A nanny cam recorded the vicious and brutal attack including the screams of the terrified woman. Her daughter sat frozen in fear as her mother was pummel, choked and slammed around the house.

It was the middle of the day on June 21, 2013 in Millburn, New Jersey. A young mother of two sat in the living room watching cartoons with her three-year-old daughter. An eighteen month old son was asleep upstairs. Without warning, Shawn Curtis, a 42 year-old man entered the house and immediately attacked the young woman. A nanny cam recorded the vicious and brutal attack including the screams of the terrified woman. Her daughter sat frozen in fear as her mother was pummeled, choked and slammed around the house.

What made this horrific attack even more heinous was the fact that Shawn Curtis had committed a nearly identical crime years earlier. He beat and brutalized a young mother in front of her child, leaving her bloody and battered before he stole her car. Curtis had been arrested, convicted, and was back on the street free to commit the Millburn attack.

Home Invasion Reality

A truly sick and disgusting comment on our modern world is the reality of home invasions. Unlike the days of old when people most feared a break-in while they were away, home invasions are violent intrusions into an occupied house. The Modus Operandi generally includes multiple armed felons who are prepared to attack and brutalize the occupants of the home.

Although the weak-minded apologists would label the previous paragraph as “fear mongering”, all that is required of an honest-minded person is to pay attention to the news reports or conduct a quick search engine scan for the term “home invasion”.  While writing this article I did just that and a news report only six hours old from N. Philadelphia topped the search page.

As a nation, the people of the United States have become so numb and tolerant of criminal behavior that they have allowed this plague to grow nearly unchecked. Rather than becoming outraged and demanding that home-invading monsters be put away for good, we instead shrug our shoulders and say a silent thanks that it was not us.

Where is your Gun?

During the last five years or so, the number of firearms purchased expressly for “home” or “personal” defense has broken industry records. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans have bought guns to keep at home “just in case”.

Depending on your level of training and experience, how and where you secure a gun for home defense can vary dramatically from person to person. I cringe when I still hear people say that they keep a gun under their pillow.

Most folks will begin in the bedroom as they seem to be more concerned about a break-in while they are asleep. They sit down on the bed and look around for a place to store/hide their gun. (*Author’s note; we will focus primarily on handguns in this review as first-time gun owners tend to gravitate towards them.)

Gun Access

One of the biggest concerns for responsible gun owners is how to deny access to the gun. Small children, who cannot yet be trusted around firearms and sharp objects, are a prime concern. For this reason, many gun owners will choose the “hide it” method. They put the guns in dressers or nightstand drawers or on shelves out of sight of prying eyes. Of course, anyone with children can tell you that hiding something only works for a short while.

Specialized gun safes are another option. Numerous companies product electronic “quick access” gun safes that use a push button system, an RFID system, or other high tech. Most all of these handgun safes can be bolted or secured so as not to be moved.

The primary downside to the gun safe is that you do not take it with you. You leave the gun in the safe and you are only close to it when you happen to be in bed or in the bedroom. What will you do the other 16 hours you are not in your bedroom?

Securing your Gun

There have been innumerable articles written and videos produced that address the subject of securing your defensive gun at home. Strangely enough, almost every one of the aforementioned attempts skip right over the most obvious and simplest solution; carry your gun on your person, in a holster.

Yes, I am actually telling you to get up in the morning, dress, put on a gun, and then continue throughout your day. Take a moment to digest that.

Regardless of how you secure your gun at night, while in bed, can you rely upon the notion that you might actually be near or in your bedroom when you need it? Whether you stay at home during the day or move about in the world, if you are serious about using a firearm as a life-saving tool, you need to have it ready at hand.

Consider the incident at the beginning of this article. Let’s say this family kept a home defense gun stored securely in a handgun safe upstairs in the bedroom. What good would that have done the young mother being beaten in front of her child in the living room?

For argument’s sake, we’ll say that you do have some indication of a home break-in and realize you should run for your gun. Are you alone in your house? Do you have children? What happens to the kids while you run upstairs to retrieve your gun from the safe? Few mothers that I know would leave their kids unprotected, even to get a gun. Their first instinct would be to shield the kids. What happens if the home invader(s) get(s) between you and your gun?

A Feel Good Story

Every time you encounter a news story about a person being attacked and victimized in their home, consider how the outcome might have been different if they had been carrying their gun. Or, perhaps it will be a positive outcome as happened recently in Georgia.

A wheelchair-bound veteran was attacked in his home by an intruder. The vet had his gun on his person as was able to shoot and stop the attack. The home invader ran outside but expired soon thereafter, thus freeing the world from his vicious behavior.

When you carry your gun securely in a holster on your body you need not to worry that unauthorized persons will find it. You know where it is all the time because it is attached to you.

Parting Thoughts

I fully understand that the thought of wearing your gun on your person while at home is a foreign concept to many. A good deal of you out there feel that it is somehow “paranoid” or “unreasonable” to actually have a gun on at home. Naturally, that is your choice to make.

We offered two real-world examples of people being attacked in their homes. One was armed in their home and one was not. A list of daytime home invasions, rapes, and other brutality would consume more space than we have here. Your are a big boy or girl, Google “home invasion” and then call me paranoid.

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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