that unfortunate story for you, but reading ...
May 10th, 2010 02:46 PM
Mindset: Active denial & self defense by way of prevention
Moments ago I noted the following thread in the Good, Bad & Ugly sub-area:
I won't re-tell that unfortunate story for you, but reading it motivates me to write the following telling of my own experience this morning just a couple hours ago.
This is detailed for good reason to show my own view and literally what I think and do as per my own norm.
If you are allergic to reading then feel free to skip to the bottom or blow off this thread altogether.
This morning (approx. 2 hrs ago) I was home alone with my 3 yr. old son.
I was in my office working at my PC and he was on the floor in the same room drawing pictures and telling me about the difference between his favorite superheros; Superman, Batman and Spiderman.
Normally my wife is home with him by day, but this morning she was away at a doctors appt. and not due to return until Noon.
Out of the blue I hear foot steps across the front porch followed by the doorbell ringing...
My son immediately stops talking and looks at me. He's reading my face. I know this.
I stop typing and listen for a moment.
It's not my wife because she has house keys...And would call my cell if she had lost her keys (again).
It's not the mailman either because he doesn't come around our block until after 3P.
Nor is it UPS or FedEx because they have direction to _not_ ring my doorbell and to either leave the package at the front porch or to leave me a pickup notice....Same as the USPS man toward packages.
They all know I keep a home office and am not to be disturbed (most commonly I am on the phone with clients).
I am expecting no one.
So what did I do?
First I reached down to the ammo case I keep in my office (unlocked when I'm physically there in the room) and I picked up a holstered condition 1 1911 I keep in there, along with one of three spare mags I keep stowed there as well.
I'm wearing nylon track pants but I stand and attach the holstered gun to my strong side waist anyway and cinch the waist string tight. I toss the spare mag, a ten rounder, into the weak side pocket of the jacket I'm wearing. I apply the Master lock back to the case to lock up the ammo left behind.
I tell my son to wait for me here and to not move.
Both my kids know that when I tell them that I am serious. My son obeys to the letter. My daughter, age 7, though is hard headed and I'm still working with her on this to understand it is important that she do exactly what I say when I say such things.
I leave my office and think to close the door behind me.
I look out to my rear yard and deck, first.
Why? Because I want to make sure I'm not being watched from there.
I see no one and am taking my time to answer the door because frankly I don't care if the person at the door has to wait on me. I was not expecting them anyway so they are on my time.
Next I go to the living room picture window and look out to the street, sidewalk and the top side of my driveway. I'm looking for vehicles of any sort. Car, truck, bicycle...Anything.
I live in a quiet cul de sac where there is typically zero traffic and I might see a neighbor once a month if that.
No vehicles on the street. It's now been roughly :25s since the doorbell rang.
I walk over to the living room window and see a grey Toyota Sienna parked on the street to the far right of my house facing down hill toward the cul de sac exit. I some what recognize the vehicle, and it's placement indicates the driver drove up and came around.
I wonder to myself why as most people park in my driveway or park on the street facing the way they headed in, except for my mother inlaw. That car could be anyones...Toyota makes them by the thousands.
I look left to my porch and see nothing.
It's now roughly :30s out.
I go to the door and I look out though the door transom windows...A set of three square portals.
I notice a brown haired person standing there but cannot make it out as being male or female. The person must be standing right at the doors front.
I stand there and listen for a moment, and hear no movement.
So I only now make a sound; "Who is it!".
Response; "Maria? Is <Mrs. Janq> home?".
I step back a full step, reach out to open the door with an extended hand...And there in front of me is my wifes friend Maria with her daughter. I smile at them, warmly.
As it turns out the house across the way from us is for sale and she was there to review it with her realtor. She'd stopped by to see if my wife was home to chat and have an impromptu play date with her kid and mine.
We chatted at the door for a few seconds more and then my wife drives up in her truck.
All is well and everyone enters, as I close and lock the door behind them.
I go back to my office, open the door with a smile and find him there drawing pictures with his crayons. I tell him he has a visitor and take him to the kids playroom.
The above are my regular everyday steps.
Have been that way since being a kid as 'the oldest' and growing up a latch key kid watching the house and tasked to protect my younger sister.
In those days we lived in apartments but the general rules and mindset were same...Never ever answer your door without first finding out who is there and challenging them at that.
I've seen first person how ignoring this rule can and does go bad for folk, including the aftermath.
And I've heard through the doors and walls same...Of persons being assaulted and worst for opening their door to persons unknown/unconfirmed.
I hope my own story as in comparison to the one I've linked serves as a reminder if not teachable moment.
