Special Series: Home Defense – What Should I Do?


September 15, 2016 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org – The frequently asked and forward thinking question of how one might defend one’s family and homestead in a climate of increasing risk has several aspects, all of which deserve attention.

One of the first things I would recommend is stop advertising. Those cute little stickers in the rear window of your van broadcast exactly how many boys, girls, dogs, cats, and goldfish inhabit your house and provide the would-be intruder lots of great information.

Then I would consider a thoughtful first line of defense. A good, monitored and clearly advertised, security system including cameras. It gives fair warning that the homeowner is prepared and anticipates trouble. Don't be afraid to put up a sign stating such.

An excellent backup is a dog. Not hawk bait, a real DOG. My preference is Malinois, Shepherd or Doberman, not necessarily in that order.

Next is a safe room. A room into which everyone can retreat and be reasonably secure behind a strongly reinforced door while you summon the police...see advisory below..

The Police

1. The police have NO duty to protect you. They ARE, however, good at stringing yellow tape.

2. A five minute response time is probably the absolute best anyone can hope for if the police are chosen. However, the average man can STROLL the length of a city block in under five minutes. So consider what he can do to you in that time.

3. If the police respond to a home invasion call they are going to be at adrenaline level 5. Do NOT make any sudden movements when they arrive and expect to spend some time on the floor in handcuffs until things can be straightened out. Do NOT attempt to assert your constitutional rights at this point. And as an after thought, you may also lose your dog.

4. If you have chosen a firearm and have effectively employed it do NOT say anything other than, "my attorney is en route."


Slow Joe Biden will tell you that a double barrel shotgun is the best home defense weapon. Simply fire it through the front door and your troubles are over. Obviously, the problem with a double barrel shotgun is:

1. You only have two shells

2. It's hard to reload unless you are carrying a bag of shells with you.

3. Joe Biden is an idiot.

Personally, I still think a shotgun is the best home defense weapon. The shortest shotgun you can legally own is one with an 18-inch barrel and 27-inch overall length. This is perfectly legal and sufficiently compact enough for home use.

One of the first things to consider is the spread pattern. Generally speaking, the spread is 1 inch in width for every 1 foot of travel of the shot pattern. Unless you are 12 to 15 feet away from your adversary when you pull the trigger you may well miss him. He will then:

A. Shoot you

B. Run Away

How lucky are you in Vegas?

Secondly, the recoil on a 12 gauge can be substantial to the uninitiated. Anyone intending to use this particular weapon as a home defense tool must spend some time at the range in order to acclimate to the recoil. Further, the recoil on a cut-down shotgun can be even more off-putting. Again, range time, if the big gun is your choice.

All standard pump shotguns will hold a limited number of shells. By using, "mini-shells"with six pellets instead of nine you can increase the number. I have always subscribed to the philosophy that, "more is better".

Women may not be as willing as men to deal with a 12 gauge . An alternative and equally effective choice is the 20 gauge. The end results are the same but the kick is not as bad.

I do not think that anyone should consider any type of high-powered rifle, semi-auto or other unless you're interested in alerting your neighbors about your problem in a rather dramatic fashion. While the AR-15 is a great little piece for fieldwork it really doesn't belong taking out adversaries in your hallway.

Handguns are worthy of consideration if one is proficient in their use. Most people will buy a revolver or semi-automatic pistol, put in the nightstand,and wait for it to come to the rescue when trouble occurs. Again, range time.

With regard to handguns, I am a proponent of semi-automatic pistols for the above-stated reason, more is better. A magazine, not to be confused with a clip (a clip has no moving parts), is easier to load than hand feeding single rounds into a cylinder especially in the dark and under attack. As for the type of pistol, I personally prefer a .45 since they don't make a .46, and it is the largest reasonable caliber round one can purchase (.50 cal. Desert Eagle excepted, a wildly inappropriate weapon in this application).

The choice of a particular handgun is as varied as the individual taste. Find one that fits your hand, is easy to shoot and was not made in China.

A recent fad is adding a laser to your pistol. This is a complete waste of time and money. If you have ever tried to fire a weapon in the semi-darkness under stress and time urgency you know that the absolute LAST thing you will want to do is to try to follow the bouncing ball. Even under ideal range conditions: indoors, daytime, perfect humidity and lighting, you will be hard-pressed to put that laser on your target and keep it there while firing.

Another choice is the flashlight. Picatinny rails [standardized milspec size hard point attachment surfaces] were developed to allow you to add 15 more pounds to your weapon by tricking it out with every cool looking SEAL toy available. Just remember, if you shine a light at the bad guy, to him it's a reasonable assumption that YOU are somewhere behind that light.


Home invaders frequently come in 2's, 3's, or even more. If they manage to get past your first 3 lines of defense (Security system, Dog, safe room) you are probably in trouble. At this point, you have to decide to either let them have whatever they want (This will likely also include your wife and pre-teen daughter), OR you can go for the gold. If gold is in your plans you would be well advised to have already had several pistols stashed about the various areas of your house that will allow you to reach them in short order.

Be prepared to be hurt and possibly killed, OR, again, give them what they want and face the prospect of being hurt and LIKELY killed.

Everyone needs to ponder the possibility of taking a human life. Can you do it? Who knows? Since you probably haven't done so in the not too distant past you won't have a clue. This is where mother nature comes to the rescue. The survival instinct in humans is right at the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for a reason. Simply put, you NEED to survive. Some tips in this regard are:

1. Move. That means, MOVE. Standing still makes you a very attractive target. Since most people are right-handed the odds are that if you move to YOUR right they will have to move to their left. It may buy a second or two.

2. Shoot. Without shooting, moving merely entertains the bad guys.

3. Most people shoot high under stress and in dim lighting. Therefore you should stay low. Ohh yes…nd Move.

4. Shoot until you're out of ammo and then either reload or find another gun and repeat. Did I mention, keep moving?

5. Bad guys are now getting clever and wearing bulletproof vests. Shoot them in the face. The average head size target is 6 X 9 in. The average center of mass (chest) is 8X10. Not enough difference to write home about, but if you practice putting your rounds in head sized targets the chances are greatly increased that you WILL be able to write home about it.

Finally, take the family to the range for at least a monthly fun outing. Make certain your wife and reasonably aged children are intimately familiar with all of the weapons in the house and are able to, not only shoot with deadly accuracy but are able to disassemble, clean and re-assemble the weapons. No. I am NOT joking.

Shoot, shoot and shoot some more. The old saying that to be a good shot you must have practiced until you are up to your ass in brass still holds true. Budget for ammo. If you have to, defer other toys and entertainment until you have a well-stocked weapons' larder.

How much is enough? I use this simple and easy to remember rule. "If you KNOW how much ammo you have, you DON'T have enough."

If you follow this advice and remember to practice you will stand a pretty fair chance of surviving most any threat.

CV: Mr. Akela served a distinguished career in one of the most professional police departments in Southern California as well as having had considerable military experience. He is an expert on these matters and is a certified NRA instructor.

©2016 AkelaCo, GmbH. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.