Good Judgment Must Accompany a Bedside Gun

If someone were to enter your home with the intent to do harm to you or your family, having a gun by the bedside and reacting just won’t cut it—you need good judgment, too. Clint Smith, president and director of Thunder Ranch Training Center suggests that to stay safe you need a plan and plenty of practice. There are no “do-overs.” In the accompanying 4-minute video, Smith talks about owning a firearm for the purpose of home security and personal protection.

Video courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Weigh in with your comments or opinions about home security, personal protection, and common sense of course in the comment section.

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Comments (20)

  1. Great great advice. The NRA several years ago put out a video on what to do if someone is in your house. Basically it was to call 911 and take up a defensive position (let’s say behind your bed) with your firearm. An intruder can easily disable your phone by picking up the extension therefore, besides my 38 I always keep me cel phone by my bed. I’ve also drilled my wife on what should be done and made sure she is proficient in handling the firearm.

    1. Agreed.

      The three things I always have on my person at home are my gun, high intensity flashlight, and a cell phone.

  2. Outstanding advice. My wife and I live in a condo without a fancy alarm system and keep the deadbolts on the steel doors on as well as the bedroom door locked at night. I keep a locked and loaded Kimber Ultra 45 and really bright tac light on the bedstand in case the boys in blue are a little late. I’m not about to leave a position of cover and go down a dark hallway or stairwell, these are nothing but natural chokepoints. I loved the part about the graveyards being full of foolhardy men like Custer.

  3. Seriously! An alarm system that covers your entire house can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. I have a DIY alarm system (simplisafe) for the past four years, not a single problem. When it has gone off, it’s always been my fault. Every window and door is covered. It’s cellular, with a landline backup. It’s a DIY system that you can install in a half hour. There are many other DIY alarm system options as well. I also have an unmonitored alarm with motion sensors outside pointing towards the house to warn me when someone is in my yard. It cost 100 dollars. These systems tell me where you are when the alarm goes off. It’s loud, and both my neighbors and I will know someone is trying to get in. The alarm company calls within seconds, and if they don’t like my response (keyword), they will call the police. And, I have a gun safe, and a gun nearby that I don’t ever expect to have to use. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t do this with the tech, and low prices that exist today.

  4. Im a Texan! That should be enough said but I will elaborate a little. Texas is one if not the most gun friendly states out there. We have some of the most relaxed laws concerning firearms and firearm use. With that said…everyone needs to be careful about intruders in the home. If a guy kicks in your bedroom door and you miss the first shot and he turns and runs away but you catch him with the second shot it can be troublesome. Prosecuter has the argument now to say that intruder was no longer a threat as he was running away. Not in all circumstances and/or states but it has happened. Just a little info and advice to pass along. I know if you catch him in your home instinct and personal biased wants to eliminate him. But if he can escape some circumstances you may want to let him. 99% of us doesnt no what its like to take a life. The psychological effect may be devestating. Guy still has to lay there for a few hours. Sleepless nights perhaps?

    1. I’m in northern VT – where we don’t even have sheriff/state police coverage from 2300 – 0700. I honestly don’t know a single person who’d call the police if they had a home intruder dead on their floor. May sound harsh, but we have an exploding population of hard-core drug users and none of us want to be in a position of having to hear, ad nauseam, in a court, how ‘little drug addict Johnny was an angel and turning his life around’.

  5. The title is a little misleading. I was assuming that this was to be about what to do with a bed side gun in the case of entry into the bedroom-make it s not your daughter coming through the door, that sort of thing. This is basic home invasion advice, although well done.

  6. Indiana has the Castle Doctrine. If they are in your house and are uninvited you may defend yourself. They are not there to use a tube of KY, give you a reach around, a peck on the cheek, a dozen red roses, a box of chocolates, and tell you promises they don’t intend to keep. They do intend to do you permanent physical harm. They do intend to rape, rob, and kill you. Not necessarily in that order. But that is their intention. In Indiana you may use any and all means at your disposal up to and including deadly force to protect yourself and your family against all people who break into your home at night uninvited. Just make sure that you don’t hit the little old lady from Pasadena pushing the baby carriage down the street by accident. Just saying. Gun control means hitting your target the first time every time.

