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Editor’s Note: This article by Jonathan Stern was originally published on Fatherly, a digital lifestyle guide for men entering parenthood.
If somebody is trying to open your sliding glass door in the middle of the night, chances are they're not Jehovah's Witnesses. Because every house on your block has a deadbolt lock and ADP sign in the front yard, you need to make your home even less of a target.
Fortunately that extra level of security is as easy as hitting up Home Depot. Joel Smernoff is head of Parachute Corp, a private security firm for the rich and powerful, and the man who taught you how to prepare for the upcoming zombie/nuclear/weather-pocalypse. Smernoff says, "The way we look at physical security is a layered approach." First, be aware of what's going on around you. Second, make it difficult for bad guys to get in in. And lastly, have a plan if somebody does manage to penetrate your defenses (Warning: it may involve ripping out eyeballs).
1. Practice situational awareness.
"The first layer of security — before you get into the home — is you," says Smernoff. "In the military they call it situational awareness or mindset. Get your head out of your device. Whether it's driving back to your home or taking the subway to your apartment, you need to be aware of what's going on around you. If you see a suspicious car, drive away for half hour. If it's still there call 911." And if you don't know whether or not you've picked up a tail, consult the Bourne Trilogy.
2. Bar the front door.
Solid wood is second only to impenetrable steel when it comes to your entryway. Avoid having a hollow-core door (like the rooms at the Overlook Hotel) for a front door; it does nothing for your safety.
Once you have several inches of hardwood between you and your intruder, you should also reinforce that flimsy door jamb with anti-kick plate and replace the hinge bolts, so if they try to knock it down from either side it won't budge. But, better to not to wait and see.
3. Where to keep your keys.
First, you should keep your keys on your nightstand, not on a hook by the door. In a pinch, you can hit the panic button on your car key and wake up the neighborhood or get the police to investigate.
Now the bad guys are gone, but the police are still on their way and you don't want them to kick in your door either. Pro tip: Put a glow stick on your key and throw it out your window. Tell the dispatch the cops can look for it and let themselves in. If the police are crooked, consult the 1997 thriller, Cop Land.
4. A quick way to secure the garage.
Your garage's emergency release is a quick way for criminals to get into your house. The two-cent fix: Get a zip tie and tie the emergency handle up higher. If there is an emergency, you can still get it. And make sure that you have a deadbolt lock on the door from your garage to your house.
5. Build a safe room.
It's not just for the paranoid or Jodie Foster says Smernoff. "In my house it's the master bedroom. Just like the door to the garage, I have an anti-kick plate and a deadbolt. It can also be a kids room or closet. You'll want to reinforce the door, have some food and water, and a landline in case your mobile isn't working to call 911."
6. A note on home cameras.
Smernoff says, "Nest cams are a nice feature, but also put some cameras outside your house." Neither of which are going to protect you, but at least you'll have more information on who is trying to get at you.
7. Adopt a (attack) dog.
Besides being lovable companions that will give you years of joy, dogs are furry alarms (or, if they're big and scary, furry bodyguards) who will alert you to someone lurking outside. Unfortunately, that someone could just as easily be a squirrel. A squirrel who wants to kill you and everyone you care about.
8. You don't need an alarm, just the sign.
If you can't afford the alarm system, buy the sign. You're trying to make your house look better defended than the neighbors. Can't afford a sign? Just cut out an arrow pointing to your next door neighbor and write "rich people" on it.
9. Get some automatic lights.
"If someone approaches your house you want lights to come on," says Smernoff. Get a few outdoor motion-sensor flood lights to take care of the dark corners around your home. Set your indoor lights on a timer when you're away, but don't be so predictable. Get a timer you can connect to via smartphone and manually turn them on and off. Just in case some Sticky Bandits are casing the joint.
10. Plant a rose bush perimeter.
Your Nana may not have been a security expert, but she was on to something by planting an area of dense, thorny bushes around windows and other access points. Her collection of lawn gnomes, however, are only scary to realtors.
This article, “10 Ridiculously Simple Things This Security Expert Does To Protect His Home,” originally appeared on Fatherly.
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NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The prosecution rested its case against Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher on Tuesday after a week of testimony from members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, medical and forensic experts, and NCIS agents.
The focus of Tuesday was on the investigative steps taken by the lead agent, Joseph Warpinski, 34, in addition to jurors being shown text messages sent by Gallagher to fellow SEALs with photos of a dead ISIS fighter that prosecutors characterized as "trophy shots."
Gallagher, 40, is accused of stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter and firing a sniper rifle at civilians in Iraq. He has pleaded not guilty.
Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."
"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.
"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."
Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.
Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.
No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.
With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.
Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.
And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.
But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.
As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.
The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.
That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.