When trouble comes, it does not send you an engraved invitation. Indeed, being prepared for the unexpected is what drives a huge number of Americans to carry concealed and get trained. Of course it is impossible to be on alert 24/7, and it is normal to let our guard down when in familiar places. Restaurants, parks and shopping centers are designed to put us in a relaxed state of mind.

And no place is more familiar or comfortable to us than our homes: it is our fortress from the outside and the one place where our guard is down the most. You should be able to relax in your own home, but that doesn’t mean you should not be prepared for trouble when it comes knocking. Fortunately most criminals fear being shot by homeowners more than they fear being shot by the police—they act accordingly and avoid occupied dwellings. But the few miscreants who will attack you in your home also happen to be the most violent and disturbed. For maximum home preparedness keep your self-defense gun on your person whenever possible. The first thing I do when I get dressed in the morning is put on my concealed-carry gun; the last thing I do before bed is put it away.

The more you get used to having your carry gun on you, the more comfortable it becomes and the less likely you are to leave it at home when you go out.

Bedtime Defense

Still, there are times and situations when you want a gun close by but not on your person. For example, at night, despite what movies and television portray, it is not advisable to sleep with a loaded gun under your pillow. If you don’t have little ones at home and want fast access to a loaded gun while you sleep, there are many inexpensive bedside holsters that will keep your gun angled upward and easily within reach. These simple bedside holsters will also fit many couches. If you do have small children at home or simply prefer to securely store your loaded firearm, there are many quick-access safes than can be had for little more than the cost of a couple of boxes of ammunition. These range from simple key or combination-lock mech- anical safes for one gun to more expensive electronic or biometric safes.

I prefer using a quick-access safe close to my bed. Many models easily fit in a drawer and feature spring-assisted top-opening doors, while others, including long gun cases, will fit under the bed. These larger safes allow you to maintain a shotgun at the ready for home defense, which many prefer for its efficacy and lower chance of over-penetration (when using the right load). The quick-access safe I like best is from GunVault and has a simple electronic keypad combination that is super fast and easy to use, even in the dark. Just place the four fingers of your hand on top of the safe and key in the sequence you have programmed. The spring-loaded door pops open and gives me immediate access to my pistol with a rail-attached tactical light.

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