It is late at night and a noise coming from across the house rouses you from your sleep. Your wife wakes up too and whispers to you that she thinks someone is breaking in. Your heart rate increases dramatically while all the blood from your extremities rushes to your vital organs—triggering your fight or flight response. The adrenaline feels like a drug as your breathing increases and pupils dilate. You quickly regain control of your thoughts and tell your wife to run into the bathroom with the phone and lock the door. You quietly reach into your drawer and grab your .45 caliber handgun and your flashlight—time to go and see what’s what.
For most people, this scenario is one of the most dangerous things you will ever do. Slipping through your home in the middle of the night to confront an unknown threat is not only hazardous it’s potentially deadly. Some would argue that the best thing you can do in this situation is try to escape, or lock yourself away and wait for the police to eventually show up and write a report. While I have nothing but respect for the impossible job the police are burdened with, in most cases, they simply can’t get there fast enough. If you live in a rural area, it may take half an hour for a squad car to arrive in your driveway. It is my opinion that the best course of action is to clear the house yourself, and eliminate the threat. The burglar may only be there for your television, but they are going to have to get through you to take it. In most places in the United States, you have the right to protect your property without having the obligation to attempt to flee.
Unfortunately, the majority of people who buy a gun for home defense take it to the range once, and never really learn how shoot it. An even larger majority never learn how to fight with it. There is a lot more to gunfighting than just hitting a stationary target at 10 yards. When moving around a corner, deploy a basic maneuver call slicing the pie. The concept is simple, and it can save your life. The idea behind slicing the pie is that your target has minimal time to react to your presence before you get a chance to fire your weapon. To traverse a corner, simply do the following:
- Approach the corner as close to the wall as you can get without rubbing up against the wall and making noise. Giving away your position is the last thing you want in this situation.
- Put your eye on the corner and remember that the apex of the corner is your pivot point.
- Take a horizontal step away from the wall. Keep your elbows close to your body and don’t let anything poke around the corner ahead of you.
- Pause and scan the slice of the pie. Between each step taken, you should scan from the floor at the corner to the ceiling—scanning each slice in a vertical motion.
- Lean slightly toward the direction you are stepping to allow your head and eyes to be the furthest object, allowing you to see your target before he sees you.
- Shoot with either hand, if you can, using the hand closest to the direction you are moving.
- Do not cross your feet, since this is not a very stable stance for shooting. Remember that you may have to fire your weapon at any moment.
- Always point your firearm where your eyes are looking. This will allow you to react more quickly than if you have your firearm at low ready. Arms extended or high-compressed ready are both good options. With high-compressed ready, make sure that your non-firing hand is behind the plane of the muzzle.
This little maneuver is identical to the way police and military personnel traverse corners in tactical situations. Performing this act alone isn’t always the safest option, but if you have no other choice, you should at least do it correctly. This will increase your probability of survival, making you a more proficient gun owner. Exercising your right to protect your family is not only your right; it is your duty as a responsible citizen.