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Old December 4, 2012, 05:30 PM   #101
ltc444
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How does one engage a target without exposing ones self to the target?
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Old December 4, 2012, 05:51 PM   #102
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Quote:
Posted by ltc444: How does one engage a target without exposing ones self to the target?
One does not.

But the defender's objective is not to "engage a target"--it is to avoid becoming one.

When and if the intruder exposes himself to the defender, who ideally is ensconced in his or her safe room, the defender fires. And only then.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:47 PM   #103
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I am going to have to take exception to all posters who envision staying in a bedroom at the top of the stairs is advantageous to confronting the bg on the stairway.

That is NOT a good decision, . . . in fact, . . . it is a very poor one.

The fact that the bg is ascending the stairs means he is coming after you, and your family.

Waiting until he is on your level, . . . exposes the whole family to his gunfire.

When the bg is coming up the stairs, . . . you have a door frame behind which to hide most of your normal sized bodies. He has only the air in front of him behind which to hide.

Take him out while he is vulnerable. If he gains the top of the stairs, he has options, . . . in the stairwell, . . . he has option 1 (get shot), . . . option 2(turn and flee), . . .

Once he is in your doorway, . . . maybe you get off the first shot, . . . maybe you get him, . . . maybe he sprays and prays with a 16 shot semi auto and your wife, son, or granddaugher pays the price.

Basic battle tactics never change from the battlefield to the house, . . . from the kitchen to the church, . . . engage them from cover, . . . with as much concealment as possible, . . . engage them when they are vulnerable, . . . engage them when non combatants are at the least risk, . . .

Waiting till they enter the bedroom, . . . may as well voted for Obama. Makes about as much sense.

FWIW: those are the tactics learned as an 11B40, . . . light infantry platoon sergeant, . . . they work for our men in the sandbox, . . . they'll work for us at home.

May God bless,
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:10 AM   #104
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ltc444 & dwight

A)
Quote:
How does one engage a target without exposing ones self to the target?
B)
Quote:
I am going to have to take exception to all posters who envision staying in a bedroom at the top of the stairs is advantageous to confronting the bg on the stairway.

That is NOT a good decision, . . . in fact, . . . it is a very poor one
example scenario:

1) your entire family is in the master bedroom. the door is locked, you are "ready to go"(locked and loaded, etc, etc).....not even touching issue whether you decide to give a verbal warning or not, you know your home has been invaded by BadGuy(s) - if the door is breached the BG is toast. You have an obligation to defend your family...if it comes to that, it is obvious this BG had a bad day coming or was way out of line(for a numerous of reasons).

2) same scenario......you are basically evening up the odds Heavily if you are at the top of the stairway. You are exposed partially or part of the time(just one peak can be the last moment of your life)....you are guessing as the BG would've been if you were in the safe room. I know if I was a BG, you are an obstacle at the top of the stairs. I can think of many ways to overcome that obstacle. maybe you'll get lucky and I'll just leave. even if you have the top of the stairway in your sights from a better standpoint down the hallway(though I want to stress it seems many posters are advocating actually situating themselves upon the top of the stairs), you put yourself in a position of having to be at fire ready without a seconds lapse of concentration but even moreso would have to basically shoot immediately upon seeing any target(in my opinion).

bottom line: do NOT do the stairway scenario. you open a can of worms I haven't even mentioned...even if the can of worms is avoided, your odds are greatly diminished compared to safe room scenario. You are not hiding or being a coward in the safe room. You are setup for success if any idiot tries to break that threshold and you aren't exposed.

all the best,

gunz
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:45 AM   #105
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Quote:
Posted by Dwight55: The fact that the bg is ascending the stairs means he is coming after you, and your family.
Not necessarily, if his motive is to take valuables...but if he sees you, he may well decide to shoot you.

Quote:
Waiting until he is on your level, . . . exposes the whole family to his gunfire.
Only if he sees them.

Quote:
Basic battle tactics never change from the battlefield to the house, . . . from the kitchen to the church, . . . engage them from cover, . . . with as much concealment as possible, . . . engage them when they are vulnerable, . . . engage them when non combatants are at the least risk, . . .
Your objective is not to win a battle, but to avoid it if possible, while keeping the family safe.

