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  #1  
Old 07-26-2007, 08:34 AM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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If you legally own a gun you can shoot an intruder: Now on to the weather.

In reference to this grisly home invasion in Connecticut, Chris Cuomo on GMA this morning said ..."If you legally own a permitted gun you can shoot an intruder without having to prove you were fleeing....and now for the weather with Sam Champion. "

I do not remember the exact law, but it is the statute that says if someone breaks into your home and you are being threatened you can shoot said person. 19 U.S. states have a named law for this, but all 50 have a common law (?) that states you can shoot an intruder on your property if you are threatened. Not sure if it counts for permitted or unpermitted guns. I would think it does.

What do you think about this law in lieu of the home invasion story in CT.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:24 AM
dangermom dangermom is offline
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I don't think you can just shoot anyone willy-nilly. The rule is that it has to be in defense of you or your family, not in defense of your property, and it's good if that is really obvious.

I'm not sure what you mean by "what do we all think"? Are you asking whether it should be legal to shoot an intruder in self-defense? I think so. It seems to me to be a pretty balanced law; you can't just shoot anyone who shows up on your lawn, but in personal danger it seems a reasonable and sane thing to defend yourself. I'm not a recreational shooter myself, but it doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:26 AM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is online now
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In my opinion it should be you should be allowed to shoot anyone who's breaking into your house.
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:30 AM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlosphr
What do you think about this law in lieu of the home invasion story in CT.
The majority of people I know would argue with me, but I believe the law should allow a property owner to defend themselves when threatened -- including the use of deadly force. There're very few laws, IMHO, that are more dehumanizing than those that make it illegal to protect oneself.

Note that I'm making a broad generalization, and am specifically not commenting on gun control, defining "excessive force", nor appropriate justification. This is IMHO, after all.
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  #5  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:33 AM
Testy Testy is offline
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Originally Posted by Digital Stimulus
The majority of people I know would argue with me, but I believe the law should allow a property owner to defend themselves when threatened -- including the use of deadly force. There're very few laws, IMHO, that are more dehumanizing than those that make it illegal to protect oneself.

Note that I'm making a broad generalization, and am specifically not commenting on gun control, defining "excessive force", nor appropriate justification. This is IMHO, after all.
Digital

Who are you hanging around with? I can't imagine anyone arguing with the right of self defense. What is someone supposed to do, lay back and think of England? Seriously, what alternatives do they mention?

Regards

Testy
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:37 AM
trupa trupa is offline
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Oy, this is going to degenerate into yet another gun control tread (hope I'm wrong...)


Iirc, this is called the castle doctrine, as in a person's home is their castle, and it states that intent to do grievous / lethal harm can automatically be presumed if someone breaks into your house when you are there, thus justifying the immediate use of lethal force, without having to wait to see if the intruder is armed, whether he makes threatening statements, but, most importantly, without having to flee from your home. Many jurisdictions have a "duty to flee" clause that forces someone claiming self defense to prove that they either tried to run away or couldn't before using lethal force. Castle laws mean you don't have to flea from /in your own home. Now I do believe that this varies from state to state. Texas and Louisiana definitely have them.

That being said, this is just my recollection of what I have read in American sites, since I live in Canada.

As to what I think about such laws , well, all I can say is I sure wish we had them up here, but I think our whole country is pretty screwed up when it come to any laws dealing with self defense & weapons. Did you know that carrying a can of mace or a pair of nun-chucks here is equivalent to walking around with a fully automatic sub-machine gun? Yep, that's right, they're all prohibited weapons. Sorry about the mini-hijack / rant, there.

At any rate, we have a home invasion contingency plan in our house, just like we have one for fire, tornadoes, power outages etc. and it does involve firearms, lethal force if necessary, while trying to comply with all the laws as best we can, including demonstrating attempt to flee, avoiding confrontation, etc. etc. I do think that castle laws have value in lessening the extent to which honest citizens defending their families are crinminalized, and do have some deterrent value, if firearm ownership is even a little bit common. But that's just my opinion...
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:43 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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This subject comes up fairly often here on the boards and the laws are all over the place among the states. My home state of Louisiana gives property owners the most broad rights of self-defense in the states and deadly force is even allowed for some property crimes. In Louisiana, you are allowed to use deadly force almost automatically against someone breaking into your home or refusing to flee your property on demand. There was a famous but unfortunate case a number of years ago where a homeowner shot and killed a Japanese exchange student who got lost and wouldn't respond to demands to turn back. He was charged but acquitted. More clear-cut cases don't even result in a charge which is the rel benefit to those that have to exercise this right. Other states may not sentence a person under these conditions but the process may be much longer.
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:44 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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I believe the term you're looking for is "Castle Doctrine". As it was explained to me in my self-defense/gun permit class in Massachusetts - you cannot legally use lethal force against an attacker if you have the option to retreat. So if someone tries to mug you with a knife, but is 10 feet away and has a limp and you can run the other way, then shooting that person is not considered self-defense.

