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Old November 20, 2012, 01:23 AM   #76
youngunz4life
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Both Sun Tzu and Von Clauseowitz said take the high ground. They would know.
Unless there is some other factor and all other issues equal, defend from the top of the stairs.
I would base it on your gut, your own situation, etc. For me it is an easy decision, but everyone's home is different. If at the top of the stairs at least stay out of sight, so you don't get shot.
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Old November 20, 2012, 08:15 AM   #77
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An historic battle concept has ALWAYS been proven by combat that he who controls the high ground, . . . controls the battle.

Secondly, in the typical construction of today's stick house, . . . there are at least 2, 2x4's at the door post of the doorway, . . . and 16 inches or less from it back toward the bg is another, and another, and another, etc. On the angle he has to shoot at you, . . . only a very lucky, lucky shot could get through the wall as he shoots up at you while ascending the stairway.

He presents a full body target, . . . you present half a face, half a shoulder, one hand, and a firearm, . . . raining lead down the stairway.

Only a danged fool, . . . a meth head, . . . or an Obama supporter is stupid enough to try to come up the stairway as I have pictured in the little drawing.

Tactically speaking: prone on the floor will get you killed, . . . you have to present your whole head and shoulders to get a firing picture.

Kneeling allows the bg to ascend half way or more before you have a full sight picture.

Standing, . . . behind one edge of the doorway, . . . you are behind reasonable cover, mostly concealed, and offer a very little target to someone below shooting up through the ceiling.

Retreating into a bedroom, . . . gives the total advantage to the bg, . . . he has some idea where you are, . . . you have no real idea where he is. He can initiate the fight from concealment, . . . slicing the pie into your room, . . . you can only hold your breath and hope you don't have a heart attack waiting for him to come in.

Take the high ground, . . . hold the high ground, . . . defend from the high ground, . . . it has worked for centuries, . . . it'll work in your house.

May God bless,
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Old November 20, 2012, 08:51 AM   #78
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Let's consider the defender's primary goals:
  1. Avoid getting shot
  2. Prevent others in the household from getting shot
  3. Avoid injury to innocent third parties
  4. Minimize the liklihood of having shots occur
Engaging and shooting a "bad guy" should not be among them unless it becomes necessary to do that to meet Numbers One and Two, and unless of his accomplices should be able, and choose, to leave after you have shot the first one, it would not be sufficient to do so. The objective is not to "control a battle."

If the defender fails to achieve Objective Number One, the attainment of Objective No. Two will be at risk.

Fulfilling Objective Number Four will go a long way toward meeting the others.

Only an assassin--someone with the objective of killing the family members--would want to knowingly break into a safe room; he would put himself at extreme risk; and be sure of success, he would likely have to use smoke or explosive devices.

On the other hand, one would reasonably expect any burglar to shoot for his own self preservation if he sees someone aiming a firearm at him.

Every single trainer, instructor, and expert of whom I am aware recommends getting the family into a safe room and defending from there.
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Old November 20, 2012, 09:11 AM   #79
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I'm not buying the high ground 'automatic'...that is more a battleground scenario....

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Retreating into a bedroom, . . . gives the total advantage to the bg, . . . he has some idea where you are, . . . you have no real idea where he is. He can initiate the fight from concealment, . . .
I'm gonna have to disagree with you here. Our master bedroom is at the end of the hallway....I have a 100% idea where he is, virtually impossible to be stealthy and he cannot hide from any shots to doorway or hallway. I also have the advantage of the door being closed. He knows nothing except I am behind that door but how many? what room is it(ours is big with two closets and one a walkin, bathroom, shower etc)? if I haven't said anything he doesn't even know I or we are in there? and he can't hear anything like me hearing everything(coincidence with my home,,,squeaking stairway door...literally wakes up baby in our home..etc)

I also have a doorway on the stairs and it is actually like a horsebarn door...the top unlatches and can open leaving the bottom shut if I want(he would have to bust door or reach overtop to unlatch bottom part). I guess I could leave that door closed but any shots fired are sideways as at the top of the stairs you must take a left or right. It would be considerably more difficult and dangerous to fire upon BG from top of the stairs in my family's specific situation+in my opinion)....room on either side of bottom, he could literally reach thru rail and fire upstairs, another hallway andor area at the bottom, he can be stealthy but now I can't etc. also, I have to show myself to get a shot. If I do this and he is waiting I am dead just like that. I feel like this thread was answered right at the beginning stages...there are just differing options, other acceptable tactics, and better options depending on one's personal home left.
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Old November 23, 2012, 11:45 AM   #80
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Compared to many defense situations being somewhat down a hallway but having a line of site to the top of the stairway, therefore a line of fire, is a pretty good defensive position.

