7 Cheap and Gun-Free Ways to Protect Yourself

The Supreme Court just affirmed the right of Americans to use guns to defend themselves and their property, but that doesn’t make guns the best tool for the job.

In a historic — and controversial — 5 to 4 decision, on Monday the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated that owning a gun is an individual’s right. While some local communities are already trying to find ways to get around the ruling, gun advocates are declaring the ruling a victory for those who choose to use guns to defend themselves and their property.

Guns are one way to defend your property, but they’re hardly the least expensive or most efficient way.

Before you buy what could be a costly, dangerous and potentially illegal solution to a home security problem, be sure you’re first using these six bullet-free, low-cost ways to protect yourself, your home and your possessions.

1. Play hard to get

Make sure you lock your home’s doors and windows at all times. That goes for your car, too. A surprising number of people forget to lock up. This gives a thief quick and easy access to your valuables, especially to small items they can just pocket. Sometimes thieves will walk into unlocked homes – even with the homeowner in another room — after spotting jewelry, cash or other valuables left in plain sight.

2. Be vigilant

Be aware of who is watching you. Many thieves will follow their prey after they have been to a shopping center or even just to a neighborhood grocery store. Harried moms with young children are particular targets. So are people who have just bought “hot” items, like iPhones. Thieves in the Miami area, for example, recently targeted shoppers after they bought laptops at a computer store.

3. Adopt help

Use Man’s Best Friend to help guard your home. Even little dogs can have a big bark and scare off intruders. Thieves often knock loudly to see if homes are empty. If no person – or dog – responds, they break in. Very inexpensive dogs are waiting for you at your local animal shelter. While it may be hard to argue that a dog is cheaper than a gun over the long run, most people would agree that a dog is a lot friendlier and more fun to have around.

4. Enlist mother nature

Landscape your home. Make windows hard to crawl through by planting prickly bushes underneath them. Light your house outside at night and regularly mow so thieves won’t think they are entering an abandoned house – a very common occurrence these days.

5. Meet the neighbors

Know your neighbors and start a neighborhood watch to help stop crime. When everyone’s keeping an eye out for everyone else, the odds of being broken into drop dramatically for all.

6. Be prepared

Learn how to protect yourself. Women especially should take the time to learn basic self-defense and have inexpensive and non-lethal weapons at hand to help. Pepper spray can deter. So can loud screaming that distracts would-be criminals and attracts people to help you.

7. Be deceitful

Burglars don’t mind stealing your stuff; you shouldn’t mind lying to them. Hang a “Beware of Dog” sign on your fence. Put a security company’s decal on your window or sign in your yard.

If you use all of the techniques highlighted here, odds are you’ll never need a gun to protect your property. If you use none of them, odds are one day your gun will be just another thing to add to that list of stolen items you’re sending to the insurance company.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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  • Noyb

    This is ridiculous. Seriously? Take suggestion #2…assuming I DO notice someone stalking or following me, what am I supposed to do about it? Yell like a maniac? What if I'm in a parking garage or an unpopulated area? Should I throw my iphone at the person to distract him? And #6…so my 71 year old mother should just learn some self defense techniques? This is her responsibility? Come on.

    I vote democratic on women's reproductive rights, anything that involves the separation of church and state, etc…but I vote PRO-GUN rights every time! Gun free zones are something only CRIMINALS ignore, leaving an unarmed law-abiding populace helplessly at their mercy.

    • Y2KJillian

      A car alarm button on your key or key ring could work pretty well in a parking garage or home…easy to carry your keys with you; men do it all the time. A loud whistle on a nice cord is another good idea. Imagine your 71 year old mother having to play Annie Get Your Gun…not against guns, but a key alarm or whistle might work more easily…(also, have to agree about gun-free zones; it’s kind of like painting a target on your chest).

  • Journe

    Navy Seals on TV SAID a good one, buy a small handheld flashlight that HAS BRIGHT DIRECT HIGH BEAM LIGHT, IF YOU direct it directly into a persons EYES, they cant see to attack you.
    THEN gives time to pepper spray them, run , scream. I JUST BOUGHT ONE OF THESE HANDHELD FLASHLIGHTS AT BIG
    HARDWARE STORE. BOUGHT 3. 1 attached to my keys, one in my car seat, 1 in house . Great gifts too for family.
    Keep around neck if appropriate, hang on hook by your front door, in BR, Car, anywhere you can grab it!!
    could shoot someone before I even knew who knocking on door;-)). I KEEP DOORS LOCKED ALL THE TIME!!

  • Y2KJillian

    Some reasonable ideas! Lock up. Check. Dog(s) –Check. We used to get sales calls from a security company, and could barely hear them from our dogs barking in the background–ha ha. When we had a few small “walk up” incidents in the driveway, we put up some motion-activated lights, 24-hour LED lights, and security camera signs…Check. no incidents since. Keep lawn mowed–Check. Leave some lights and a radio on…Check. Whistle and flashlight also good; pepper spray, possibly…(see below–I FOR GUN RIGHTS, BUT I TOO IMPULSIVE–ditto here.) We also have a baseball bat under the bed…but hand-to-hand combat in the dark bedroom does seem an unlikely, all too action-movie-like scenario. Also note–new auto keys sometimes have a car alarm on them that can be activated from many feet (yards) away, and through walls! Keep your keys at your bedside and push the alarm button if you hear a bump in the night–if nothing else, it’ll wake up the yappy dogs!~

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