Sorry for the hiatus. I’m back.
Every nightstand pistol/shotgun/rifle should:
- Have a flashlight next to it (or on it) for identifying what you’re about to point (or pointing) a gun at.
- Be secured from access by a non-authorized person. For the sake of this article, that person is YOU until you wake up fully.
That second point is not often considered. The bump in the night is far more likely to be a person you know than a crew of home invaders. I think the best way to prevent a groggy tragedy is to force yourself to complete several fine motor movements and/or take several steps prior to having a loaded gun in your hand. You need time to shake the cobwebs out of your head and assess what’s actually happening.
Failure to do so can have tragic results:
- loaded gun under pillow, wife shot in head, dies
- police chief shoots wife
- Husband shoots wife believing she was an intruder
Here’s what I’ve worked out for myself. Pick 2 or 3 items from the list of your preferred home defense weapon and layer them so you’re alert and awake before waving a gun around…
- Kept in a Quick access safe ( I love my Gunvault MV500-STD)
- Kept in a Home defense shoulder bag with clasp closed
- Safety on, if applicable
- Magazine removed and next to pistol and light
- Kept in a holster
- In a drawer or closet which requires several steps to reach
- Same as above but with cylinder open
- Cylinder empty and speed loader next to pistol
- Chamber empty
- Safety on
- Magazine removed and kept lashed to the hand guard or stored nearby
- In a closet or corner several steps away
- Chamber empty
- Magazine tube empty
- Safety on
- Action open
- “Cruiser ready” (empty chamber, action closed)
You don’t need to do every item to have success with this idea. Pick two or three that make sense for you and give it a try. I’m looking to buy about 30 seconds to fully awaken.
But it will slow down my room clearin’!
If you have less than 5 seconds to get a gun into action from a dead sleep, you screwed up a long time ago. Go read my article about layered home defense to get your house or apartment right. If you can’t get a magazine into your pistol and rack the slide, you’re not awake enough to be moving in your house with a gun.You need to protect you from yourself first.
Lets remember the hierarchy:
- Don’t Shoot Ourselves
- Don’t Shoot What We Don’t Want To Shoot
- Shoot What We Want To Shoot
And for goodness sake, start verbalizing ASAP so you don’t show the muzzle to the wrong person. “Who’s there!? I am armed!” or whatever.
The opportunity for a negative outcome is greatly increased if you are startled from a dead sleep and start making life and death decisions before you fully wake up. Give yourself some time.