Home Defense Nightstand
SECURITY

My Home Defense Nightstand

Home Defense Nightstand

I can’t imagine a much worse scenario than being woken up at night by a noise in your house that an intruder is inside!

The overwhelming feeling that someone actually is breaking into your house or someone already inside your home will be a shock to your system.

Your heart will start pounding…

The amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, will send a distress signal. The sympathetic nervous system (which functions like a gas pedal in a car) will respond.

Your body will suddenly be rushed with adrenaline – an experience that you may not have had before…

Signals will be sent to the adrenal glands. These glands respond by pumping the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream.

As epinephrine circulates through the body, it brings on a number of physiological changes:

– The heart beats faster than normal, pushing blood to the muscles, heart, and other vital organs.

– Pulse rate and blood pressure go up.

– The person undergoing these changes also starts to breathe more rapidly.

– Small airways in the lungs open wide. This way, the lungs can take in as much oxygen as possible with each breath.

– Extra oxygen is sent to the brain, increasing alertness.

– Sight, hearing, and other senses become sharper.

– Meanwhile, epinephrine triggers the release of blood sugar (glucose) and fats from temporary storage sites in the body. These nutrients flood into the bloodstream, supplying energy to all parts of the body.

All of these changes happen so quickly that people aren’t initially aware of them. In fact, the wiring is so efficient that the amygdala and hypothalamus start this cascade even before the brain’s visual centers have had a chance to fully process what is happening. That’s why people are able to jump out of the path of an oncoming car even before they think about what they are doing.

– Harvard.edu

 
The intensely stressful situation will suddenly overwhelm you and thrust you into a state of mind that’s difficult to deal with.

Fear, anxiety, adrenaline. Any complicated tasks will become exceedingly more difficult. Even your memory will be affected.

That’s why your home defense plan needs to be simple!

That’s why my home defense nightstand consists of just three, but important, basic things:

1. Flashlight
2. Weapon
3. Phone

 

Flashlight for Home Defense Nightstand

Home Defense Flashlight
The reality is that any flashlight will get the job done. Some better than others.

I’m a bit of a flashlight person and have quite a variety of choices at my disposal.

Currently the flashlight designated to my nightstand is a tactical Fenix LD22.

Fenix LD22 Flashlight, 300 Lumens

I like it because…

– It’s just the right size (not too small, not too big).
– It has a rear tactical on/off/momentary push-button is perfect for stressed engagement.
– Separate switch for brightness & mode. It remains where you last set it.
– 300 lumens is really bright!

Do Not use a flashlight that cycles through modes every time you click it on/off! You will not be able to deal with that very well under stress. You want simple on/off functionality.

 

Weapon for Home Defense Nightstand

Home Defense Pistol

I keep a loaded handgun in the front of my top drawer and a few extra magazines. If you are not a gun owner, you could use a bat, knife, or other blunt object.

Important! Note: We do not have any others living in the house. It’s just Mrs.J and I. If children will be visiting our home, any such handgun will be placed in a pistol safe. If you have others at home, be responsible and keep your handgun in a rapid access pistol safe on your ‘home defense nightstand’ or within quick access.

As some of you know, I’m a big fan of this particular pistol safe.
More: Review

My home defense nightstand handgun is a full size Smith & Wesson M&P 45.

It is equipped with a rail-lock mount Surefire X300 tactical flashlight (redundant with my nightstand flashlight). It’s mounted in such a way that I can easily engage the light with my forefinger while gripping the handgun normally.

SureFire X300 Ultra Series LED WeaponLight

It is also equipped with Crimson Trace LG-660 grip-actuated laser. By simply holding/gripping the weapon naturally will engage the laser.

I like the laser concept for home defense because it’s simple.
Point red dot on target. Pull trigger. (No sighting required)

Crimson Trace LG-660

 

A Phone on your Nightstand

Be it a cell phone or landline, the ability to reach 911 is important without having to go to another room in your home.

You might want to read this:
Home Invasion And What To Do…

 
KEEP IT SIMPLE

“If” it ever happens, the bottom line is you want your defense to be as simple as possible. The fewer thought processes that you need to deal with, the better.

This also involves the decision to keep one in the pipe, so to speak. Not having to chamber a round… it’s already ready to go. Safety on or off? (my M&P45 doesn’t have a separate safety lever so I don’t even have to think about it). The ‘safety’ is built-in to the trigger mechanism.

