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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted in another thread how I wound up briefly pointing my .45 in my wife's general direction (still on safe, finger outside trigger guard) one night recently when I thought she was a home invader*. Although my point was simply to illustrate the importance of knowing one's target before shooting, several members subsequently offered constructive criticism as to my threat perception being too high.

Although I appreciate the perspectives that have been shared, I can't help but think that if the footsteps in the hallway really had been an intruder, I'd have been praised for being alert and quick enough to protect my family.

So my question is: If you're awakened by noises in your home at night, headed toward you and close enough that you have mere seconds to choose a response, just what *is* an appropriate threat level?

More broadly, what is an appropriate threat level under other "bump in the night" scenarios? Is there ever a time to just yawn and roll over? Should getting the gun ever be one's first thought? When and why?

* Yes, I checked to see if she was still with me before I grabbed the gun. "She" turned out to be the pile of blankets she'd shoved aside when getting out of bed - it's hard to tell the difference when she always sleeps under a blanket factory. ;)
 

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There really should be no situation where someone can get into your home, and be 'coming at you' without making a heck of a lot of noise.

You're asking a question that should be moot.

Get a small fan for air circulation and SHUT and LOCK the freakin' bedroom door.

As to the threat level, response level, only you can assess that. In a gated community in a town with little crime, just turn the light on and go look.

In Detroit, I'm gonna say deploy the holy hand grenades and rev up chain gun.

HTH
 

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Let's see, I have a wife, two kids, two cats and a dog in my home.

I hear noises all the time.

If I hear something that is "out of the ordinary", I will listen closer.

If my dog hears it, she will do the same.

Somehow, she knows when someone (or something) is outside our home that should not be there and responds appropriately.

It is amazing to me that when I work nights, my dog knows it is me when I come in the door prior to dawn. I think it is due to her knowing the sounds of my truck as well as the two door closings as I get my cooler out of the backseat and then the sound of my key going in the door. I think this because one night my truck was in the shop and I drove my wives car to work. My dog threw fits and woke the house when I got home because I must have "sounded different".

But, as far as for you and your situation, I do not know what to tell you other than I am not alarmed by sounds of something coming down the hall because those sounds are common.

As long as you fix your home to where getting in will create a ruckus that is undeniable, you should be fine.

I hope your wife wasn't too upset that you pointed your gun at her. My wife would be extremely upset if I did that.
 

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X 2^^^^^
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My wife actually felt good that I was alert enough to be ready - and alert enough not to shoot too quickly. She felt my response was appropriate and it made her feel safe. (This is not to say I feel the same way..."low ready" would have been much more responsible.)

As far as the question being moot, I get what you're saying, but there's only so much one can do - budget being one considerable factor.

And is it really responsible to be so confident in one's perimeter that you'll simply refuse to believe anyone could get in silently? I think that's way underestimating the ingenuity of the criminal mind.

Even a dog (which isn't an option for us) isn't foolproof. Although they are a deterrent to most housebreakers, there are others who get through a dog without any trouble.

Let's put it another way: Are any of us invulnerable to being taken by surprise? If not, then I think my question is reasonable.

Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk
 

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A home security alarm system will definitely differentiate the family between the intruders.


Even the smallest dog can be useful at such moment.
 

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I remember this and followed it...this was fluke of him accidentally shooting her, somehow...in his sleep, with a gun that he kept under his pillow.
I remember when it happened but never heard the circumstances of how it happened.
 

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A home security alarm system will definitely differentiate the family between the intruders.
This isn't really true. One of the top three causes of false alarms in residents is a family member forgetting the system is on when opening a door or window.

It's more appropriate to think of the home alarm system as a wake up call to be evaluated to determine friend or foe.

To the OP, as long as your reaction to a unfamiliar noise isn't to come out shooting your good. Being armed is the only reasonable way to investigate a strange noise inside your home. If it's just two of you without kids then it'd also be prudent to call 911 and have the spouse give a detailed description of you, explain the situation, and request an officer to check the outside of the home.

LE would far rather laugh at being called for a racoon in a trash can than to not be called on an actual home intrusion.

There are two camps on whether or not to verbally challenge. One says that's nearly a sure bet on determining friend or foe. The other says it's a sure way to give away any surprise advantage if it is a bad guy. I'm in the third camp that thinks that each situation will dictate what you do in that regard.

Think it through, talk it through with your family, run it through with family. Home intrusion is just like having a fire in the home. You best chance of walking away unscathed is to make a plan and practice it.
 

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We like to keep the bedroom door open so as to hear better. One night, we had a cabinet shelf let go and throw pots and pans to the hardwood floor. Serious puckered starfish moment to say the least...
 

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Does your wife not sleep in the same bed as you??? (Yes, thats a serious question) simply checking that side of the bed wouldve helped determine if theres someone in the house that shouldnt be there.
 

