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Old January 2, 2012, 10:47 PM   #51
Dwight55
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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, . . .

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Old January 2, 2012, 11:17 PM   #52
Willie Lowman
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 12:38 AM   #53
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. . . silhouetted most of the time
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:38 AM   #54
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:55 AM   #55
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 02:06 AM   #56
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Had to wake some people up one night because their duplex was on fire. Didn't know them. Happy nobody shot me...
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Old January 3, 2012, 02:30 AM   #57
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 05:57 AM   #58
Pond, James Pond
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 07:08 AM   #59
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 08:43 AM   #60
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I'm a big fan of the light switch. I just need to figure out how to mount them to my rail system.
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Old January 3, 2012, 08:52 AM   #61
Bartholomew Roberts
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 09:03 AM   #62
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 09:16 AM   #63
CMichael
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You are supposed to use the light and then turn it off and move so you don't give away your position.
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Old January 3, 2012, 09:47 AM   #64
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 10:02 AM   #65
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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

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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 04:37 PM   #66
shep854
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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...
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Old January 3, 2012, 07:06 PM   #67
Bartholomew Roberts
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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.
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Old January 3, 2012, 07:27 PM   #68
Dwight55
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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,
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Old January 4, 2012, 03:25 AM   #69
Xanatos
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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.
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Old January 4, 2012, 09:44 AM   #70
Shawn Thompson
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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?
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Old January 4, 2012, 01:01 PM   #71
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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.
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Old January 4, 2012, 01:43 PM   #72
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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.
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Old January 4, 2012, 02:30 PM   #73
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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.
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Old January 4, 2012, 02:47 PM   #74
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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.
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Old January 5, 2012, 01:03 PM   #75
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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.
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