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Old January 13, 2012, 10:10 PM   #106
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,880
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.
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