Some random and unorganized thoughts I noticed on talking a walk around my suburban neighborhood that are applicable to warfare in suburban areas.
Avenues of retreat/escape from homes will be limited. Escape from homes in most suburbs will be through adjacent yards, over fences and walls, or through alleys.
Going yard-to-yard may not be viable, even if one is physically fit, for several reasons. First, going over walls and fences is dangerous due to objects, thorny shrubbery, or animals. Many cops and suspects have been hurt jumping over walls without looking and landing on stuff, dropping into cactus, or being eaten by dogs.
Neighbors may attack you, not knowing who you are. You may be a total stranger to someone several houses away or even your next-door neighbor may overreact. Enemies could easily see you jumping the fences or walls or running through unfenced yards.
Since most cities are in some sort of a grid fashion or relatively organized into blocks, alleys can easily be bottled up on either side. Alleys are also avenues of attack to flank your house or defensive position. Even without alleys, all an enemy has to do to prevent you from “fleeing out the back” from the neighbor’s house is walk around the block.
If you are very lucky, there is a storm drain, creek, or other natural feature that the enemy hasn’t placed security in.
Shooting will occur at distances below 300 yards and often well under 100 yards. Studies of infantry engagements show that the vast majority of them happen under 300 yards (90%) with 80% being under 200 yards. On an average suburban street, block length is typically not more than 200 yards (your neighborhood may vary). A simple red dot scope without magnification is probably going to be sufficient.
Remember, there is a decent likelihood you will be shooting a very short ranges; perhaps 100 feet or so (2-3 houses away). Your enemies will probably be closing the distance to attack your home or will be such inept shots that they have to be closer to make hits.
There will be a lot of concealment in your neighborhood. Concealment is what can hide you, but can’t stop bullets (shrubbery and cars). Cover is going to be more sparse, but depending on how your neighborhood was built, you may have things like retaining walls and terrain features to hide behind. However, one should take caution because many residential outdoor walls are often built of hollow blocks that are not very bullet-resistant.
Take into consideration the nature of vegetation where you live. Newer neighborhoods in Las Vegas aren’t going to have a lot of trees or bushes, but 30+ year old neighborhoods in Reno and Carson are veritable forests.
Homes are not bulletproof. The overwhelming majority of American homes are made of wood. Rifle bullets with sufficient energy can, under the right circumstances, penetrate right through a poorly constructed home. At the very least, both handgun and rifle bullets can penetrate the front doors and walls of a home, never mind the windows. Using a home for cover or expecting that bullets will be stopped by a layer of stucco, plywood, and drywall is foolish.
You are vulnerable to snipers or even being casually picked off, especially if there are a lot of places for an enemy to hide. Take for instance a mob. The mob tosses a Molotov cocktail on your roof. You run out to grab the garden hose and suppress the fire. They shoot and kill you as soon as you expose yourself outside. You are also vulnerable to being shot through a window if you are silhouetted by a light or behind a shade/curtain.
In a gunfight in urban areas, gunshots will echo making locating a shooter by sound very difficult and may create the illusion of multiple shooters.
Consider the geography and buildings in your area. Are their high-rises or hills/bluffs where someone can shoot at you from? Construction sites where people can hide? Open lots, fields, and natural areas are perfect lanes of assault for antagonists. Is your complex/neighborhood close to a freeway where people can easily jump on and off after committing an attack? Also, be prepared for the possibility of a brush fire being deliberately set.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West