Consider this scenario: Something goes bump in the night and you try your best to find some kind of clothes to put on. Briefly, you consider whether or not they are on backwards. Nevertheless, you get them on, then grab your pistol and flashlight.
The first thought that crosses your mind is to protect your children. You try to stick the phone in the waistband of your boxers, and you can feel the cold glass screen against your skin. You start down the hallway to where you heard a sound and are quickly surprised by a shadowy figure disappearing across the hall to your front.
Startled, you quickly jump through the threshold of your kids’ bedroom door. When you do, the cell phone falls out of your underwear and hits the floor with a sickening thud and the screen lights up and highlights your position.
What comes next is anyone’s guess. Still, if faced with this scenario, how are you going to carry all the tools needed to protect your family, property and self?
I must admit, the thought of my combat chassis unclothed coming at an unsuspecting burglar might just be enough to get them to run away, drop their gun, take their focus off their sights to look at something else or, more than likely, fall on the floor laughing. I can imagine seeing me in tighty whities would have the same effect, but a tank top and two-tone skivvies aren’t really tactical, or even tacticool come to think of it.
Of course, this isn’t my idea (or even a new idea), but brandishing a battle belt to exercise your Castle Doctrine rights is the appropriate solution.
Just watch any old cowboy movie! They weren’t afraid to grab a pistol belt, strap it around their red panhandles and get into a scrap. I don’t plan on donning red flannel PJs any time soon, but the pistol belt is a must in my mind. Why not? What could be bad about being prepared?
The original idea for this article came from a U.S. Special Forces friend of mine when we started discussing the perfect belt setup for the bedroom. You know the deal. Sure, we always want to look sexy, but we must have the right tools for the task at hand.
In the normal world of concealed carry and home protection, we see dainty ladies with perfect lingerie lingering at a doorway with pistol in one hand and a light in the other (or pistol in one hand and a cell phone in the other). This isn’t really what is going to happen. You are going to be jacked up like a pile of coat hangers when someone attempts to invade your dwelling. Same goes for the concealed-carry dude. All is well until you have to move or fight. Then what?
How can you be prepared to secure your pistol, carry a kid and have all you need in the way of phones, medical gear and Scooby snacks? The answer is the bedside battle belt.
Once donned, you have all the kit you need for the sustained house fight. This belt can be stored under the bed, on a hook in your bedroom, or, if you have small children, it can be secured in a small gun safe by the bed. If you like the feel of a pistol on the nightstand, then do so. But have the belt handy so when your mission requires mobility, you can grab the belt, holster your bedside blaster and be ready to do what you have to do.
What’s on the belt? What’s necessary?
First, a pistol with a frame-mounted light. If you haven’t used a pistol light before, you are in for a treat. Adding a light to the pistol takes all the work out of night shooting. Once you get used to the extra weight and figure out how to manipulate the light, it is a no brainer that every pistol-packing, Second Amendment lover should have a light on their pistol. (Cell phone lights are not good for shooting.)
On the belt, I would have a handheld light for searching unknown areas, a cell phone with ear buds (to be able to go hands free on the phone), a small medical kit and any other gear you may need for your family. As far as magazines for the pistol are concerned, I recommend carrying at least two extra on your belt and one in the pistol. Hopefully, this quantity is more than enough. If you are planning to use a carbine in your house, have at least a spare 30 rounder secured in a magazine pouch.
Speaking of carbines by the bed, make sure that you have a sling attached to secure the carbine for the aforementioned baby carrying.
I try to use the standard battle belt I use every week for training. This makes all of my motions natural and I don’t have to kit out several belts. If you have a battle belt with a Velcro liner, buy a piece of pile Velcro at any fabric store and use this to cover the hook Velcro. This will make your lightly-clothed pistol escapade a little kinder to the love handles. Even with normal clothes on, the hook Velcro can be annoying. Also, if you want, a bottle of water is a welcome addition.
Another gadget that might come in handy on the bedroom battle belt is a small headlamp. It’s nice to have if you need to work with your hands. A good example of this would be to treat a casualty or signal law officers when they arrive. Most of the Petzl headlamps (petzl.com) I use have a flashing or strobing feature. (This has helped me on many occasions.)
The last recommendation I’d offer would be a set of amplified hearing protection. Ear muffs that shut out sound and can be amplified to help you better hear what is going on is ideal. The only issue with using these over ear or inner ear protectors would be losing the ability to triangulate on a sound. Directions of sound are a little off, but you will be really messed up if you shoot your AR or pistol down the hallway of your house without the muffs or plugs. I have done a little shooting from inside a concrete building with a CAR-15 and no ear pro. No bueno.
In the end, we just want to be prepared. Having a pistol and your reading glasses by the bed is fine, but when faced with a home invasion, you will need to fight effectively. One magazine, a handheld light and your cell phone might not be the best idea when facing a motivated threat.