Working Together – Home Defense as a Couple

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Most of the time, when we talk about self-defense or home-defense, we are talking as individuals. Typically it’s the man who is the defender, protecting his home and family from whatever threat there is. That makes sense, as part of the man’s calling is to defend his family. But there are a growing number of women amongst us who are carrying concealed, allowing those couples to work together to defend home and family.

As a man, this tends to go against the grain to me, because I feel it is my job to protect my wife. However, the realities of a tactical situation dictate that I can do so much more effectively when I am working together with another person, than when I try to be a hero and do it on my own. God did not equip me with eyes in the back of my head, so I need someone covering my back, when I’m looking for the bad guys.

Having my wife cover my back does two things at the same time. Firstly, it protects me from having the bad guys sneak up behind me. That’s important. If there is more than one person invading your home, you might find yourself in the position where they could surround you, leaving you no good options.

Secondly, having her cover my back means that I am in the more dangerous position, so I am still protecting her, even while she is protecting me. Since most bad guys will shoot at another man before shooting at a woman, I am drawing fire away from her. This gives her the chance to engage the bad guys who are busy with me, while having less risk that she gets shot.

Nevertheless, to work together effectively in a tactical situation requires training and practice. It’s considerably harder to work together with someone else, in a tactical situation, than it is to work alone. Not only that, but you pretty much have to know what each other are going to do, so that you can work together with minimal communication.

What communication you do have needs to be silent, primarily hand signals, so that the bad guys don’t hear you discussing your plans. The last thing you want to do is tell them what you are about to do and give them the chance to intercept you. Rather, you want to try and catch them by surprise, so that you have the drop on them.

There are three basic levels of training that you need to work on, as a couple, after learning and practicing basic shooting skills. Without these three level of training, you won’t be able to effectively clear your home. Fortunately, you can do a lot of this on your own, working with available information.

  1. Basic Tactical Shooting – If you aren’t already doing so, I recommend finding a shooting range that has tactical shooting events and participating in them. These are competitive events, where individual shooters play out an active-shooter scenario, shooting at multiple targets against the clock. Movement, low light and hostages are all part of the scenarios that can be used, to try and simulate real-life situations. Shooting against the clock gives it the pressure necessary to get the adrenalin pumping to simulate a real-life situation.
  2. Develop Hand Signals – Learn to communicate together, as a couple, via hand signals. There are a number of resources which will provide you with standard infantry hand singles, including several videos on YouTube. Using that as a starting point, modify or develop your own, so that you can tell each other what you’re going to do in a tactical situation, without having to speak.
  3. Practice Clearing Your Home – Working together with your guns, but without ammunition in them, practice clearing your home, developing a variety of different plans, based upon where you are in the home when the incident starts and where the bad guys are. Work especially on clearing corners and entering rooms, until you get to the point where you can do it smoothly, without exposing yourselves to unnecessary risk.

As you work together, you will find the rhythm and style that works for you. This may be different for you, as a couple, than it is for others. That’s okay. The point is that it works for you. Ideally, you want to get to the point where you can do most of it automatically, without thinking about details like slicing the pie around corners. That will allow you to concentrate on looking for the bad guys, rather than thinking about your technique.

One critical thing is that you always work together in clearing your home. Don’t separate. If you do, there’s too much of a chance of you running into each other in some part of the house and mistaking each other as the bad guys. Working together, you’ll always know where each other is.

The only exception to this is if one stays behind to guard the children, while the other clears the home. but the best possible protection for your kids is to clear the home together, working in such a way as to put yourselves between them and the bad guys. If you start from the area of your home where the bedrooms are and work your way into the living areas, you should always have the children at your backs, allowing you to protect them.

Of course, by carrying in the home, you are keeping yourselves ready to deal with this sort of situation, no matter when it might arise. So I would recommend getting in that habit, just like I recommend keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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