What To Do During A Home Invasion


What To Do During A Home Invasion

So you’ve made a decision to have a firearm inside the house. Let’s go over a scenario. It’s highly probable.

You hear a boom or crash or bang in the middle of the night, and you come in  come from the master bedroom. You tell your wife, “Stay put! Stay put!”

You bring you pistol. You move through the house. You’re passing the kitchen. You’ve passed the stairwell. And you move into the main living quarters.

The direction of the sound is where you’re facing, which in this case happens to be the front door. You slowly check the front door. And now your son has come out across the living room,

“Dad! Dad! What’s going on? What’s going on?”

“Son, stay right there! Stay right there!”

Moving over

You move over, so you can check the right side of the door. You see nothing.

Now, you understand that there is a dining room right over there that has an open way into the kitchen for which you have just passed. So you now have to gain some type of visualization on both the left and the right side.

You tell your son now:

“Move to me! Move to me! Move to me!”

He moves. You have him.

What if you left back? Now I’m moving back over here.

“Where’s my wife? Where’s my wife?”

You have now left your wife. You’re having to pick her up again.

In this scenario, should you move back, and you’re waiting and you’re calling. And you take my focus off this right side for one time and that criminal has caught a dark black spot over there, and he moves right behind me into my bedroom.

And now you have a hostage situation.

He has closed the door. Your wife is in there.

Looking up

Guys, don’t leave your wife. Get her involved in the plan. She has a job to do. She can cover you.

And if she’s unwilling to fire a firearm, get her to stay with you anyway, because you have positive control over her. You know where she’s at. She can be right up on your back. She can stay right with you. She has another set of eyes.

Give her a job to do. You know the old story where the guy in a prairie somewhere. His wife was having a baby and the doctor was saying “Husband! Husband! Go boil water!”

He didn’t need boiling water to deliver the baby. It was something long and drawn out and mundane that the guy could do, to get out of the way of the doctor.

So I tell my wife to stay with me, grab the phone, dial 911, grab on to my pants, my belt buckle, whatever I’ve got on, “Stay with me.”

We now need to move through the house and get all of our children and move them to a safe location. Where we are going to call 911.

This is the beginning of a home defense plan.

Why Should You Keep Your Wife With You?

Let me address an objection that I routinely hear, which is,

“Why should I bring my wife? She’s going to get shot.”

And the answer to that is, we do not want her left behind us where we have no visualization to her. We don’t know what’s going on where she’s at. And we certainly don’t know if there’s more than one attacker in the house.

And if there are more than one attacker, and even there’s just one that you can’t find, there is a high probability he is going to move in the opposite direction of you. You are pushing out, to get to your child. You are pushing away from the master bedroom. He would be pushing towards that area and away from you.

So think about that for a moment. If he’s going to try to avoid you, where are you? You’re not with your wife.

And as soon as he has his hands on her, you are done. You will do whatever he tells you to do. You will comply. There will not be any hostage, shooting, rescue shots that you see in Hollywood.

So don’t give him that opportunity. Take her with you. Get her trained.

Shooting should not be a male dominated sport. Shooting should be a family defensive measure. With her by your side, we have four eyes. Two side-by-side, we potentially have 2 guns.

 Two side-by-side, we potentially have 2 guns.

I should have a cellphone. I should have another communicator. We can work together as a team.

When using a firearm inside of a house, you have to worry about over penetration. So, in that scenario I just gave you, I’m crossing over the main living space trying to move towards my kid’s bedroom.

If that burglar, that rapist, be standing in between my child’s bedroom and me, pressing out to pull the trigger, it will cause that round to go straight. Even if it hit him, it would go through him and into that bedroom, possibly killing my child.

Catch a different angle.

To avoid this, you need to catch a different angle. You need to move offline. You need to go low. You need to get up and change angles. Move to where what’s behind him is an acceptable area to have been shot.

Don’t come in and just start pulling the trigger. Be smart about this.

If you expect to come in a home defense situation with a firearm and not potentially hurt one of your own, you need to practice on this. You need to set up scenarios.

You need to run through some drills we’re going to give you. So that you can practice gaining an angle, pressing out, making the shot count, and then afterwards having no regret where that shot went.

Gaining an angle and pressing out

When shooting, you are responsible for that bullet wherever it lands as soon as it leaves your pistol, as soon as it leaves your shotgun. It’s on you.

And the most innocent of actions can have horrible retrogressions, because of how you dropped that guy. You might end up having  killed your only son. That’s not good.

So remember that these weapons have pros and cons. The pro of a gun is I have distance. I can neutralize that threat from across the house. The con is if I don’t catch the right angle, I have over penetration, and I possibly could kill someone sleeping in that other room.