For those who wonder why I chose a pistol rather than another type of firearm (shotgun or rifle)… Actually I also have a shotgun in the closet, but the equipped pistol will serve well in constrained environments versus the long barrel of a shotgun in my opinion.

That said, a shotgun is preferred by many in this regard. And I “get it” as to why…

 
Okay, I’m real curious to hear from you all.
Do you have a home defense nightstand?

How are you equipped to deal with the possibility?

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67 Comments

  1. Nice/neat/easy to access in an emergency. All good points.

    –there are lots of folks who don’t own a gun/have this option/places where guns aren’t easily owned…..

    —suggestion for weapon in these cases…Some sort of heavy duty/larger/maybe commercial flashlight. Maybe could be used to hit someone with….

  2. Good article Ken, stuff to think about for sure, its easy to be lulled into a sense of security by the mundane day in day out, God save us if it changes

          1. Holy COW!!!!
            That sucker has more dials, numbers and counters than the dashboard of my truck LOLOL
            Very Nice…..

          2. Really liked (past tense) Luminox. Have two of them but lately found out that the ONLY company in the United States that is authorized to even change the battery is in New England. They refuse to quote a price for battery change until you pay to mail your watch to them. Then, they will tell you how much $ they want. If you’re not happy with that, you have to get the watch mailed back to you WITHOUT a refund. As for getting anyone else to do it, I called over 10 local high end watch/jewelry shops and all of them told me the same things…
            1. Either they won’t touch Luminox watches or…
            2. They will NOT guarantee that the watch will still be water resistant after changing the battery because Luminox refuses to sell the required seals to anyone other than their single authorized repair center in New England.
            I went around and around with Luminox customer service over this and was told “We’re not happy about it either, but there’s nothing we can do”.

  3. An attempted home invasion happened to me in my 20’s. Dude high on pcp tried to kick in the back door Sunday morning around 6 am. Lucky for him the 100 yr old solid wood door and dead bolt prevented him from entering.
    I sprung out of bed grabbed the 12ga confirmed my wife was still in bed. headed downstairs and waited in ambush. I did not announce myself. the dude tried 2 more times to kick in the door but gave up when it did not budge. The cops picked him up later that morning after he terrorized three other families when he busted into their homes.
    During the assault.
    My Army training kicked in to stay calm and watch my zone of fire. Stay concealed until the last moment. Then spring my ambush with superior fire power and command of my position within the home.
    I lived and currently live in a state with castle doctrine in place. Just have to wait for the perp to cross the threshold before it is a legal shoot.
    At least he did not get in. 00buck woulda made a hell of mess in the kitchen but I guess that is what my wife is for :P LOL!

  4. Ok OK, so much for Ken not doing articles on Fire-Arms, we’ll see how much flack he gets from King-Amazon :-) :-)

    Unlike Ken’s suggestion I don’t like having to open the drawer to access my night-time buddy, I have an extra nylon holster (no strap holding it in, just inserted) mounted on the bedpost right below mattress height; very easy access to just roll over a little and grab it. When I leave the house the Partner goes into a handy-dandy little safe, and comes back out at nighty-night time. Just get into the habit and it’s mussel memory.

    My flashlight lays tucked under the second pillow, so again no reaching far to get to it. I agree with the On-Off switch only, but 300 lumens is a little light, go for 1K lumens if you can find a nice one…..

    The Phone sits on the night-stand hooked to a charger, close to the bed, 911 can be dilled without ‘turning the phone on’. Something to remember, when you call 911, the call is always recorded and can be used in your defense JIC you end up with a mess on the carpet. Just don’t say something stupid that will get you convicted.

      1. White Cracker;
        The correct terminology is fire till the threat is eliminated. Someone on PCP, as your buddy was, will keep moving towards and is still be a threat until he/it hits the floor.
        Just remember forensics can tell a lot about a shooting, And the family will do anything to get you hanged for killing their innocent little darling.
        But again, Judged by 12, or Carried by 6, hell of a decision.

  5. I live along ways from town, not really worried about “Common thugs”. Out here, professional thieves are the problem. They are smart and well advanced in their methods.

