An interesting morning


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Norton
March 13, 2003, 10:34 AM
So about 4:30 this morning I'm laying in bed in that "toss and turn" mode, half-asleep/half awake and I hear what sounds like a huge crash inside of the house.

Jumped and got the GunVault open in the dark on the first try (practice makes perfect after all!) grabbed the MagLight and the USP9 and assumed my position at the top of the stairs ready to repel boarders, as they say.

I racked the slide to chamber the first round (I still like to leave the magazine out of the gun when in storage since I'm a new owner) as well as to give that "extra special" audible clue to whomever may be committing mischief downstairs.

To make a long story short......the cat was taking his early morning survey of the house and got up onto his window perch which finally gave way, taking the perch, the cat and one unfortunate African violet on a path towards the floor.

"After action assessment": What I did right.....1. got the gun and light from the safe in less than 10 seconds, 2. went through the loading procedure correctly even in my semi-comatose state 3. Decocked the hammer to prevent against accidental discharge 4. Put the gun back to safety and assumed a covered position.

What I know I did wrong: 1. Left the cell phone downstairs on the charger.....if it had been an real "incident" and the phone were disabled.....we'd have been in a bad way to call for help.

All in all....not a bad practice run.....
Any thoughts?

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TallPine
March 13, 2003, 10:44 AM
Trade in your cat for a dog ...? :D

Steve F
March 13, 2003, 10:45 AM
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaad Kitty:o ;)

Yohan
March 13, 2003, 11:24 AM
//
Sir, I believe you're overly paranoid. Put your gun away before you get someone killed!

-DF

mdsteele
March 13, 2003, 11:30 AM
Get rid of that cat!:evil:

What you did wrong? Just an opinion here but..............................

Racking a slide or shucking a shot gun may strike fear into the hearts of most folks, but it also give an intruder a good idea of your location what you've got with you.

You pop around a corner and he's already got his weapon aimed...................well, hopefully you get my point.

I learned a good lesson playing paint ball in the woods.
Don't go searching for them, let them come for you.

:D

Norton
March 13, 2003, 12:22 PM
good point MD......just to clarify...I was at the top of the stairs when I racked the slide, but then I moved back to another room where there is a good line of site and a little bit more cover.

As far as the cat goes.....he's pretty good as far as felines go and my wife would be quite upset if he mysteriously disappeared ;)

4v50 Gary
March 13, 2003, 12:28 PM
In a strict survival situation, you'd send your wife to investigate. ;)

TallPine
March 13, 2003, 12:33 PM
As far as the cat goes.....he's pretty good as far as felines go and my wife would be quite upset if he mysteriously disappeared

But Tom needs a doggie to keep him company. :)

Norton
March 13, 2003, 12:44 PM
Yohan,

The only person that's going to get killed is the person who is in my house, who should not be in my house.

In fact, two houses behind us through the woods there was an incident in which a RANDOM druggie smashed in the sliding glass door and brandished a gun at an UNARMED mother and her daughter. After they had retreated to the farthest point in their home that they could (which is where the father was) they shut the door. The bad guy started shooting through the door and struck the mother in the leg.

Figuring that there was no other choice, the family opened the door and rushed the assailant and successfully disarmed him.

In other words, there was no police, no backup, no firearms....no NOTHING. These people had to make a terrible decision that should never have to face a family.

And before I hear the "why don't you move" cop out, this is in a neighborhood where the cheapest house is $500,000 and many are several million. So the question is: Where to next? If I can't live within sight of a military installation and the state capitol and expect a modicum of peace of mind, where should I go in your expert opinion?

The word paranoid, as you use it, implies that I am incorrect in believing that are people out there who would do harm to me or my family. Your assertion is incorrect.....there ARE people in this world who would like to do harm to my family, your family or anyone else if they feel that they have something to gain from it.

In this particular case, I was not being paranoid. I was being alert and cautious. In fact, the first thing after retrieving my pistol was to check the location of my wife (who was finally in bed after pulling an all-nighter to work on a paper) as well as the offending cat (who was staring up the stairs with the classic "wasn't me" look).

So sir, before accusing me of being either "paranoid" or dangerous (by your implication) you need to consider that I took this situation with both due alarm and caution and acted in a reasonable manner commensurate with the scenario presented to me.

It is my responsibility to defend my family. I had no intentions of confronting someone downstairs in a tactical manner. I have neither the training or the inclination to prevent someone from taking my television. Only after I became to suspect that this was a false alarm did I venture down the stairs to confirm this conclusion. However, if someone started coming up the stairs this morning they would have gotten a belly-full of Gold-Dot before they ever made it to the third step.

