At four in the morning recently, my closed but unlocked bedroom door bumped softly against the latch. Due to a backache, I had moved from the bed to a recliner and covered my feet and legs with a blanket.

Remarkably, the soft sound woke me. I listened, cautious but not alarmed. Assuming it was nothing, I drifted off. Then the noise reoccurred. That time I was awake. My pistol was across the bedroom – a large bedroom – and a long gun was hidden elsewhere.

We live in the country and I had heard no vehicles or other outside sounds. I tried to quickly uncover my lower body as I sat upright, but the recliner trapped part of the blanket and held it. I had to sit back a bit, and pull the blanket free.

My wife woke and I whispered the problem to her. When I finally got loose, I retrieved my firearm and listened at the door. Nothing. I turned the hall light on from a switch inside the bedroom and again listened. Nothing.

Finally, I sat back down, waiting for the noise to repeat. We had our windows open and a soft breeze moved through, causing the door to move slightly and repeat the sound. I may have felt a bit foolish, but admittedly, I was also relieved.

It wasn’t anything to worry about, but fact is, it could have been. And my personal defense was not in my immediate reach. Okay, it was in the bedroom with me, but for a few moments, it may as well have been at Sixth and Main.

I recently ran a column about the pros and cons of gun safes, so this is not a rerun of that subject. This is about access. Where is your firearm when you need it? asks, “What good is a gun in a crisis if you cannot get to it? Of course, they have products to sell, and some that seem quite sensible in my opinion.

Still, I don’t want to be overcoming an obstacle to reach my firearm if it is needed. And believe me, a blanket locked around your feet can be an obstacle.

So what to do? That depends on many factors. If you are like us and have no other persons, especially children, in the home, your sleeping arrangements with a firearm near can be easier to accomplish. You simply have to use good judgment.

But not all crises happen at night. The U.S. Dept. of Justice reports that 65 percent of all home break-ins occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Most criminals are in and out of a home within ten minutes.

Secureit Gun Storage says most thieves head straight for the Master bedroom, where guns and valuables are most often stored. Safes are not really a big deterrent to accomplished criminals, who come armed with tools they need and know how to use.

So, hiding weapons with advanced planning is mandatory. If children are in the home, especially alone, then locks are mandatory. I am adverse to tell anyone not to use a safe, or any other form of managing their weapons in their home.

That is something that must be done on an individual basis, with plenty of common sense and with more expert advice than I can give.

Fred Causley is a former OSU Agriculture Communications employee and a longtime Stillwater resident and NRA member. Send him questions or feedback to

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