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Old January 13, 2012, 02:06 PM   #1
Cycrops
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My young wife home alone...

Back in November I read an article which made me realize that my wife and I need to be more prepared to protect ourselves and our new twin babies. My wife is young and pretty, which makes me worry about about her becoming the target of violence.

I had an instance not long before I read that article where a shady guy showed up at the house with a pizza box in the evening and rang the bell. The instant I answered the door, he said "You didn't order a pizza?" then turned around and left. Maybe the puzzled look on my face as I answered the door tipped him off that he was at the wrong house, or maybe he was casing the neighborhood.

Anyway, I decided to purchase a HD/range handgun, which I'll be picking up next week. I already own a 22 rifle, but decided it's not ideal for HD. My wife has no firearms experience.

After reading the article linked above, I had a talk with my wife where I instructed her to NEVER open the front door for a stranger, especially when she is home alone with the babies during the day.

Today she called me at work and said the bell had rung, but she decided to ignore it because of our conversation. The bell rang again, and then there was a loud banging at the front door. She went to the door and saw a neighborhood teenager, big kid, acts a bit odd, who was going around shoveling driveways. She tried to tell him to go away from behind the door, but ended up opening the door to talk to him and send him on his way.

Two questions:
1. Due to the babies, I doubt my wife will have an opportunity to fire the Beretta for a couple of months. In the meantime, should I show her how to use it in case something happens, or assume that she'll likely do more harm than good if she goes for the gun in a bad situation?

2. How do I train her to not open the door? She knows in principle that she shouldn't, but she has a people-pleasing streak and appears to have a hard time being rude to a stranger at the door by not opening it. Any ideas about how to cope with this?
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:09 PM   #2
jimbob86
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Quote:
Due to the babies, I doubt my wife will have an opportunity to fire the Beretta for a couple of months.
No reliable babysitters there? No extended family? You mean she never gets a break from the kids?

Dude.

A couple hours off is not too much to ask.
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:15 PM   #3
Young.Gun.612
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Heavy duty chain on the door. She can open it and see people with less of a risk, also holding whatever pistol you may have out of sight of the person outside.
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:26 PM   #4
Cycrops
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"No reliable babysitters there? No extended family? You mean she never gets a break from the kids?

Dude.

A couple hours off is not too much to ask."

Long story, but we don't have anyone local at the moment who we can trust with infant twins for hours at a time. The wife does get breaks from mom duty, but we don't get breaks together unless my out-of-state family is around, which won't happen again for a couple months.

That said, it may be worth the effort to find a solution that can get her to the range with me sooner than later.
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Your wife's opinions about all this seems to be conspicously absent from your plans.
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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Invest in strong doors and locks.

Ask neighbors and co-workers about trustworthy baby sitters. If you attend church you might ask there as well.

You can and should explain the basic operation of the gun to your wife. Use snap caps etc. Of course you should also teach the basics of firearm safety.

Last edited by Buzzcook; January 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM. Reason: Blank post syndrome
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:46 PM   #7
Cycrops
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How do you quote posts? I don't see a quote button.

"Your wife's opinions about all this seems to be conspicously absent from your plans. "

My wife wants access to the Beretta, I'm looking for opinions about whether that's wise until she's at least fired it at the range (or even if a few range sessions are enough).

She agrees that it's unsafe to open the door, but can't seem to help herself when she's in the moment. I'm looking for "here's what she should do when a stranger bangs on the door" types of ideas that I can relay to her.

My apologies if it doesn't seem like she and I are partners in this, I'm just the one taking the lead on the issue (and posting the thread on the forum).
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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You need to address your concerns to PAX.

If it was me, I'd take a week or so vacation time, stay home with the babies and send wife to PAX.

I'm a firearms instructor, been one since the mid 70s, I got three girls that I care about, so I'm trying work a deal to have her work with my girls this summer.

She deals with ladies and know their problems and how to get to them.
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Old January 13, 2012, 02:47 PM   #9
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Old January 13, 2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Consider a monitored alarm system. They can be set for different modes and one mode allows you to be home, but still have the perimeter monitored. One option offered by many alarm companies is video, so she can see what is going on outside without opening the door. Anything else that you can do to make the house less of a target would also help like lighting, landscaping, locks, doors etc. Remember you want to “harden the target” so the bad guys will go somewhere else.
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Old January 13, 2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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"stranger bangs on the door" types of ideas is a larger issue than firearms training.

You've got a lot of other components that wrap around that, and maybe look at "low hanging fruit" or simple components to the overall solution before tackling firearms training:

1) A quality locking storm door with some visibilty that also allows the inhabitant to talk to someone outside without completely opening a passage into your house

2) An intercom system w/video

3) A chain on a quality security front door

4) A large dog - especially gaurd dog type breeds

5) Electronic alarm and alerting system

The issue of getting trained with a handgun is on the list somewhere but it doesn't prevent or preclude these other things from being addressed. And since you and your wife seem to have some fairly significant obstacles to her getting training right now, I wouldn't take an all or nothing approach to it and do nothing until she can get trained. There are other things that can be done as early as this weekend.


