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Old January 13, 2012, 02:00 PM   #101
nate45
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These blank posts demonstrate what it would be like trying to see an intruder without a flash light.
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Old January 13, 2012, 06:28 PM   #102
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Lowman
...I challenge anyone in the "shoot them in the dark" side of this argument to show me two reputable defensive shooting schools that advocates against the use of tactical lights.
When I was last at Gunsite, we did a couple of "clearing" drills at night. We used handheld flashlights, and proper use of the flashlight was important and emphasized. The instructors we had at Gunsite prefer a separate flashlight to one mounted on the gun. The thinking is that you might want to light something to see it without pointing a gun at it.

BTW, one thing that "solo clearing" training teaches is why you don't want to do it unless absolutely necessary, e. g., if you need to get family members to safety.
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Old January 13, 2012, 07:04 PM   #103
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^^^ fiddletown wrote: "The instructors we had at Gunsite prefer a separate flashlight to one mounted on the gun. The thinking is that you might want to light something to see it without pointing a gun at it."

That's precisely why I carry a separate light in addition to the one one my HD guns.
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Old January 13, 2012, 08:15 PM   #104
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That's a great point, Fiddletown.

Excuse me while I place my Surefire executive elite flashlight next to my Glock/x300...
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Old January 13, 2012, 09:16 PM   #105
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Is the separate hand-held light practical when using a long gun too? Just asking. I'm curious--if solo-clearing (I assume you mean going around the house checking like I do) is a bad idea--what is the recommended response? These are earnest questions--not saying that I believe that they are bad ideas (which would be silly since I have no training in these techniques).
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Old January 13, 2012, 10:10 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hangglider
...I'm curious--if solo-clearing (I assume you mean going around the house checking like I do) is a bad idea--what is the recommended response? These are earnest questions--not saying that I believe that they are bad ideas (which would be silly since I have no training in these techniques). ...
I have some training in this, mostly during several classes I've attended at Gunsite. Solo house clearing is a very dangerous activity if there really is someone there who means you no good and is willing to engage you. He will be the one with the element of surprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=383046
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Old January 14, 2012, 12:29 AM   #107
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Quote:
You'll notice that in general the folks who have had training and/or done this sort of thing for a living recommend against solo clearing unless absolutely necessary.
[sarcasm]But... but... but I'll just shoot 'em in the dark. OK? That's what works for me. [/sarcasm]



Thank you, Fiddletown for another very informative post.
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Old January 14, 2012, 01:43 AM   #108
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Isnt a dog/s there to alert where bad guys are? This is my first post but why have a gun without dog/s?

But please dont overreact because your dogs bark either.

Last edited by standard shooter; January 14, 2012 at 01:49 AM.
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Old January 14, 2012, 02:56 AM   #109
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Thank you fiddletown--I have a lot to learn for sure.

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

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

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

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

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

So that's what I'm most likely up against--I am interested if this kind of scenario is used in training and what responses are recommended--I can assure you it's realistic. This forum is a great resource for practical information for a beginner like me and the main reason I hang here as opposed to the myriad of other weapons forums out there.
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Old January 14, 2012, 11:32 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hangglider
...So that's what I'm most likely up against--I am interested if this kind of scenario is used in training and what responses are recommended--..
There's no "cook-book" response. What you do will need to be based on exactly what the situation is and how it unfolds. And a lot will depend on what skills you will be bringing to the situation.

So you want to start with self defense fundamentals:

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

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

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

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

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

You also need to consider what your goal is. I would consider my job to be protecting my family from physical injury. That might mean that property will get sacrificed.
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Old January 14, 2012, 11:52 AM   #111
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Quote:
There's no "cook-book" response
That's the whole ball game right there.

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

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

If I'm at one end of the house, and Granddaughter is at the othen end, I'm not holding in place.
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Old January 14, 2012, 12:04 PM   #112
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
...You have to do what you have to do, if its by yourself so be it.

If I'm at one end of the house, and Granddaughter is at the othen end, I'm not holding in place.
That's exactly right. On the other hand, if you, your granddaughter and everyone else who is supposed to be there are all together with you in a safe place, your going out looking will expose her and the rest danger.
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Old January 14, 2012, 02:39 PM   #113
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Thanks for the practical advice and analysis--I will follow up on training soon. I guess what I was really looking for was has anyone actually trained for "crash and swarm" scenario like the one I mentioned--because it's a pretty high probability if you're at home and your home has been targeted around here. So far the gangs have done well in selecting unoccupied homes--but it's inevitable they are going to hit an occupied home eventually, IMO.
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Old January 14, 2012, 05:26 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Lowman
...I challenge anyone in the "shoot them in the dark" side of this argument to show me two reputable defensive shooting schools that advocates against the use of tactical lights.
So to the first proffered Gunsite, I will add Thunder Ranch in Texas. Those are two reputable gun schools that teach this.