Stepping off of soap box.

Baron Holbach
March 13, 2003, 12:45 PM
Norton, allow me to play Devil's advocate. Suppose the loud noise occurred in your bedroom?

Norton
March 13, 2003, 12:51 PM
4v50 Gary,

Like many wives (but by no means is that meant as a sweeping generalization), mine was not too keen on the gun-in-the-house idea, but she was sure happy to hear the magazine slam home on the USP this morning. She was also equally glad (as was I) that it was just the attack of the falling african violet.

Norton
March 13, 2003, 12:58 PM
Baron,

That does throw an interesting twist into things, does it not?

I believe that would have almost been preferable for the current living situation that we have.

Being a townhouse, someone would have had to make it up the stairs without being heard on our wooden stairs that squeak and groan like crazy. I, like many people I suspect, know the "normal" night sounds of my home and would have been alerted before someone got to the top of the stairs.

If said noise had come from within the bed room without the requisite stair noise, my first suspicion would have been mischief from our four-legged friend on his nightly prowl.

Being as the noise was removed from the bedroom (though still on the second floor) it sounded as if the noise was coming from downstairs.

To find someone already in the bedroom would be surely the most terrifying of scenarios. I'm not sure what the best course of action would be......anyone feel free to chime in and offer solutions?

OF
March 13, 2003, 01:01 PM
For the record, I don't think you're paranoid Norton. Far from it.

But if I had to guess, I'd bet Yohan was kidding ;)

- Gabe

OF
March 13, 2003, 01:03 PM
To find someone already in the bedroom would be surely the most terrifying of scenarios. I'm not sure what the best course of action would be......anyone feel free to chime in and offer solutions?Why the lockbox? Do you have small children? Dump the lockbox except for when possible 'unauthorized users' (ie. company) are in the house and problem solved.

Can your wife open that box as fast as you can?

- Gabe

Skunkabilly
March 13, 2003, 01:14 PM
"After action assessment": What I did right.....1. got the gun and light from the safe in less than 10 seconds, 2. went through the loading procedure correctly even in my semi-comatose state 3. Decocked the hammer to prevent against accidental discharge 4. Put the gun back to safety and assumed a covered position.

What I know I did wrong: 1. Left the cell phone downstairs on the charger.....if it had been an real "incident" and the phone were disabled.....we'd have been in a bad way to call for help.

Heya. I assume you're a lurker that just came on board, but either way, welcome!

Some constructive criticism. I practice w/ my USP cocked and locked. Once it's in my hand, there's a round in chamber, hammer back, safety off, period. That way, I know it's in the same condition every time. Do you shoot DA on your USP or SA? I can't shoot DA for my life, but guys like 10-ring, it's no big deal to them and know their DA USPs well. I also would have racked the slide when taking it out of the safe.

Glad alls' well.

pale horse
March 13, 2003, 01:15 PM
The one thing you could have done better, as you stated is have the phone in your room. You could just get another phone bed side and have a means of calling the cops without going into potential danger. That way if you went down to investigate your wife would be able to have some form of communication if something went down.

One other thing you may want to do is teach your wife how to opperate your side arm, if you have not done so already. That way she is competent in using it while you are away, should the need arise.

You are not parinoid, you remind me of when I first started carrying. I lived in a bad neighborhood; shootings, drug dealing, and theft. The guy next door had a rag stuffed in his gas tank and the kid lit the rag on fire, fortunatelly nothing happened. Once there was a shooting about 2 blocks. Well about a week later 3 noisy guys, drunk, were walking down the street making all sorts of noise, it sounded like they were looking to cause problems so I chambered my pistol in the company of my friend. He was agatated and said that I had no business carrying until I told him about the shooting, drug dealing and the atempted car torch. After I told him he was a little more understanding.

You done good.

Mute
March 13, 2003, 01:36 PM
Shoot the cat for practice next time. :evil:

spacemanspiff
March 13, 2003, 01:40 PM
dude! no night vision goggles?!
no perimeter alarm?!
no tactical bunny slippers?! (sorry to whomever i'm stealing that from)
no body armor strapped on?!

long long ways from being practically tactical. :evil:

Kharn
March 13, 2003, 01:43 PM
And before I hear the "why don't you move" cop out, this is in a neighborhood where the cheapest house is $500,000 and many are several million. So the question is: Where to next? If I can't live within sight of a military installation and the state capitol and expect a modicum of peace of mind, where should I go in your expert opinion?

