Home Defense 101: Sentinel or Sitting Duck?


Everyone should have at least one of these at home at the ready. An AR style rifle such as this Ruger SR556 will give you options. Hopefully, you can neutralize the problem before it comes to this in the home.


Whatever your state’s laws are with regard to “Castle Doctrine,” the fact remains that your home is your castle. That means that, regardless of your socio-economic status and where you live, you have a basic right to live in a safe and secure home.

That means you have a basic right to do whatever you can and choose to do to make your home safe and secure. Unfortunately, states and jurisdictions that infringe on your Second Amendment gun rights also violate your basic right to keep your home safe and secure, and that’s just plain wrong!

No one is immune to a criminal attack upon your home and/or your person. Since few people can afford an around the clock security team, if you think about and care about your family’s security, you need to be your own bodyguard. What really matters? Here are some considerations.

Home invasions happen in a matter of seconds. If you not prepared at the instant it happens, you could be a sitting duck. There will be no time to get to your defensive equipment. Sure. It helps to have security cameras and an alarm system. However, if several violent criminals are in the process of breaking in while you are home, how should you use the precious few seconds you have to make safe?

Sorry. There is no one size fits all answer. You have to think about the layout of your home and your own capabilities, and the people with whom you live. As with fire drills, it makes sense to prepare by conducting home invasion drills.

The purpose of these drills is to develop routine procedures such that, if it happens, you are not surprised. If you know what to do and you have it down cold, so that you can run the drills smoothly, in seconds–AND in your sleep, the criminals will be confronted with a big surprise—the kind of surprise you should want them to have—unless you live in La-La Land.


So, how do you stay at the action side, at the lead end, of the action-reaction curve? How do you avoid falling behind the reactionary gap? The answer is simple, although not necessarily easy or convenient–get the right emergency equipment and drill with it. Drill, drill, drill! Become a sentinel so you are not a sitting duck.

First, firearms are not optional. You must have them. They must be where you can access them instantly, and they must be at the ready—locked and loaded. It helps if you always have at least one gun on you at all times.

Think about the type of handgun you can tolerate having on you all the time–even in your shorts or pajamas. Sure. The smaller and lighter the handgun, the easier it will be to carry on you when you are not wearing much.

However, remember that everything is a compromise. How often and how long do you want to be more vulnerable than you have to be?

If the balloon goes up, the bigger and the more substantial the gun you are carrying is, the more grateful you will be! If you need motivation and support, joining a good defensive firearms forum such as www.DefensiveHandguns.com will help you get it, plus the knowledge you need.

Everyone who is gun savvy can carry an effective, reliable, light weight snubnose .38 Special revolver on them all the time in the house. Think Smith and Wesson Airlite or Airweight J-frame, or Ruger LCR, which stands for Light Compact Revolver.

How about a snubby and an ultra-compact pistol? Some excellent light weight, really small gun choices are: Kel-Tec P3AT .380, Ruger LCP .380, Kahr P380, NAA .22 Magnum mini-revolver or NAA Guardian .380, Diamondback DB380 or DB9, Sig Sauer P290 9mm, Rohrbaugh R9 or R380, and the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380.


Recognize that the small guns on you are meant to give you the opportunity to fight your way to your big guns. Thus, you need to have big substantial handguns, .357 Magnum revolvers and 9mm caliber pistols and greater, within arm’s reach in reliable, mechanical and non-battery dependent, instant access gun safes, such as those made by V-Line

Don’t forget your long guns! Handguns are meant to be used to fight to get to your long guns. You cannot have too many shotguns. Pump 12 gauge shotguns are best. If you cannot handle the 12 gauge, the 20 gauge will do just fine. Think Mossberg 500 and 590 and Remington 870.

Shotguns are meant for fighting to get to your rifles. Hopefully it won’t get this far. But if it does, AR-15 style rifles in .223 Rem or 5.56mm, and AK-47’s (7.62×39) make great urban combat rifles. With these in hand, and with the proper training, you will have good range.

Stay sharp. Carry a blade or two on you at all times.

Be mobile. Have your shoes on! Be able to see. Have your glasses on. Don’t ever let your guard down. The key to effective home defense is to have a plan.

No plan? Now is the time to come up with one. Do not dither—either now, or during the event. Remember: If you don’t plan, then plan to fail.

Your plan should be simple and drilled into your muscle memory. Each family member should have a job to do and be well rehearsed at doing it.

As a home invasion is happening, the first order of business is to disrupt the criminals’ plans. Surprise them and then move on to the second order of business which is to destroy their bodies if they set foot into your home. The third order of business is to call 911.


It helps if each family member has a well defined job to do. It can be someone’s job to call 911 immediately. It is a good thing if the police are alerted the instant your home alarm system goes off so that you will know that the police will (hopefully) be on their way as you take care of business.

Either way, you must rely on yourself to take care of business. Don’t wait to be rescued.

Having dogs also helps. They serve as a good alarm system. In addition, even though they may not stop the home invaders, they will at the least present the home invaders with a minor inconvenience. Minor or not, this will delay the criminals.

However, you must think of your dogs as disposable. I mean it. They may be neutralized. Whose lives are more important? Good dogs will readily sacrifice their lives for their masters. The thing is, you cannot afford to dither during those precious moments you have to carry out your plan. Make their sacrifice worthwhile if it comes to that.

You know your home’s layout better than anyone else. Have weapons instantly accessible to you everywhere in your house. Make your home into an obstacle course for anyone who would violate it. Make home defense a game. Capitalize on the element of surprise.

When you are in your element, your home, make surprise work for you—and the surprise will then be on those who violate your home!

Think about your plan. Drill it. Do it. And have a Plan B and a Plan C! A home invasion can then become an opportunity to practice how well you have drilled!


The police, the “professionals” will arrive after the act, to secure the scene and investigate. Rarely do they save people. People save themselves. Just read the newspapers. You are your only line of immediate defense. Hold onto that line.

Sure. You can choose not to think about all of this. You want convenience? You give up safety and security. It’s your choice. You can be a sentinel or a sitting duck. Do the right things now and avoid being sorry later.

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