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Old January 15, 2012, 03:18 AM   #51
giaquir
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Buzz, you have too much faith in cops
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Old January 15, 2012, 03:33 AM   #52
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Couple of points:

I did read a post about getting a dog as part of the list of defences in the home. Don't.

Not unless you actually want a dog in the first place.
Dogs are a big expensive, an added responsibility and getting one purely as a biological alarm system is not ethical in my view, unless you are going to give them the care and time they deserve.
If you are prepared to do so, then they are, of course, a great addition to any family...

Meanwhile, there are plenty of man-made alternatives if you are not, many of which have already been mentioned.

As far as I can tell no one has mentioned pepper-spray yet.

Surely, at least in the interim where training is not yet available, that is going to be effective against most people and can be held in in the hand very easily...

Just my 2 €c
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:10 AM   #53
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Pond, good point on the dog, but I have much less faith in pepper spray.

Buzzcook, have you ever heard of windows? Or hammers and crowbars? Most homes have the former, and many would-be intruders have the latter.

And sometimes the cops take over 20 minutes to arrive - look at the OK single mom incident last month.

In that same example, she had an infant, plus minimal training with the pistol and none with the shotgun, and he had a hammer (for forcing entry) and a knife.

With regard to training:
A. There have been no significant differences reported in results between states where a CCW requires training, and states where it doesn't;
B. It takes a while to train a good shooter, but it takes maybe an hour to train a safe handler and good-enough-until-time-allows-more-training shooter; and
C. OP, who decided YOU had enough training to handle a gun? If your wife wants familiarization and access, who are you to deny it to her?
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:33 AM   #54
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
but I have much less faith in pepper spray.
Mleake: may I ask why?

To my mind, it is much, much easier to use than a gun for the untrained. It will incapacitate someone, unless they are high as a kit on uppers.

By all accounts we also know that such people won't always respond to a gun shot wound, unless it actually kills them, and I think someone is less likely to miss with spray: for one thing you can see where it is going.

It is not absolutely guaranteed, but for me I'm weighing up the likelihood of someone untrained, and under stress, missing with a handgun against the likelihood of someone aggressive being so high they would not feel being sprayed or shot. Then there are the legal ramifications, risk of stray bullets etc.

So, could I ask: Why do you not have faith in spray?
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:38 AM   #55
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Because of all the documented cases where it has not stopped a person from fighting multiple cops, let alone pressing the attack on a lone female.

Because if it doesn't stop the guy(s), it will really annoy him (them).

Because if the person turns out to have a gun, too, one has brought spray to a gunfight.

Spray is good to have in addition to a gun, for handling lesser threats. It is not a good replacement for a gun.

Edit: A potential example, Pond... I am a trained grappler (wrestling, jujutsu, and aikido). I have been exposed to CS spray in military training. Miserable, and it seriously impairs vision. But, if I get a hand on you, I don't have to see you. I know where you are, and now I am that much more motivated to inflict some damage.
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:39 AM   #56
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What about tasers?
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:43 AM   #57
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In the OK case, with two attackers, how would a Taser have worked out?

Guy two ran off when there was a loud bang and his buddy's head sprayed some blood and gore.

Would he have run if his buddy had just absorbed the Taser needles for him?
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Old January 15, 2012, 06:12 PM   #58
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Another downside of pepper spray

The OP said he has new twin babies at home, not a good combination of babies and pepper spray.
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Old January 15, 2012, 06:47 PM   #59
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Quote:
Buzz, you have too much faith in cops
I have faith in engineering.

There is a tendency in threads such as these to impute to the bad guys special powers and or to equip them with all the tools necessary to do anything they want.

Don't you folks realize that people have been working for thousands of years to develop doors that can resist just the kinds of attacks you describe.

Google security doors. There are doors that you could attack with a sledge hammer all day long without breaking through.

"Oh wait..what if the bad guy has a bulldozer". Geez
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Old January 15, 2012, 06:51 PM   #60
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If your wife uses pepper spray on someone pushing their way into the house, you can be assured that she will suffer the effects as well, not to mention the two babies in the house. Pepper spray has some applications in police work ie crowd control or a barricaded BG, but I don't see it having much utility in SD situations.
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Old January 15, 2012, 07:51 PM   #61
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Buzzcook, so far you have introduced plastic explosives and bulldozers, which are absurd, but you have chosen not to address the issue of windows.

Security doors are good, if they have security frames. They are only as good as their weakest point.

The same is true of the house as a whole.

Windows, sliding doors, basement or garage access...

I have one friend whose stalker ex-husband somehow broke in via the ventilation ducting.

And yet we all are ascribing superpowers to anybody who can do a simple break-in.