    My security system is also state of the art. It’s a well known fact, that here in the country, we have a night neighborhood watch, and we will use deadly force if necessary. Our Country Sheriff is an asshole and won’t supports us, but the Under Sheriff is on our side.
    My night stand, well OSPEC, is very well stocked.
    “Listen punk, go ahead, MAKE MY DAY”. (a little smart-ass for today)

  6. Hi there, I’ve been reading for a long while but never post. I was actually going to ask an off topic about this, so good timing with the article!

    What do you guys use for a “security system”? Other than steady aim :)

    Recently I came home and thought my house may have been trespassed (I’m pretty sure now it wasn’t) so I bought those cheap magnet alarms to put on all the doors to alert me if they’ve been opened. Not terribly sure they’ll be effective at waking me up.

    On a side note, a bunch of books fell off our bookshelf the other night and I initially thought it was a burglar. It woke me out of a dead sleep and I got up and did this weird, glottal scream/ howl (which my wife won’t soon let me forget). I instinctively grabbed my side table pistol and flashlight immediately afterward but I was surprised at the noise I had made and wondered why. Wife and I were so jacked on adrenaline we couldn’t sleep so ended up talking about who would do what if it had been a break in (I’d detain or stop the threat,and she’d grab the shotgun and young one, who calls the police, rally points, what if our daughter was a hostage etc.) Which we hadn’t discussed in depth befofe. I’m also going to contact the local authorities for clarification on use of deadly force

    Thanks everyone!

    1. Hootenanny;

      Welcome to the “comment” side of the BLOG.

      Personally I have little to no “home Security” besides Insurance and a good inventory of what’s in the home and of course the OPSEC side of Darkness that lurks at NRP’s house; Personal Security is a different thing altogether, such as the discussion in this article.

      Seems you’re in a bit if a different situation than I, for me; it’s me and my dog Blue, you have Wife and Children that makes a LOT of difference as to what/when/how/etc. I believe Ken has quite a few ‘Home-Security’ articles to search for hardware and such. Building a huge amount of Hardware alarm systems may be a better way to go for you, I know there are a lot of Cyber Systems, and Alarm monitoring companies out there also.

      Maybe outside motion lights, Door Bars, even as far as a safe-room in the home? Just remember there is no home that a determined person cannot get into, it sounds like you have the “once in” part covered well though.

      Just don’t shoot the Cat.

    2. @Hootenanny,

      You might start with a simple door jammer. Every night both of our outside access doors get one under the doorknob.

      Here’s an article:
      BuddyBar Door Jammer

      Good outdoor motion lights are a must. I have a number of these mounted on my house.

      Here’s an article:
      THE Best Outdoor Motion Lights For Home Security (2018)

      I believe though that you’re looking for opinion on actual electronic home alarm systems. I’ve not done a specific article on that, but I probably should research it a bit and come up with some recommendations.

      That said, you can search our site:

      Articles on Home Security
      Articles on Personal Security

      Thanks for your comment.

    3. @Hootenanny
      search for – Simply Safe – cheap effective Calls out to the po po automatically. Wireless, easy peel and stick sensor placement Monitoring is $15 per month System package starter about $300 I think. has the benefit of glass break sensors. Sometimes if I sneeze just at the right pitch it will set off.

      Option 2 more expensive – dachshund like Ken’s pup :)

    4. Hootenanny
      Welcome to the Sane side of life, no crazies on here, well, maybe a few, but we mind our manners. (Afraid of Kens wrath) LOL
      Motion lights and driveway monitor, check out Dakota Alert
      and a trained watch dog

    1. Might I suggest that everyone also search and read their own States Laws on the Castle Doctrine. things are changing at the speed of light with all the Anti-Gun stuff going on
      .
      Even research what a “legal” firearm is in your state, for if you shoot someone, even in self defense, with an illegal firearm your in deep poop. Example, in CO. you may not have a handgun with larger than 10 round mag. OR what type of ammo you would use.

      1. NRP, good point on reading the State Laws. Where I am there is a Castle Doctrine, refreshed my knowledge, thanks.
        I like this part of it;
        “Premises includes, but is not limited to, lands, private ways and any buildings or structures thereon”
        “Get off my lawn”, with teeth.

        1. Grey;
          99.99% of the time it also includes your Vehicle, and any Hotel/Motel/Rental-House room you have rented.

          But again, do your research.