Wherein using the baseball bat or some other type of blunt object, I have to close the distance. And if you saw that on the 1st scenario, within 3 feet, you’re more likely going to get just one swing, because if you swing and miss, he will close the distance on you. It will be hand-to-hand.

Should you decide that you’re going to pull the knife, you have to get within a foot and a half. And the same repercussions can be there as well. We want to gain as much distance and space between each other, so that he does not have an avenue in which to hurt me anymore.


  • Thank for your expert advice, what I just read is something my wife and I need to practice! Thanks again, I look forward to more scenarios.

  • Steven says:

    Just realized I need more training on home invasion !! More scenarios to help me react in a calmer manner not to be manic over it.

  • What to do? My wife does not want to set up the scenario, because she believes “it will never happen to us”. I talked to her and even asked her to humor me, and she laughs.

  • Great advice. Thank you for your work. TY for your mil service as well.

  • Never thought of the penetration aspect. I have no children in the home, but could have family or friends staying with us. Thanks, need to train for that.

    • Sniper says:

      I do not care what you are on, a face-full of #4 or #6 shot from a 12 Gage will ruin anybody’s night; no penetration problems there.

      If it is me or them, I have no decision/hesitation…

  • Mark says:

    Single story structures are the norm in my area. That allows parents to keep the kids on the same level as they are.
    Fatal flaw in this scenario is splitting the family up on two levels of the house.
    The son should be on the same floor as the rest of the family.
    Keep your family members close. This should be a the first consideration before firearm, ammo, and how to clear your house.

  • Rick H., Mi. says:

    Good advice for sure. However I’m not sure about moving through the home as I’ve been told that that can be considered hunting and not clearing.

  • DEFENDER says:

    Look up the story of what happened to the wife and daughter of the Dr in Conn or Mass 2-3yr ago. Let her read it.
    2 intruders
    Knocked him out, tied wife and daughter to bed, raped both, poured gasoline on them then set them on fire.

    • It was in Cheshire Connecticut. I was living in CT at the time. They make you file for a permit to own a gun and a handgun permit is especially difficult to get – says on the application that “home defense” is not a valid reason for ownership. But that story of the CT family should make everyone want to keep a weapon in the house.

  • Carl Nash says:

    No worry. A bang and a crash as your front door comes off its hinges in the middle of the night is probably just the local SWAT team come to call. They’ll merely kill your dog, terrorize your family, threaten you, leave your house in shambles, and be gone. No problem.

    A lot of good advice in this article, particularly the part about involving the spouse (room mate, partner, whoever). The statement, however, right at the beginning has me curious. Is it highly probable a gun will be in the house or is it highly probable that a home invasion will take place? If the latter, I have serious doubts stemming from a career in law enforcement. While a possibility, home invasions are not highly probable. That does not mean one should not prepare but most likely the vast majority of us will never experience one. They’re kind of like rattlesnakes. There’s no need to fear them but be aware of them. You might meet one when in snake country but probably not (unless you actually look for them). Same with home invasions. You might have one but probably not.

    Thank you for your service to our country, EJ.

  • ORRIN COBURN says:




  • RAPTOR555 says:

    I personally prefer my Mossberg Persuader12 ga. with a pistol grip using 00 buckshot and slugs alternately. I want maximum impact if and when needed. The last thing I want to do is merely wound the intruder/s. I also prefer getting the whole armed family together (young children behind the armed members) in one area, let the criminal/s come to us and bushwack them from different angles in an appropriate spot in the house; preferably hallways and stairs. Placement of the armed family members should take crossfire into account. NEVER give a criminal in your home an even break!!!!!!!!

  • First off. I have four children and none are at home anymore. They respect our privacy and would never use their key to enter the home their mother and dad still reside in. They know I carry and they do as well. That has to be the first thoughts when defending the property and lives within the home. Don’t defend against a non-present danger. The grandkids could be spending the night and making noise because kids do that at times. So, be extremely responsible as EJ suggested. Safety of everyone in the home is priority.

    With that said, I take no prisoners. But be sure the person is not just in need of help when you hear a loud noise at the front door. If it is late at night and a definite intruder, I shoot because you have no idea if they are armed or not. It only take a split second for an agile man with a knife to stick you even if you are armed. Stay back at a distance and never do hand to hand unless there is no option – even a small framed guy can get the advantage on you as easily as a large framed guy.

    My biggest concern is not the noisy burglar but the stealth home invader of daytime or night. You will Not see the Ninja until that person feels they have the advantage over you. So, stay diligent at all times. It is just like hand-carry all the time – Be aware of your surroundings. I even go as far as to lock my house in the daytime just as I do at night. We have a safe neighborhood but I have heard of neighbors meeting strangers in their house face to face in daylight but never at night – go figure. Thank goodness the perpetrators have fled quickly. It could have been a situation with dire consequences for the homeowner.

