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View Full Version : Why not just flip the light switch?


motorhead0922
January 2, 2012, 07:29 AM
There is a lot of discussion here about flashlights, rail lights, night sights, etc. If you think there is an intruder actually in your house, why not just flip on the light switch before entering a room? It's way brighter. I know exactly where every switch in my house is and can reach in, sweep the switch on, and pull my hand back in a half second. Why not do it? Otherwise, carrying a flashlight around only lets the BG know exactly where you are as you approach his location.

Your thoughts?

KMAX
January 2, 2012, 07:44 AM
Duh! I hadn't thought of that.

That's not nearly as cool as having a flashlight attached to your gun.

BGutzman
January 2, 2012, 07:52 AM
If Im on the street there is no switch to flip.. I cant guarntee what the environment will or wont provide for me....

Now I understand some people also want them for the home which isnt the worst idea unless you have power that never goes out and there is no way you might ever be subject to a civil disturbance or natural disaster.

After hurricane Rita I had no power at all for 8 days and people were going wild.... The odds of needing a light might be low but better to have it an not need it than need it and not have it.

motorhead0922
January 2, 2012, 09:20 AM
Lol. Well, a Cornershot would be the coolest:
http://www.imfdb.org/w/images/3/35/CornerShot.gif

I figure the odds of having a simultaneous power outage and break in would be astronomical. Here we get tornadoes, but I've only lost power here twice in 20+ years, other than a momentary blip.

Out on the street it's a different story, but carrying with a rail light is something I'm not interested in. In any case use of a rail light often violates 2 of the 4 rules.

Identify, then aim.

I was just wondering what I was missing in my plan to carefully flip on the lights if I need to clear the house.

Paul K
January 2, 2012, 09:59 AM
Flipping the light switch can give away your position, and you'd loose the element of surprise. Also, with a flashlight, it's possible to temporarily blind and distort the aggressor enough to subdue them and not have to fire a shot.

jrothWA
January 2, 2012, 10:01 AM
in inaccessible corner of rooms of yur house.

Then anyone is silhouetted as they travel the normal traffic pattern.

Don't clear your house, let the LEO's do it, hold a secure location to prevent ingress further and get the cavalry a-coming and keep talking to 911.

You don't know the number you are dealing with!

Have you put motion sensor door light on exterior, same with yard lights?
Direct those lights, so that you are not illuminated but they are silhouetted.

Then you get idea of where entry is from or attempted.

MTT TL
January 2, 2012, 10:04 AM
I figure the odds of having a simultaneous power outage and break in would be astronomical. Here we get tornadoes, but I've only lost power here twice in 20+ years, other than a momentary blip.

I believe the opposite to be true.

Looting increases dramatically after a disaster when the power is out. So if the power goes out and there is general disarray limited police effectiveness than the chances of a break-in will go up.

OEF-Vet
January 2, 2012, 10:16 AM
With my Surefire in my non-shooting hand extended out and my pistol in my shooting hand it makes it much more difficult for a intruder to locate my vitals. They would most likely take aim around the flash light that is arms length away from my body. I do not advocate a weapon mounted light for home defense because you are directly behind the light. this technique should be practiced at the range and it doesn't take long to get decent at home defense distance. I don't have a light in my house that is as blinding as 200 focused lumens in your eyes. If I flip on a light switch we are both effected by the light.

old bear
January 2, 2012, 10:45 AM
Hand held lights are great and I for one believe you should have one in every room of your house. But if there is an intruder in my home I want no lights on until I locate him then I really want to light him up with as much light as possible, Ie. room light. Hopefully this will accomplish two things, startle them and (hope I never have to) if I shoot this will help cancel out any muzzle flash.

MLeake
January 2, 2012, 10:46 AM
Massad Ayoob gives a lecture on this topic. He has his place rigged, and recommends that others rig their places, so that he has a master lighting panel in the bedroom. He can turn on lights at will, without physically entering a room, while he keeps his defensive area dark.

This assumes power is available, of course.

Flashlights will always have potential uses.

I would not be so keen on flipping the switch on a room I was entering. It would illuminate me, and impact my night vision.

I think most instructors recommend use of the flashlight intermittently, so as not to give one's position away so much. Quick shot of the beam to scan the area (and ideally blur the BG's vision if he's there), then light out until the next check.

MTT TL
January 2, 2012, 11:15 AM
Massad Ayoob gives a lecture on this topic. He has his place rigged, and recommends that others rig their places, so that he has a master lighting panel in the bedroom. He can turn on lights at will, without physically entering a room, while he keeps his defensive area dark.

I have night vision cameras all over the place with a monitor in the bedroom. There are kids all around the house too. So staying in the bedroom is not really an option.

MLeake
January 2, 2012, 11:20 AM
Depending on your home's layout, you might develop a plan where everybody falls back to a particular spot. You could make the defensive point one of the kids' bedrooms. You could set up the place so that to get to the kids' bedrooms, somebody has to pass your chokepoint.

Some homes are just not laid out that well...

Place we're buying has a nice stairwell chokepoint. If I have a guest in the downstairs bedroom, that could put a kink in the plan. Otherwise, the stairwell becomes the "funnel of death," to use the term the house-clearing instructors used...

motorhead0922
January 2, 2012, 11:21 AM
Good comments, everyone. Keep them coming.

Aiming a flashlight while aiming a gun sounds tricky in a very stressful situation, and it's not something I have tried. Gives me another reason to go to the range! :D

TheNocturnus
January 2, 2012, 11:24 AM
Get up in the middle of the night, get out of bed and flip the light switch. What happens to YOUR vision?

You are blinded and cannot see anything for a short while, that is why you don't flip the light switch. /thread

MTT TL
January 2, 2012, 11:24 AM
Some homes are just not laid out that well...

It is a custom with all irregular shaped rooms. One bedroom is well out of whack with the others.

dyl
January 2, 2012, 11:27 AM
A lot of light switches unfortunately highlight the defender right at a "funnel of death" as switches are located at doorways and the beginning/end of hallways. Switch locations usually seem to give control to someone entering from the front door also. Convenient for most occasions, so if a house is used or a stock configuration that's what you're dealing with unless you tweak it.

Willie Lowman
January 2, 2012, 11:40 AM
I was just wondering what I was missing in my plan to carefully flip on the lights if I need to clear the house.

This goes against the "shoot them in the dark without clearly identifying them first" strategy followed by many here in T&T.

dyl
January 2, 2012, 11:45 AM
Just a note - to clarify a little more: in order to use a light switch in the dark you must pause at an entrance to a room and "click!". From what i understand the entrance to rooms are the places you do not want to linger. Part of the whole"funnel of death" idea is that you create a nice picture frame around yourself that visually says "look over here and shoot in the center and you'll get me" And thinking of my own home : how many light switches do i have that would set off a bulb right above me while leaving adjacent areas dark? Contrast that with: How many do i have that would light up a room I am currently NOT in but want to enter?

The one time i would have less hesitation in using the lights is if I'm pretty sure the intruder is struggling with a door still. But I think catching someone in the very beginning of the breaking and entering process is less likely if this is waking me up from deep sleep. I'm not so sure i'd want to walk right up to the door they're working on either. Wishful thinking would have the break in attempt while i was still awake and alert and my eyes not accustom to darkness - which would favor turning on more lights if it could be done "safely"

JustThisGuy
January 2, 2012, 11:46 AM
"I figure the odds of having a simultaneous power outage and break in would be astronomical."

Actually, the opposite may be true. During a major power disruption, such as during a hurricane, tornado, etc. Civil society can break down. Hurricane Katrina was an excellent and prolonged example, but the same happens during short-term widespread power outages.

... "Extended loss of power can lead to civil disorder, as in the New York City blackout of 1977." ... Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_man-made_disasters

It is good to train with a flashlight even if one's preference is to turn on lights.

Hook686
January 2, 2012, 12:07 PM
There are a lot of modern eletronic devices out there to help with home security. Motion dectors are constantly talked about for outside. Why not for inside also. Rooms that light up if someone is walking around in them do two things: 1) let you know exactly where the problem is, 2) keeps the light behind the intruder and in front of you. A audible alarm can also be incorporated into such a motion activated system.

