There have been a few times in my career as an instructor that I have received a message from someone that I have trained, that have stopped me in my tracks. Monday night I got one of those messages from a customer. Last week this young family had a situation inside of their home where a drug-induced crazed neighbor tried to enter their home through the shared wall of their duplex. Both of the parents luckily were in sound mind and have been training with me for months. They heard pounding on the wall and sprung into action, both grabbed their handguns and acted quickly. The mom grabbed the young children and got them all to a secure part of their home. She called 911. Dad got to a position where he could defend and waited. As the pounding got louder, there was a knife blade that started to come through the wall. They said that was the most terrifying part. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, the blade kept coming through the wall until there were about 4 inches poking through the wall. Dad recalled thinking “is this really happening?” “Am I going to have to shoot my neighbor!?” Cops were in route and it would take 47 minutes for them to arrive!! That is an eternity in a time of crisis like this. I’m proud that the parents were able to remain calm, deescalate the situation, and keep their family safe. While it would have possibly been justifiable to act in self defense if the man came through the wall. That press of the trigger would have changed many lives in an instant.

The parents were lucky to have been actively training, knew their capabilities, and were able to handle this situation the best that they could. The proper mindset is important. Training helps us understand how to best utilize our firearms in an emergency and how our bodies will react as emotions run high. There is so much on the line in that type of situation. It could be your life, the life of a loved one, or your freedom. One wrong move could be disastrous for all involved. All of those things are why we train. To defend those that need us most, it could be an innocent bystander or a loved one. I am so thankful that all of our hard work paid dividends for this family. The parents acted instead of reacted, they were equipped, and most importantly they were safe. This prevented needless loss of life. Even though the man was having a manic episode, losing his life would have been tragic to his family. I celebrate my friend doing what was needed to be done to save all involved.

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It is important to have a plan in case of an invasion. The home invasion is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. Proper arms and knowing how to use them in an emergency is key. Good outdoor lighting, dogs, and wireless cameras can be a deterrent or an early warning system. Make sure to keep shrubs trimmed near your house for fire suppression and to prevent a hiding spot for an intruder. You have to realize in an attack, it will be quick, violent, and overwhelming. The layout of your home and where your kids are sleeping is important to think about. You should break your home into zones. Where you would be able to engage a threat and where is off-limits or a no-shoot area. Depending on the type of firearm is how many walls could be penetrated. Also having a neighbor in close proximity is another factor to consider. While the AR15 is a great defensive tool. Sharing a wall with a neighbor might be a liability to you. In most cases, a rifle would over-penetrate which could impact and hurt someone you didn’t intend to hurt. If I could only have 3 guns for a defensive purpose. I would have a high-quality handgun, one that can be easily concealed. A pump-action shotgun and an AR15. Those 3 could cover all possible violent encounters. I would also have a handheld light and weapon-mounted lights on the shotgun and AR15. We have to realize most of our violent attacks will happen in low-light situations.

I have set-ups for different situations in the chance there is ever a threat that is presented inside of my home. Proper storage of your firearm when it is not on your person is really important especially if you have children in the home. Education for the entire family is critical. Check out the Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation for more information and how best how to protect your children. I have different applications for different situations. All secure and ready at a moment’s notice. Being able to counter a threat might help deescalate the situation. We are living in really scary times, mental health crisis, violent crime, and a downturn in the economy are making us all vulnerable. Being prepared at all times will most likely be the difference in life and death for someone. Have the tools, train with them, and act accordingly. Until next time. Be Safe!!