"I have a question" was the text I got one evening a short time ago.
knew I was in an important meeting, so the text would not have come
lightly. As we had just finished the goodbyes, I hit speed dial on the
way back to my vehicle. "What's up?"
"I don't want you to worry, but I have a question. Is the gun in the XXXXXXX the same as the one in the XXXXXXX?"
"Huh?" I answered intelligently...
"Does it work the same?"
this point, with a bit of anxious questioning on my part, I was
informed she had heard a noise outside and, intelligent girl that she
is, immediately armed herself. Not to go outside and play commando, but
just as insurance while she went about her business in the home. I
assured her the pistol she had next to her worked exactly the same as
the one she had learned to shoot with, and was in exactly the condition
she knew the others to be.
In this case.... ready to fire by one simple action. Pulling the trigger.
conversation revealed a flaw in our home defense planning, and an
inexcusable one on my part. You see, Princess is not a shooter.... but
she's a bright lady and has learned to handle pistols well enough to use
them for their intended purpose... self defense. Not as CCW, but most
certainly around the home. She's more than demonstrated the capacity
and willingness to handle (and use) weapons in her own self defense.
She's a lot like the main character in 'Quigley Down Under' in that way,
just after he used a Colt pistol to dispatch the evil bad guy. "Said I
had no use for a pistol... didn't say I don't know how to use one".
it falls upon me, as the house expert, to see to home defense weapons
(as well as plumbing repairs, dealing with the woodstove, and most of
the dishes. In return, I never have to touch laundry... and I see that
as a fair bargain).
Her question pointed out a problem. While
*I* had plans, procedures, and safety checks... I hadn't made her aware
of them in enough detail. With her not being a shooter, I had covered a
few basics, assured her ability and judgement where safety is
concerned, and left it at that.
My mistake, and one rectified as
quickly as I arrived home. The noise? Some critter in the night
perhaps, but never a threat or bother. She was just being careful. You
can be assured... I announced myself before I walked in (g).
I hadn't explained well enough to her was this; In my 'home defense
weapon' plans, every pistol available (without unlocking something
complicated) is in the same condition. In our case, having no children in the home nor adult visitors of questionable competence,
we have weapons hidden well but still readily available. Each is in
the same condition... round chambered, no external safety engaged, and
ready to fire on pulling the trigger.
Each pistol is either a
Glock pattern with a 'Safe Action', or has a long double action pull.
They are highly unlikely to go off by accident, and are stored in such a
way that their triggers are protected.
The idea is simple. If we need them, they are there right now, ready right now, and are safe
until then. Nothing to manipulate under pressure, nothing to remember
before use, no intricate puzzles to solve. Two of the pistols have
laser sighting devices, but this matters little. They don't need to be
switched on to have the weapons function perfectly.
The fact that
Princess is a component of the plan, and is not a shooting enthusiast,
has a great deal to do with the thinking behind it. Any defensive
weapon in the home needs to be simple enough that she can use them well
under extreme pressure. She's not going to remember to sweep the safety
on a 1911 pattern, nor cycle the action on a pistol with an empty
chamber. Her judgement can be trusted, and she's more than intelligent
enough to keep her finger off the trigger till she needs to fire.... but
she's not going to practice with any frequency nor build up instinctive
muscle memory (In that... she's not much different from most of the
police officers in this nation, who's shooting experience revolves
around occasional mandated qualifications).
Long guns are
different, and not part of any plans involving Princess. For the
record, they too are stored in a specific condition. Chamber empty,
safety off, ready to fire upon working the action. Guns locked in the
safe? Totally different situation, totally different condition.
our home have children visiting, or if by chance we ever had adults
staying with us who were not proven safe shooters, all would be locked
It's an important topic, and one worth considering
thoughtfully. Each situation is different, and the people who occupy
the home will cause any plan to be modified as required. Where a single
person living in a secure area might simply leave a weapon in a
nightstand drawer, another person might need something more secure, such
as a coded safe. Once that's decided, further thought must be given to
weapon condition. Round in the chamber, or not? Safety on, or not?
Magazine in the pistol, or not?
Each situation is different, and
each persons ability and training must be taken into account. Also, the
possibility of split second decisions being necessary under immense
life threatening pressure.... and how different people can react to
Are there children in the home? Is a break in while the
homeowner is away a reasonable threat? Is a home invasion of an
occupied house a reasonable threat? All these and more must be thought
of ahead of time, and decisions made on dealing with them.
of all... most importantly... careful plans must be made in advance of
trouble... and as I learned, everyone concerned needs to know what they
are not idle thoughts... especially in a world turning more dangerous
by the minute. When things go bad in a hard way, there is seldom a lot
of warning. Do your planning now, and work your plan.
for stopping in and spending time with 'Ol Carteach. If you are of a
mind to, don't hesitate to click on some of the ads posted here and
there on the site. You don't need to buy a thing, or even read them,
but each click does throw a few pennies into the ammo fund.... and these
days that's a lot!
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