Some of my non-gun friends say I am paranoid because I have made a defensive plan for every home I have lived in.
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Old November 23, 2012, 07:36 PM   #81
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Don't mean to be simplistic, but if my family is asleep upstairs, I don't want Bubba and his friends up there. Bubba will never be so vulnerable as coming up those stairs.

Obviously, not all situations involve protecting the stairs. The circumstances will dictate what needs to be done. And you'll dictate whether you do it more so than where it happens at
.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:06 PM   #82
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If you own your house, put a good solid-core door on the bedroom. Top of the stairs is as good a place as any, you can scurry back into the room if you have to. Make sure there is a cell phone in the fallback area.

Don't hesitate to shoot. Once they mount the stairs, they are into the occupied area and have forsaken burglar and property crimes for something much worse. You don't have to ask them their intentions first, divine the entrails of a raccoon, or cite state-specific case law beforehand.
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:44 AM   #83
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Posted by Nnobby45: Don't mean to be simplistic, but if my family is asleep upstairs, I don't want Bubba and his friends up there.
Most of us don't want him in the house at all, and the laws in most states recognize the danger in his being there.

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Bubba will never be so vulnerable as coming up those stairs.
How vulnerable he is is just part of the question. The other part is how vulnerable you are.

All experts I know of recommend defending from a safe room.

Quote:
Obviously, not all situations involve protecting the stairs.
Right. And I have no need to protect the stairs, anyway.

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The circumstances will dictate what needs to be done.
Right. The problem is, he and his accomplices may well well enter, very suddenly and with force, when the family is not asleep upstairs. That's the scenario to be prepared for.
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Old November 24, 2012, 10:12 AM   #84
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OldMarksman,

"Right. The problem is, he and his accomplices may well well enter, very suddenly and with force, when the family is not asleep upstairs. That's the scenario to be prepared for. "

Through 83 posts the concept has been a night time entry while you are sleeping. I think my current plan is pretty good.

The day time scenario you bring up is the hardest to prepare for due to the endless number of variables. You almost have to either keep large dogs or keep a gun on your person all the time.
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Old November 24, 2012, 11:48 AM   #85
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Posted by jnichols2: The day time scenario you bring up is the hardest to prepare for due to the endless number of variables.
Yes, it is.

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Through 83 posts the concept has been a night time entry while you are sleeping.
But most break-ins do occur during the day. It is usually said that the perps do that because they want to come and go while no one is home, but a plurality--no, a majority--of the burglaries of occupied homes in our county have been occurring during the day.

And there are almost always more than one.

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You almost have to either keep large dogs or keep a gun on your person all the time.
I have been doing the latter for several years now. I do not expect trouble, ever, but there is no reason to expect that if it should occur, it will happen when we are in the bedroom, or even able to get to the bedroom.
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:57 PM   #86
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A defense plan for your home should be in depth. Passive measures like good exterior lighting, motion activated lights, good security doors with locks are the first line of defense. A loud external alarm if a breech occurs is the second, the alarm may scare off the intruders. More probably it will irritate the neighbors and they will complain to the cops that will serve the same purpose.

A call to 911, (In my case that is for record purposes only, their response time is about 2 hours.) necessary. Get the cavalry on the way.

I have concerns with the safe room which is not supported by an active defense. Basically retreat to a safe room gives the BGs free range of the home. When they find they cannot gain access they may decide to torch your home. In which case you and your family loose. i
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Old November 25, 2012, 12:20 AM   #87
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I've read the whole post, lot's of good advice, but none of it addresses my situation. Thumbnail sketch, ranch home with basement, 3 bedrooms upstairs,(two occupied) three downstairs (all occupied). A large enough house that sometimes shouting can't be heard between the floors. Multiple access points upstairs and down, window wells large enough to get in through in basement as well. The one good point is the bedrooms are all on one side of the house so theoretically two people(completely exposed) could defend the hallways. I'm the only person in the house who doesn't visibly flinch when handed a firearm. I can't see any other way but to go on offense but according to those of you who are trained that's stupid. Any ideas?
P.S. It's a rental, no alterations
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:04 AM   #88
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I wouldn't say going on the "offense" is stupid if you have to in order to ensure the safety of your loved ones. And I wouldn't call it going on the offense either, bcause you shouldn't be actively seeking the invaders, you should be seeking to secure your loved ones.

