Having a Plan to Defend Home and Property

Good training will help you to respond appropriately in a defensive situation. Photo: author  
By now you have all probably heard of or read about the St. Louis couple who confronted with armed resistance a large group of protestors as the protestors moved around their property. I am not going to argue the legality of the situation, as we don’t have all the facts. What I want to talk about is how they could have potentially handled the situation better. Ultimately, it appears this couple reacted out of fear. Fear causes people to improvise. Improvisation is what you saw on display. People improvise when they have no plan.


An important concept to understand before coming up with a plan is “Should vs Could.” Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you always should. Pointing guns at people and displaying atrocious weapons-handling skills are things you probably shouldn’t do even if you can. Here is a simple plan anyone can and should follow when they plan the defense of their home and property.


1. EVADE: Put yourself in a position where the threat cannot hurt you. Simply put, seek a position of advantage. This is Tactics 101. Gain the high ground. Abandoning your home to confront a mob on your lawn is a mistake. 2. BARRICADE: Make it harder for the threat to reach you. Build a defense in depth, with primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency fighting positions. Strengthen your perimeter externally and internally. Have a barricade spot prepared and designated. To be ready for that worst-case scenario, train unarmed skills as well as use of weapons. Photo: author  
3. ARM: Obtain and prepare for use a tool that can increase your ability to disable a threat. Obviously this couple did that. However, part of preparing a lethal-force tool for use is knowing the basic manual of arms and safety procedures for that tool. This appears to have been lacking. 4. COMMUNICATE: Talk to the 911 operator. Tell them where you are, what is happening, and who is armed and with what. Give a description of the threat and a description of you. This couple claims they called 911, but police dispatch disputes that assertion. Call 911 and stay on the line. 5. RESPOND: Respond appropriately if you need to. Know what constitutes a lethal threat and be able to articulate why you believed so. Did the threat have the ability to hurt you? Did they possess the power to kill or cause great bodily harm? Did the threat have the opportunity? Did they have the capability to immediately employ deadly force or cause great bodily harm? Did the threat put you in jeopardy? Did they manifest intent to kill or cause great bodily harm? This is referred to as the AOJ triangle. If you respond, it is important that you can articulate why you felt it was justified. When preparing to defend your home and property, you need to have a plan. It’s not as simple as walking outside barefoot with your AR to confront the threat.
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34 Responses to “Having a Plan to Defend Home and Property”

  1. JD

    be conversant with the laws of self-defense in your state. Were they in imminent danger? was the threat right there in front of them? Could it have been carried out? Was the attack attempted on them? Where I reside there is a requirement to retreat if it can be done safely. What is the law where they reside? I don’t know it but they should. The best thing you could say to a jury is “I retreated and the imminent threat kept coming. I could not safely retreat further.”

  2. Louis Klar

    I am a veteran. I have trained my wife in weaponry and self defense. These people took an offensive position. Very wrong. I have used a gun for protection a number of times and it has never been out of its holster. And I am still here. I teach that whenever I can.

  3. Eva

    This is a good basic plan to use in other situations as well. Good solid advice. Never brandish or threaten with firearms, as someone in the crowd may be armed

  4. Jane

    The McCloskey’s had every right to defend their home from rioters! Have we really reached the point in the United States where one must passively submit to terrorist threats and then wait to be robbed, injured and killed by bands of people who want our earnings and our submission?

  5. Ram Rod

    Dialing 911 is not part of my plan during the conflict. Perhaps afterwards so long as I can be assured the police are not coming to kill me.

  6. Larry Childress

    Very good article. Covers all the bases and gives instructions what to do and what not to do. Creating a plan before hand. Thank you

  7. John Alletto

    Disparity of force, acting in a riotous and Tumultuous manner attempting to enter your house. Once they breach the threshold, warn them and then fire.

  8. Jay King

    Excellent data. I knew very little about this before. Now, I feel a desperate need to learn so much more. Thank you!

  9. vk.com

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired!
    Very helpful information specially the closing phase :) I care for such info much.
    I was seeking this certain info for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  10. Not So Free

    Lost in all of this was the fact that the lady’s gun was broken, but when the cops confiscated it, “someone” repaired it. Quite illegal to tamper with evidence, isn’t it?

  11. arctic blaster

    Perception is reality. Consider how much stronger the St. Louise couple would have appeared had they each had a rifle or shotgun, and stood calmly , with their weapons slung at low ready. Even better would have been with the additional support of armed neighbors and friends. Either through luck, or Devine intervention, they prevailed, but not because they appeared particularly intimidating.

    But this is important, while a stronger front could have been presented, had they retreated to a safe room, their home might well have been put to the torch with them inside. If the mob says they intend to do something terrible, and they appear to have the means and temperament to do so, they should be believed. Should your home no longer be defendable, a well planned and executed evacuation is essential. The comments by MSgt Wolf are words to live by, .

  12. willis fath

    Was wondering if a 17 year old boy knows martial arts and you dont is your life now in danger if he’s running at you? Is this a threat he has no weapons but his hands are considered a weapon.??

    • Lance

      I am a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator with close interaction with the police department. As stated before, neighbors do not know or even want to know their neighbors today. Most difficult to get agreement on simple things, much less prepare any kind of defensive action. Too many with “liberal” attitude where the criminal is right and the average citizen wrong.