You as in yourself by your own actions _and_inaction are your own best friend, or worst enemy.
Folks very well can save their own life, or that of their loved ones, by simple and easy manner of mindset manipulation and management.
This is not difficult nor costly and does not require one to be in a constant state of 'paranoia' or fill in the blank color status.
It's just a bit of mental programming that applys under specific conditions.
Not having such programming and thought of your home as being your literal castle, with front door being a breach point, does result in less than desirable results.
A trojan horse type attack of ones home...
Hulu - ABC Nightline: New Craigslist Killers?
"...She made Jim feel like it was safe to have her come over. After all, she sounded nice over the phone." - ABC News correspondent Neal Karlinsky
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
May 10th, 2010 03:16 PM
One of the lessons learned from growing up in a big city and living in a large apartment building (99 apartments) is a certain situational awareness, not just about not opening doors.
Originally Posted by Janq
You learn to listen by the door before stepping outside. You listen for
the sounds of teens hanging out in the halls.
As you exit, you quickly check the blind spots where a BG might be hiding--and are ready for come what may.
As you round the stairwells, you stop, listen; maybe walk to the other stairwell if something seems not quite right. An unfamiliar young person being present for example.
As the elevator arrives your make sure you can't be pushed or pulled in, and you know who is in there before you get in.
It is a 100% different mindset from the quiet smaller city suburbia I live in now, but I will not ever just open the front door.
I've posted this before, unless I am expecting someone, if the door bell rings and I can't see who it is from the windows or don't recognize them through the tempered glass, I enter the garage, lock the steel door in back of me and walk down my driveway. I can then look back to toward the front door and say, "hello?"
I get a commanding view of the street as I exit, no one is getting in the house except over my dead body, and trouble is isolated to outside the house.
The only flaw in my present system is that it does potentially expose me to trouble, and my wife is too impatient and will not listen to my instructions that she is not to open any door under any circumstance for any reason, while I am still outside.
In a parallel situation with the scene in the Houston story, I'd probably have cover from my cars, and a pretty good strategic
funnel the BG would have to come down and through.
I might end up dead, but no one is getting in the house.
May 10th, 2010 03:47 PM
Well, if I don't know who it is, they have no business here and I don't answer the door. Most leave immediately upon hearing our German Shepard go off anyway........also, if you carry it on you, you don't have to look for the key.
If they're still determined to get in after hearing the dog........it's on.
May 20th, 2010 08:39 PM
He didn't have it locked when he was in the room, it was within arms reach. He locked it when he left the child alone, guessing there was another weapon in there.
I've been thinking and working on how I should handle answering the door to unknown persons. Thinking of installing a screen door to has a some what of a buffer to open the door to talk to the unknown person.
Janq would you just not open the door if you didn't known them?
May 23rd, 2010 07:25 AM
I have said this on several threads. I am 68 years old and spent over 60 of them living in NY/NJ, not exactly the garden spots of the US. I have NEVER been in a situation where I really thought I needed a firearm for any reason whatsoever. I credit good sense and situational awareness to all of that. There can always be a what if and, in current times where I see our nation turning into a looney bin of a cesspool with the king of turds in charge, I now CC even though I see the need at less than 1% and probably closer to zero. It is the government that scares me more than my everyday life around people and I refuse to be a sheep.
May 23rd, 2010 08:33 AM
When the doorbell rings or someone knocks, the first thing I think about is a weapon...usually on my person or within reach.
Fortunately, we have a great view of both front and back doors. One cannot get to the backdoor without out a 'key' for the side gate into the yard. The back fence borders a thick woods and is a ways from the door, but with an excellent view during the day and also at night with flood lights.
It is fairly easy to determine who is at the door. If I do not know them, I ask through the door about their business. If I feel a need to discuss something, I reply..."Hang on for a minute!", hustle through the garage door and catch them off guard.
No stranger is going to have direct access to my home, I'm always armed, I know my neighbors, I'm not against being very unfriendly.
Living in the middle of a 'one lane' subdivision, no one is going to be stopping by for gas or to use the phone...not for 'real help' because there are too many other houses at both ends of the street.
Salesmen are brushed off...except for the young kids selling things for school, I buy from all of them.
Janq, I like your awareness and preplanning...both are important...a man's gotta' have a plan.
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
May 23rd, 2010 09:06 AM
Exactly so. When dealing with strangers, it can quite literally be a matter of life and death to understand and act as though our very lives depend on our procedures for handling them.