Virginia. Thats where I'm going as fast as I can. :evil:

Kharn

Edward429451
March 13, 2003, 01:56 PM
True paranoia is someone whos in possession of all the facts!

Sounds like you did good to me. The only thing I'd do different is my cell phones next to the bed, and I wouldn't of chambered loudly. Stealth mode.

Its almost to the point that 'you take first watch, I'll releive you in 4 hrs'!

Am I joking or am I paranoid or am I already doing that in my house? Hmmm.:D

4v50 Gary
March 13, 2003, 02:06 PM
Should have mentioned it earlier, but you did well. Anybody who thinks that it isn't necessary to respond to crashing sounds in the middle of the night is permanently in condition white.

Jesse H
March 13, 2003, 02:10 PM
Yohan said:

//
Sir, I believe you're overly paranoid. Put your gun away before you get someone killed!

-DF

:D I figured it out this time.

Whenever Yohan does this:

//

It means he's pretending to be a liberal.

CZ-75
March 13, 2003, 02:30 PM
The one thing you could have done better, as you stated is have the phone in your room. You could just get another phone bed side and have a means of calling the cops without going into potential danger. That way if you went down to investigate your wife would be able to have some form of communication if something went down.

All the baddie has to do is take a phone off the hook and this is out.

Get an add'l line into the bedroom only for your "emergency" phone.

Perhaps just keep your cell up there instead.

Norton
March 13, 2003, 02:34 PM
Kharn,

I hear you brother! I'm a Maryland native who managed to escape to Virginia for 15 years but has had to cross the border back to my fine home state because my then new wife had this funny idea about wanting me to live in the same house as her;)

The day she decide she doesn't want to be in her current job, we're heading southwest until I can see mountains and go fishing in the North Fork of the Shenandoah!

Norton
March 13, 2003, 02:39 PM
Jesse (and by extension, Yohan)

If Yohan is going into "tongue in cheek" mode, then it appears that I owe Yohan an apology (though the argument would still hold true) for my somewhat terse response.

It would appear that my sarcasm filter is somewhat skewed after dealing with some of our finest high school students day after day:banghead:

Norton
March 13, 2003, 02:42 PM
Pale Horse,

Wife can operate the .38special with little difficulty. The full size USP9 is just too darned big for hands. She can't even get to the control lever, let alone the mag release.

Sounds like I need to buy her a Sig 239, huh? :)

Quartus
March 13, 2003, 02:48 PM
But if I had to guess, I'd bet Yohan was kidding

Either kidding, or a troll. Don't know him, so don't know which. But whichever, you done right, Norton.


But about that, "already in the bedroom" thing: I'm with some of the others - you're way too slow at 10 seconds. You need a dog or better access to your piece, preferably both.




Perhaps just keep your cell up there instead.


I'll vote for that. We EACH have our cellphone on the headboard in easy reach - that's where they charge at night. My outside phone box is way too easily accessed from the front of the house - can't depend on the landline in the event of a planned burglary. Pop it open, yank a wire, and 911 isn't even wishful thinking anymore.

Remember that calling 911 on your cellphone will not give them your address - be prepared to do that verbally. The BEST they will get (assuming you have a new phone with GPS built in) is a latitude and longitude that's accurate within about 50 meters, 90% of the time. If you have an older phone (like most of us) the best they will get is a fix with an accuracy of several kilometers. Not much good!

And all that is assuming that your local PSAP* has upgraded, and your cellular carrier has upgraded, and everything is working properly.

The WORST case is that they will know you called from a cellphone. Period. They won't have your number, your location, or anything else. Oh, yeah, they'll know you are with Verizon or AT&T, or Sprint, or whomever. Lotta help that's going to be!



Of course, given the track record of 911 delivering timely help, I think most of us realize that the 911 call is the required cleanup call.


*PSAP = Public Safety Answering Point. Your local 911 center.

Silver Bullet
March 13, 2003, 02:51 PM
but then I moved back to another room where there is a good line of site and a little bit more cover
Be sure and keep in mind the difference between cover and concealment. I don't know of too many places in my house someone couldn't shoot me through the drywall if they knew I was on the other side.

45R
March 13, 2003, 02:57 PM
Who had your back covered?

Must have been the mouse. :neener:

Norton
March 13, 2003, 03:47 PM
I agree in principle with all that have said that it's far preferable to have the weapon already out of the safe, loaded and ready to go should the need to use it arrive.

As a relatively new gun owner (revolver since November and USP since January) I'm trying to escalate my level of readiness a bit at a time. I think it's important to develop the level of comfort, for both me and my wife, for each stage, ie. locked in the safe unloaded, then in the safe loaded, then beside the bed loaded.

