Are you prepared to handle a home invasion?
The truth is, many people aren’t, and luckily, the gentleman you’re about to hear from didn’t have to find out the hard way. Here’s the email he sent me: (We’ll call him “C” as he asked me not to reveal his name.)
“Jason, here is a story for you about being prepared but not being ready for a home invader. The other night while going to sleep my family and I were startled by a bunch of loud noises coming from our main level, these were no ordinary noises and sounded like someone was already in the house or coming thru a window.
Thus I jump up grab my FN 9mm and head downstairs. Luckily, there was no home invader and it was my dog with his collar stuck on his cage, he was trying to get loose and in the process his cage and food/water bowl were being kicked around and making all the noise.
Now to get to the point, I was prepared by having a weapon, but I was not ready because it was locked, unloaded, and sitting in its case in the closet.
The process of me getting the case out of the closet, key, unlocking the lock, and loading a magazine (yes the magazine was full with bullets ready to go) probably added 10-20 seconds to me being ready to defend my family. If this was a real home invader he may have made it upstairs and my weapon rendered useless as it was not ready fast enough.
With 3 children aged 15,13, and 5, and a wife who was not too happy that a gun was in the house, I thought this to be best solution for storing the gun. She wanted me to keep it in the attic!!
Well after this realistic scare, I will be getting a Glock 19 (I fumbled with my safety a little while heading down the stairs so no more of that) and a wall safe within 2-3 feet of my side of the bed so the gun is locked, loaded, ready, and within easy reach.
I also now have a wife that is totally on board with having the gun and even a backup for her just in case I don’t come back up the stairs!
I also have a few concerns and would like your feedback.
I keep the gun upstairs in the bedroom. There are two worst-case scenarios that could happen to our family:
1. A home invasion occurs when I am not home, no one has access to the gun. I keep the lock key with me. Although I believe my teenagers/wife can use it properly in time of need (I have taken them to the range), I still get concerned that my teenagers (both boys) may want to show it off to friends and I don’t want an accident. My dad had a couple of guns and I showed them once or twice to friends, I made sure they were unloaded/safe but I still did it. Should I give the safe codes/access to the rest of the family? What is your opinion?
(Answer from Jason) The only people who have the combos to my guns are my wife and I. When it comes to kids, it all depends on their maturity level and I can’t give you that answer. It’s up to each parent to decide when their children are responsible to have the combos to the safes. And again, I have no idea when that will be. It may be 15, 18, or never.
2. I used to live in Miami where home invasions happened a lot and at all times of the day. Luckily, I live where they happen infrequently. But, if I am sitting on the couch watching a game and a couple of thugs kick in my front door, I have no access to my gun upstairs. What is your suggestion with keeping a gun on the main level or every level of the house?
(Answer from Jason) First, I highly recommended getting a rapid-access safe. I like the Gun Vault line of safes. You need to be able to access your gun in 3 seconds or less. Personally, I keep a gun on every level of my house and each one is in a rapid access safe. As you pointed out, if somebody breaks in and your gun is two floors away from you then it won’t do you much good.
The bottom line is, “C” was very lucky it wasn’t a home intruder. I’ve had many students tell me horrible home invasion stories, which is why they ended up in one of my courses.
Also, I highly recommend doing a “dry run home invasion scenario.” For instance, while lying in bed tonight, pretend you hear your door getting kicked in. How quickly can you access your gun and your flashlight? Is there anything you realize such as your nightstand is too far away or you need a different flashlight?
I’ve done these scenarios many times and they’re well worth it, so if you don’t do it tonight, please do it this week.