Stacking The Odds In Your Favor

This happened some time ago, right outside of my apartment complex.  Since I am sure the news article will rot off after a time, I will mention some details.

An idling car was approached by two men, who shot the driver four times with what sounded to me like a 9mm auto.  The now driverless vehicle ended up a few dozen yards from the killing spot, stalling out after destroying a large utility box.

utility box

This took place right across the street from where I live, and the suspects ran through my apartment complex in order to evade the police.  It seems that they passed within feet of my front door.

Not that this had anything to do with me.  I was just climbing from the shower at the time when I heard the shots, and I paused for a few seconds with my hand on my gun to see if anyone would try to break through my locked front door.

man in shower

It was probably best for all concerned that they were just passing though.

I’m sure most of you, gentle readers, are wondering if I have become seriously unhinged.  Am I so paranoid that I carry defensive firearms into the bathroom in case of violent criminal attack while indisposed?

gun in bathroom

While true that I am armed in the most private of places within the home, I must confess that it is a habit I picked up during a time when I received a number of death threats from criminals who were trying to warn me off from training people who were going to testify against them.  That was more than two decades in the past, but I don’t think it is a bad habit to have.

There are a number of products available which are designed to secure a firearm in the shower, keeping it snug and dry while still close at hand.  I can’t recommend the best, as I have never tried any.  I merely place my defensive handgun next to the sink and cover it with a clean, dry towel while bathing so the steam from the shower won’t cause it to rust.

Is this post a suggestion that you, dear reader, ought to consider going armed to the toilet?  Not necessarily.  It all depends on your own unique circumstance.

One of my students was not only the victim of a particularly brutal home invasion, but she was also confined to a wheelchair.

elderly-wheelchair-160x300

As criminals had already attacked her inside of her house, and she also suffered from reduced mobility, the bathroom was a place of extreme anxiety for her.  What if they came back, but this time she was out of her chair and in the bathtub?

I eased her anxiety by replacing the bathroom door, a flimsy interior type, with a sturdy metal exterior design.  I reinforced the hinges, reinforced the striker plate next to the doorknob, and installed a deadbolt on the inside.  I wasn’t too happy about the frame which supported the door, but wasn’t equipped to tear apart the walls in order to replace the framing studs.  Even so, by the time I was done the bathroom door was only slightly less formidable a barrier than the front door to her house.  Since she was going to make sure to take her own defensive handgun into the bathroom, along with a cell phone to summon the police if need be, I figured it was a pretty good job.

So why do I take my defensive arm in to the bathroom with me, since I do not use a wheelchair and the days of death threats are half my life in the past?  The only thing I can say in my defense is that you wouldn’t be asking that question if you happened to live in my neighborhood!

8 Responses to “Stacking The Odds In Your Favor”

  1. skidmark says:

    Two comments –

    1 – point that thing AWAY from you. (Most bathrooms are set up sink-commode-tub/shower which means whatever you are doing that is not washing your hands or face is being done with a gun pointed at you.)

    2 – Your wheelchair student has now locked herself in a vault that rescue personnel as well as invading BGs will have difficulty in accessing. Presuming adequate upper body mobility (which is needed for manual wheelchair use) I would rather go for ready-access to a firearm. As weighty as they may be, any of the pocket rockets in a self defense caliber worn around the neck in a waterproof bag would probably better serve her. (Judicious use of scissors and either a soldering iron [if you are real good] or silicone sealer can transform your basic zipper lock plastic storage bag into something both sturdy enough to bear the weight and shaped to allow ready access to the trigger. And yes, it can be configured to deal with ejection of empty cases.)

    And in closing, just an observation: that towel will not keep moisture away from your gun – it will trap it and hold it. Better a proper film of protective “stuff” going in and a proper wipe-down and re-application of protective “stuff” after you have left the bathroom. Me? I have a dedicated bathroom gun – same make, model, caliber as my EDC stored in one of those custom bags mentioned above. It comes out for a field stripped inspection and the bag inverted and aired out once a week – right after I reassemble my EDC after its weekly PM.

    stay safe.

  2. That’s not his photo; he tends to use stock photos he finds online. (unless it’s pictures of his dogs.)

    James, I’m sure I’m not the only person wondering: why do you live in such a seedy area?

  3. James Rummel says:

    “That’s not his photo; he tends to use stock photos he finds online.”

    Steven is right, skidmark. That isn’t my gun, and it isn’t my bathroom. (My bathroom is cleaner!)

    “…why do you live in such a seedy area?”

    It is unfortunate that I chose a career, some decades ago, in what is now a dying industry. Mainframe operations, when there are less and less mainframes every year. Competition for the shrinking job pool by the growing number of unemployed operators caused the wages to contract starting in the year 2000 or so. The 2007 economic crash caused them to plummet.

    I’ve made the transition into printing, but a job where one has to sweat and strain to produce tangible objects almost always pays a fair amount less than one that requires you to sit in an office all day.

    So why do I live in a crappy apartment situated on the wrong side of the tracks? All I can afford right now, is all.

  4. guy says:

    I take my carry guns into the bathroom with me, but I started that more for making sure they were secured than for my protection, but it is a nice side benefit.

  5. Fruitbat44 says:

    Interesting story. James, good luck with moving upwards in both the labour market, and the property market.

  6. Bill Tilley says:

    No shadow under the guns trigger guard, sure sign of photoshopping. I can’t believe you would depend on a 70 year old gun for protection. Unless it’s a 1911a-1

  7. Bob N. says:

    Thanks for sharing what seems to me to be a common-sense practice for anyone who wants to remain safe and secure. I always enjoy returning to this website to read your stories and get your insights on the passing scene.

  8. Firehand says:

    Jeff Cooper once wrote of a guy working in a central-American country where kidnapping for both profit and political motives was common who wanted a security check. He carried(how he worked that, no idea), practiced frequently, good apartment in a good neighborhood, he was doing everything right.

    He was killed one morning by a local commie group. They’d rented an apartment on the same floor across the street and watched him a while, and figured out the only place he didn’t have a gun was in the bathroom. So that morning they killed the doorman, broke in and killed him before he could get to his sidearm.

    So, depending on personal circumstances, having in the can with you might not be a bad idea.

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