Darkness Is Your Friend

by
posted on April 7, 2014
patio.jpg

The military has a term for giving away your position by turning on your flashlight at the wrong moment-white-light AD (accidental discharge). For a lawful, gun-owning homeowner things are different, though. You need to positively identify a potential threat before your firearm comes into play. You also “own” any bullet you send, therefore due consideration must be given to anything downrange.

If the exterior of your house is like mine, lights deliberately go on at dusk. It’s a great criminal deterrent and done right it gives you a slight advantage when investigating those “bumps” in the night. Even my back patio has solar lights that come on at dusk, illuminating just about every corner, but something strange was going on earlier this week at 4 a.m.

Our Great Dane puppy had to go outside and his growling and barking began instantly. It wasn’t one of those distant warnings, either. It was “danger close.”

As you can see by the photo, if I have the carport light on my silhouette would make a lovely target through the door’s glass. Most opportunistic criminals would flee at the sight of a phone-wielding homeowner, but not all of them. So the interior lights were off as I scanned to determine if it was an animal or a two-legged predator that had him unnerved.

The same principle applies to other windows in the house. Do you really want a perpetrator to know exactly where your wife is sitting while watching late-night TV? I don’t. Draw the curtains and at least once a year walk around your house after sunset to see what is visible from the outside. Are the vehicles throwing shadows for hiding once your driveway lighting comes on? If you peek through the front window blinds is it obvious outside? Does your tactical flashlight escape window coverings?

Don’t get me wrong. A phone to dial 911, a self-defense gun, flashlight and training should be the front line of defense. But, if members of our Armed Forces are being taught to avoid position-printing white-light ADs, it’s something worthy of consideration by lawful citizens.

And don’t forget those organic motion sensors. In my case, a 101-pound “puppy” issued the initial alert, but it wasn’t until the springtime frogs silenced on my neighbor’s property that I spotted someone in his lights that morning. Light management is a serious subject, but it boils down to employing the common sense that could provide you a slight element of surprise if the unthinkable happens, and makes you and your family a harder target.

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