Seems to me that you need to plan as a family unit the best way to rally at one defensible location and practice doing it often, and under duress, such as middle of the night, no power, etc.

Also, it might be handy to consider some easy to remember challenge/pass words so as to be able to communicate with one and another and not cede any info to the bad guys and plan for contacting police to get back up on the way.

Granted, I'm not "trained" per se, but as a combat vet, it seems to me, that having a plan to rally, a plan to communicate, back-up, and a defensive firearm is a good starting point.
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Old November 28, 2012, 12:54 AM   #89
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Is there a large closet or bathroom within the master bedroom? If so, I would send the family in there while I stood watch over the locked bedroom door. Consider giving a loud verbal warning that you have called the cops and whoever it is should leave immediately. At the first sign of trying to enter the bedroom, I would open fire. While a bedroom door may not be much cover, it is a good "line in the sand" that I can dare anyone to cross.
I think they already crossed that line when they broke into his house, don't you? Why trap and barricade yourself in some bedroom if he could safely scare away or take out the threat if he had to from the stairs?

My Lord... at what point are we finally allowed to act to defend ourselves and our families in our own homes?

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Old November 28, 2012, 01:47 AM   #90
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chris

Quote:
I think they already crossed that line when they broke into his house, don't you? Why trap and barricade yourself in some bedroom if he could safely scare away or take out the threat if he had to from the stairs?

My Lord... at what point are we finally allowed to act to defend ourselves and our families in our own homes?
I think some people feel they have a better chance for survival from a bedroom because the chances of the room being successfully penetrated is extremely slim @ best. On the other hand you are more offensive if out in the hallways walking away or in the wrong place in my opinion if you are actually perched at the top of the stairs. If you become killed, your family has much less of a chance.

as for the bathroom or closet, I can understand your point. It is possible someone can talk to the cops from there or that the TFL posting that was talking about having his loved ones out of the way of bullet fire. My wife is holding a loaded weapon no matter the case in this scenario no matter what. I have to be honest...these invasions are quick and aggressive/volatile. It is nice to hear the alarm and have time to react, but you might head out of your room to the stairs and be TOAST. I have children...I can't let them stay alone in their room(s). I have to protect my babies.
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:11 AM   #91
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Posted by ChrisLCR: I think they already crossed that line when they broke into his house, don't you?
Yes indeed.

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Why trap and barricade yourself in some bedroom if he could safely scare away or take out the threat if he had to from the stairs?
To significantly reduce the very real risk of being shot.

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My Lord... at what point are we finally allowed to act to defend ourselves and our families in our own homes?
In most states, unlawful entry, perhaps made with force, will suffice, under most circumstances.
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:47 PM   #92
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Quote:
Posted by ChrisLCR: I think they already crossed that line when they broke into his house, don't you?
Yes indeed.

Quote:
Why trap and barricade yourself in some bedroom if he could safely scare away or take out the threat if he had to from the stairs?
To significantly reduce the very real risk of being shot.

Quote:
My Lord... at what point are we finally allowed to act to defend ourselves and our families in our own homes?
In most states, unlawful entry, perhaps made with force, will suffice, under most circumstances.
I'm no tactician, but being intimately familiar with the house, having the high ground on top of the stairs while half concealed seems to present a clear advantage to the home defender in the OP's situation.

Some say run to the bedroom and fire through the door at the first sign of forced entry. That may work in some situations, but the homebreakers can likewise shoot through the door first at you and your loved ones.

If there is a reasonably safe way of stopping the threat without having to trap yourself in a small room with possibly no way out, I believe it would be best to do so.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:08 PM   #93
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In the OP's circumstance, I also believe the top of the stairs would offer the best defensive position.

While hunkering down in a closed room does have advantages, I believe my chances are better drawing a line somewhere forward of my family in the "Safe Room" IMO This gives the bad guy(s) one more obstacle they have to defeat before they can get to the rest of my family. The further forward I can make my stand (up to and including the front door) the more time my Wife may have to prepare should I not be successful.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:20 PM   #94
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And the more time it gives for the police to arrive.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:25 PM   #95
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Posted by ChrisLCR: I'm no tactician, but being intimately familiar with the house, having the high ground on top of the stairs while half concealed seems to present a clear advantage to the home defender in the OP's situation.
Half concealed means half exposed.

