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12.13.2017 - Free Investing Newsletter Bookmark

Home Invasion

 

I have to change gears a bit today, and respond to a couple e-mails I got over the last several months. While I answered them individually, I think it’s time I present the concepts to everyone.. Here’s the back story:

 

 

Despite their best efforts to hide the facts, the bottom line is that armed home invasions are on the increase. While these sorts of things often make it to the local news, it’s rarely ever picked up by the major media.  But let me just share with you a couple stories that got me some emails lately.

 

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men after detectives connected them with a home invasion robbery that occurred in April in Sarasota.

 

Deputies first responded to 3234 Restful Lane on April 25, just after 2:00 a.m., for reports of an armed home invasion. According to the residents, two men kicked in the front door of their home, held them at gunpoint with a rifle, and stole one of the victims’ fanny packs. As the investigation began, one of the victims told detectives he recognized one of the suspects as an employee at a nearby convenience store.

 Through investigation, detectives identified William Robbins-Rosokow, DOB 05/10/95, as the lead suspect. When he was arrested on April 28 on an outstanding warrant for violation of probation, Robbins-Rosokow admitted to planning the robbery and recruiting Chance Terrill, DOB 04/13/96, and Terrill’s father, to help him. Detectives made contact with Terrill’s father who admitted to providing the gun used in the robbery and traveling with his son and Robbins-Rosokow to the victims’ home at the time of the crime.

 

Or this one that recently took place, and has been in our local media:

 

 

 

Three people have been arrested after an investigation.

 

SARASOTA -- Three people have been arrested and accused of taking a woman hostage during a home invasion robbery last month.

 

According to the Sarasota Police Department, Sean Thomas, 19, Jakobe Huffman-Austin, 17, and Charles Roberts, 16, entered a home in the 2000 block of Alameda Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. on Sept. 17 through an unlocked door. All three were wearing hoods and/or masks and gloves and were armed with handguns.

 

The robbers forced five victims into one room and robbed them of cellphones, jewelry, cash and other items. One of the victims, a 43-year-old woman, was taken hostage at gunpoint and held in the yard until all the robbers fled.

 

 

After an investigation, authorities arrested Thomas, Huffman-Austin and Roberts and charged them with multiple counts of robbery and false imprisonment. The juveniles will be charged as adults, according to assistant state attorney Kate Wallace, the lead prosecutor in the case.

 

The reason I wanted to chat about this is because after these two events ( and there’s been many more that don’t make it to the news)  I’ve had readers ask me about defending themselves against such things.  Let me quote Donald from Bradenton:

 

Hi Bob,

I know you are pretty busy, but I wanted to ask you a question. There has been a string of home invasions lately and they make my wife nervous. I am a gun owner, but here is my problem. Everyone tries to make their homes safe and keep their guns secure. But in a home invasion situation, how am I supposed to get to my gun vault, unlock it and defend myself and my wife before the thugs kill us? 

 

If I keep a gun where it is easy to get to, then I would be a nervous wreck any time my neighbors kids stopped by to play with our son.  It seems to me that you need a gun nearby in case a couple drugged thugs kick in your door one night, but how do you do that and keep little kids from finding them?  What do you guys teach about this?

 

Sincerely,

Don

 

Well folks, Like a lot of “things’ you hear about what’s right and wrong about guns and tactics, I’m not one to follow the herd.  I’ve heard every silly argument on earth concerning guns, Including such insanity as “never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy”.  I’d like to meet the nut that came up with that beauty, because if you take it literally, you can’t even take it out of the safe. In fact, while it’s in your safe, do you intend to destroy the wall of the safe, where the barrel is pointing?

 

I don’t intend to destroy my flooring, but I’m often pointing the barrel down at it.  I don’t intend to destroy the garage wall as I’m cleaning my weapon, but I can’t seem to figure out how to not point the barrel at “anything”. It’s always pointing at something.  So I’m sure you get my point. Some advice sounds pretty smart and makes the person saying it sound knowledgeable, but use some common sense.

 

Don here has an incredible point. MOST outdoor writers, and gun writers will indeed tell you to have your gun locked in a safe, or in a biometric lock box, or so hidden in a secret compartment somewhere that you’ve got to be Houndini to break into it and get it.

 

Now don’t get me wrong. If there’s the slightest chance that you’re going to have kids in your home, then I too do NOT want you having weapons where they can be found.  Kids are inquisitive and sneaky. You might not see them finding their way to your closet, but I’d bet they have a pretty good idea of what you’ve got in there.

 

Yet it does seem to contradict things. If you don’t want weapons where SOMEONE ELSE is going to stumble on them, but you need almost INSTANT access to one in case some scumbags smoking Drano decide to bash in your sliding glass door while you’re watching Sunday night football, what’s the answer?

 

Some have suggested things like hollow shelves, and false front bookcases. There’s furniture makers that make coffee tables with hidden compartments for concealing weapons. There’s all manner of ideas. NONE of them are very good however.

 

Then there’s the others that suggest you have a “safe room” and everyone should run there and barricade themselves in, and forget the weapons. Okay, there’s “something” to be said about that. But let’s continue and you’ll see why that is only PART of the solution.

