Or, what to have in your home besides your gun.
Now that you’ve had some training in your home defense firearm and have practiced with it to be familiar how it operates, what should you have in your home for self-protection besides your gun? If you’re a new gun owner, all of this may seem a little bit paranoid, and I totally understand. Don’t be afraid, though, because the point of this isn’t the live in fear, the reason for all of this is to gain the confidence that IF something happens, we can deal with it. Fear and paranoia should not be our driving force, but rather the desire to live our lives with free from fear because we are ready for the absolute worst day of our lives.
Okay now, what do you need in your home besides a gun?
A Safe Room
If you’ve created a self-defense plan for your home and have strengthened your doors and windows, designating a “safe room” as a refuge place should be part of that plan. In that safe room, you should have …
Ideally, more than one. There is endless debate in the gunblogging world whether you want a weapon-mounted light like this Streamlight or a handheld flashlight like this SureFire. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but my recommendation is get one of each. There is NOTHING handier for lighting up where you gun is aimed at than a weapon-mounted light, but sweeping the muzzle of your gun at everything just so you can see what’s there is not a good idea. Get one of each.
There’s an old, old saying out there that “two is one and one is none”. If you’re relying on your landline for emergency communications, it WILL fail when you need it most.
Well, for starters, have an old unused cell phone plugged into the wall in your safe room. Any cell phone with a SIM card in it can be used to dial 911, whether it’s on a plan or not. We have an ancient “candy bar” Nokia in the safe room that still holds a decent amount of charge as a backup phone, and it performs that job admirably.
If (God forbid) you have to use your gun defensively, you’re going to be talking with the police, and that means paperwork. Have that ready to go when you need it. Imagine that panicked feeling you get when you’ve been pulled over and you’re fishing around in the glovebox for your license and proof of insurance, but even worse. Have a copy of your driver’s license, gun permit (if needed), CCW license (if need) and keep them handy. Those around-the-neck badge holders you get at conventions are PERFECT for this sort of thing.
As for what you’ll say to the cops after a defensive gun use, that is another thing altogether. I am not an expert on this subject and my suggestion is do some reading on this subject and then consult with an attorney or professional firearms instructor.
If everything has gone wrong and you’re in your safe room with your firearm, chances are, someone is going to need first aid, and band-aid probably isn’t going to be enough. The infantryman’s first Aid Kit (IFAK) was created by the military for this sort of thing, and it’s a great way to keep everything together in one small package. Failing that, make sure there’s SOME kind of first aid kit in your safe room, and supplant that with an Israeli combat bandage or two. And if you haven’t already done so, get some first aid and CPR training as well.
This may seem like a lot to think about, and in reality, it’s a lot more than most people think about their whole lives. I have good friends and family who don’t even have a hammer and screwdriver in their home, much less a first aid kit. How hang a picture on their wall, I’ll never know.
If you’re reading this, you’re not like them. You’ve realized that you and not the cops will be the first person to respond when something bad happens. The question isn’t IF you’ll respond, the question is how and with what.