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Old August 27, 2012, 05:15 PM   #26
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I think the first response should be 911.

Lighting should be so as to back light any intruder while leaving you in the shadows. There are light switches available now which have a motion detector built in. They also have built in timers which will turn the lights off if motion has not been detected in a prescribed time.

If the layout allows then the family should gather in a single room with you in a defensive "concealed/barricaded position. If this is not possible then you should move to a position which will allow you to cover any choke points. Where an intruder would be required to pass to get to the bedrooms.

One of my issues with the popular home layout, is having the master suite and the children s bedrooms on the opposite end of the house is that you cannot gather everyone in one area in a security situation. it also presents problems in evacuating children in a fire.
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Old August 27, 2012, 05:56 PM   #27
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I have 90% of the lights in the house on X-15 control. That is remote on/off from a hand held wireless remote. Individual on/off or all on/off. Someone starts turning lights on, I turn them off. It is just me and the wife and the master suite is well armed and secured. I just received a new DVD on Fighting in Structures and have also done Force on Force training in one of the last 5 Gun Fighting Courses I have taken. I am doing two different refresher courses in September and October. Learning is a never ending challenge.
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Old August 27, 2012, 06:25 PM   #28
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All things equal the advantage is to the one who knows the lay of the land, and that advantage is greater in the dark.

The advice to hunker down with loved ones in a defensive posture and call 911 is best. However, if I had to search through the house for loved ones, I would be in the dark with flashlight and gun using the Harries. I wouldn't be turning my flashlight on until needed, and the only thing I would need it for is intruder illumination and identification.
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:29 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by j3ffr0
All things equal the advantage is to the one who knows the lay of the land, and that advantage is greater in the dark...
All things are never equal, and when going to look for an ensconced adversary, knowing the lay of the land really isn't an advantage. All your adversary needs to know is that you are coming. It will generally be obvious from where you'll be coming, unless your house has secret passages; so all he has to do is hide and wait. And if there are more than one BG, it'll be even worse for you.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old August 27, 2012, 09:37 PM   #30
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I leave a light on at the far end of the hall. Wife and I are in bed room at other end. Have a flashlight and pistol. Our plan is to stay in bed room - Wife on phone, lights in bed room off, flashlight up high on chest pointing down hall and me low in shadow covering length of the hall.
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Old August 27, 2012, 11:07 PM   #31
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I have dogs. I don't advocate clearing. However, if I had to (say for example I had loved ones elsewhere in the house) I am pretty sure that between the three dogs, they would give me a very good fix on threat location(s).

Dogs are not for everyone, but for some of us they provide many advantages, sometimes even of a tactical nature.
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Old August 28, 2012, 12:12 AM   #32
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I absolutely agree with securing your family in a locked room and call the police. No need to try and be a hero to risk safety of you and your family.

Also if you are going to use the dark to your advatage, you need to practice maneuvering around the house with the lights off. This way muscle memory will take over in the high-stress situation.
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Old August 28, 2012, 01:53 AM   #33
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I have a controller that sits by the bed. If a ungood sound is heard during the night, or the dog wakes me, I press the button and three rooms in the house go on and three digital cameras begin taking video acting on their motion detectors. I remain in the dark and with the house and gardage lit I scan each zone with the digital cameras. Each zone includes an access point into my house.

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Old August 28, 2012, 09:34 AM   #34
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There are three basic categories of uninvited "guests" that illegally enter your home:

1) Those who violate your home because they know you are not there - and they are right.

2) Those who violate your home because they think you are not there - and they are wrong.

3) Those who violate your home because they know you ARE there.

Looking at the statement in the OP I assume the scenario was geared more towards category 3; a home invasion.

Home invasions are not burglaries or encounters with misguided intruders. They are typically not a cat and mouse match of wits with convoluted assumptions that anything is in your favor. They are typically fast, violent and statistically not performed by a single individual. Often being a pre-planned event, the VCA's already know something about you, where you are and how or what they are going to do. That is if we are still actually talking about a "home invasion" where you are the VCA's goal.

That being said, I would like to offer an "opinion":

Have a plan, but keep it simple. As a rule of thumb you will not perform in a crisis something you have not practiced.

Defend yourself first, then protect others. You will not protect anybody once the life fades from your eyes. That means your whole family needs to know the plan. Again, practice.

