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Old August 27, 2012, 08:29 AM   #8
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,478
Unless you have family that needs to be secured, lights on or off, I don't think going searching for the BGs is a great idea.
The mistake is more likely to be going to investigate, not whether the lights are on.
This. It bears repeating.

When a criminal breaks into your home, the smart thing to do is to get yourself and your loved ones into a locked room with your weapon out and ready to fire the moment the criminal comes through the door. Once your family is safe behind that locked door, don't go looking for trouble! Call the cops and let them find the intruder for you.

Waiting in a secure place while keeping your family behind your protective firearm is not cowardly. It is not an act of surrender, and it isn't even "hiding from the crooks!" It is simply setting up a well-planned tactical ambush.

This tactical ambush tilts the odds in your favor and puts you in the best position to directly protect the most valuable things in your house: your life, and the lives of the people you love.

Of course, you may surprise the intruder while you are moving to secure your family. That is why we train how to move through the house, how to "pie" corners, how to retain the firearm if attacked, etc. -- not because we will "clear the house" by ourselves, but because we may need to move through danger to protect family members.

So what do you all think? Am I off base here? Lights on or off? And why or why not?
Equalize the environment if you safely can. The ideal would be to illuminate the bad guy (light him up!) while remaining unseen yourself. In reality, once you're in a secure room with your weapon trained on the door, there's no reason not to give yourself enough light to work with.

Additional note: My friend also absolutely believes that the sound of him racking his Ithaca pump action 12 will scare any and all bad guys away...
Tell your friend he's half right. Racking the pump will indeed scare the bad guy. Unfortunately, he has no control at all over what the bad guy DOES when frightened. Some people -- particularly angry and aggressive young men, as bad guys tend to be -- actually respond to a fear-based adrenalin dump by attacking twice as fast and twice as hard as they intended to before.

Also, contradiction! Your friend wants to "surprise the intruder" in the dark, but also wants to make that noise so the bad guy knows where he is and what he's got. Which is it...?

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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