Often, in discussions about home security systems, people proudly announce that they protect their home with a gun. Understanding that the issue of gun ownership is a controversial one, we don’t intend to debate the matter here. While legal and responsible gun ownership is a personal choice, we would like to take a few minutes to explore whether or not a gun is the best way to secure a home.
A Gun Sends a Strong Message
A gun can certainly be useful in frightening a criminal away from a home. Many thieves, particularly those specializing in home invasions, knowing that a home’s occupants are armed, will bypass such a home in favor of one where a gun is not present. Not only does a gun send a strong message for criminals to steer clear of a location, but being licensed to own one may also give a homeowner a heightened sense of security especially if properly trained to use a gun. Of course, if a criminal enters a home not knowing that a homeowner is armed, a gun can send an even stronger message provided that the homeowner is able to get to it in time and use it to her or his advantage.
A Gun’s Limitations
While a certain measure of security is afforded in legal gun ownership, we also must consider the realities of using a gun as a primary source of home protection. There are a number of scenarios where a gun isn’t of much use in securing a home. Further, there are also scenarios where a gun can actually endanger members of a household.
One of the foremost risks in relying on a gun for home protection is that a gun is only useful in the right hands. For instance, if a burglar breaks into a home while it is unoccupied, a gun is useless. In fact, if a burglar stumbles upon a gun in an unoccupied home, the gun is likely to be stolen along with other valuables.
Relying On a Gun For Protection Can Be Risky
Using a gun as the main source of protection for a family may also place family members at risk. Consider children who are allowed to stay home alone, but are confronted with an intruder. Most parents will agree that they would prefer that children not be placed in a situation of considering a gun for protection since there are far too many risky variables involved in such an encounter. Even an adult who is trained to use a weapon is often faced with the risk of being overpowered by an intruder and having a gun taken away. In these situations, a gun meant to protect can actually be used to terrorize family members or worse.
A Gun versus a Home Security System
When comparing the pros and cons of a gun versus a home security system, the latter is a far more reliable option for protecting a home. First, burglars who study a residence before engaging in a break-in prefer to avoid those where an alarm system, security lights or video cameras are present. Second, for those who are bold enough to ignore decals, placards and other evidence of a home security system, a piercing alarm is one that cannot be as easily ignored by the intruder or by others within earshot. As such, an alarm system and other deterrents may be far more effective in discouraging crime than a gun might be.
Guns Mainly Offer ‘After the Fact’ Security
For the most part, guns are only useful after the fact…meaning that they are most often effective in stopping a burglary or a home invasion after a criminal has entered a home. On the other hand, a home security system tends to stop criminals before reaching this stage, which automatically increases a home’s overall security. Given a choice, most homeowners prefer to deter criminals before ever having to come face to face with one, which is why home security systems are the best choice for primary security.
As mentioned earlier, we are not here to debate legal gun ownership. If you are comfortable with a gun in your home, trained to properly use one and are a responsible gun owner, having one is your prerogative. Merely, we would like to point out that a gun should not be solely relied upon for your home and family’s safety. As we’ve stated many times here, there is value in using multiple layers of security in order to protect your home from criminal invasion.
Security vs. Combat
If choosing to have a gun in the home for protection, it might be better to rely on things like a monitored alarm system, security lighting and surveillance cameras as your first line of defense against burglary and other crimes, and only rely on a gun as an absolutely last defense. Deterrents, such as lawn signs, window decals and even fake deterrents like the Global Link Laser Scanner Burglar Deterrent w/Transformer, can go a long way to keep criminals at bay and to reduce the likelihood of you or a member of your family from having to make the choice of engaging in combat with an intruder.