Make the exterior of your home as hard and as noisy as possible. Forced entry into your home should be an exceptional challenge, and noisy.

Additionally, if this is truly a concern, I don't know why you want the house "dark" anyway. With the contemporary fluorescents and LED's on the commercial lighting market, you can have light fixtures installed in the larger living areas of your home that can be left on 24-hours a day with very little power consumption to worry about. Well thought out, this could provide adequate back-lighting that could be to your advantage. Spend what little time you have to react getting to your defensive resources, not fumbling for remote controls for lights or anything else.

Home invasions take a special, sick breed of human to perpetrate. Expect no less.
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Last edited by Shawn Thompson; August 28, 2012 at 09:50 AM.
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Old August 28, 2012, 11:20 AM   #35
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Well, I've had attempted home invasions twice in the last 8 months, so, I'll tell you what I did. YMMV.

Both times were really early in the morning (1:30 and 3:30). The TV was on, as I had fallen asleep on the couch, when I heard someone trying to get in. I immediately turned the TV off and to take away any light from inside the house. I then grabbed my 642 and went to the bedroom to get my XD9 and a flashlight. At that point I then called the police.

The reason I left the lights off is that I know my house better than an intruder and with a flashlight and gun in hand, I had the advantage. The second time, the 911 operator tried to get me to hide. I told her that I was watching both entry points (small house) with a gun in my hand and that I was fine.

The first guy was arrested in the neighbor's yard, the other two guys got away. I was completely overloaded on adrenaline the first time, but the second time I was just extremely irritated. Both times I feel that I handled the situation as well as could be expected having never gone through anything like that. Again, YMMV.

Now, I have "hardened" the rear entry point and I roll a bicycle in front of the front door. If someone tries to force their way in, it will be really noisy.
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Old August 28, 2012, 12:21 PM   #36
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In my area there was an incident last year where a drunk that was at a party from out of town accidentally walked into the wrong house and was killed by the owner.
Never understood how someone can just "walk" into your house. Do people not lock their doors? I figure that's the whole point of a door as opposed to a hole in the wall. So you can lock it.
I keep my doors locked even when I'm home so the only way you are getting in is with my permission or by actively trying to break in (thus knowing full well that you're not supposed to be here) My house isn't a place you can just accidentally walk into.
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Old August 28, 2012, 04:57 PM   #37
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lights on or lights off,you'll likely work with what you have. I won't be tryin to adjust lighting while someone is beating down the door.i"ve kicked in a few doors and unless it something special i can do it very quickly.

as for the shotgun,the first sound an intruder will hear from my shotgun is the muzzle blast.
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Old August 28, 2012, 05:14 PM   #38
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Unless the guys invading your home are idiots you are probably going to be playing catchup and losing in the process. Plan on getiing bloody. Home invasions occur when they know you're home and have probably already tested the waters a bit and know what situation they are going into. Racking a shotgun just lets the BGs know where you are when they hear the noise.
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:54 PM   #39
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Lights on/lights off - completely situational.

Home invasions do not come with a pre-packaged set of instructions. Any one will be different than another. Do what you need to do if it happens.
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Old August 29, 2012, 09:22 AM   #40
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Where protecting a child is involved

My quandry is not that I want to go search for the bad guys, lights on or off. I would never do that. If it was just me and my wife, the two of us would converge on the master closet, call the police via cell phone, stay quiet and stay put.

However I have young one(s) upstairs and we are downstairs. Its not practical to move houses right now, so let's talk about realistic suggestions. From a security perspective, we follow a tight discipline to make sure we are not surpised by a crook getting in easily. All doors, window, yard gates, etc are always locked at our home and Alarm is on instant setting night, meaning if any door or window opens or is broken the alarm goes on full immeidately.

We will probably begin practicing security drill with alarm on during the days now as another poster noted home invasions are happening more during the day. I will have to come up with a day plan, and we also have to plan for what if the alarm doesnt go off and we are caught more or less off guard.