  7. I have three lights; small tactical, mid-size tactical and a D Cell Mag on the floor. I have two persuaders within reach, one in the drawer, the tactical pump in the corner with a light and buckshot chambered. I prefer the pump; sheetrock, trim and doors are cheap. The other half of the bed has a similar set up. No remorse if invaded. Have a reasonable sized toad stabber on the side of the bed.

      1. I love Clancy, my favorite was Red Storm Rising.
        Also liked the one with Mr Clark as the main character, although the title escapes me at the moment.
        Currently reading Bracken’s Enemies Foreign and Domestic.
        The first third is eerie…like it’s playing out right now…

  8. Be aware, contacting your local authorities to inquire about the legality of using deadly force in any given scenario is a roll of the dice at best. Local authorities are people. Depending on their position (elected vs. appointed/hired) their own personal politics often dictate policy. Policy is often at “loggerheads” with the actual law, and the folks with the badges are the ones who write the “official” narrative.

    It is well known around here that when the state passed certain very pro-gun laws regarding conceal carry, permits, etc. the chief of the biggest police department in the area used taxpayer money to order hundreds of the legally designated sign that businesses had to post if they didn’t want to allow firearms on the premises. He then went to most of the local businesses and browbeat them to put the signs up. I heard from more than one business owner or manager that the only reason they put the sign up was to placate him and get him to leave them alone.

    A better option may be to go to startpage and simply start searching the laws of your state, county, etc. in regards to castle doctrine, duty to retreat or stand your ground, etc.; or go the expensive route and ask a lawyer- but be forewarned… “My lawyer told me it’s legal” is NOT a working defense in court. Neither is “I read it on the Internet”. Find the official laws and read them.

    That being said… ;)

    Fenix is a GREAT brand of tactical flashlight. I carried my TK series on duty, in all conditions, dropped it a long way down onto a concrete floor, and it still works great. Like Ken said though, do NOT get one that requires you to cycle through various brightness levels by repeatedly clicking on the on/off switch. You do not want to deal with that in an emergency.

    Whatever tools you choose to use, keep them in good working order, and keep them nearby. Like Ken’s nightstand, keep it neat, orderly, and with as few items as possible. EVERYONE in your home should know what to do. Work it out ahead of time. You can’t take back a bullet once you fire it, whether you “meant” to or not. This is NOT a scenario that should be completely dealt with “on the fly”. You can’t train for every possible variable, but at least have an agreed upon basic plan.

    One that is popular is that all initial non-combatants should lay flat on the floor. This helps reduce accidental strikes if rounds penetrate walls. Remember, if some thug is in your home, he or she is not concerned about the safety of you and yours. You might not be the only person in the house that is armed.

  9. Ken I only wish you had some body armor to slip on. A plate carrier is fast but then again would make the bedside look like a barracks.

    Has anybody a source for a ballistic shield? Would be good for at least the spouse.

      1. Seems that Boeing Surplus closed recently. :-(

        Annoying thing about amazon is that you cannot seek ballistic shields with out an amazing amount of odd stuff coming up.

        1. NH Michael
          Well, that’s news to me, since I just got 1700ft of chain-link fence there.

          1. SMG so what is the actual name as Google did not get to a viable Boeing Surplus site? You could post it as such to avoid triggering Kens filters

            w w w dot Boeing Surplus dot whatever

            What was the shipping on 1700 feet of chain link? I sure could use some :-) I’m sure others on this site would be happy to shop there.

  10. As another poster here previously shared, I too have first hand experience with a home intruder. I was 22 years old at the time, and still living at home with my parents.

    We lived in an upper middle-class neighborhood, and the burglary occurred late morning while my folks were both away at their jobs. I was upstairs in the shower when the break-in took place so I didn’t hear the glass on the garage window breaking. The duo criminals, a young man and woman, obviously were under the impression that no one was home at the time.

    After throwing on a pair of sweatpants, I stood at the bathroom sink brushing my teeth. A young female suddenly appeared at the top of the stairs, in the hallway, looking at me with eyes as big as pie plates. For a moment, I just thought she was perhaps a co-worker of my mother’s whom she had brought home with her that day for an early lunch.

    To make a long story short, she bolted downstairs and I knew at that moment that something was very, VERY wrong. I immediately advanced into my parents master bedroom where my dad kept his loaded .45 ACP, grabbed it, and went to the phone to dial 911. As I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, telling her that there was a burglary in progress in my home, a male individual appeared in the doorway with a handgun pointed at me. He was just as surprised as I was.

