In the last post, I attempted to explain my thought process for carrying a gun in public. In the next post, I’m going to talk about why I carry concealed as opposed to open cary. Today however, I want to talk about why I carry a gun at home.
A Man’s Home is His Castle
You’ve heard that saying, I’m sure. The implication is that when we are home, we are safe. Out there in the world, anything can happen, but when we’re back behind the walls of our castle, we’re secure. Sadly, today, that’s no longer true. While listening to a self-defense podcast a while back, the speaker pointed out that exactly 100% of home invasions take place at home. You probably know that 87% of statistics are fake (including that one). But there’s no getting around it; 100% of home invasions happen at home. More disturbing, home invasions are on the rise.
It doesn’t take a lot of research to find instances of home invasions around you. All you have to do is watch the local news for a week, and you will hear at least one story of armed intruders forcibly entering someone’s home.
Now, while it does happen fairly often, the probability of it happening to me is relatively low. As I pointed out in my last post, the probability of me being in a serious car accident is also relatively low. But I still wear my seatbelt every time I head out in the car. Again, to quote myself, it’s not the odds, it’s the stakes.
Worst Case Scenario
One of the worst things I can imagine is having my home broken into and having my wife and daughter raped and killed. That’s some pretty serious stuff. And before you come back with, “That would never happen,” all I can tell you is that it does happen. It even happens in good neighborhoods.
But, it’s not going to happen in my house. Well, if it does, it’s because more people broke into the house than I could immobilize with the 33 rounds I carry on my person at all times. I train almost daily, shoot in competitions and am very proficient with my handgun, so that would be small army.
I want to be very clear here—I am not “gunning for action” or looking for a fight. I want to live my life in peace and be left alone to enjoy the life we’ve built. But, if someone or several someones forcibly barge into our home, they will very much regret that decision.
I know a lot of guys who carry their guns in public daily, but when they get home, let their guard down and put the gun on the nightstand or in the safe. In future posts, we’ll talk about storing guns in the home, but let’s pause that for now. If you are one of those people—or if you have a gun in the home for self-defense—I want you to think about your daily routine.
If you were eating dinner with the family and a gang of thugs kicked in the front door, could you get to your gun in time? If you were tucking your kids into bed and that same gang shatters the rear sliding door, could you get to your gun in time? If you were in the bathroom and someone started breaking into your house, could you get to your gun in time? Chances are, the answer is, “No.” I know this because I started running those scenarios.
Now, I have guns staged throughout my house. We no longer have little kids in the house, so I’m not worried about accidents. In fact, my daughter is a pretty decent shooter in her own right. And when we do have guests with little kids over, the guns go in the safe. Despite the guns in various locations, I realized that during many of my daily activities, I’m too far away to mount a solid defense.
If someone starts kicking in my door, I figure I have at best a few seconds to greet them. If I have to use those few seconds to run throughout the house to get to the nearest gun, I would most likely be at a significant disadvantage,. Especially if there are multiple attackers (which is the normal MO for home invasions—3-5 baddies).
Because I train often and compete with my firearm, I know I can draw and put a shot on target in under 2 seconds. Follow up shots happen between .25 and .5 seconds, depending on the range. I can do a mag change in under 3 seconds. So in under 25 seconds I am capable of firing all 33 rounds I carry with me (17 in the gun and another 16 in a spare mag). That should buy me enough time to get to one of the long guns nearby if necessary.
But it’s that 2 second response time that is especially critical. Sure, I can dump a 30 round mag from my AR in under 10 seconds, but what if it takes me 10 seconds to get to it? That might be 5 seconds too long.
Bad Guys Don’t Like To Be Shot
Most bad guys don’t like to be shot. Moreover, they don’t expect to be shot. When bad guys break into a house and find themselves under fire, they usually retreat, never to return. The bad guys don’t want to deal with resistance. They want what they want and will use force to get it. But—and this is key—they will flee and seek out an easier target if you respond with force against them.
For me carrying at home has become part of my daily lifestyle. I have a very comfortable outside the waistband holster that hardly notice anymore. I carry the same gun at home that I carry everywhere, and it’s the same series of gun that I compete with. Another benefit of carrying at home is that if I have to run out to the store, I don’t forget my gun. Depending on the weather and my clothing choices, I may swap holsters for better concealment. Yet, I’m never without my sidearm. It even goes into the bathroom with me when I take a shower. And I’m not worried about it being used against me because I have a dog who will give me plenty of advance notice of an impending attack.
Some might call me paranoid. I disagree with that assessment. Rather, I’m prepared. Thieves broke into our neighbor’s house last summer. A friend who lives a few minutes away also had his house broken into. In both cases, no one was home. But can I depend on that? As society continues to morally degrade, we will see more instances of violence and violent attacks in the home. That’s reality, not a conspiracy theory.
I don’t sit up at night peering out my windows, hand on my gun. I go about my life like I always have. I still play with the dog, watch TV and interact with my family like I always have. Only now, I am prepared to protect those most precious to me at a second’s notice—and that might be all the time I have. Clint Smith once said, “You have the rest of your life to solve the problem. How long you live depends on how well you solve it.” I plan on living a long, happy life. How about you?