Gabe Suarez on lights in a gunfight

(Found on Facebook)

Gabe Suarez opines on the usefulness of lights in a gunfight. There are going to be some butthurt people out there after reading this.

Not that anyone who is anyone cares, but I’ve considered this for a long time. I have flashlights, including tac lights. I have one weapon mounted light, on a shotgun that’s now a safe queen and in line to be sold. After a lot of thought, while I might pick up a light if something goes bump in the night, I probably won’t. If I pick up anything in addition to my bedside gun, it’s going to be a spare magazine.

“Ermagerd, yer gonna kill the wrong person!”

Probably not. First, we have a burglar alarm and it’s set, every night without fail. If anyone violates the perimeter of my home, the bad guys, my family, our neighbors and the central monitoring folks are all going to find out at the same time. That’s how the system is set up. Zero delay–it goes off and the party starts.

Second, our house is not completely dark at night, and that’s deliberate. While our bedrooms are dark, the rest of the house isn’t. We have a low level of light in the living areas of the house at night. It’s more than enough to identify whether that person standing there is my wife or the neighborhood meth head who has just made a drastic mistake in the victim selection process.

Third, I’m not going to wait all night before I take action, nor am I playing 20 Questions at 3 AM. We’ll leave it at that.

It’s a pity that we live in times when we have to think like this, but we do. Have you?

3 thoughts on “Gabe Suarez on lights in a gunfight

  1. I have lights on the shotgun (which almost never comes out of the safe), the house carbine, the nightstand drawer Glock and one of Surefire's eyeball burners on top of the nightstand itself. I'm trained in the Harries Technique so if I grab the Glock that's how I use it despite the mounted light. First choice for nighttime repelling of boarders, though, is the AR (the airweight J frame that lives on my belt during the day is unlighted, but there's a AA Fenix in my pocket. Just in case.).

    I consider a mounted light a "last second target illumination device" intended to fully light up a target as the sights land on the target that I have made the decision to shoot, and that decision comes after I have identified that target with independent means. Which is why there's a Surefire on the nightstand.

    And also why there are two independent sources of timer-controlled light illuminating the main living areas of the house, each a low wattage (60 watt equivalent) LED bulb in a lamp that's plugged into a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply, aka "computer battery backup"). One of those lamps has been modified for the purpose with a "constant on" bulb socket – no on/off switch – so to turn it off it must be unplugged from the timer plugged into the UPS or the bulb unscrewed. Could an intruder unscrew the bulb? Sure, but he will have to do it while the interior alarm system sirens (one at each end of the house, two is one, one is none, etc.) are sounding.

    While the UPS-power lights scatter enough light there are also a couple Cooper Wiring GFCI receptacles in strategic outlets; these outlets have LED nightlights in them. The idea is to make it impossible to move around the house without casting a shadow or being silhouetted. While they can be turned off by pressing the "test" button (a useful feature if you want complete darkness) if one is off it's a red flag.

    Why the UPSes? Modern houses are constructed with the main breaker outside in the meter box, and the Bad Guys have figured this out. Switch the power off and start counting: at 5, kick in the door, and upon entry knock down anyone standing; at 12 the accomplice at the meter turns power back on. Most people are sufficiently disoriented at sudden darkness that's all that's necessary for the crims to be fully in control.

    Pro tip: add a Failed Circuit Alarm or two in occupied areas of the house ($30 at Amazon). Equipped with a pass-through plug and an internal 9 volt battery, they're intended to sound a smoke detector-like screech when power is cut to an outlet with a refrigerator or freezer plugged into it, but they'll work anywhere to loudly announce loss of elecrical power. With UPSes on the lights you really need at least one; otherwise you will not know main power has been cut.

  2. Anonymous, oddly enough, I carry what is probably the same Fenix on my keyring-E05. Nice little light.

    I like your UPS lighting scheme. I've done something similar, but I used the plug-in "emergency lights". You have to get the ones that also function as a nightlight, but if you buy the LED ones, they will stay on in a power outage for 6-8 hours. I can handle recharging via the generator, which will be running for the refrigerator and the freezer if nothing else.

    Never heard of a failed circuit alarm, but I'll add that to my shopping list. Sounds like a must have for several reasons. Your UPSes should alarm when the power goes out, but a really loud backup to that can't hurt.

    Thanks for a really good comment.

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