With home remote monitoring systems cameras can even be placed to scan each lit room from the computer you keep in your bedroom to monitor your security system.

http://connectedplanetonline.com/broadband/marketing/att_remote_video_102606/

Bartholomew Roberts
January 2, 2012, 12:20 PM
It is difficult to use any firearm with a handheld flashlight. Having the light mounted to the firearm makes that easier. Having the flashlight is not a requirement to use it; but rather an additional option. If flipping on an external light makes more sense in a specific scenario, you still have that option.

If your plan for intruders has you moving through a house (children for example) then a light and understanding how to use them is an absolute must. Most people don't have even basic low-light training and have a poor understanding of how to use light to their advantage - as repeatedly is evidenced by threads like these.

MTT TL
January 2, 2012, 12:26 PM
You are blinded and cannot see anything for a short while, that is why you don't flip the light switch. /thread

Possibly. My light bulbs are slow start florescents that start dim and get brighter after a minute or so. Saves a fortune on electric.

brickeyee
January 2, 2012, 12:47 PM
And then you are blind in the next dark area.

Boatme98
January 2, 2012, 01:02 PM
My god, man brilliant! :D
Actually I feel the same. I have no use for the tacticool flashlights and all the other geegaws people are buying up. I'm in my house, not Afganistan.
Believe me, I can move through every room of my house in the pitch dark. I know how many steps there are on every set of stairs on the property (for some reason I've always counted stairs since I was a kid). I know where every light switch is. And I know where flashlights are in every room. They're there in case of power outages. It's my house, how could I not know? These are things everyone should know anyway.

MTT TL
January 2, 2012, 01:12 PM
Believe me, I can move through every room of my house in the pitch dark.

Not me. The kids are always putting stuff where it does not go.

Looks like it finally got warm enough to put in posts.

OEF-Vet
January 2, 2012, 01:18 PM
I had to chuckle at that last on as I actually did bring my flashlight back from Afghanistan.

I as well am comfortable moving around my home in complete darkness, I prefer to carry my flashlight because I am light sensitive and I would use my flashlight only after I see the intruder to identify the target and possibly effect their vision for a moment.

It's great to see the different points of view, I would have to say for the individual it really comes down to "What are you comfortable with?" because that is what is your best course of action.

Sparks1957
January 2, 2012, 01:59 PM
I'm in my house, not Afganistan. Believe me, I can move through every room of my house in the pitch dark. I know how many steps there are on every set of stairs on the property. I know where every light switch is. It's my house, how could I not know?

My sentiments precisely.

wayneinFL
January 2, 2012, 02:18 PM
I know the layout of my house in the dark. I don't need light to find my way around, but to see an intruder.


Personally, the way my house is laid out, the only light switch near my bedroom is the bedroom light. All that does is light me up and show my location, while blinding me to anyone who may be out there in the dark. I have to walk across the livingroom or kitchen to flip on a switch to see anyone.

As for clearing the house, the first thing I would want to do is check on my kids on the other side of the house to make sure they're safe.

This goes against the "shoot them in the dark without clearly identifying them first" strategy followed by many here in T&T.

I've never seen anyone advocate that here. Maybe I missed it. Care to provide a link?

Bartholomew Roberts
January 2, 2012, 03:01 PM
Believe me, I can move through every room of my house in the pitch dark.

Great, when you can also identify friend or foe in pitch dark, clear your house at speed in pitch dark, and prevent yourself from being backlit in doorways while also being able to see into darker rooms in pitch dark, you'll be halfway to not needing a flashlight at all.

Sparks1957
January 2, 2012, 03:04 PM
... I think that's where a hand-held light of some kind comes in handy.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 2, 2012, 03:22 PM
I think a hand-held light is always a nice option to have, even when you do have a weapon mounted light. However, if you are using a long gun, dialing 911, opening doors, or trying to get your children to safety, then trying to also operate a flashlight with your weak hand can be difficult... Not to mention that many of us would be doing well just to have pants and a firearm handy during a break-in at night. Having a light on the firearm already simplifies the process a great deal.

Like any other tool, it can hurt you if you don't know what you are doing with it though.

Buzzcook
January 2, 2012, 03:28 PM
I leave a light on in the kitchen. Anyone between me and that is silhouetted.

That's not why the light is on, but it serves that purpose.

Kimbertron
January 2, 2012, 03:28 PM
I keep flashlights in a few spots in the house mainly because i lose power alot. My primary home defense is 5 dogs though. What I really need for dealing with a home invader is night vision goggles and a suppressed PPK :D. I know I watch too many movies lol.

Sparks1957
January 2, 2012, 03:38 PM
I've always been wary of weapon-mounted lights, as they give a bad guy a point of aim. I know they free your hands, but that's why I practice one-handed shooting every time I go to the range.

My wife can call 911

Mike38
January 2, 2012, 03:48 PM
That's not nearly as cool as having a flashlight attached to your gun.

Yea, Tacticool.

Besides, with no light mounted on your firearm, where is the bad guy expected to shoot? With a light on your gun it gives him an east target. What’s directly behind the light? Your head! Just aim at the light, bad guy wins!

hsccox
January 2, 2012, 04:26 PM
I use cheap nightlights that plug into wall outlet in my house...not to bright, but you can see things at night.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 2, 2012, 04:34 PM
Besides, with no light mounted on your firearm, where is the bad guy expected to shoot? With a light on your gun it gives him an east target. What’s directly behind the light? Your head! Just aim at the light, bad guy wins!

A lot of people who apparently never been involved in any kind of low-light training seem to be under the mistaken belief that a weapon mounted light is always on. That isn't the case. I really, really, encourage people to test some of these ideas for themselves in low-light.

Boatme98
January 2, 2012, 04:36 PM
BRobt., I don't have any kids at home. If there's anybody in my house in the dark, I didn't invite them. A non-problem here.

BlackFeather
January 2, 2012, 04:57 PM
I don't use a flashlight. I can't use a gun, apartment with neighbors almost everywhere. We have ambient light from the Fish tank and my Alligators tank. I stay low so as not to cast much of a shadow or attract eyes and observe before I call the police or go back to bed. I have considered weapon mounted lights, but I also don't live alone, and again, can't use my guns inside.

I should just let the alligator roam...

Sparks1957
January 2, 2012, 05:02 PM
I should just let the alligator roam...

That alone would keep me out of your house. ;)

How big is he/she?

Willie Lowman
January 2, 2012, 05:05 PM
I've never seen anyone advocate that here. Maybe I missed it. Care to provide a link?

Sure! Here's a thread where people are doing just that.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=473736

Bartholomew Roberts
January 2, 2012, 06:37 PM
BRobt., I don't have any kids at home. If there's anybody in my house in the dark, I didn't invite them. A non-problem here.

I wouldn't be so sure. One of the stories told to me by an elderly shooter was one where he heard someone in his house. So he forted up in his bedroom and called the police. Someone comes to his bedroom door and it his neighbor checking on him because he saw someone over there and then saw the door to the house open. Luckily he announced his entrance well enough that the guy heard it.

However, my main point earlier was that a flashlight has multiple uses and that moving through your house is not the same as fighting in low-light.

nate45
January 2, 2012, 07:06 PM
However, my main point earlier was that a flashlight has multiple uses and that moving through your house is not the same as fighting in low-light.

Exactly. This is the Tactics and Training sub-forum and the ideas and personal preferences expressed by some posters in this thread are ill informed and not sound tactics.

Correctly using a hand held, or weapon mounted light for night time home defense is an important and potentially life saving skill.

I prefer a weapon mounted light, my 12 gauge, which is my primary HD weapon has a light mounted. Unfortunately none of my present handguns have rails. With no rail I prefer the Harries Hold, as pictured below, but there are several other methods. Also below is a link to the various methods and overview of how the flashlight should be properly used.

Harries Hold
http://www.iwillnotbeavictim.com/sitebuilder/images/jsw_hb_7-291x188.jpg

Handgun Flashlight Techniques (http://www.iwillnotbeavictim.com/flashlight_hold-page.html)

45_auto
January 2, 2012, 07:35 PM
I know exactly where every switch in my house is and can reach in, sweep the switch on, and pull my hand back in a half second. Why not do it?

Do you know the difference between cover and concealment?

Once you reach around and flip the light on, you're going to be hiding behind that "bulletproof" drywall?

