Military and Police

Do You Really Try to Protect Your Family from Evil?

The recent kidnapping case of Jayme Closs and the cold-blooded murder of her parents should serve as a wakeup call for people of the “it can’t happen to me” or the “nothing bad ever happens here” crowd. I am sure those same thoughts went through her parents minds, before the morning of October 15, 2018.

According to authorities, on that night at around midnight, 21-year-old Jake Patterson knocked on the door of the Closs home. It appears James Closs, Jayme’s father, answered the door (apparent indications the door had been kicked in) and was found dead of gunshot wounds near the front entrance. Denise Closs, Jayme’s mother, was found elsewhere in the home, also shot to death. A 911 call was made from the Closs home at 12:56 a.m., and all the police dispatchers heard was a lot of yelling. From audio recordings, investigators have determined that Jayme was inside the home. However, upon their arrival, she was missing. At 3:37 a.m. Jayme was officially listed as missing.

It appears from all indications that the suspect targeted the family to abduct Jayme. We do not yet know why or how he came to target her.

Fast-forward to this last Friday, Jan 11, 2018 at about 4:43 p.m.: Jayme was found near a housing development just outside Gordon, Wisconsin. Alive, thank goodness, and in apparent good condition.

So how does one prepare and “get ready” for an attack on your home and family like this? How can anyone even think that someone might try and do this to you or yours? Easy. It does and will and can, so prepare for it and hope it never happens! It’s like insurance: something you have and hope to never have to use.

So let’s imagine someone knocks on your door at 12 a.m. First, why would you even answer the door? And even in addition to that, why would you do so unarmed while potentially compelled to defend your home? I am willing to bet that the Closs’s do not have a camera system that shows the front door. I do. A simple check of the camera (takes mere seconds) would have allowed James Closs the opportunity to scrutinize the male stranger knocking on the door. It would have also possibly shown him that Patterson was armed. Had that happened, a simple call to 911 while being armed yourself inside the home would have probably prevented this whole thing.

So what can you do to prevent this type of home invasion and kidnapping from happening? Simple: take basic precautions to secure your family and home. Get a good, deep deadbolt and a steel front door. Get a camera system (they are very inexpensive these days) for the front door. If you really want to ensure a good security system, get cameras that cover all sides of your home. I bought the Ring doorbell for my home, and the Blink camera system for all sides of my home. They are great. Sends alerts to me on my phone at work so I can see who is at my home when my wife and son are there. My wife has access to the camera feeds also, and is also armed at home should a self-defense need arise.

That brings me to arming yourself. Many people are fearful of firearms. Most of the time this is because they have neither handled nor been shown the proper way to handle them. Firearms in the home are not some scary bogeyman that is going to jump up and shoot someone. Firearms are just a tool, like anything else you buy to protect yourself. The only difference is that they require that you learn to use them properly and train with them to be proficient enough to make them effective self-defense instruments. It is your right to own one.

I do not have enough room to write out all of the things you should do to train correctly. Best thing you could do is find a local gun range that provides training in the use of firearms and take a few classes. They are worth it. In the grand scheme of things: How much is your life and the life of your family worth?

You can always be among the “it will never happen to me or my family” group and, when it does, you can then either be dead or planning the funeral of a loved one. I choose to be prepared, having seen firsthand others having to do those very things.

Here is a pertinent article I wrote some time ago: “Responsible Firearms Ownership: I Bought a Firearm for Self-Defense, Now What?” That should help you if you decide to take your family’s security into your own hands as you should. Take it from a lifelong cop: we cannot protect you and your family. We are minutes away when sometimes seconds count!

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chris Wagoner

Chris Wagoner is a U.S. Army Veteran and has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a freelance writer and posts his articles on "Down Range with Chris Wagoner".

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