I received a call last night from my daughter. Her husband was out of town and she heard someone at their front door trying to get in. She was scared and asked me to come check it out. No problem, that’s what Dad’s are for (at least when giant, gorilla sized husbands are out of town).
I didn’t find anyone or anything amiss, thank God, but after it was over I had a few thoughts about the incident and I wanted to share them.
First off, my daughter has a gun in the house and is pretty well trained on how to use it. The problem was location. It was downstairs in a safe. In order to get to it she would have had to go towards the front door and the potential intruder. Instead she stayed upstairs, as far away from the door as possible and called me. Under the circumstances I think this was a good choice but I suggested they buy another firearm and and place it in that part of the house. Or, better yet, she should carry on her person even while at home.
While I was still able to respond more quickly than the local police department would have, it still took way too long. Precious seconds were wasted trying to think about what I would need to grab and then getting the gear together. Everything to respond to a “bump in the night” should be collected and kept in a single location or bag to be grabbed quickly without having to think it through. Something what Sootch00 describes in this video:
I was so happy I grabbed the Primary Arms Ultimate Weapon Light on the way out instead of another flashlight. It did exactly what I needed it to. 700 lumens made sure I could see everything I needed to as I checked the exterior of the home. Plus, it is a good solid light that could also be used as a striking weapon should the need arise. It was awesome to have a light this good readily at hand.
As I was headed out the door my wife asked to come along. I will be honest, I was hesitant at first and not sure about that idea but it worked out well. We make a good team. She was able to drive while I scanned the roadside on the way to the house. Once we arrived she was able to “watch my back” from within the relative safety of the vehicle (doors locked, windows up, vehicle running and in gear, wheels turned and positioned for a quick escape). She was on the phone with my daughter letting her know who it was and was ready to call 911 if need be. She was also able to position the vehicle’s headlights to cover most of the front of the house and one side. More light is always better the the wide coverage area helped ensure nothing was waiting for me as I exited the vehicle and approached the house.
Had either one of us thought to bring her firearm it would have been even better…but an 2800 pound vehicle and her taser had to suffice.
Communications…so much to be learned here…
We (I) should have kept my daughter on the phone. Instead, as soon as I understood what she was saying I dropped the connection and started grabbing gear. Stupid. She did continue to text my wife and I as we were headed her way but we should have kept her on the line the whole time.
If she had been on the line, we could have told her when we arrived. I didn’t think about that until I was almost to her door. There was a scared momma with two babies in that house worried about an intruder and I was walking up to the door. Bad idea, especially if she had her firearm. Instead I turned and jogged back to the car to tell my wife to call her. Seeing me turn and move back to the car quickly sent the wrong message to my wife…
What we did well in regard to communication was that I told my wife my plan for searching around the outside of the house so she knew where I would be and what to expect. She was able to relay this to my daughter inside the house as well. Guess who didn’t grab his phone at all? Yup, left it right on my desk at home.
I am also considering finding either a windbreaker or cap similar to those used by law enforcement when conducting certain types of operations. I don’t want it to say “police” but look similar enough that if the police did respond while I was out there they might hesitate before sending lead my way.
Another interesting thing about this incident was my reaction. I was a little rattled by the initial call and trying to grab what I might need as quickly as possible. There was a little fear and adrenaline as I started checking the exterior of the house, mostly about law enforcement arriving at the wrong time and dropping me by mistake, but once I started checking the exterior of her house I was surprisingly calm.
So, those are my thoughts and ideas after a “bump in the night.” Any suggestions or feedback would be appreciated.