Using a Flashlight for Self-Defense: What’s Wrong With This Picture?


There are several ways to effectively use a flashlight for self defense, personal protection and home defense. There are also ways of using a light that can do more harm than good, maybe even get you shot.

There are effective ways to use a flashlight in home defense, and there are ways that can get you hurt. Which do you see demonstrated here?

Tip #1 is to use the light sparingly. Leaving your light in constant-on mode makes you an easy target to shoot at.

Another critical point is this: Don't hold the flashlight directly in front of you. Knowing Tip#1, you can probably figure out why this is important.

To learn more about effective use of flashlights in self and home defense (and techniques to avoid) check out Own the Night by Scott Wagner.

In the book, Wagner explores advances in handheld tactical lights, weapon mounted lights and laser sights, and reviews the proper application and use for each type of device, as well as techniques for enhancing personal safety and effectiveness.

While Wagner's perspective is that of a seasoned law enforcement professional, the core principles he teaches are critical to self defense, personal protection and home defense applications.

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  1. The light should be in his face or upper chest area and blinding him . You cannot tell if the light is in her hand or mounted on the gun by this picture. If it is in her hand it should still be up beside the gun so she has control over the gun with both hands.

    The old belief of the light not being in front of you does not help if you do not have good gun control and training. What she should be doing is indexing the gun without her finger on the trigger in this situation, and have a good grip on the gun with both hands using proper light control methods.

    He is in her house is an intruder and could have a weapon that he could go for. That would then switch the advantage for the intruder since he can still see her and what she is doing.

    You can bet that he did not put his hands up until she confronted him with the gun so she would have pointed the gun at him to start with to get control of the situation.

    Also the light up where it belongs will make it easier to see if he has anything in his hands. You can also see his eyes and see if he is responding to you.

    I know I have been trained in many ways over the years and also that it changes with the current training belief and policies. I will stick with my weapon mounted lights and have so throughout the years since they have been out.

  2. Wrong use of the flash light. Should hav pointed it at the attackers face to tempory blind him so he could not see the firearm or the defendant.

  3. Smith has a good point however it would appear that the light is weppon mounted if this is the case you will notice the suspect has both hands up and empty. Depending on the state you live in the fact that he is in your home does not give you the right to engage him with deadly force. If the light is wepon mounted you would have to point your loaded wepon directly at the suspects face while he is not activley presenting an imminate threat of bodily harm As I previously mentioned depending on the state the homes resident depicted above may be in violation of state or local laws by bringing a firearm to bare on an unarmed man. This is one reason that haveing a non wepon mounted light instead of or in addition to a wepon light is a good idea. Rember rule number one and two in the pictured encounter one identify your target to determan if they are an imminent threat and two don’t point your firearm at anyone you are not positive you are ready to KILL shooting an unarmed intruder would require some explaining for most of us that is unless the state law provides for such action.

    Just my PC point of view you have to also take into account the persons level of traing if she did have brought the firearm / light to bare on his face a novice mite experience an accidental or premature discharge of the wepon while the suspect was attempting to comply with any verbal orders being given and a situation that may have ended peacefully with an arrest instead ends up with a stain in the carpet and a ton of paperwork.

    • The problem with your line of reasoning is that she is already confronting an intruder with a firearm. If she is not prepared to shoot him then she shouldn’t have the gun. I’m not willing to adopt a PC point of view.

  4. Shining the light at the intruders feet has only allowed him to see her and done nothing to disorient the intruder. It should be shining in his face.


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