On another blog a few days ago, the writer said that he’d come home from work and found his front door open. He went inside and “cleared” his house—that is, he walked around the house, in the dark, with his gun drawn, looking for a bad guy. He did not find a bad guy, just the expected empty house. End of story.
Unfortunately, not all such stories have happy endings. Today, I read in the news about a man who came home from work and found his front door open. He armed himself and went inside to look for a bad guy. He found one, and now he’s dead. (Read the news here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-family-gary-man-shot-to-death-in-home-had-interrupted-burglary-20121020,0,3679823.story.)
I suppose some would say that’s a case of “don’t bring a lead pipe to a gunfight,” and that’s true. But the bigger lesson is, don’t go looking for someone who wants to kill you. Not by yourself, and not without extreme need.
If you are concerned enough to pull your gun out of its holster, you should be concerned enough to pull your phone out of your pocket and call for backup. Except in cases of extreme and immediate need, law enforcement officers won’t try to clear a house by themselves, without backup. Why should you?