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Interview: Armed NJ Homeowner Defends Children, Wife, and Home from Three Invaders

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The widespread and common lawful use of firearms for self-defense is often flat out ignored by the media. When it comes to firearms, the vast majority of media outlets only want to cover stories including firearms if it fits the narrative they want to push.

Thanks to our friend, Matthew Bartky, over at NJ Patriot news, we recently learned the story of John Kabourakis (referred to below as JK), a Howell, NJ, resident whose home was broken into by three masked individuals while his young children slept upstairs. As you’ll read below, this armed and well-trained home owner was able to send the criminals diving head first out of a window without ever firing a shot.

We were disappointed, but not surprised, that there was almost no media coverage whatsoever regarding this story. The only thing we found was a very short and omissive bit on News12The lack of coverage of these commonly-occurring incidents is by design. The vast majority of mainstream media leans left and helps to push the radical left’s narrative that guns are bad and gun ownership is a danger rather than an a legal and moral safety measure.

We couldn’t let this story go without more exposure. John Kabourakis also agreed that there should have been more exposure of his story and so he got together with us to answer all the questions the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of New Jersey would likely want to ask.

News2A: John, thank you for sitting down with us to talk about what has recently happened to you. We’re glad that you and your family are ok and that you’ve survived unscathed.

What happened to you only received brief coverage on the news networks. For our readers that are unaware of what you just went through, can you briefly walk us through the events of that evening?

JK: On February 29, 2024 my wife and I heard a suspicious sound at 5:30 am that was of immediate concern. I then grabbed my firearm and went to go investigate the situation. When I exited my bedroom, I walked along my second story hallway which is open to and overlooks most of the first floor in my home. As I walked along this second story landing, I noticed light from a flashlight moving through my kitchen and I heard footsteps in the kitchen as well. Within just a couple of seconds, the person carrying the flashlight came into view. This person was wearing a hoodie, with the hood up over their head. This individual was also wearing a mask and gloves. Realizing that this was undoubtedly an intruder, I immediately raised my weapon and pointed it at the assailant while simultaneously activating my weapon-mounted light. Without hesitation, the intruder ran from my kitchen and exited my home through my garage and jumped into a stolen car that was parked in front of my home.

As I made my way down my stairs, two more intruders ran off. In the video that captured the entire situation, one of the burglars can be seen jumping head first out of the window that they originally made entry through. The third assailant can be seen standing outside the home in front of the window.

As I continued down the stairs, I yelled out, “You’re gonna get shot!” in an attempt to make it very clear to all of these individuals that I was armed and that their lives were in danger. After thoroughly searching through my home for any more assailants, I yelled up to my wife to call 911.

News2A: What first alerted you to the fact that there might be an intruder in your home?

JK: It was still dark outside and it was a Thursday morning long before my kids would normally be awake. The sound that I heard was loud and sounded as though a heavy exterior door was slammed shut. I would learn later on that the sound was from the intruders making their initial entry into my home. Using a large crow bar, they broke the two sash locks on my dining room double hung window by prying apart the upper and lower sashes.

News2A: Were you and your family asleep at the time this happened?

JK: My two kids, 10 and 13 years old were both asleep. My wife and I were awake.

News2A: What was the first thing that went through your mind when you realized that this was real and there actually were intruders in your home?

JK: My initial thought was that this was real and that I needed to act swiftly and prudently.

News2A: Most of us law-abiding gun owners here in New Jersey have not been in a situation where we’ve needed to confront someone while armed. In a situation like this, we need to choose between fight or flight. Clearly you chose fight over flight. Did you have any doubt or hesitation as to what you needed to do in the moment or did you instantly jump into action?

JK: I had very little doubt about what I needed to do. My actions were mostly automatic. I attribute this reaction largely to a high level of preparedness, training and research.

News2A: How did realizing that there were three criminals in your home, not just one, affect your thought process?

JK: I knew that I was outnumbered and that I could have easily been outgunned. I had to force myself to slow down and to be as calculated as possible. When faced with such an extreme, potentially life-threatening situation your emotions and the stress of such an occurrence can drive you to be hasty and make mistakes. Unlike in training, when in a life-or-death encounter you may not get a second chance.

News2A: At the time you were walking around your home, armed, and ready to confront the intruders, what was your primary focus?