Perhaps you are ascribing superpowers to the OP's home improvement budget...
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Old January 15, 2012, 11:34 PM   #62
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Quote:
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?
Stay home and watch the kids while she goes and takes training from a professional independent of you. Guess what, you are not the one who should be teaching her. Likely you will coddle her too much.
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Old January 16, 2012, 04:07 AM   #63
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Cycrops,

The article you linked is interesting and thought provoking. Mr. Harris is correct on many points. However, I think his emphasis on escape trivializes the natural intent of a parent to protect their children. In the event a threat to the children (and/or their parents) materializes the parent(s) should do as he suggests -- an explosive reaction to protect and defend the children and themselves. But not with the idea of escape, but of vanquishing the threat entirely.

You mentioned obtaining a Beretta pistol. Hopefully that is a major caliber (9mm or .40 S&W) and not a pocket pistol like the .380 or smaller. Most of the Beretta pistols are good choices. It could be beneficial to familiarize your wife with the function of the pistol - how to load/unload, operate the safety, use of the hammer, squeeze the trigger, etc. Doing so with a handful of snap caps will give her the basic concepts.

If you want to worry about stoppages, I suggest you both watch Thunder Ranch's Clint Smith demonstrate clearing a stoppage on YouTube. Then use an empty case with snap caps to ensure the lesson is understood.

Mindset: Remind your wife that if someone is trying to break in or succeeds in breaking in, there is a real and imminent threat to her children. There is no need to be polite. No reason to "play fair". She should believe that said intruder(s) are there to eat her children like vicious animals because the outcome could be the same. If they seriously injure her or kill her, they can kill her children or the children die from neglect if you're not coming home that night. Worse, they could take the kids leaving you forever wondering if they are still out there. Tell your wife the Beretta has 15 rounds (10 in some states) and if she has to use it, use as many shots as it takes. Ammo is cheap, lives aren't. Holes in walls and appliances can be fixed a lot easier and cheaper than damage to your family.

Having an intercom at the front door will allow her to answer someone at the door while safely in the house. Ask friends and neighbors to phone before dropping by as a courtesy (if she's put the twins down for a nap she may want to rest then too). Any unexpected person at the door gets to talk over the intercom.

Over the intercom, someone claiming to be with UPS, Fed-Ex, Airborne, etc. can be told to leave the package on the step. Before opening the door for a "signature required" package, visually check from a window. They should be in uniform and have a company truck parked out front. If not both, then phone police. Similar rules apply to utility personnel. They can wait while she phones the police to check them out or calls to verify with their company. Even if you lack the intercom, this can be done through the door.

This may sound like paranoia to her, but assure her it is not. It's the safety of her children that come first. Anything happens to her, it affects the children too. She's a busy mom with twins so service people can wait.
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Old January 16, 2012, 09:04 AM   #64
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doors

Best case scenario, just don't open the door to begin with...she needs to get over being rude to a stranger on her door step. Even the teen age kid can be a potential threat. An intercom would be a good choice here.

I have seen alot of B&E doors. Most of the time the wood jamb splits apart allowing the door to open. The wood side jamb should be metal or at least have a metal "brass" bracket encasing the wood jamb at the door knob/striker/deadbolt area to reinforce the wood. The door slab itself needs to be of high quality too. If the door jamb is solid, usually the door slab will peel apart on the rolled seams allowing it to collapse on it self and disengaging the locks from the door frame.

The screws being used for any of these security applications should be strong and long enough to penetrate into the frame of the house, not just into the door frame.

A standard storm door lock is not enough to keep anyone out. It needs to be a metal or iron security door. These types of doors will stop em' in their tracks. It will actually drive a would be burglar/intruder to a window or slider door instead, but at least they will not be able to bum rush her if she does open the door...giving her the precious seconds she would need.

Firearms training is a must, it does not stop at the range though...it is a start. Being mentally prepared to deal with a situation is more important than anything else.
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Old January 16, 2012, 10:40 AM   #65
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The metal doors I have also have metal frames. I do not think anyone can slam or break the doors without tools, and a lot of noise. They open out and not in.
I also have a canister of Fox CS spray by the door. l disagree that such could not be well used even with twins. Windows are another matter, and if I were concerned I would get bars on them.

I think some of you are over reacting in your thinking. Get metal outside doors with metal frames, OC spray, and yes, I think a gun is also necessary for bulletproof safety.

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Old January 16, 2012, 11:15 AM   #66
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First question, is your wife okay with having a gun in the house? Is she willing to train to use it safely, and effectively to increase her comfort level? Do you have an ironclad plan for the twins to have zero access to the gun now, and when they start toddling, or walking around?

Remember, if you get into the revolver business, a revolver's gasses will hurt someone if their fingers extend to the working end of the cylinder. This area of "no man's land" is important to understand.

