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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One thing that seems to be prevalent is that people have a difficult time doing risk-assessment and cost-analysis in their self-defense plans.

It's easy to get seduced by the idea of having a lot of firearms (which is fun and understandable), and failing to harden one's abode for about the same cost as two handguns. Or they fail to lock doors in the house and the car, or fail to train up their families so they can function as a team.

We know the experts talk about doing fire drills in the home, but it's probably rare that a family really does that but once or it's on a wish list that never happens. We lock up our firearms in safes which the BGs can grab, because we've put 'Shootin' iz fun' bumperstickers on our cars and we get followed home (perhaps a myth, though).

We think we're safe in our houses so we unstrap and put the guns in one safe and ammo in another when in reality, you're probably more likely to be targeted at home than in a random street encounter. It's thought to be paranoid to wear around the house. We try to think of our firearm as just a tool, like the cell phone, but people keep picking at the right to bear arms, so we get distracted, have to conceal under confining layers of clothing.

I think it's important to try and step back, do a cost analysis, a risk assessment, consider analyzing the home for weak points, figuring out how not to be a target and how to do the 3 S rule.

It's not glamorous to spend $1K on beefing up the home, windows and doors, installing lighting and alarms but it's part of the layering knowing that sooner or later one part of your plan can fail (like a power outage). All it takes is a moment of inattention at the wrong time.

It's great to have forums like this one where people can help other folks to look at the big picture.
 

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Complete "hardening" of your house is a good idea, but if, for various reasons, you can't do that at least know where the weak points are and defend those areas.

Keep in mind that you are already one up, because they are on your turf. Just take it to the next level.

Use a little common sense, logic and creativity and you can funnel the bad guys into a pretty narrow "kill zone" where you increase your advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Complete "hardening" of your house is a good idea, but if, for various reasons, you can't do that at least know where the weak points are and defend those areas.

Keep in mind that you are already one up, because they are on your turf. Just take it to the next level.

Use a little common sense, logic and creativity and you can funnel the bad guys into a pretty narrow "kill zone" where you increase your advantage.
I understand this, but bear in mind that once the BG(s) get inside your house or defensive perimeter then a new 'rule' comes up and that's 'high chaos'. When a fight or an encounter is starting and nothing has happened (time=0), the chaos is low - the BG can attack or can pass you by.

Your chances of defending once there is a breech, start to go down quickly as chaos rises. Think of it as the 'floodgate principle'. In addition, you can't always channel the BG into the right tactical zone - you're adding a dimension that is making things more complicated. It -can- work, but beware of that chaos principle. Thanks for your input!
 

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Complete hardening of my home is not cost effective either. I have layered security, Fences, locked gates, outside dogs, etc... A lot of this is to defend my gun collection! The likelihood of needing this is pretty low. The most likely places where I would be accosted are the highway, parking lots, shopping, etc. And even that is pretty low. DR
 

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When I was in Economics in Collage we did a couple weeks on the "Economics of Crime". It was one of the more interesting things I ever did in Collage. A few things I learned. Punishment doesn't matter to criminals because they don't really think they will be caught, so the threat of being jailed doesn't come into their thinking. They look for easy targets. They want a place in which they will have easy access and no one resisting them. Large dogs will make them think twice as will large fit people. If you have a dog, a beware of dog sign can encourage them to move on to their next target.
 

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The most vulnerable point in my home is the back door, about seven steps from where my head lies when I sleep. Getting through the locked screen door and inner door is going to require noise and time, neither of which works in a would-be intruder's favor. As far as guns locked in my safe, yes, it weighs several hundred pounds and is anchor-bolted to the floor at the bottom of a flight of stairs. My personal and home protection guns can be accessed and deployed in maybe two seconds from the time I awake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree that the main function of layers of security is not to keep the BG out. It's to give you time and space to mount a response. If you're serious about that, run a scenario, and have someone time you. Or, stand outside your abode and think like a BG and imagine how -you- would get in.

For those with safes, a lot of the time the BG has the combination to your safe. Think in terms of a locksmith getting into one if you'd lost the combo. You can usually call up the safe company and if you say and do the right things, get a replacement combination. (often you have to send a notarized letter of ownership).

But those are down at the low end of risk. It's extremely unlikely that some things will happen. It's best to look at holes in your systems. That's why 'layering' is good. One layer may fail but not all at once.

Good replies!
 

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The most vulnerable point in my home is the back door, about seven steps from where my head lies when I sleep. Getting through the locked screen door and inner door is going to require noise and time, neither of which works in a would-be intruder's favor. As far as guns locked in my safe, yes, it weighs several hundred pounds and is anchor-bolted to the floor at the bottom of a flight of stairs. My personal and home protection guns can be accessed and deployed in maybe two seconds from the time I awake.
Yeah. It took 3 grown men and a hand cart to get my safe into the basement when it was EMPTY. If they can get it unbolted and up the stairs then they can have it.


