*Houseclearing "Practice"*
By: Goshin
14 June 2003

My son was off to see his mother overnite, so I was alone in the house...I left the bedroom door open (for air flow) and sat a small motion detector alarm in front of it, went to bed.

I rolled over and pulled my pistol and flashlite, leveled them at the doorway (even half asleep I knew full well I was alone and the front door was supposed to be locked...alarm on it also), keeping the flashlite off since the door was backlit from the living room; and waited...waited...nada...

I crawled out of bed as quietly as possible; I heard a faint noise somewhere in the other side of the house.

Opened the gun cabinet and got out my AK-type rifle, 30 rnd mag already in place...felt MUCH better;)

My favorite TacticalOps instructor (JJW) appeared (he was transparent and wavered a bit, but it was definately him;) and said "Go slow, stay low, slice the pie, stay back from your cover: you've got a long-range weapon, use its range." He then vanished in a puff of logic.

Down on the floor, I took up a prone position well back from the door; the interior heat-pump machinery in the wall gave me some "hard cover" from that angle. Inching along the floor, prone, I "sliced the pie" into the (well-lit) kitchen/living room, moving sideward to get a narrow section or "slice" of the room at a time, scanning each "slice" top to bottom before inching further to the side for another slice, muzzle and eyes tracking together. I also looked at reflective surfaces to get a decent glimpse into areas that I couldn't see into directly, like the utility room.

At least ten minutes of painstaking effort revealed nothing, and I'd scanned 90% of the kitchen/Livingroom/utility without moving from prone-on-the-bedroom-floor. I thought about getting up to "clear" the rest of the house, and my TacOps instructor *poofed* into view again. "A word about houseclearing: if you don't have to, don't. Especially not alone." WHOOSH - disappeared again. (that was getting annoying too, he could have hung around, took a spare gun, and covered my back or something!;)

Okay, so I decided to wait the intruder out...I was now 90 percent sure they were in the spare bedroom and had come in the large window there, since the front door was still shut and had not alarmed.

Wait wait wait. *Surely* an intruder would have lost patience or nerve and advanced or retreated by now...Wait some more.

Wait, wait, wait.


"Now what?" I asked the air. A disembodied voice (that sounded suspiciously like the TacOps guy) said "If you're going to ignore my advice and clear the house anyway, stay back from corners and go really slow."

I did, deactivating the motion-alarm along the way (so it wouldn't go off and give me away to the bad-guy). Ten more minutes of nerve-wracking effort and I was near the door of the spare bedroom...no light on in there. I had "sliced the pie" as far as it would slice into the room, only covering half of it though...there was no way to see any more without going in and risking hostile fire.

Once again the disembodied voice of TacOpsGuy said "In houseclearing, very slow is best...but if you can't go very slow, go very VERY fast!"

Roger that. I charged into the spare bedroom at high speed, screaming like a Highlander with wounded bagpipes, rebounded off the far wall and swept the room with light and muzzle...Nada.

"Well $#%&!," quoth I.

I started back to my bedroom and a mouse skittered across the floor and into the gap between fridge and cabinets. [insert various colorful metaphors here]

No intruder + Mouse in House = Explanation of Motion Detector alarm, QED. ( 3:30 AM = brain barely working)

Memo to Me: adjust sensitivity of motion detector to "lower", or tape the bottom quarter of the sensor plate to ignore small floor-skittering rodents.

"This was only a test. Had this been an actual home invasion or burglary, someone would have got their @$$ shot off. This is only a test."

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