OEF-Vet
January 2, 2012, 07:49 PM
Nice link nate45
It should shed some light on the subject:D

Ricky
January 2, 2012, 08:06 PM
I have a weapon mounted light on my handgun. It is VERY bright, if someone is in the dark and I light them up they won't be focusing on anything real soon. It also has the ability to strobe which is even more disorienting. I like that I have one convenient package, I can have a free hand should I need it. As for not giving the BG a light as a target, my guess is if he is trying to shoot into a bright light, he's using un-aimed fire. Holding the light off to the side (which feels awkward for me ) he might hit you anyway.
I would not be moving through my house with the light on and would only turn the light on to identify a possible target.

45_auto
January 2, 2012, 08:17 PM
It is VERY bright, if someone is in the dark and I light them up they won't be focusing on anything real soon.

Are you going to light up the center of the room, the left or the right first?

How do you know exactly where the bad guy is and where he's looking so you can shine it in his eyes before you turn on your light?

Ricky
January 2, 2012, 08:42 PM
I keep a low wattage light on in the living room, my house is not pitch black. There is enough light anywhere in the house to see if there is a person there. The tac light would be to identify that person. I figure about 1/2 second for me to decide to shoot or not. If I don't know that person I will shoot until there is no more threat.

ak2323
January 2, 2012, 08:51 PM
I'm a big believer in passive security when it comes to home invasions. An alarm system with a deafening siren, motion activated lights, re-enforced door frames and decent locks, 3 strong dogs...

If you can get through all that without breaking a sweat then you're part of a trained hit team and we're probably screwed.

If, as is more likely, you're Jethrow, Cleetus, and Billy Bob drunk and high on meth - you're going to announce your presence well ahead of time.

:rolleyes:

Ricky
January 2, 2012, 08:57 PM
I have an old Labrador retriever. He won't bite but he'll bark. I really don't think anyone is getting inside the house without me knowing about it.

Dwight55
January 2, 2012, 10:47 PM
Properly positioned night lights are the key for me, . . . I can see anyone, . . . anywhere in my house, . . . silhouetted most of the time, . . .

Also, I, like others, . . . can go through my house in the pitch dark, . . . anyone else will be banging shins, making noise, causin a ruckus, . . . most of the time including my wife, . . . :p

May God bless,
Dwight

Willie Lowman
January 2, 2012, 11:17 PM
Night time intruders aside.


I wonder how many people don't realize how well trained they are to hit that switch?

Wait till the next power outage and count the number of times you reach for a light switch when you know there is no electricity.

Twycross
January 3, 2012, 12:38 AM
. . . silhouetted most of the time

If I don't know that person I will shoot until there is no more threat.

Uh huh. Some people here seem to think that just confirming that somebody you don't know is in your house it 'good enough'. It's not. Sure, you can see in the dark. Can you see well enough to positively identify whether s/he is holding a gun, or a TV remote? Taking someone's life just for being in your house is generally frowned upon.

Xanatos
January 3, 2012, 01:38 AM
Depends on where you live. Some states have no problems with you opening fire on someone in your own house if they don't belong.

TheNocturnus
January 3, 2012, 01:55 AM
Depends on where you live. Some states have no problems with you opening fire on someone in your own house if they don't belong.

Missouri castle law lets me use deadly force on an intruder. If you break into my house and I'm home, be prepared to have several hot pieces of metal coming at you at a very high velocity. I'm sure most states allow for use of deadly force to protect yourself in your own home. If I lived in a state that didn't allow it so be it, but the intruder still gets shot.

MLeake
January 3, 2012, 02:06 AM
Had to wake some people up one night because their duplex was on fire. Didn't know them. Happy nobody shot me...

Xanatos
January 3, 2012, 02:30 AM
Something tells me when you went to wake people up during an apartment fire you weren't sneaking around their apartment quietly all ninja-like.

Pond, James Pond
January 3, 2012, 05:57 AM
I see some have clearly stated that they would perforate anyone in their home, uninvited, citing the laws allowing them to do so.

That is an easy thing to type.

Now imagine that someone is in your home: you see a silhouette, fire 3 rounds of your .45 at centre of mass and he/she goes down. Dead. You acted legally but later find out that there was a perfectly inoccuous reason for his/her being there.
Perhaps not justified or logical, but benign and explainable. Say, out of state locksmith got back home to his/her friend's place late from a night on the town: got the wrong house, wrong floor etc...

Before anyone states that this "would never happen", saying that there is no conceivable reason for someone being in your home with neither an invite nor criminal intent is like sayin that there is no chance of you having an AD/ND because you practice the 4 rules.

My point is that if you do imagine feeling remorse at killing someone who made a mistake and meant you no harm, perhaps it is wise to apply rule number 4 and identify the target as hostile first...

I can well imagine that I would feel pretty devasted till the end of my days.

Food for thought.

45_auto
January 3, 2012, 07:08 AM
Lots of incidents out there of homeowners killing family or friends who had quietly entered a home at night because they didn't want to wake the homeowner, and the homeowner didn't bother to identify them before shooting.

It's pretty obvious by the posts that very few people here have had any type of night fire training or even practiced shooting at night.

Skans
January 3, 2012, 08:43 AM
I'm a big fan of the light switch. I just need to figure out how to mount them to my rail system.:D

Bartholomew Roberts
January 3, 2012, 08:52 AM
Depends on where you live. Some states have no problems with you opening fire on someone in your own house if they don't belong.

Castle law varies from state to state depending on how the statute is written or what the legal precedent is. For example, in Texas, I must know that someone: 1)forcibly and 2) unlawfully entered my home before the protections offered by Castle Doctrine kick in.

A neighbor checking on me/the house because they noticed the door to the house had been forced open, or a firefighter or police office responding to a wrong address, would be just two examples of people not entering forcibly and unlawfully.

And to look at it from another angle... I've been in a force-on-force scenario where I was standing 5' away from a grown man who was speaking to me fairly loudly and all I heard was "garble wabblke blah warble gabble!" Was that "Don't shoot, it's your neighbor Bob!" of "I am going to make you eat that pistol!" I couldn't tell you. Auditory exclusion is one of the commonly reported side effects of a big shot of adrenaline. You may well see a silhouette and hear shouting or speech that you can't identify.

Personally, I think any plan that revolves around shooting an unidentified target has a bad foundation to it.

Pilot
January 3, 2012, 09:03 AM
I just put Christmas tree ornaments under each window. That way I will hear the intruder's entry.

In reality, I do flip on all the lights before I investigate. I have bedroom activated indoor, and outdoor lighting which will illuminate everything BEFORE I enter the room.

CMichael
January 3, 2012, 09:16 AM
You are supposed to use the light and then turn it off and move so you don't give away your position.

C0untZer0
January 3, 2012, 09:47 AM
This is just my opinion of my own observations of people's writing on this subject - but I have noticed that the military guys tend toward back lighting and silhouetting the target.

Maybe people learn a different mindset in the military?

I personally like the dark, I want it very dark where I’m at and I feel fine shooting a silhouette.

I have my house setup so that my defensive position is pitch black but unless intruders unplug night lights – they are going to be back lit.
Yes – your muzzle flash gives the enemy / intruders something to shoot at, but hopefully that’s only after they’ve been hit and hopefully they will not be able to return fire. A flash light gives them something to shoot at while you’re trying to shoot them.

Dogs haven’t really been mentioned in this discussion so far, but they are probably the best alarm system money can buy. Yes they are expensive and they only last 10 or so years but the dogs that I’ve had have been great.
I know not everyone can get dogs. It depends on a lot of factors. Some people live in apartments that don’t allow them. I now live in a condo and I have no front or back yard – that means walking a dog several times a day instead of just letting them out. I was traveling for weeks at a time in 2009 and wouldn’t have been able to take care of a dog, and my daughter is allergic to dogs… But having said all that, I know that they have great value in defending the home.

One thing that I ran into is that the motion activated lighting doesn’t work well when you have a dog, I had motion activated lighting and I also had a German Shepherd who would patrol the house regularly, so the lights were going on 4 or 5 times a night. Maybe that in itself is a deterrent, but not so useful in determining if you really have an intruder.

