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Old October 31, 2012, 09:02 AM   #51
OldMarksman
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Home layout may influence the answer, but I can see no reason why anyone would ever want to "stay guard at top of stairs."

One's objectives should be to stay safe, to keep everyone in the family safe; to avoid confrontation if possible, and to be able to employ deadly force successfully as a last reort without getting hurt, if and only if it cannot be avoided.

On'e objective is not to ambush someone because of their intentions.

If I have time to choose a defensive location, it will be behind cover behind a closed door.

I have no reason to expect that I would be able choose my location, however.
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Old October 31, 2012, 09:53 AM   #52
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Pops said he would always make his stand at the top of the stairs because mine and my big sisters rooms were to the right and the master bedroom was to the left.

I would hate to advance up stairs, in the dark, under fire from an angered Vietnam vet with a Silver Star and an Ithaca '37 and No. 4 buck.

"Take the high ground and hold it."
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Old October 31, 2012, 10:01 AM   #53
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Our house is exactly like your pops was. Top of the stairs seems to be a great point to defend all the bedrooms from and no one has to relocate, just say put.

The night light is a great idea too and luckily I have one just past the bottom of the stairs in the kitchen that lights the area up so no one trips over the dog in the middle of the night. Of course that is not a problem since the supposed to be outdoor dog instantly became in indoor dog and has since become a sleeps in the bedroom dog. The risk now is stepping on him when you get out of bed! I'm nut sure, do 130 lb dogs belong in the bedroom? (I don't think so)
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Old October 31, 2012, 11:28 AM   #54
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Exactly

Quote:
Home layout may influence the answer, but I can see no reason why anyone would ever want to "stay guard at top of stairs."
Well, you answered your own statement.

Quote:
One's objectives should be to stay safe, to keep everyone in the family safe; to avoid confrontation if possible, and to be able to employ deadly force successfully as a last reort without getting hurt, if and only if it cannot be avoided.
Exactly
The best way for me to accomplish your stated objective is to use the tactical advantage and corner cover provided at the top of the stairs. Not to "Ambush" but to stop the intruder from gaining further access into our home. All bedrooms are on the second floor, and there is only one way up. If I do not have time to usher everyone into one room (and even if I do), the top of the stairs in my home layout represents the logical choke point to confront and stop the threat.
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Old October 31, 2012, 11:57 AM   #55
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In a further proof of point, looking at my childhood home from a military standpoint, the top of the stairs represents the "fatal funnel" and is the most logical place to defend.

As stated earlier in the thread, downstairs they are just a danger to the tv and Mom's lighthouse collection, upstairs they represent a threat to the family.
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Old October 31, 2012, 12:48 PM   #56
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Quote:
Posted by Archer 9505: The best way for me to accomplish your stated objective is to use the tactical advantage and corner cover provided at the top of the stairs. Not to "Ambush" but to stop the intruder from gaining further access into our home.
I see no reason to put my risk to prevent someone "from gaining further access into our home." I'll shoot when they are clearly after us.

Quote:
If I do not have time to usher everyone into one room (and even if I do), the top of the stairs in my home layout represents the logical choke point to confront and stop the threat.
If you do not have time to get everyone into a defensible place, you have to do what the situation dictates.

But if you do have the time, you have no reason to "confront the threat."

You simply wait to see if he is serious about coming in for you, and take him out if he decides to do so.

But that's if you have time. Consider three things:
  • Most intrusions occur during the day
  • Chances are high that there will be at least two of them
  • Their entry, if they decide to go through with it, will likely be sudden and tumultuous

In our case, there are three possible points of entry on the first floor and a couple in the basement that would bring them up into the middle of the house. Depending upon where we are at the time,, or path to the upstairs may well be blocked or unsafe ,and unless we both happen to be upstairs when the entry occurs, it is extremely unlikely that both of us could make it upstairs safely.

We'll have to defend from whereever we happen to be at the time.
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Old October 31, 2012, 01:22 PM   #57
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Quote:
Why would your wife be hiding in the closet, or anywhere else, instead of being your back up?
What would be the result if you go down, if she just hides?
She is just as capable to defend your family as you, isn't she?
My wife and kids are precious cargo. She IS the family I am protecting.
And yes she can shoot exceedingly well, almost as well as the doughter who I would also be protecting.
Our boy would probably sleep through it. 17 year olds could sleep through an alien invasion.
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Old October 31, 2012, 01:38 PM   #58
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Incorporating loved ones into a home defense plan is a stick situation.