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Old January 16, 2012, 02:04 PM   #67
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About OC spray and Tasers.

They are both temporary / intermediate measures. Aside from the OC spray being used in close proximity to the children (not all confrontations happen at the front door) it is in part a very strong pain compliance tool. Joggers and commuters can use OC spray and escape to safety after use but being cornered in a house with a child in each arm changes things. I have bear spray for hiking and have no doubt it would feel horrible but further action might be needed even after it's use. After being sprayed the attacker can either stumble out of the house or stumble around inside for who knows how long with whatever he brought with him/her. There are sinks in the house.

Tasers are short acting too. Police carry/are trained in restraints and take that opportunity to cuff suspects. If they don't, the tased individual recovers and causes trouble again. The officer may depress the trigger again but the goal is apply restraints. Civilians use that time instead to escape to safety. To pull the trigger again it requires that you remain close to the target. And to use restraints you'd be zero feet away. All the tasers I know of (except for the new wireless shotgun projectiles) are good for only 1 use at a time. So say I miss or there happens to be 2 attackers involved - I'll be wishing I had other options available.

In short, both are intermediates which could be very useful but less so by themselves when trapped with children. Out in the open time would allow for escape. And in contrast to a gunshot wound, after the initial insult the attacker gets closer to recovery with time rather than progressing to incapacitation.
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Old January 16, 2012, 03:55 PM   #68
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Quote:
Buzzcook, so far you have introduced plastic explosives and bulldozers, which are absurd, but you have chosen not to address the issue of windows.
I chose not to address windows because it was just more escalation of the bad guys abilities, tools, and intent.

After all to OP scenario is about entry through an open door.

What I said about doors is also true of windows. They can be fortified as well.
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Old January 16, 2012, 04:44 PM   #69
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We have a video and audio camera at both door. My wife will never answer the door. She will pull up cameras on TV to see who it is and what they maybe saying....You would not want to break down a door with her here.....She is very good with the riot shotgun..
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Old January 16, 2012, 05:09 PM   #70
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For those of you mentioning pepper spray, do not forget there is a newborn infant in the house. Pepper spray in a house with an infant is a big NO-NO in my book in that case. It can cause respiratory failure to infants in the same house it has been used in.

I know this due to the fact that when I was working as a fire medic I was in the scene of three calls where a small child was in respiratory distress due to pepper spray being used in the house. One child very nearly died as a result exposure. What makes an adult teary eyed, and gag makes a newborn's throat swell shut.

Just thought I would mention it.
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Old January 16, 2012, 11:28 PM   #71
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I'm a corrections officer and probably used pepper more than 80% of cops. I can't tell you how many guys full of the adrenalin of anger walk right through that stuff. They last long enough to do damage, which is usually only seconds but may take minutes. In a cell we fog it, have to let it cook a few seconds. In the case of the guy being mental, a good bit more and it's still a fight.

It is not a squirt flop situation. Criminals do not fear it like most people do, especially if they are doing drugs or are in a mental state. Never assume that a criminal will respond to a threat like you would, his mind is not like yours.

If a guy forces in don't screw around with the less than lethal stuff, her only opportunity to use force must count. Straight to lethal as long as he is a threat. The disparity of force justifies it.

Other things are:

1) Never take a child to the door. Knocked from her hands or needing to flee, her focus will be on the child instead of the threat, then he's got her.

2) Have an obstacle near, something you can step around to delay his approach.

3) Learn just what his "Line of Power" is and stay the heck out of it.

4) Understand that she might still get hurt pretty bad, but not as bad as if his lungs and heart are shot all to heck. Can't do that with pepper! The gun is not magic.

Last edited by garryc; January 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM.
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Old January 17, 2012, 12:23 AM   #72
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First off,your wife does NOT have to answer the door.

There is no law that says you have to answer any door unless it's the police,and I mean in uniform with a cruiser outside the house or apartment.

Secondly,if you have ground floor windows (or any windows) that can be seen from the street ( or an ajoining apartment),they all need to have blinds on them.

At night,anyone from the street can see inside any house from a block away or more and see anyone and anyhting inside the house whose windows do not have CLOSED blinds.( even from a slow moving car passing by)

As others have said,you need to beef up the doors security options.

A chain of any kind is really no good.

It's much better to have a peephole with a bright light on the front porch and to never unlatch the only security she has at home alone,that door latch.

Get a quality deadbolt installed-double sided lock if the door has windows-front door and back door too-even if it's a second story porch door.

Regular door handle locks really are very weak.

Some how,your wife is being seen from the street or men in the neighborhood are commenting on how nice she looks and that you are never home.

That's why you've had two instances of men coming by the house unannounced and unwanted.

The guy with the 'pizza' is of real concern.

