Admittedly, I have never had to defend my home using violence – and I most sincerely hope that I never need to! Still, it IS something that I do think about from time-to-time, and which I study on.
I think the first thing that comes to mind for most people in the United States (including me) when we hear some form of the word “DEFEND” is “GUN” however, that is actually the last thing we should think about.
Allow me to elaborate.
A number of years ago, I was on the receiving end of death threats which the local police told me I should take very seriously, to the point that they strongly recommended both relocation and acquiring a concealed carry permit – to be followed by ALWAYS carrying a concealed weapon. This was a very disquieting concept to a lady who had spent her entire life being afraid of guns.
Never-the-less, with the help of some friends, I did take concealed carry training as well as a good tactical handgun class. What really struck me about both classes was not so much how to handle a gun as the necessity of first, doing everything possible to keep myself out of situations where such force might be required, and second, if such a situation did arise in spite of my best efforts to prevent it, I should do everything I could to deescalate the situation without the use of deadly force, i.e. a gun.
Several years later, I found myself in a hospital parking lot half way across the continent in the middle of the night. Shortly after leaving the hospital, while walking toward my vehicle, I became aware of someone following me. I changed direction a couple of times, always trying to keep as many vehicles between me and the stranger as possible. It rapidly became clear that he was, in fact, following me, and gaining. At that point, I used one of the de-escalation techniques I had learned and was able to convince the man to turn around and leave. Good thing too since I didn’t have a gun!
Now, to apply what I learned those years ago to the concept of defending a home.
1) Do everything possible to make your home as safe as possible, as unattractive as possible to anyone who might consider breaking in – for any reason.
2) If number one fails, learn and plan ways to keep yourself and your family safe – without using guns – if it’s at all possible.
3) If numbers one and two fail, and you fall back to using a gun, bear in mind that such use carries with it some significant risks – including to both you and to your own family. It should go without saying that if you keep a gun in your home, it should ALWAYS be secure. That means if it’s not on your person or in your hand it should be empty and locked up with the ammunition stored out of sight somewhere else.