Quote:
Waiting till they enter the bedroom, . . . may as well voted for Obama. Makes about as much sense.
Yet the experts are virtually unanimous in recommending going to a saferoom.

Quote:
FWIW: those are the tactics learned as an 11B40, . . . light infantry platoon sergeant, . . . they work for our men in the sandbox, . . . they'll work for us at home.
They might be advisable if your objective were to engage the intruder while putting yourself at risk to do so, but that is not the objective of home defense.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:28 AM   #106
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Like others, My house configuration does not allow for easily collecting us in one defensible place. And so we have bedroom based defense. Whether that's a good or bad plan in the professional view of things - a plan is better than no plan.

Both used bedrooms have avenues of escape through egress windows, which are not in direct line of the door, and both bedrooms have defensive weapons in them.

My wife and child have been taught to keep calm and let whoever grab stuff in the house, but that ends at the bedroom door. They have been taught to take cover and be prepared. They have also been taught to not simply open fire as soon as the door opens - just in case it's one of us coming through!

Last edited by anothernewb; December 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 01:10 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie12:
I have a mossberg 500. I have the BR's on the top fl (2nd floor). My plan is to have kids with wife in a BR and me waiting in hallway guarding the stairs making sure no one comes up. I do have some concealment - i can conceal myself to the side but will be exposed if I need to fire down the stairs. Is this a good plan or should I retreat with family in BR? I do not like the idea of going into BR with fam because I feel the BG can take a shot when the door it broken down or opened.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Doesn't matter where you "draw the line" so long as you can support it successfully with the least risk to yourself and your family.

My plan is a duplicate of yours for the most part. As long as they don't cross that line, my family is safe and anything else can be replaced by insurance.
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Old December 5, 2012, 01:15 PM   #108
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Quote:
I am going to have to take exception to all posters who envision staying in a bedroom at the top of the stairs is advantageous to confronting the bg on the stairway.

That is NOT a good decision, . . . in fact, . . . it is a very poor one.

The fact that the bg is ascending the stairs means he is coming after you, and your family.

Waiting until he is on your level, . . . exposes the whole family to his gunfire.

When the bg is coming up the stairs, . . . you have a door frame behind which to hide most of your normal sized bodies. He has only the air in front of him behind which to hide.

Take him out while he is vulnerable. If he gains the top of the stairs, he has options, . . . in the stairwell, . . . he has option 1 (get shot), . . . option 2(turn and flee), . . .

Once he is in your doorway, . . . maybe you get off the first shot, . . . maybe you get him, . . . maybe he sprays and prays with a 16 shot semi auto and your wife, son, or granddaugher pays the price.

Basic battle tactics never change from the battlefield to the house, . . . from the kitchen to the church, . . . engage them from cover, . . . with as much concealment as possible, . . . engage them when they are vulnerable, . . . engage them when non combatants are at the least risk, . . .

Waiting till they enter the bedroom, . . . may as well voted for Obama. Makes about as much sense.

FWIW: those are the tactics learned as an 11B40, . . . light infantry platoon sergeant, . . . they work for our men in the sandbox, . . . they'll work for us at home.

May God bless,
Dwight
Good post Dwight. I've cleared more houses than I care to recall during my 20+ year LE career and the stairway (like a doorway) is a fatal funnel. Easiest and best to stop the threat there.
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:55 PM   #109
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I apologize for not reading all the posts, so someone may have mentioned this but here goes.

I believe it is universally accepted that doorways, and especially stairways are really bad places 'funnels' to have to pass through when clearing a house. If everyone is upstairs and safe, why not put that 'funnel' to your advantage by using it against your invader?

The last place I would want to be is ascending a stairway with an armed opponent at the top. He would have the advantage of some cover and concealment, elevation, and reward mobility. I would be stuck with almost no good mobility or cover.

The top of the stairs seems like a great defensive posture to me. You have to pick a line somewhere in your house. It might as well be the at the most advantageous place in your house.
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Old December 5, 2012, 06:48 PM   #110
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We basically have two plans proposed for defending our family. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Some are based on the prevailing law. We have focused in on the stairs vs a safe room. I would like to review some basic principles which, by virtue of many years of training exercises both military and LEO.

