Three Letters Re: How to Build a Defensible Single Family Retreat


Regarding M.S.’s statement: “You can forget about defending any type of suburban or urban home or business altogether.”

I beg to differ. If anyone attacks my suburban home, he’ll be immediately counter-attacked from the flanks and rear by my neighbors. This is more effective and cheaper than elaborate defenses.- G.K.

HJL Replies: The importance of having relationships with your neighbors cannot be stressed enough; however, M.S.’s statement still stands. For example, the average suburban home has 6 to 8 3/8” sheet-rock walls and a couple of chipboard sidings on a cross section, all of which a standard .308 round will penetrate with ease. If you are lucky, you might have a brick veneer, which might give you a few minutes of cover. Businesses of modern construction usually don’t fair much better. Unless you have hardened your building, you are handicapped from the beginning. Most homes have exterior doors that open inward, making it very easy to simply kick them in. These are structures that have been designed from the outset to look nice and have minimal cost. Even fences are an issue. Most residential areas won’t allow a fence over five or six feet tall without a special permit. Having neighbors that have your back is awsome, but you need to be able to hold off any onslaught of violence until they can engage in your defense.

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I found the article by M.S. highly interesting. I have mentally covered much of the same ground and reached many of the same conclusions, most especially in the area of concrete and earth as building and fortifying materials.

While I have not yet read “The Fourth Turning”, I am not unfamiliar with the operating theory and agree that it posts a warning worth noticing. I would like to commend M.S. for sharing their insights and the description of the work they have done. It will help me with my efforts.

Thank you for your attention. – GLB

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Dear Editor,

Reading stories on defensible homes, I could not help but share this company’s info. I built and have lived in one of these structures for over a decade and have nothing but praise for them. These homes are energy efficient, safe from tornadoes and storms, and have 10″ concrete walls that are very defensible. I just thought I would pass this on. – R.B.