    For those of you who have never experienced having a complete stranger point a firearm at you in your own home, it’s quite surreal. The level of adrenaline flowing is remarkable, and the human body does some strange things.

    Now nearly 30 years later I can recall the entire event, even today, as CLEAR as a bell…like it happened just yesterday. I can remember my ears ringing, my heart pounding, I instantly developed a very dry cotton-mouth, and time stood still. One second seemed like one hour. I also had tunnel vision. You just NEVER EVER think it can happen to YOU.

    In that moment, in that split second as I raised my dad’s pistol towards this threat, all I could think of is “Okay, this is it. I am either going to die, or God will keep me alive.”

    The guy turned and ran downstairs just a millisecond before I pulled the trigger. The 911 dispatcher told me to stay on the line, and don’t move from my current position. Even though I wanted to pursue this scumbag, I did as I was instructed.

    Thankfully I am here to tell the story. I would have taken NO pleasure in taking another life, but I was prepared to do so. The sheriff’s department was able to apprehend both of these criminals with the help of a K9 unit. I was fine, and I didn’t have to shoot anyone, and I was thankful.

    After experiencing an event like this, I train in my own home. Try setting your alarm clock at 0400 and IMMEDIATELY getting up out of your comfortable, warm bed, most likely in your underwear if you’re a guy, and going outside to investigate a noise or a disturbance. Better yet, try doing it in the middle of winter.

    Do you need to get dressed, or do you sleep with all your clothes on? Where’s your firearm? Where are your shoes? Where’s your flashlight and cell phone? Can you do all of this in the dark? If you start flipping on lights, will that give away your element of surprise? Today’s criminals, especially those of the home invasion robbery type, will not always flee at the sight of interior lights coming on.

    Ken makes a great point…keep things as simple as possible. However, also know how to navigate through your entire home in the dark, or at least with a minimal amount of light. If you have to suddenly wake up from a deep sleep to go investigate a noise in the night, I can guarantee you that even a relatively “modest” level of 300 lumens emitting from your flashlight ‘can possibly’ be problematic INDOORS.

    When your eyes are still trying to adjust from suddenly waking, the bright reflection and “bloom” coming back off of interior walls will do your eyes no favors. I recommend keeping those lumens on the lower end of the scale for interior nighttime ops. If you train with a dual or 3-4 mode flashlight often enough, you can confidently use the lower setting for indoors, and the brighter modes for investigating outdoor issues.

    The bottom line is train, train, TRAIN. Most of us think we intimately know our home inside and out, but when is the last time you took a moment to “think like a criminal” with respect to targeting your property? Normalcy bias and complacency are your greatest enemies – take it from a guy who knows firsthand.

    P.S. — NEVER use handloads in your personal home defense firearm(s). Use only fresh, factory ammunition, and steer clear of ammo that uses these ridiculous names such as “ZOMBIE-MAX” or whatever fashionable, cliche, mall ninja variety the manufacturers are peddling to the current generation of video game playing, movie going dolts out there. God forbid, if you need to terminate a threat by shooting someone, all it takes is ONE overzealous prosecutor itching to make a name for himself to label you as a bloodthirsty murderer, with your designer, bloodlust, killer ammunition.

    1. Practice walking your house in the dark. Your eyes will adjust to the dark far more easily than you might imagine. If you know where everything is, if you’ve practiced, you can often dispense with the flashlight.

    2. I have heard the story about not using certain types of ammo many times but there is NO evidence that any DA has ever tried to use it against anyone. If you have something specific I would love to see the case. Not starting a fight but to my knowledge this is a urban myth

      1. Poorman;

        Tis not the DA or the ‘criminal’ trial you’ll need to be worried about.

        I will be the Civil Suit that the family of “poor innocent helpless little Johnny” (regardless he’s a member of MS13) and the Ambulance Chasing Lawyer that will use everything and anything standing in front of a photo of Johnny in Church that you will sue for every dime and want you in jail for Murder.

