4am, finger indexing, and the annoying little sister.


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SomeKid
January 22, 2006, 04:55 PM
The point of this post is mostly to let others view it, and perhaps see something I did not. (I refer of course, to lessons to learn, not grammatical errors and typos I will make somewhere along the line. Yes, I am stalling. No I didn't like last night.)

Last night was just a bad night to sleep, at 4am I was only finally dozing off, when I hear a thump outside. It was repeated 4 more times, but the 5th wasn't just a thump outside that might be something the neighbors were doing early, it was my front door opening (or it was the door closing with a slam, which is far more likely as it certainly got my attention).

I had been just finally dozing off, so even after 5 loud (to me) thumps, I was still groggy. Tired or not, I knew the front door to my house had opened, and I heard the foot steps of multiple people coming in. Normally, my heart beats about 45-50 a minute. (I know, I have counted.) As I reached for my pistol, I knew it had gone up, I could feel it beating in my chest. (About 5 minutes after it was all over, I checked and I think I was still at about 80. Folks, when the late night get up now call happens, you won't be as calm as you think. I know I never expected THAT much adrenaline.)

Pistol in hand, finger properly indexed (if you know the Glocks, the lever you slide down for disassembly is where my finger rests, I can feel the grooves of it brushing me), I moved towards the bedroom door, which is shut. It is dark in my room, and my night sights are clearly visible. As I reach for my door, I hear the footsteps coming closer, and I am holding my gun point down, not held up at the ready and finger indexed, but down, towards my feet, finger indexed. (This was, to me the first major mistake.)

As I opened the door, I could see the silhouette of a figure not 6 feet in front of me, it was not a shape I was readily familiar with (my sisters friend has wide shoulders and hips, which at 4am give her a manlier appearence due to the lack of light, she looks pretty good when you can see her). I only saw a silhouette because the only light came from behind her, and I had left my flashlight on the computer desk. This was the second major mistake.

I admit it, I was surprised, and nearly stepped backwards as I began raising my pistol, then my little sister stepped into view, and my attention diverted to approaching figure number two, who was in the light, and I realized who these girls were. (Estimated time between my opening my door, and realizing my sister behind her friend, 1-2 seconds.) Though I had thought about it, I never was able to make a sound. I was pretty quiet all things considered, it surprised both girls that I appeared there, but I mentally over-emphasized stealth in defense of the home, and was unable to issue a verbal challenge to them. This was another problem.

As I lowered my pistol (which never rose above the first girls knees) my sister' friend darted off downstairs, she later told me she would have screamed if she hadn't been so tired. Me and my sister growled at each other for a few seconds, and I went back to bed. (For some odd reason, my sister didn't agree with my way of greeting the front door opening at 4AM.)

After the adrenaline dump hit, I fell asleep pretty good. Today, me my sister, and her friend (Mom present as well) had a little chat. No hard feeling over this (and there shouldn't be) and we all learned something. I told my sister 3 simple rules for coming home at 4AM:

1) Don't. If she isn't back by then, sleep in her car. (Edited to add that this was said to them as a joke to break the ice. They knew it was a joke, and we all had a good laugh.)
2) Use the backdoor if she must come in, (house layout, it would be better).
3) If she does come in the front door, she and her friend should talk quietly (not whispering, just a bit under normal), but using each others names, so that when I investigate who came into my home, which will happen, I can hear familiar names that won't make me wonder who is coming.

THE REASON FOR POSTING THIS WAS TO RECIEVE ADVICE, NOT FLAMES.

That said, what I want (and would appreciate recieving) is honest critiques, of weapon handling, ways to prevent this, or anything pertinent. Any lessons I may have missed should be posted. I want this to be a learning experience for myself, and any other young guys who may not know all this stuff. (For whoever is reading this, thinking he is billy-badass, and that I shouldn't touch a gun, you can hit the back button, and we will both be happy.)

Mistake(s)?

I now know that I should not have the gun pointed down when opening doors. Big mistake. Should have had it at the ready.

Have a light.

Be able to shout commands AND be quiet, don't make yourself just one or the other.

Learned/reminder -

Finger indexing. One of the best points in all this was I know I never even inserted my finger into the trigger well.

Were there any other mistakes or lessons I should have taken from this? Thank you.

Edits made: Included part about voice, noted that part one of our talk (sleep in car at 4am) was a joke. Noted that I forgot a flashlight.

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Oleg Volk
January 22, 2006, 05:06 PM
Sleep in the car after 4am? Seems you are suggesting something less safe to your sister.

