Prepared and Ready – Home Defense

By John W. Harrington
President Shield Tactical

Prepared: from Prea meaning “before” and parare meaning “make ready“.

Home Defense
Prepared and Ready – Home Defense
Shield Tactical
Shield Tactical

Shiner, Texas –-( To me this means readiness is the culmination of the process of preparation.

Preparation is a multi-faceted proposition inclusive of all disciplines of the subject upon which one wishes to be ready.

Preparation is the journey and ready is the destination. The only way to make the most out of preparation is to realize that readiness is a moving target.

The warrior mustn’t ever feel ready unless he is on the battlefield. If he leaves the training deck and feels ready he should evaluate his ego and mindset or at least how hard he is pushing himself.

When I leave the training deck I am taking mental inventory of the steps needed to further pursue readiness.

Preparation is the pursuit of readiness. I may be prepared but am I ready?
This is a very relevant question when it comes to the defense of one’s self, home and family. “What’s the difference?” you might say. I’m glad you asked. Let’s explore the answer.

First, let’s examine the definitions of these words. The definition of prepared is, “subjected to special process or treatment.” The definition of ready is, “prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action.” To me, to be prepared is representative of the tangible and elementary components of the overall defensive package. To be ready is an ongoing process of learning and conditioning oneself to be able to apply the principles of defense. Notice how the definition of ready contains “prepared“.

How does this apply to homeowners and plans for defense? It depends on the individual. A lot can go into the preparation of the security plan. Location, threat level, family status, home layout, proximity to outside aid, even religious beliefs are things that come into play when deciding upon the security plan. There is much to be said and examined on all of the aforementioned factors, but that goes beyond the scope of this article. For our purposes we will assume you have at least thought about your plan. Let’s look at some degrees of prepared and ready.

If you have a phone of any kind, you have the basics of a security plan. The 911 Project has been fairly successful in the 40 years since the FCC and AT&T first came up with it [Just a little trivia, actual date 1967]. With the emergence of E911- allowing dispatchers to see the address of the caller- response times have improved and people who are unable to ask for help can still get it. So, you are prepared to use 911, but are you ready?

Have you practiced dialing 911? Before dismissing the idea as silly or stupid, consider the following; A man here in California who always called 411 for phone numbers instead of looking them up called 411 four times while trying to dial 911 for himself. He had developed neural pathways, also known as muscle memory. Under stress and the consequential loss of higher brain function, those neural pathways took over. Jeffery Scott Reece of Regina, Canada accidentally called 911 instead of 411. When he realized his mistake he hung up. Thanks to E911 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police came to his house and found his illegal Marijuana growing operation. That story is funny but there are many others that are not so funny where people couldn’t perform that simple operation under high stress.

Unplug your phone or remove your cell phone battery and practice dialing 911 at least once a month. I hope you never have to be glad you did.

Let’s say you have decided to make an alarm system part of your security plan. You are prepared to use that alarm but are you ready? Have you made a schedule to test your alarm? What if it goes off? Have you practiced drills with your family? If so, how often? Once, twice, or do you have a schedule? If you have a schedule, do you keep it? Have you practiced hitting the buttons in the dark? [Most systems have test mode]. If you can say yes to these questions, congratulations, you are closer to being prepared than most. Put your system on test mode and practice operation and family evacuation and action drills once a month.

Home Defense Shotguns
Home Defense Shotguns

For those that include a firearm as part of their home defense plan, you are prepared? Now comes the commitment to become ready. The safe, responsible, and proper use of a firearm in the home is an obligation that must be taken very seriously, and there are consequences that most people can’t imagine but need to understand.

Many people have luckily won a gun fight but weren’t prepared to survive it. There are things every responsible defensive shooter needs to know before, during and after a violent confrontation in order to survive legally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically.

Studies have indicated that depression and PTSD, as well as other emotional and psychological consequences can have a negative impact on someone who has used deadly force. These risks can be successfully mitigated with proper conditioning and training. It is a commitment that is probably not as big as you think, but definitely worth it.

Not everyone agrees with me on this. I have had people say to me, “I know how to shoot! You just point and pull the trigger”. My response to that is, “I recently took my first flying lesson and I can tell you that if you get into a plane, push in the throttle (great big red knob that says “throttle”), point the plane down the runway and pull back on the yoke, eventually you will technically fly. Now with that knowledge, are you ready to load your family into a Cessna 172 and take off?” I know that is a drastic comparison but not that much so. If you plan to use a firearm to defend yourself and your loved ones (a right that I strongly defend), you owe it to them, yourself, and every other person who exercises that right to become trained and work toward being ready.

Remember a lot of people suffer from the bad press generated by the many people every year who are not READY to defend their families and the situation ends in unnecessary tragedy.

If you choose to exercise your right to include a firearm in your defense plan, get trained. There are many good outlets for this type of training.

As always,

Be Well, Be Safe, Be Trained
Shield Tactical
Please contact me with any questions, concerns or suggestions for a topic. [email protected]

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About Shield Tactical;
Shield Tactical is a family business. Though we are not all related by blood, the bond of 2nd ammendment supporters is just as strong. My name is John W. Harrington and I am the president and founder of Shield Tactical. I have been involved in student based firearm instruction for over ten years. Over that period of time, my philosophy has been simple – make it about the shooter. Every member of our team has heard me say (more than they care to count) “People don’t come to us to hear about how great we are or what we have done, they come to us for what we can do for them”. Visit:

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There is a lot to be said for training on a range for people who have never hunted, but there is a time for shooting at paper has to end and it needs to get serious. My father took 5 minutes teaching me how to line up my target and the rest was in the woods. I started hunting at 3 and it gave me more confidence, in the army, than all the time in the world on a range, would have. Take your kids,male and female, hunting from the time they are kids and teach them safety at the… Read more »

D. Murphy

Part of our monthly range training is dialing 911 and speaking to the operator (acting it out) while taking the pistol from the case and inserting a magazine, then firing at a called out target. I am amazed how many people, even LEO’s, fumble this.