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Old November 23, 2005, 01:59 AM   #1
ALexK
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Home Defense preparedness questions

Two nights ago I was awakened by the sound of a car alarm at 4:30 am. I got up and wanted to check around outside to make sure everything was OK. Since I wanted to have my spotlight I skipped the 12 gauge I would normally use to clear the house and grabbed my .357 with laser grips and put it into my robe pocket, along with my cell phone. I fumbled around for a minute or two looking for slippers and was ready to go.

When I got outside I noticed someone rummaging around in my neighbor's Durango and the lights on it were flashing but no more sound from the alarm. It could have been either my neighbor checking things out or a burglar, I wasn't sure. Just then the alarm sounded again and the guy got out of the SUV. I shined my spotlight on him (1,000,000 candle power!) and he took off running down the street. I chased him for a little while to see if he would get into a car so I could get the plate number but he turned a corner and probably climbed a fence, eluding me. It didn't help that my robe was trailing behind me while running with all my nakedness exposed to the chilly air.

So about an hour later I was awakened by the sound of beer bottles smashing against my house. This really ****** me off so I went outside with the shotgun and looked around... saw nothing. This time I called the cops (my neighbor didn't want them called earlier). Of course they did nothing.

Obviously you can't shoot someone who throws bottles at your house but I sure wanted to do something. But what could I do?

So I learned that having shoes and clothing readily available is important. Also I would like to have a light on my shotgun so I don't need to choose between shotgun or spotlight (although being able to hide the pistol while knocking on my neighbors door was a plus). What advice do you guys have about home defense preparedness? Does anyone here carry non-lethal shotgun rounds?
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Old November 23, 2005, 02:22 AM   #2
Sir William
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First off, I want you for a neighbour! I honestly don't check out bumps, car alarms or much short of someone yelling FIRE or FREE SAUSAGE! IOWs, I tend to stay in bed and listen while I become alert and oriented to time and place. My neighbours come and go at odd hours due to shift work. One lady throws trash out at 5 AM. The simple truth is that unless my dog is barking in a specific location, I just tend to roll back over and go back to sleep. I have been awakened by one neighbours house being afire. I dialed 911 and waited several minutes for the FD to travel 6 blocks. The FD Captain in front of me didn't even pop his head out. He stayed in bed. I strongly advise against chasing BGs. It is not a good thing to do. You weren't appreciated by the neighbour, the BG knows where you live apparently and you are now aware of how useless the PD usually is in documenting after the fact. I suggest only responding to an active B&E at your own house. Harden your perimeter with fencing, get a yappy dog, install motion sensor lighting and don't lose any sleep over any insured property, yours or the neighbours.
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Old November 23, 2005, 02:38 AM   #3
ALexK
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Hey you are right, why should I risk injury when I wasn't in any personal danger? Maybe it was an ego thing. I did install a motion sensing light yesterday and my yappy dog was staying at a friends house that night since I was out late (it was my birthday).
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Old November 23, 2005, 03:07 AM   #4
azurefly
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I fumbled around for a minute or two looking for slippers and was ready to go.

That was wasted time. Maybe my view is distorted, since I'm in Florida and it's not really cold here. But I think that slippers are unnecessary, especially if there is a potentially serious situation going on. If you spent one or two actual minutes just getting slippers, I think you should have just gone out barefoot. That is, unless there is like a foot of snow on the ground outside.

But then again, I go barefoot almost all the time.


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Old November 23, 2005, 03:09 AM   #5
Sir William
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Happy birhday! I really have a laid back attitude. I responded to a scream one night a couple of years ago. I dialed 911 and grabbed my 1911. When the PD arrived, I had one BG and the second ran into the darkness. I held the one BG while the PD and SO searched the area. The second BG wandered up out of the dark. Both BGs were convicted felons, out of state without permission and one was on house arrest/anklet. The PD told them to go home, no arrests. I quit wasting my time and energy after that incident. The scream? The 14 y/o girls mother when she found the two BGs in her daughters bedroom. I decided to only worry about what my dog was barking at from now on. IN my house. I have lost two plastic lawn chairs since.
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Old November 23, 2005, 03:11 AM   #6
azurefly
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If nothing else, this thread makes very clear how useful car alarms, house arrest, and ankle monitors are. :barf:

edit: ...and, apparently, some police departments.

