The Home-Defense Plan in Action
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Let's assume you are at home and become aware someone is breaking in. If you aren't already in the designated safe room, you and everyone in the house should get there as quickly as possible. Don't wait to find out what is going on, run to the safe room and secure the door. Get behind cover, such as a king-size bed. While another family member calls 911, break out the home-defense artillery in the form of the shotgun or rifle and point in at the bedroom door. Stay on the line with the 911 operator. You want them to hear and record what is going on, like you yelling, "Don't come in here, I'm armed and I will shoot!"

This scenario can play out several ways. In the best case, the bad guy or guys get the message and leave. In the worst case, they break down the bedroom door despite your warnings and are now leaking bodily fluid all over your carpet, or they have run off—either with or without having been shot. In any case, the police are going to show up. Stay on the line with the 911 operator and make sure the police officers are positively identified before letting them in.

Now here's the tricky part of home defense. Remember, you have called for help, and it has arrived. The officers are going to be wary and, perhaps, just as scared as you are. Once they arrive on scene, they are in charge. Let me say that again: Once they are on scene, they are in charge. Do what they tell you to do, even if it offends you to have someone in your home giving you orders. Put down your guns and step away from them. If told to get on the ground, do it. If handcuffed, do not fight. The officers are going to secure the scene and that means you, the bad guys and anyone else they perceive as a threat. Stay calm, understand the process and in due course, it will all get straightened out.

The important aspect of home defense is to think and plan in advance. Play the "What will I do if..." game, talk it over with your family, get some training and prepare your guns and physical-security aids. Then, should something go bump in the night, you will be happy you made the effort.