  11. Some observations. If an intruder has managed to reach your bedroom with the knowledge your home is occupied, before you waken, and has deadly intent, you are dead, even if you sleep with your gun in your hand. It’s a “reaction time” fact of life. I keep my weapon, light, and phone (cordless land line, 911 pinpoints it’s location, not so with cell phone) on top of my nightstand, in precise arrangement that never varies, that can be reached, with effort, while I’m lying in bed. I can no longer rely on becoming instantly wide awake as I once did. That little bit of reaching gives my mind time to catch up with the stimulus that woke me to start with. Best to have prior warning (dog, motion detection, etc).

    No offense to those who’ve posted otherwise, but someone pounding on your door or prying a window? Best to let them know you are armed and capable of protecting your home before they make entry as loudly as you can. Hopefully they will flee. Several reasons why.

    1- Once it turns into a deadly force encounter, there is no rule that says the good guy wins. If the good guy wins, his actions will be examined with a fine toothed comb.

    2- Even if he escapes any criminal charges (which is the rule rather than the exception), there is no shortage of lawyers that are eager to pay the $35 fee to file a civil wrongful death suit against you, meaning you will have to hire and pay an attorney a minimum of $1000 just to answer the filing. With any luck, your homeowners insurance policy will offer to pay a few thousand to make them go away. If not, your legal expenses will easily be tens of thousands (even if you prevail).

    3-The trauma of taking a life affects good people a hell of a lot worse than it does evil people. Some believe it won’t effect them as long as the guy “needed killing”. They’re wrong.

    4-Most folks will find their family cannot bring themselves to remain in a home where such traumatic events occurred.

    Now, I’m not suggesting not protecting your home and loved ones using any and all means necessary. Rather, if avoiding taking a life is possible, without making your situation less tenable in the process, it will save you much anguish. A bullet can’t be called back and if fired at someone, it is the first step of a long, arduous journey. The goal is to survive, if that means taking a life, so be it, but only if it’s unavoidable.

    1. Dennis,

      That’s great advice! I agree.

      This book on self defesne (by Andrew Branca) emphasizes the points (and more) that you’re making.

      I highly advise that whoever keeps a firearm in their bedroom for self defense, to have a plan, and to simulate it now and again.

      Based on the laws within the state that you reside, understand fully the “what if” legal scenarios regarding a shooting. Implant that into your brain so that you know…

    2. Dennis,
      Thanks for the post, i was just thinking i should add to the early warning stuff, better to be too vigilant rather than complacent,
      A bullet definitely can not be called back and in a commy state like ours i will go to jail even if the azzhole is in my house pointin a gun at me n LindaLou,,,,
      I dont think anyone really wants to be running through their own house shooting people, well not unless they are nuts

  12. I have the same items in my nightstand drawer (except the Tom Clancy!) The only item I would add is some sort of ‘Less than Lethal’ weapon such as pepper spray. Let me preface this by saying I’m not a firearms novice and am extremely well trained in their use. I understand the law and ramifications of shooting a stranger in my house, but I believe you should also have something to incapacitate an intruder before you immediately shoot them. Not every person caught in your house is there to do you harm. There are many circumstances that can arise in which an intruder needs to be taken down, but not killed. Just something to ponder.

    1. Heff,

      Every state is different in that regard. I highly recommend that everyone research and understand the relevant laws in their state.

      In some states a legitimate self defense shooting may end up in jail while in another state the same shooting may be justified. Know your state laws in this regard!

      Regarding a justified shooting scenario, your advise regarding pepper spray as an alternative is entirely a personal and “at the moment” choice.

      I ‘think’ I get what you’re saying… for example ‘what if’ a ‘druggie’ breaks into your home high as a kite (with no weapon) and is looking for stuff to steal to buy more drugs. If you’re there and shoot them with a firearm (Castle Doctrine?), could you have used lesser force to thwart them?

      This is the stuff that is discussed in the book, The Law of Self Defense: The Indispensable Guide to the Armed Citizen.

      Choices. We all must make choices and decisions. And they have ramifications thereafter. We must preemptively think about it.

