Event the other night and lessons learned
This is a discussion on Event the other night and lessons learned within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is my first post to this board, though I’ve visited this site for several years and read most everything that’s on this forum. Because ...
December 9th, 2013 10:04 AM
Event the other night and lessons learned
This is my first post to this board, though I’ve visited this site for several years and read most everything that’s on this forum. Because of the smart/thoughtful feedback from many of the members here, my home and family have become much safer – for that, I thank you very much.
My apologies in advance for what will likely be a long post, but to those of you who can make it through and proffer your thoughts or comments, I appreciate it.
We live at the end of a small gravel road in a fairly rural neighborhood. There are neighbors around us but we are the last house on the road. For the last year, we’ve been building a new house about 50 yards away from the current one. Both houses, new and old, are on this same gravel driveway and there is VERY little unexpected traffic. I can only remember one vehicle in the last four years that pulled up, turned around and left. In short, if they show up, they’re either lost or there for a specific reason. Nobody just “passes through.”
With the completion of the new house, my mother in law (we get along just fine) was staying with us for several days helping us clean the new house and do much of the pre-move in work. Last Thursday night had been pretty similar to the rest of the week, we had worked all day, gone to dinner, come home to the old house and gotten ready for bed. At about 9:45, my wife was in our three year old’s bedroom trying to get him to sleep (he’s notoriously difficult to put down), my mother in law was in our guest bedroom getting ready for bed and I was sitting in the living room with my work laptop, trying to catch up on email.
All of the sudden, I heard a noise outside. Definitely a man-made noise and my dog (1.5 yr. old black lab) who was laying beside me gave a deep, low growl that I’d not really heard him make before. I shut my laptop, stood up and looked out the kitchen window to see what was definitely a car’s headlight hitting the grass outside. In order to get to any of my weapons, I have to get to my bedroom when means I have to pass through my son’s bedroom (it’s a very old house). I briskly walked through my son’s bedroom - something I would never think of doing normally since it would probably wake him up just as my wife was about to leave – walked into my room and reached for the easiest, closest thing I could grab which was my EDC pistol. As I passed back through his room, I kept the pistol (still in its holster) close to my side so neither my son or wife could see what was in my hand; I didn’t want to alarm them if it turned out to be a non-issue. My wife asked me a question to which I didn’t respond, but kept walking and shut the door behind me. As I reentered the living room, I went straight for all of the three lights that were on, so whoever was outside, couldn’t see me when I looked out the window. Once it was dark, I went to the kitchen window that I had initially saw the headlights through and looked outside to see at least one person, walking around the house using a cell phone as a flashlight. Whoever it was, was heading for the steps to my front porch and as I heard footsteps start up the steps, I cursed myself for not grabbing the Surefire that had been beside my pistol.
As I heard the screen door open, I remember thinking to myself, “here we go…”. With my heart pounding and my still-holstered pistol in my hand by my side, I flipped the front porch light on to reveal – my father in law.
He had made the 4+ hour drive up to surprise us and help us move. While I was very glad it was him, and that he’d come to help us, I really wish he would have announced himself and saved my heart a little stress.
After my wife – and now, awake son – were done with the obligatory hugs and kisses, she looked at me as I retrieved my pistol from under the sofa cushion where I had stowed it after realizing there was no threat, and it finally dawned on her what almost happened.
So in the end, it was a non-event, but I have identified several things which I need to work on. I had always assumed I would have grabbed my 1911 commander when the time came, but instead, I grabbed my Springfield EMP .40, because I knew it was in condition one already. But either way, I need to work on making sure I also grab the flashlight too. Maybe if I store the flashlight on top of the pistol, next time I won’t make the same mistake. I also know now that I need a code word, or something I can quickly say to my wife that will make her understand the situation, without alarming my son.
Again, any thoughts or constructive feedback would be appreciated.
December 9th, 2013 10:15 AM
Welcome! I think you did fine.
You might want to consider a wireless proximity alarm for the driveway of some such. Chamberlain has some models, as do many other. I would avoid the Harbor Freight one.
Here's the one I use: http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-5...ion-alert.aspx
Good luck on the move too.
Last edited by Rock and Glock; December 9th, 2013 at 11:19 AM.
December 9th, 2013 10:20 AM
Welcome from SC. I'll second the proximity alarm idea. New construction will sometimes draw unwanted attention.
I don't always carry around the house, so I have a bunch of quick-access mini-safes hidden and bolted down throughout the house. I'm never more than a few steps away from a handgun.