JK: Not being ambushed was my primary focus. I was also reminding myself of muzzle and trigger discipline—fundamentals can sometimes fall apart under high stress. My wife and kids were home at the time and I was reminding myself to be aware of their locations should there be any gunfire or should an intruder attempt to barricade themself in an area of the home that one of my family members were in at the time.

News2A: It was a little difficult to tell from the video. Were all three of these criminals in the same room when you confronted them?

JK: One was in my kitchen; another intruder was in my dining room standing next to an open window and the third can be seen in the video standing just outside the home looking into the open window.

News2A: Kudos on using a weapon-mounted light so you could have a two-handed grip on your pistol. Do you feel that gave you an advantage versus occupying one of your hands with a flashlight?

JK: Yes, I do have a light mounted on my handgun. This light gave me a distinct advantage by allowing me to grip my gun with both hands. All three of the criminals were at least 12 yards away from me. Any experienced gun owner would choose to have two hands on their weapon while firing at a moving object from that range as opposed to firing with just one hand. The light allowed me to effectively search through my dark home quickly and effectively. Since the barrel goes where the light goes, having this weapon mounted light also saved me precious seconds in the event that I was forced to shoot, rather than having to take the additional step of focusing some of my dexterity on holding a separate light source or needing to turn on light switches that would have required me to take my support or control hand off of the weapon. The list of benefits that come with having a weapon mounted light on your home defense gun are numerous.

The importance of attaching this light to my gun was first introduced to me by Micheal Duncan of Duncan Defense Consultants in Hazlet, NJ. Mike is a retired police Lieutenant from Hazlet Township. For many years he was also a firearms instructor at the Monmouth County Police Academy who eventually became an instructor’s instructor. His knowledge of marksmanship, gunsmithing and home defense are a valuable asset to many law-abiding citizens in our community. The classroom and range training that he provided me with played a major role in having a positive outcome in my encounter with these masked criminals.

News2A: Did you ever imagine you’d be the victim of a home invasion? And did you have any contingency plans in place before this event happened? For example, had you talked through how you and your family would react to something like this?

JK: This may sound strange, but though I was very prepared for a home invasion it was hard to imagine that it would actually at some point happen to me. I did have discussions with my wife and my children about what to do should something like this ever happen. We have lived in this current neighborhood for 15 years and up until about a year ago, burglaries or stolen vehicles in our area were an extremely rare occurrence. We live in a very low crime region which is a great place to raise a family. Unfortunately, things have changed lately and we have been seeing a sharp increase in burglaries and stolen cars. This has prompted me to have these difficult conversations with my wife and my kids.

News2A: Considering New Jersey’s onerous gun laws, all of which are designed to turn us into felons and disenfranchise us of our gun rights if we simply sneeze the wrong way, did our gun laws cause you a moment of pause to where you thought, “I’m going to defend my family but I might also be arrested for doing so”?

JK: Sadly, yes. I actually give New Jersey’s Castle Doctrine law a B minus. However, the notoriously unconstitutional way that New Jersey has treated law-abiding gun owners is an infringement that forces you to sometimes second guess what is your unalienable right to use a firearm to lawfully defend yourself. Despite the protection that the Castle Doctrine affords us, we have seen many egregious oversteps in NJ where law-abiding citizens have been prosecuted by our openly anti-Second Amendment justice system. We also saw, first-hand, the New Jersey legislature’s rabid response to the Bruen decision with the introduction of the “carry killer” bill.

My situation was about as clear cut as it gets. I was faced with three intruders that came to my home in a stolen car, then made forced entry under the cover of darkness while my kids were sleeping. I believe that under those circumstances a citizen who is trying to protect his family should know that their government is on their side, without any equivocation.

News2A: How do you think the lawful presence of a firearm changed the outcome to this event? Did you give any verbal commands to the criminals?

JK: The lawful presence of a firearm was very effective and, in this case, eliminated the need for any further escalation. I did warn the intruders by yelling, “You’re gonna get shot!”

News2A: What was the police response like and did you have empty hands when they arrived?

JK: Apparently, the same burglars that broke into my home, broke into a home in the next neighborhood over from mine earlier in the morning. The police were investigating that crime when my wife called 911, so their response to our home was very quick. I believe that they showed up in less than two minutes. Knowing that the police were coming is part of what kept me from going outside of my home with my gun. I did not have my gun on me when the police arrived. Police mistaking innocent homeowners for burglars is a common problem. Making contact with the police while still in possession of a gun should always be avoided if possible.

