This article has been contributed by Max Velocity Tactical.
My intent is to discuss, in a scenario based format, the dilemma posed by the increased risk of armed home invasion and your potential responses to it. Firstly, let me lay out my assumptions for this discussion:
1) Current ‘Law Enforcement’ policy has seen the proliferation of co-called ‘SWAT’ teams. ‘SWAT’ refers to a ‘Special Weapons and Tactics’ Law Enforcement team. However, due to insufficient selection and training for these teams, there is little ‘special’ and ‘tactics’ about them. Thus, for the purpose of this discussion I will be referring to them as ‘Home Invasion Teams’ or HIT teams.
2) You and your family are law abiding citizens, for what that is worth in the current climate of authoritarian tyranny. As such, you are not expecting a home invasion. You would have no reason to do so. At worst, you may be in contravention of some unconstitutional local statute or ordinance, such as selling milk, or harboring Bambi, keeping standard capacity rifle magazines, or some such other non-crime.
3) If you actually expected a home invasion, then you would adopt different tactics. You would not be asleep in your home. You would prepare a defense and probably not actually be in your home. That is all a different topic, such as home / retreat defense in an SHTF environment, something that I cover in detail in ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival.’ Similarly, the assumption is that if you suffer a home invasion, the intent of the HIT team is not expressly to kill you and your family i.e. there remains a veneer of legality over this activity. However, death is still a very likely possibility as the result of a HIT raid. If there is no longer any veneer of legality, and you are suffering from kill squad attacks, then refer back to the SHTF point, and you have no choice but to establish defenses to repel marauders, or bug out, or both.
4) There are an increasing number of ‘no knock’ nighttime raids by HIT teams. There are also an increasing number of these raids that target the wrong address. There are also an increasing number of criminal (i.e. non Law Enforcement…er…) home invasions and a number of these raids have seen criminals wearing police/SWAT style uniforms – er…just to clarify, they were impersonating Law Enforcement, and they were not actually Law Enforcement personnel….still with me? I know, it’s confusing nowadays….the problem being that with a ‘no knock raid’ there is no announcement or expectation of a Law Enforcement visit. Back to point 2 above, you are ‘law abiding’ people, not a meth lab or some such other den of criminals.
5) These HIT teams are often established but poorly or inadequately trained. The focus is no longer to ‘serve and protect’ but to hurt, threaten, endanger and control citizens, while ensuring that the ‘officers’ look to their personal safety. The focus is on the ‘officer’ “going home at the end of my shift.” This means that the HIT team tactics may be poor. They lack restraint. They are fearful. They lack fire control and discipline. If they raid your house, everyone in it, including the animals, is in great danger.
6) The better way for Law Enforcement to deal with a visit to a home would be to phone ahead and discuss the matter. And/or send a couple of deputies or plain clothes detectives. You know, the way it used to be done when ‘Officer Friendly’ may have existed. If your grass is too long, in contravention of the homeowners association and local ordinances, perhaps they can discuss that. Maybe even offer to mow it on their time off. You know, hearts and minds and all that….However, if it is felt that there is sufficient threat of violence from the home, then have a HIT team on standby, secure the perimeter, place overwatch. You know; all those sensible tactical things. You know, for when the home is lived in by pesky tea bagger and constitutionalist types, crazy white cracker white gun clingers i.e. the holy grail of domestic terrorism. No: reserve your no knock 0300hrs raid for the den of drug dealers and actual criminals.
Ok, so enough of the assumptions. Let’s take a look at this. We are going to have, for this scenario, a no knock raid at 0300hrs. You are the husband of a family with a wife and young children, and at least one dog. You are preppers and Patriots and you have firearms and ready gear. You personally have a tactical ‘crash bag’ with your personal tactical gear, battle belt, plate carrier (PC) and ruck. You have weapons readily available in the house in case of a home invasion: something like a handgun, shotgun or AR15. However, with young kids, these are not right there on the nightstand, they are either in a safe or up somewhere high, like on hooks in the closet. You only have the ammo readily available that is loaded into that firearm. The rest is in your gear or in the safe.
You are asleep and not expecting a home invasion. At 0300hrs the first you may know of the raid may be something like the following, or a combination:
1) Flashbang on a pole crashing through a ground floor window and detonating – hopefully not in the same place as your sleeping daughter.
2) Your dog barking at the front door.
3) Ram smashing into your front door (entry team stacked up behind)
4) Security motion sensor light coming on outside.