As far as just turning on the lights to a room…

If people’s houses are like mine – there are the light fixtures in the ceiling and the lamps that are plugged in. I don’t have a lot of control over the location of the light switches or the light fixtures. If you were your own general contractor for your home you could have planned the lighting with defense in mind but any of us that were married would have had wives that would have told us that we’re out of our minds… women expect lighting to be decorative, to light up a room optimally and make it a bright and cheery living space. They also want convenient switches. The people who build houses seem to have this in mind when they build houses too.
They are not concerned with backlighting a potential attacker and ensuring that you can operate the switch without being backlit yourself.

The switches in my house either put me in a backlit situation with respect to the room – usually backlit by a window – so I am visible to the occupants of the room but the occupants of the room are not visible to me, or the switches put me directly under a light fixture, or both.

Right now I’m just controlling the lighting to make sure I’m in darkness and intruders are backlit.

C0untZer0
January 3, 2012, 10:02 AM
People's situations are different.

If you have older teens, or people in your household that are working night shift or something... you can't just shoot anyone who is sneaking around.

You might end up shooting your own kid who is getting a midnight snack or something. Or shoot your daughter's boyfriend who is trying to sneak out - although maybe he deserves to get shot :D

People's situations are different and I suppose we could do scenario spinning ad infinitum.

I know for my situation - if someone is in my house they are not an acquaintance, friend, family member or neighbor.

My house is made of normal drywall with hollow spaces in between. I really have no good cover anywhere, and I think yelling out “Who goes there?” or “freeze !” or something like that is just going to put me in danger.

I’m not trying to lay a trap for anyone, and if someone is trying to bust down my door from outside the home, I’m all for shouting and advising them that I am armed and calling the police… but if they’ve gotten into my home, I’m not a big fan of revealing my location. I have no idea how many intruders or their locations. For me, I think it’s just a recipe for getting shot.

shep854
January 3, 2012, 04:37 PM
If someone's eyes are fully night-adapted, it doesn't take much light to actually hurt and cause reflexive blinking and flinching. As mentioned, just a quick flash will blind someone who is fully night-adapted.
I was at an IDPA match where we had a "night" stage, and even in low-light (for safety) and standing behind the firing line, a flash of light was dazzling.
A quick flash of light into the corner of a room can give time to ID anyone present, yet avoid covering them unintentionally with the gun muzzle, if the light is mounted on the gun; with the added benefit of briefly blinding them, if they are looking towards you.
We are all hoping, of course, that "they" aren't wearing NVGs...:(

Bartholomew Roberts
January 3, 2012, 07:06 PM
I came across a good read concerning a self-defense shooting in a Houston home invasion, using a weapon mounted light. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find it again to link to it; but here are the details as I remember them:

Homeowner knew he had intruders. He and his wife forted up in the master bedroom and announced they were armed and would shoot if they entered. Attackers responded by shooting into the master bedroom from the hallway. Homeowner exited to bedroom to deal with this. He used his weapon light to spot/ID attacker #1, who actually stopped shooting and lifted his gunhand to shield his eyes - just in time to catch a load of 00 buck in the upper torso/head. Homeowner turned off light and moved location slightly, then shined light where he thought second guy was, located him and fired second shot of 00 buck. He again turned off the light and moved. He turned light back on and confirmed second attacker was down and not moving. He then confirmed attacker #1 was still out of action.

Somewhere in all the hubub, the homeowner caught a round in the abdomen but was souped up on adrenaline and did not realize it until afterwards and therefore doesn't know when it happened. IIRC, he had around $68,000 in medical bills ultimately; but survived and no other innocent was injured.

Some of the things that struck me about the incident were:

1. Despite the fact he had warned he was armed and the first attacker was actively shooting, attacker #1 stopped shooting when he was lit up and did an instinctive reaction to the light that gave the homeowner an advantage.

2. At some point, the homeowner got shot, so it is entirely possible the light drew fire from the second attacker while he was dealing with the first.

3. I don't have a crystal ball to see into alternate futures; but it seems like a light switch in the hallway would have left the homeowner more exposed in this case.

Dwight55
January 3, 2012, 07:27 PM
FWIW, . . . I've been an electrician since 1964, . . . running a light circuit throughout the house, . . . one switch in the bed room, . . . is a real no brainer.

Also, . . . putting the light switches at the edge of the entrance to all rooms is easy to do.

Either one gives the home owner the advantage, . . . especially the first one. It would depend on the location, of course, . . . but almost any house with either a basement or an accessable attic, . . . could be wired up so lights come on in each room with one switch, . . . and it should not be that hard to do, . . . unless you live in Chicago. That should "light up" the bad guys.

May God bless,
Dwight

Xanatos
January 4, 2012, 03:25 AM
I personally run a light/laser on my carry and HD guns so I can always identify my target. That being said, if you're in my house and I shoot you legally, but accidentally it sucks to be you. Life isn't fair and you got screwed by the dice. I'd rather be safe than sorry later on.

Shawn Thompson
January 4, 2012, 09:44 AM
Motorhead, you can't just open a discussion like this without a propper acronym; it's a TLS (Tactical Light Switch). All kidding aside, why is your house dark to start with?

Our homes are the one place that we have the most control of our own circumstances, our own environment. It is also the one place where we can actually implement a plan for the increased safety and security of our family.

Take advantage of the newer flourescent lamps that are available. They boast longer life and higher energy efficiencies - use them. How much could it cost to leave a few well thought out lights on in your home full time? A few bucks a month?

The propper use and employment of hand held lights is a noteworthy discussion, as there are many different opinions; however, if your question is why not use the TLS, why not leave it on?

45_auto
January 4, 2012, 01:01 PM
That being said, if you're in my house and I shoot you legally, but accidentally it sucks to be you.

It's going to suck to be you too when you get through paying the damages for the "accidental" shooting in civil court. It may be a legal shooting, but if it's accidental, you're going to be paying for it big time.

motorhead0922
January 4, 2012, 01:43 PM
Shawn Thompson
Motorhead, you can't just open a discussion like this without a propper acronym; it's a TLS (Tactical Light Switch). All kidding aside, why is your house dark to start with?

Shawn, I have been enjoying the comments and wanted to maintain the general nature of my question without getting too specific. But since you asked, my house is not all that dark, at least on the main floor. I have a ranch style house with a walkout basement. On the main floor I have several LED nightlights and we leave a low-watt fluorescent bulb on over the stove. I don't like stubbed toes and this takes care of that problem. Except for in the kitchen, though, I'm not sure how well I could identify friend or foe. So, I'll flip on the TLS before making a life-changing decision.

We have wood floors that have squeaky places. This would probably be my greatest advantage, since I known where they are and what each one sounds like.

In the basement, I just have an LED at the bottom of the stairs. After that, it's quite dark and quiet down there.

BTW, we have an empty nest, just the wife and me. We had a dog when the boys were still here, but she has now passed. She was a golden retriever. Great dog, but she would have met an intruder by wagging her tail and wanting to play.

zincwarrior
January 4, 2012, 02:30 PM
If Im on the street there is no switch to flip.. I cant guarntee what the environment will or wont provide for me....

Now I understand some people also want them for the home which isnt the worst idea unless you have power that never goes out and there is no way you might ever be subject to a civil disturbance or natural disaster.

After hurricane Rita I had no power at all for 8 days and people were going wild.... The odds of needing a light might be low but better to have it an not need it than need it and not have it.

You had people going wild after Rita? Why? Where do you live? Up Waller way we had no issues in either Rita or Ike.

zincwarrior
January 4, 2012, 02:47 PM
I use cheap nightlights that plug into wall outlet in my house...not to bright, but you can see things at night.

Ditto. its not for security but to see about at night and get downstairs if an ancient wiener dog decides its time to go out. It does have a good effect in illuminating reasonably well for someone familiar with the house, but less well for someone not experienced with the house.

zenner22
January 5, 2012, 01:03 PM
Here are some thoughts. When we are pie-ing a room with a flashlight, how is that not giving away your position when you have a flashlight? Guy in the dark sees you blinking your light on and off all the way to the room he is hiding in. He knows you're coming. He probably even heard footsteps or noise from the squeaky floor, or you kicking a child's toy left on the floor that your blinky flashlight didn't pick up. Then when you pie his room with your fancy flashlight, suppose you don't shine the light in his corner? Suppose he's in the other corner. Think he ain't gonna know what direction to shoot? Suppose you blind him with your flashlight - so what? He's the bad guy. He doesn't have to identify his target before he shoots. He can just blaze away with his eyes closed at room distance in the direction the light came from.