Why not have a pre-agreed announcement, along the lines of "The queen is home!" or simply turning on the entryway light so that the person returning can be better observed? Seems to me, you might do better discussing this in more detail with your sister and with less emphasis on the gun.

gremlin_bros
January 22, 2006, 05:23 PM
if i may interject one thing here from my training in law enforcement and the U.S. military training i have received. you said you had your sidearm pointed to the floor. this is the proper way to do this to have it up is a bad idea the reasoning is this. the position of up is referred to as a Hollywood high because Hollywood always uses it for cinematic drama. the reason law enforcement and military is discouraged from using it is if the weapon is up and you are startled and accidentally pull the trigger of get into a hand to hand situation and the trigger is accidental pulled it is too close to your head, if you don't get a bullet in the head you most certainly will be temporarily deaf and ruin your night vision temporarily. IE in one instant you will have lost two of your five senses and the most important one at that given the situation. so a hard break which is what you described (pointed at the first girls knee level) is the best option all you have to do is raise up to be on target to respond to a threat. so in conclusion you did quite well.

neoncowboy
January 22, 2006, 05:28 PM
I can't imagine investigating bumps in the night with a pistol...but no flashlight. Where was your surefire throughout this whole episode? It's a great tool for 'being sure of your target, and what's behind it'.

carebear
January 22, 2006, 05:30 PM
I would second Oleg, 4am in the car is a bit harsh. You just ned to work out better (or any) signals. I also recommend you get a flashlight for your offhand (my preference) or on the gun (or both), then there's no "silhouette" issue at all. I prefer not gun mounted so I don't have to cover what I want to identify but there are whole threads on that issue already. Remember the "identify your target" rule.

And if she happened to be in a nightie. :evil:

Bill2k1
January 22, 2006, 05:42 PM
tell her to turn on the lights as she moves through the house. It makes knowing who is coming easy, and there is no reason to sneak around your house at 4AM unless she shouldn't have been out that late. If that is the case, she needs a good talking to.

Technosavant
January 22, 2006, 05:44 PM
I would also advise a decent flashlight. You don't even need a $100 Surefire; you can get competent LED flashlights for $20 at Target (Inova).

It is important for your sister to know that coming in like a burglar is a bad idea, but it is an even worse idea to engage unknown targets. If you live with other people, you need to keep in mind that what goes bump in the night is most likely your housemates.

Taurus 66
January 22, 2006, 06:00 PM
Have you considered video cameras around the entry ways? Some cameras have excellent night vision and can endure harsh weather conditions. Your family's worth the investment, and you will never have to second guess whether that dim silhouette is or isn't a friendly, well because it will be illuminated on your monitor.

http://www.surveillance-video.com/nivica.html

Another idea I want to plug really quick is motion sensors hooked to lighting.

jamz
January 22, 2006, 06:24 PM
Yeah, I guess that's why the rogers/surefire techniques were invented. :) Know your target!

-James

carebear
January 22, 2006, 06:26 PM
The girls were already inside the house, just outside his bedroom door.

A simple "I'm home" from his sister after she closed the outside door would have eliminated the problem.

Taurus 66
January 22, 2006, 06:39 PM
The girls were already inside the house, just outside his bedroom door.

A simple "I'm home" from his sister after she closed the outside door would have eliminated the problem.

If Oleg goes wireless, he can set the camera anwhere outside or inside. You can move them around really quick. and just set up the receiver to a tv or monitor in the room. Eh, perhaps too high tech a solution.

"I'm Home" from her cannot always be a guarantee because you are dealing with faulty human elements: fatigue, forgetfullness, perhaps slight inebriation, etc etc

carebear
January 22, 2006, 06:43 PM
If Oleg goes wireless, he can set the camera anwhere outside or inside. You can move them around really quick. and just set up the receiver to a tv or monitor in the room. Eh, perhaps too high tech a solution.

"I'm Home" from her cannot always be a guarantee because you are dealing with faulty human elements: fatigue, forgetfullness, perhaps slight inebriation, etc etc

Thus the flashlight for step two.

And electrifying the floor a la The Thing. That's step 3. :evil:

Taurus 66
January 22, 2006, 06:48 PM
Thus the flashlight for step two.

And electrifying the floor a la The Thing. That's step 3. :evil:

Banana cream pies set by the door. Quickly open the door and let 'em rip. Go for the face. Causes short term disorientation of the visual senses, giving you enough time to overtake an intruder. :D

springmom
January 22, 2006, 07:00 PM
The girls were already inside the house, just outside his bedroom door.

A simple "I'm home" from his sister after she closed the outside door would have eliminated the problem.