How is it possible that they found out these guys were felons committing a home invasion and there were no arrests?


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Old November 23, 2005, 03:55 AM   #7
Sir William
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As*I understood it, the PD was understaffed due to retirements, indictments of officers and activation of reserves/NG deployments and the flu. The shift commander decided to simply cut them loose and forward the documentation to the prosecutor. It can be maddening sometimes.
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Old November 23, 2005, 05:26 AM   #8
stratus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azurefly
If you spent one or two actual minutes just getting slippers, I think you should have just gone out barefoot. That is, unless there is like a foot of snow on the ground outside.
Or, you know, broken glass and sharp little rocks and debris in the street/sidewalk. If it's dark outside, you never know exactly what you're going to step on, and whatever might poke you a little when walking at a normal pace is going to really jab you a good one if you're running down the street like as in Alex's case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALexK
Maybe it was an ego thing.
I salute you. Only a very small percentage of people would just come out and admit that. I wouldn't put it off to ego alone, though. I think we all get a bit curious sometimes, about how we'd perform in a crisis situation, and some people - not a lot, but some - don't really want to sit back and watch a crime happen, though I'm sure that sounds cheesy of me to say. But I can definitely relate to the impulse to investigate.
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Old November 23, 2005, 05:46 AM   #9
The British Soldier
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There is a flashlight that is available in the UK that stores a charge in a capacitor and then goes off like a photo flash; but it does so at a very high candle power and is directable. Others kinds strobe and can induce fits, but they are not available for civil use.

Perhaps that kind of light may be useful; it is non lethal and immediately disorientates the 'recipient' [I never use the term 'victim' because if you are letting them have it, then 'you' are the victim that is fighting back!].

If you have many of these nocturnal 'visits' perhaps fitting your shotgun out with a Surefire tactical light may be prudent and bird shot chambered as the first round; if you have to shoot it may be a low lethality option to gain some 'noise superiority'. Never under estimate this phenomenon; on operations in Ireland we were trained to fire a full magazine of automatic fire when encountering an ambush. Sure it doesn't really hit a lot - I can hear you all shouting that! Yet the effect on your adversary is incredible when that much concentrated fire and sound hits them!

Naturally all you then have to do is pump in your second round, which should be something more 'sensible' like 00 buck!
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Old November 23, 2005, 08:58 AM   #10
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Nice neighborhood...the guy had his truck broken into and he said "don't call the cops???" I knew a guy who got shot at as he approached someone doing the exact same thing to his father's car. Unfortunately he wasn't packing (I think he was 17 at the time), but thankfully no one got hurt. Are you willing to take a bullet for your neighbor's property? He didn't seem to care enough to even call the cops. I would save running outside with your weapon and robe, for your own property or if someone's life is in danger. It sounds like your heart is too big for that neighborhood. My Neighborhood is a little more proactive. Most of us are ex-city folks that moved to the suburbs to try to get away from crime, so if anything bad is going on, the cops are called, and we are usually out in force.
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Old November 23, 2005, 09:29 AM   #11
Mikeyboy
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I would stick with the pistol and a flashlight. I replaced the shotgun with a pistol about a year ago. If I need to go investigate a bump in the night, I have a 4D maglight and a Taurus pt92. If somehow the badguy get a hold of the pistol, I can whack him with the maglight. If you need to check something outside you can hide the pistol, and not freak out your anti gun neighbors, by walking outside your house with a shotgun. Oh and unless me and the wife are getting "freaky" (which is getting to be a rare occurance with two small kids in the house), I wear some sort of pajamas/clothes when I'm sleeping. Consider yourself lucky, but you may want to keep a pair of shorts with your robe, I don't want to read in the paper, "Armed Partially nude man patrolling streets and fighting crime"
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Old November 23, 2005, 09:35 AM   #12
coolridelude
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i have slippers by the bed so if i have to check something i just put them on. so if i go outside i am wearing slippers, shorts, and no shirt .
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Old November 23, 2005, 09:42 AM   #13
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Of course they did nothing.
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Old November 23, 2005, 12:51 PM   #14
alpineman
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Also I would like to have a light on my shotgun so I don't need to choose between shotgun or spotlight
I've gone that route with all my home(land) defense weapons - AR-15, Para Nite Tac .45 and Rem 870. However, I live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. If things go "bump" in the night out here, it's most likely either a cow or maybe a bumbling possum, and neither of them care if they're covered by the muzzle when lit up. Your neighbor might not see it that way. For me, if there's a person on my property in the dark, he shouldn't be here and is therefore subject to having a gun pointed at him.