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

I now have those stupid curly-q flourescent lights in most of the fixtures in my house. I can now step out into the hallway, flip the switch, and step back into my bedroom before the lights come on, LOL.
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Old January 14, 2012, 05:31 PM   #115
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DNS, I think that depends on what Willie Lowman meant by "tactical lights."

If he meant weapon-mounted lights, then your point is correct. If he meant a hand-held SureFire or similar, then your point is partially correct. The schools mentioned recommend against solo home-clearing, but they do recommend use of separate lights for target identification.
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Old January 14, 2012, 05:58 PM   #116
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At Gunsite, at least, they don't teach "shooting 'm in the dark." They teach proper use of the flashlight.

And while they don't recommend solo clearing, they teach it because: (1) you may need to do it even though it's not a good idea; (2) learning to do it helps the student to realize that it's not a good idea; and (3) doing the exercises helps teach some basic skills like safely moving with a loaded gun, target identification, thinking on your feet, etc.
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Old January 14, 2012, 06:18 PM   #117
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I understand the reasoning and it makes sense--it was just my natural instinct to go seek and be mobile rather than stay put stationary and wait for the battle to come to me--I'm not even an overly confident or aggressive person. My CCW instructor (a SWAT team member police officer) told me if it's dark and someone breaks in--pretty much all bets are off for the intruder if you feel threatened in your own home ( I didn't take that as a legal efficacy comment necessarily).

Last edited by hangglider; January 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old January 14, 2012, 06:19 PM   #118
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hangglider, don't mistake what is legal, for what is tactically sound.
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Old January 14, 2012, 06:27 PM   #119
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Yes--I just edited my post recognizing that.
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Old January 14, 2012, 06:46 PM   #120
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I think your edit went the wrong way.

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

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

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

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

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

Put it this way, who would you rather have framed in the doorway? The BG? Or you?
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Old January 14, 2012, 08:06 PM   #121
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Quote:
If he meant weapon-mounted lights, then your point is correct. If he meant a hand-held SureFire or similar, then your point is partially correct. The schools mentioned recommend against solo home-clearing, but they do recommend use of separate lights for target identification.
No, MLeake, the folks at TR had absolutely no problems with weapon mounted lights for target identification in structures. As they realized and noted in the instruction, weapon lights are so bright that you can aim one straight down at the ground and still see everyone in the room. Sure enough, we could see everyone when this was demonstrated.

I really appreciate you clarifying what everone says, but I think we go it. Thanks.
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Old January 14, 2012, 08:14 PM   #122
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DNS, if you re-read the post over which you are taking offense, you'll realize Willie Lowman asked for two reputable schools that recommend against the use of tactical lights.

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

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

But that's ok, as you've got it now...
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Old January 14, 2012, 09:13 PM   #123
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@Mleake--I didn't say the instructor advocated a moving clear--only that he said the law "indulges" the homeowner caught by surprise in his home in the dark and has doubts about his and/or his family's safety. I'm not advocating the moving clear--or even arguing for it--I only mention that I've done it a couple of times without knowing any better because it was my instinct. In both cases, when the guys saw me in a window--they decided to leave the scene--I guess it could have gone the other way but I kinda get the feeling they are more likely to "de-escalate" if they are still outside the home and know someone is actually home. But I will admit that I have no way of knowing whether anyone is actually inside the home other than my dog would probably be going beserk barking and likely attacking. I'm thinking of installing motion-activated lights both inside and outside the home.
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Old January 14, 2012, 09:26 PM   #124
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Lights are good. So are dogs. Other things I've had recommended by some well respected instructors include:

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

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

Landscaping that does not provide hiding spots near the house;

Lockable shutters, and locks on windows;

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

A good alarm system;

An intercom system;

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

Locked windows to the basement, if any;

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

No spare keys around the outside of the house.

Additionally, it was recommended to pay attention for people in vicinity of the garage before one uses the remote from the car - apparently it isn't uncommon for people to get into the garage as the homeowner drives in.
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Old January 14, 2012, 09:32 PM   #125
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Good stuff MlLeake--I like those recommendations. Gotta watch the window stuff--if it's a bedroom or guest room the law may require quick release for fire safety reasons.
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