This installment of “In Reality” will focus on long guns for home defense.
In my opinion, home defense comes down to three types of situations:
* Break in during hours of darkness, while you are in bed.
* Break in during hours of light, while you are awake.
* The end of the world as we know it and you are trying to protect your family and property.
Even in states that allow for liberal concealed carry, most residents will tell you that even though they carry a concealed pistol, they have a shotgun or rifle for home defense. Most people will never carry a long gun outside of their home or the range.
Over the last few months, I have done a few polls on different forums, some of you reading this may have participated. Basically the question was “If at 3 AM this morning you heard someone breaking into your house, what would be the first firearm that you would be able to access”. Between all the forums, the average hovered around 75%-80% handgun. The response did not surprise me. Here are some reasons why-
* Handguns are easier to store in a safe manner to prevent access by minors and other unauthorized people.
* Being small and unobtrusive in nature, it is easy to move a handgun around or station several in the house so as to always have access to one.
* You realize that you will have to navigate hallways, open and close doors, flip light switches, etc and this is easier to do with a free hand.
* A handgun is easier to hide if for some reason a night time investigation leads you outside.
* And the biggest one is what I call the slipper effect. In most cases that you go to investigate something, experience tells you that it is more likely that someone forgot to close a door, or the cat knocked something off the counter, instead of a team of highly trained professionals coming to kidnap you for ransom. I liken this to forgetting to put the trash out and you hear the trash truck early in the morning. Even if it is raining or there is snow on the ground, you chance it by putting on your slippers as you dash out to drag your cans to the curb. You know it is gonna be kinda uncomfortable, and maybe you should put on some proper shoes, but you are only gonna be outside for a minute anyway.
The same thing goes for the “bump” in the night. If you knew for sure it was an all out home invasion, you would be more likely to break out a rifle or shotgun. But the truth is that this is seldom the case, but you never know, so more often than not it will be the pistol you grab to investigate.
Few courses are as popular these days as those for carbines. But going back to my comment about most people never carrying a rifle outside of their house or the range, ask yourself these questions about the courses or your own planning.
* Have you ever fired a long gun barefooted in your bed clothes?
* Have you ever tried to clear your home in the dark with a long gun?
These question, although not high speed, are realistic and are training problems, not equipment problems.
For the majority who answered that they would have a pistol in hand first, I think it comes down to two things to think about.
The need to be realistic about the reality of how they would likely deal with a “bump” in the night by making a long gun more readily available. And how to better use the handgun I will actually grab to better defend myself and my family