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Monday, March 23, 2009

Preventing Home Invasion

Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

The numbers of violent home invasions have greatly increased, and will probably continue to do so.

The threat is particularly prevalent in communities which have implemented laws forbidding citizens from possessing or carrying loaded firearms.

There are basic steps that homeowners can take in protecting themselves.

First of all, choose to reside in an area where the law does permit citizens to own, carry, and wear loaded firearms.

Those are always going to be the safest locations, for criminals will avoid them, fearing for their own safety.

On the other hand, gun free zones actually invite crime, for law abiding citizens become naught but helpless prey.

But, there are numerous other measures that citizens can take to protect their residences, their loved ones, and themselves.

Each home should have a yard, and that yard should be completely fenced, preferably with chain link.

A fully fenced yard will not only help prevent trespassing, but it also provides protection for children and pets.

Each home should have two (02) dogs.

Whenever you're away from home, the dogs will keep each other company, and not get bored or frustrated.

I recommend ordinary, happy-go-lucky, people friendly, tail wagging mutts.

All dogs have a natural protective instinct, so it isn't necessary, or wise, to have an aggressive trained guard dog.

If an innocent neighbor is accidentally bitten, you might be subjected to civil litigation, or even criminal prosecution.

So, all you really want is for the dog to alert you, so you can investigate and decide what must be done.

Your sidewalk and driveway should be gravel, not concrete or dirt, for walking or driving on gravel makes a nice crunching noise to alert you to visitors.

For the same reason, steps, ramps, and porches should be wooden, and not concrete, because wooden steps, ramps, and porches tend to be noisier, especially as they age.

Each corner of the house and each entrance should have a motion activated security floodlight, with an auxilliary power supply.

If not wanted, a switch can deactivate the security lighting system.

Each window should have storm shutters that can be closed, if necessary.

Each window should have large sliding panes, which can provide an easily accessible emergency escape route.

It is possible to tint the windows so visibility is only one way.

Thus, an outsider can't see in, but residents can still enjoy their view.

Doors should be double wide, and slide open, rather than swing, and the doors need to be solid core, either hard wood or steel.

I recommend building a wall directly in front of the entrance, both inside and outside, which creates a baffle, so when the doors are open, no one can see directly inside.

An intercom system, and/or inexpensive security television monitors, can enable you to greet and screen visitors without having to open the door, or stand in front of your door.

By the way, cadets at police academies are taught NEVER to stand directly in front of an entrance, for that is a kill zone.

That's wise advice for all of us.

Yes, a conventional burglar alarm can be installed.

But, I would go a step further, especially in rural areas, and place red and blue flashing strobe lights, with a loudspeaker, on the roof, or on top of a telephone pole, which can be activated during an emergency, making your location and circumstances highly visible to neighbors and police.

Each home should have MULTIPLE means of two way communication readily available, i.e., cellular telephones for each individual, conventional land line telephone(s), computer(s), intercom, loudspeaker, amateur radio, and citizens band radio.

For defending the home, the ideal weapon is a short barrel twelve gauge pump shotgun, loaded with three inch magnum .00 buckshot and rifled slugs.

With such a weapon, it may never be necessary to pull the trigger, for the unique sound of the shotgun's pump action is more than enough to terrify any intruder.

Nicknamed, "the poor man's machine gun", a twelve gauge shotgun is a short range weapon which does not require accurate aiming, so in an emergency, it can be used by children, the elderly, and the physically handicapped.

The effect of firing a twelve gauge shotgun within the confines of a darkened room is very similar to setting off a bomb, or exploding a grenade.

For those who have been trained, a pistol is a good backup weapon.

My personal preference is the Colt .45 calibre Model 1911 automatic pistol, for that was the pistol I used when I was in the United States Army.

Hollywood movies and television shows are constantly depicting people firing automatic pistols who've never held a gun, which is a ridiculous scenario.

Automatic pistols have at least two (02) safety devices which prevent firing, so someone who's never used one wouldn't likely be able to figure out how to chamber a round and pull the trigger.

That's why people unfamiliar with handling pistols should use a double action revolver, preferably a .357 magnum calibre, for there is no safety, and all that is required is simply pulling the trigger.

Unfortunately, our society has become so emasculated that boys and men have to be taught all over again that ALWAYS carrying a pocketknife is a masculine requirement, for it is our most BASIC tool, being easily adaptible to multiple situations.

When I was growing up, every boy and every man always had a pocketknife.

I don't know why, but girls never carried pocketknives in their purses.

Girls were known for their ingenious use of a simple hair pin or bobby pin to do anything and everything.

In addition to the pocketknife, other basic tools to be always carried should be your cell phone, cigarette lighter, miniature flashlight, whistle, and small pocket mirror.

In my police training, I was taught to use the pocket mirror for peering around corners during gunfights, or for searching for contraband in a prison cell without exposing your hands to unseen hazards.

Inside of your home, and inside of your vehicle, you should always have flashlights, fire extinguishers, medical trauma kits, basic carpentry tools, and an emergency supply of prepared food and bottled water.

In addition, your vehicle should have a spotlight, cold weather clothing, outdoor camping equipment, and basic pioneer tools, i.e., axe, shovel, spade, pick, pry bar, and bolt cutters.

When you go anywhere, make sure you have a wide brimmed hat, leather gloves, a large bandana, and poncho, and instead of shoes, wear boots.

Carry a nice stout walking stick.

If attacked, wield the stick like a two-handed spear, and aim for your opponent's throat.

Thus, you're better prepared for emergency action, and you're not so likely to be perceived as easy prey.

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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