However, if you are in your own home, you no longer have a duty to retreat. You can legally use lethal force against an attacker if you believe yourself (or others) to be in danger of life or limb, even if you could retreat from the situation.

IANAL, but here's a link to the statute.
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:53 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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In Colorado, It's called the Make My Day Law'

I agree with it, just hate what they call it.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:59 AM
GaryM GaryM is online now
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The state I reside in, Missouri, just passed a Castle Doctrine law. It takes effect on August 28th.

In addition to not having to attempt to flee your home, it states that you don't need to flee from anyplace you have a legal right to be. That covers stores, parks, streets etc. It protects you from criminal as well as civil charges that might be brought based on the fact that you didn't flee.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:04 AM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Originally Posted by Testy
Who are you hanging around with? I can't imagine anyone arguing with the right of self defense. What is someone supposed to do, lay back and think of England? Seriously, what alternatives do they mention?
Well, mostly I keep to myself, especially having just moved to WA a few months ago (and my wife is about all the social company I want). I should point out that much of my response is specifically due to guns, not self-defense. Many people I know are pretty hard-line on the gun control front, and the thought of actually keeping a gun in their house kinda freaks them out. Although I'm quite positive that guns are more prevalent here in WA than other places I've lived (excluding TX, I suppose).

Oh, and the alternative is usually...well, there usually isn't one. Wait for the police, that's their job, I guess. Hard to say if they even get beyond "guns scary!". (Just a wee bit of hyperbole there; most often there's a large element of kids in the house and/or unfamiliarity with guns that colors their view.)

Funny that you mention England, even in jest. Made me think of a couple of news items (some months old, and I forget the details) that are linked in my head, one dealing with crime stats in England and another with gun use for self-defense here in the states. IIRC, and there's a fair chance that I don't, there was an upsurge of violent (gun-related) crime in England recently, and citizens were at a huge disadvantage, as gun control is pretty strict (y'know, "outlaw guns and only criminals will have them"). The item from the states concerned the question of justification; the home owner was being sued by a burglar for, y'know, protecting themselves. It just made me ponder the gun control question (and reinforce some of my opinions), that's all.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:11 AM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Originally Posted by trupa
Many jurisdictions have a "duty to flee" clause that forces someone claiming self defense to prove that they either tried to run away or couldn't before using lethal force.
There ya go. The news item to which I referred in my previous post must've been about a "duty to flee" state. Strikes me as being absolutely bizarre and, as I said, dehumanizing. But that's just MHO and I have no desire to egg this thread into GD territory.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:19 AM
Testy Testy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Stimulus
Well, mostly I keep to myself, especially having just moved to WA a few months ago (and my wife is about all the social company I want). I should point out that much of my response is specifically due to guns, not self-defense. Many people I know are pretty hard-line on the gun control front, and the thought of actually keeping a gun in their house kinda freaks them out. Although I'm quite positive that guns are more prevalent here in WA than other places I've lived (excluding TX, I suppose).

Oh, and the alternative is usually...well, there usually isn't one. Wait for the police, that's their job, I guess. Hard to say if they even get beyond "guns scary!". (Just a wee bit of hyperbole there; most often there's a large element of kids in the house and/or unfamiliarity with guns that colors their view.)

<SNIP>
Digital

Yeah, I understand. I have a few friends that are from the UK and they have similar attitudes. One guy in his 60s has never even fired a gun. I haven't met many Americans like that but they're obviously around. I dunno, I worked my way through high-school as a gunsmith and when I bump into someone that has never even fired a gun it is weird. We just talk past each other.
I wonder how many people that don't like guns/home defense have ever given the subject much thought. Police are great and I'd surely use them if they were around but I don't see the kind of guys the OP mentioned allowing me to make phone calls.

