Use a Flashlight

I cannot emphasize this enough, use a flashlight. You think that you don’t need one, you do. You must use a flashlight. Unless you have the literal eyes of an owl; which you do not… then you need a flashlight.

No weapon is safe to use for self defense, and especially not for home defense without a flashlight. Flashlights are not that expensive. I know far too many folks who have set up their anti-burglar kit with a nice gun, some decent ammo, a few minor modifications to that gun, and no flashlight. This is ridiculous.

Do you know what you need more than hollow point ammo? Do you know what you need more than a cool strap for weapon retention? Do you know what you need more a nice grip on your rifle? Do you know what you need more than a weapon sight? Do you know what you need more than the slickest plate carrier? The answer to all of these things is the same item.

Of the following scenarios, which is realistically the most likely:

  • You shoot at a burglar in your house and the bullet passes through them, out of your house, into your neighbors house, and hits someone there.
  • You are clearing your house (SAS style) and you get surprised by a burglar who attempts to take your weapon from you, but cannot because of the cool strap you bought.
  • You are spending hours clearing multiple structures and your arm is getting tired using c-clamp, requiring a vertical rifle grip to help you hold the rifle steady.
  • You need to shoot a burglar at 300 yards.
  • You take fire from a coordinated team of burglars but all their rounds hit you in the chest and fail to penetrate your body armor.
  • You think there is a burglar in the house but have no flashlight so you cannot see anything. A shadow moves and with your adrenaline running you react. You fire at an intimidating shadow and kill your dog.

If you said “the last option” you’re correct. Frankly it is irresponsible to have a home defense kit that does not include a flashlight (unless you only use that kit during the daytime). There is only one exception to this rule. That exception is if you have spent the money to buy night vision. But night vision is exceptionally expensive. To get good night vision is going to cost you probably about 3-5 grand for a starter. A flashlight will put you back maybe $100.

Buy a flashlight for every weapon you intend to use. Do not ever use a weapon in the dark without a flashlight attached to it. Turn the flashlight on.

About the author

Professional hacker & security engineer. Currently at Google, opinions all my own. On Twitter as @zaeyx. Skydiver, snowboarder, writer, weightlifter, runner, energetic to the point of being a bit crazy.

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