    EJ stated things correctly, I think he has been in that situation going door to door searching for bad guys in his past. Don’t panic, get mad that someone does not have your permission to enter your domain. In Texas, you are in the right if you are afraid for your life. BUT, all confrontations have the possibility of being reviewed by a grand jury. It can be a grey area and the jury vote can swing either direction. So, be sure in your convictions by situation training with understanding the laws that govern your community.

    When I lived in Florida, I took a course where a judge answered Q&A at the end of the series of lectures. He stated that in Florida, you could only discharge a firearm if you were afraid for your life and in your domicile. The judge said be sure they fall into your structure and not outside of it. Of course, now we all know that does not even hold water because of George Zimmerman on trial and freed.

    Discharging a firearm is a huge responsibility. So, go into a situation with conviction no matter if a car jacking, a robbery at an establishment or at home. You play the scenario over in your mind and it will not happen the way you think. So, adapt on the fly depending on every individual situation. I think this is why banks just hand over the money and hope no one is harmed in meantime.

    One of our suburban banks was robbed. It was (of all things) a younger woman with sun glasses and a cap – blond hair ponytail out the backside of a cap. Her photo was flashed everywhere. A few weeks later, she was captured in Thailand. In another instance, a man shot a woman (she recovered). He wanted her car at an intersection and she said No to a gun in her face. A week later, he was caught in South Carolina working on a fishing boat.

    EJ, thank you for your continued service to the USA. I know you support the 2nd Amendment, please continue to uphold our Bill of Rights. The enemy is becoming more domestic as time goes by.

  • Garry says:

    Retrogression?? That means: “the act of retrogressing; movement backward.”
    “Biology. degeneration; retrograde metamorphosis; passing from a more complex to a simpler structure.”
    I would suggest proof reading before hitting “Send”. Lol. The begining of this article was so funny, I couldn’t read it seriously. I quote; “You bring you pistol. ….”
    Really? That’s just ONE of several things that made this look like a 3rd grader wrote this piece. I KNOW you’ve got more brains than that EJ!
    Lastly, the Pictures! What’s up with pointing the gun in one direction, while staring in another direction…. At the camera no less!
    Laughed so much, I almost spit out my coffee! Thanks for the laughs.

    • Garrry says:

      Thanks for plagiarizing dictionary.reference.com. If you understood the meaning instead of looking it up for the first time you could apply it. What I understood this article to mean is what EJ has written multiple times. You don’t rise to the occasion, you will fall to your level of training. Did that fit in your frizzy little head?
      Trolls should sit on pencils and stay the hell away from keyboards. Go magnify ants loser.
      One of the 3’s on my keyboard sticks. I don’t get crap from trolls but the IRS sure likes to criticize.

      EJ et al,
      thanks from the rest of us.

  • Dear EJ,

    Thanks for sharing the insight. Hey,I failed typing too. I only took it to meet girls anyway. Should have taken the cooking class at least I could feed myself better now.

    Boy people can sure be critical, can’t they. A snap shot is just that, a snippet in time and if we are hunting at home a good hunter is always scanning the landscape for threats.

    I really want my girl by my side because she always out shoots me despite my diligent training. It’s a girl thing. Finesse with a gun beats brawn every time. Teamwork with a good plan that has been discussed previously always carries the day!

    Chris Out!~

  • Bill Bell says:

    If people want to laugh at spelling and word choices, I trust they are getting what they paid for. I came on board for helpful information and some critical things to think about. Meeting computer geeks and nuclear physicists over the years who have been far from expert in English has helped me to see how minimally word skill equates to intelligence. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, EJ. You are giving me what I value. Far more drivel than substance is expressed in excellent English and fine form, bringing much applause from superficial onlookers.

  • Dr Williams says:

    EJ, these drills truly help perfect one’s reaction time when faced with the unknown. Keep presenting this drills. Good work and may God Bless and protect you and your family 🙂

    CO of First Knox Regulars Civil Defense
    Major General Williams

  • Mindi Kugler says:

    To Fran, whose wife will not practice scenarios: The next time your wife asks you to go out to dinner with friends, tell her you would be happy to as soon as the two of you practice at least one self-defense scenario together. Keep up the bargaining until you have worked several practices into your social plans. I am new to this type of thinking but, given the state of affairs in the US today, I am committed to “educating” myself in every way.
    Speaking of educating: I’m a retired English teacher. Yes, I was a little put off by the lack of grammatical precision in the article. However, while I was reading, a little voice kept whispering to me, “Get over it. This guy knows what he is talking about.” In 40 years, I’ve read many essays riddled with mistakes that, indeed, packed a powerful message. I’ll take substance over syntax any day of the week. As a wife, mother and grandmother, I know the information may one day save the life of someone in my family…maybe my own.
    Thanks, EJ.

