The Weekly Drop: Choosing the Right Home Security System

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

We’ve got quite a full mailbag this week, so I don’t want to waste any time getting to my responses.

Don’t forget, if you have any questions or feedback of your own, send me an email at so I can address them in a future alert.

Now let’s get down to business.

Jason —

I am looking at getting a security system for my home. How should I evaluate one of those? And if possible, would you have any recommendations? 

— Ken R.

Honestly, Ken, most security companies are essentially the same. They all outsource to the same call centers and use the same manufacturers to private-label their equipment. If you go with one of the big names like Brinks or ADT, you’ll be good to go.

Or — if you want a do-it-yourself option — I would check out SimpliSafe. Their systems are easy to self-install and they offer month-to-month monitoring, as opposed to annual contracts.

Regardless of which company you choose, keep in mind the most important thing to look for is one that offers to put sensors on all of your windows and doors. You’ll also want to get motion sensors installed throughout your house as an added precaution.

When I was talking with a former special ops person in a group I’m with, he said that he finds paracord less durable than Kevlar cord. Any response?

— MD

That person is 100% correct. Kevlar cord is, indeed, stronger than paracord. It’s also thinner, so it takes up less space in your bug-out bag. But it is more expensive, which is why most people go with paracord. Unless you plan on carrying more than 550 pounds of weight, paracord is all you need.

Dear Jason,

I was reading about being brutal. The suggestion was made to “kick them in the groin.” This sounds like a bad idea. You are now off balance and the person can grab your foot and you could be on your back immediately. Perhaps the attacker is on top of you. Would the knee be better? Trouble is — you would have to be even closer to them.


Marilyn F.

P.S. I tried to kick a man in the groin once. He turned a bit to the side and my kick hit his hip.

In a life-or-death situation, you want to do whatever it takes to survive. There are no rules on the street, so anything goes. Aim for vital targets — the throat, eyes and groin are all excellent targets to strike.

If it’s easier to knee someone in the groin, then it’s a good idea. If you have to grab them in the crotch, that works too. And if you’re able to kick them in the groin, then do that.

Basically, the fastest way to strike your attacker in a vital target is the method you want to use to defend yourself.


What do you think of Front Sight as a training site? And the same for USCCA?


Scott O.

I’ve personally been to Front Sight before. It’s a quality, safe training place for a beginner. In other words, if you’re already an experienced shooter, you won’t learn advanced tactics, but for those who are new to shooting — or who just want a refresher — it’s a good place to go.

To be honest, as far as the USCCA (the United States Concealed Carry Association) goes, there’s not much insight I can give you. I know their magazine is informative, but I’m not familiar with their training program or any other services they offer.

How do you protect a suburban home? I live in an older two-story home with a large backyard with regular picket-style wooden fence around the perimeter. There is also a lane at the end of the backyard. I’m looking to make this secure and safe for the family.


Gary H.

Great question, Gary. Arming you with skills and information to better protect your family is my No.1 goal. So here are a couple things you can do.

First, get an alarm system and put an alarm sign in your yard. If an alarm system is cost prohibitive, you can still put a sign in your yard or alarm stickers on your doors or windows to deter thieves.

Second, you should put up motion-sensor lights around your house to eliminate any dark spots that would conceal a forced entry. Put up security cameras around your house, as well. Hikvision cameras are a good brand to use. Lastly, put a dog bowl near your back door even if you don’t own a dog.

If you take these simple security measures, your house will be one of the least inviting on the block to a criminal who is casing your neighborhood.

Will my credit card knife make it through TSA?

— Carson A. 

Unfortunately not, Carson. Your credit card knife counts as a real knife, so it won’t be allowed on a plane. Look into getting a tactical pen if you don’t already have one. Click here for a great deal on this super-discreet yet super-effective self-defense tool. Best of all, you can take a tactical pen through airport security, no problem.

What defensive round do you recommend for a 9 mm?

— Ben T. 

For personal protection, I carry Speer Gold Dot 124 gr. But these rounds are not cheap, so I wouldn’t use them for training rounds.

Is carrying a handcuff key legal in all 50 states?

— Jerry B.

To my knowledge, there are no federal or state laws restricting the ownership of handcuff keys. However, some jurisdictions have restrictions on carrying them for people who have been convicted of certain crimes.

The last thing I want to leave you with this week is some feedback from a reader in Florida. He offers another great suggestion for people who are worried about power failures. Take it away, Don.


I read the latest Weekly Drop. Wayne R. had a question about running a CPAP machine when the electric is out. There are battery-powered generators on the market that may work too. I purchased a Patriot Power Generator for hurricanes in Florida. It replaces my propane generator at night. As you know, a generator draws attention to you when people are without power — especially at night. This battery generator packs a lot of power. I ran my 40″ LCD TV and satellite dish box for four hours without a dent to the charge. It can also be charged with a solar panel that comes with it. It was a little pricey, though. Still, the peace of mind is worth it.

— Don T. 

Until next time…

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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