Have fun in Wa. I wish I was there!

Regards

testy
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:26 AM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Stimulus
There ya go. The news item to which I referred in my previous post must've been about a "duty to flee" state. Strikes me as being absolutely bizarre and, as I said, dehumanizing. But that's just MHO and I have no desire to egg this thread into GD territory.
Yes, I'm not trying to get this thread into GD, I'd just like to see what people think about gun control in terms of shooting an intruder.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:30 AM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty
There was a famous but unfortunate case a number of years ago where a homeowner shot and killed a Japanese exchange student who got lost and wouldn't respond to demands to turn back. He was charged but acquitted.
This happened in Baton Rouge, LA while I was attending LSU.

For those curious about the case, look up the student, Yoshihiro Hattori on Wikipedia. Homeowner Rodney Peairs was acquitted for the 1992 killing. For better or for worse, there was little to no outcry about the acquital among local residents. There was a definite feeling of "unfortunate, but it is as it should be".
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:44 AM
Testy Testy is offline
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Originally Posted by Phlosphr
Yes, I'm not trying to get this thread into GD, I'd just like to see what people think about gun control in terms of shooting an intruder.
Philosphr

Sorry. To get back to the question you asked; I'm personally all for it. I feel sorry for that doctor and his wife and children and wish he'd had access to a gun when he needed it.

Regards

Testy
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:52 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by Phlosphr
What do you think about this law in lieu of the home invasion story in CT.
"In lieu of" means "instead of".

So what you wrote means "what do you think about using this law to replace the news story about the home invasion?"

You're probably looking for "in light of," which means "now that you've read x, has the light it shed changed your opinion?" Well, for the record, I think it's a terrible substitution. People will have no idea what you're on about.

I've been seeing this error a lot these days. Sorry you're the person I jumped on for it.

It's probably for the best that Grammar Nazis seldom carry guns.

Sailboat
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:57 AM
Testy Testy is offline
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Originally Posted by Sailboat
<SNIP>

It's probably for the best that Grammar Nazis seldom carry guns.

Sailboat
Sailboat

I agree, but would you shoot someone for invading your home and using bad grammar?

Regards

Testy
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2007, 11:06 AM
chowder chowder is offline
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Originally Posted by Testy
Sailboat

I agree, but would you shoot someone for invading your home and using bad grammar?

Regards

Testy
Only if I lived in Poland and they said "sing hile"
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2007, 11:58 AM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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Back in the late eighties when I lived in Oklahoma. Someone tried to break into our house. They broke a window and was halfway crawling in when my dad came out with his shotgun and yelled at the guy, "I will shoot you in 3 seconds." and the guy ran away.

When the police showed up they explained that for my dad to be completely legal to shoot the guy he would have to be all the way in the house. If he was just snooping around the property or just stuck his head in through an open window then my dad would have to prove that the guy was threatening grave injury for it to be clean and legal.

Personally I am for shooting anyone who breaks into your house even if they are just going to steal that nifty lamp they saw through a window because even if the intruder does not plan on hurting anyone they could get scared and accidentally shoot someone in the house.
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  #21  
Old 07-26-2007, 11:59 AM
Amazingrace Amazingrace is offline
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The thing is, this has been a part of the common law for a long time. One of the reasons is because it is reasonable for one to assume that their life is at stake when someone breaks into their house (almost automatic self-defense). Regardless of these statutes, most American courts (with a tendency for this to be the case moreso in the mountain west than elsewhere) don't want to have to draw the line of when it was reasonable to attempt to flee and when it wasn't when someone is in their own home. By automatically assuming self-defense, you don't have to draw this messy line of when it was reasonable for the person to flee.
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  #22  
Old 07-26-2007, 12:53 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailboat
"In lieu of" means "instead of".

So what you wrote means "what do you think about using this law to replace the news story about the home invasion?"

You're probably looking for "in light of," which means "now that you've read x, has the light it shed changed your opinion?" Well, for the record, I think it's a terrible substitution. People will have no idea what you're on about.

I've been seeing this error a lot these days. Sorry you're the person I jumped on for it.

It's probably for the best that Grammar Nazis seldom carry guns.