  13. Graystone

    Good, well articulated article, Rob.
    IMHO, any plan no matter how simple is better than No Plan. Active rather than reactive is always the best approach.
    Re: The “St. Louis lady” I cringe each time I see a picture or the video of her waving her pistol about. This is a great training example of how or what “Not To!”

    While on the subject of examples, Rob each time I watch you draw from a holster without your support hand on your chest/stomach I also cringe.
    Just say’n

  14. James Anthony

    If you did have a plan it’s time to change it. Mob rule mentality seems to have taken over many big cities, and those moms are threatening to come to the suburbs to get us to do what they want. That was their threat anyway. One of the leaders was interviewed and stated that they have to make the people feel uncomfortable so that they will do what the mob wants. That was one of the leaders of the mob that went to the house that you referenced in your article. I’m making you feel uncomfortable means making me feel afraid, and the way the left has gone is that a threatening mob making you feel afraid does not give you the right to defend yourself. So the plan I had, which was based on two or three perps breaking into my house, is no longer valid. So I must update a plan for several perps up to 50 or more people that I’m defending myself and my family from. I could use some good suggestions from the pros on good ways to defend against a mob. It really is good to have a basic plan, it’s far better than panicking.

    • MSgt DM Wolf

      From my perspective one must change their mindset of home
      defense to that of urban warefare. Take a look at what the Marines and Army did in Iraq. We did some good work neutralizing the bad guys under ridiculous ROE, Rules of Engagement.
      One needs to organize their neighborhoods into armed first responder units with realistic ROE. It is always a good idea to notify local law enforcement. Do so in general terms and do not reveal detailed operational/combat plans of yours. Push your perimeter out to realistic and supportable distances from your position. Setup blocking positions, barriers to vehicle and foot traffic. Setup ambush positions and fall back positions to continue the fight endepth. Be prepared to counter attack quickly when the urban terrain and conditions permit. Move deliberately and aggressively in a well coordinated effort. Always remember the value, benefit and force multiplier effect of Command, Control, Communications, Coordinated Actions, logistics support and medical! Leadership and organization is absolutely essential!
      With these key elements in mind a well organized and lead neighborhood will decisively defeat any mob of any size!
      Semper Fi,
      MSgt DM Wolf 0369 US Marines
      Vietnam 1970
      Desert Storm 1991
      Operation Iradi Freedom 2004
      Good Luck my friend!

      • Bobo

        Good luck with that, these day’s most neighbors barely talk to each other, in some cases have no idea who their neighbor even is, the odds of organizing them into some kind of neighborhood defense force is slim to none (as always there are some exceptions)

        • Msgt DM Wolf

          I understand what you are saying and agree with you in that it will not be an easy task! However, investing the time, energy and effort will pay off big dividends to those neighborhoods who do so! It is not impossible! But one must put forth the effort to make it all happen.
          I am fortunate in that I have lived in a rural community for many years. And have invested the time to cultivate solid relationships and friendships. Our rural community is a mixture of both white and black and Mexican and liberal and conservatives. Most of us are God fearing Christians.
          However, we respect peoples rights to choose their own religion and beliefs. We are a reflection of people who are Americans. We respect each other’s beliefs and we respect each other’s rights.
          Your point is well taken and understood. But this is not an impossible situation to effectively deal with. To give you and your family the best probability of enduring such a situation, please invest the time in your community.
          Stay focused and be committed.
          Semper Fi
          MSgt DM Wolf
          US Marines

        • Cory Deal

          Just wait until these terrorists that Sleepy Joe has let walk across our borders start attacking certain areas. Then neighbors will be willing to organize. Lock and load

        • Msgt DM Wolf

          You are most welcome! As a young Lcpl returning home from Vietnam in 1971 we were considered the scouge of society. In 1991 returning home from deployment for Desert Storm we were greeted as heroes who defended the free world from tyranny. For me it was a most emotional eye tearing moment! I will always remember the pride and humbling experience of being honored by our fellow countrymen as warriors of freedom and liberty!
          What is happening in the world and our country troubles me. However, remain strong and determined that the good will of decent and honest people will prevail over evil.
          Semper Fi
          Msgt DM Wolf

  15. RCG

    lots of good theory here, but in the real world, when you’re confronted by a mob of ~300 “animals” threatening your life as they break down your gate and walk past your home, you stand your ground as best as you can. Had they not, they might be dead now, or burnes out of their house.

    • Uncle

      I disagree, the husband and wife should have stayed in their home. brandishing the rifle and hand gun was not the correct move. non of what you said was done to another other home in that gated community.

  16. willis fath

    If there are about 5 or more of them comming at you at once then I would say that you lifes in danger at that point. Unless your Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee then 5 or more people coming at you isn’t that much of a threat! But not everyone is Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee!

    • DONALD

      Sound advice, if the St. Louis couple had stayed in there home and not tried to confront the rioters, they may not have become victims of a liberal prosecutor trying to make a name for herself.

    • Uncle

      You are correct. None us are action heroes or black belts. we could also be senior citizens 69.70 80 years old,
      We could be a 98 pound 18 year old female or male. A threat is a treat I would say there is empirical evidence that to be factual, when they are within your four walls uninvited.