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FRIDAY NIGHT TERROR!

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FRIDAY NIGHT TERROR!

by Paul W Abel
Shoot-N-Iron Practical Shooting & Training Academy

It's Friday evening. Another week's work is past and you are looking forward to spending a weekend of rest and relaxation. The youngsters have just departed for a Friday night outing. Your lady of the house has the dinner dishes nearly done and you have settled down in your favorite recliner for some serious television.

Suddenly you're jarred upright by a crashing sound coming from the front door. The door splinters and crashes inward. You see several masked intruders, guns in hand, charging through the now open doorway.

You are immediately on your feet to defend your wife and home, but find yourself looking into the business end of more than one pistol barrel. A couple of the thugs begin beating you about the head and body, demanding money, and all the while you can hear your wife's terrified screams as more of the attackers are having their way with her. There's a bright flash of light, a searing pain in your head and then nothing.

Later the blackness of unconsciousness slowly fades and you awaken to the realization that the intruders are gone. You see your wife lying sobbing on the kitchen floor. She is hurt and bleeding, but alive. They have done what they came to do, and you could do nothing to prevent it. Many of the valuables you both worked so hard for are now gone or smashed and scattered. Luckily, this time, all of the family will survive.

Incidents like this one are in the news almost nightly and many of them end on a much more deadly note. I hear men say "This would never happen in my house. I know how to shoot and I'd blow the *%# right back out the door!"

Yeah, right. Nice thought. I wonder though if you have ever given any serious thought to just how much time we would have to go get our gun and react if we were suddenly faced with such an incident. THERE IS NO TIME. These gangs hit with almost military precision and are on their victims within seconds. The ONLY chance we have is to be ready and able to react instantly. We've been taught that all firearms should be kept unloaded, the guns and ammunition stored in separate places, both under lock and key. WRONG!

I hear it now, "King's X. Hold on while I get my gun from the safe and load it." Somehow I just can't hold out much hope that it will work. I do agree, however, that our gun collections should be totally secured, hopefully in a good gun safe. It' too bad we can't proudly display our prized firearms like we did a few short years ago, but the chances of losing them to some thief is now too great.

I certainly DO NOT and WILL NOT recommend locking up your defensive handgun or keeping it unloaded. You'd be better off with a pocket full of rocks than having an empty gun. We hear that guns are a threat to children. If the child has had no training and knows nothing about firearms, except what he or she sees on the "boob tube," this is more than likely true. Hot stoves, electrical outlets, and any number of appliances are equally dangerous to children, but we teach them not to touch these things as soon as they begin to crawl. Toddlers can be taught not to touch firearms.

NRA's Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program is excellent for the little ones. The Oklahoma Rifle Association or your local gun club has (or can) acquire this program information for you. I know it works. I've been there and done that.

Ask yourself the question, "Where is the only place my handgun is secure from any inquisitive little people?" There is only one answer. IT IS SECURE ONLY ON YOUR PERSON. This not only keeps the gun safe, but makes it instantly available should an emergency arise. I hear people say, "I'm not going to carry a pistol in my own house. I'm not that paranoid." Good judgment and precaution is not paranoia. It was not many years ago that I didn't worry about this type of thing either. When I was growing up in east central Oklahoma (too many years ago to mention!) I don't think we even had locks on our doors. If we did, we never used them. My brother and I usually slept in the back yard during the summer because there was no air conditioning. We were pretty safe back then.

Let me tell you: TIMES HAVE CHANGED! You and your family are all at risk. Thirty-three years as a law enforcement officer taught me that if you own a business, or are gainfully employed, the gang-bangers expect you to have money and valuables and they'll kill you to get them. They have killed because their victim didn't have enough loot to satisfy them.

If you ever find yourself and your family in a situation such as we have described, you had better already be armed and able to react instantly. You may have to shoot quickly, accurately, and continue to do so until the threat ceases. Some may feel that our views are politically incorrect, but we suggest you take a good look around. We are speaking about reality and reality is not always pretty. You need to set up a defensive plan for your home and even your business much like you would in setting up a fire drill. Have preplanned locations you can use for cover. Try to always use cover instead of concealment. Concealment usually doesn't stop incoming bullets where cover will. Refrigerators, heavy furniture and even the waterbed may stop or at least slow down pistol bullets and could save your life.

Home alarm systems are both desirable and affordable. They afford the protection of an audio alarm whose siren can cause a hasty exit by the terrorist, plus an automatic notification system that will call authorities for you even if you're not able to call yourself. Door and window decals showing the home to be alarmed also help. These items can also decrease your insurance rate, and most banditos avoid homes that they know are alarmed.

A good dog, large or small, is also an asset. The dogs do not need to be vicious. Their bark can warn you early enough to give you the needed edge. A fenced yard, especially one that contains a one hundred--pound plus German Shepherd or some other dog of choice, is certainly a deterrent.

The wife being armed is also a plus, but be sure she knows how to shoot and the tactics needed to stay alive in a bad situation. Encourage her and the older youngsters to go to the local range with you and do a lot of shooting and training. It makes for a great family outing. You might even consider taking some courses along the line of Home Defense, or Defensive Handgun. I just happen to know where and when such courses are available.

Don't forget the little people either. They need to know what to do if trouble comes. The earlier you teach them what guns are and the respect they must give them, the less chance they will get into trouble with one. They also should know where to hide if an intruder appears. These little guys are smarter than most folks give them credit for. Who knows whose life their training may save?

I remember a young fellow from my law enforcement days who, at age six, grabbed his big brother's twenty-two rifle and at gun point forced two would-be rapists to unhand his mother. They had a knife at her throat. It's very likely the bad guys would have killed both mother and child had it not been for his quick thinking and action. That's another story and we'll continue it later, but this young man is still my hero!


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