Sailboat
Thank you, I often misuse the word...Don't worry, I'm used the grammar nazis. Never, EVER - ever, ever, ever - let your spouse edit text, or your work. It will only end badly.*









*Phlosphr - who is trying to get his first book published and began with his wife as his editor. Much yelling and sleeping in the guest room ensued.
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  #23  
Old 07-26-2007, 12:59 PM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
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Originally Posted by RandMcnally
In my opinion it should be you should be allowed to shoot anyone who's breaking into your house.

This is my opinion, as well - if someone is trying to break into my residence, for reasons unknown, I think it's reasonable to assume that those reasons may include an intent to harm me or my family.

Just my $0.02.


(Said the person who's fired two firearms in his whole life, and only one of those with a bullet. And who won't buy a firearm.)

Last edited by OtakuLoki; 07-26-2007 at 01:02 PM..
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  #24  
Old 07-26-2007, 12:59 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Originally Posted by Phlosphr
What do you think about this law in lieu of the home invasion story in CT.
For starters, I think I wouldn't care to get legal advice from talking heads on Good Morning America. I mean, at least call up Harry Hamlin or someone who sounds vaguely lawyerish.

Regarding the use of arms in defense of home or purpose: I would use all means within reason short of shooting someone to dissuade them from harming me and my hypothetical dependents. Using armed force to protect property is a judgement call; one one hand, it's your work and time that went into procuring that property, on the other, there's a significant nuisance factor in even the legal use of lethal force, and shooting some kid in the process of stealing a car for a joyride is disproportionate. (Mind you, I wouldn't have a heck of a lot of sympathy for the perpetrator, but still, it's an excessive act in response to a rather modest felony.)

In reality, it's often hard to evalute what is a threat and what isn't, and frankly, if you reasonably and sincerely believe that your life is being threatened, you have a strong moral argument for using the necessary force to belay that threat in the interests of self-preservation. But the consequences can also be significant. "Better tried by twelve than carried by six," is all and well, but I'd rather not have to deal with either if the option is available. Regardless of your "rights" in law, you'll likely be subject to liability and wrongful dead suits even if you're totally in the clear, and this can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take years to deal with.

In general, there is a divide in both case law and penal statutes regarding the use of force in self defense that essentially runs along the geographical seperation of East and West; in the more populated East, it is assumed that law enforcement is readily available and that self-defense should be limited to the extent required to flee the threat and call in authorities. In the traditionally less regulated West, the underlying assumption is that peace officers may not be at ready call, and that a defender need provide for his or her own defense. Even in California, with some of the more generally restrictive firearms laws, the standard for justifiable self-defense are quite liberal and favor the defender (albeit not to the extent of the absurdly named "Castle Doctrine" or "Make My Day" laws).

The long and short of it is, even if laws permit you to shoot sillouettes climbing in through your windows or a guy jimmying your garage door, you should probably dial back the response to something that doesn't result in bloodshed unless the perpetrator escallates it to that point. On the other hand, if he does, you should respond in a manner that is proportionate and stops the threat as quickly and with the minimum of risk to you.

Stranger
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  #25  
Old 07-26-2007, 01:01 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Until recently, Minnesota was a "Duty to flee" state. Never much liked the idea that I had to run away even in my own house, and keep running if they kept coming after me.

I also know from personal experience that calling the police is not an answer. Been there, done that. Fortunately the person did not gain entry, but without telling the entire story again, I'll just say that he spent better than 10 minutes attempting to break in, despite knowing I was there, despite a 911 call almost right in front of him, despite seeing me holding a very large knife. The police drove past my house and kept going....45 minutes after I retrieved a gun and caused the man to flee.

OTOH, I have to say that people who declare that they're perfectly happy to shoot to kill intruders at the drop of a hat give me the willies. I'll shoot if I have to, kill if necessary to protect my own life, but I'm certainly not happy about nor looking forward to doing it, thank you very much.
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  #26  
Old 07-26-2007, 02:39 PM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Originally Posted by Tahssa
Personally I am for shooting anyone who breaks into your house even if they are just going to steal that nifty lamp they saw through a window...
Especially if it's a Christmas Story leglamp. Oh, the depravity of someone who'd even think of that!
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:14 PM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is online now
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Originally Posted by Chimera
OTOH, I have to say that people who declare that they're perfectly happy to shoot to kill intruders at the drop of a hat give me the willies. I'll shoot if I have to, kill if necessary to protect my own life, but I'm certainly not happy about nor looking forward to doing it, thank you very much.

