By Howard Roark

I’m sure you’ve seen and read about the couple who confronted, with armed resistance a large group of rioters as they moved onto their property last year in St. Louis. I am not going to argue the legality of the situation, that’s no the point of this little article. What I want to talk about is how they could have potentially handled the situation a little better.

Ultimately it appears this couple reacted out of fear. Fear causes people to improvise. People improvise when they have no plan.

Don’t get me wrong; regardless of how they handled the situation they do not deserve to be dragged through the court system by an overzealous, leftist prosecutor, intent on making a name for herself, however they should have had a plan and so should you.

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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 really bad 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. I’m not suggesting you abandon your home and run away, but abandoning your home to confront a mob on your front 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.

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, who is armed and with what. Give a description of the threat and a description of you.

5. RESPOND: Respond appropriately if you need to. Know what constitutes a lethal threat and be able to articulate to the police why you believed it was. 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 show manifest intent to kill or cause great bodily harm? 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 in your underwear with an AR to confront the threat. Make a plan and plan to stick to it.

Author: Howard Roark is a Senior Fellow with the Kirby Institute.  He’s a second amendment advocate, avid shooter, hunter, fisherman, fur trapper, writer, artist, poet, and inventor of the wall port central vacuum cleaner system. He is both a moral and a practical man and is fully committed to the artistic integrity of every one of his endeavors or projects whether working as a common laborer in a rock quarry or operating a Fortune 500 design firm.     

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