  • Catherine says:

    Reading these comments, I see a lot of references to grammar & things learned in school, so I’m reminded of something my fifth grade teacher used to say: “Constant dripping wears away marble”. Of course, she was referring to our thick skulls and the necessity of repetition to get the knowledge into them.
    That is why I appreciate these reminders about things that seem like common sense, but might fall to pieces in a scary situation, and the reminder to practice, practice, practice different scenarios.
    You communicate in a way that makes it easy for me to visualize the setting, and to imagine how I might make adaptations to my own house and situation.

  • John Mark says:

    Great advice as usual. One needs to practice your scenarios because if it does happen and you are forced to defend your family you are probably going to be scared to death. Having practiced will enable you to handle a deadly situation and hopefully the only casualties will be the invaders.

  • This reminds me of a scenario when my kids were 7, 11, and 14. Hubby left for work and a few minutes later we heard the front door open. We are fastidious about locking doors. I kept the kids with me as we cleared the house together, all armed with baseball bats and wooden swords (which we kept behind the front door for the little Jedi’s security peace of mind). All the time we moved I was cursing myself as to the ridiculous choice I made in armaments. We were more likely to whack each other than shoot, and we certainly didn’t have the swing range nor practice to use what we had in hand defensively. For all the BB and pellet firearms staged in kid-reach around the house, we all overlooked the obvious. I hadn’t even considered wearing my sidearms in the “locked house”. Despite that embarrassing lesson and hotwash of “let’s not do it that way again”, we haven’t drilled since. We did, however, get better at keeping dogs in the house vs. outside for security. Thanks for the prod in the right direction EJ! Many thanks for your EMS & MMRS service too.

  • EJ Owens says:

    Thanks for your comments. I enjoy reading them. I apologize for the misspelling but apparently it has given some much enjoyment. I am human! I’m sure it will happen again as I write a lot and some errors slip through the cracks.

  • Excellent, what a weblog it is! This blog presents
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  • The best Verbal Instructor I have Met on Line in this Business of Civilian self defense Schools. Only a very few men Like E.J Exist with Respect to his Student, whom are Novices and experts, we only can hope to clone Men Like E.J for Civilian Teachers and Fire arm armor Instructors, any Intelligent Non Fire arm first time Shooter can respect and easily learn from, with Real Scenario wake up Call reality thought out Videos and Live Fire training too. we are not alone in typing our thoughts on line with out English Noun verbal Explanation point and corrections from Others .It is easier to speak Live then type.

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  • […] [and] attack my wife and children—regardless of the consequences, I’ll tell my wife that you go down and swing him; because no one is coming for […]

  • […] if that was the case, you probably already know what you’re going to do, right? You’ve already thought this out. Have you talked to your wife about that? Have you talked […]

  • Robert Ward says:

    I work in aviation safety and the reason my organization is so hard on grammar is for litigation reasons, however, that doesn’t apply to these very informative, probably life-saving articles. Some of you who think they need to be grammatically perfect need to lighten up a bit. We used to have a tongue-in-cheek saying that we used to use quite a lot that said we were saving the world one punctuation mark at a time.

    Great articles and videos. I can’t stop reading and watching. Thank you.

  • […] because in a home defense situation, you’re going to be moving. You’re going to be shooting. You’re going to be communicating […]

  • […] shots. You’ll probably have to do this in a very fast manner, especially if you find yourself in a brutal home invasion that requires you to use your […]

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  • jess says:

    I appreciate your advice. To a novice like me it appears to be extremely good advice, esp. the one that says don’t leave your wife or a child.

  • Jeff Szabo says:

    My bedroom is up on the first landing, 7 steps up. I have a little bit of wall before you get clear out the bedroom door. If the SHTF, I’ll keep my wife in the bedroom and protect the landing. She calls the police.
    If I go downstairs, I really don’t know where the perpetrator is, which is my disadvantage. Hell, he could be right below me near the banister! Anyway, I have the high ground and that’s my advantage. We call the police; the two dogs will find him and I do what I have to. I live in a small township, and the police station is about 2 miles away; and with them cruising, they get here fast.
    That basically covers it. I’m not afraid to use my firearm, but I think that covers my wife and my safety. My buddy, down the street, used to be with the county S.W.A.T.; he thinks I have it right. But, its for my house!
    p.s. I’m an old ‘Doggie’ myself; Military Police. And even though you misspelled some words, I GOT IT! I think if someone thinks they can do a better job, then shut up and get off this site. I have smaller hands and it seems like I still make grammatical errors and this phone corrects itself!
    So please, everybody, yeah, you have free speech, but u waste everybody’s time with useless shit u post concerning the English language, etc. Have some consideration and maturity. Thank you.

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