Letter Re: Guns and Combatting Home Invasion Robbers

Hello Captain,
Greetings from one of your neighbors in the American Redoubt. I couldn’t help but be bemused when I read the article about the elderly couple being beaten and robbed of their gun collection. Not because they got hurt or robbed of course. But because of a couple other points:
 
She yelled for her husband to "Call 911!" I guess that goes to show that wisdom doesn’t always come with age. Were that scenario to happen at my home, my wife wouldn’t answer the door. And I can’t remember the last time I answered the door without my ,38+P caliber AirLite in my hand. As I’m sure you are aware, it is a rather small gun. And I have rather large hands so it’s not hard for me to keep it out of sight in my right hand behind my back as I open the door with my left. No threat, the gun slips into my back pocket and the visitor never knows it was present.
 
If I’m not home? On the nights that I go to my night class, when I come home I find the door locked. As I unlock the door I say in a fairly loud voice, “It’s me honey.” You see, I don’t want to get shot. She wouldn’t open the door if she didn’t know who was there and I always notice when I come in that she has her Glock 34 on the couch with her.
 
The other thing I found funny was where the article says the couple “have since joined their daughter on the East Coast.” Nothing like jumping from the frying pan into the fire! At least in Colorado he had the right to self defense even if he didn’t exercise it. On the East Coast, he not only gets to get beat up but he also gets to get prosecuted if he tries to fight back.
 
Since I’m at it, I thought I would make another point. I see many people on this sight talk about being armed, what’s the best gun, best round, how they would use their gun to defend themselves in an attack, etc. I have even seen some talk about how they think they’re safe because they went to some gun class or school and spent an unbelievable amount of money to have some prima donna spend two days teaching them how to use a gun for self defense.
 
I have worked with guys, and being a commercial mason all my life I’m talking tough guys, that say they would simply shoot the bastard if he attacked their family members, or them, or broke into their home as the above referenced article reports. I invariably ask them, “Oh yeah, where do you keep your gun when you are at home? (I keep my AR-15, shotgun, Glock, 1911, and my Sog Fusion tactical tomahawk all in different strategic out-of-sight areas in my home when I’m home along with my AirLite in my pocket; call me paranoid? we’ll see who’s paranoid and we’ll see who’s dead when the bad guys come) Of course the answer is almost always, “I keep it in the gun safe” or “I keep it on my nightstand” or “in my nightstand.”
 
Then I ask, “So you think if someone kicks in your door while you’re relaxing on the couch watching television that you’ll be able to get up, run in the bedroom, grab the gun, and shoot the intruder, before he can get to you? Even if you did get to it in time, what makes you think you’d be able to hit him? Do you think that if you were lucky enough to round the corner on your way to the bedroom without getting shot first that the assailant wouldn’t grab your wife and put his gun to her head or knife to her throat? Then when you step back out into the room with your gun will you have the guts, the confidence, to take the shot? Or will you immediately drop the gun as the assailant will command you to do because you don’t want to risk shooting your own wife or aren’t good enough and/or don’t know exactly where to shoot to cut his brainstem so he doesn’t cut her throat or pull his trigger on his way down?”
 
(Don’t think for a minute that a gunfight will be like in the movies. FBI crime stats say that a man who is well oxygenated and pumped with adrenaline can keep firing on you for 14 seconds after his heart has been blown clear out. You better know how to brainstem him or your gun will likely be useless to you. Look up Ferfal on the Web. He has lived it in Argentina and he explains all about how the first thing the home invasion robbers will do is take a hostage.)
 
“Oh, I’d be able to hit him, don’t you worry about that!” they say.
 
“Yeah, right. Good luck pal.”
 
You see, I’m rather well trained with handguns. And I have a couple of police officer friends who are tactical trainers who have blessed me with a bit of tactical knowledge. I have come to realize that most men think that the ability to use a gun is an inherent quality bestowed upon them just by virtue of the fact that they are male. The fact is, and I know you know this Captain, that that is an insane fantasy that has no basis whatsoever in reality. When a man (or woman) realizes his life is on the line and may end within seconds, and gets the accompanying instant and massive overdose of adrenaline, he will lose, at a minimum, 50% of his motor skills immediately.
 
With my back to the target and in surrender position (hands over my head) with the target nine feet away, I can turn, draw from my tactical holster, and place two shots in center mass in just under a second. I can do “Smoke and Hope” (do a web search on "Steel Challenge") in just over 4 seconds. I can do Vice Presidente in 5.5 seconds (three targets, two feet apart, two shots on each target, reload, two shots on each target). Not all alphas but all 12 shots on the targets.
 
The point is, these things are all done through psychomotor. They are done through programming. The conscious mind is only in the game long enough to make the decision whether or not my life is in jeopardy, whether or not to draw and fire; once the conscious mind makes the decision, the conscious mind is out of the game and the rest is done by the programming. The programming comes from constant practice. Similar to driving a car down the highway. You don’t have to consciously think about shifting, clutching, throttle, steering, it’s all handled by your subconscious mind.
 
I point this out to suggest to your readers that male machismo is not going to save you in a real gunfight. Two days of high priced training at some tactical school is not going to save you. If you want to survive a real deadly attack, you must train until these skills become psychomotor skills just like driving a car. As they say, owning a gun doesn’t make you armed anymore than owning a guitar makes you a musician. If you do not practice these skills to the point of transforming them into psychomotor skills, it is almost a guarantee that when you face death you will fumble the gun, miss the shot, freeze in place, fail to seek cover, fumble the reload, die.
 
My friend who is a cop, tactical trainer, and gun store owner has a sign on the wall of his store:
“YOU WILL NOT RISE TO THE OCCASION; YOU WILL DEFAULT TO YOUR LEVEL OF TRAINING”

If you don’t truly believe that and act upon it, all the guns and ammo in the world won’t help you. You will fail when the moment of truth comes.
 
The best way to acquire these skills? United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). After several months of shooting USPSA matches a couple times a month your handgun will become like a trowel in a bricklayer’s hand, like a hammer in a carpenter’s hand, like a scalpel in a surgeon’s hand.
 
Then you will know, like me, that if you kick my door in, I may get shot, and I may die, but I guarantee you two shots in center mass — with my doubletap splits down to 0.18 seconds — before you can blink your eyes! And I guarantee you that if you take my wife hostage, gun or knife don’t matter, if you are within 30 feet of me, and you’re going to tell me to drop my gun thereby giving me time to set up on you, I will take the shot, I will brainstem you.
 
Oh, and by the way, I nor my wife will be dialing 911. No need. There won’t be an emergency. We’ll simply dial dispatch and tell them they got a mess to clean up. Kicking in my door will be the worst — and the last — mistake the Mutant Ninja Home Invasion Robbers ever made.

God bless you and all your readers Captain, and may none of us ever have to drop the hammer on another human being. – Maddog

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