The plan I currently have is as follows (this is worst case where its night and the children are farthest from me):
1. Invasion occurs - door opens or glass breaks, alarm goes off. Clean excrement off of myself, and then the following should be happening:
a. The child(ren) immediately go(es) under bed if alarm goes off - it will be hardest for a criminal to extract a child from under a bed, whereas a closet is easy to grab them, and doors are flimsy (considering replacing doors with solid wood doors with locks)
b. My wife is to grab the home cordless phone and head to the closet. She will respond to the call from the alarm monitoring company from master bedroom closet. If the call doesnt come, she calls the police from closet. If line is cut, her cell phone is in the closet. If cell reception is being jammed, and or if alarm didnt go off, we are nigthmare situation.
c. In any case once she is in closet, before answering call from alarm company, my wife is to retrieve the AR-15 from the gun safe in the closet, arm the weapon and make ready to fire, sit tight in the closet no matter what she hears.
d. If she hears anyone approaching the closet (which will be difficult over the alarm) she is to state, "The police are coming, I am armed with a machine gun, you picked the wrong F@#$king house." I've told her to rack the charging handle. She will have 60 shots of 62 grain soft points, so losing 1 round not a big deal. THe cartridges are handloads and are planned recipe for expansion without over penetration, yet are powerful enough to cycle the gun.
e. She is also to get out the Kimber .45 (my concealed carry gun) and to stand behind the safe door with the rifle pointed at the entry to the closet with the flashlight on, safety off, eotech on (but at that range it wont really matter).
f. She awaits me to bring the child(ren) to the closet or the police to come get her. We have a code arranged, for example I will waive a bathroom towel (not the real code, but thats an exanple), into the closet after i open the door - this is to signal it is me

2. When the alarm goes off, my actions are:
a. Remove 92FS and 3 extra mags (in a magazine holder) of Federal Hydra Shoks from a safe near me, and flashlight. Disengage safety but leave the hammer down (double action first shot)
b. Turn on the bedroom light and each light in succession as I proceed. I will have children to coordinate, I need to know EXACTLY where they are. If anyone turns off lights, that is information i gain about where they are. Sound will be deprived due to the Alarm, so this is important info.
c. Cross rooms and ascend stairs (I will not detail the layout here).
d. Enter child's room, clear the door, bathroom and closet. Back up to the bed, kneel down with gun on the main door to the room, say the code word.
e. Repeat procedure for other children if I have any (yes I know whether or not I do , just not eager for a predator who may be reading this board to know anything more)
f. Move back downstairs sweeping the stair case and front room (s), keeping the child(ren) behind me. he/she/they are holding hands cross rooms back to the closet.

Rules of Engagement:
1. As cute as dog are, our dog(s) are on their own in this situation. They are full size (90 pound) dogs and pretty sure they will not be happy about the comotion. Either they will run to the bedroom and find my wife or they will attack and may (God help me) give their lives defending us.
2. If lights are turned off as i come back, I will consider the situaiton is worse, and I will retreat to the upstairs and await the police.
3. We have a walkie talkie in the master closet and one in upstairs so my wife and I can update each other.
4. If encounter an intruder, I will a) assume they are there for Evil, b) I have made piece that means they are there to do bodily harm to all of us, probably including murder, c) and so having thought through this in advance, my ROE is not to think when it occurs: I will just point the weapon and fire at center mass continuously until the intruder is prone on the ground and appears mortally wounded. My assumption is if they have entered my locked home, set off the alarm and are still there, they are not a neighborhood kid or a drunk neighbor. My immedate neighbors know we are armed, and we have discussed my plan in general, so they will not be entering the house. So anyone I encounter that I get the drop on is going down like a rabid animal.
5. I will not take chances negotiating their surrender or warning because I do not know how many there are or what their tactics or skills are.
6. If I hear an altercation going on between bad guys and my wife while en route with the child(ren), I release the child(ren) through the front door and he/she/they are to go to the neighbors house directly across the street. I will watch him/her/them run across. I cannot escort because I could become locked out of the house, leaving my wife in a hostage situation. Its a 50 foot run, and the neighborhood will be on high alert by this time because the alarm is VERY loud. I cannot leave my back turned or abandon my wife, so I have to trust my neighbor. We've discussed this.
7. He is also to call the police and let them know a home invasion is underway, describe me and my wife, notify the police we are armed and that my sending over the child(ren) is a bad bad bad sign.
8. Under no circumstances is my wife to leave the security of the closet to assist me, and, while I have the child(ren) in escort, I am not to come to her assistance.
9. Upon reaching the closet with the child(ren) we will all stay put, and I will retrieve the Weatherby SA-459 12 ga auto (with red dot sight and 7+1 mag extension) from the safe. We will await the police.
10. The child(ren) go behind the safe door w my wife.
11 If I have had to send the child(ren) across the street, this means an altercation was in progress. I will attempt to protect/rescue my wife at all costs, and willcall the neighbor via cell phone to make sure the children are safe - if we have presence of mind to do so
12 Once I have regained control, if we reach the neighbor, we stay put in the closet and await the police.
13 If we do not reach the neighbor, I haven't got that figured out yet.