For instance, from the age of about 13 on, or whenever I got my Mossberg, Pop and I discussed and planned for me to retrieve my sister and hold up in our shared bathroom. Mom's role was to call 911.

My girlfriend and I have a plan for whichever house we are staying at, in which she calls 911 and stays on the phone with them while I watch the door with either my Glock or the same Mossberg.

It depends on the family, I suppose.
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Old October 31, 2012, 06:22 PM   #59
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you guys are talking about maybe the stairs door being closed if possible sometimes right? I know this isn't always the case(is with our house...actually the top of door can unlatch and swing open too like a horse barn door).

in the bedroom the BG can't see the target(you). you can shoot that fatal funnel when you want(the door entrance and you easily know when the BG is breaking that threshold. the problem with the stairs is the BG's target is in a much smaller place if you are at the top of the stairs. you would also have considerably less time to shoot the BG when SHTF and the BG's target circumference seems much bigger all of a sudden. Now if you are already stationed up there that helps but usually if there is a break-in you would have to get ready after-the-fact.
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Old November 1, 2012, 02:37 PM   #60
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Another point; verbal warnings; Massad Ayoob.....

I'd add here that top instructor & sworn LE officer; Massad Ayoob also advises armed citizens to NOT yell any warnings or issue any commands when confronted with a violent felon in a home attack, just open fire and then deal with the subject(s) after you have them contained or help(local LE) get on scene.

I read Ayoob's older book; In The Gravest Extreme at my local public library 2 weeks ago.

He makes a valid point. Yelling or warning attackers may key them into your location or you could be distracted or even ambushed(some may say; bush-whacked, ). To use deadly force or fire at a subject, ONCE YOU CLEARLY ID THEM, is a sound practice.
I, for 1, would not yell; GET OUT or "I CALLED 911!", I'd ID the house-breaker, then use force if required in the critical incident.

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Old November 1, 2012, 05:16 PM   #61
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rambling post

I know I'm the minority in this thread but like I said in my earlier post: it does really depend on the individual, house, scenario, etc. (paraphrase). I just wouldn't feel comfortable on the stairs IN MY HOUSE. Sitting behind a closed door in my master bedroom, the dude is absolutely toast if he tries to cross the threshold of that room. I'm guessing he can't be stupid enough to try and open the door when my family is in there, but I'm sure most of you have seen the commercial(s): "This is your brain on drugs" (zoom to picture of eggs frying in pan). I also have a window if I need an escape, and I am not getting distracted wondering/worrying about my family. trust me, if your wife or kid screams when you aren't in their presence there's a better than good chance you might get flustered(flustered = not keen andor not on the ball). It takes someone thirty seconds tops to go underwater when they panic(become flustered) while swimming
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Old November 1, 2012, 10:15 PM   #62
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I live in typical eased ranch. My MB and my kids bedrooms on one side of the stairs.LR , DR and kitchen on other
Plan is to get wife and kids with the gun in MB and me in the hall by the stairs. Covered by the Halley wall , fire on anything coming up the stairs. And after they are own , yelling " get out, I've Caled police ...." Since NY sucks.
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:28 PM   #63
Darren Roberts
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There is no way to make a set plan. No situation will present itself to mirror your scenarios. Statistics show most home envisions are at night. So 're-enforce the bedroom doors and everyone stays in their room unless you and the wife can get to the kids room safely. Bar the door and defend if you must. Then yes indeed wait for the cops. If you go out looking for bg and get messed up then you have left your family unprotected. This isn't a movie! Don't get your family killed by being stupid.
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Old November 14, 2012, 02:59 PM   #64
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Quote:
Posted by Darren Roberts: Statistics show most home envisions are at night.
Every source I know of says that the majority of home burglaries occur during the day time.
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:25 PM   #65
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There is a difference in burglaries & home invasions. The first most common days, the latter nights.
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Old November 15, 2012, 02:03 PM   #66
Darren Roberts
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I agree that there are more instances of BnE during the day light hours. This is because most instances are for stealing purposes. Therefore the intruders work while no one is at home. Most instances where intruders intend to do bodily harm, kidnapping, etc... occur at night usually between midnight and 0200.
In the daytime scenario against the average thief, just your presence alone will cause the intruder to leave. Not saying everytime so don't everyone jump me...but in most cases yes.
Wherein, the night time intruder is far more likely to put you in a situation to where you will legitimately have to "defend" your home and family.
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Old November 15, 2012, 02:11 PM   #67
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Most, but not all, of the break-ins of occupied homes that have been reported in suburban St. Louis County, MO in the last couple of years have occurred during daylight hours--either morning or afternoon.