That's the issue with weaponlights - if you mount 'em, you have to avoid the natural tendency to light up the thing you want to see directly (thus covering with your muzzle something you may not be willing to see destroyed, and breaking a cardinal safety rule). I think weaponlights are really useful (aside from being tacti-cool!), but be totally mindful when using them - maybe learn to light up the ground slightly in front of the thing you want to see. A 60-lumen light will provide plenty of ambient light without actually lighting up (and covering with your muzzle) the thing you want to see. If you go with a mounted weaponlight, bottom line is: be super-duper careful.
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Old November 23, 2005, 01:24 PM   #15
model 25
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I live in a pretty good middle class neighborhood. For about a week someone was going through cars and had stolen thousands of dollars worth of stereos and other goods. We called police but they said "you have insurance so don't worry about it and anyway we don't have time to chase down petty criminals"

So having good neighbors we got together and set up a watch for the BGs. We knew the police wouldn't come unless there was a gun involved and if you were the one holding it, then you would be the one the police would be after, not the BG.

So it was my next door neighbors watch and he called at 3 am to let me know he needed help as there was a BG going through someones car. I grabed my 870 that has the first two with rubbber buckshot and the rest 00. I went out in the dark and there was my neighbor with the BG advanceing toward him.

My neighbor had a phone to his face calling 911 and a 1911 behind his back. I stepped up in the shadows so I was unseen. The BG began cursing my neighbor and comming in on him so I racked the first round into my 870.
BG reacted like a pinball he moved so fast in another direction.

We chased the BG as he runs to a car that has lic plate light out and he and his partner head out. The police show up about 15 minutes later. We of course got the riot act read to us about having our guns out.

Two days later the BGs made another trip into the neighborhood and one of the neighbors shot over his head with a shotgun. We haven't had any problems since that time last summer. Also no one reported the shot

Our community has a terrible Meth problem and the BGs don't care if you are armed because they are so fowled up. They are fearless when you are alone so keep that in mind. Also your best back up is a well trained family member.

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Old November 23, 2005, 06:09 PM   #16
alpineman
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Quote:
Our community has a terrible Meth problem and the BGs don't care if you are armed because they are so fowled up. They are fearless when you are alone so keep that in mind
+1

Forgot about that one. I guess my situation is a little unique in that regard, too - we've got 8 barns/sheds which would be perfect little spots to cook a batch of meth. Especially at night when I'm out it's comforting to have something with which to shed some light on the situation. The last thing I want to do is go bumbling into some toxic meth dump in the dark - during the cooking, using, or after the fact. Meth is bad here, too and that's a big reason why my wife and I are more mindful about being armed when out on the farm. A weaponlight makes us better prepared in that regard when it's dark. Like right now.
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Old November 23, 2005, 06:29 PM   #17
model 25
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weaponlight makes us better prepared in that regard when it's dark. Like right now.

My wife bought a Glock 17 and a thirty round mag(only puts in 28) along with a weapon light that mounts on the lower gun rail. She likes this so she has a light,a gun and a phone in her hands when she needs them.

She is smarter than I am

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Old November 23, 2005, 06:40 PM   #18
gdeal
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I don't believe in non-lethal rounds. U ever just wound a wild animal? U better run. That only makes them mad. U should never draw your weapon. If U do draw it, U better shoot. And if U shoot, it's to Kill. No warning shots. U R not the police. Futhermore in California anyway, U R not allowed to shoot anyone unless it is to protect life. So someone can steal your car and all U can do is dial 911 while they drive away. If U R smart all U have to do is give them your Lo-Jack ID #. If it were me, calling 911 would have been the first thing that I would have done. U don't know what you would have encountered. Numbers of people, Fire power etc. I would hate to be shot, maimed, crippled or killed not to mention make my wife a widow over a neighbor's vehicle. That good of a neighbor? That should mean U R poking his wife or something. But I don't think it is worth it. The first line in home defense is common sense. Don't be a cowboy and U R probably too old to be playing Army. If it is that bad of a neighborhood, sell all your guns and buy a nicer house in a nicer development.
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Old November 24, 2005, 03:05 PM   #19
ALexK
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Thanks for all the responses.
It is cold here, below freezing. Barefoot is not an option for me.
I live in a very nice neighborhood. I commented to the cop about that and he said it happens even in the best of neighborhoods.