  7. Excellent video with good points. I especially like the idea of practicing. I spend hours at the range monthly practicing with my defensive weapons. So practicing moving thru the house in the dark with the 20 gauge under the bed and the semi-auto in a gun vault next to my bed is a very good idea. The gun vault at least forces me to be awake enough to operate the 4-finger combo to open.

    The house is alarmed and at night has no delay. So unless the power is off (battery BU will still summon police) we will be awake instantly. With no land line we will have to move a cell phone into the bedroom. And I like the idea of leaving the line open.

    Although the bedroom door locks, about half the time (we have no kids at home) my wife sleeps in the guest room on the other end of the house (snoring). So If I were to become aware of an intruder I can’t stay in the bedroom, and would have to investigate. Again, practicing is essential.

    1. 600 hp. car, ME TOO! Other than that, the video was pretty okay. As a security consultant, I advise clients to have a ‘hard room’,(usually your bedroom), with cell phone & charger, and your weapon. If you have children in a different part of the house, ‘harden’ their rooms too, and teach them to shelter in place.

    2. Good advice.

      Same thing I tell my clients. Harden your home inside and out, make a plan and be sure everyone knows it, practice, keep your head.

  8. In my house, all the bedrooms are on the second floor. Normally, it is just my wife and I and the dogs. Anyone that enters my home in the middle of the night will be verbally warned from upstairs to leave, or prepare to assume room temperature. I have run through many practice scenarios and know they layout of my home in the dark. Since my house is too small for me to wield a full size shotgun, the nightstand gun is a S & W Governor loaded with Winchester 000 Buckshot, a handy moon clip of Hornady Critical Defense .45ACP for a quick reload, and a SureFire Defender II light. In Kommiecticut, unless you were to tie the guy up and execute him on your kitchen floor, any shooting where the bad guy is in your home is justified.

    1. Good choice of weapon. I guess all I would add is that legally, your locked door is enough of a warning that they are not allowed to enter your home. As such, no verbal warning is necessary, but it will go well for the after shooting investigation that you did go to the extent to give a warning.

  9. Good viddie, and he is right.

    In my home it’s my young wife and me. No kids and just a couple of cats who will be safely hiding under the sofa if anyone breaks in. Our exterior doors are very secure . . reinforced with double deadbolts, and all the ground accessible windows have Mylar non-shatter film on them so getting through a window won’t be easy or quiet.

    Our bedroom has double doors, which would be easier to kick in than a single door, so along with the regular lock we use an under the knob door security jamb to slow anyone down even further. Along with the landline phone in the room, we both have cell phones handy.

    We both have handguns and lights handy, and I have a Saiga 12 suitably equipped and ready to go. I have spent 2 1/2 years in Iraq and had lots of training . . and if someone breaks in I am not going looking for them. I’ll hunker down and if they come to me I will defend us . . although it would probably be a contest between my wife and I as to who got them first.

    Everything of value is within the barrier of our bedroom door, so they can have whatever they find downstairs.

  10. Knowing When, and IF to shoot are the critical issues in any defense situation. Bed Side guns should be secured in a manner that requires at least some sobriety to open the Bed Side safe, Place a round in the chamber and then pick up the flashlight. If you don’t have time to do that, you probably don’t have time period. Being awake is the critical difference between a “Good Shoot” and a home tragedy.
    The flick is good. But thinking and planning and giving you time to THINK FIRST is critical.

  11. The fellow in the video gives some great points, BUT, the rental in which I live in Alabama has no locks on the doors and most of the rooms have no doors at all. The telephone is in the dining room, two rooms away so if I dial 911, it’ll ,probably, be after the perp is bleeding out on the floor. I have a fully loaded hi-cap .45 in a holster under my pillow and a 300 lumen tactical flashlight on the defunct fireplace mantel one step from the bed. I have never seen the sense in having a gun mounted flashlight as Mr. joe burgular will shoot at the light and kill you before you can pull the trigger. Fortunately, I’m very familiar with the layout of my house whereas anyone who breaks in would not be so it is, yes dangerous, but very easy to successfully clear my house. Probably, just the damn cat knocking something over anyways. Since I have 9 “lites” in both my front and rear door, we have the type of deadbolt that locks on the inside as well as the outside so by the time that a perp broke the thermapane glass out and crawled into the house, i’d be ‘on the scene’. Did i mention that both doors have reinforced latching jambs as well so if he/she tries to kick in said door: good luck!

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