The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network publishes a monthly “journal” online with news and information for their members. The good news is that the journal is available for everyone and has plenty of good information within. Here’s an excerpt from the most recent edition.
We should learn from the experiences of others and who better to ask about such lessons than retired county sheriff Jim Wilson, who saw and resolved countless instructive situations during his career when called to investigate after homes were broken into. With summer heat tempting folks to open windows and doors to cool down their homes, I thought members would benefit from a reminder that it’s a lot better to prevent a break-in than it is to have a midnight encounter with a burglar, so I asked Wilson for tips on how to increase safety at home.
eJournal: I appreciate the chance to pick your brain about ways to avoid being victims of crime inside our own homes.
Wilson: I think there are two real important things people need to realize. The first is how very dynamic home invasions can be; how quickly they occur. If a person is not prepared, has not done any home improvement or any planning, the door flies open, and those people are in their face immediately and they only have a matter of seconds to react in any manner.
The second thing I think is really important and that people don’t realize is that prevention of a home invasion is a layered thing. We can’t point at any one thing and say, “If only you had better locks…” It is lighting; it is locks; it is security video; it is having a little dog that will bark to let you know that something is going on. A lot of people don’t realize the importance of having a combination of prevention.
eJournal: That’s a great observation. We don’t always hear about the cumulative effect when we combine several elements: the dog, the security video, the locks, and so on.
Wilson: It does not have to be a whole bunch of major things. It might be just locking the door behind you when you come home. What you want to do is just make the target look not quite so inviting. That is a problem! An average American has a nice home, but it has a mortgage on it. They have two nice cars, but they’re paying for them, and they both have jobs to pay for it all. They do not consider themselves rich, but that crook driving down the street sees all of that and he thinks, “Those people are sure to have a lot of cash and jewelry and more.”
We need to keep in mind how we look to the criminal. We can make a less desirable target with good lighting. I live where we can have both the front and back yards fenced, so I can have a dog out there. The criminal does not need to know that he’s the family pet.
eJournal: You mentioned video, too. In many ways it has never been easier to add precautions like a camera or motion-activated lights. I can remember when wiring those in was really a big job. Now there are solar options for lighting that you just mount on the exterior and anything that walks through the beam activates a surprising splash of light. [Grinning] Of course, that’s going to happen whether the intruder is a raccoon coming to raid the garbage can or a more serious problem.
Wilson: Security lighting has indeed improved a great deal and it is part of home defense. I have a similar problem because of the deer walking by, the raccoon walking by, the javelina walking by so I wouldn’t necessarily have the motion-sensor light. I’ll tell you the lighting option I would have if I designed a home. I would install a master light switch in the master bedroom: one light switch that would turn on every light in the house, including outside, as well.
I do like the idea of good external lights, even though in my case I wouldn’t have the motion sensor. I like having the lights set up so that when I turn them on, I can see all the way around the house by checking different windows.
The Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network offers member coverage to pay for attorneys and expert witnesses to defend you in the aftermath of a use-of-force incident.
Our mission, indeed, our entire focus is the preparation, education and legal defense of Network members who defend themselves and their families, then face unmeritorious prosecution by the criminal justice system.
They are one of the three self-defense “insurance” groups GSL endorses (US Law Shield and USCCA are the two others… we’re not paid commissions or kickbacks for our recommendations as our reviews and endorsements aren’t for sale). Mention GSL (or John Boch) and ACLDN will knock $25 off your first year’s membership.