This is all assuming there is someone out to get you or willing to fight you for what you have. A more likely scenario is as soon as the burglar hears someone get out of bed and someone turns on the lights (or sees a blinky blinky light coming from the hallway) he'll get the heck out of there. Most don't want to die for a laptop or some extra oxy. But for the ones that do, that's why we have firearms, to fight if we have to.

I don't think there is a right answer here. But in my house at night I turn on the lights. I consider flashlights to use when power's out or if I have no other way to illuminate an area. Not saying I'm right, just what I do.

booker_t
January 5, 2012, 02:53 PM
Eat lots of carrots and operate in the dark. A high intensity flashlight can be a huge tactical advantage.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 5, 2012, 03:56 PM
Here are some thoughts. When we are pie-ing a room with a flashlight, how is that not giving away your position when you have a flashlight?

OK, let's think this through. We are entering a room and "pieing" the room to clear the corners. That room is so dark that we can't use ambient light and dark adapted eyes to identify where a person might be or move, so an external light is necessary.

Now, unless the room/hallway I am exiting happens to be even darker still, I am going to be backlit as I move through the doorway. Even in relative darkness, I will stand out clearly to someone in the room. So is it better for the person in that room to see me; but I don't see him? Or is better for me to turn on a little can of sunshine as I move through that door that will cause his pupils to constrict and allow me to see into the darker room as well?

And yes, even in good conditions, clearing a house is dangerous. Even more in low-light. That is why people who do it for a living tend to have long guns, body armor, flashlights and friends with all of those things.

However, mostly you are describing poor tactics in using light as a reason not to use a light. A better approach is to get some formal training in when and how to use a light, and then use it that way.

zenner22
January 5, 2012, 07:46 PM
Mr Roberts, you have some good points. I wonder, however, if flashlight techniques are more valuable for law enforcement applications or when the power is out as opposed to a homeowner searching his own house for a potential burglar? I don't have the answer to that. I still wonder whether a homeowner should search his own house in the dark for no reason or if it makes more sense to turn on lights as he goes.

I guess this thread has me thinking, which is good. I'll do some experiments in my house in the next couple days and see what would work best in my situation. I have small nightlights on in various rooms throughout the house too. Don't know if that changes anything or not.

Willie Lowman
January 5, 2012, 08:10 PM
mostly you are describing poor tactics in using light as a reason not to use a light. A better approach is to get some formal training in when and how to use a light, and then use it that way.

And /thread.

Glenn Dee
January 6, 2012, 05:33 AM
While I'm not a fan of pistol mounted lights... A person who's been properly trained in the use of one IMO may have an advantage. Any flashlight will give away your general position, and progression. I suggest that people use a method not discussed here as well as others that have been suggested.
Patience. Wait and see what happens... Say nothing do nothing. Give the police time to arrive. Be prepared to use deadly force... but dont become the agressor. Even in your own house. Give the intruder time to make mistakes. Wait for help. Just because a law says you MAY do something dont mean you MUST do it.

shep854
January 6, 2012, 07:43 AM
Glenn Dee, you make a good point. Just about everyone who has trained in house-clearing (and found out how difficult and dangerous it is--even for a team) counsel against going after an intruder. Stay in one room, armed of course and on the phone and let the pros clear the house. The only reason to leave your defensive position would be to gather kids or other dependents back to the position*. This puts the intruder at the disadvantage of moving through an unfamiliar building.

*This argues for a house design that groups all the bedrooms near each other; on the same hall and/or floor if possible.

foxytwo
January 6, 2012, 08:02 AM
Massad Ayoob gives a lecture on this topic. He has his place rigged, and recommends that others rig their places, so that he has a master lighting panel in the bedroom. He can turn on lights at will, without physically entering a room, while he keeps his defensive area dark.

I have X10 switches in my house and can turn on the living room, front and back lights at the touch of a button. Hallway stays dark and everything else is lit up. You can mount stick on wall switches anywhere you want. Very handy.

federali
January 6, 2012, 08:31 AM
Unless you live in a cavernous warehouse, turning on a high intensity rail light will provide sufficient reflected spill to illuminate the entire room you're in. Experienced, prison-trained thugs know to shoot once to the light and once to either side of it.

I don't use a rail light. Instead, I leave small lights on which provide sufficient light to eliminate total blackness and to allow me to differentiate friend from foe without a bullet magnet (flashlight) in my hand. I also practice low light shooting.

Also, conducting sweeps for that bump in the night is a surefire way to get yourself ambushed and shot in your own home. I feel that having a rail light will give you a false sense of security and cause you to use poor tactics. The companies that make them don't tell you that because they are in the business of selling lights, not tactics.

motorhead0922
January 6, 2012, 10:09 AM
I have X10 switches in my house and can turn on the living room, front and back lights at the touch of a button.

The x10 stuff looks interesting. I'm not quite sure how the remote works; I'll have to check into it. Thanks.

Sparks1957
January 6, 2012, 05:12 PM
Experienced, prison-trained thugs know to shoot once to the light and once to either side of it. I don't use a rail light. Instead, I leave small lights on which provide sufficient light to eliminate total blackness and to allow me to differentiate friend from foe without a bullet magnet (flashlight) in my hand. I also practice low light shooting.
Also, conducting sweeps for that bump in the night is a surefire way to get yourself ambushed and shot in your own home. I feel that having a rail light will give you a false sense of security and cause you to use poor tactics. The companies that make them don't tell you that because they are in the business of selling lights, not tactics.

Thanks, federali. That pretty much sums up the unease I mentioned earlier when I said that rail-mounted lights were a device I was wary of. Far better to have some night lights placed around the house, and a complete knowledge of every square inch of the place. I do a lot of low-light practice with my CT grips when I go to the range before sunup as well.

FairWarning
January 12, 2012, 11:20 PM
Sometimes I chuckle when I think about guys with their $150 tacticool flashlights.

For one thing, it leaves no doubt as to where YOUR location is, which is not a good thing when you are being watched by hostile eyes. I guess one solution would be to have night vision goggles on your nightstand. Overall, I prefer to have all the lights in the house on if some thug is creeping around inside. I wouldn't go hunting for him (waiting to be ambushed) if I could help it, that's for sure. If I did, I'd absolutely want a weapon mounted light, so by the he sees it, there can easily be a high lead delivery en route to him.

Sport45
January 12, 2012, 11:58 PM
I'm a fan of back-lighting. So I keep a bag of roadside flares in the bedroom. As I move through the house I can strike them one at a time and toss them to the back of the room I'm checking....

Seriously, if I really think someone's in the house we will barricade ourselves and cover the door. We can wait for law enforcement to arrive and do any house clearing. The times I've gone out to check on the "things that go bump in the night", I turn on the lights as I go. I haven't bothered to pick up a firearm on any of those occasions. Call me crazy or call me lazy, just don't forget to call me for supper. :)

Catfishman
January 13, 2012, 12:01 AM
Flipping the light switch takes away one of my advantages. I know the layout and furniture locations and the criminal doesn't.
Plus it will blind my eyes just as much as the criminals.
Tacticals lights aren't without their negatives but on the balance they are an advantage.

farmerboy
January 13, 2012, 01:37 AM

nate45
January 13, 2012, 01:39 AM
..

..

farmerboy
January 13, 2012, 01:48 AM

Nitesites
January 13, 2012, 02:15 AM
Nate and farmerboy are obviously men of few words...and I am pro tac lights.

Sparks1957
January 13, 2012, 04:03 AM
If you post and your message doesn't appear, edit your post and write the same message; it will appear the second time.

Sorry to be off-topic, but those blank posts are frustrating. Perhaps the mods can post instructions somewhere until it's fixed?

hangglider
January 13, 2012, 04:11 AM
I dunno (I'm no expert and haven't trained for this--but I've had some real-world drills)--my dogs go off when the kids are doing a perimeter check of my house (happened more than once) so I grab what's available--usually my trusty XD--and do a quick survey of all rooms, my house is fairly small--so I figure I'm better off taking advantage of what I know of the house layout--rather than putting all my eggs in being cornered in one spot and waiting. Even in the dark I can see well enough from ambient street light's light--I'd never use any lights as that would screw my vision once acclimated to the dark but maybe a laser on a weapon. I know I'm giving them a potential target--but when they see me at the window they have always taken off--so far.

hangglider
January 13, 2012, 04:17 AM
Not a thread change--the other day I edited a post and then when I hit submit it mysteriously vanished erasing all content--don't know if that's what might have happened to others.

