According to FBI crime statistics quoted by NBC’s TODAY Show, home invasions in America are happening at the alarming rate of 135 per day.
That frightening fact combined with some recent, high profile invasions at the homes of Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock and NBA star Ray Allen prompted reporter Jeff Rossen to produce a segment titled, “How to protect your family from home invasion.”
For a large part of the four-minute story, Rossen spoke with Wallace Zeins, a retired NYPD detective and former hostage negotiator. The law enforcement veteran shared his tips for thwarting home invasions. However, many Blaze readers will notice something missing from the segment. This would also be something they consider the first and best option for dealing with intruders — firearms.
The option of using a gun to protect yourself in a home invasion is never mentioned during the TODAY Show story.
NBC’s advice seems to contradict suggestions made by Vice President Joe Biden. On more than one occasion, Biden has told Americans (including his wife) that a shotgun is the best tool for frightening off would-be intruders.
Over 18 months ago, the vice president shared his “get a double-barrel shotgun” advice with Parents magazine.
During a 2013 town hall meeting in California, Biden again advised people to choose a shotgun — this time over a semi-automatic AR-15, stating, “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” (Biden’s thoughts on a shotgun being better protection than an AR-15 were refuted by gun experts.)
What tips did NBC’s segment give viewers to block the bad guys?
The TODAY Show expert told viewers to prepare themselves for intruders by having two items next to their beds:
- Car keys
- Wasp Spray
How can car keys keep you safe? The former NYPD detective suggested keeping car keys on the night stand for easy access to an alarm. In case you hear someone breaking in, Zeins advises pushing the alarm button on the key fob. He did not mention a solution for high-rise apartment dwellers or those who their park cars beyond the normal range of the key fob transmitter (some of these key fob remotes become useless beyond 20-30 feet).
The second intruder defense item the TODAY Show suggests you keep close to your bed — wasp spray.
Zeins claimed that wasp spray is as effective as pepper spray.
A Seattle family would argue that Zeins’s advice was wrong. In December of 2013, Ken Boonstra broke into a home and the husband tried using wasp spray to fend off his attack on his wife. The spray did not stop the attack; only a well-placed and very sharp steak knife was effective in ending the conflict.
TheBlaze found several “prepper” websites and online stores that sell “prepper” supplies that advise against using wasp spray or bear spray. These groups state that bug spray is rarely as useful as pepper spray and there are also possible legal complications involved in using wasp spray as a weapon.
Spraying an intruder with a neurotoxin-laced bug spray is a violation of Federal law. Additionally, Spectracide’s “Wasp & Hornet Killer” tells the consumer, “Never use indoors.” These two warnings are printed at the very top of cans of wasp spray.
Should a beeping car alarm or wasp spray fail to prevent a home invasion, the NBC report suggests being polite and directing the bad guys to your cash and valuables. The former detective told Rossen, “You want to treat them like royalty.” He added, “On top of that, you don’t want to lie to them.”
Watch the segment.
Do you agree with the NBC report? What steps has your family taken to deal with the potential threat of a home invasion? We invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
(Editor’s note: This post has been edited to correct a minor mistake.)
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.