I've been keeping the USP out, unloaded(but treating it as if it's loaded of course), while awake in the evenings....just getting used to the feel in my hand as I move it from room to room and also operating the controls, developing that all-important muscle memory.

By having it out each night, I feel like I'm imprinting the fact that it's a part of the house rather than something "special" just for the range....don't know if that makes sense.

I feel confident that we will eventually have the weapon(s) loaded and more immediately accessible in the future.

TallPine
March 13, 2003, 03:54 PM
Norton: pretty soon you will be like the rest of us - won't leave the bedroom without it. :)

Norton
March 13, 2003, 03:55 PM
Skunkabilly,

While I am FAR from being an expert marksman, I feel that I can accurately shoot the USP or the revolver in double action at the close quarters involved when talking about an indoor defensive situation.

I find the added reassurance of the long DA pull (for at least the first shot on the USP) to be a fair trade off for the very slight lessening of accuracy at relatively close range. I have pretty large hands....OK, truth be know, they're huge....so the distance of the trigger pull is a non-issue.

On the other hand, if I see an actual looming shape and do have to make use of the first long pull on the USP....you can bet that I won't be too concerned about using the decocker before sending the subsequent shot on their way if need be.

Now, put a target out to 75 feet....and DA or SA: I still have some practicing to do!

ball3006
March 13, 2003, 03:59 PM
responding to noises that woke me up and I cannot identify. I use a glock because it doesn't have to be unsafed or cocked. I also have an old lady Siamese cat that will wake me up when she senses something outside, usually another cat, but did allow me to chase off one of the kids from across the street one night that was in the back yard. My wife has her shotgun in the need to rack the slide mode and will never leave the back room to see what or who is out there. Both have cell phones handy. All bedrooms lock with a key lock and the hinges are pinned. And I live in a safe neighborhood......chris3

Redlg155
March 13, 2003, 04:16 PM
You did good. You at least have the presence of mind to be armed and in control of your life.

Good Shooting
RED

Sven
March 13, 2003, 04:27 PM
I racked the slide to chamber the first round

ALWAYS verify that the gun is loaded following racking the slide. For most semis, you can pull the slide back a bit and inspect visually or with a finger.

Racking the slide does not ensure that you have one in the pipe. This could lead to the loudest sound in the world: a 'click' when you want to hear a 'bang'.

A magazine that is not seated may not allow the round to feed - which reminds me of another thing: always try to pull the mag out after seating it, even if you hear the click.

Personally, I feel that the cat killing jokes on here are in extremely poor taste and I suggest those users reconsider / edit their posts.

-s

moa
March 13, 2003, 04:40 PM
G. Gordon Liddy's advice to his listeners is keep the piece in condition one, and within easy reach.
Of course, if you have little children around, that may not be smart thing to do, and may be unlawful.

Maryland is not a gun owner friendly state.

Norton
March 13, 2003, 05:12 PM
Sven,

Wise advice indeed! I never count on "things being the way they are supposed to be" and always visually verify, then verify again.

The nice thing about the HK is that I've never found things to not work the way they are supposed to. Trouble is, that the first time could be in a critical situation.

Edward429451
March 13, 2003, 05:21 PM
By having it out each night, I feel like I'm imprinting the fact that it's a part of the house rather than something "special" just for the range....don't know if that makes sense.

That makes perfect sense. When me & my wife first got together, She thought I was some kinda psycho to see me do 2 or 3 hundred practice draws / dryfires in the house let alone just constantly carrying. She put up with it because I NEVER violated any of the 4 rules.

I told her its just a tool and tools have a place in the home. I wouldnt take a new complicated or dangerous tool out to a jobsite to use it without familierizing myself with it at home first, so whats different with a pistol? Plus the fact that family security is a 24 hour job ultimately. I am 'on call' for security 24/7/365.

This imprinted on her very well. Espescially after a couple close calls which turned out well. She wants her own gun to carry now and not just one of the ones laying around the house in strategic locations! Shes come a long way from never having shot one to regarding it as just a specialized cordless drill that can come in mighty handy sometimes! :D

cool45auto
March 13, 2003, 10:17 PM
Well the first thing I would have done is screamed like a little girl and then soiled myself!:D

Dave R
March 14, 2003, 01:25 AM
"I get up several times a month....
responding to noises that woke me up and I cannot identify. "

I used to do that, before I got a dog who has proven to be a reliable deterrent/alarm.

Now, if I waken to a noise, if the dog is not in alarm mode, I just roll over and go back to sleep.

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