Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Curtains for Criminals

One of the interns at the hospital recently had an early-morning home invasion. 5 AM on Black Friday, and someone came in through the back door uninvited. As he and his wife happened to be up, getting ready for shopping, the intruder was noticed, and ran as soon as he realized he had someone running down the stairs at him. He got away, and we now have a group of very nervous doctor's wives.

These walk-in attempted burglaries have become rather frequent in my town lately. We also have a large number of unemployed urban youth imported here from Illinois in the last year, which is a major change in our demographics. According to friends who circulate in law enforcement circles, a good number of them already have convictions and outstanding warrants, but Illinois won't spend the money to put them back in their system. Their our problem now. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

So far, no one has been hurt; just missing cash, purses, and snatch-and-grab items. But what has been the response by the doc's wives to up security? New locks, and.....curtains. Apparently, if they can't see you, they won't bother you, is the current thinking. I'm thinking locks are good, as long as they don't want in very badly. It's a good start; but curtains? Curtains are good for making sure no one can see what's happening to you if something does happen, not for keeping burglars (or worse) away.

At least one of my docs has the right idea. A police-style shotgun is now on the shopping list, along with some buckshot practice to follow, which is more my idea of an appropriate dissuasion technique. At least there's one family around here that won't have to rely on wishful thinking for protection.


BobG said...

The only purpose I can see that curtains would have is to limit the ability of the burglar to become familiar with the interior of the house, and to see if there is someone home. For instance, if the burglar sees one of the family's vehicles gone, and can see a woman inside, he may surmise that the woman is alone and will be easier to rob. But the curtains should only be considered as part of a package; there needs to be something inside to ruin the burglar's day if he does get in.
Just my opinion.

MauserMedic said...


I do indeed think curtains have a place as privacy and security instruments; as you noted, that should only be a part of the solution, and certainly not relied upon as a means of effectively upgrading home protection. My wife, in discussing this with co-workers, has noted that several women feel they couldn't pull a trigger on an assailant in self-defense; they are somewhat horrified that she has asserted she has no problem with doing so. I personally came to the opinion that some people are born victims, and will not change, even when given the tools to do so.

BobG said...

"several women feel they couldn't pull a trigger on an assailant in self-defense"

There are a lot of women like that; but how many would say the same if someone was trying to harm their child? I think most would get pretty damn aggressive at that point.

Papa Whiskey said...

Anyone interested in acquiring serious competence in shotgun defense should take this course:


I've been through it twice and highly recommend it. Bill (a veteran of the battle of Khe Sanh and 30 years in law enforcement) also teaches carbine and pistol.