They may or may not announce with shouts of ‘Police’ as they smash the door. Even if they do, you will likely not hear this clearly and anyway this is what criminal home invasion gangs do anyway (er…). The stronger your perimeter security, such as your front door, the more delay you will have and time to come rapidly awake, orient and make a decision as to what to do. At this point, the only choice you have is to grab a firearm to defend your home and family against what must be a criminal home invasion. You haven’t done anything wrong, right? Why would a HIT team raid your house at 0300hrs?
So you leap out of bed in your pajamas, grab a weapon (handgun/shotgun/AR), and run to cover the entranceway, however your house is laid out. You may be on the ground floor or covering it from a stairwell, for example. Depending on your reaction speed and the time it takes for the stack to ram through your defenses, depends on how the relative positions of you and the stack will play out. They may still be stacked outside, or they may already be boiling into your entranceway.
This is where we bring in our different scenarios, and how they may pan out:
A) Realizing that this is a Law Enforcement raid, you decline to open fire. The stack comes in through the door. If you decline to fight, you better drop that weapon before they see it, or they will riddle you with bullets. At this point, you are putting your trust in the restraint of the HIT team. They now own you, your house and your family. Remember, they are poorly trained and afraid. They want to go home at the end of their shift. Your safety is not really their concern, only as far as any liability goes. If they kill or injure anyone, they will cover it up and get away with it. You are encouraged to pursue these actions within the system of the courts, but there will never be any satisfaction to be had there. The courts are corrupt and stacked towards the HIT team.
Oh yea, and they just shot and killed your beloved family pet as they made entry.
Remember: It is very important to note that any danger created by the HIT raid is unnecessary and purely created by the actions of the HIT itself. The very methods they use are creating danger, in particular for the home occupants. The HIT is liable, pure and simple, for their unnecessary militarized actions. Any threat to “officer safety” is greatly overborne by the threat to civilian victim safety, and entirely avoidable by the use of civilized methods, as opposed to the current thuggery.
What to expect? If you are not killed immediately, you will have weapons pointed at you. You wife and kids will be rousted out of bed, the family dogs killed and laying around thrashing in front of them. Rifle barrels will be pointed at your family. Death is only a twitchy trigger finger away. You and your wife will be screamed at, cussed at, thrown to the ground and restrained. If you argue you will be tasered and beaten if not shot, until you ‘stop resisting.’ Anyone in your house who is slow to react, such as a handicapped adult looking relative or child, or an ornery old WWII veteran from the Greatest Generation, risks being shot and killed for not immediately complying with orders.
The HIT team now owns your house and your family. They will tear it apart looking for whatever it is they are looking for, even if it is the wrong address. Your kids will be segregated until a social worker arrives to take custody of them. They are now wards of the state until you are freed. You property will be torn up. You will be cussed at and threatened by HIT team guys looking like military in their full gear. They will take all your legally owned firearms and you will never see them again.
In my opinion, the only way to justify this submissive response is if you feel that opening fire will threaten the safety of your wife and children. You choose to submit to this outrage because on the whole you feel it is the less risky approach to keeping your children alive. Similarly to being captured by an enemy in war, sometimes to fight to the last is just suicide when you may need to swallow your pride and live to fight another day.
If this happens to you, then when all is said and done you have a choice. You can choose, as encouraged to do, to pursue a futile and expensive battle in the courts. That is the decision to remain in the Matrix. Or, having now seen to the safety of your family, go get your gear and wage war to the death against the agency(s) that attacked your house and you family, killed your dog(s) and humiliated you and your wife. However, if you choose course number two, know what it means. It means your death, at some point, however many you take with you. Also, it means the death of your reputation: the child porn that will be placed on your computer, the reports from neighbors that you were a ‘crazy loner survivalist type who collected guns’, the allegations that you physically and/or sexually abused your dogs and the occasional squirrel. Make your decision. Some will never bend the knee to tyranny, whatever the cost. If you step outside the Matrix, you will be tracked and killed however long and whatever resources it takes. Are you up for it?
B) You open fire through the door. At this point, the scenario could go many ways. They could make entry and kill you. You only have the rounds that you have in the weapon that you grabbed. You may or may not take some of them down by hitting them in the face/head/hips/legs outside of their body armor. For this option B, you don’t kill any of them and they make entry. If they do not kill you straight up, which they will likely do, then we are back to option A but you are, if alive, definitely going to jail while you fight the case of the justified use of force. Recently this happened and the guy that fought it from jail ended up hanging himself in his cell when he eventually lost the case. If you are released on bail, you have the choice of staying inside or stepping out of the Matrix. Know the cost of stepping out.
