Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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Jason, based on your security tips I have made my house a fortress. My question is if all the security features I’ve installed will make my house more of a target? Will a burglar think there are valuables inside because I’ve taken precautions?

-From Kevin L.

Answer: The majority of thieves steal for money. They often steal to support a drug habit or other problem. The majority of criminals aren’t doctors or lawyers. They aren’t the smartest people on the planet.

My point is, they are looking for easy victims and targets. Criminals would much rather target a home with no security system and a cheap door lock.

Thieves want to break into a home in silence. They don’t want a loud alarm going off. They want the path of least resistance.


I added a laser/light combination to my home defense pistol. But the problem is I lined up my sight and it was perfect. But as soon as I moved a few feet back the sight was off. Am I supposed to adjust the sight for every distance?

-From Lance T.

Answer: Laser sights can provide better accuracy when shooting but they do have their disadvantages. The problem is that your laser sight is usually mounted under the barrel or to the side of your barrel.

If you zeroed your sight at ten yards, then as you move back 15, 20, or 25 yards, the laser will continue to rise. As the distance increases you will be farther off target.

Most gunfights occur at close range. For this reason, I would zero the laser sight at 10 yards. This is also a reason that you should always train to use the sights on your pistol and not the laser. Remember, the laser could fail.


I purchased a Bersa Thunder 380. It’s a great gun but it has a thumb safety. I am not yet proficient with releasing the thumb safety. I never put my finger on the trigger before pointing downrange. Is it okay to carry with the safety off?

-From Henry H.

Answer: I never recommend carrying a firearm with the safety off. If a gun has a manual safety you should train to switch the safety off.

You should practice enough to the point that you can switch the safety off as you draw the weapon.

In a self-defense shooting every second counts. But, this is why manipulating the safety should be ingrained into your draw. It shouldn’t slow you down at all.

If a weapon has a manual safety, I always use it. If you don’t want to learn how to use the manual safety, I would get a Glock or other gun without any external safety.


A group of guys that I regularly go shooting with all have silencers. I don’t have one yet. Should I add a silencer to my home defense pistol?

-From Joey T.

Answer: It’s a lengthy process to buy a suppressor. First, you need to find a local FFL class III dealer. Basically, you would go to them and fill out the ATF application.

Once you fill out the application, you would send that to the ATF along with a $200 check and wait to hear back for approval.

My point is, it’s a long process. Silencers are a lot of fun, but it isn’t a “must have” item.

And for home defense, you will have “auditory exclusion” if you ever have to fire your gun, so a suppressor isn’t really necessary.


What should I do if I wake up and there is an intruder in my room? Not just in my house but what if they make it all the way to my bedroom before I wake up?

-From Theo M.

Answer: If someone has made their way to your bedroom, you need to immediately fight back. Have a flashlight or knife or something on your nightstand you can quickly grab to fight back with.

Also, yell at the intruder to get out. If you are yelling, you will hopefully wake someone up who can help you or call the police.

The key is to fight back and go absolutely berserk on them. This is why I always recommend learning some type of self-defense.


What is a bullpup shotgun? Should I get one?

-From Julian C.

Answer: The biggest difference with a bullpup shotgun is that they are shorter than other shotguns with similar barrel lengths. Some shooters feel that bullpups are easier to maneuver since they are lighter and shorter.

Another thing is that bullpups are faster to your shoulder. What I mean is, the reduced weight and length mean you can get the shotgun on target quicker compared to other typical shotguns.

Overall bullpup shotguns are easier to carry and handle for long periods of time. If you are looking for a new shotgun, I would check out a bullpup design to see if you like it.

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