One each home has different issues.

First we must consider a defense in depth. Passive perimeter. Motion sensitive lights. landscaping with thorny bushes under windows. I recommended Holly or blackberries in a PM to one of the contributors.

Hardened doors and break resistant windows with pins in the windows so they cannot be opened from the outside but can be raised from the inside. We must consider fire safety.

Cell phone to notify the LEOs. In my case it is a formality as the response time will 2 to 3 hours. I am remote in a sparsely populated county and most Law enforcement issues are in the far NE part of the County. Basically my wife and I are on our own in tweaker territory.

By nature I do not like to be confined to a "safe Room" with no avenue of escape. One must remember Murphy. "If it is hard for the enemy to get in, it is hard for you to get out"

In AZ our laws are not as draconian as many of the liberal states. Basically, if we have an intruder we are presumed to be in danger for our lives and we may shot the BG. If we do not administer a coup de grace and we keep our mouths shut we will not be charged. The exception is Pima County and Tucson they tend toward CA rules.

I respect the opinion of Old Marksman. He is one of the posters whom I have come to respect I have listened to him and I have incorporated some of his suggestions for my final defensive position.

The basic problem with a newly constructed home is that most incorporate a split bedroom set up. The master suite is separated from the children s rooms. ie the children are on one end of the house and the adults are on the opposite. This layout presents an obvious problem. How do you collect small children and get them into the safe room which would be in the master suite.

This layout means that a defender must position at a Choke point were the BGs can be delayed while the small children are collected and moved to the safe room.

The master suite is the appropriate location for the safe room. The family jewels (children and wife) are placed in the bathroom and the defender positions himself covering the door to the suite. This system keeps the children in a safe location with the wife defending if they should get past the bedroom. Once again we are defending in depth.

There maybe a situation were for some reason, say a family member (ex husband) may break in but due to the trama caused by shooting him will hurt the children. Ie why did you kill daddy.

In a case like that, the last part of the defense plan must be implemented early on. In every defense plan, You need a bug out plan and rally points. The fire evac plan is not good. You must chose a concealed location which is defensible.

Depending on your location and make up of your community, the house directly behind your home might be a good place to go. This needs to be coordinated with your neighbor. Especially if it involves a high threat like a crazy ex in-law. I reiterate you must plan and coordinate.

Hopefully, I have provided some food for thought.

Last edited by ltc444; December 5, 2012 at 07:23 PM. Reason: continue thoughts
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Old December 5, 2012, 08:34 PM   #111
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Quote:
I am going to have to take exception to all posters who envision staying in a bedroom at the top of the stairs is advantageous to confronting the bg on the stairway.

That is NOT a good decision, . . . in fact, . . . it is a very poor one.
Correct !

Quote:
The fact that the bg is ascending the stairs means he is coming after you, and your family.

Waiting until he is on your level, . . . exposes the whole family to his gunfire.
Correct Again !

Quote:
Your objective is not to win a battle, but to avoid it if possible, while keeping the family safe.
THIS ^^ Is where our opinions differ; Once someone has entered my home illegally, he has just become two things simultaneously: 1. A Threat, and 2. An Adversary (Target, Enemy,etc.) To think less would be foolish. There is a line to be drawn, the question is where ? If I can defend my family from a forward position, that offers me the advantages of cover, concealment, and the high ground advantage, along with my being able to be a moving, active shooter, That gives me many more tactical advantages than making a "last stand" type defense.

Quote:
I believe it is universally accepted that doorways, and especially stairways are really bad places 'funnels' to have to pass through when clearing a house. If everyone is upstairs and safe, why not put that 'funnel' to your advantage by using it against your invader?

The last place I would want to be is ascending a stairway with an armed opponent at the top. He would have the advantage of some cover and concealment, elevation, and reward mobility. I would be stuck with almost no good mobility or cover.
EXACTLY !

If you are cowering in a bedroom, huddled up with your entire family, gun pointed at the door, you have: A. NO Idea how many threats await to enter the room. B. NO clear sight picture of the threat until he/they are already upon you. C. NO way to retreat the entire family in most cases. and D. EVERYONE in the "line of fire" in one spot. Your singular tactical advantage disappears as soon as the door opens.