The way I look at it, you shouldn't be trying to break into my house. Don't break into my house, don't get shot. Simple, really.
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  #28  
Old 07-26-2007, 04:40 PM
Omegaman Omegaman is offline
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Originally Posted by RandMcnally
In my opinion it should be you should be allowed to shoot anyone who's breaking into your house.
This used to be my opinion as well. I've had a change of heart as of late. Just because you're allowed to shoot someone I don't think I would unless it was a last resort. I would detain them and call the law, but taking a life if I didn't have to? Well I'd know for the rest of my life that I didn't have to, and would live with that guilt. I've got enough shit on my mind that will be with me till the end.
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  #29  
Old 07-26-2007, 04:40 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Originally Posted by RandMcnally
The way I look at it, you shouldn't be trying to break into my house. Don't break into my house, don't get shot. Simple, really.
If they die, they don't have to think about it anymore and they're not learning any big lesson here, so this kind of thinking only goes so far.

I, however, have to live with all of the consequences, which go far beyond the physical clean-up and legal issues.

You might think of it as "Cool, now I can post in the Have you ever killed another Human being thread", but I'm a little more reasonable and a lot less callous than that.
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  #30  
Old 07-26-2007, 04:58 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Originally Posted by Sailboat
It's probably for the best that Grammar Nazis seldom carry guns.
Yeah, you need to be protected in those dark alleyways when you're about to mug those innocent other languages

I know the original quote isn't about grammar
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  #31  
Old 07-26-2007, 06:18 PM
Cardinal Cardinal is offline
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Originally Posted by dangermom
I don't think you can just shoot anyone willy-nilly. The rule is that it has to be in defense of you or your family, not in defense of your property, and it's good if that is really obvious.
So I have to query the person who just broke through my window as to his intentions? I have to have a meeting about whether I can shoot him? Screw that.
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  #32  
Old 07-26-2007, 06:20 PM
Cardinal Cardinal is offline
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Originally Posted by Omegaman
This used to be my opinion as well. I've had a change of heart as of late. Just because you're allowed to shoot someone I don't think I would unless it was a last resort.
The problem with that being that it's almost by definition extremely close quarters, and often the intruder can reach you before you can get off 2 well-aimed shots. So if he makes any sudden movements, I strongly recommend you take them as threatening.
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  #33  
Old 07-26-2007, 07:30 PM
trupa trupa is offline
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Originally Posted by Cardinal
So I have to query the person who just broke through my window as to his intentions? I have to have a meeting about whether I can shoot him? Screw that.

Cardinal. this is coming from someone who's on the same side of the fence as you. I read that in some state's CCW class, you have to list 5 reasons why someone may have broken into your home with no ill motives. Some possibilities that occurred to me:

-drunk/medically altered mental status person who thinks it's their house, their keys don't work for some reason, and just wants to go to bed.

-your own kid who forgot their keys and is coming home too late, and hopes you won't wake up

-woman fleeing her suicidal husband intent on killing her first.

-person having a medical emergency seeking immediate help or a phone.

or it could just be your own wife coming up the stairs after checking on something the cat knocked over in the living room.

It should give one pause for thought, if only for the 2 - 3 seconds necessary for a second look.
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  #34  
Old 07-26-2007, 08:57 PM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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Originally Posted by trupa
It should give one pause for thought, if only for the 2 - 3 seconds necessary for a second look.
All good reasons (though not the only ones, not by a long stretch!) for why I generally advocate a slide action shotgun for home protection. If you call out "Halt! Identify yourself!" followed immediately by chambering a round, whoever they are, they'll either pause or flee. The unmistakable schick-chak! of the slide will freeze anyone but the most dangerous, giving you time to assess the situation and avoid a tragedy. Only a real hardcase will open fire immediately, and even then, they don't know where you are, and they've just removed all your doubts, as well as giving away their own location in a most illuminating manner.
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  #35  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:00 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Originally Posted by Tranquilis
All good reasons (though not the only ones, not by a long stretch!) for why I generally advocate a slide action shotgun for home protection. If you call out "Halt! Identify yourself!" followed immediately by chambering a round, whoever they are, they'll either pause or flee. The unmistakable schick-chak! of the slide will freeze anyone but the most dangerous, giving you time to assess the situation and avoid a tragedy. Only a real hardcase will open fire immediately, and even then, they don't know where you are, and they've just removed all your doubts, as well as giving away their own location in a most illuminating manner.
The "unmistakable schick-chak! of the slide" will let an intruder know where you are, and also gives the chance that you'll short-stroke the weapon and find yourself on an empty chamber. This is tactically a bad move, however effective it may appear on the televisor. The appropriate warning is, "I'm armed, turn around and leave my house, now!"

