On a home defense tool – part 4

If you haven’t read part 1, part 2, and part 3, please go read them before you read part 4.


Through the joys of blogging and “suggested links” I stumbled upon a 3-part home defense series from Caleb/Ahab. Here are links to his part 1, part 2, and part 3. These dovetail perfectly into where I left off in my part 3, that equipment is important, but skills and mindset are more important.

I took a fantastic training course called Street & Vehicle Tactics, from InSights Training Center. When gun people take gun classes they want to shoot guns! But this class had no shooting whatsoever. Yes there was a lot of physicality and moving about, but most of what was taught was about mindset and tactics — it was all about using your gray matter. The course talks about Priorities of Survival:

  1. Awareness and preparedness
  2. Tactics
  3. Skill
  4. Equipment

This list is in order, and notice that equipment is at the bottom of the list. This does show that equipment does matter: if you have unreliable equipment, ineffective equipment, it’s going to affect your chances of survival. What has a greater impact on your chances of survival tho are the other listed factors. In fact, there’s a level of “force multiplication” involved here. What this means is as you go up the priorities list, your chances of survival multiply. Equipment gives you the least multiplier, awareness/preparedness gives you the greatest and could even compensate for all the others. The items at the top of the priority list will take you much further than the items at the bottom, and the more/better you can have of all the items, all the better for your chances of survival.

Going back to Caleb’s articles, let’s look at parts 1 and 3. In his part 1 Caleb discusses some good first lines of defense: checking the outside of your home and setting it up defensively (trimming back bushes, well-lit, fences); minding your doors and windows (solid, locked); having an alarm system (deterrent, notification system); the utility of a purposely-trained big dog; other things such as flashlights and mobile phones. What is this? awareness and preparedness. It’s being aware of your home situation: these bushes block this ground-level window, this tree next to the house comes close to that second-story window, there’s a dark spot over by the trash cans. It’s preparing your home: let’s trim back that bush, let’s get those tree limbs trimmed back, let’s install some floodlights around the trash can area, let’s repair the fence for Fido’s sake.  

In his part 3, Caleb talks about “the plan”. He discusses thinking ahead of time about what to do in a home-invasion situation. What to do, where to go, what role each member of the household has in the event — including children, where boundaries are. What is this? This is preparedness, and tactics. He has made a plan, it was made ahead of time, it could be thought through, and practiced. He is prepared. He has discussed the tactics: he arms and hunkers down, Mrs. Caleb removes herself from the line of fire and uses the mobile phone to dial 911 and report everything. A simple plan, but the tactics are worked out head of time. 

In his part 2, Caleb does talk about equipment. While he and I have arrived at a different set of equipment, that’s the equipment that works for him, and he offers some interesting alternative suggestions. One thing I would add is to look around your home and see what could be used in a pinch. For instance, I have a Vaughan SuperBar which would make a pretty ugly weapon.

The take-home message from this part of my series? While we love tools and equipment because it’s fun, tangible, and we just like tinkering with and talking about cool gadgets, it’s really the least important part of home defense or any type of self-defense. Your mindset and mental conditioning are the most important thing, and the more you can invest there, the further you will go.

11 thoughts on “On a home defense tool – part 4

  1. Pingback: First impressions from the other side « Stuff From Hsoi

  2. Pingback: On a home defense tool - part 3 « Stuff From Hsoi

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  5. I know I’m late to the party but just wanted to say great series of posts, very informative.

    I stumbled on it while trying to research ammo selection for home defense. My primary concern being rounds exiting the house and entering someone else’s house. I live in a semi-dense urban area, not as dense as what you might call urban, but houses are closer together than you would expect in suburbs.

    Anyway, on the vane of being able to grab what may be available in the house in a pinch, I saw your mention of the pry bar(the one you linked my dad always referred to as a “wonderbar”) and I wanted to mention we have one of these in the tool drawer:

    • Thank you.

      It is certainly important to be concerned about every round that you fire and where it comes to rest. Everyone’s needs and situations are different (and comfort levels, risk levels, etc.) and you have to evaluate what works best for you.

      That Stanley Forcible Entry tool…. now THAT is a pretty cool tool! And I like that it’s proper name is the FUBAR. HA!

  6. Gee, I wonder WTF I’m going to if the guy who wants to rob me or break into my house already has his gun out? I mean sh*t, I would have to first not make any noise (no creaking floor boards, no loading rounds). I would have to be able to position myself behind him without him seeing me, and hope my first shot hits him, and hope that that shot did not just wound him, leaving him able to shoot back, if he does – I’m fu*ked.

    It is so rare to get the-up on a criminal that only a few instances a month of someone defending their home with a firearm, against a criminal who is armed or not, occur. The cost in our society of handguns (at least 100 million of them) Is definitely not worth letting you assholes have a dangerous hobby, motivated by fear, masculine identity crisis, small penises, and a fantasy hero delusion.

  7. I see this post is a little stale but I thought I’d add a little more food for thought.
    What about the aftermath? If you assume that your defense went as well as expected you still may have to “explain” that to a DA or worse a jury. Which brings me back to the beginning, the general assumption that the shotgun is the expected tool for the average joe to defend his home. Are the guys/gals prosecuting or judging you as knowledgeable about firearms or penetration? How do they feel about the dreaded black rifle? How will they feel about the attempt you make to explain why it was better to grab the AR vs your old wingmaster? The shotgun assumption may be BS but it may save the rest of your life…after you save it yourself of course.

    Again, just food for thought.


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