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Does your wife not sleep in the same bed as you??? (Yes, thats a serious question) simply checking that side of the bed wouldve helped determine if theres someone in the house that shouldnt be there.
Read the last line of the original post.
 

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This isn't really true. One of the top three causes of false alarms in residents is a family member forgetting the system is on when opening a door or window.

It's more appropriate to think of the home alarm system as a wake up call to be evaluated to determine friend or foe.

To the OP, as long as your reaction to a unfamiliar noise isn't to come out shooting your good. Being armed is the only reasonable way to investigate a strange noise inside your home. If it's just two of you without kids then it'd also be prudent to call 911 and have the spouse give a detailed description of you, explain the situation, and request an officer to check the outside of the home.

LE would far rather laugh at being called for a racoon in a trash can than to not be called on an actual home intrusion.

There are two camps on whether or not to verbally challenge. One says that's nearly a sure bet on determining friend or foe. The other says it's a sure way to give away any surprise advantage if it is a bad guy. I'm in the third camp that thinks that each situation will dictate what you do in that regard.

Think it through, talk it through with your family, run it through with family. Home intrusion is just like having a fire in the home. You best chance of walking away unscathed is to make a plan and practice it.
you just said......orient your family well about the home alarm system......if somebody sin't in the house yet, they had to be well aware that at this certain holy hour it will be armed......and if your wife or the whole family were all inside & in bed, why would it trigger door & window alarms then?...unless you have movement sensors indoors as well.....but like I said, awareness is the key and I rather have an alarm system rather than gut feel or own sensory perceptions......:)
 

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you just said......orient your family well about the home alarm system......if somebody sin't in the house yet, they had to be well aware that at this certain holy hour it will be armed......and if your wife or the whole family were all inside & in bed, why would it trigger door & window alarms then?...unless you have movement sensors indoors as well.....but like I said, awareness is the key and I rather have an alarm system rather than gut feel or own sensory perceptions......:)
Didn't say they weren't worth having, I have had a system for decades. Worked in the industry for nearly a decade and have first hand experience on both sides of the fence. I just said that you should never take an alarm as gospel that there's a bad guy in the house. Only that there's a situation that needs evaluation.
 
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As I said in your other thread if you think there is someone in your house that shouldn't be, wake up your wife! Had you tried to wake her up this whole situation would not have happened.
 

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Regarding dogs:

Two years ago our rural neighborhood of 12 homes on a private late was victim of middle of the night home invasions and criminal mischief & vandalism This went on for a full 3 months before the perps were caught. But on one of those home invasions they got in, burgled, and got out without even the homeowners' dogs being awakened. And this was the home of a retired Marine who kept a 45 at the ready. I was surprised when he told us that even his dogs weren't alerted because when we went over to check on them the day after it happened his THREE small yappers went crazy when we approached the front door.
He said they were all asleep in the master BR with the door closed. Still...3 lap dogs never noticed anyone in their home.

During the course of the next two weeks the perps invaded another house twice within 2 days. Again, the homeowners slept thru the invasion...the first time. But still on edge, they slept light the next few nights. The perps had stolen a door key on the first visit and quietly let themselves in the 2nd time. The homeowner heard them inside, grabbed his 12 ga, and surprised them in the kitchen. One of the guys pulled a big hunting knife and took a threatening stance while the other one flew out the back door. According to the HO the one with the knife took about 2 seconds to choose life and hit the backdoor too.

Within 5 min what looked like the entire Sheriff's dept was on the scene...response time was quick and they brought dogs with them. The dogs tracked the perps to a house nearby, to a bedroom window. It turned out the two perps were brothers...14 & 17 yrs old..both honor students. They had burglarized a total of 10 homes, a church, and our small community center during the course of their spree and done damage to numerous vehicles, swimming pools, and other property. And when asked why they said because it gave them a rush of excitement.

They went to jail/juvi, where they spent over a month before getting court time, then were given 1500 hours of community service and a year's probation.

And in the end, my neighbor, who had been invaded twice and faced down the kids with his shotgun, had to get counseling for the trauma he experienced from almost killing a 17 yr old kid.

So what IS an appropriate threat level? Someone who appears as an adult waving a hunting knife at you in your kitchen at 4am seems appropriate enough. I can think of several people I know who would have eliminated that threat quickly.
 

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Heard a couple of loud thumps last night about 3:30 a.m., but the house alarm was silent, so I left my 9mm on the nightstand and just grabbed my flashlight just to see what it was. Stupid cats had knocked a couple things off the shelf. Had the alarm been going off, I would have grabbed the pistol.
 

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I would feel to be in perilous danger if a criminal has entered my home in the middle of the night. There is a difference between me thinking someone is inside my home and simply being stirred awake by an unidentified noise. I am not one to go creeping around in the darkness trying to identify a noise. I will ready myself to fight, remain calm and listen.
 
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