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The Cornerstone Of Home Defense

“The decision of whether or not you can morally, ethically, and justifiably defend yourself with countervailing force, must be made well before the situation actually presents itself.  Making critical life-or-death decisions under extreme stress, fear and intense emotion is a recipe for disaster.  Every millisecond matters in the battle for survival.” 

I can’t think of anything more important that protecting my family and defending my home from serial offenders and seasoned criminals.  Home invasion attacks typically result in heinous acts of violence and psychological trauma for those who are lucky enough to survive.  *Reference— the Petit Family Home Invasion Tragedy *

To truly understand why home invasions are such a dangerous and precarious crime, we must understand criminal intent and crime psychology.  An offender that breaks into another person’s home needing money, food or items to pawn for cash, does not want to encounter people or anyone that poses a threat to the successful completion of their crime.  Conversely, an offender that breaks into another person’s home, knowing people are in the home, generally means you serious harm.  They might also steal and rob, but their intent is certainly different.

Criminology experts also report that many offenders commit crimes based on situational opportunity.  In context of the home invasion, the assailant might have initially intended on breaking in to steal items and jewelery.  Once in the home, he realizes there is an attractive single mother and her 4 year-old child in the home.  In addition to robbery, the assailant now recognizes an opportunity to sexually assault the woman without anyone around to prevent it from happening.  A person who is willing to forcible enter another person’s home and steal their belongings, has a flawed moral compass and given the right situational opportunity, may escalate to more serious crimes. *Reference Mom Forced To Take Action After Home Invader Corners Her & Two Young Children In The Attic*

In a realistic self-defense engagement, every millisecond matters.  I’m not exaggerating here… it’s been proven by the Tueller Drill, that an assailant armed with an edged weapon can sprint a distance of 21 feet in approximately 1.5 seconds!  Now imagine the front door gets busted in… how much time will you have to react?… Or in the middle of the night glass breaks and you hear voices, how much time will you have react?  The ability to take decisive action can mean the difference between life or death.  We all want to just go about our lives happily and peacefully, without ever being threatened, but no matter how optimistic we are, the truth is… there are some evil and savage people in this world.  Believe it or not, this type of violence is happening in our own communities.  *Reference Raleigh, NC home invasion that left a man paralyzed while attempting to stop the invaders from sexually assaulting his wife*

If one, or more, of these callous thugs decides to break into our homes… and put our lives and our families in danger… It’s our responsibility to do whatever is necessary to keep them safe.  Hopefully you never find yourself in that situation… but FBI & Department of Justice statistics prove that thousands of American families are faced with this type of violence every year.

The worst position to be in, is having to make a critical life-or-death decision under extreme stress, emotion, and fear.  It’s dangerous enough to have to defend yourself, but the game changes when your own children or loved ones become involved.  There’s no room for hesitating, and absolutely zero time to waste, wondering about the consequences or aftermath of your actions.  When it’s your family’s life at stake, you must be able to respond and react with rapid countervailing force, with a crystal clear conscience…

And this is why the cornerstone of home defense begins well before any danger is actually present.

If you’re simply reacting to violence, without ever thinking about how you would handle that situation, you’re already too late.  Proper defense— the type that will save your life— is a much more involved process.  It starts well before you learn any personal protection techniques… or how to disarm a burglar… In fact, it starts long before you even choose the right firearm for your family’s protection needs.  In order to guarantee you come out on top in a potentially fatal home invasion attack.. You first need to know two important things…

  1. CRIMINAL TACTICS, TENDENCIES & COMMONALITIES                                                                 
    (Be on the lookout for my Modern Urban Combat Newsletter in January, in which I’ll go into great detail about criminal psychology.)

And perhaps most importantly…

  1. THE LAWS OF THE LAND                                                                                                               
    (Want more crucial information on Home Defense Laws, Language & Liability, check out our new book *here*)
READ:   Competition shooting vs. Defensive Shooting

Now I know what some of you may be thinking… “How can knowing the law be the most important part of keeping my family safe or stopping a home invasion?”  Before you start thinking I’ve lost my mind, I’m going to explain it to you…

To do so, I’m going to ask you to think back to your childhood.  Remember the first time you played a sport… or a new game…  It can be anything from little-league tee-ball… to marbles… to even something silly like Simon Says.

No matter what game you played, it always began the same— You had to determine what you were (and weren’t) allowed to do.  You had to learn the rules, the accepted behaviors, and the object of what you were trying to accomplish (the end goal)… Because unless you know those things, it’s impossible to ever win.

You could be the most skilled or talented player there is… and it won’t do you any good.  As great as Lebron James is, he wouldn’t have made it past his 1st grade team if he refused to dribble the basketball.  Or insisted on trying to kick the ball through the hoop.  No matter how much time he spent practicing his kicks… or how good he got at them… he’d still never score a point!.. Because his actions violated the established rules of the game.

Obviously this is a bit of a funny example, but the important thing is the sequence, which always stays the same. First, learn the rules, accepted behaviors, and objective you’re trying to accomplishSecond, practice and work on mastering the skills you need to accomplish that objective.

When it comes to personal protection and defending your home, the rules and accepted behaviors are dictated by laws and government policy.  Following these rules, policies and statutes, is what separates legal self-defense, from what’s considered violent crime.  And the objective—our ultimate goal— is survival.  I’m not sure what surviving means to you, but to me it means staying alive… safe… and out of prison (otherwise how can you protect your family and those you care about from behind bars?)…  And if you happen to experience a violent assault, criminal attack or home invasion, it’s those established protection laws and policies that will determine your fate.  You can be the baddest person on the planet… who draws their gun in milliseconds, never misses a shot at the range, and can take out a whole goon squad of bad guys in seconds… But that ability does you no good if it’s determined your actions aren’t legally justified.  Knowing the law— and actions you’re legally allowed to take— determines whether you become the hero who saved his family… or the newest resident of cell block D.

So after you become familiar with the law (“the rules”)… then and only then, does it become time to practice your tactical skills… increase your proficiency… and improve your execution.  Because in a real-life scenario, there’s no margin for error.  When we’re talking about armed home defense, the stakes are drastically higher andinfinitely less forgiving.  One wrong decision or mistake in judgment could have serious and possibly deadly repercussions for you… and the people you cherish most in the world.  And while your intentions may be pure… without knowing what you’re legally entitled to do… or not do… simply “defending your family” can get you thrown in jail for manslaughter and result in a costly civil lawsuit.

Not having a predetermined plan of action, or never having thought about these important issues, can certainly result in a potentially deadly hesitation.  But by knowing the law ahead of time…  Knowing that “the rules” allow you to legally use countervailing force…  You’re able to act quickly and confidently.  And by exposing yourself to these potential situations… and uncovering your options ahead of time…  You will have already mentally rehearsed, determined and visualized how you would respond in a specific violent altercation or survival scenario.

So if you ever happen to find yourself in real danger, your brain makes the correct decisions on autopilot.  It isn’t slowed down by dealing with the unknown.  It doesn’t have to determine its options, which according to studies of human behavior and reaction-time, can drastically slow your reaction time.  Because you’ve prepared properly… Now, your brain is set up to quickly and efficiently resolve dangerous situations… allowing you to spring into action, automatically.  And that… is the most powerful self-defense skill you can ever develop.

As I mentioned before… When it comes to survival, every last millisecond matters.


About Stewart Edmiston

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