Will you be ready to defend your home when an intruder threatens to harm your family? When someone kicks your door down in the middle of the night and your body is flooded with adrenaline there is only one thing that will determine whether you and your family survive the encounter. It is more important than your choice of home defense weapon, and it will have ten times more bearing on whether you live or die than the type of personal defense ammunition you choose. However, it’s a shame that we spend so much time discussing the secondary factors and so little time discussing the one thing that truly matters.
The amount of time you have spent training to respond to an emergency situation is perhaps the most important factor in determining how you will fare during that emergency. Have you ever “practiced” having your house broken into in the middle of the night? Have you and your family ever practiced how you would respond to a home invasion? Do your children know what to do when someone kicks the door down? Do you?
For most people, the first time they ever contemplate how they will respond to a home invasion is when their life, and the lives of their loved ones, hang in the balance. Criminals call these people victims.
Almost every criminal act involves some degree of planning. The criminal has a plan and he is banking on the fact that you do not. He is counting on the fact that you have not prepared to defend yourself against him. He is acting and you are reacting to his action. Where seconds could mean the difference between life and death, it is important to remember that action is faster than reaction.
Drills for Home Defense
There are many things that you, and every member of your family, should practice regarding home defense. You should block out some time with your family to rehearse your response to a home invasion. Be safe about this. Never conduct any rehearsal with firearms (loaded or unloaded). It would actually be a good idea to remove all firearms and all ammunition from the house when you conduct any drills like this. You should practice a home invasion in the middle of the night and one in the middle of the day. An easy way to do this is to have a friend or family member simulate breaking into your front door while you are all in bed or while your family is watching television or doing whatever you guys do when you are not all sleeping.
Every drill should be pre-briefed, and the entire family should conduct a mental run through before any simulated event. After the event, go over your family’s response and critique what went wrong and what went right. These sessions will give you good ideas for how to improve upon your home defense plan. Some things to consider are: which room in your house is designated as a safe room, what each member of your family will do if shots are fired, where the home defense weapons in your home are located, who is trained to use them, who will actually engage the attacker, is there an escape plan, under what circumstances will that plan be implemented, who will call 911, and when will that call be made.
The purpose of this article isn’t to tell you exactly what to do when someone attacks you in your home. There are many great resources on home defense tactics and you should learn as much as you can on the topic. The point is that you need to discuss and drill these scenarios with your family so that when an emergency strikes you are not reacting to some criminal’s plan. You want to have your own plan, and you want to have drilled this scenario several times so that you can take back the initiative and have the criminal reacting to your plan of action. You want this event to be a non-event. You want everyone in your family to know their role instead of being paralyzed by fear. The criminal’s biggest advantage is that he gets to choose the time and place of the attack. He forces you to react to this plan. The only way to negate this is to prepare and train your response. Action is always faster than reaction.