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Home Security Tips – The Car Keys / Car Alarm Solution

I received the following well intentioned email:


Put your car keys beside your bed at night

Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr’s office, the check- out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this:  It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it.  It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain.

It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around.

After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won’t want that.

And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can’t reach a phone. You can activate the car alarm and then folks will know there’s a problem.

Please pass this on even IF you’ve read it before. It’s a reminder.

My first thought was, “That’s pretty thin, but I suppose it’s better than nothing.” Then I thought, “My cordless phone doesn’t want to work in the next room, how is my car remote supposed to work from the bedroom to the car through a brick house?”  The more I thought about it, the more I wondered how many people would read that email and think, “Oh. OK, problem solved.  I have a security system now.”

While, I would not call it a ‘solution’ by any means, hopefully the car alarm suggestion is a starting place for some folks to think about things they may have previously decided to ignore.

It would be great if home invaders were always scared off by noise, but if they are so brazen as to break into a house knowing that the residents are home, I wouldn’t count on the fear of a car alarm sounding off to deter them.  Besides, how many times have you heard a car alarm in a parking lot and thought somebody bumped a car with a shopping cart, opened a car door into another car, etc. and, “Would someone please turn that *(&^%$@! thing off!”?   The worst case scenario for users of car alarm suggestion would be that the car alarm covers up your screams for help.

Even with a monitored house alarm, I wouldn’t expect it to chase away the bad guys.  Granted, that would be the ideal outcome (and it has happened) but I wouldn’t count on it.  I would expect the house alarm to wake me the second a window is broken or a door is kicked, allowing me to respond.  Not to disparage the cops at all; I want them to come when the alarm goes off, and quickly.  But I also know that they have no legal duty to protect me.   The responsibility of protection for an individual lies with the individual.  And as has been said before: “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.”  A lot can happen in ‘minutes’.

A more reasoned and prepared approach for home security would be to have a monitored alarm for your residence, a good dog, outside lighting, limited (or defensive) ‘landscaping’, deadbolts on solid core doors (even bedroom doors), and quick access to a strong flashlight and a ready firearm (or two so your spouse can assist) that you are competent with.

I’d also suggest keeping your cell phone and charger next to your bed (rather than next to the front door, etc.) in case the bad guys decide to cut your phone lines and power before they break in.

Lastly, get good training and most important of all – Have a plan.  Also have a backup plan for when the first one doesn’t work.

I realize this is ‘preaching to the choir’ for many, but for those who find this article looking for the CAR KEYS! email, please think about all possible measures to ensure your safety.

BTW: CPR lessons, first aid kits, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and a good stock of canned food are also handy to have as ‘security measures’.

It’s about trust – Concealed Carry Ammo Considerations

Please read this piece by Sebastian.  I’d like to call attention to this comment by ‘Whitebread’ (below the article):

Every time I go to the range (assuming this to be once every month or so), the first magazine I shoot is the one that I’d been carrying in the gun. I do not oil or clean out the gun prior to going to the range. I arrive, unholster, and start my work using the carry ammo. After the first magazine, I might give the gun some oil and blow out the dust if I’m going to be shooting a lot more.

This is very reassuring, especially if you’re prone to “gun won’t work” nightmares. The point being driven home is that it WOULD have worked had you needed it. If it DOESN’T work, of course, you’ve got issues to deal with.

I had just such an experience two weekends ago, without the reassuring part.  Out with a friend having a good time at the range and before we started to pack it in for the day I thought I’d shoot my carry gun.  I drew it as I’d been carrying it, took a fine bead and pressed the trigger and heard the loudest click ever.

Chilling, but I recovered and performed a Tap-Rack-Bang drill, only to hear another ‘click’.

Several more attempts to fire resulted in repeated failures to fire on multiple cartridges due to light firing pin strikes.  A cold feeling in my stomach began as I realized that this tool which I’d carried for quite a while now was not reliable.  It worked the last time I shot it.  It’s clean, mechanically everything seems to function as intended and the ammunition is a ‘premium’ factory defensive load.  I don’t know what the problem is.

Sure, it’s better to find out now rather than when it would be needed most, but that’s about all the comfort I have.  I called the manufacturer and they asked me to send it in for repair, which I certainly will.  But by all means test your rig.  Often.

I’m carrying something else for now.

Massad Ayoob: The Mirror Image Match

Massad  Ayoob posted a piece on shooting a complete IDPA match (along with several of his buddies) using the non-dominant hand.  Maybe next time when they do it they could also have an even number of stages with half the courses of fire and target placements be a mirror image to the other half.  That way they could notice some of the (unintentional) ‘bias’ of stage design too.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Southpaw; thus, speaking as a member of the minority of next-evolutionary-step hominids: Good for Mr. Ayoob.  I know Mr. Ayoob’s purpose for his ‘mirror match’ was done for ‘tactical’ reasons (imprinting skills, overcoming the injury of the dominant hand, etc.) but as the only thing made for the ‘Sinistre’ are toll booths, I say, “Welcome to my world.”

Not to say that I disagree with the premise, I’ve shot complete matches right-handed before.  Actually, I did it for about three or four months, (unsupported even – Cowboys call it ‘Duelist’ style) about 10 years ago following the injury of my left hand.  While it was braced and healing, I continued to shoot matches  just about every weekend with lots of dry fire practice during the weekdays. I remember how odd it felt at first, but also how quickly I adapted to shooting with my right hand.  Then it felt odd that felt so natural.  The Man Upstairs did a fine job of designing the human body.  Not only do we have an amazing ability to heal but an outstanding ability to adapt.

In the years since then I’ve tried to make a habit of training ‘to both sides’.  I didn’t retain the ‘natural feel’ when shooting right handed but doing so now doesn’t feel unfamiliar either.  I partially accredit this to being left handed to start.  Being forced to adapt on a daily basis to a right handed world may have given me an advantage in this regard.  That’s the way I choose to interpret the experience anyway.  I’d like to say I have an advantage in something for having to deal with single sided safeties, can openers, scissors, cork screws, books, pie servers, ice cream scoops, and nearly ever other darn tool I’ve ever had to use.