@OP: It all depends on how hard you want to make your house. IMO a fire is the most dangerous threat to my home and family. Putting bars on the windows would help security but it may also cost my entire family their lives in a fire. So what does "hard" really mean and how "hard" is too hard?

IMO good lighting and a barking dog early warning system are the two best home defense tools on the market.
 

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I agree that the main function of layers of security is not to keep the BG out. It's to give you time and space to mount a response. If you're serious about that, run a scenario, and have someone time you. Or, stand outside your abode and think like a BG and imagine how -you- would get in.

For those with safes, a lot of the time the BG has the combination to your safe. Think in terms of a locksmith getting into one if you'd lost the combo. You can usually call up the safe company and if you say and do the right things, get a replacement combination. (often you have to send a notarized letter of ownership).
I recently conducted the exercise you suggest, as described here: http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum...9149-someone-tried-get-our-house-morning.html

My gun safe is accessed with a double-cut, cannot-be-duplicated key that even I as a subsequent owner cannot get a spare key for.
 

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Yeah. It took 3 grown men and a hand cart to get my safe into the basement when it was EMPTY. If they can get it unbolted and up the stairs then they can have it.


@OP: It all depends on how hard you want to make your house. IMO a fire is the most dangerous threat to my home and family. Putting bars on the windows would help security but it may also cost my entire family their lives in a fire. So what does "hard" really mean and how "hard" is too hard?

IMO good lighting and a barking dog early warning system are the two best home defense tools on the market.
For some reason, the like icon doesn't appear on your post.
Never mind, there it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When assessing your SD layering the key thing is not to look at it and say how good it is. You should look for weaknesses. I'm constantly reminded of the guy with a wife that was very anti firearms. When the BG broke in she -had- his gun but didn't know how to operate the safety. Yikes!

I do agree that fire is one of the main risks and it's a problem having bars on windows. I do like the 3M treatment you can get - a clear sheeting that is break resistant. If I was not in a gated community, I'd be looking at that option.

Another thing about safes is that the harder they are to open the more likely that the owner will not spin the dial or not even lock it. Not saying folks here do that, but it's a weakness in any security that's too robust.

I would be a -bit- worried about having a one-of-a-kind key. Don't you fret about losing it?
 

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When assessing your SD layering the key thing is not to look at it and say how good it is. You should look for weaknesses. I'm constantly reminded of the guy with a wife that was very anti firearms. When the BG broke in she -had- his gun but didn't know how to operate the safety. Yikes!

I do agree that fire is one of the main risks and it's a problem having bars on windows. I do like the 3M treatment you can get - a clear sheeting that is break resistant. If I was not in a gated community, I'd be looking at that option.

Another thing about safes is that the harder they are to open the more likely that the owner will not spin the dial or not even lock it. Not saying folks here do that, but it's a weakness in any security that's too robust.

I would be a -bit- worried about having a one-of-a-kind key. Don't you fret about losing it?
Yes, I worry about it, but since I cannot get it duplicated, I am extra-careful with it. It is a very good safe, so I go with it.
 

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When assessing your SD layering the key thing is not to look at it and say how good it is. You should look for weaknesses. I'm constantly reminded of the guy with a wife that was very anti firearms. When the BG broke in she -had- his gun but didn't know how to operate the safety. Yikes!

I do agree that fire is one of the main risks and it's a problem having bars on windows. I do like the 3M treatment you can get - a clear sheeting that is break resistant. If I was not in a gated community, I'd be looking at that option.
That film is something I will consider. I have two kitchen windows that look out onto my front porch. They are the most vulnerable point of entry into my home.
 

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I live on a military installation. We don't lock our doors (in case the neighbor wants to pop in); I don't even carry a house key (it would probably take me a good 10 to 20 minutes to find it!). We don't lock our car's doors or garage. I keep all firearms in a safe, unloaded, in case one of the neighborhood kids comes in the house when we are out. We sleep with our windows wide open and doors unlocked (because we are too lazy to lock them, and they are always unlocked anyway). We have dogs, but I'm not sure they wouldn't sleep right through an intrusion (I have snuck up on them before).

I don't always appreciate how nice it is to sleep at home without feeling fearful. Reading this thread has definitely made me appreciate how comfortable we are here. It's kind of sad to see how much of a concern it is for so many people. Y'all stay safe.
 

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7Ps is valid (Proper Prior Planning Prevents Painfully Poor Performance, or some variation of "painfully"), but no amount of material preparation is a substitute for being mentally prepared for an intruder.

My house isn't a fortress and I don't want it to be. I think General Patton had something to say about fixed fortifications...