News2A: Do you think New Jersey’s gun laws are fair and balanced?

JK: New Jersey’s gun laws are pitiful. Trenton is notorious for using gun law to appease the public in order to compensate for the poor job it does of prosecuting crimes committed with guns by criminals. New Jersey also has a habit of writing gun law and prosecuting law-abiding gun owners to pacify its citizens in response to gun crimes that happen in other states. Another huge problem is a lack of basic knowledge of guns in the legislature. These politicians are grossly illiterate on gun culture and they lack a basic understanding of why the 2nd Amendment is so important. Their illiteracy with respect to guns is glaringly evident by their repeated use of improper gun terminology and in the dreadfully bad language of their poorly written gun laws.

News2A: Can you first fill us in a little bit on your experience with firearms and any involvement in the Second Amendment community?

JK: I’ve been a gun owner for 15 years. I have trained with handguns, shotguns and rifles. I use my guns for sport and home defense. My involvement with the Second Amendment community is informal and is mostly comprised of range days with friends.

News2A: Do you belong to any of the state or national 2nd Amendment organizations?

JK: I am a member of the NRA and I am a member of US LawShield.

News2A: Have you taken any formal training? If not, has this event changed your mindset on that?

JK: Though not extensive, I have taken several live fire classes on self-defense tactics. I listen religiously to Evan Nappen’s podcast and I have attended two of his seminars. I have read up extensively about gun law and proper gun discipline as well as shooting technique. I’ve watched countless YouTube videos with some very competent lessons on many different gun topics. Some bad ones too, so you have to be careful.

News2A: As we mentioned in the beginning of the interview, this instance of a law-abiding citizen repelling home invaders with a firearm got very little news coverage. Why do you think that is?

JK: This story does not fit into the narrative of the vast majority of the left-leaning media in America. As news worthy and dramatic as it is, there are some news outlets that I believe would never report on this story. There were even important details of the story that were suppressed by the media outlets that did report the story.

News2A: Do you think that armed defense of self, family, and home occurs more than we hear about through traditional news outlets? Why do you think that is?

JK: Absolutely. I subscribe to a publication called “America 1st Freedom.” Their monthly publication has a section known as “Armed Citizen” which reports on approximately half a dozen nationwide stories that occur each month where a law-abiding citizen uses a gun in self-defense. These stories almost never reach traditional media networks.

The “guns are bad” narrative is alive and well with mainstream media which sits mostly on the left side of the political aisle. They love and trust their government way too much. They seem to have missed the important history lesson that our forefathers instilled in us about tyrannical government. Our forefathers placed the right to bear arms second only to free speech in the constitution. They positioned the right to bear arms so high up in the bill of rights because they understood, first hand, that unarming the citizenry is an essential precursor to authoritarianism. Furthermore, the 2nd Amendment affords us all the right to defend ourselves.

These days we find ourselves faced with a nationwide crime wave that is broadly attributed to failed government policies, which has resulted in citizens arming themselves in record numbers. It is no coincidence that we currently have 29 states that allow permitless carry.

News2A: Rifles of any kind, including so-called “assault weapons,” are used in an overwhelmingly small percentage of mass shootings, the definition of which seems to be ever-evolving. Yet, the left ignores the hard data from its own Justice Department and is pushing harder than ever to ban so-called “assault weapons.” This is a term the director of the ATF either can’t or refuses to define. The push to ban “assault weapons,” as predicted, had first started evolving into a play to ban all semi-automatic rifles, and now seems to have evolved into a push to ban all semi-automatic firearms of any kind.

In the scenario you described, three intruders located in different parts of the house, darkness, a distance of approximately 12 yards, do you think a semi-automatic rifle with a standard capacity magazine, rail-mounted light, and maybe a red dot would have been a more effective tool in the case these home invaders turned out to be armed and willing to take your life?

JK: Homes that are built these days throughout America tend to be much larger than years ago. I live in a home that is over 5,000 square feet with a very open floor plan. We have line of sight spans that can be upwards of 25 yards throughout the home. A rifle with the attachments that you described would have definitely been a more effective self-defense weapon in my scenario with multiple intruders.