Option 1 is to exit the house and go to the neighbor's house, but I don't like the idea of the police arriving at 2:30 AM w my wife and I both armed with long guns and pistols, crossing the street, covering each other during the transit of the street, and my child(ren) possibly still outside. Too much risk.

Option 2 is to stay put in the closet, and to keep calling the neighbor, keep calling the police

Option 3 is to clear the master bathroom and master bedroom, enlarging our defended area and then stay put until police arrive, and to keep calling the neighbor

There is no option where we go clearing the whole house and hunting for bad guys. Again we have no idea what their tactics and training are, whether they may have former military training, and so forth.

Which options above sound reasonable? Any other gaping holes in the plan?
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Last edited by hermanpj; August 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM.
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Old August 29, 2012, 01:56 PM   #41
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Never understood how someone can just "walk" into your house. Do people not lock their doors? ... I keep my doors locked even when I'm home so the only way you are getting in is with my permission or by actively trying to break in...
+1 -- I always keep my doors locked, especially the one front door that provides entry from the "public" side. My wife used to grumble about that, then after several really bad cases of home invasion she realized I was only being practical(!)
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Old August 29, 2012, 04:46 PM   #42
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Which options above sound reasonable? Any other gaping holes in the plan?
What kind of response do you get from your family when you tell them, 'We are going to practice ...?'

You do understand than any plan goes down the toilet upon first encounter with the opposition.

The biggest 'Hole in the plan' I see is that you are dealing with people.

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Old August 30, 2012, 12:40 AM   #43
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Hermanpj...A lot going on with a complicated/detailed plan.

what do you and your wife do if BG's get to your kid(s) before you do?

do you get reception with a cell phone from inside your closet?

you did not mention age of children any complications here?

shooting planning on using hearing protection for family?

if you are going to retrieve about BUG in case you are attacked or lose firearm or it jams?

Since kids are involved absolutely essential you and wife are on same page as what to do if they are taken or being threatened.

Safe signal if audio or visual could be forgotten in high stress situation...what's wrong with just saying "It's me I got the kids don't shoot" and waiting for a verbal acknowledgement that she heard you and understands.

Hope you don't have to use your plan but better to have one than not.
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Old August 30, 2012, 10:25 PM   #44
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Hook, when I say we are going to practice, I explain why, and then we practice. We have practiced fire drills successfully, no issues. A car hit our house one time and I said, fire drill, need you outside of the house in 10 seconds. Kid(s) were out in pretty close to 10 seconds.

Aphdmansoc, great and very helpful questions. Will take them in turn - help me think through it. I do also agree I hope to never use this plan, but I'm with you: need to have a plan and practice the plan.

1. It's complicated/detailed plan: it really has only 3 main elements and 2 branches. 1. The wife goes to the closet, 2. I go get the kid(s), 4. I bring them to the closet. B1. We stay put if I see BGs from upstairs, B2. The kid(s) go to the neighbors if BGs are attacking my wife bc bringing them to the closet would be bad.

We will have to actually break the plan down into each step and practice each scenario/path of the outcome logic.

2. The BG getting the kid(s) first is more likely in a daytime attack. At night, in addition to the alarm, there is 1 60 pound husky and 1 90 pound Greyhound. Even if somebody got past the alarm without setting it off, the dogs would go ape-CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- if someone came in. I'm not saying they'd protect us, just that they would bark like crazy. All of these houses are laid out with master bedroom downstairs so that's where they will most likely head first - to subdue the owners.

If they DO get to the kid(s) first, my current thinking is we have to de-escalate the situation while we wait for the police. Chances of the child(ren)being killed increases if I do not de-escalate verbally. Even if submitting increases chance I will be killed. If the alarm didnt go off and they get to the kid(s) first, I'm still hoping my wife is making it to the closet and making the cell phone call. If that doesn't work, well I'm out of luck. Any plan is out the window once its defeated 3 layers deep. Short of us all sleeping together in a steel fortress, which would get old, not sure what else to plan. Any input?