EVERYONE in the family calls out "Hello", "It's me" or some such loudly enough that everyone else knows exactly who it is. Doesn't matter if it's 4 am or 4 pm, this is what we do. If somebody forgets, whoever is home yells "HELLOOOOO?" and had better be answered by a voice we recognize ASAP. Or they will be met with a pistol at the ready.

Second suggestion: get a dog. Get an alarm system. The door opening should not have been the only noise you heard. Guns are the last resort, not the first.

Springmom

SomeKid
January 22, 2006, 10:06 PM
Sleep in the car after 4am? Seems you are suggesting something less safe to your sister.

Why not have a pre-agreed announcement, along the lines of "The queen is home!" or simply turning on the entryway light so that the person returning can be better observed? Seems to me, you might do better discussing this in more detail with your sister and with less emphasis on the gun.

I should have tossed a smiley on there, it was a joke, and when I said it to her, all 4 of us got a chuckle. Having worked nights, I would rather the girl be home before midnight, and I am an older brother not a Father.

The point of submitting it here was to see if anyone saw some lesson I should take to heart, and also to provide any other guys like myself with some food for thought. I come from a family of people less than loving towards guns. I learned almost all of my gun knowledge from forums, and by asking dumb questions and embarassing myself. We had a talk regarding how she comes home as I detailed in my first post, parts two and three were serious.

Also, there have been a couple of references to lighting. In this home we keep a light on in the living room, and in such a small house, this provides ample light for a the entryway. I do have a surefire, I did not have it with me. Even if I had brought it, one hand on the pistol, one hand opens the door. I wouldn't have had time to bring it up had it been an emergency. A surefire would have been a good idea to bring along, but would have been useless due to lack of hands when opening my bedroom door. In short neon, my surefire sat on my computer desk. Thank you for noting a mistake I made.

One other thing worth mentioning, my voice did not exist when I first saw the figure standing before me. I was amazed at how much of a shock it was to have the possibility of a home invader right there. Seconds after I was standing alone in my bedroom and the girls gone, I asked myself why I hadn't opened my mouth and shouted some kind of order. I then came to be aware, that my voice was only now coming back, and was weak. What astonishes me, is that I think about these instances, but that still didn't prepare me. I always figured that under a possible home invasion, I would remain calm and cool, with full use of all my faculties. Has anyone else on this forum been there, and found a way other than experiencing the situation a few times to keep a voice about them?

gremlin, not to be rude, but are you sure? I did keep my finger off the trigger, so having it up and at least aimed would save me a valuable second. At least, this is my thinking. One thing I have successfully taught myself is finger control. It doesn't go towards the trigger unless I am ready to fire. With that in mind, wouldn't having it up and at least aimed be better? Please reply.

armedandsafe
January 22, 2006, 10:12 PM
My kids learned early on that they could sneak out at night fairly easily. Coming back in was a different story. Might as well just start singing and 'fess up. :D

When we were in home-invasion-city, I had every room except the master bedroom equipped with motion sensor lights. The only problem I had with that was when one of the cats learned to trip the hallway light as he came in at o'dark:thirty. :eek: :cuss:

Everybody would (and still does) sing out upon coming through the door. We have a code word which means "I'm not telling the truth and need armed assistance, right now."

These things work for me and my family. Set up your own parameters, but, at least, have some parameters.

Pops

mustanger98
January 22, 2006, 10:17 PM
Sleep in the car after 4am? Seems you are suggesting something less safe to your sister.

Why not have a pre-agreed announcement, along the lines of "The queen is home!" or simply turning on the entryway light so that the person returning can be better observed? Seems to me, you might do better discussing this in more detail with your sister and with less emphasis on the gun.

I agree. It's sort of a password situation without being paramilitaristic. And she needs know if you challenge, she better answer somehow. The fact that you are armed and prepared to shoot an intruder is a given and she, knowing you, should be able to remember that.

When my sister lived at home and was to be out late, I was up as late as she was. Porch light was on, and she knew I had a gun handy, but I also knew the sound of her vehicle's engine and mufflers when she pulled in.

SomeKid
January 22, 2006, 10:29 PM
carebear, 100% agreement on the ID target rule. That was what kept the finger outside away from the trigger, was that I wasn't 100% sure I was facing a home invader, not yet anyway. As for the nightie, sadly/thankfully no. One of them was my ditz sister.

Bill, lights were on, hence the silhouette appearence. She had the light behind her, I was coming from a dark room, and my eyes took a second to adjust.