The thought of banning all semi-automatic guns is unthinkable. I feel that a big part of this discussion goes back to the ignorance of law makers. When having a discussion about guns with most lawmakers it is important to remember that many of them have never even held a gun and couldn’t effectively describe the difference between a revolver and a semi-auto handgun. Many of them probably do not realize that most handguns sold today are semi-automatic.

I see this ignorance play out with rifles as well. Ask any average person who is unaccustomed to guns what the AR in AR-15 stands for and I’m sure that most of them would say “assault rifle.”

I think that the strongest argument against the unimaginable banning of semi-automatic rifles is to go back to the foundation of the 2nd amendment. A well regulated militia doesn’t stand a chance of securing a free state without, at the very least, a semi-automatic rifle.

News2A: Being a victim of this crime, you’ve been generous in coming forward and sharing your story. What would you like to convey to other home owners and families in your community?

JK: I have had a huge outpouring of support and admiration from friends, neighbors and family. Many of those that have reached out have communicated their desire to purchase their first gun so that they can effectively protect their own families should such a horrible situation like this happen to them. The most important thing that I would like to convey is that all gun owners familiarize themselves with the safe handling and storage of guns. A mishandled gun or a gun in the wrong hands can do a lot more harm than good.

News2A: Stepping outside of the events of that night specifically, why do you think thieves and burglars are emboldened to do things like this in New Jersey? After all, our Attorney General has said our tough gun laws and his tough-on-crime stance is a huge deterrent to crime.

JK: I think that the situation currently in NJ runs in sharp contrast to what the AG is saying. Yes, our gun laws are extremely strict which does nothing more than deter law abiding citizens from arming themselves out of fear of making an innocent misstep due to the difficulty of deciphering our complicated labyrinth of gun legislation. This emboldens criminals who could care less about breaking gun laws and who know that most citizens are unarmed and unlikely to fight back.

Why would a criminal that is already engaged in committing multiple simultaneous felonies be deterred by gun laws? The left leaning politicians in NJ have also substantially subscribed to a national belief that our country owes it to certain individuals to be soft on crime. This has further stiffened the resolve of those that have turned to crime and has paved the way for them to wreak havoc in ways that is clear and present to all of us that follow the law. This soft on crime ideology tells us that we have wrongfully been over-incarcerating and over-prosecuting people in our country and somehow, by loosening up the rules, it will be better for all of us. All this has done is created more widespread criminal activity throughout our country.

The villains are taking full advantage of the ignorance of this narrative. Nothing about this philosophy will solve our problems as those left-leaning politicians have promised. The problem lies in the widespread breakdown of families in America. Going soft on crime will not solve that problem. If we can have a restoration of the mentally healthy nuclear family in America, the growth and prosperity that lie in the wake of that change will be unlike anything that any nation has ever seen. Here are a few statistics on this matter:

  • Father absence as a predictor of violence is robust for both male and female violence.
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from single-parent homes
  • Individuals from father-absent homes are 279% more likely to carry guns and deal drugs than their peers
  • Most adolescents who enter the justice system have suffered from parental abandonment, substance abuse, or a dysfunctional household.

News2A: Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?

JK: I mentioned above that I could have been outgunned by the thee criminals in my home. The magazine capacity restriction in NJ could have played a role in that. I doubt that burglars driving stolen cars are concerned with possessing a magazine that has more than a 10 round capacity.

Your questions were very thought-provoking and very thorough. I do not have anything else to add at this time, but please feel free to follow up with any additional questions that either of you should come up with. I hope that this interview does well for you and I would like to thank you for doing what you are doing to stand up for gun rights!

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Ursula Warner

We are the only developed country, that is not at war and has mass shootings, an American problem.
I commend you for protecting your family and property. I don’t have a gun but I do have a flash light and can give loud instructions. What if they were more stealth in entering your home, gained access to your upstairs bedroom, took your gun and shot you? this happens too…
I don’t know the answer, but getting more guns out is not the answer.

Anonymous

Seems the dog did hear them breaking in only when the fathers started yelling you’re going to be shot and they fled.

Bob

It’s odd, he didn’t mention the dog, who was barking the whole time, as an added defensive measure.

Bob

I find the complicity of the mainstream media in suppressing these types of self defense stories infuriating. Thanks for bringing this to light with a great interview!

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