My First Experience in “Room Clearing” Part 2

Yesterday in Part 1, we left off with the incredibly stunning revelation that no, there were no intruders in the house. Well, besides the usual bugs and the like. Today, I’ll go over how I went about searching the place for potential intruders and some of my decisions.

First and foremost, it is always the correct decision to investigate your own home if you suspect that anything serious may be afoot that doesn’t immediately warrant contacting emergency services (police, ambulance, firefighters, etc). Part of “room clearing”, checking every nook and cranny, is to make absolutely sure that there’s no viable, malicious threats. If you split your head open on a table or something, that’s not a malicious threat. That’s on you (you may decide to fix that, though). Bad guys and bombs, on the other hand, do count.

I wasn’t checking for bombs that night, but I was checking for intruders. How one goes about searching while at the same time avoiding a nasty surprise really depends on the layout of the place you’re searching, and I’m certainly no expert. As mentioned in my last post, I elected to keep as low a profile as possible until I was sure that everyone was where they should have been and that, going forward, anyone I was likely to encounter would be a malicious threat. That doesn’t mean that you’re free to throw caution to the wind. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for your family or roommates, and it’s not effective against intruders.

I opened doors with my non-dominant hand (the same one holding the flashlight). I tried to position myself so that if there was a bad guy behind that door, I’d be out of the way of any attacks. It’s difficult to do. In order to get the best position, I would have had to open the doors with my dominant hand so that I didn’t have to criss cross my arms to keep the gun pointed at the doorway. I wasn’t about to put the gun in my non-dominant hand. Perhaps I should have, and I definitely should practice that more. Crossing your arms over themselves is a big no-no as you’re basically doing half the arm-lock work for an enemy. Likewise, presenting the outside line of your body puts your opponent in a better position to further control you. It might help if you got beat on, though.

As I walked, I wasn’t quite sure how to orient my light along with the handgun. I tried keeping them separate, I tried some wacky underhand technique – The main point is, it wasn’t consistent. Rounding corners is also tricky. The expectation was that anyone in the house would already know I was coming. They would have been at ground level, which is solid and doesn’t transfer vibrations nearly as much as where I was coming from. Given that they would already know, I suppose the main solution to the light issue is to flip a flippin’ light switch! You know where all the switches are, you know whether they should be working, and in case they don’t (say, a natural or sabotage-initiated shortage or power outage), you still have the flashlight as a back-up. It shouldn’t be your main light source if it doesn’t have to be.

It’s also advisable in all situations, but particularly close quarters indoors, that you should expect hand-to-hand skills to come in real “handy”. I’ve written an opinion on the lunge on this blog and similar close-quarters difficulties that arise in these situations. Yes, firearms can be very effective at close range, sometimes even more effective than at longer ranges. There’s those additional threats to consider, however. Speaking of firearms at close ranges, I had the option of choosing a rifle in addition to or instead of the handgun I used. Despite my handgun being small and single-stack, I believe that my mobility was definitely aided with choosing the handgun. Perhaps, as stated, I could have slung the rifle and brought it with me just in case.

As you can see, there’s a ton of things to consider not only for yourself but also the plan of action you have to create with anyone else who’s with you. Family, dogs, roommates, or friends who happen to be visiting or staying the night. It’s not easy, this is true. However, it could save your life and that of your loved ones. It’s worth seriously considering, at least. Take another look at one of my other posts for some questions to ask yourself.

Stay tuned, and stay safe.
-DH

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~ by demonhide on June 10, 2013.

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