Should I Press the Panic Button or Pull the Trigger? Home Security & Firearm Safety Tips
While many of today's movies portray reaching for the gun in the nightstand and shooting the bad guys look easy, in real life, injuring or taking the life of another person, even when defending oneself or someone you love against the worst of criminals, can be emotionally devastating. Not only can using a gun to defend your home have lasting psychological effects on you and members of your family, relying on it as a method of home security can be dangerous.
Too often homeowners fantasize about the heroics of taking down the bad guy. As a result, they fail to take into consideration real-life scenarios, as in the intruder taking the gun and using it on them or one of their family members.
Such was the case of a McKinney, Texas homeowner who tried to defend his home with a firearm. In a report released by The Dallas Morning News, of DallasNews.com, the homeowner grabbed his gun and confronted three men who had entered his home in the early morning hours. A struggle ensued and the homeowner lost control of his gun. He was then shot with the gun by one of the intruders.
Another scenario homeowners fail to think about is the possibility of being shot by the police when they arrive on the scene. With emotions and tension running at extremely high levels, a homeowner with a gun in hand can easily be mistaken for the perpetrator. As a trained security professional, I can assure you that these types of scenarios occur throughout the US and other countries all too often.
Even if you are successful at shooting an intruder without any injury to you or your family, the psychological effects from the images and emotions experienced during the event can be quite traumatic. Regardless of who pulls the trigger, it's not uncommon for anyone who witnessed the event to suffer some level of post-traumatic stress disorder afterwards. This can sometimes lead to months of continued fear and anxiety, along with recurring nightmares, flashbacks, and feelings of intense distress. The combination of these psychological effects can disrupt the person's family and personal life, which can lead to a myriad of other problems.
Keeping a firearm in the home can also pose a risk of accidental injury or death to children. Children are naturally curious, and with all the violence they see on TV and in video games, many children look at firearms as being "cool" instead of a potentially deadly weapon that they should stay clear of.
Assuming your children are safe because you've never told them where the gun is or because you told them to never touch the gun can also prove to be a deadly mistake. In a study published by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, it was found that 39% of kids whose parents kept a firearm in the house knew where the gun was stored, and despite being told by their parents to never touch the gun, 22% admitted to handling the gun without their parents knowing. Another disturbing fact is that this finding was just as common among children as young as five years old as it was among the teenagers in the study.
The First Line of Defense is A Good Home Security Plan – One That Consists Of High Quality Security Devices
A good security plan ensures the exterior of your home is layered with protective devices such as security lighting, fencing, surveillance cameras, and other deterrents. Equally as important is ensuring the interior of your home is protected by devices such as heavy-duty deadbolts, a quality alarm system, glass protection film or glass breakage sensors, a security door brace, etc.
Remember—the best way to keep you and your family safe is to keep the bad guys on the outside of your home. This is only achieved by ensuring proper home security layers are implemented. The more layers the better.
When it comes to keeping a gun in your home for home security reasons, it's important to understand firearms should be used as a very last resort and only when your life or the life of another is truly threatened.
Firearm Safety Tips
While having a firearm readily available can have its advantages in the case of an emergency, it's important to take the necessary firearm safety measures to reduce the risk of having it used for any other purpose than to defend your life or the life of a loved one. The following are a few tips that can help keep you and your family safe:
- Periodically, discuss each of these tips with your family and friends and ask that they follow the same gun safety measures in their home.
- When keeping a loaded gun in the house, make sure to stow all handguns in a biometric fingerprint safe, as it allows quick and easy access to the gun owner only. At the very minimum, use a trigger or chamber lock.
- NEVER hunt down or chase after an intruder. The same goes for confronting or trying to subdue an intruder while you have a gun in your hand. Doing so will only increase your risk of having your gun used against you.
- Educate your children about the risks of handling a firearm in your home or any other place for that matter. Teach your child that if they find a gun or are shown a gun by another child, run away and tell an adult immediately. You can never talk to or teach your children enough about the risks of firearms and firearm safety.
Protecting your family means keeping them safe from harm. The best way to do this is to ensure you have the necessary home security devices installed. If you have a gun in the home, practicing proper firearm safety is just as important. So is understanding that firearms are weapons, not home security devices. While owning a gun can sometimes be the difference between life and death of a family member, it should be considered as the very last resort. Ultimately, installing the proper security devices on the interior and exterior of your dwelling will prevent the intruder from gaining access to your home.
Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.
Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:
The American Society for Industrial Security.
The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.
The Society of Professional Locksmiths.