It's quiet, and dark. As it should be at 4 am in the morning. Suddenly, there was a horrific crash, the sound of metal clobbering wood. In two seconds I'm on the side of the bed, with my wife next to me, and I grab my Glock 23 with nightsights, loaded with Remington Golden Saber jhp's. I kneel between the door and bed, 100% expecting to see an armed robber or meth-filled junkie coming through our small hallway. 15 seconds (which felt like an eternity) pass, no noise. I put on some shorts, take a deep breath, and go into the dining room/living room area, just outside of our bedroom. I breathe a sigh of relief, our entire over-the-door pantry rack had collapsed on the hardwood floor, no armed robber, no meth-filled junkie. Needless to say, it took a long time for our heart rates to go back down... I learned some valuable lessons last night. First, I did some things right in my preparation: - I kept my gun loaded and chambered. I would have been even more worried had I had to waste precious seconds loading a magazine and racking a slide. - I kept my safe open at night. I shaved precious seconds not having to fumble with a key or combination. - I had a Glock, with no external safety. Last night, I didn't want to think about manual safeties, I just wanted to grab a gun, and be prepared to shoot it. - I had run through the scenario in my head once or twice, and knew where I would kneel in the room, if our house was broken in to. - I had recently gotten the number for a local defense attorney, should I need one in a self-defense situation. Now, some things I completely screwed up. - I didn't have a flashlight. I really need to get a tactical flashlight. - I didn't keep a pair of shorts near my gun safe, so I had to go the dresser to get them... - When leaving the bedroom to clear the dining room, I had the gun pointed up and not down, not wise given that we live in an apt with neighbors upstairs. - I didn't ever tell my wife what my plan was given a break in, which means I had to tell her last night to grab a phone, instead of it just being part of an action plan. Other things I learned through this experience: - I want a .45 ACP. Yes, the thought actually went through my mind last night "d*mn it, I need a .45, not a .40 S&W." - I need training on clearing rooms - I need training on firing a gun one-handed while using a flashlight - I need training firing a gun while kneeling - I need a tactical flashlight - My Body Alarm Reaction is good. I can still hear, I didn't get tunnel vision, I saw my 3 night sights perfectly fine. However, my fine motor skills were non existent, as I was shaking and had a vice-grip on my Glock. - 911 is useless. Had someone broken in, we would have called when we heard footsteps. It would have taken that person 3-5 seconds to get into our bedroom. That's enough time to enter and shoot, stab, whatever. - Laser sites could be very beneficial for my home-defense gun, if the need arose to fire the weapon from a less-than-ideal angle... I pray that we will never be awoken by an intruder from without, but if we are, I am now that much more prepared, and know the training that I need to be even more prepared.