This brings another question when opening doors into a lighted room, does anyone have a good suggestion on how to deal with that second when your eyes adjust, or a way to pre-adjust that won't give you away or put you in a bad defensive position.

Taurus, lovely idea, not feasible due to other issues.

CB/Tau, Part three of what I mentioned with them is a mix of the old style 'I'm home' thing. Inebriation isn't an issue with me. I hate the taste of that stuff. Well, it may be an issue, all the women at this house love the gunk.

Also, banana cream pies (like all pies) have an estimated life-span of 5 minutes around here.

Spring, guns were not the first in my scenario either, the first alarm was my ears, then the next defensive line was my head (ID invader, be prepared for invader). The gun was the 3rd and last line in my wake up call last night.

AAS, yah, that tends to happen here too. One of the things that won my Mom over was when I was 17 or 18, and she was slamming windows I had left open shut, at 1am. When I met her about 10 seconds after the first slam, I had my finger off the trigger (finger indexing was an early trait I acquired) and she realized guns were just a tool. She sleeps pretty good knowing I tend to hate and investigate strange noises.

mustang, as noted before, it was a joke. I posted it in this thread because I wanted to provide as detailed an account as I could.

mustanger98
January 22, 2006, 10:44 PM
EVERYONE in the family calls out "Hello", "It's me" or some such loudly enough that everyone else knows exactly who it is. Doesn't matter if it's 4 am or 4 pm, this is what we do. If somebody forgets, whoever is home yells "HELLOOOOO?" and had better be answered by a voice we recognize ASAP. Or they will be met with a pistol at the ready.

Second suggestion: get a dog. Get an alarm system. The door opening should not have been the only noise you heard. Guns are the last resort, not the first.

Springmom

Right. If I hear my front door open anytime it's not supposed to or if it opens forcibly as it's not supposed to, I will investigate armed. If, when I look out my bedroom door and see someone I do not know, my 1911A1 will come up from low-ready and they will be challenged with "THE FLOOR IS YOUR FRIEND, MAGGOT!!!" They will be placed under arrest either by local LEO or by me making a citizen's arrest. They better not produce a weapon from concealment at challenge because I do not intend to be killed in my own home. They better not threaten to kill me because I don't intend to die.

The second suggestion about a dog or alarm... my sister has had some trouble with prowlers around her house and so has half her neighborhood. She's armed too. I tried to talk her into getting some Guinea fowl, but her ignorant city-dwelling husband poo'ed the idea saying if he wanted an alarm he'd call AT&T or something. He didn't even know what Guineas are.:fire: But my sister got a dog and this dog has gotten to where she'll tell 'em if something's out there.

Herself
January 22, 2006, 10:49 PM
What Springmom said about incoming household members announcing themselves and the "Hellooo?" challenge if they forget, x10! It works pretty well. Humans are wired up to recognize the voices of our near and dear; our ancestors relatives who weren't didn't get to be ancestors.

"Ready" position: one I have seen, tried, like and use puts the off hand palm against your tummy, fingers flat, thumb pointing up. Gun in other hand, held pointing downish, thumb out and touching the off-hand thumb at the tip, back of middle finger of the gun hand touching the back of the middle and/or index finger of the off hand.
You have to work to be pointing the gun at yourself holding it this way. It is close to your body and difficult to grab, Bringing it up and wrapping the off hand around the grip is a fast, smooth, easy, motion, with the gun still held close but ready; you can then move it up and out to aim if needed. And you don't have to paint close family members and their friends with the muzzle of your tactical uber-Glocksig&K, which saves no end of stains on the carpet. It really is a bad idea to point your sidearm at anything you're not okay with destroying. Siblings are not that annoying!
(Now please tell my brother and sister that).

--Herself

TexasRifleman
January 22, 2006, 10:49 PM
Have a light.



You said it.

mustanger98
January 22, 2006, 10:58 PM
mustang, as noted before, it was a joke. I posted it in this thread because I wanted to provide as detailed an account as I could.

Somekid, I know that now. When I made that first post I had only read to Oleg's first post on it. Besides, I was more agreeing with the password or vocal recognition aspect that would have saved ya'll the confrontation in the first place.

One other thing worth mentioning, my voice did not exist when I first saw the figure standing before me. I was amazed at how much of a shock it was to have the possibility of a home invader right there. Seconds after I was standing alone in my bedroom and the girls gone, I asked myself why I hadn't opened my mouth and shouted some kind of order. I then came to be aware, that my voice was only now coming back, and was weak. What astonishes me, is that I think about these instances, but that still didn't prepare me. I always figured that under a possible home invasion, I would remain calm and cool, with full use of all my faculties. Has anyone else on this forum been there, and found a way other than experiencing the situation a few times to keep a voice about them?