Stranger
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  #36  
Old 07-26-2007, 10:28 PM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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Oh, it's effective enough in real life too, as I've reason to know (from both ends). The sound of the slide is generally not any more localizable than your voice, probably less so. Seeing as you're aslo advocating challenging the intuder, though, I absolutely fail to see what your point is; Your challenge, or mine, either way, they're going to have a general idea of where you are, but not a precise one. In my challenge, though, there's absolutely no doubt that I am armed. In yours, a sufficiently cocky intruder might decide you're bluffing.

You know my attitude on training; I don't short stroke a weapon, and anyone who follows my advice on training won't, either.
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  #37  
Old 07-26-2007, 11:23 PM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is online now
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Originally Posted by Chimera
If they die, they don't have to think about it anymore and they're not learning any big lesson here, so this kind of thinking only goes so far.

I, however, have to live with all of the consequences, which go far beyond the physical clean-up and legal issues.

You might think of it as "Cool, now I can post in the Have you ever killed another Human being thread", but I'm a little more reasonable and a lot less callous than that.

I'm not worried about them learning a lesson, I'm concerned with them never wanting to break into my house again.

But I'm also very callous. I've had to seriously question my ability to take a life. I've sat down and asked myself, 'could I sleep knowing someone is no longer living because of my actions?' And I've come to the conclusion that yes, yes I could. In my mind, if you deserve to die, whether it be because you are breaking into my home or an insurgent in Iraq, I will have no qualms making sure you get what you deserve.
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  #38  
Old 07-26-2007, 11:29 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
The "unmistakable schick-chak! of the slide" will let an intruder know where you are, and also gives the chance that you'll short-stroke the weapon and find yourself on an empty chamber. This is tactically a bad move, however effective it may appear on the televisor. The appropriate warning is, "I'm armed, turn around and leave my house, now!"

Stranger
I strongly disagree. That is a very obvious sound and a heavy duty weapon. Only a complete fool or someone too drugged out of his mind to know reality disregards it.

My sister had a shotgun but no shells for it. She chased off an intruder into her house with nothing but that sound.

What would she have done if he'd kept coming? It's still a long, heavy wood and metal object that can be used as a club or shoved down his throat.
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  #39  
Old 07-26-2007, 11:41 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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When I was growing up in Texas, I always heard that if you shot an intruder, the body had to be completely inside the house, not just on your property, because it could turn out to be the mailman or someone like that. And that there was even a legal question about shooting an intruder and then his body was sticking half out of the house, like in the doorway, so the thing to do was drag the body all the way inside before calling police. This was taken as gospel, but I never knew if it was really like that.

As for that doctor and his family, sad news, yes, but maybe if he'd had access to a gun, he'd be dead now, too. Or maybe his case would have turned out okay, while many, many others would have ended tragically but would not have otherwise. I've always subscribed to the view that if you have a gun, someone is likely to get shot, and it could just be yourself. One of the reasons I left Texas.
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  #40  
Old 07-26-2007, 11:49 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by Phlosphr
If you legally own a permitted gun you can shoot an intruder without having to prove you were fleeing.
Last I heard in CA if you are in a legit self defense situation permitting and right to posess firearms are irrelevant. A convicted felon and a friend are cornered in a house, friend has a gun but lacks the will to use it, hands over to felon, who shoots person confronting them inside the house, that felon will most likely not be charged with any crime.

Paraphrased from my recollection of the "How to own a gun and stay out of jail in CA" book.

IIRC there are several precedents for this type of scenario on the books.