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Some say run to the bedroom and fire through the door at the first sign of forced entry.
No responsible person would fire through the door.

Quote:
That may work in some situations, but the homebreakers can likewise shoot through the door first at you and your loved ones.
How would they know at whom they were shooting?

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If there is a reasonably safe way of stopping the threat without having to trap yourself in a small room wth possibly no way out, I believe it would be best to do so.
I'll go with what the experts recommend.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:10 PM   #96
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Half concealed means half exposed.
Sure, while the intruders in unfamiliar territory at the narrow low ground of the stairs are fully exposed.

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No responsible person would fire through the door.
Somebody here suggested it, and it worked pretty well for the girl that shot an intruder through the closet door with her mothers .40 Glock recently. He went running off like a scared rabbit. People aren't always worried about being responsible when they're understandably scared out of their wits.

Quote:
I'll go with what the experts recommend.
Do they always recommend barricading yourself in a room with no escape rout while the intruder(s) run wild in your home if the threat can be defused with relative safety? I take note of what the experts say and value their advice, but every situation is different.

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Old November 30, 2012, 07:53 AM   #97
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Half concealed means half exposed.
Indeed, it means that half of me is exposed, aiming a cocked and locked firearm, at a narrow field of fire, that leaves the other guy(s) fully exposed if they intend to come that far. I personally like those odds as opposed to hiding blindly.

But then you add :

Quote:
No responsible person would fire through the door.
And,
Quote:
How would they know at whom they were shooting?
Clearly someone who is a "responsible" person, would not have broken into my home in the first place, and if they have a mind for killing, they are not gonna care who is on the other side of the door.

Someone spraying bullets blindly through a door (or wall) into a small room full of people can have deadly consequences for the occupants of that room.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:56 AM   #98
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OuTcAsT, some of the experts here, and some of the certified trainers, advise defending from a safe room just because that is the strategy promoted by virtually all other experts.

There are others, however, who have personally engaged in FoF training using simunitions. They have found out what works and what does not. I seriously doubt that you will find many of them who would try twice to stay in one place while exposing half of themselves and aiming a firearm, with the hope that the other guy will be fully exposed and will not shoot them.

You could ask them, or you could sign up and try it yourself.

In the final analysis, it is the defender's objective to stay unhurt and to protect his family, using deadly force effectively as a last resort only when it becomes necessary. That means not exposing himself to fire. It also means that his objective is not to figure out how to best engage and shoot the guy somewhere in the house because he has entered.

BTW, if you have the facilities, have someone put some targets on the other side of a wall and start shooting through the door. Count the hits. I do not think that you will worry much about that possibility afterwards.

Then have two or three people engage a person who is half exposed, using simunitons, paint-ball, or Airsoft. I think you'll give up on that strategy. One or more of the intruders may get hit, but that's not what's important.
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Old December 2, 2012, 02:41 PM   #99
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In the final analysis, it is the defender's objective to stay unhurt and to protect his family, using deadly force effectively as a last resort only when it becomes necessary.
I agree, I'm pretty sure everyone will agree to that statement.

Quote:
That means not exposing himself to fire.
Pretty sure everyone agrees with this as well.

Quote:
It also means that his objective is not to figure out how to best engage and shoot the guy somewhere in the house because he has entered.
No doubt, I don't think anyone implied otherwise. However, everyone should have in mind some plans to defend themselves, and their families if it becomes necessary.

Quote:
BTW, if you have the facilities, have someone put some targets on the other side of a wall and start shooting through the door. Count the hits.
I have, and the results were surprising. I got more hits than I imagined I would. YMMV

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Then have two or three people engage a person who is half exposed, using simunitons, paint-ball, or Airsoft. I think you'll give up on that strategy. One or more of the intruders may get hit, but that's not what's important.
Have been in this position many times in airsoft, and paintball. Sometimes it works out, others, not so much. As I said earlier, I know what the experts say, I have read and I agree with most of their (and your) points. I am merely saying that given the OP's situation, I would feel comfortable with defending the stairway. There is no "right" or "wrong" answer to this, just differing opinions.
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:51 AM   #100
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Quote:
That means not exposing himself to fire.

Pretty sure everyone agrees with this as well.
I am not sure about that. There seems to be some advocating being exposed.
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