As important as it is to get to the range and fire your guns to gain familiarity and confidence with them, there’s something else you should be asking yourself when it comes to your ability to protect your home: How quickly can you get to your weapons?
Accuracy with a gun is a critical skill to develop, but if you cannot get to your guns in time, it will never matter. Very few gun owners time themselves to figure out how quickly they can come out of a deep sleep and get a firearm in their hands. After that, how long does it take you to get to your safe and additional firepower?
Make this Exercise a Priority
Don’t just read this article and think to yourself, “that’s a good point” – set an alarm at night and time yourself getting up out of bed and getting a weapon in your hand. There is no right answer, but you’ll have a good idea of how long is too long. Keep in mind that when a noise is loud enough to wake you, it’s already too close for comfort.
In addition to reaching your firearms, do you have flashlights on-hand? Is all of your gear accessible where you need it to be? Have you communicated your family plan, and can your spouse get your kids to where they need to be? Does your spouse have a weapon they can access quickly?
Confidence is Key
Confidence in your ability to protect your home is a key component in your ability to feel comfortable and at ease. That confidence is built through practice and training. Most responsible gun owners commit to time at the range and handling their firearms, but few realize how critical timing is. Training within your home is just as important as your training at the range.
Being comfortable handling your weapons extends past firing and cleaning them; it continues with accessing and handling them under pressure. If you are awakened during the night, are your hands shaking as you reach for your gun? Consistent training can eliminate that lack of confidence.
Be Open to Change
As you work through this exercise, be open to change. If your safe(s) are not accessible in an acceptable amount of time, consider moving them or investing in another safe that can fit where you can get to it. If you don’t keep your sidearm in a safe next to your bed, consider purchasing one for that purpose. If you cannot get through the exercise and get to a gun quickly and safely, take the necessary steps to ensure that you can. Your life and the life of your family may depend on it.
Keep in mind that being consistent is just as important as being fast. Having a light on the gun that you keep by your bed can help you determine your consistency and also help prevent tragic accidents from occurring. Put together a training plan and continue to practice nighttime drawing of your firearm.