May 26, 2010

A Man's Home...

... or in this case, a woman's home, is her castle.

I was chatting with a friend online earlier this evening, and she excused herself to answer the door.

A few minutes later she came back, rather flustered... apparently an urban yoot had knocked on the door and given her a shtick about selling magazines for the troops (after making some inappropriate suggestions regarding her and a fondness for "dark meat"). She said he was now in the kitchen... yet she was chatting with me?? I asked about that and it turns out her boyfriend/housemate was with this fellow in the kitchen, so at least he wasn't unsupervised in her home.

I made a rather pointed suggestion that she escort this young man OUT. Pronto. A few minutes later, her boyfriend did just that... and NOW she was shaken. In her own (paraphrased) words, "I don't even know how he got in, he just ... was. I'm from $URBANAREA, I know better! What if he was casing us? What if Boyfriend wasn't home??"

I suggested she make a quick check that purse/cell phone/wallet/ipod/keys were all in the correct locations - they were. Next suggestion was that she consider owning and learning to use a gun. (I've taken her shooting once, several years ago. It was bitter cold and we only shot one round of trap before calling it quits.) In fact, it was mentioned that she could drive herself to Dick's, or Walmart, and have a shotgun at home tonight. I'd take her to the range ASAP for some familiarization.

She declined, for now - but the seed has been planted. She's a petite woman, so I pointed her to either a Mossberg 500/505 20ga youth model, or a Remington 870 20ga youth model. Either one is an excellent choice, and the youth models have the tremendous advantage of being much more compact than the standard 12ga models (~37" OAL as compared to 46" OAL).

So, gun nuttery aside, how did this fellow end up in her kitchen?

Simple: he's a con man. Short for "confidence man", it's someone who gains the trust of the intended victim and then uses that trust to his own advantage. It may simply be smooth talk, or a sob story. In this case, I'm betting that the guy in question didn't wait for an invitation to enter when she opened the door. He just started talking and advancing into her personal space, and as she backed up a step, he kept going. Repeat...

Most people have a pretty clear idea of personal space. It varies from person to person, but you know where your limits are. If someone intrudes on our personal space, most of us will adjust our own position to one of comfort. Out in public, that's fine. No need to be confrontational without good cause...

In the home, however, your personal space begins anywhere you want it to, and you don't have to yield an inch to anyone. In her case, it should have begun at the front door... but she didn't press the issue. It's worth getting in the habit of opening the door with one foot wedged behind it. It will prevent an easy push-past, and if you do need to slam the door shut, you're already most of the way there. It also prevents someone from seeing too much of your house - like the home theatre setup, rack of DVDs/movies, Hummel figurines, big gun case... Or the pistol tucked on your hip.

"Mi casa, su casa." Hell no. Mi casa, mi casa.

Get a gun. Learn how to use it. Be aware of your surroundings.


TOTWTYTR said...

I'm a big fan of shotguns for home defense. I currently own two and am looking at another one. Once my daughter gets the required permit (it's MA after all), I plan to teach her how to handle, load, and shoot it so she can defend herself when she's home and I'm not. I still have to work on Mrs. TOTWTYTR to get her permit too.

Nothing says "We're not interested." better than answering the door with a shotgun in hand. It's sure cure for the salesman who won't take no for an answer. ;)

Jay G said...

Funny, I never have that problem.

Just be a 6' tall, muscular shaved head biker.

With a chainsaw.

That has a bayonet on it.

Lissa said...

Get a gun. Learn how to use it.

And have it in your hand (behind the door) while you answer the knock. That both prepares for SHTF possibilities and keeps you from backing up without thinking about it.

Weer'd Beard said...

That's a big reason why I like handguns for home defense (or at least as part of the home defense kit) you can have the gun readied and either concealed on your person (I once answered a strange knock at the door with my 1911 tucked in the waistband of my jammies with my t-shirt pulled over it and my left hand securing it) or held behind the door at the ready. If it turns out just to be a lost avon lady...or hell a thug that thinks the better of his mark for whatever reason, no need to worry about "Man with a Gun" call, and potential made-up-charges.

(All they need to say is you swept them with the muzzle, or said something terse, and you're looking at assault charges)

Better they not know how close they have just come to getting shot.

zeeke42 said...

The big reason handguns are my primary home defense arm is the same reason they're my primary defensive arm in general is because I don't have to get it, it's already on me.

Sure, if I know a fight is coming, I'll grab a long gun, but I don't see how you can always have it ready to defend your home, even without MA's safe storage laws.

Bob S. said...

An overlooked aspect to this is why she even opened the door!

Either use a peep hole to find out who is there -- Salesman you say-- not interestered or shout through the door.

It is almost reflex for people to open their door without seeing who it is; a habit we are breaking ourselves of at Bunker BS.

Be rude -- you can always apologize later if it was friend.

Tam said...

This is why Roseholme Cottage has heavy steel outward-opening security doors.

You ain't bum-rushing through it unless you've brought a breaching charge.