Make no mistake, when your home is invaded, It is already a battle for survival, and one I plan to use every tactical advantage to win.

Quote:
They might be advisable if your objective were to engage the intruder while putting yourself at risk to do so, but that is not the objective of home defense.
I believe you take the threat of someone in your home much more lightly than I do.

Quote:
Yet the experts are virtually unanimous in recommending going to a saferoom.
Really ? Let's see:

Quote:
I've cleared more houses than I care to recall during my 20+ year LE career and the stairway (like a doorway) is a fatal funnel. Easiest and best to stop the threat there.
^^EXPERT IMO !

Quote:
FWIW: those are the tactics learned as an 11B40, . . . light infantry platoon sergeant, . . . they work for our men in the sandbox, . . . they'll work for us at home.

^^YET ANOTHER EXPERT
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:48 PM   #112
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Quote:
Posted by OuTcAsT: Once someone has entered my home illegally, he has just become two things simultaneously: 1. A Threat, and 2. An Adversary (Target, Enemy,etc.)
He is of course a threat, but until and unless he actually decides to cause mayhem, I would not want to consider him a target, or to put myself at risk by exposing myself to engage him in mortal combat.

Quote:
If I can defend my family from a forward position, that offers me the advantages of cover, concealment, and the high ground advantage, along with my being able to be a moving, active shooter, ...
Cover, concealment, moving, active...several contradictions there.

Can you cite any recognized experts who recommend anything other than a saferoom strategy for home defense?
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:37 AM   #113
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He is of course a threat, but until and unless he actually decides to cause mayhem, I would not want to consider him a target,
You, of course, are free to make that assessment. I consider someone who has already broken in my home as an immediate dangerous threat. He/they could be after my TV, or my Wife or Granddaughter, or one of my Sons. I am not gonna discuss his intentions with him/them.

Outside my home, I will try and avoid a confrontation if at all possible, Inside, no such "benefit of doubt" exists.

Quote:
Cover, concealment, moving, active...several contradictions there.
Not contradictions, Options. I can use them all to My advantage, especially inside my home. I know the layout, the BG(s) likely won't. (If they are intimate enough to know the layout, they also likely know they have entered a very "gun friendly" environment as well, that makes them even more dangerous in my mind)

Quote:
Can you cite any recognized experts who recommend anything other than a saferoom strategy for home defense?
I cited Dwight55 and 481. A combat veteran, and a veteran LEO. I think either qualify as "experts" in the areas of defense and (equally important) offense. Are they "recognized"? I have no idea if either has been published in an authentic article or book But, They have both survived more dangerous situations than the average Joe, and can offer "first hand" advice, I personally hold that in equally high regard.

Also, you keep using the word "saferoom" There is a huge difference in a Saferoom and an ordinary Bedroom like the ones found in the average stick house, consult your experts on this subject.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:39 AM   #114
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Quote:
Posted by OuTcAsT: I consider someone who has already broken in my home as an immediate dangerous threat. He/they could be after my TV, or my Wife or Granddaughter, or one of my Sons. I am not gonna discuss his intentions with him/them.

Outside my home, I will try and avoid a confrontation if at all possible, Inside, no such "benefit of doubt" exists.
Of course. That is the basis of the principles of the castle doctrine, which were long rooted in ancient common law.

It means that you are afforded a legal presumption that the intruder presents an imminent threat of serious harm to the occupants, sufficient to justify the lawful employment of deadly force. It does not mean that your mission is to search and destroy, or to effect capture. Nor does it imply that the intruder constitutes a "target" until he presents himself as one.

Quote:
I cited Dwight55 and 481. A combat veteran, and a veteran LEO. I think either qualify as "experts" in this arena.
No, not in this "arena." You seem determined to continue confuse the role of the home defender with those of persons engaged in in combat or law enforcement.

The duties of sworn officers and those of combat soldiers differ markedly from the responsibilities of the civilian defender.

