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Predator Armor - Home Defense Series

Defending your home from armed or otherwise dangerous intruders is a situation no one wants to find themselves in - but just like any other emergency situation, you prepare the best you can for it now, regardless of its likelihood or potential outcome. As the one defending yourself, you owe it to yourself to have every advantage possible. “Fair fights” are irrelevant. Read on as we delve into the ins and outs of ensuring you’re ready for whatever - or whoever - may attempt to invade your home.

Home defense with rifle

Home Invasions - A nightmare, or a… dream come true?

Let’s be honest - a fair few of you (us included) have fantasized at some point about being the “hero” in some FUBAR home defense situation: The bad guy is storming in, you’re armed to the teeth ready and willing to stop them, save everyone’s lives, and be the hero of your local news station for a solid 6-8 weeks. For what it’s worth, it is certainly not wrong to imagine yourself as a hero or “good guy” in general - in fact, I’d wager it’s probably healthy to a degree. Certainly better than imagining yourself as the villain.

Problem is, things don’t always go as planned in the real world. Sometimes, heroes die. Sometimes, good guys lose and bad guys win without consequence.

The unfortunate reality is that many home invasions simply do not play out the way we would like them to - most people don’t bring out the red headband, explosive-tipped longbow, bowie knife and extreme angst attitude, going on the hunt throughout their home seeking out the bad guy. It’s easy to forget that if someone is invading your home, until you’ve identified them, you do not know exactly what weapons they have, what skillsets they have, how proficient they are with those weapons or skills - and most importantly - how far they’re willing to go.

No, the reality is that there are many well-armed home owners who do in fact, well… lose. Get robbed. Get killed. Sometimes, it is through no fault of their own, and they did everything right. More often than not though, I’d confidently wager, their loss (be it life or property) was preventable, and likely occurred due to some thoughtless mistake. And while no one can guarantee you specific results in a self-defense situation, there are steps you can take to provide monumental advantages, should you face the unfortunate reality of a home invasion.

So, let’s talk about it. Buckle up, because we have a lot of ground to cover.

As a disclaimer - I do not consider myself to be the pinnacle expert in home-defense, or at the forefront of cutting-edge home defense technology. I have, however, had to defend myself in scenarios involving both lethal and non-lethal force. I’ve felt the rush, I’ve felt the paralyzing anxiety, and felt the satisfaction of living to tell the tale. Throughout my time in this industry, I have met numerous people who did not understand some of the most basic components of a solid home defense plan - things that I considered were common sense, but supposedly were not - and so the purpose of this article is to ensure all bases are covered on that front. Assumptions grounded in presumptions kill - I’ll say this now and I’ll say it later, the best warrior is a teachable warrior. You and I both have much more to learn, so I invite anyone, no matter how much of an “expert” you believe you are, to read on, and hopefully take away something that improves their own home defense plan.

And I promise I do not say that in a condescending “you aren’t as smart as me” way - because I know there are many readers here who know much more than I do about virtually any tactical topic. But just because Topic A may seem trivial to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t to someone else - and it doesn’t mean you’ll equally understand Topics B, C, or D.

Making a plan, reading a map with a compass

Having a plan - and practicing it - will go further than you may think.

Step One: The single most important thing you can do to fortify your home.

Home Intruders hate him for this one simple trick!

No it’s not clickbait, sorry.

Many of the suggestions throughout this series will be a matter of preference, tailored to individual circumstances. But no matter those circumstances, there is one thing every single household should do to fortify their castle:

That’s a joke… kind of.

But seriously, after you’ve purchased your 5-figure machine gun, the step is:

Assess. Assess. Assess.

We’ve talked in previous articles about how people who seek “peace of mind” will throw money at various tools - guns, armor, cameras, and so on - and then proceed to not give a damn for any of it. While these tools certainly can provide an advantage, that advantage is astronomically hindered when they are purchased without any sort of plan or pre-assessment - or training, for that matter. After all, it may matter to a degree who has the biggest stick - but it matters a hell of a lot more who’s swinging it.

Man with an assault rifle

Gear is important. Knowing how to use that gear is even more so.

So, before you go crazy shelling out big bills for peace of mind… assess your situation. Some tools may be more helpful than others, and some strategies will work better in your environment than someone else’s. There is no perfect cut/paste home defense strategy, and every assessment will be entirely unique. This assessment can include, but is certainly not limited to:

  • Location: Do you live in a city, a suburb, or a rural area? Do you live on a busy street? On an intersection? In a culdesac? How much land do you have, and what does that land look like? Do you live in a high-crime or low-crime area? What kind of crime is common to your area? How are your relationships with your neighbors, especially next-door? How close are you to accessing any sort of outside help? What are the best angles an intruder could sneak onto or assault your property and/or home? What other questions do you need to be asking regarding your location?

  • Home Layout: Identify points of entry, including doors, windows, crawlspaces, and any other means someone could use to enter your home. How many floors does your home have, and where does each person sleep? Are you able to gather everyone into one place quickly, and with minimal movement through the house? Where is your “safe room” and what are its weaknesses? Are you able to create a single choke point within that room? Are the walls easily penetrated by bullets? What hazards may be created from shooting a firearm in specific spots in your home? Do you have escape routes planned?

  • Weapon and Gear access: Where are your gun safes? Are there weapons - including guns, knives, hammers, etc. - easily accessible to someone entering your home in a different room? Can/should specific family members acquire weapons or body armor quickly if needed? Just as important, are any potential dangerous weapons and items inaccessible to young children, or anyone else considered at-risk for using them in a dangerous or irresponsible way?

  • Social: This delves further into exploring the types of crimes common to your area, and understanding how demographics play a role in your plan. No, it isn’t discrimination. If everyone around you is 80 years old, your plan will probably look different than if everyone is 18. Do you live in an area with a lot of young teenagers? Young adults? Older folks? Are drugs a major issue? What else have been concerns in the last few years in your area? Understanding the common behaviors of people around you - especially those committing crimes - will give you a better idea of what to expect from an unknown individual entering your home with malicious intent.

  • Anything else: This is put here to remind you that, again, there are more angles to consider with assessing and preparing. Every situation is unique - so treat it accordingly and think critically. Think with your family, or whoever you live with. Think with trusted friends in the area. You get the idea.

Man wearing plate carrier and body armor

Don’t be caught in the dark unprepared.

Wrapping things up

The more you plan, and the more you train, the better prepared you’ll be. Simple as that. Think of it like practicing an instrument or sport, or - more relevantly - training with a firearm. While a key component is to improve accuracy, one of the most practical benefits is muscle memory. We’ll touch on this more later, but the best time to come up with a plan is when things are calm, time is not an issue, and you’re awake and not under stress. The absolute worst time to come up with a plan is at 3 AM, when you’re drowsy and an intruder is already in your home. Make a plan now so you don’t have to improvise as much when improvisation actually matters.

And yes - be ready to improvise, regardless of your plan. Often, both the smallest gunfight and the largest battle are equally decided by whichever side is able to improvise and adapt more quickly and efficiently. There is a reason this may sound familiar to you. Notwithstanding, the goal is to have a plan so ridiculously tailored to your situation, that improvising is kept to a minimum. In short, focus your improvisation efforts on tactics, not the plan itself.

Confidence is gained from familiarity. Overconfidence is gained from assumption. Never assume that because you purchased this cool tactical toy, or because you know your home better than a stranger, that you can set it and forget it. Have a plan, practice that plan, and you’ll find your odds of survival in a home-defense situation will  be much higher.

Read on, as our next article dives into weapon choices and tactics for defending yourself with lethal and nonlethal force.


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