      I happen to live in a state where Castle Doctrine applies, so I don’t need to worry about “retreat” or ‘pepper spray’ alternatives under certain scenarios. Maybe that’s why there’s extremely low crime (comparatively) here ;)

  13. The only time we ever had a break in was when I was about 15. A gang of teenagers led by a Fagin type guy were breaking into the colonials in our neighborhood. My dad heard them and thought it was my brothers fighting about the paper route (at 5 in the morning) they shared and started downstairs. My dad wasn’t fat but he sounded like a ten ton truck stomping down the wooden stairs and scared them off. Called the police and our neighbors were also broken into but they had two dogs that scared them off. That’s when he was told they got in by lifting up the sliding door off the family room. He made sure from then on there was a piece of broomstick in the track to prevent that from happening again. All doors and windows were checked and double checked every night to make sure they were secure and I believe my dad had his pistol by the bed from then on as well. We NEVER went into their bedroom per their instructions and the way we were raised, if they said jump it was yes Sir/Ma’am as we were going up. So I don’t know if dad had a safe or not. The gang and their leader were caught shortly after that but my mom never got her silver dollar necklace back. It really hurt her as it was from her father who had passed a few years earlier. Surprisingly they never got my dad’s paycheck he had cashed the day before . Mom used the envelope system for the bills and the envelopes were scattered all over the foyer unopened after they rifled thru her purse. Yeah back then mom and dad paid the bills in cash but went to paying by checks after that. Took the little sisters a while to not come into my room if they heard strange noises in the middle of the night. Course some of us(my brothers) took to making spooky noises because they thought it was funny to see the little sisters booking into my room because they were scared.

  14. I keep my .40 in a gun safe in the nightstand next to the bed. I have practiced opening it upon waking when the urge to purge the bladder gets me up. So that being said, sometimes I get 3 or 4 safe accesses a night! ;)

    We now have a dog, we’ve been cat people for the longest time. Even though Skippy is only a 7lbs Chihuahua, his bark will wake us up. Thankfully the wife is a much lighter sleeper than me.

    1. Another thing I forgot to mention… keep heavy duty zip ties in there as well! If you are able to get the perp to submit without a shot being fired, zip ties will hold them in place to some extent. Unitl Johnny Law shows up, hopefully.

  15. Ken, thanks for the great article, one of many. This one made me consider what we have in the way of bedroom defence. I have the flashlight, a tactical, don’t know the lumins but have used it many times at night and it seems to light everything up. There is the shotgun, which would be laying across the bed, with both of us hunkered down behind that bed. There will be a can of wasp spray added to the mix, they reach out about 25 feet. Our bedroom isn’t that far across from the bed to the door, so I think I could hit someone coming through the door. If not the shot gun is good back up. Will also add the cordless phone to the bedside. Didn’t think of being trapped and not being able to get to the phone. I can move it to the bedside at night and back to the charger during the day.

    Your article really made me think and I appreciate it.

    IN GOD WE TRUST

  16. Currently have a somewhat similar setup for my nightstand. Keep a Gerber Cortez Compact flashlight and a GP100. The GP is unloaded and a speed-loader with Cor-Bon 125g .38+P is next to it. My thinking is that the mental/muscle coordination/effort to load the GP will help ensure I’m actually awake enough to properly assess and respond to any break-ins (which means to hide in the bedroom while calling 911, stuff can be replaced).

    1. DLS that’s why I insist on a solid exterior door for the bedroom. They will have to work to force that door. Gives time for my response.

  17. The only thing i see that is missing this a sound suppressor so you and the wife can still hear each other after you’ve fired and your ears aren’t bleeding from being in such close quarters. I like the aac Ti-Rant 45 on my P22o it would really help to hear each other to give directions if more that one assailant. Nice watch!

    1. I agree on the deafening aspect of indoors / close quarters. Too bad that one has to jump through hoops and such expense (and incredibly long wait times) to acquire a suppressor.

      I’ve considered leaving a pair of electronic muffs in the drawer. Problem with that is an extra set of steps in the process – especially if seconds count…

      1. Yes it took me over three years to get all of my calibers covered. But the good thing about it is you can take a suppressor out of state without having to get permission from ATF. Another thing is that they are not as quiet as people think they just help save your hearing. One exception the 22 lr is very Quiet.

  18. I have those 3 objects in my nightstand and a pump shotgun next to it. Calling 911 here is a joke as it takes 1-2 hours response time.
    My old man now announces himself when he comes into the house. When he didn’t, I have met him with a pistol in my hand- especially when we lived past Old Tucson in the AZ desert.

  19. There are only 4 items on my night stand, nothin else, a lamp, cell phone, flashlight, and a big bore wheel gun. I always lay flashlight and gun in a particular fashion and always the same. When my hand touches the gun, it is in my hand, no fumblin around. I keep the cell phone in case somebody calls me for help, family or neighbor. If I really needed help immediately, I would call a neighbor because I know they can get here faster than deputies.

