I taught another Self Defense Inside The Home class this weekend, the class I teach AFTER Self Defense Outside The Home. This might seem backwards to some, I mean, defending your life outside the home means learning situational awareness and how to draw a firearm from concealment and managing unknown contacts and and and, while inside the home, it’s BLAST AWAY AT THE BAD GUY BREAKING INTO YOUR HOME. This attitude was probably perfectly summed by a young man in a gun class I attended last year who confidently told me that he would just blast away anybody trying to break into his home.
Except that the vast majority of accidental shootings happen in the home. Far too often, it’s a child or some other person getting access to a gun they shouldn’t have, and a tragedy ensues. However, (and just as tragic), it is also people shooting at something they’re not 100% certain is a bad guy, with unthinkable results. Target identification becomes really important at home, even more so outside of the home. When we’re out and about, it’s easy to identify the person who needs shooting: it’s the person using lethal force against us. At home, though, that’s not so clear, and itchy trigger fingers and darkened hallways make it even worse.
This is why most of the drills in the Self Defense Inside The Home class are designed to produce some sort of cognitive overload. I want my students to get used to the idea that they need to make correct decisions when possibly applying lethal force. I also want them to understand that making those decisions is going to require the use of brainpower that previously may have been used for the “sights, grip, trigger” aspect of making the shot, and unless they’ve developed some sort of automaticity with their marksmanship skills, they’re shooting ability is going to go south when things get complex.
I teach protecting life inside the home because that’s where the lives you care the most about live, and it’s important to protect them from everything, including a mistake made in the heat of the moment that could ruin everything you’re trying to protect.