You Can Also Find Me On Personal Defense Forum Dot Com
December 9th, 2013 10:28 AM
I would recommend you keep a handgun on your body at all times until you go to bed. Personally, I have a S&W 642 in my right pocked and a surefire LED in my left.
Also, since I don't have any children living with me there are additional pistols scattered around the house.
December 9th, 2013 10:28 AM
Consider motion-sensing security lighting, arranged such that it effectively blinds the folks outside from being able to see who is inside and looking out at them. Can effectively allow you to make positive ID without announcing your presence. And, if it turns out it's about to be a violent entry, you can then high-tail it back to the "safe" area with the family.
Originally Posted by wajohnson12
Consider a locking "double" security door, if you don't already have one. Made of steel with stout framing, both the inner door and the outer/screen door can be locked solidly, effectively avoiding much of the drama from a simple approach to the front door. And any opening of the inner door in no way compromises your security since the outer door is still locked. A properly-built "security/storm" type door can be a great investment, for the peace of mind it can provide. Can assist with positively identifying folks, too, particularly if your presence inside the home isn't clearly visible through the screen door (depending on the door, background lighting).
Ditto, on the perimeter approach sensors, along the driveway, walkway, approach areas to the home. Can get you up, awake and alert before the "drama" requires good decision making. In a rapid entry, it might make the difference between being prepared and being caught short.
December 9th, 2013 10:34 AM
I'd add my vote for a proximity alarm, and the Chamberlain ones are good quality for a reasonable price; I have one on our back gate & on the rear porch.
Originally Posted by WHEC724
Other than that, your response sounds appropriate to the perceived threat: no panic, no over-reaction, but a prepared mindset.
December 9th, 2013 10:42 AM
Motion lights and driveway alarms are great layers of warning , even with a dog. I think it is better to let your wife in on what you know and suspect , rather than surprise her if something does happen.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
December 9th, 2013 10:45 AM
I can't add much to what others have already said. My situation is pretty close to yours rural area last house on a gravel (right now snow covered) road. We have motion detectors,and dogs. I have no children at home so I have weapons at various locations not readily visible but I know where. In my county we are often down to two Deputies for the entire county at night. As a result if I am seeing unexpected activity my go to is a 12 gauge as help is unlikely to be there in a timely manner. Welcome aboard and keep you and yours safe.
December 9th, 2013 10:53 AM
Welcome to the board. My advice would be to devise a plan, and practice it with all family members.
"Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."
Don Collier, Fury
December 9th, 2013 11:01 AM
What Rock and Glock said. Welcome to the forum and greetings from the great state of Texas. Nice first post. Perhaps you can incorporate some of these suggestions into your new home. Glad all turned out good in your experience. Lots of good info shared so far, most likely more will follow.
I shoot with a pistol and a Canon. We must all hang together amigos, or we will all hang separately. NRA life member.
December 9th, 2013 11:14 AM
You should have had your pistol on you.
"Marines don't surrender-they win or die." from Brute
December 9th, 2013 11:25 AM
December 9th, 2013 11:27 AM
I think you did fine. The only thing I could add is to next time inform your wife so she can be prepared as the second line of defense, and your son. And, I believe the pistol would have been out of the holster too.
But this is how we learn. And next time you have this experience to draw from.
" Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"
December 9th, 2013 11:33 AM
Originally Posted by glockman10mm
A solo effort can be effective, but a team effort according to the family plan can be far more so. Nothing like a serious tag-team crossfire to dissuade a home invasion.
Am presuming in the new home there is a "safe" zone you've designated in there, someplace that's the go-to spot for hunkering down, something that affords a "funnel" approach and great visibility for covering that space, with protected areas to hide behind. Needn't be fancy, but it can be an effective spot for defense and awaiting arrival of the cavalry, if need be.
December 9th, 2013 11:45 AM
I am going to state the obvious. Each of us that lives in a rural setting starts out very prepared and as time goes by and routine wears in we become lax. A story like yours is what this forum does best it reminds all of us that complacent can kill a fellow. We have a word Lemonade for trouble and dog is used for gun. One will ask the other you have your dog? Come look at this do I need my dog?
Wife and I are a team and I need her at my six or I need to be at her six depending on the situation. Costco has 500 lumen lights two for $20.00 One hangs from a small nail at each door on the ranch as well as a couple of places outside.
You not only did well for your family you have helped me remember complacency can kill a fellow.
Congratulations on your new home and great family.
Bill and Ramona
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