Imagine this scenario: It’s a typical Thursday morning and you’re fast asleep in your apartment when there’s a loud knock at your door. You slide out of bed groggily and answer the door to find a strange woman encouraging you, of all things, to let her inside because she claims to know “the people that lived there.”
The problem is that, of course, you live there… and only you. You also know the residents of all adjacent units and most of their friends.
If the red flags haven’t come out in your mind to this point, the sirens definitely start wailing when you excuse yourself to go get ready for work… and two strange men come out of hiding nearby and bum rush your front door, forcing it open just before you can turn the lock!
At this point, our hero, 24-year-old Daniel Williams, knew he was in the fight of his life as these assailants pushed him to the ground. It was at this point that Philip McIntyre stepped inside the apartment and began throwing punches at Williams as fellow assailant Robert Dellairo followed up, slashing at Williams with his knife.
Williams took several blows and a cut to his abdomen before he was able to run into his bedroom and grab his .22-caliber handgun, decked out with a laser sight. Although the weapon was intended for recreational shooting, by no means an ideal setup for self-defense, it proved to be more than enough to turn the tables on the attackers.
Gun in hand, Williams, “Did what I had to do,” hitting McIntyre in the leg and following the injured would-be burglar outside. That’s when Dellairo forgot that he’d brought a knife to a gun fight, turning back to lunge at Williams, who naturally fired on the aggressor. This time, Williams struck Dellairo in the hip, a wound that would later prove to be mortal.
After this exchange, Dellairo and McIntyre fled to a blue Honda Accord waiting outside. Now in control of the situation, Williams followed outside and put two slugs into the trunk, in hopes that the marking would help police identify the vehicle.
Sure enough, police met the group of wounded home invaders at the local hospital shortly thereafter. Dellairo was transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center that afternoon where he later died.
We’ve overheard some hyperbole over the years regarding rimfire weapons for self defense, some going so far as to suggest you’d be better off with a bat than a .22-caliber firearm. Well, for anyone who downplays the lethality of the .22LR, here’s your evidence right here.
“They attacked me in my home, and I had to protect myself,” Williams told the Bangor Daily News. Luckily for Williams, he had the tools and the training to thwart these home invaders.
You see, although a rimfire caliber is not considered to be a good choice for home defense, the handgun did have an accessory that can make a huge difference in a close quarters scenario – a laser sight. In fact, we’ve come to highly recommend this particular accessory for home defense weapons.
The reason a laser sight is so valuable in a home defense or close quarters scenario is incredibly simple, yet not obvious to most gun owners. In fact, as much as we like red dot sights, there’s no comparison in this specific application.
With limited space to work with, or in a situation where an attacker is closing on you quickly, the chances are quite high that you won’t be able to extend your handgun up to your eye level as you do at the shooting range. This is because you might be risking having your weapon taken from you, or it may be a simple issue of space. The bottom line is that you may have to shoot from an improvised position.
If you must shoot from a closed guard stance — i.e. your weapon is anchored at your chest — neither your iron sights, nor a red dot, will help you direct your aim. This is a situation where a laser is just about the only sighting aid that will help you line up your muzzle with your target.
Most people assume that a laser sight’s key function is for “aiming,” but that’s not the best description for the advantage a laser can provide. Target acquisition speed and the ability to improvise in a rapidly escalating situation are the biggest advantages that a laser will provide.
Consider Daniel’s story; he had to run back to his bedroom, get his weapon and direct his shots effectively, even as he was being attacked. Chances are that Daniel had to confront these attackers as he moved through a doorway or at close range in a hallway. Again, these are situations in which extending to a traditional presentation (arms extended with the firearm at eye level) could be impossible or worse, puts you at the risk of having your weapon taken out of your hands.
With his laser equipped .22 pistol, Daniel was able to round corners are place his shots accurately, striking both home invaders during the confrontation. A key aspect in a confrontation such as this is striking a balance between speed and accuracy. To quote, Wyatt Earp, “Speed is fine, but accuracy is final.”
Of course, Wyatt Earp wasn’t known to be a quick draw, nor did he have a 16-round magazine. Today’s self-defense training experts drill to achieve both results, as did famous gunslingers in the “Wild West.” This is exactly why so many Military and SWAT experts utilize laser sights to gain the maximum advantage in a life or death scenario.
In a tactical shooting scenario, it’s not all about grouping; it’s about hitting your target reliably with most most shots in the shortest span of time. Laser sight technology has proven to be a game changer in firefights because it facilitates this goal so effectively.