Defensive Gun Use, Hurricane Edition:
It was a dark and stormy night. Electrical service had been severed for hours. Ben Hough had managed to fall asleep in his bed despite the sounds of Hurricane Matthew as it ravaged Myrtle Beach outside his home. A loud crash awakened him—the sound of a burglar kicking in the kitchen door.
Hough grabbed his revolver and walked to the top of the stairs. As he peered down into his dining room, he could hear glass windows being broken, and the sound of footsteps walking closer, closer. Soon, the figure of a man appeared at the bottom of the stairs, lit by a light the intruder carried. Hough fired two rounds in the intruder’s direction, missing him. The intruder was surprised to be met by the occupant of what he thought was an empty house. As the bad guy panicked and ran away, he made a sound Hough described as a muffled scream that got caught in his throat.
With just a little power left on his cell phone, Hough called police. They arrived promptly, as extra patrols had been allocated that night. Hough describes the police response as supportive and settling for his nerves. He reflects that during the actual break-in and shooting, he felt strangely calm while the bad guy was obviously afraid and shaken once confronted.
Dim-light encounters are more likely than not when it comes to crime. And when it comes to crime inside your home, Safety Rule #4: be aware of your target and what’s around it, applies in spades. Mr. Hough was fortunate that his robber was kind enough to show up with a light. What if that same “break-in” was a relative who’d forgotten their key? Similar situations have resulted in tragedy.
A good quality light, whether handheld or weapon-mounted, is essential for home security. Learning to use a light while shooting, and getting comfortable shooting in dim-light conditions, is best done through live fire training. If you’re one of the majority of gun owners who’s not taken a course for dim-light shooting, sign up for a class soon. If you need advice on choosing a light, you might read a previous entry on EDC lights here on GunCarrier. Here’s a short video detailing the incident, further: Click here to watch the video.
Immediate access to a self-defense gun and ammunition is obviously something Hough had going on. He also did a great job, reportedly, of staying calm throughout the situation. Most importantly, he didn’t freeze in fear. He responded to the crisis by arming himself and getting his feet in motion….and that would apply even if he’d decided to retreat to a safe room or area rather than confront the intruder.
Working with concealment or cover isn’t mentioned here, and as Hough describes the story, it’s easy to picture him as a silhouette standing at the top of the stairs–an easy target for a more aggressive robber. Even if you do opt to confront a home intruder, use the advantages of stealth and protection offered by walls, furniture, appliances, and such. Take time now to look at the places where you spend time sleeping, studying, cooking, and so on. What objects in that area could likely stop a bullet? What others (like drywall and cabinets) can hide you, but not offer ballistic protection? Plan on using them in the event you’re caught in that area when an invasion occurs.
Provisions for emergencies such as this aren’t limited to food. As mentioned, Hough might have been without police support had the invasion occurred a few hours later, after his phone had died. I keep a hand-cranking light and power source in my home to prevent this problem. Having enough drinking water and ammunition are also critical for extended states of emergency.
Identify a safe room or safe place in your home. This should be a windowless area, with as many bullet-resistant features as possible. It should be supplied with a gun, ammunition, a light, and emergency medical supplies like a tourniquet and blood-clotting dressings. There may be more than one safe room, depending on the layout of your home or property. Have a signal that’s unique to your family when it’s time to retreat there.
Had Hough experienced an invasion by multiple robbers, a five- or six-shot revolver may not have saved the day. By preparing more than you think you’ll need, you’ll at least have what you need at hand on that dark and stormy night.
Source article here.