Learn to Search Slow & Carefully

Haste makes waste. Worse still, it could make the difference between life and death.

posted on November 26, 2022
Sheriff Jim Wilson

Whether or not it is a good idea to search your own residence for a suspected burglar, most people have done it and will continue to do it. One awakens to a noise and simply doesn’t know what it is. Could the cat have knocked something over or is someone actually in your home? Whether it is a good idea or not, most people will go investigate.

First of all, let’s not just assume that it is the cat; take your defensive firearm with you. Secondly, you need to be able to see, so take that flashlight with you. In light of that, if I were designing a new home, I would have a master light switch installed in the bedroom that turns on every light in the house with one flip of the switch. You have to be able to see and if all that light scares the burglar away, you just won.

Secondly, no one should be surprised in their own home. No one else knows the layout of your house the way that you do. You just have to make sure that you have checked everything in your immediate vicinity before moving on. And you’d be amazed at the places a burglar can hide when he is afraid of capture. I’ve found them in the cabinet under the kitchen sink, wedged between the refrigerator and the wall, and other places that you would swear no human could go.

As you begin to clear a room go very slowly. Fast will get you hurt. Examine the room for every place a person could hide before going to the next room. Work on open doorways first, but don’t forget to come back and check those closed doors. Learn the safest way to open a closed door. Learn to cover a room, from the doorway, by pieing the area. And never just stop in an open doorway.

As with most things defensive, it is a good idea to do lots of prior planning. Have a family member go hide somewhere in the house and then go find them: think of it as "hide and seek for adults." But, for goodness sake, don’t use a real gun during the search. Use your “finger gun” or one of the plastic training simulators that we generally call “blue guns.” You’ll learn a lot about your own house and the safest way to clear it. Go slow and be thorough.


French police chose Speer
French police chose Speer

French Police Select Speer Ammunition

124 grain Gold Dot rounds to become the standard round pour la gendarmerie.

First Look: Meopta RDS Electronic Sight

A slide-mounted optic using the Vortex/Burris/Docter mount footprint.

What Does "Mindset" Actually Mean? (Part 1)

We hear that term quite often in the self defense world, but what does it really mean?

More Than Just A Gun Bucket: How to Choose A Good Holster

Could your holster choice really be more important than your gun?

The Gas Pedal Drill

Training yourself to shoot better is the result of developing a higher skill level upon which you may rely. The higher your skill level, the greater your odds of performing well when they are called upon. Greater skill is born from greater control; the greater the control, the better the performance.

First Look: New Products from Gemtech

Including the company's first-ever AR-15 pattern upper receiver.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.