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Old January 13, 2012, 03:19 PM   #12
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Buy a couple of rubber door stops. Put the stops at the front
and back doors. When your wife goes to the door teach her
to put the door stop about 8" from the door. No amount of
pushing will dislodge the stop. This isn't foolproof, but better
than a chain and will buy precious time. If an intruder reaches
in to try and dislodge the stop, a baseball bat to the elbow
will do wonders to discourage it.
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Old January 13, 2012, 03:21 PM   #13
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On my outside doors I have metal security doors. They were not expensive at Lowe's. You can see out, but not in. They open out so that they cannot be forced in. Day or night they provide a great deal of security.
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Old January 13, 2012, 03:22 PM   #14
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I like the locking storm door concept a lot. Allows her to answer the door without the guy being able to simply push his way into the house. We need a storm door anyway, so that's something I'll look into.
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Old January 13, 2012, 03:34 PM   #15
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My wife and I had similar issues. I had a lot of firearms experience, but she had very little. We made time to get her familiar and comfortable with the operation and firing of our guns. She shoots every so often and is capable with a pistol. There's no reason not to sit down and let her get comfortable with how the Beretta operates and feels. Get some snap caps and let her dry fire a bunch until you can get her some training and range time.
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Old January 13, 2012, 04:39 PM   #16
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Old January 13, 2012, 04:54 PM   #17
markj
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The count nailed it. The chain lock tho should use long screws, them little ones can be tore out of a door frame easily. A metal frame is better yet.
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:09 PM   #18
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How dangerous is the area you live in ?. Take sensible precautions but do you want your wife to be scared of going to the door.

(How do I train her to not open the door.)

Are you sure you dont mean how do i show my wife its not a good idea to go to the door .

A security camera at the door would be a good idea then she could check it before going to door.
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:11 PM   #19
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I wouldn't trust a door with a chain, if it fails shes dead.

Have her go to a window near the door and talk to people outside that way. Or have her answer the door with a knife at least 1' long and (edited, explicit content) stomach then (edited, explicit content).

I think a knife at least 1' or more would be your best option, you may want to go longer in case the intruder is overweight.

Last edited by AndersonG22; January 13, 2012 at 05:49 PM.
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:15 PM   #20
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You think an untrained person with a knife will be more effective than an untrained person with a Beretta?

Or you think it's easier to train a person to safely and effectively use a knife than a Beretta?

Either way, I disagree (and I have trained with knives and Berettas...)
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
You think an untrained person with a knife will be more effective than an untrained person with a Beretta?

Or you think it's easier to train a person to safely and effectively use a knife than a Beretta?

Either way, I disagree (and I have trained with knives and Berettas...)
The only way to(edited, explicit content)an attacker is CNS or hitting a major artery. If someone busted through my door I would take a 1' knife over any handgun for the following reasons. A. If someone busted through the door it would IMO very quickly turn into a struggle/fight and I don't think you would get many shots before the struggle/fight. And B. A knife would create far more damage then a handgun in that situation.

For a trained person a gun might be better but I've never trained with either weapon so I can't say for sure. As an untrained person I would take a knife over any gun in that situation.

Why would you prefer a gun?

Last edited by AndersonG22; January 13, 2012 at 05:49 PM.
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:41 PM   #22
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I've been patiently holding back any comments about a shotgun

But I can't hold it anymore !

Get a 12ga shotgun !



There...

I said it
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:43 PM   #23
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(Edit: In answer to AndersonG22) Multiple reasons:

1) Some people have a serious aversion to violence. For these types, it's often harder to make themselves use a stabbing, slashing, hacking, or bludgeoning instrument, so they are (edit: even) more likely to hesitate (edit: with a knife, as opposed to pulling a trigger).

2) While a handgun can be grappled (I was teaching somebody how to do that Wednesday night, in fact), the BG has to get to contact range to grapple it, whereas the shooter can fire before that happens; a knife (unless one is really good at throwing it) requires that the BG be in contact range, and a knife can be grappled. (Really, one grapples the knife user's wrist/forearm much more than the knife, per se, but there are also ways to grab the knife itself once motion of the arm has been limited.)

3) Depending on the gun, multiple shots can be put on target in the time it would take to get to the second effective attack with the knife.

4) If the BG turns out to have a firearm, he can retreat and shoot through the door, at the knife user.

(Edit) 5) Even trained knife users often find they've cut themselves after a knife is used for SD. Cuts to the fingers of the knife hand from sliding over the guard, to the blade, are common. Sometimes, inadvertently self-inflicted knife cuts are pretty bad, as in ligament, tendon, nerve, or major blood vessel bad. Untrained person with a knife?

In a scenario where a relatively untrained person expects to get into a contact distance problem, I'd recommend a hammerless or shrouded hammer (S&W Centennial or original Bodyguard and descendants) revolver over the knife. The short barrel makes it harder to grapple (although even with guns, my first attack is on the wielder and his hand/wrist, not the gun itself), and it won't get pushed out of battery like a semi will if shoved into the BG.

That is probably the ONLY scenario where I'd suggest a J-frame for a relatively untrained user. For others, I'd recommend a 4" DA revolver, or a service size auto, and at least some training.

(Edit: To clarify, I ALWAYS recommend training; I just realize that in some cases the threat exists before good training becomes available.)

Last edited by MLeake; January 13, 2012 at 05:52 PM.
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:44 PM   #24
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CZ, how do you surreptitiously answer the door with a shotgun?

How do you keep a shotgun nearby, when tending two infants?

Shotguns are great, when used properly; they aren't so good for the two purposes above.
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Old January 13, 2012, 05:48 PM   #25
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A full size .38 revolver is generally a good choice as a HD gun for someone with minimal experience. Certainly better than any .22lr in terms of power and simpler to use than a full size auto.
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