    A couple years ago, my neighbor about 3/4 mile away called me at midnite, he and his wife were about 50 miles away, teenage daughter home alone. She thought she saw someone outside. Daughter called the law, then called him, he called me, I was on the way before we ended the call, and got there in a matter of minutes, about 15 minutes before deputies arrived. I always have everything ready to go, especially at night. Usually only 2 deputies work overnite in my county and they might be up to 45 minutes away, if there’s any shootin goin on, they will meet up and come together possibly takin longer. They likely to be in no position to help in an emergency. I try to not leave anything to chance. There might not be a second chance to make a first impression.

    On another note, I don’t worry at all about anybody sneakin up on me at nite. We have 6 dogs on the farm. At least the 3 little yappers inside. At least 2, sometimes 3 on duty outside, very little chance anything happenin unannounced.

  20. Lived/worked in an “all weapons prohibited” location a while back. However, garden tools,like my SOG machete and tomahawk, and sporting goods allowed. Had a number of 9 irons in strategic locations. Got ’em for a buck each at the thrift store.

  21. Looks like several (most?) of us, like to read ourselves to sleep! I’ve got a flashlight fetish as well. I use/have several Streamlights two of which are on my nightstand, with my Glocks 19 and a 26, a reload for each. My Glock 26, is my EDC, I use a Glock 19 magazine in it, with a Pachmayr adapter on the mag to fit my peasant hands and fingers much better. Both Glocks have TFO (tritium fiber optic sights) on them. I’m “old school” and learned to use my flashlights in conjunction with(but not on)my handguns when clearing buildings in my past law enforcement career. We also have German Shepherd Night Stand dogs, one of whom sleeps exactly under where my feet hit the floor, (uncanny), and the other who sleeps between my wife and I. He likes to growl when he hears things he doesn’t like, which instantly awakens me. Both of them, see better in the dark than we do, hear better, farther, more clearly than we do, and LOVE to go check things out with Dad at O-dark-thirty.

    In our area, most residential burgs and home invasions, occur during the day, (because our thug demographic is lazy and doesn’t work nights), so, between our residential alarm system, and the GSDs on patrol inside the home, we haven’t been hit…..yet. If I could convince my wife to NOT leave her cell in her purse, in the kitchen, it would be great. After this long, that’s not going to happen. Our cell phones must be with us, so we can call 911, when needed, instead of wishing we still had landlines, and hoping the thugs and thugettes,don’t make off with the phones, too. Stuff can always be replaced, we however, are irreplaceable.

  22. I have a similar setup, only my night stand has a sliding top. Most people don’t realize there is a compartment. My alarm system is an 85 pound german shepard who never seems to sleep.

  23. Cant say as I have a problem with this Headline / Article I just read….———————————————–
    “‘If you kill someone, we might kill you back’: Sheriff welcomes visitors with ominous warning”—————–An unconventional welcome sign greets visitors in western Georgia.

    It stands suitably outside the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, only a stone’s throw from the Alabama border, addressing would-be criminals and warning them not to cross the locals.

    “Welcome to Harris County, Georgia,” it reads, sarcastically adding: “Our citizens have concealed weapons. If you kill someone, we might kill you back. We have ONE jail and 356 cemeteries. Enjoy your stay! -Sheriff Mike Jolley.”

  24. I keep my eyeglasses on my dresser or nightstand for clearer vision in case of an incident. I admire people who shoot home invaders dead – these people do not understand anything less than force. I also want those dealing in drugs to have the proceeds of crime confiscated – be it their cash, cars or real estate or any other ill gotten gain. Otherwise ordinary people will simply stop working and paying taxes. Why should we get out of bed on a snowy day and go to work when the drug dealer can sleep in until noon? Also unless a person is 80 or older I tend to view unknown humans in the area as suspicious persons. Also, lock your doors and windows. Lock your door when home. I can’t believe some people still do not do this.

  25. Ken,
    I love your nightstand layout! Just one thing, I recommend keeping your iPad out of the bedroom…nnEMFs are damaging to your health while you try to repair at night while you sleep. Send all devices packing while you sleep! Otherwise, awesome pic and article!

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