He might have been casing the neighborhood by car one night and seen right in your house and right in at your wife at some time.

Get the phone set up so she can call 911 right away but she defintely needs a firearm and not a 22 handgun.

As others have said a 38 revolver-Bud'sgunshop.com is selling Model 10 Smith and Wesson's right now used for around $265 in good shape.

But really,if you and her can get together and she can train to use a shotgun,a shotgun is preferable.

And don't train to shoot just once and wait-train to fire until the guy goes down and to counter any stupid friend he has that wants to make some point about seeing his stupid friend just get himself killed trying to rape your 'defenseless ' wife.

What we are talking about JUST happened and thank the young lady that she saw a threat coming and got herself prepared for it becuase she saved her own life and that of her small child as well.

Get prepared and change how you present your home in the neighborhood.

People should walk by and see closed blinds,lots of lights and feel like-what happened? Looks kind of like someone's waiting for me if I do something stupid there.

Then the criminal element USUALLY moves on.

Sometimes they don't and that's where your wife stands away from the door so that if some idiot crashes through it,the door won't hit her and she defends herself and the home too.

A woman with a shotgun who knows how to use is no one to mess with.

One last thing-you will never know who is talking to who- is talking to who- and just how the information about your wife being alone is getting spread around.

DO NOT make what you are doing public information.

And when people start asking weird questions about -does your wife have a gun? Are you guys getting guns or alarms or stuff like that?

You might have your answer about who is the loudmouth who is threatening your wifes safety and your peace of mind.

Tell your wife to be careful what she says to her girlfriends as well about when you are not home or the like.

And just because a guy looks harmless and normal-even if you know him as a friend-if he has no reason to be at your door while you are not home THAT YOU ALREADY TOLD HER ABOUT--tell your wife to not open or answer the door.

Whoever it is can leave what they are dropping off just out the door and leave.

Your work schedule and when she is alone is your and her business ALONE.

For all intents and purposes,I try to make my house look like you will get killed right away if you try to break into it.

Lots of lights-some motion activated-no bushes next to the house to hide in,cars parked so I can see around all of them from my kitchen window,my grill and my trailer are both chained down and both have been targets of thieves who failed-three times with the trailer,once with the grill.

My two little Pomerainian dogs have helped too.

Little suckers can hear cats walking on concrete sidewalks for Christs sakes.

Anyway,you get the drill.

Prepare and tell NO ONE what you are doing.

I always know where my Model 10 is and it's loaded and I can shoot it very well if need be.

But I prefer to convince the idiot thief to move on.

Less mess to clean up.
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Old January 17, 2012, 02:46 AM   #73
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An idea I've had is to start working personally with my neighbors in a "mutual assistance" scenario. Exchange numbers, and try to have somebody around to look after the homes in the immediate area if possible. Since I work out of my home, walk my dogs several times a day through the development (and some of my neighbors know I'm armed, as do the police) I believe this makes a real impact in gang activities--though they still "probe and test" periodically and still hit houses nearby--can't be everywhere all the time. Even criminals like an easy job, and I've noticed they like daytime and holidays to hit the local homes, but daylight can be used to your advantage as it easier to keep an eye on things from a distance--that range spotter scope is great for watching drug deals go down in the park. I've attended several "neighborhood watch" organizational meetings with neighbors and police--in general everyone is enthusiastic at the meeting--but soon after most everyone will drop out and end up doing nothing. I've found you have to form your own personal network and put time into it.
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Old January 17, 2012, 05:33 AM   #74
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Quote:
An idea I've had is to start working personally with my neighbors in a "mutual assistance" scenario. Exchange numbers...
We have something similar in my neighborhood. I started talking to people a few years ago after I saw footprints in the snow going around our house looking in all of our windows one day.

We all have each other's phone numbers and a general agreement to keep any eye on each others' places. If I have to go out of town, I let a couple of them know so vigilance can be doubled. Seems to work. I have good neighbors, and we aim to keep it that way.
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:01 AM   #75
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Sir, In reviewing your two questions, may I suggest...

1) make a "panic / strong room" that the family can occupy, this is not the movie style thing, but just a strengthen room that is readily occupied, and contains cell phone, inter-comm to all doors, battery powered lights & strengthen doors. Baby needs as needed , formulas, diapers.

2) You should on exterior doors improve the locking areas, new deadbolts using same key as regular locks, may need to harden the jams to resist break thru,

3) motion sensor lights on those doors/porch, backside of house & exterior buildings to silhouette motion makers (adjust sensitivity to ignore small lab type dog), make sure that you are not illuminated by theses lights.

4) Talk with your wife to understand when she is ready for handling and learning firearms. Something not to ignore but not to rush.

Good luck, stay safe.
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