My cattle dog is going to be going nuts before they touch my house. She's the sweetest dog ever, but I've seen her chew the cover off a golf ball, and turn the insides to sand in about five minutes. If she bites for keeps it's going to leave a mark. It's amazing how she'll wag and want strangers to pet her, but if it's night and she doesn't recognize you she goes berserk. They get through her and my security system has a 110+ db screamer on it (armed, stay). They enter, it starts screaming so loud you can barely think, and it calls the cops (response time in my neighborhood is very short, minutes). If they are stupid enough and fearless enough to keep advancing toward my family through that, I'll be sitting tight, in cover, with defilade, clearing the landing on the stairs of all comers. The Boys of Point Du Hoc will have had it easier.

I sleep with no worries. I don't disagree with any of the thoughts put down, but before I did all that I'd get a dog. There is no security that's better than the 10,000 year old alliance of man and canine. They'll also make you happier in life generally! They seem to possess all our virtue with few or none of our vices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't always appreciate how nice it is to sleep at home without feeling fearful. Reading this thread has definitely made me appreciate how comfortable we are here. It's kind of sad to see how much of a concern it is for so many people. Y'all stay safe.
I think your 'sadness' is misplaced. For example, I live in a very safe location inside a gated community with a guard on duty 24/7. I don't always lock my doors during the day if I go for a walk. My discussion about security and layers of SD and tactical use of a firearm are purely for informational purposes right now. I want to be sure I'm not being 'penny smart and pound foolish' in the big picture.

In fact, my specialty is looking outside the box in terms of every day life as an intellectual exercise.

The purpose of this forum is to share ideas, not to become sad at the state of the world or at other people's concerns.

Thanks for your input!
 

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The Boys of Point Du Hoc will have had it easier.
LOL. Funny. I agree with the rest of your post too.

@Nix: There are still criminals on military bases.

I suspect that you are young. I never worried when I was young either. It's only when you get older that you become a wimpy worrier like me. : )

In all seriousness though, many of us live OUT in the country. At my home in West Virginia police response time was about 45 minutes. It is better here in Ohio to be sure but it's still 20 to 30 minutes during 3rd shift. We have no neighbors close enough to hear calls for help and have no network of friends close by. "Out here" help is a long way off and the BGs know it so we do need to practice good habits in order to stay safe.

On the other hand we enjoy a beautiful country lifestyle filled with wild life and lots of privacy. We enjoy the beauty of nature everyday and it's likely we will never encounter a violent criminal. It's a good tradeoff if you ask me. We still plan for the worst though just so we aren't caught flat footed.
 

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I want to be sure I'm not being 'penny smart and pound foolish' in the big picture.
I understand that you are looking at the "big picture", or "making a holistic assessment". But where do you see yourself being "pound foolish"? Sounds like you are advocating for, and have, developed layers of self-protection. I'd agree that it would be foolish to rely on one form of self-protection, e.g. having a firearm but not a cell phone.

I like your approach to self-defense/self-protection, using risk assessment as a starting point. How else can you realistically design the 'layers' you refer to?

I don't think my sadness is misplaced. You are here on a gun forum worrying about self-defense. It's sad that people live in fear to the extent they feel the need to live in a gated community or carry a firearm at home or in the shower. I've around the country. When I lived in D.C., I put some bars on my basement windows and kept the doors locked at night. We used central air to keep the house cool at night and kept the windows locked. That was fear talking. And that is sad.
 

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I agree with the original post. My only addition is having dogs as a first line of defense. My wife and I both have concealed handgun licenses and carry from when we get up until we go to bed when the guns and cell phones go on the night stands. I also recommend practicing getting around your house in the dark without the need for a flashlight. It is just my wife and me at home. When we go to bed, our bedroom becomes a locked safe room with the dogs inside with us. Plans have to change if there are children or guests staying over.
 

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@Nix: There are still criminals on military bases.

I suspect that you are young. I never worried when I was young either. It's only when you get older that you become a wimpy worrier like me. : )

In all seriousness though, many of us live OUT in the country. At my home in West Virginia police response time was about 45 minutes. It is better here in Ohio to be sure but it's still 20 to 30 minutes during 3rd shift. We have no neighbors close enough to hear calls for help and have no network of friends close by. "Out here" help is a long way off and the BGs know it so we do need to practice good habits in order to stay safe.
Yes, I am young, although old enough to be retiring shortly. And yes, there are criminals everywhere. I leave the base once in a while, too. :wink: I guess I just don't worry that much about violent crime here. And I can handle myself OK.

Funny thing is, here in Wyoming it is mostly all country. And help, in the form of the Police or LE is always a long way off, even on base. You've heard it before, "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away." But people here also look out for each other. A young woman I work with lives in a rural area on a small ranch. They leave their doors unlocked and windows open too. I think their dogs are bit more feisty than mine. They have a rifle handy for all sorts of critters. That's country way. Out here, everyone knows if you don't belong and strangers are noticed. I like that.
 
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