One of the VERY important rules of firearm safety is “Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.”
Target identification is supremely important when it comes to home defense at night.
Imagine that you hear a noise in the middle of the night. You wait, then definitely confirm that it’s coming from INSIDE the house.
Your handgun is in the quick-access biometric gun safe next to your nightstand. A quick swipe of your index finger triggers the actuator as the lid pops open.
Picking up your pistol, you cautiously head out of the bedroom to have a look. (You did check the other side of the bed to be sure your wife was there, right?)
The noises are coming from down the hall, maybe over in the living room or kitchen. You’re not quite sure yet…
I’ll jump to the point. But what if it’s your wife or one of your children doing whatever it is that’s making noise? You never know, right?
Actually, yes, there is a way to know…
Shed Some Light on the Subject
It’s dark at night. Criminals love the dark. Why? Because it provides concealment. It lets them do their thing while at the same time being difficult to be identified.
If you are ever facing the immensely intense adrenaline rushed situation of raising your firearm upon another human, you better dam well know your target and what is beyond.
Why? Because in the rush of the moment, your mind might play tricks on you, so to speak. Everyone handles it in their own way. Some simply cannot handle an adrenaline dump.
Home Defense at Night
Are you certain of the target? How well can you see? Is the target an actual threat?
And just as important, what’s behind that target? A bedroom perhaps? Your neighbors house?
You do know that if you miss, the bullet is going to keep going, right? Today’s home construction and walls offer little resistance to a projectile packing 404 ft-lb of energy at 890 feet per second… (Federal’s 45 ACP FMJ, for example).
Light It Up
The point of this firearm safety article is this…
For home defense, you need to plan ahead for lighting up the target.
There are multiple ways to get this done.
You might purchase one of those remote controllers that turn on lights in the house by the press of a button at your nightstand.
My own solution to this issue is having a number of flashlights.
My nightstand home defense handgun has a light mounted to it. You can mount a light to pretty much any firearm. Maybe yours is a shotgun. No problem. Attach a light (with this).
Side note: Perhaps a best choice for a home defense firearm is the shotgun. Pellets (depending on shot size) will be better stopped by walls and such (safer for the neighbors). I don’t have any neighbors or kids in the house, so I choose a handgun for this purpose.
What about keeping flashlights in multiple locations around the house? I do. It serves many purposes. I never have to look far for a flashlight.
Continue reading: Headlamp compared to a Flashlight
Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Beyond It
That’s your safety tip for the day. If you do have a firearm in your bedroom for ‘just in case’, plan ahead for what you would do if you ever heard a noise inside your house in the middle of the night.
Read more: My Home Defense Night Stand