JUNE 5, 2018

Editor’s Notebook: Homestead Defense

People comment at length about home defense, about all of it I’ve seen imagining a home invasion. This is on the order of a ‘violent and tumultuous entry’ into the premises requiring an instant response. A topic that’s been beaten to death, it rivals some of the misinformation about so-called ‘truck guns’ and other foolishness, but it doesn’t address the issue of “homestead defense.”

Shooting someone just outside your home if you’re on the inside of the home can be quite problematic, so the home defense scenario centers around the violent criminal(s) being inside the home with you.

But what if you’re inside the residence and a family member is victimized outside? What if the attacker and victim are closer to each other than you are to them?

Do you live in an apartment building, a mobile home park, a subdivision – or in the country with some property around the house? That makes a difference too.

Even the U.S. Carbine, Caliber 30, M1 is considered in Cunningham's new book.

Grant Cunningham is a prolific author, a retired gunsmith and a teacher who delves into the personal defense and instructor development aspects of the industry. He’s written Protecting Your HomesteadUsing a Rifle to Defend Life on Your Property, a book addressing this other home defense issue: what if the problem is further out?

A solution is the rifle, something he proposes. If you want the police patrol carbine/ex-military carbine class solution, you won’t find that here. Not surprisingly, the AR-15 has a big part in the solution and there are a number of good reasons for that: commonly found, easily acquired parts, adjustable stocks and light recoil to appeal to a range of family members, commonly found- and low cost- ammo compared to other centerfire rifle cartridges, good medium range performance – it’s clearly America’s rifle.

It’s also being targeted by gun control fanatics principally because they consider it a weak link in terms of politics – and a good venue for political prosecutions.

But Grant doesn’t center on the AR-15 platform; he discusses the range of options, even including a discussion of the GI M1 Carbine of WWII fame.

He doesn’t just pontificate about guns and gear – he discusses employment of the piece at some length. Staging the rifle for use while keeping it inaccessible to unauthorized types, getting it and getting to the location for use, how to employ it – all are part of the evaluation. He discusses zero, cartridge power, how to practice, covering the subject fully.

Even pistol-revolver caliber carbines, like the Winchester M94 Trapper in 44 Magnum, can be used for some perimeter defense chores inside 75 yards or so.

When defense use of firearms is considered, most will immediately talk about proximity; it tends to be close. In a rural homestead environment, you may face a pack of coyotes chasing the livestock. It may be a perimeter defense situation, perhaps a family member being set upon while getting mail from the rural mailbox -- it’s outside the context of room combat.

The acid test for books purporting to explain self-defense is whether legal and ethical issues are examined. An injunction is inherent in the title: the rifle (and other lethal force options) are used in defense of life, not property – regardless of the state in which you live. Grant’s new book passes that test and gives suggestions on where to get more information.

Grant Cunningham’s Protecting Your HomesteadUsing a Rifle to Defend Life on Your Property is available in paperback or via download at GrantCunningham.com.

- - Rich Grassi