3. Do we get reception with a cell phone from inside closet? Yes, 4G, 4 bars. We live in an area of strong coverage, so good there.

4. Child(ren) is/are young but he/she/they walk and talk and are athletic. Still at the age where the kid(s) obey, particularly when scared.

5. Hearing protection: there are earmuffs in the closet, my wife should put them on. I dont want the kid(s) wearing ear protection bc the alarm is still going off and I want him/her/them to hear me when I come up for them.

6. Back up gun: AWESOME idea. I dont want to waste time getting to the kid(s) so I would need to put the one gun in a keypad activated gunvault upstairs, and one w me. Alternative is I could put the 12 ga in a big bureau, but then i'd have to put locks on it and I don't want to be messing w locks if there's an invader.

7. Being on same page w wife as to what to do if kid(s) taken or being threatened: I absolutely agree. Do you have any ideas or theories?

8. The problem i thought of with me just saying "It's me with the kid(s) don't shoot" is the alarm is still going off at this point, the dogs are going to be running all over barking like crazy, the wife may have fired an AR-15 or a 12 ga, she may have thought to put on ear protection, I may have had to fire so my hearing may be impaired... hearing may not be a reliable sense at this point for anyone. So I came up with the towel idea as a visible symbol of 'don't shoot.'

That's another tough one to solve. Only thing I can think is we have to practice that part of the plan many many times.
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Old September 1, 2012, 08:09 AM   #45
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My wife and I experienced a violent home invasion last fall. My comment to this thread is be prepared and have a plan. I never thought about this situation nor planned for it. Things happened fast. I had to handle the situation as it unfolded. I made some mistakes. In the end we were ok and the perp not so well. We stay prepared now.

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Old September 1, 2012, 01:14 PM   #46
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I have always thought that a master light switch by the bed would be a marvelous idea, flip it and every light in the house comes on.
I'm close to that, my brother and sisters bedrooms are at the east end of the house mine is at the west end but my bedroom door comes out in the dining room across the room from the entry door so I hear anybody from kitchen to dinning room to living room or front porch. When I come out the light switches for all 3 rooms are right there at my left and I can switch them all on at once while I am still in my dark room. Advantage mine. Plus I have porch light on 24/7 and a night light in the kitchen and living room so us old people aren't having to stumble around in the dark for our nocturnal business. Anybody on the porch or inside the house is going to be back lit at the very least. If those lights are off the mag light on my night stand next to my .357 is handy and with my open house plan I can scan from kitchen door all the way to the other end of the house in a quick sweep, advantage still mine. No place for boogerman to hide.
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Old September 1, 2012, 04:40 PM   #47
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Yeah, that's why I put my firearm on when I get dressed in the morning, and don't take it off until bedtime.
Same here. And my house has security lighting around it's perimeter. Plans also for a video security system and X-15 controlled interior. Needs also include a landline, as cell coverage is nil. I need to get out of here first, though.
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Old September 1, 2012, 05:56 PM   #48
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If I didn't choose to hide I would turn on the lights. Most break ins are property crimes. I couldn't live with my self if I shot an unarmed man over a TV set. Even worse, you could shoot a loved one who accidentally broke a window or was sneaking into the fridge for a late night snack. Crazier things have happened...

If I shot everyone I have caught sneaking in a window I would have shot my wife of 22 years before we were ever married. We had a tiff. She came to my house drunk, looking to make up. I didn't answer the door and went back to sleep. A while later she came in through the window.
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Old September 1, 2012, 06:11 PM   #49
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The last time I posted on a thread like this I got kicked off firing line for a week. But again. I live in the country , have outside security light on at dark , always keep gate locked and have a 108 lb German shepherd runs on about 2 of our outside acres that's dog proof fenced. But if anyone ever does try because crackheads are dumb with try anything. And it's dark, the lights will stay off. Im very comfortable in my hose at dark. If you think you're going to kick my door open and get something. You are, it's gonna be lead!
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Old September 1, 2012, 07:51 PM   #50
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Check in to X10 products. I can turn on the living room, front and back lights with only a couple of clicks on a hand held remote. It makes it easy to light up the house with the bedroom wing completely in the dark. Works great and I can see what is going on when I want to with out exposing myself. I have been using their products for about 27 years.
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