I think you've made a real important point here. When I posted my "THE FLOOR IS YOUR FRIEND, MAGGOT!!!" deal, I was meaning this is what I've considered to be best course of action to effect an arrest of a home invader in my residence. But, like you said about adrenaline and the lack of voice when it happens... when that happens, you don't know how much authority your voice will produce or lack.

jeremywills
January 22, 2006, 11:03 PM
In parents house we had a rule, if we were to be dragging our butts home very late at night into the earlier hours of the morning, we would first call shortly before we were to leave to finally come home, then ring the doorbell 3 times in a row before proceeding in the house.

My mom always said she would rather be woken up with the phone call and 3 doorbell rings then to assume someone was in the house uninvited and have my Dad have to go and take care of it.

My Mom would worry anyhow and most of the time she wouldn't be asleep if we were out and about that time of the day anyhow, but still my sister and I appreciated the fact that she cared.

My suggestion is to come up with a solution that all of your family can agree upon. The mandatory phone call and doorbell ringing is a good idea IMHO. I would hope your sister eventually becomes mature enough to understand that you did what you thought best when you assumed there might be a problem. Some sort of way to ID a family member is entering the home is a way to prevent something like this in the future from happening. I still hope you would be just as cautious if it ever happens again, thinking for just a second oh its probably just my sister again could be big trouble if it is not. I would still assume otherwise. You almost have to these days, theres crazy folks out there.

What is important is that no one got shot and thats what you should be reflecting on. Having the pistol at 45 degrees to the ground and your finger at index is the best option. It takes a fraction of a second to to bring it up to eye level and take care of buisness should the need present itself. Does your Glock have an accessory rail? If not please take the time to learn and practice a grip/techniques with flashlight and your pistol at the same time. Money and time well spent if you ask me.

Best of luck in the future sir. I hope you have learned some valuable lessons and will be more prepared for the next time. Do come up with a way to postively ID family members entering the home at odd hours of the day and stick to it. This way you will never have to be in this situation again. I once again hope your sister is mature enough to realize this and your all able to come up with a solution.

Herself
January 22, 2006, 11:11 PM
"THE FLOOR IS YOUR FRIEND, MAGGOT!!!"
Meaning no disrespect, that phrase might be a little complicated for the typical goblin to figure out. "GET ON THE FLOOR NOW," followed by the same phrase but using profanity for emphasis if he is slow about it, might get faster results.

--Herself

rocky
January 22, 2006, 11:16 PM
Keep you light handy. Keep the gun pointed at the floor till you need it. Verbally challege intruders. Take up a defensible postion, don't go investigate.

mustanger98
January 22, 2006, 11:31 PM
Herself, I think you may well be right about my phrase being a little complicated.:uhoh: I guess I've been hanging around with too many old Marines lately. Problem is when stuff goes downhill, I generally forget to cuss at it.:confused:

Herself
January 22, 2006, 11:40 PM
....A person could do a whole lot worse than hang around with old Marines, Mustanger! However, they do have their very own brand of English. There's not much crossover between "Marine" and "Bad Guy," I think.

--Herself

answerguy
January 23, 2006, 12:36 AM
I come from a family of people less than loving towards guns.

Confronting your sister and her friend in the hallway with a gun isn't going to increase the love.

bculp2
January 23, 2006, 12:46 AM
Why was the front door unlocked at 4am?

adaman04
January 23, 2006, 01:03 AM
While home for Christmas vacation (my sister and I are both in college) I was used to my college routine, so I went to bed somewhere around 1 am or so. My sister, on the other hand, would go over to her girlfriend's house and they would have a bottle of wine, talk about men, whatever it is that college grad women do.

Anyway, she would come home at all hours of the night and generally I would hear her open the storm door...then a pause while she found her keys, then the door open. I got pretty used to it.

One night about 4 am I heard the storm door open and then the security door fly open. I figured I had left it unlocked but thought I had already heard sis come home. So, I grabbed my trusty handgun and my Surefire E2E and went to my door. I had my light in my left hand and my pistol in hand at the small of my back. I peered around the corner and saw someone walking around. I lit them up with Surefire fury at about waist level as to not blind them if it were a family member. Sure enough it was my sister home from her friend's house. I went in the kitchen, laid my light and gun on the counter and proceeded to make her spaghetti at her request. She must have had a good time. :D

Growing up with a brother and father who are gun guru's and very protective, she didn't bat an eye that I came in arms. She won't admit it, but I think she's flattered. Haha.

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