You are startled awake. You heard breaking glass, and now you hear other noises as well. You try to turn on your lights but the lights don’t work. You grab your gun and move down the hallway. You see strangers coming into your house through your garage door. The strangers shout for you to put your hands up. You step back into the hallway and then shoot the nearest armed robber. Now, all the robbers turn and run away. When you call the police to report the crime, it is three in the morning.
Police arrest your attackers nearby. Including the driver, there were six of them. They turned off the power to your house. The robber you shot dropped an airsoft pistol in your garage as he ran. Your attackers wanted to rob you and your wife so they would have money to bail one of their friends out of jail. One of the attackers who stayed in the getaway car was your granddaughter.
EMS takes your wounded attacker to the hospital where he is expected to fully recover. The six suspects were charged with armed home invasion/robbery.
Our defender did an incredibly good job of defending his family when we consider that he was asleep a few seconds earlier. One of the reasons he prevailed was because of things he probably did every night.
Our defenders had a plan. They locked their windows and doors. Since the robbers couldn’t walk through an unlocked door, the homeowners heard the noise of breaking glass. Our defenders owned a gun. Their gun was accessible and ready for immediate use. The homeowner retreated rather than confront a group of robbers in the open. The homeowner defended himself and his family when what looked like a group of armed robbers gave him orders to put his hands up.
Our good guy stopped shooting when the robbers ran. He did not chase the bad guys. He stayed inside and one of them called 911. He gave a brief statement to the police when they arrived.
The way you get that much right when you and your wife are half asleep is that you form a plan when you’re awake. The two of you walk through that plan before you need it.
Criminals plan to surprise, outnumber, and outgun their victims. Planning and practice give us the edge we need to survive.
Let me offer you a prediction; you’ll change and refine your ideas about what to do, and what not to do, if you actually walk through your defense plan with your spouse.
This news story is incomplete, but there are a few things we’d want to add to our defensive plan. Don’t leave your loved one undefended as you prowl the house. Let’s make sure that both of you are armed.
There could have been several robbers inside the home. Unless you have to get to your family to defend them, a better plan is to stay in your bedroom. Get your firearms, lock your bedroom door, and call the police at the first sound of breaking glass.
There are some tricks hidden inside those recommendations. Your defensive tools need a home. Each of you should put your firearm in its place every night. It doesn’t have to be the same place for both of you, but each of you needs to know where your defensive tools will be even in the dark. Put your flashlight and your phone next to your gun.
I can’t think in the middle of the night. I can repeat an activity I’ve practiced earlier.
Some of the armed-defense-in-the-home classes talk through a plan, then walk through a scenario. I learned things I had not thought of from listening and watching other people’s plans. I bet you will too. For example, how will you return to your bedroom if your wife is in there with a flashlight and a gun?
I don’t know of a hard and fast rule about who grabs the gun and who grabs the phone. You’ll have to decide if you both run to the kid’s rooms, or if you bring the kids to your room. You’ll figure that out as you practice your defensive drill.
Practice what you’ll say to 911. Consider what you should, and what you should not, say to the police. If the police question you independently, then they are sure to get different stories. That raises the question if one of you is lying, or if your stories are inaccurate. Let your self-defense lawyer write out your statement for the police.
Rob Morse highlights the latest self-defense and other shootings of the week. See what went wrong, what went right, and what we can learn from real-life self-defense with a gun. Even the most justified self-defense shooting can go wrong, especially after the shot. Get the education, the training, and the liability coverage you and your family deserve, join USCCA.
About Rob Morse
Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.