Originally Posted by Janq
The steps are fairly basic: monitor the indicators; look for a car or other identifying feature; identify the person; then, and only then, ask who it is / what is wanted; only after identified, consider opening the door.
I do the same thing. I'm always armed; I always monitor the indicators, identify the person's car or mode of travel, identify the person. Everyone knows to call ahead and identify, first.
In your case, Janq, you had little ones at home. They require your best efforts at protecting them. Let alone, owing it to yourself. If you get taken out by a violent invasion of the home, nobody will be left standing to defend your children as the aggressors rampage through the home. Being a little circumspect at only the cost of a few moments of delay for the unexpected person isn't too much. It's an absolute bare minimum.
In your case, consider why a known visitor failed to call ahead first. Surprise visits are fine, but surprising someone over the phone respects the person's time and doesn't presume that an on-site engagement at this exact moment can be accommodated, as it's your time being taken when coming over unannounced.
Thanks for the write-up about the situation. These are good caveats for anyone to consider when dealing with unknown, unannounced strangers who are standing on the front porch.
May 23rd, 2010 11:41 AM
Reading your description, it feels a tad bit over the top, but when I think about it, your actions were fairly quick and simple.
Does your wife answer the door as carefully as you? (visually and conversationally check as per your rec above? sans firearm?)
I have a wireless network video camera recording to my computer that I can quickly pull up who is at the door/front yard... $60 on sale and I don't even have to stop what I am doing to check. This is the best software, they have a free version:
vitamin d : home
edit: I started a thread outlining my camera:
And would call my cell if she had lost her keys (again)
Welcome to my life! "honey, I need..., ..., ..., ..., ..., ..., and ..., I'll be waiting for you, thanks"
Last edited by nutz4utwo; May 23rd, 2010 at 02:24 PM.
"a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.
May 29th, 2010 02:47 AM
I agree with Janq that it's best to have a plan and stick to it *consistently.* I have been successful with this in other areas of gun ownership and carrying. But apparently not in answering the door.
Oh, I do have a plan...but apparently not yet sticking to it. I think I'm more worried about if I'm dressed appropriately to answer the door and how messy the house might be. (I live in a rural area and 'drop-ins' are not common.)
I completely dropped the ball when the census takers came (2 of them, one a trainer...and I had sent my census in on time).
No gun, completely exposed in my mostly glass front door. *sigh* I just kicked myself after.
It was a good reminder and I'm lucky it was an innocuous encounter.
Fortune favors the bold.
Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.
The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)
June 8th, 2010 09:17 AM
I grew up in a town, that as I got older, it got increasingly dangerous.
From a neighborhood that was one that locking the doors was an afterthought, to one that you couldn't play outside without a grow up supervising. I was jumped and beaten up when I was 17, walking home from a club with my friend, less than a block from my house. My friend watched it happen, we weren't friends after that.
In any case, I don't open the door unless I know who is there and if it isn't a family member or close friend, the gun goes with....
It is good precautionary sense to be aware of what is going on around you, trust yourself above all others.
SA Loaded 1911
June 8th, 2010 10:57 AM
Good Post! I have sturdy storm doors on all exterior doors and keep them locked, so even after I check things out and open the door there is still a locked door between the visitor and myself.
You can educate ignorance, you can't fix stupid
Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
dukalmighty & Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro "Trooper" Holsters, DE CCDW and LEOSA Permits, Vietnam Vet 68-69 Pleiku
June 17th, 2010 10:44 AM
No personal affront intended but, I think you are all too accommodating. Why on earth, in this day and age, would you open up the last barrier to your home to a person or persons who are unknown to you? Are you that curious about what they want? Are you expecting personal delivery of a check from "The Millionaire"?
In Raleigh, NC a few years ago an elderly couple named Satterfield opened their front door to two known neighboorhood teenage boys. They killed him upstairs, they killed her downstairs. This was not a 'ghetto'. This was an upper-middle class neighborhood. They were the "nicest of boys normally". They just wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone. Ever since that event my wife and I honor their lives by calling it "the Satterfield lesson" and we do not open the door for anyone who is not a known relative- period. Before that sad event I would answer the door armed, gun concealed with my ego-driven belief that "I could handle it". It's my impression that most home invasions are not "door-kicked-in" breaches, but BG's rushing in after the resident or child opened the door for them.
It's 2010....I have cell phones, land lines, e-mail. I expect anyone I have legit business with to contact me before they show up at any of our doors. Our neighborhood watch LEO advises us to not even open the door for uniformed officers until we first call the department to confirm that they are in fact supposed to be there.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but I haven't missed a thing that was important by not opening the door.
"It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519
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