1990s Anti Terrorist Assault Group member with pistol and submachine gun.

A few days ago I was looking at an online forum from the USA (where I currently live) where the subject was on guns for home protection.

The individual holding the forum seemed both grounded and professional in his appraisal. He basically put the “semi automatic pistol only” argument versus the “semi automatic assault rifle.” His reasoning for just having a pistol was sound enough to me.

Having spent almost 40 years using all types of weapons and ammunition in just about all types of scenarios…desert, jungle, bush, temperate, Arctic and urban warfare, to covert urban operations, sniping, counter terrorist amphibious scenarios of swimming subsurface in salt water, climbing a caving ladder onto the target and having to live fire…there isn’t much left to do with the different types of small arms and ammunition used. I’m not blowing smoke up my own arse here, I mention it so that individuals reading this can understand why I’m having my say.

Back when the SAS amphibious troops came in subsurface and had to climb with weapons to the target.

So the shocking thing for me on the forum was just how many individuals commenting had several guns positioned all over their home. It went from the likes of the lad who had his pistol locked away in a safe, to someone who had a shotgun under his bed, with a pistol on his bedside locker. From another lad who had four guns in each corner of the bedroom to another lad who had a pistol under the pillow, an assault rifle by the bedroom door, and a shotgun next to the front door. The comments went on and on…none matching the grounding and professionalism of the guy running the forum in my view.

Several things screamed out at me as I’m reading the comments: Such as you’re in bed and you have a gun positioned at the front door. So in comes the intruder…no matter how. He’s unarmed, just wanting to grab what he can and get out. But then he spots the gun by the front door. Now he’s armed and you’re still in bed. He now feels bolder as he can protect himself! And upstairs he goes…??? In addition, what about the rest of your family, as you have several weapons positioned around your home? Is your 8-18 year old or even younger, who’s getting bullied at school, going to take one or maybe two of these weapons, and blow the bully and maybe others away?

You have to wonder given the comments just how many individuals in the USA alone just should not have a weapon in their possession…ever!

When I left the military and worked in conflict zones around the world I mainly, but not wholly had two weapons. Given that my work was low profile as a civilian, I’d have a pistol on my person (sometimes that just meant shoved in a pancake holster at the back of my pants due to just wearing a light shirt and pants in extremely hot conditions), and a short barreled assault rifle as a soft skin “vehicle weapon” sitting in a car bag, both made ready at all times. The assault weapon would have armoured piercing rounds in all six magazines. I would be able to fire out through my vehicle and into another without concern. In less hot conditions when I could wear a jacket or coat, the assault weapon being short would be slung under my coat, giving me all the options and also the ability should I ever have a stoppage to continue firing with one or the other.

The short barrel “vehicle weapon” assault rifle that would sit nicely under my jacket (or inside a car bag), with a pistol back up.

In my humble opinion as an ex tier one special forces soldier and global security adviser of some years experience, I would defend my home and family with small arms in the same manner as I operated as a special forces soldier or security adviser. Only one or two weapons depending on where I lived, with both weapons made ready at ALL times. If two then they would BOTH be with me at all times also…otherwise I don’t need one or both. Just how many have weapons at home for peer pressure from mates, or to simply just boast about it in the bars? Guns are there to kill, no other reason. No one knows when the danger will come to visit your home…therefore it’s no good having it in a locker or any further than arms reach where ever you are at home.

Remember you only get one chance when the time comes, and the ultimate shot may be required within a millisecond. You need to train for that day. You need to brief your family too (depending on age), and have them on the training. You need to ensure that your weapon/s, magazines and ammunition are all in tip top condition always. Unload the magazines often to release the springs…and never put the same round at the top of the magazine each time. In time with loading, making ready and unloading…that round’s base/rim will wear away. It wouldn’t be the first time that it’s lead to a stoppage at the worst moment, Princess Anne’s body guard in the UK being one high profile account. Inspect the magazines and weapon parts often.

I’m not getting into what I think are the best weapons to have, it depends on a host of reasons. Plus weapons are like clothing…we all have our own ideas for what may suit us as individuals.

Any weapon that you choose for home security should be on you…at all times. At night while sleeping, it should be within arms length and if it was me, it would be made ready at all times too, and normally under the pillow.

Whether inside the home, or carrying your weapon outside of the home...never ever drink or take drugs! A drunk or drugged up and armed individual is just as dangerous as a drunk or drugged up driver. In my time in the States I’ve seen way too many individuals downing the beers while out carrying. Instead, if you’re that concerned for your safety when you go out drinking, either stay at home, or take a mate who will remain sober…he can both drive and carry.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

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  1. So true Bob if I lived in America I would have a weapon at arms reach you must protect your family at all times

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