 

Chances are very high you’ve never experienced a home invasion. I haven’t either. But we get a lot of the survivors of such things that come through our weapons training classes. Almost every single one will tell you “there’s no time to do anything!”. That’s right.

 

Think about it. You’re in your recliner. You’re watching the game. You might have a plate of wings on your lap. Life is good. You don’t know there’s 2 mutants on your front porch. They look around, see no one coming and together bash in your front door with your own concrete garden gnome.  Do you know how long it usually takes for 2 grown thugs to break through your front door and attack you? Under 25 seconds.  Video of such break in’s often show 15 seconds or less.  In older housing with lousy locks? 5 or less.

 

The first 10 seconds of that event will have you frozen in your chair trying to figure out what the hell is going on. By the time you put the pieces together in your mind that:  “ holy crap, someone’s breaking in!” 12 seconds are gone. Are you going to get out of that easy chair and make it to your biometric safe, retrieve your gun and take out the bad guys? No, you’re going to get clubbed in the head while running to it.

 

Now I’m talking about true home invasions here. These are where people bust in through unlocked doors, or kick down locked doors. I haven’t even mentioned the next most common method of bad guys “invading you” such as following your car into the garage as you park. Or, asking you to open the door because they need help with a broke down car, etc.  That’s a different article for a different time.

 

I’m focusing on the violent home invasion through a door or window. What is the best place for your weapon??  Well if it’s not in a safe, and it’s not hidden in some secret lock box, where should it be? How about in your pocket?

 

Am I suggesting that you should have a weapon on you in your own home??? You bet I am. First off, the kids can’t play with it. They shouldn’t even know it’s there. Secondly, you don’t have to try and get somewhere to “get it”. Thirdly and maybe most importantly, the “bad guys” don’t expect you to have a gun on you in your home either.

 

Some of you are going to consider me a paranoid nut for suggesting that there’s every reason to have a pocket pistol on your body in your own home. That’s fine. But unlike you, I’ve talked to home invasion survivors, and every one of them has told me that if they’d had their gun on them, things would have been different.

 

They all said they couldn’t have prevented the break in. No one can, you don’t know it’s coming. But all of them said that there were times during the robbery/assault/ beatings, etc where the scumbags were distracted enough that if they had a weapon on them, they’d have been able to neutralize the threat.

 

I want to wrap this up with a little paraphrasing from a 60 year old lady named Robin. Robin’s actually a gun owner and a pretty darned good shot. Her and her husband were watching TV one night when the husband remembered he hadn’t closed the garage. So during a commercial, he went out to hit the automatic door button, and didn’t  realize there were two mutants in his garage. The two guys rushed him. 

They dragged him back into the house so quick and Robin was so startled she had no time to get to the bedroom and retrieve her gun. One held the husband with a knife at his throat while the other screamed at Robin “Where’s the money, where’s the jewelry??!!”  When she pointed at her pocket book on the kitchen table, the ONE WITH THE KNIFE actually walked over to get it.

 

She told me that the only thing she could think of watching him shake out the contents of her pocketbook was that “if” she had her gun, that piece of crap would be dead.  As they left with her wallet, they felt it necessary to crack her husband over the forehead with the butt of the knife. It wasn’t life threatening, but he carries the scar of 17 stitches as a reminder.

 

So the bottom line is this. The single best place for a weapon in the home is on your body. It’s not paranoia, it’s not “Rambo” disease. It’s a simple logic. The bad guys figure you might have a gun in the home. NONE of them figure you’ve got one in your front pocket. Advantage…you. 

 

The Market:

 

So today was “rate hike” day. In a normal market, the effects of a rate hike generally shakes things up, as people will be paying more for credit cards, car loans, and mortgages. This often “slows” the economy.

 

Thus, it’s normal for a market to take a dip when the Fed’s are hiking rates. But this isn’t a normal time. This is 2017 and this year not even a rate hike and the threat of 3 more next year are going to stop them from bidding up stocks to absurd levels.

 

One might think that a headline such as this, would give them cause for pause:

Effective Thursday, December 14, 2017, M&T Bank will increase its prime lending rate from 4.25% to 4.50%

 

But nope. We had the DOW up 125 points an hour after her hike announcement. So, unless some form of sentiment change hits tomorrow, I have to think they’re still willing to run out the year by pressing us higher. If rate hikes don’t stop it, then what will? Nothing at this point. Nothing material, only a sentiment change. Which probably will not happen.

 

So we’re still leaning long. It’s working. Just a couple weeks ago or less we took on a contract of DIA call options “Just in case” they keep pushing us higher. Well they’re now up over two dollars per share already. Our SPY options are up over 100%. We just took a 4 dollar a share profit on a two week hold on NTNX recently.

 

Finding good chart set ups, on stocks that “have reason” to move with the market is still working. One day it won’t but for now, we’re having some fun.

 

If there’s going to be a hangover from this rate hike, it could be tomorrow and they allow a “pause” day. We’ll see, But for now, it still looks like “up” is the direction. Good luck. 

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