Last edited by drachillix; 07-26-2007 at 11:50 PM.. Reason: spelling
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  #41  
Old 07-27-2007, 12:00 AM
ITR champion ITR champion is offline
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Originally Posted by Phlosphr
In reference to this grisly home invasion in Connecticut, Chris Cuomo on GMA this morning said ..."If you legally own a permitted gun you can shoot an intruder without having to prove you were fleeing....and now for the weather with Sam Champion. "

I do not remember the exact law, but it is the statute that says if someone breaks into your home and you are being threatened you can shoot said person. 19 U.S. states have a named law for this, but all 50 have a common law (?) that states you can shoot an intruder on your property if you are threatened. Not sure if it counts for permitted or unpermitted guns. I would think it does.

What do you think about this law in lieu of the home invasion story in CT.
I am very much in favor "requirement to flee" rather than "castle laws", the reason being twofold.

First, property is worth less than human life, including criminal life.

Second, the majority of home intruders are not looking for a conflict. They enter hoping that the house is empty, and will flee as soon as there's an indication that someone's home. Hence in the typical case, trying to shoot the intruder is unnecessary.

The story in Connecticut does not affect my take on this issue one way or the other.

As for the gun control aspects of your question, I've always been one of those who believes that all private ownership of firearms should be outlawed.

This thread, like many others, confirms that most people imagine themselves using their guns to protect some sinister, sophisticated career criminal. You're more likely to encounter two categories of criminals: desperate people making desperate and poorly-planned crimes, and drunken bums.

As for myself, I'm entirely safe at night because my property has the ultimate security device: a large, stupid dog.
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  #42  
Old 07-27-2007, 12:03 AM
1010011010 1010011010 is offline
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Originally Posted by RandMcnally
In my mind, if you deserve to die, whether it be because you are breaking into my home or an insurgent in Iraq, I will have no qualms making sure you get what you deserve.
What's your take on civilians who shoot at US troops while they're doing residence sweeps for insurgents?

If someone has broken into my house while my family is home, I will assume he has plans for dealing with any members of my family he may encounter. I have no obligation to give him any chance to put those plans into effect.

I don't have any particular intention to be stealthy or quick, so if his plan was to run away he'll have a chance to implement it.
If he has other plans, I will stop him.
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  #43  
Old 07-27-2007, 12:04 AM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by Tranquilis
All good reasons (though not the only ones, not by a long stretch!) for why I generally advocate a slide action shotgun for home protection. If you call out "Halt! Identify yourself!" followed immediately by chambering a round, whoever they are, they'll either pause or flee. The unmistakable schick-chak! of the slide will freeze anyone but the most dangerous, giving you time to assess the situation and avoid a tragedy. Only a real hardcase will open fire immediately, and even then, they don't know where you are, and they've just removed all your doubts, as well as giving away their own location in a most illuminating manner.
This is, no matter how you slice it piss poor tactical, behavior. Never surrender any information to an opponent with your life potentially on the line. At most household distances a shotgun is difficult to manuver without serious practice. Why give the hard case a chance to start shooting, we are already talking about someone willing to force entry into your home while you are there.

Not to mention, a gas actuated semi auto shotgun makes a very similar sound when you chamber a round and requires far less coordination to fire multiple shots. Watch a rookie skeet shooter with a pump shotgun sometime and prepare for entertainment.
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  #44  
Old 07-27-2007, 02:38 AM
Testy Testy is offline
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Originally Posted by ITR champion
I am very much in favor "requirement to flee" rather than "castle laws", the reason being twofold.

First, property is worth less than human life, including criminal life.

Second, the majority of home intruders are not looking for a conflict. They enter hoping that the house is empty, and will flee as soon as there's an indication that someone's home. Hence in the typical case, trying to shoot the intruder is unnecessary.

The story in Connecticut does not affect my take on this issue one way or the other.

As for the gun control aspects of your question, I've always been one of those who believes that all private ownership of firearms should be outlawed.
<SNIP>.
ITR Champion
I agree that most thieves/criminals don't want conflict. They just want to take your property and haul it off and sell it. If the owner is either unwilling or incapable of defending it then so much the better. I'm not sure why I should tolerate such behavior.