All that I can remember involved two criminal actors.
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Old November 17, 2012, 11:36 AM   #68
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If I had a two-story house, I think I might tend to want to defend the stairs, assuming you have at least concealment ... a bright light and an accurate weapon also are key ... we live in a one-story house with a door leading from our bedroom to our patio ... the backyard is fenced and the gates are locked ... but that means I have two avenues to defend ... the bedroom door leads into a short hallway which passes the bathroom, and the bed is set in such a way that I can use it for concealment for an attack from the hallway or the back door ... my wife has our bedroom cellfone and pepper spray (she's not much of a gunner) and can also hide behind the bed ... One thing I was taught was that you gain an advantage if you're dealing with your attacker from someplace he doesn't expect you to be ... I dry-fire lying on my side, facing the hallway and with a good angle on the back door ... most people assume they will be facing a vertical opponent, and firing from a low angle, I think, gives me the advantage in the early seconds of any attack ...]
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Old November 17, 2012, 06:33 PM   #69
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The stairs are a choke point. If the BG (s) are coming for you they will be forced to come through a narrow space.

I would also recommend that you install a motion activated light which will illuminate the bottom of the stairs. This will back light any BG while keeping you in the dark.

The light will also allow you to make a positive ID on the individual before you engage.
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Old November 17, 2012, 10:39 PM   #70
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Wouldn't a strong light pointed top to bottom of the stairs make your target well light an blind the target looking up the stairs?
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:35 AM   #71
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Quote:
The stairs are a choke point. If the BG (s) are coming for you they will be forced to come through a narrow space
the target zone for the perp(s) is also much smaller and he can even improvise if necessary.

in your bedroom he has no clue where to shoot and really cant except thru the door anyways. he(or they) is absolute toast if he tried to enter. I am outside naked on a cold morning with the stairs scenario...the odds are upped bigtime but I guess its doable....
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Old November 19, 2012, 10:45 AM   #72
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Quote:
Posted by youngunz4life: in your bedroom he has no clue where to shoot and really cant except thru the door anyways. he(or they) is absolute toast if he tried to enter.
True--and true for any other safe room with one door.
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Old November 20, 2012, 12:04 AM   #73
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Elapd. Concur with your suggestion of the spot light shinning down the stairs.

It will give you a chance to verify your target.

Young gun. Like my position to be forward of my family treasures. The bad guy has more options when coming through a door way. They can move side to side in the hall way outside the bedroom or dive through the door to the floor. If he takes the second option you are in a hand to hand shoot out.

On the stairs he cannot move laterally. His options are retreat, drop to the floor or charge. In any case he is still in a limited target area.

The stair also keeps you mobile. In other words you can retreat to an alternate shooting point should that become necessary.

I also would recommend that as part of your preparations you go to a safe place and shoot from a height which simulates the difference in elevation between your shooting position and the point were you intend to engage the BG.

I once lived in a house which had a landing half way up the stair. The point I intended to engage the perp was when he reached the second step above the landing. Roughly a drop of 6 feet. My shooting position was prone concealed behind the wall at the top of the stair.
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Old November 20, 2012, 12:15 AM   #74
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Both Sun Tzu and Von Clauseowitz said take the high ground. They would know.
Unless there is some other factor and all other issues equal, defend from the top of the stairs.
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Old November 20, 2012, 12:39 AM   #75
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Don't know where you live but to me you've already lost if they are in your house. Most of the people that climb up to get away from danger live in movies, their friends tend to run down the center of the road...
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