We all are all used to hearing everyone tell us over and over again that practice makes perfect. We dry fire, we practice drawing our guns, and we may even practice what we would do if someone broke into our house. What happens when all of this practice HAS to make perfect, because it's no longer practice? This is the case, in moments self defense.
It was roughly 9:30pm on a Friday, a little late for door- to-door salesmen. We were inside our house, winding down for the evening when someone knocked on the door. Standing there was a guy in his 30's-40's offering to sell us Lysol. Yes, Lysol. My husband informed the guy that soliciting in our neighborhood was illegal, as it was posted when you enter into the development. The guy then tried again in a very stammering manner, almost as if he were drunk, to ask questions, all the while looking around my husband into our home. My husband threatened to call the police (which we later did) and that sent the man running... to a van parked just out of sight from the inside of our house. In that van were multiple other men. Suspicious? I think so.
During the incident, my husband and I both happened to be carrying, which may have been why it was easier for us to remain calm and collected. In my mind, I was playing the next steps in my head as my husband tried to talk this man away from our house while blocking the entire door with his body. Neither of us had to draw a gun. Neither of us even reached for one. We didn't threaten anyone's lives - we simply told him no. We told him to leave and called the police. We were fortunate that the incident only went that far. The hard part was quieting our minds afterwards with the "but what if it hadn't stopped there" nagging feeling.
That night, I heard every creak and tick the house had to offer. I went downstairs multiple times, just to walk around and ensure everything was in its place. The scene kept playing in my mind again and again, what if the van did come back? What if that guy was also carrying a gun? Would I hear them if they come up the stairs? What room would they try to enter first? How quickly could I get to my boys room? All these questions seemed to hit me after the fact. Does this mean my practice paid off since I was calm while it was happening? Would I have stayed as calm if they forced themselves in or came back? Luckily, I didn't have to find out because they never did come back.
Things like this happen in residential neighborhoods more frequently than you may know. According to FBI Statistics, property crime is committed every 3.5 seconds. 74% of all burglaries are home break-ins. You can lower the chances of your house becoming a target by making a few simple changes. Ensuring your doors and windows are locked when you aren't home and at night is one of the most important things you can as roughly 30% of break-ins are through an unlocked window or door. Another key element is making it easy to spot burglars. Add more outdoor lighting, motion lighting, and keep your windows free from high standing bushes or trees that offer hiding places. You can reinforce doors and add dead bolt locks too.
The fact of the matter is, I am one of you - an average mom, wife, and 9 to 5 worker, and it happened to me. Had we not been vigilant, confident, and stood our ground this scenario may have played out differently.
Crime information is available from your local police at any time. It's public knowledge. Become familiar with the common crimes in your area so you know what to look out for. Though no one in my house was harmed, we were still shaken. It left us with an uneasy, blood-boiling, "how could this happen to us here?" kind of feeling. Don't allow yourself to be vulnerable. Make sure you are practicing, because I know If emotions had taken over, the only thing that could have helped me was prior practice and training.
Now it's your turn to sound off:
Would you be able to sleep easy after a run-in like this?
Do you think an incident like this would effect your ability to act with good judgement or reason if something had happened?
Are you as prepared as you could be?