Regards

Testy
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  #45  
Old 07-27-2007, 03:33 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Originally Posted by Digital Stimulus
Funny that you mention England, even in jest. Made me think of a couple of news items (some months old, and I forget the details) that are linked in my head, one dealing with crime stats in England and another with gun use for self-defense here in the states. IIRC, and there's a fair chance that I don't, there was an upsurge of violent (gun-related) crime in England recently, and citizens were at a huge disadvantage, as gun control is pretty strict (y'know, "outlaw guns and only criminals will have them"). The item from the states concerned the question of justification; the home owner was being sued by a burglar for, y'know, protecting themselves. It just made me ponder the gun control question (and reinforce some of my opinions), that's all.
Couple of points: the gun-related crime over here has mostly been criminal-on-criminal, with some innocent bystanders getting caught in the crossfire (gangstas' girlfriends and kid sisters and so on); armed intrusions into the home are rare. Similarly, the most recent change in laws on gun ownership concerned handguns, which historically haven't been used for home defence to any significant extent in many years. It's a stretch to say "citizens were at a huge disadvantage"; for most Brits, it's unrealistic to expect to ever be on the wrong end of a gun.
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  #46  
Old 07-27-2007, 03:48 AM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Originally Posted by Malacandra
Couple of points...
And I'm glad I included that "IIRC" as a waffle, even if it doesn't quite apply. What stuck in my head was that at least part of the article was about the difficulty the "bobbies" were having in dealing with the crime. Not that that's really applicable here either, although it would lessen my confidence in the police's ability to deal with such circumstances.

Thank you for clarifying the situation.
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  #47  
Old 07-27-2007, 06:14 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.
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  #48  
Old 07-27-2007, 07:46 AM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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Originally Posted by drachillix
This is, no matter how you slice it piss poor tactical, behavior. Never surrender any information to an opponent with your life potentially on the line. At most household distances a shotgun is difficult to manuver without serious practice. Why give the hard case a chance to start shooting, we are already talking about someone willing to force entry into your home while you are there.
You are presuming that it's a criminal. I presume nothing except forced entry.

I myself forced entry into my own home, when locked out of the house and no one inside was responding. Fortunately for me, my father is the kind to challenge, first. And yes, that slide sound is immediately arresting. You call it piss-poor tactical behavior, I call it making certain of the situation and reasonable caution. Had he responded as you suggest, it's quite possible I'd not be here to argue this point with you.

Call it what you want, I stand by my position.
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  #49  
Old 07-27-2007, 07:57 AM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam
When I was growing up in Texas, I always heard that if you shot an intruder, the body had to be completely inside the house, not just on your property, because it could turn out to be the mailman or someone like that. And that there was even a legal question about shooting an intruder and then his body was sticking half out of the house, like in the doorway, so the thing to do was drag the body all the way inside before calling police. This was taken as gospel, but I never knew if it was really like that.

As for that doctor and his family, sad news, yes, but maybe if he'd had access to a gun, he'd be dead now, too. Or maybe his case would have turned out okay, while many, many others would have ended tragically but would not have otherwise. I've always subscribed to the view that if you have a gun, someone is likely to get shot, and it could just be yourself. One of the reasons I left Texas.
I, too, was raised in Texas and heard the same story about dragging the body inside the house. I've also heard it here in Florida.
In my time in Texas, the assumption was that all men owned at least one gun; men who didn't own guns were strange, in some undefined way. Boys were given BB guns at around six years of age, moving on to pellet guns at around ten and actual weapons at around twelve. I owned a .22 rifle and a .410 shotgun at thirteen; I learned how to use them by observing others using theirs---there were always guns at hand and someone to tell you about them.
During my younger days in Texas, there was also a pervasive air of violence and it was generally understood that a burglar was fair game.
I've often wondered if the availability of guns and a belligerent attitude went hand in hand. Leaving Texas was, for me, the best thing I've ever done.
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  #50  
Old 07-27-2007, 08:16 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix
Not to mention, a gas actuated semi auto shotgun makes a very similar sound when you chamber a round and requires far less coordination to fire multiple shots. Watch a rookie skeet shooter with a pump shotgun sometime and prepare for entertainment.
Hey! Until I got my '73 Charles Daly (Miroku) last week, I was shooting a Mossberg 500 28 inch in 20 gauge in trap, and I was doing 16s. Which isn't great, but it's not bad. (My first round with the Daly, I got 22. And I had a massive headache)

The Mossberg is now retired to my parent's bedroom for precisely the reasons mentioned above. Plus, it won't go through walls so much. (And how hard is it to remember, 'load up the chute, pump loudly, announce'?)
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