Gazpacho
January 13, 2012, 04:22 AM

Frank Ettin
January 13, 2012, 10:12 AM
A few things.

You knowing your house really isn't an advantage. If there is a intruder who is willing to engage you, he (or they -- there could be more than one) doesn't have to know your house -- only that you're coming.

As for a flashlight, the intruder(s) probably know(s) you're coming anyway. And if you think you need to shoot, you need to identify your target. You don't want to shoot your spouse, kid or house guest who got up for a drink of water.

We know about the missing posts and are trying to figure it out.

Willie Lowman
January 13, 2012, 11:36 AM
I know every situation is different.

The one time when people entered my home illegally, in the middle of the night (3 am actually). The first thing I did was get my shotgun. The second thing I did was turn on the hallway light.

Why turn on the light? I could have just shot them in the dark, right? There were two other people living with me and I wanted to know for sure that I was pointing that 12 gauge at the uninvited guests and not one of my roommates.

I challenge anyone in the "shoot them in the dark" side of this argument to show me two reputable defensive shooting schools that advocates against the use of tactical lights.

hangglider
January 13, 2012, 11:59 AM
I'm not taking any sides or advocating lights or no lights--just what has actually happened in my case. I live by myself with my dogs and my area has a very high rate of break-ins, so while it's possible, it's statistically much more likely it's the bad guys who are crashing your house than a friend or a buzzed mistake--and it's almost never just one person. I'm not a Rambo or tough guy, but I find it easy to grab my weapon and as silently as possible quickly scan the home. The heightened adrenaline/awareness seems to contribute--somehow I feel the most compelling thing is to scan all the areas of entry points as quickly as possible--it's almost instinctive. I could be totally wrong and maybe it's totally the wrong thing to do. I appreciate input from the pros (and yes I will get training soon).

Mike1234
January 13, 2012, 12:47 PM
What if the BG cuts the power? It seems to me that any BG with half a brain cell would first snip telephone, cable, and LAN lines then pull the power meter. Then he'll know his victim's only form of COM will be cell phones.

nate45
January 13, 2012, 02:00 PM
These blank posts demonstrate what it would be like trying to see an intruder without a flash light. :)

Frank Ettin
January 13, 2012, 06:28 PM
...I challenge anyone in the "shoot them in the dark" side of this argument to show me two reputable defensive shooting schools that advocates against the use of tactical lights.When I was last at Gunsite, we did a couple of "clearing" drills at night. We used handheld flashlights, and proper use of the flashlight was important and emphasized. The instructors we had at Gunsite prefer a separate flashlight to one mounted on the gun. The thinking is that you might want to light something to see it without pointing a gun at it.

BTW, one thing that "solo clearing" training teaches is why you don't want to do it unless absolutely necessary, e. g., if you need to get family members to safety.

Mike1234
January 13, 2012, 07:04 PM
^^^ fiddletown wrote: "The instructors we had at Gunsite prefer a separate flashlight to one mounted on the gun. The thinking is that you might want to light something to see it without pointing a gun at it."

That's precisely why I carry a separate light in addition to the one one my HD guns.

Willie Lowman
January 13, 2012, 08:15 PM
That's a great point, Fiddletown.

Excuse me while I place my Surefire executive elite flashlight next to my Glock/x300...

hangglider
January 13, 2012, 09:16 PM
Is the separate hand-held light practical when using a long gun too? Just asking. I'm curious--if solo-clearing (I assume you mean going around the house checking like I do) is a bad idea--what is the recommended response? These are earnest questions--not saying that I believe that they are bad ideas (which would be silly since I have no training in these techniques).

Frank Ettin
January 13, 2012, 10:10 PM
...I'm curious--if solo-clearing (I assume you mean going around the house checking like I do) is a bad idea--what is the recommended response? These are earnest questions--not saying that I believe that they are bad ideas (which would be silly since I have no training in these techniques). ...I have some training in this, mostly during several classes I've attended at Gunsite. Solo house clearing is a very dangerous activity if there really is someone there who means you no good and is willing to engage you. He will be the one with the element of surprise.

You may have to go out looking if there are unaccounted for innocents. But the recommended approach is --

[1] You arm yourself. And gather your family and any visitors/house guests together in a defensible place of safety.

[2] Investigate as best you can from a place of safety in house with your family. You wait and quietly listen. Does the sound repeat? Can you begin to identify it? Can you positively identify it as something innocuous? If the sound is clearly from outside, you look out nearby windows.

[2] If you can't identify the sound and believe there is a danger, you assure that your family and any known visitors are all together and with you in a place of safety. You call the police. You maintain telephone contact with the police. And you wait.

[3] You do not go anywhere to investigate, because --

(a) If you go looking, and there is indeed a BG there, you will be at an extreme tactical disadvantage. You can easily be ambushed or flanked. You may also have given a BG access to family members to use as hostages. Or there maybe more than one BG, one of whom can get to your family while you're occupied with the other one.

(b) When (whether you called them or they were called by a neighbor who may have also seen or heard something) the police respond, they don't know who you are. You are just someone with a weapon.

There used to be an annual event called the National Tactical Invitational at which some 130 of the top security people and firearm trainers gathered, by invitation only, to test skills and examine tactics. One of the events is a force-on-force exercise using simunitions in which the "Good Guy" must clear a house against a single "Bad Guy." During the first six of these annual events, only one "Good Guy", in one year "survived" the exercise and he was head of NASA security firearms training at the time. And one, and only one, made it through the seventh year. The tactical advantage of the ensconced adversary is just too great. And remember, these were highly skilled, highly trained instructors/operators.

These are some past threads on the subject. You'll notice that in general the folks who have had training and/or done this sort of thing for a living recommend against solo clearing unless absolutely necessary.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=317285

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=314788

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=328646

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=365308

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=383046

Willie Lowman
January 14, 2012, 12:29 AM
You'll notice that in general the folks who have had training and/or done this sort of thing for a living recommend against solo clearing unless absolutely necessary.


But... but... but I'll just shoot 'em in the dark. OK? That's what works for me.



Thank you, Fiddletown for another very informative post.

standard shooter
January 14, 2012, 01:43 AM
Isnt a dog/s there to alert where bad guys are? This is my first post but why have a gun without dog/s?

But please dont overreact because your dogs bark either.

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 02:56 AM
Thank you fiddletown--I have a lot to learn for sure.

Let me for a moment post not a hypothetical--but an actual break-in tactic that I have observed gangs use several times on the houses on my street and across the street.

House robbery is often an "initiation rite" for junior members. They usually come in groups of a half dozen or so, and usually hit in broad daylight when the odds are good the owner is away at work--but I have caught a group surveying my house and my next door neighbor's after dark. The property has probably been previously surveyed and they usually know what they are after judging by the consistency of what is stolen and how fast. Just like with the drug-dealing that is rampant in the area, they have "early-warning spotters" with cell phones to give heads up when the police are on their way.

The gang splits up and walks the perimeter of the house with quick checks of windows and usually meets at the back door/porch and that has been the favored break-in point, though they have on occasion selected a window. Doors are forcefully smashed in off their hinges or, if the door has a window, that is smashed and they simply reach through to unlock quickly and the gang swarms in. They know that virtually every house and apartment is alarmed--so they purposefully limit their in-and-out time to just a few minutes, knowing that it takes at least 5 minutes or so (at best, usually longer) for the security company to attempt to verify with owner (the law in this state) before calling to dispatch police.

The house is quickly cleared of preferred booty--(cash, jewelry and electronics-- especially computers and video game consoles) and tossed into a getaway vehicle or kids make off in different directions on foot. Because gangs "own" territories, that seems to be the prevailing MO in my area--but I do read about seasoned adult criminals who will hit a house at any time--and these are the guys who will most likely be armed and will shoot without hesitation--but many of the shootings that occur on a daily basis here are from young adults and teenagers as well--so I do not discount the possibility of a member of the "swarm" robbers is likely armed.

