Considerations for Self-Defense in your Home

Typically I take what Rob Pincus says as the last word when it comes to personal defense skills. This video has excellent content but I must dissent on a few of his points. Watch the video and make the jump for my breakdown of Rob’s 5 Fundamentals.

Don’t get me wrong- Rob is giving us pretty sound advice here. It’s important to think through and rehearse your responses to threats -this sharpens the Orient phase of your OODA loop– but as they say on boxing “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” 

Keeping this in mind it’s important to think through your own choices and actions because every situation is different. Here is a recap of Rob’s 5 Fundamentals and my comments on each:

Fundamental 1: Evade

  • While I agree that whenever you have a choice to evade that is the best option, be sure to have a plan for what you will do if you reach the back door and a second bad guy is kicking that door in. Unfortunately this is an increasingly common home invasion tactic and warrants some consideration

Fundamental 2: Barricade

  • Agreed on this point- and you should practice this one with your family to help with coordination if the need arises to barricade 
  • Hopefully you don’t end up barricaded and wishing you had your firearm- read on for more on how to avoid this
  • Definitely call the Police ASAP – ideally someone who is not the armed defender should do this

Fundamental 3: Arm

  • This should be the first fundamental on the list as far as I’m concerned. Home Carry. This will eliminate the possibility of being barricaded and wishing you had your gun. This will give you another option if you choose to evade and encounter another bad guy at the back door. As Costa and Haley said in the Magpul Dynamics series, “things go bad at 300 mph.” Don’t plan to be able to retrieve your gun from a safe in an emergency- odds are slim that you will succeed
  • Your tactical flashlight (yes you need one if you don’t already have one) is another defensive weapon you should have in your barricade location- the firearm is king here but a blinding light never hurts

Fundamental 4: Communicate

  • This is another tactic that is up to each individual’s choice and the situation. Find out what your local laws stipulate – if you announce that you’re armed and disclose your location it could become a problem for you as Rob says. 
  • The element of surprise is also something you may not want to give up- you know your home and all the little sounds that indicate someone coming your way. Maybe you will want to conceal your presence until you have to take action to defend yourself
  • For me calling 911 is part of the communicate activities too (if there has not yet been an opportunity to do so)

Fundamental 5: Respond

  • This part is what most of us train for most of the time. Be able to operate your defensive firearm at a high level. Practice on a regular basis. Always remember that the stress of a life-threatening situation will degrade your skills by 40%. Is 60% of your best day enough to stop a threat? Are you using cover? If no cover is available are you using concealment? How fast can you get rounds on target in that A Zone? 
  • Hopefully it never comes to this point for anyone. Unfortunately for some people it does. Let’s all take responsibility for ourselves and make sure we are as prepared as possible to be smart and decisive if a bad situation develops.

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