A man is dead in Lorain, Ohio after he attacked a homeowner outside his house, and then attempted to force his way inside in what authorities believe to be a robbery attempt:

Lorain police say 34-year-old Glenn Smith of Elyria was killed Tuesday after he assaulted a man outside his home. Police say the assault continued inside the home and that Alejandro Melendez grabbed a gun he kept near the front door and shot Smith several times. Smith was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police think Smith intended to rob Melendez because of items found on him. Police say Melendez has cooperated with investigators and that witnesses have corroborated his account.

The investigation into Smith’s death is on-going, but at this time no charges have been filed against Melendez, and the tone of the article suggests that the reporter interviewing the police didn’t seem to think charges were likely.

Melendez was fortunate that he had a gun accessible to him near his front door. The article does not state whether or not he had his gun in a fast-opening gun safe (keypad-opening gun safes can be had quite inexpensively) or if he simply had his firearm stashed nearby.

For many families with children or other unauthorized users in the home, a “hidden” gun is simply a horrible idea, as children tend to find them with disturbing regularity. We’d advise carrying a handgun in a good holster instead, but if that isn’t practical for one reason or another, keeping an impact weapon somewhere near the front door is a decent alternative. Children are less likely to be able to cause themselves serious injury with a baton or short length of heavy pipe than a firearm, while giving the home owner an immediate access self-defense tool.

Have you given any thought on how you would defend yourself in a similar scenario?