I have a so-called smart phone--but I have difficulty using it (have to get past the power-down, screen lock touch features and navigate to call function to make a call--something I have difficulty with even in broad daylight) so I'm probably not going to be reaching for it in the dark when seconds count--though my security system does have a "panic emergency button" which will bypass verification checks and result in an immediate police call to dispatch to my house. I have several kinds of weapons loaded and ready to go at my bedside--and yes, I figure the odds are extremely good I'm simply going to open fire if someone(s) forcefully breaks-in and rushes into my house. One of my dogs will be attacking for sure--but he will not be enough if there is more than one thug.

So that's what I'm most likely up against--I am interested if this kind of scenario is used in training and what responses are recommended--I can assure you it's realistic. This forum is a great resource for practical information for a beginner like me and the main reason I hang here as opposed to the myriad of other weapons forums out there.

Frank Ettin
January 14, 2012, 11:32 AM
...So that's what I'm most likely up against--I am interested if this kind of scenario is used in training and what responses are recommended--..There's no "cook-book" response. What you do will need to be based on exactly what the situation is and how it unfolds. And a lot will depend on what skills you will be bringing to the situation.

So you want to start with self defense fundamentals:

[1] You will want to know and understand the legal issues -- when the use of lethal force would be legally justified, when it would not be, and how to tell the difference. You will want to understand how to handle the legal aftermath of a violent encounter and how to articulate why, in a particular situation, you decided to take whatever action you did.

[2] You will want to know about levels of alertness and mental preparedness to take action. You will want to understand how to assess situations and make difficult decisions quickly under stress. You will want to know about the various stress induced physiological and psychological effects that you might face during and after a violent encounter.

[3] You will want to develop good practical proficiency with your gun. That includes practical marksmanship, i. e., being able to deploy your gun and get good hits quickly at various distances. It also includes skills such as moving and shooting, use of cover and concealment, reloading quickly, clearing malfunctions, and moving safely with a loaded gun.

All that might involve a number of classes, and I don't know what might be available near you or otherwise reasonably accessible. If there's an NRA certified instructor in your area offering NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home classes, taking both classes would be a great way to start. They will give you a good grounding in practical marksmanship and gun handling, and they will be a good foundation if you decide you want to go even further. They also go into legal issues around the use of force and both mindset and tactics.

You will also want to consider you security set up. If you have trouble using your telephone to quickly call police, you need to find an alternative that will be quicker. And you need to consider how to best use your alarm system. And you might also want to consider what, if anything, you can do to harden your home -- beefed up doors and locks, for example.

You also need to consider what your goal is. I would consider my job to be protecting my family from physical injury. That might mean that property will get sacrificed.

kraigwy
January 14, 2012, 11:52 AM
There's no "cook-book" response

That's the whole ball game right there.

Lets say you live in the country, LE response is 30 minutes if you're lucky.

You have to do what you have to do, if its by yourself so be it.

If I'm at one end of the house, and Granddaughter is at the othen end, I'm not holding in place.

Frank Ettin
January 14, 2012, 12:04 PM
...You have to do what you have to do, if its by yourself so be it.

If I'm at one end of the house, and Granddaughter is at the othen end, I'm not holding in place. That's exactly right. On the other hand, if you, your granddaughter and everyone else who is supposed to be there are all together with you in a safe place, your going out looking will expose her and the rest danger.

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the practical advice and analysis--I will follow up on training soon. I guess what I was really looking for was has anyone actually trained for "crash and swarm" scenario like the one I mentioned--because it's a pretty high probability if you're at home and your home has been targeted around here. So far the gangs have done well in selecting unoccupied homes--but it's inevitable they are going to hit an occupied home eventually, IMO.

Double Naught Spy
January 14, 2012, 05:26 PM
Originally Posted by Willie Lowman
...I challenge anyone in the "shoot them in the dark" side of this argument to show me two reputable defensive shooting schools that advocates against the use of tactical lights.

So to the first proffered Gunsite, I will add Thunder Ranch in Texas. Those are two reputable gun schools that teach this.

I find it interesting that so many gun schools and professionals tell you knot to clear your own house, then proceed to teach you how to clear your own house. As fiddletown noted, maybe you need to get to a loved one, but I am sure that most people who learn house clearing do clear their own houses when there are bumps in the night and very few have ever had to clear to get to a loved one when there has been an intruder. Nobody can afford to cry wolf too many times for a bump in the night and have the cops come out to secure the residence and then later come slowly or not at all for "another false alarm" that isn't.

I now have those stupid curly-q flourescent lights in most of the fixtures in my house. I can now step out into the hallway, flip the switch, and step back into my bedroom before the lights come on, LOL.

MLeake
January 14, 2012, 05:31 PM
DNS, I think that depends on what Willie Lowman meant by "tactical lights."

If he meant weapon-mounted lights, then your point is correct. If he meant a hand-held SureFire or similar, then your point is partially correct. The schools mentioned recommend against solo home-clearing, but they do recommend use of separate lights for target identification.

Frank Ettin
January 14, 2012, 05:58 PM
At Gunsite, at least, they don't teach "shooting 'm in the dark." They teach proper use of the flashlight.

And while they don't recommend solo clearing, they teach it because: (1) you may need to do it even though it's not a good idea; (2) learning to do it helps the student to realize that it's not a good idea; and (3) doing the exercises helps teach some basic skills like safely moving with a loaded gun, target identification, thinking on your feet, etc.

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 06:18 PM
I understand the reasoning and it makes sense--it was just my natural instinct to go seek and be mobile rather than stay put stationary and wait for the battle to come to me--I'm not even an overly confident or aggressive person. My CCW instructor (a SWAT team member police officer) told me if it's dark and someone breaks in--pretty much all bets are off for the intruder if you feel threatened in your own home ( I didn't take that as a legal efficacy comment necessarily).

MLeake
January 14, 2012, 06:19 PM
hangglider, don't mistake what is legal, for what is tactically sound.

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 06:27 PM
Yes--I just edited my post recognizing that.

MLeake
January 14, 2012, 06:46 PM
I think your edit went the wrong way.

I think your instructor probably meant that the intruder has given you a legal presumption of self-defense, and that legally he has created his own problem via breaking and entering into an occupied dwelling.

I don't think your instructor meant it was a good tactical idea to try a solo, moving engagement.

As others have noted, there may be circumstances where you have to do that. However - and I should note I've only had a very limited amount of training at room or house clearing - training tends to show that even working with a team, houses and rooms have a lot of good points from which a BG can launch an ambush.

Doorways are nasty; areas with furniture suitable for hiding an adult human are also nasty.

Barricading in place, calling 911, and making the threat come to you are tactically safer - again, assuming you don't have loved ones to worry about in other areas of the house.

Put it this way, who would you rather have framed in the doorway? The BG? Or you?

Double Naught Spy
January 14, 2012, 08:06 PM
If he meant weapon-mounted lights, then your point is correct. If he meant a hand-held SureFire or similar, then your point is partially correct. The schools mentioned recommend against solo home-clearing, but they do recommend use of separate lights for target identification.

No, MLeake, the folks at TR had absolutely no problems with weapon mounted lights for target identification in structures. As they realized and noted in the instruction, weapon lights are so bright that you can aim one straight down at the ground and still see everyone in the room. Sure enough, we could see everyone when this was demonstrated.

I really appreciate you clarifying what everone says, but I think we go it. Thanks.

MLeake
January 14, 2012, 08:14 PM
DNS, if you re-read the post over which you are taking offense, you'll realize Willie Lowman asked for two reputable schools that recommend against the use of tactical lights.

You then provided two schools that teach and advocate the use of tactical lights.

IE, apparently you were not answering the question he asked.

But that's ok, as you've got it now...

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 09:13 PM
@Mleake--I didn't say the instructor advocated a moving clear--only that he said the law "indulges" the homeowner caught by surprise in his home in the dark and has doubts about his and/or his family's safety. I'm not advocating the moving clear--or even arguing for it--I only mention that I've done it a couple of times without knowing any better because it was my instinct. In both cases, when the guys saw me in a window--they decided to leave the scene--I guess it could have gone the other way but I kinda get the feeling they are more likely to "de-escalate" if they are still outside the home and know someone is actually home. But I will admit that I have no way of knowing whether anyone is actually inside the home other than my dog would probably be going beserk barking and likely attacking. I'm thinking of installing motion-activated lights both inside and outside the home.