The sworn officer's team must find and apprehend a suspect, and put him in custody. The soldier's team must destroy the enemy's ability to fight. While due caution will be exercised and we hope that neither will be harmed, both duties must take precedence over their own personal safety. Should either be hurt or killed, his or her fellow officers or fellow squad members will replace them and perform their duties. And of course, we will recognize them for valor after the fact.

The civilian defender has no responsibility to find an invader and shoot him or to arrest him. His sole responsibility is to defend his family. Should he killed or seriously injured, there is no one to immediately replace him. He has the valuable luxury of letting the threat come to him.

Thus, the battle analogies and house-clearing tactics are not applicable here, and someone who has engaged in one or the other is not automatically considered an expert in home defense.

Quote:
Also, you keep using the word "saferoom" There is a huge difference in a Saferoom and an ordinary Bedroom like the ones found in the average stick house, consult your experts on this subject.
The discussion at hand is whether it is better to defend from a saferoom, if getting everyone into one is possible under the circumstances, or to go somewhere and expose oneself to danger with the hope of "defending the high ground." The vast majority of the recognized experts in the subject of hole defense advise the former.
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:06 AM   #115
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LTC444, thank you for your post. Are you saying it will take three hours for LE to reach your residence? That seems like a very long time. Also, use the home phone..not the cellphone because a home phone gives them the residence address immediately even if it is a hangup. you can say emergency, home invasion...that way you don't get stuck holding the bag talking to them. Many panicked, phonecallers are killed while talking. I am not suggesting you are one of them, just that cellphones cause added issues: just one neing you must stay on the phone to at least give the address you are at taking more time(they also may times have worse connections). they can also call back which is a tipoff to intruders. Lastly I didn't use quotes from your last, descriptive post(and again I appreciated the thought you put into it plus can appreciate your points), the saferoom often has many escape route. Our saferoom has a window that can go directly onto a roof, but there are others as well if it had to be done(2nd story bathroom window as unwanted example). A shotgun blast to that doorway would take out everything in the vicinity of the hallway....not so much down the stairs in no man's land.

For a second time I must point out that someone in a saferoom isn't cowering down or huddled with his family scared. ltc444 didn't say this but it was mentioned. I believe there are more sfaeroom believers on this thread that may have moved on. Anyways, I am trying to stay out of the melee here, but I wanted to add this post.

all the best

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Old December 6, 2012, 09:39 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc444
...In AZ our laws are not as draconian as many of the liberal states. Basically, if we have an intruder we are presumed to be in danger for our lives and we may shot the BG. If we do not administer a coup de grace and we keep our mouths shut we will not be charged. The exception is Pima County and Tucson they tend toward CA rules...
You really need to get your facts straight.

[1] The same presumption applies in many States, including California (California Penal Code 198.5).

[2] As with most similar presumptions they apply only (ARS13-418) if the defender knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used was unlawfully or forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcefully entered, the residence (i. e., he's not you daughter's boyfriend who she sneaked in). So you will still need to put forward evidence of your knowledge or belief to have the advantage of the presumption.

[3] Since this is an Arizona state statute, it applies in Tucson and Pima County.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:10 PM   #117
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I'm sorry, but as a combat veteran, my mindset in fighting the bad guys is the same whether it be in some god forsaken valley where I have to stop after very step to breath or if I'm in my slippers and boxers dragging my sister into the bathroom as I shove buckshot into my Mossberg.

That burglar who decided to come up the stairs is no longer just a thief, he is now threatening my family.

I will defend against him using every ounce last ounce of fight in me, whether be poking in the eye like I learned on the playground or defending a fatal funnel like I learned in the Army.

My house. My family.
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Old December 6, 2012, 04:10 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMarksman:
No, not in this "arena." You seem determined to continue confuse the role of the home defender with those of persons engaged in in combat or law enforcement.

The duties of sworn officers and those of combat soldiers differ markedly from the responsibilities of the civilian defender.

The sworn officer's team must find and apprehend a suspect, and put him in custody. The soldier's team must destroy the enemy's ability to fight. While due caution will be exercised and we hope that neither will be harmed, both duties must take precedence over their own personal safety. Should either be hurt or killed, his or her fellow officers or fellow squad members will replace them and perform their duties. And of course, we will recognize them for valor after the fact.

