Note: This blog was co-written by Peacekeeper and Pulse Firearms Training Inc.
It’s 2am. You wake up and hear noises from inside your house. Maybe it’s glass breaking or something being knocked over. You hear heavy footsteps and, worst-case scenario, unknown voices discussing violence. You’re a victim of a home invasion, one of the most dangerous possible confrontations. The bad guy (or guys) are there not to steal your flat screen TV, but to fight—to hurt you or your loved ones.
What do you do?
1) Grab a gun or a weapon with stopping power
The home invader has violence on his mind. Defusing the situation by talking would be nice, but you also need to be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones. Having a gun (and the training to use it effectively in a firefight) can greatly reduce the odds of your loved ones getting hurt. Make sure the gun has a tactical light so you can see the bad guy at night.
If you don’t have access to a gun, you still need a weapon that can stop a grown man in his tracks. Mace, metal baseball bats, and tasers are all good. The problem is that all three of these weapons require you to close the distance with your attacker, something that’s generally unwise. If your attacker has a gun, and you have a can of mace, you’re going to be in a tough situation.
That said, any of these weapons is better than nothing. If the invasion happens in the middle of the day, when you’re eating lunch downstairs and your shotgun is upstairs, running to get it may take too long. In that case, having a baseball bat, a contact weapon, or mace nearby can make a difference—if you’re willing to use them in a decisive manner that will end a fight immediately.
2) Assess the Situation
You don’t want to jump out guns blazing. The invader could be a neighbor’s teenage son, breaking in on a dare. Or it could be a career criminal holding your daughter in front of him as a shield. You need to assess the situation before you act. Establish a clear visual on the intruder.
Find a good vantage point. This could be on an upstairs landing overlooking the room with the broken window, or a stairwell. Make sure that it’s between the bad guy and your family. If they sleep upstairs, position yourself to cover the stairwell.
Resist the urge to hunt the invader down. Your location needs two things: it needs a good view of the attacker, and it needs to be between him and your loved ones. The last thing you want is him getting to your family while you’re in another part of the house.
3) Use Peacekeeper
Have your spouse use Peacekeeper to send out a notice to your Emergency Response Group or Alliance while you’re arming yourself. Your keepers can respond quickly; neighbors who are trained and prepared can be at your house, ready to stop the invader before he hurts someone.
When you use Peacekeeper, it’s important to have a plan beforehand. Just having armed people show up at your house, to exchange shots with an armed criminal when it’s night and no-one’s sure who is who, is a recipe for disaster.
But this is the beauty of Peacekeeper. Your Tribe is composed of friends and neighbors, people you talk to every day. You can get together and lay out a detailed plan for a home invasion before it happens. You can coordinate for your armed neighbor to cover the main exits, and make sure you know they’re a friend and they know where you are too. You can roleplay scenarios and make plans that are flexible enough to take into consideration the chaos of a real fight.
Remember, a violent encounter is a Pandora’s Box—it can swiftly devolve into chaos. To minimize the odds of anything bad happening, you need to plan for the confusion of real combat so that you and your Keepers can react rationally instead of getting sucked into the mayhem. That said, if you have a trained group of Keepers ready to help, Peacekeeper can put the odds in your favor.
Note: The purpose of Peacekeeper is to stop crime when it’s happening, not to hunt down the criminal afterward. Defend yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors. But vigilantism (hunting down the bad guy afterwards, for instance shooting him when he’s running away) is illegal, and we discourage it in the strongest possible terms.
4) Take Control
Once you establish that the invader is in fact a bad guy—not a teenager on a dare—and once you ascertain that your family is safe, take control.
Shout—sudden loud noises, especially in the dark, can stun an attacker. Line up a visual, and let the bad guy know you’re prepared to strike unless he surrenders. Be loud, authoritative, and don’t show fear. You should role-play this ahead of time.
Control is crucial in a fight. Many fights are over before they begin because the victim is scared, shocked, and freezes. Don’t let that happen to you. By taking control and staying active, you short-circuit your body’s natural desire to freeze. You can also surprise your attacker. Even if he doesn’t flee, that gives you an advantage.
5) Be Prepared to Fight
When facing an armed criminal(s) prepared to hurt you and your family, you need to be equally prepared to stop him. You need to be mentally and emotionally willing and capable to kill an intruder if it comes to that. If you have a gun, that means knowing how to aim and hit your target effectively, how to select and hold a position, how to appropriately take and use cover to your advantage, how to reload, and how to fix malfunctions so you can stay in the fight—and being able to do all of that while under more stress than you’ve ever experienced before.
If you have a baseball bat or can of mace, your task is even harder: you need to understand how to close with your attacker without getting shot yourself, and how to incapacitate or even kill him with your bare hands or a contact weapon. Even for trained fighters, this is much harder than it seems. While mace and a baseball bat are better than nothing, a gun lets you engage multiple assailants from a safe range, quickly switch targets, and avoid having to close with an armed opponent.
Regardless of what you use, training is essential.
In a violent encounter, good training can make the difference between life and death. There are a lot of good training programs out there. Pretty soon Peacekeeper will be unveiling our Guardian membership program, which will include powerful online training resources from an elite combative firearms training organization.
Nothing in life is guaranteed. Fighting can devolve into chaos even when lethal weapons aren’t involved. But follow these steps, get high-quality training, and you’ll significantly improve your chances in a home invasion.