Home Security Part II: The Threat Analysis

Understanding the enemy is paramount.  In terms of home invasion, what is this enemy?  The situation has become increasingly varied and complicated in the past few years.  The range of threat ranges from harmless and mundane to exceedingly violent.  Here I seek to outline the potentials for threat we now face in contemporary American life.  Having a well-rounded defensive plan ensures your ability to respond to any of these potential hazards correctly.

The Wrong-House Interloper

On the lowest level of home security threat we have what can be referred to as the “wrong-house interloper.” There have been many instances in the past several years where individuals have gotten themselves killed by entering the wrong house or apartment, usually when drugs or alcohol are involved.  This syndrome is more likely when living in an urban or suburban environment where apartments, town homes, or single family homes in cookie-cutter developments all look the same.  Imagine if your neighbor’s drunk teenage son presumes he is sneaking back into his own home and actually intrudes on your own household.  Have you considered such an event?  There are several instances I am familiar with that where such a scenario transpired, ending in the death of an intoxicated teenager at the hands of a home owner who was legitimately defending his own family.  While it may be justifiable, it is a tragedy to be avoided.

How do we avoid the entrance of the “wrong-house interloper?”  Have solid doors and windows, and keep them locked at all times.  Doors should stay locked even during the day to keep intruders out, be they violent or non-violent.  The potential of facing such an intrusion should also lead the home defender to consider less-lethal options for home defense as well as go-to firearm options.  Many home defenders form an absolutist mindset concerning home defense: “if they are in my house, they are getting shot!”  While shooting violent threats is justifiable, being prepared to go to lower levels of force is also needed.  What if you have a teenage daughter and you confront her boyfriend, who snuck into the home, in the middle of the night?  Not every problem is a shooting problem.  Having the ability to deal with an intruder that is not actually a threat is necessary. 

Common Burglary

Most home intrusions in the United States are committed by thieves who are not necessarily violent, but are simply looking to steal valuables from a home they think is unoccupied at the time of the intrusion.  Such burglars may enter a home with no intention of harming people, as they presume nobody is home, but these thieves often have the potential to get violent quickly if they encounter a member of the household still in the house.  Therefore, one cannot become complacent when considering burglars, relying on the notion that they are only looking to steal. 

On many occasions, such burglars have miscalculated and broken into an occupied home, thinking it was empty.  Once encountering a home owner who poses the threat of identification or detainment, burglars can get violent very quickly.  Deterrence and detection measures are of great importance in countering burglary while you are at home or away from the house.  Such mesures can go far in discouraging the burglary of our home while we are away, and, more importantly, to discourage it while members of the household are home.  Detection measures prove exceedingly important in providing early warning to any sort of unwelcomed home entry, giving use time to execute the defensive plan.

Home Invasion

The worst-case scenario that comes to mind concerning home security is that of the violent home invasion.  There are varying types of home invasion, committed for various reasons, and the strategies used to commit these crimes also vary significantly.  In general, a home invasion refers to the illegal and/or forced entry of the home while members of the household are known to be present.  The goal of the home invader, or multiple invaders, may be to obtain valuables from the home, or to abuse the members of the household, or both.  Home invaders rely on violence and intimidation to meet their ends, and the only reasonable defense against such a home invasion is an immediate lethal force response. 

A common form of home invasion involves the aggressive and violent entry into the structure in an attempt to dominate the people inside and quickly force them into submission.  This is most often done in order to subjugate the home occupants into cooperation in the robbery of the home for money, jewelry, and other valuables.  Some of the truly violent home invasions have to do with the narcotics trade, as rival drug dealers invade a home that is selling drugs, or holding money for dealers. 

Sometimes, these rival gang members invade the wrong house, and it is in such an instance that innocent people can face a violent home invasion.  In such occurrences it is not uncommon to see multiple attackers burst through the door.  Three, four, six, or eight invaders may operate in such an invasion.  This should lead the prudent home owner to consider the integrity of their doors and the quick availability of their weaponry within the home.

Home invaders, on many disturbing occasions, have abused the household members sexually and physically, or committed torture, even when the invasion was primarily for money or other valuables.  In a particular home invasion in Texas the invaders tortured a six year old boy in hot water in order to persuade his parents to hand over all valuables.  This is the nature of this threat, plan and act accordingly.  If you wish to rely on the mercy of those who have none, understand what to expect in advance.

A less common, yet entirely sinister, form of home invasion involves that of serial rapists and killers.  There have been a significant amount of home invasions committed by lone individuals, and occasionally by pairs, specifically to target the occupants of the home for sexual abuse, torture, murder, or all three.  Obviously, being compliant and hoping for mercy in the face of such a threat is a fool’s errand. 

Be aware that not all home invasions commence when invaders sneak through a door or window, nor when they crash through.  A common trend to be cognizant of is the ruse.  Sometimes home invasion crews will send a harmless looking female, or even a child, to the door with a ruse of asking for directions, selling cookies, etc…, with the sole effort to get the home owner to open the door and be distracted.  Then, the crew rushes the open door from behind a bush or the corner of the house.  Be aware of this.  In the 21st Century, don’t open your door to anyone you don’t know; speak through the door or through an intercom system.

Mob Activity

A relatively new threat paradigm in home security is the emerging activity of violent mobs.  Leftist agitators, seeking to destabilize society under the guise of social justice activism, have been marching through urban, and now even suburban, neighborhoods looting and burning.  As this communist activity increases so will the potential threat that it directly poses to the homeowner in suburban America.  There has been several instances of this already.

Like the threat of multiple home invaders, the threat of violent, and potentially very large, mobs should lead the prudent home defender to consider their home defense weaponry.  Such emerging threat should lead you to consider the role of a quickly accessible shotgun or rifle, as handguns are not optimal for repelling multiple determined attackers.  I higher order of defense should be maintained within the home, even if the handgun remains the first tier of rescue equipment.

Along with firearms, the contemporary home defense plan should also include fire extinguishers for putting out fires caused by incendiary attacks, a consistent trend with such mob activity.  If taken by surprise by a large mob moving through your neighborhood, I advise not leaving the house to confront them.  Keep doors locked and take up defensive positions within the home.

Unfortunately, the world in which we live is a potentially dangerous one and we must maintain security even in the comforts of our own home.  Consider these threats that exist, hope for the best, but by preparing for the worst you will ensure a safe home for yourself and your family.

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