C) You open fire, hit a couple of them in the stack as they are trying the ram the door in. Remember, policies have changed recently in Police Departments to where they will try and intervene immediately to an active shooter situation. However, active shooter is different to a barricaded armed suspect. In that situation, HIT teams will not make entry, but cordon and lay siege until it can be resolved. By resolved, look at Waco and Dorner – death by fire trapped in the building.
So you hit a couple of them, cause chaos and they pull back. At this point it is likely that the house is not fully cordoned off, not yet covered by overwatch sniper teams. It’s not an entry made after a long siege, at least not yet – they probably just showed up in whatever ride they have nowadays, like an armored vehicle, and de-bussed onto your front lawn before stacking up at your door. It will become a siege now they have been repelled. You may therefore have a small window to escape, but not with your family. You may decide to take this option, grab your gear, and step outside of the Matrix.
If you do, then you are on the run. You better know how to take to the hills and survive out there, wet cold/hot, hungry, thirsty, dirty, smelly. If you do this, know the consequences, there is no going back. You have to assume that your family will be able to safely give up the ensuing siege without being harmed. You now have to duty to engage in offensive operations against the tyranny that brought this outrage to your home. This is the John Rambo option, without the Special Forces Colonel coming to take you back in at the end.
D) You hit a couple of them, they pull back – you run and grab the rest of your gear and weapons but remain in the house. Know that they will never give up. You are now on the news holding your family hostage. They will establish a cordon around the property and it will then be too late to escape without being killed by snipers. Don’t even think about trying to escape with your wife and kids. You may negotiate for the safe exit of your family. After that, you either give yourself up or die in the house. The siege will never give up, it will never go away. If you give yourself up, then you will go to jail and have to fight the case that you shot a couple of HIT team members. The more of a firefight you engaged in from your property, the more you are likely to be killed or never get out of jail. Also, the more likely that they will light the whole house up with indiscriminate fire and potentially injure or kill your family members. Or burn it down around you.
Just to take this back to introductory assumption number 3: defending a home from inside is not a viable option. It is ultimately folly.
There are two main themes through this post:
1) The need to take account of the safety of your family. In fact, this is really the only reason why a Patriot would submit to such tyranny, with the other exception that he is captured asleep where to fight would be suicidal folly AT THAT TIME. It has been suggested, and I agree that it needs to be done, that I write a post on family safety in an SHTF/Resistance scenario. That post will follow soon. I do write about this very thing in my novel: ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises.’
2) The need to consider what your actions would be following such a situation happening to you. Do you remain in the Matrix futilely thrashing about against the injustice of your wrecked house, infringed liberty, dead dog and humiliated family? Or do you make plans to step outside of the Matrix and wage war? Will others rise with you? Likely not, you will just be a news event until they get you. Don’t shelter in a cabin and die by fire, right! Keep low, move fast.
Meanwhile: Nothing to see here folks. He abused his dog, he was crazy. Move along. Let’s all get back to typing our outrage on our keyboards as the slow soft bureaucracy advances the tyranny.
When does tyranny become tyranny? When it is already here right?
For an interesting video, HERE is the link to another one of those SAS Training videos that I have been posting. This shows a little of what the SAS Counter Terrorism Team gets up to, and how they do it. These guys, back in the day, originated all this hostage rescue stuff that has now become ‘SWAT’ – ‘all the gear no idea’ HIT teams. Note that they show and use Waco as an example of how not to do it!
(BTW: the show is about real terrorism, not the current fake stuff we are being terrified with nowadays.)
Live Hard, Die Free.
Editor’s Note: After much discussion on this topic, Max Velocity has added a follow up post to this article: Solutions – Follow Up to The Home Invasion Dilemma
Max Velocity is an author, trainer, and operator of the website Max Velocity Tactical, providing tactical training and consultancy services for those preparing for disaster survival and high threat, protection and combat operations. His book Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival covers the subject matter in the article above, which Max derived from years of experience gained from service with special operations forces.
For those who are fully squared away on the prepping side, his book: Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations omits mention of prepping, and expands on tactics.
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Long-Term Security, Perimeter Defense and Lethal Tactics [Ready Nutrition]