It seems that the firingline community does not agree on the usefulness of non-lethal rounds or whether or not to investigate noises outside during the night.

I think in the future I will follow Sir William's advice and not go outside. Inside the house is a different story of course, I have 00 buckshot in my Mossberg for that. I do feel like I have a social resoponsibility to prevent crime in my neighborhood but I will leave that to the police (burglars and donut shop owners rejoice).
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Old November 24, 2005, 04:37 PM   #20
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15 years ago i exited teh house to find several poor minority boys standing around my car and one with jus his ass and legs sticking out of the passenger side window. his friends ran and left him, unsuspecting, so i grabbed his foot, held it in the air, and beat him on the ass with a fiberglass rod until the pd came. he was in tears, and was happier to see the pd than i was. the officers cautioned me, but were laughing so hard that it was hard to take them serious. i never even had to draw my sidearm.
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Old November 24, 2005, 06:37 PM   #21
chrisandclauida2
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if someone is throwing rocks or bottles at you that if hit you in the head could kill you are you jusatified to shoot.[if you cant retreat the legal president is yes]this has happend 3 time in my state. i personally wouldnt want to try my luck in this case but 3 different police officers in 3 different incidents shot and killd someone throwing large rocks or bottles at their head
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Old November 25, 2005, 05:27 PM   #22
claude783
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Sorry to sound so cold, but unless it's someone breaking into my house, I could care less what is going on outside.

There is nothing in my yard, (Jeep Included) worth going out and possibly getting killed, maimed, crippled, or sued...now, you have a gremlin who "knows" where you live. Are you prepared for the sliced tires, the spray paint on the side of the house?

Gremlins have nothing to lose...Gremlins have friends...family....and all of them are going to think your a S---thead and want to cause you problems!

Possibly a tennis ball filled with gas, wrapped with fuse and dipped in tar and tossed into the gutter system of your house. It just depends on how far this gremlin wants to carry the war...you have no INTEL on said gremlin...he knows where you live, how many people in your house, ages, probably where you work, where the kids go to school...get involved over the neighbors car, not gonna happen!
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Old November 25, 2005, 06:20 PM   #23
JohnKSa
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Don't care for "non-lethal" rounds.

They can be lethal under the proper circumstances (very close range, head shots, etc.) Killing someone with a non-lethal round is a very bad thing because the fact that you shot them with a non-lethal round is going to be seen as your admission at the time that you didn't mean to use deadly force.

You may find out at the last moment that you WANT a lethal round and you don't have time to swap magazines, etc.
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Old November 25, 2005, 06:30 PM   #24
BigDan35
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I have mixed emotions. Unlike the person above me who "couldn't careless about what is goin on outside" I do. If I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a guy goin through my car I'd go out and confront him. Would I do the same for a neighbor? Depends on what neighbor it is but if the badguy then took off runnin, I probably wouldn't chase him. But hey, we are all different people and we all act differently.

I live in a sketchy area in Los Angeles County. We've had a lot of weird things happen. But I do remember when I was younger, about 11 or 12 years old. Some guy tried breakin into my house...my neighbor I guess heard noises and came out with a 10 gauge shotgun. The guy took off runnin, faster than you will ever see anyone run in your life. The neighbor stayed outside all night, shotgun in hand, just waitin. The guy of course never came back. Anyways...irrelevant story, just thought I'd share.
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Old November 25, 2005, 06:56 PM   #25
model 25
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Sorry to sound so cold, but unless it's someone breaking into my house, I could care less what is going on outside.

Used to be the good people could walk the streets because the bad ones were locked up. Now the bad people own the streets and the good people lock themselves up. Maybe we are not good enough to walk outside

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