What NOT to do During a Home Invasion
No matter how much we try to prepare for a home invasion, there’s still a part of us that thinks it’ll never happen. Right up until it does.
For the untrained, the chances of becoming a deer in the headlights are frighteningly high. Even for seasoned veterans and true experts, a proper surprise can still lead to costly mistakes. Preparation lies at the heart of home defense, so in this installment, we’ll go over things you want to avoid.
By training your mind now, you can be ready to skip past some of the worst mistakes to make during a home invasion.
Don’t Forget the Plan
When the military needs to defend a location, they devise a comprehensive plan. They account for any and all contingencies and catastrophes. Then, they drill on the plan. This is equally applicable to home defense. No number of accessible firearms will ever match a good defense plan. If you aren’t sure, seek help. There are plenty of expert resources to help you.
Make sure your plan is thorough and practiced — especially by family members and/or housemates. When the world turns upside down, muscle memory is often the thing that sparks action and keeps people from freezing.
Avoid Tunnel Vision
There are two sides to this coin. Tunnel vision can contribute to passivity and over extension. If you focus too hard on getting to safety, you may fail to meet a threat. The very reason you are reading this right now is because you understand that appropriate force is the only correct response in some situations. You train with your firearm. You invested a lot of energy into your defense plan. The hardest thing to do under pressure is find the courage to act.
Conversely, some of us respond with the opposite instincts. We go straight towards danger. Tunnel vision is just as dangerous here. If you choose pursuit over defense, you can easily overextend. This puts you at risk. Worse, it puts people you are defending at risk. It’s a difficult balance, but if you include assessing situations in your drills, it will help you avoid deadly tunnel vision.
Don’t Take Anything for Granted
When you come home after a long day, you toss your keys in the same spot, kick your shoes to a familiar location and follow countless other rituals. You expect things to be in a certain place. You anticipate what the other occupants of the home will be doing. You make countless assumption. In a home invasion, you have to throw all of that out of the window. Murphy’s Law is real, and you can count on it to make sure the one time your kid is out of bed at 3 a.m. is when there’s an intruder afoot.
Once again, training is your friend. An Air Force colonel by the name of John Boyd devised a method to help train observation and response. He dubbed it the OODA loop. It stands for observe, orient, decide and act. If you spend some time learning about the OODA loop and how to apply it, you can train your brain to treat a home invasion as a fresh situation. You won’t take things for granted, and your response time will be at its peak.
Don’t be a One Man Army
Let’s clarify. If your home is invaded, you will have to assess the situation and choose between standing your ground, retreating or surrendering. This piece of advice assumes you successfully stood your ground. You aren’t dead, and you aren’t incapacitated. At this point, it is imperative that you contact emergency responders. For obvious reasons, you want medical treatment ASAP for anyone wounded. You also might need reinforcements right away. Maybe the culprits ran and you hope they can be caught. Maybe you aren’t sure if the area is truly secure. All of these are good reasons to call 911 right away, but there’s another important one that you probably haven’t considered.
A smart criminal will flee from your firearms. As soon as they think they aren’t going to die, they will call the cops. They’ll do this to sow confusion in the record. You see, cops aren’t perfect. They’re people, and they’re prone to the same mistakes and biases as the rest of us. In a he-said-she-said confrontation, they’ll be tempted to favor whoever contacts them first. Make sure it’s you.
There are thousands of applicable do’s and don’ts that can’t fit on this page. The truly defended home is one occupied by someone who never stops. Always learn more. Always train more. Keep at it relentlessly, and when the day comes, you’ll be ready to do the best you can.
~ National Gun Network