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On December 13th, 2019, two armed men walked right into a home through an unlocked door in Richland County, SC. One of the men held the homeowner at gunpoint while the other man made his way to a bedroom and took five guns. There is so much wrong with this scenario, but let’s take a moment to break down a few things and see what we can learn from this unfortunate set of circumstances.

First and foremost, all of this, most likely, could have been avoided if the homeowner simply had his doors locked. At the very least, it would have delayed the invaders in getting inside the home. The homeowner would have been alerted by the attempt at breaking through the door and possibly could have reacted accordingly. Instead he was ambushed.

Now, there is very little information to go on with this story, but let’s entertain a variety of assumptions and combine them with the few facts we have and try to come up with a few lessons learned.

We know the intruders pretty quickly found five guns to get away with. Why would any responsible gun owner just have guns laying around and not in a safe of some sort? We do not know if they were loaded, but I would assume they weren’t. Typically, guns are kept loaded when intended for self defense. If this particular homeowner had the wherewithal to keep five guns loaded for self defense, I seriously doubt they would all be in one bedroom. Instead, they would have been strategically staged throughout the house to be used in the case of a home invasion. Obviously, that wasn’t the case here.

Next, if this homeowner took personal defense seriously, there is a high probability he would have been armed. We, honestly, don’t even know if he was because he was ambushed by leaving his door unlocked. A person that takes his personal defense seriously would have the door locked.

So, what are the biggest take aways and lessons learned?

  1. Absolutely, without fail, keep all doors locked at all times. Make sure everyone in the house understands and follows this rule. This means garage doors must be closed unless coming or going.
  2. Guns MUST be made inaccessible to unauthorized people at all times. Keeping a gun in a nightstand or in the closet are not acceptable forms of storage, especially if they are loaded. There are many types of safes, small and large, to keep them in. Get one.
  3. Guns that are intended for self defense and not locked up need to be on your person so you have access to it in the case of a home invasion. This is not weird. A home invasion is happening every 13 seconds in this country. That means that by the time you finish reading this, another home was invaded.
  4. And, lastly, we now know that five more stolen guns have made their way to the streets. Beautiful.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to add your comments below.

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Be safe,
Joe Shahoud


Joe Shahoud is the owner and lead instructor at Safe Family Defense LLC, a firearms training academy that serves the greater Columbia, SC area specializing in pistol, concealed weapons permits, personal defense, and general education in personal safety. Visit their classes page to see what is available and enroll.

Joe is also the owner of Safe Family Safes, an online retailer that specializes in fast-access smart gun safes and other gear essential to the concealed carry lifestyle.



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