The civilian defender has no responsibility to find an invader and shoot him or to arrest him. His sole responsibility is to defend his family. Should he killed or seriously injured, there is no one to immediately replace him. He has the valuable luxury of letting the threat come to him.

Thus, the battle analogies and house-clearing tactics are not applicable here, and someone who has engaged in one or the other is not automatically considered an expert in home defense.
Not when we are defending our homes they don't. The experience and skills that our police officers and soldiers possess are just as applicable when it is their personal well-being and that of their families on the line. It is not as if suddenly we forget all that we've learned or are constrained somehow from using the knowledge and training we've gained as a result of our chosen careers in order to protect "us and ours".

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPEMack618:
...or if I'm in my slippers and boxers dragging my sister into the bathroom as I shove buckshot into my Mossberg.
No one in their right mind (not that a burglar/home invader is) would wanna face an experienced combat veteran under those circumstances- well, at least I wouldn't.
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Old December 6, 2012, 05:37 PM   #119
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Posted by 481: The experience and skills that our police officers and soldiers possess are just as applicable when it is their personal well-being and that of their families on the line. It is not as if suddenly we forget all that we've learned or are constrained somehow from using the knowledge and training we've gained as a result of our chosen careers in order to protect "us and ours".
Of course the skills and training apply, but when a combat soldier is defending his home in a civilian setting, or when a sworn officer is defending his home in another jurisdiction, his sole responsibility is defending his family, which obviously entails putting self preservation at the top of the priority list. He has no obligation to seek, find, pursue, disarm, or detain the perps. He has no responsibility to defeat them because of what they might do them except at the point at which that becomes immediately necessary to defend against death or serious bodily harm--regardless of why the perps entered the house in the first place.

He thus has the luxury of letting the threat come to him.

Of course, that is if that becomes possible. There is no reason to expect dangerous, violent criminal actors to enter the house at night when the family members are in their sleeping quarters, and no reason to expect that they will conveniently allow the time for the defenders to get to a saferoom and lock the door. The defensive strategy will be dictated by the home layout, by when and where the residents happen to be when entry is made, and how and where entry is made.

At that point, the experience and skills to which you refer will become paramount.
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:04 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldmarksman:
Of course the skills and training apply, but when a combat soldier is defending his home in a civilian setting, or when a sworn officer is defending his home in another jurisdiction, his sole responsibility is defending his family, which obviously entails putting self preservation at the top of the priority list. He has no obligation to seek, find, pursue, disarm, or detain the perps. He has no responsibility to defeat them because of what they might do them except at the point at which that becomes immediately necessary to defend against death or serious bodily harm--regardless of why the perps entered the house in the first place.
I never suggested otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldmarksman:
Of course, that is if that becomes possible. There is no reason to expect dangerous, violent criminal actors to enter the house at night when the family members are in their sleeping quarters,....
I don't know that I'd be so quick to rule out any such threat during the "night season" at least in my neck of the woods. Seems to me, based upon much of what I've seen in the field over the years, that night time is favored by the predatory offender for its ability to conceal movement and that most folks are generally asleep at that time making them less likely to engage in a coherent response to violent assault.
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:41 PM   #121
OuTcAsT
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Quote:
You seem determined to continue confuse the role of the home defender with those of persons engaged in in combat or law enforcement.
Nope, no confusion here, if someone enters my home illegally the situation has instantly become one of combat for survival. The same tactics apply anywhere.

Quote:
the battle analogies and house-clearing tactics are not applicable here, and someone who has engaged in one or the other is not automatically considered an expert in home defense.
If that is your opinion, you are certainly entitled to it, as for me, the empirical advice of seasoned veterans is much more convincing, and logical than anecdotal advice from other sources.
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:23 PM   #122
therealdeal
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the thing is our weapons are in the bedroom/saferoom as well as my wife & I sleeping next to the phone. once the alarm signals a breach(at onset no way to tell if it is motion detector in home, window, or door), I would have to head to the stairs and setup shop if I went that route. I would probably be loading 00 buck into my mossberg so these clowns got that instead of hollowpoints if push came to shove....
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:27 PM   #123
Frank Ettin
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Getting stale and repetitive -- time to end it. There's some good information here.
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