MLeake
January 14, 2012, 09:26 PM
Lights are good. So are dogs. Other things I've had recommended by some well respected instructors include:

Solid exterior doors, with locks and deadbolts, in solid door frames;

A locked, solid exterior type door between the house and any attached garage;

Landscaping that does not provide hiding spots near the house;

Lockable shutters, and locks on windows;

Burglar bars for sliding doors. Roll-down locking storm shutters for sliding doors;

A good alarm system;

An intercom system;

Verification that there are no unlocked crawl space accesses from the roof or garage;

Locked windows to the basement, if any;

Locked and deadbolted solid door in solid frame between house and basement;

No spare keys around the outside of the house.

Additionally, it was recommended to pay attention for people in vicinity of the garage before one uses the remote from the car - apparently it isn't uncommon for people to get into the garage as the homeowner drives in.

hangglider
January 14, 2012, 09:32 PM
Good stuff MlLeake--I like those recommendations. Gotta watch the window stuff--if it's a bedroom or guest room the law may require quick release for fire safety reasons.

MLeake
January 14, 2012, 09:37 PM
True, but quick releases work from the inside.

I am only guessing, but I suspect the big three entry points are garage, basement, or else unlocked doors.

Then again, the one time I was burglarized, they kicked in a locked back door that faced a tree line.

shooter_john
January 20, 2012, 11:11 AM
I haven't read all six pages, but I'll throw in m .02.
Once you "flip the switch" you have done several things:
1. Given up the advantage of surprise, with the exception of the split second where the actual light comes on.
2. You have most likely illuminated yourself to some extent
3. You have given away your approximate if not exact position... Light switch placement is pretty standard everywhere you go. If the bad guy wants to get you, now he just shoots at or near the doorway.
4. Unless you're going to stand at the light switch and work it like a 5 year old, you have completely given up control of when there is light and when there is not.

Granted, 1-3 also apply to using a flashlight, but #4 is the game changer. As a LEO and low light instructor, we teach our guys to use their lights as little as possible while searching for a suspect. When they are used, it is light on 2-3 seconds, light off, MOVE technique (Same concept as "I'm up, they see me, I'm down" bounding movements for those with military experience). In one's own home, a light really shouldn't be necessary at all until the intruder is verified and you've completely got the drop on them. I won't be giving up ANY of my weapon mounted or hand held lights any time soon.

And fiddletown has brought up the best tactic for dealing with an intruder... Let them come to you. Then hit them in the face with a tactical light and proceed with whatever course of action is necessary.

Mike1234
January 20, 2012, 11:48 AM
For a long time now I've thought of mounting highly directional ultra-bright LED lights on the opposing walls of every possible entryway... or from the ceiling if the wall is distant. Once the door or window is messed with that particular light is automatically activated glaring brightly and into the intruder's eyes... not into mine. A weapon light or handheld light would then just be a backup. A video camera could be activated at the same time sending wireless video to a well-hidden digital recorder.

Pond, James Pond
January 20, 2012, 11:58 AM
I've read these all, and it seems that neither solution is ideal.

I may start practising my shooting one handed, holding my nightvision monocular to my dominant eye!
I bought it initial to nature watch at night when camping but I may as well practice with it for HD too: sounds like the best no-light option to me!!!

If nothing else, my point shooting will get really good!!

shooter_john
January 21, 2012, 02:08 AM
I've read these all, and it seems that neither solution is ideal.

I may start practising my shooting one handed, holding my nightvision monocular to my dominant eye!
I bought it initial to nature watch at night when camping but I may as well practice with it for HD too: sounds like the best no-light option to me!!!

If nothing else, my point shooting will get really good!!

If this is a serious post, I must ask... Have you ever tried to walk and negotiate obstacles with night vision? Particularly a monocular?

Pond, James Pond
January 21, 2012, 02:49 AM
If this is a serious post, I must ask... Have you ever tried to walk and negotiate obstacles with night vision? Particularly a monocular?
'
It was semi serious.

Yes, I have tried and yes it is difficult, but my home is essentially comprised of two straight corridors, quite open plan, one on top of the other and, being my home, I know where the obstacles are.

I don't really believe that I would use this method, but I do think I might use the momcular to get a lie of the land.

All this is quite hypothetical for me as I don't think any HD situation would involve someone already in the home, unless they got in while we were out.

I see no harm in practising once in a while to see how such shooting might feel...

Mike1234
January 21, 2012, 07:21 AM
I have small night lights strategically place in all areas of my home. These are energy efficient LED units with light sensors that turn off when sunlight filters through the window shades. At midnight I can see well enough to recognize a threat. I still want to install some directional break-in-activated lights that will blind a threat so I'll always have the advantage. Again though... I'll have a weapon light as a back-up.

Glenn Dee
January 21, 2012, 10:16 AM
I have night lights pretty much in every room... just enough to see furniture, appliances, the odd toy left out, and anyone who shouldnt be there. My reason for the night lights is mainly that I have teenagers. Teenagers do stupid things, at stupid times. Like sneak in and out... at odd times. This is my soloution to the possibility of accidentally shooting the wrong person.

Nothing big... just 6 watt plug in night lights.

bikerbill
January 21, 2012, 04:42 PM
If forced to clear your house, seems to me you have the advantage in the dark, since you should know your home's layout far better than the BG ... in that case, a flashlight gives you the ability both to use brief flashes of light to locate said miscreant and a. blind him and/or b. shoot him. Preferable of course is holing up somewhere you can defend and calling the cavalry, but that isn't always possible.

Frank Ettin
January 21, 2012, 05:48 PM
If forced to clear your house, seems to me you have the advantage in the dark, since you should know your home's layout far better than the BG ...I don't see why you think that gives you an advantage. To ambush you, all the BG needs to know is that you're coming and from where. The latter is easy because rooms have only a limited number of ways in; and they're obvious, unless your home has secret passages.

Mike1234
January 21, 2012, 06:20 PM
bikerbill and fiddletown I think the poster you're refering to is assuming a BG who doesn't know his home... which is a SERIOUS MISTAKE.

Frank Ettin
January 21, 2012, 06:39 PM
bikerbill and fiddletown I think the poster you're refering to is assuming a BG who doesn't know his home... which is a SERIOUS MISTAKE.For my part, no. My point is that it doesn't matter. Even if the BG doesn't know the layout of the house, he still has the advantage. You may know your own house; but even if the BG doesn't, it still doesn't tip the scales in your favor.

Nitesites
January 21, 2012, 06:45 PM
Try playing "hide and seek" with your kids during the evening/& low light and determine who sees who first. Family time as a bonus?

Elkins45
January 21, 2012, 06:54 PM
Massad Ayoob gives a lecture on this topic. He has his place rigged, and recommends that others rig their places, so that he has a master lighting panel in the bedroom.

In most places you would have to hire a licensed electrician to do this sort of stuff in compliance to code, and that isn't cheap. Might end up being cheaper just to rent a dozer and dig your own moat.

I'm not engaging in house clearing. No way, no how. There's nothing in my house that's worth taking a bullet for and the valuable stuff is bolted down inside a 1100 pound steel box anyway.

Mike1234
January 22, 2012, 12:33 AM
fiddletown... I agree and what I meant was that any BG might be someone who is already familiar with our residence. Many crimes are committed by those we know and by whom we may be close to... sad, scary, and painful as that may be.

Nitesites
January 22, 2012, 02:49 PM
While I believe the safest course of action for all is to post up, call 911, and defend from a single point if there were an intruder or intruders in your residence, I also understand circumstances may present themselves and this may not be an option e.g., someone is hurt or being attacked, family in other rooms, etc...

For the folks with dogs, try going through your house with one at your side. It's fun to play and the dogs love it. Mine does anyway. It's fun giving the command to go into a room or upstairs and watch him actually do it then follow him through.

devans0
January 23, 2012, 02:06 PM
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the advantage for point-aim. On the home defense shotgun, center of illumination is point of impact and with one particular buckshot load that spreads very wide, the spread IS the bright spot. On our handguns, the bright spot is point of impact.