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Old 03-23-2013, 08:39 PM
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Default Home Invasion Question

I've always had at least one firearm in my various residences. Except for a shotgun that I no longer own, they were all small caliber, either rifles or revolvers. It was clear to me in the past that if I shot an intruder with these small rounds, it probably wouldn't be shooting to kill, but rather to disarm or disable. That's OK with me, because killing someone - unless I'm staring down the barrel of their gun - conflicts with my personal beliefs. At those times when I lived in states without a "castle doctrine," I was also aware that shooting an intruder who was unarmed could be much more expensive and risky if he lived than if he died. That was OK with me, too. I've learned over the years that there's often a price to be paid for doing the right thing. I know many people won't agree with me on these points, but I wanted to present my views.

To get to the question, my situation recently changed when I bought a 9mm semiautomatic. With the larger caliber of this gun and its large capacity mag, it's a shoot to kill weapon. It's extremely unlikely that anyone entering my house uninvited in the middle of the night would live to talk about it. Bearing in mind how I feel about all this, is it ill-advised from a personal safety perspective to shout a warning through the door if someone is attempting to force their way inside? I don't mean standing directly at the door, of course, but rather in a position removed from the immediate area, but where a verbal warning could be reasonably expected to be heard outside. Is there any historical or even anecdotal data to indicate that such an approach places the homeowner in more or less danger than killing the intruder after they enter the home?
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Home Invasion Question

In general you do not pull the trigger unless the intruder does not comply with you request. If you yell get out of my house and they do not leave its time to act. If they do leave get on the phone and call the police. It's better to not have to use your gun unless you have to. Or at least that's how I feel

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Old 03-23-2013, 09:08 PM
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If you suspect a home invasion in progress, you should be on the phone to LEO as you are voicing your warnings to the BG. Your call will be recorded, and there will be documented evidence that you made every effort to dissuade the BG from entering your home. "Go away!", "Leave me alone!", "Get out of my house!", etc. are all reasonable attempts to avert a violent situation. Should the scenario go south, and you are put in a position to use deadly force, deadly force is what you employ to save your life ... not wounding force, or scare 'em away force.

While I respect your personal beliefs, I believe that owning a firearm for self defense is an all-or-nothing proposition. No one wants to haphazardly take a life, but thinking a firearm should be used as a diversionary tool rather than a deadly weapon is foolhardy. Carefully research civilian & LEO shootings and see how many BGs were completely incapacitated when wounded vs. how many BGs fought on. Also research big game hunters sentiments on the fighting tenacity of wounded animals. In the case of defending oneself from a violent aggressor, you shoot until the threat is eliminated.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:10 PM
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If you're staring down the barrel of a gun, you have no choices other than to say a prayer. Nobody in their right mind wants to take a life. We simply want to stop them from hurting us. If they die as a result, so be it. At that point in time, personal beliefs or legality don't matter if you are truly defending yourself.

Some instructors advocate a warning. Some do not. I won't until I identify the person. Then I will tell them to stop. You will have milliseconds to make a shoot/no shoot decision. But don't count on a verbal warning to scare them off. You will only succeed in letting them know exactly where you are.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:45 PM
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It is not required on our state, but mc5aw's advise about vocalizing your warning while on the phone is the same as the LEO instructor's at the CPL class I took. They also stressed the fact that people will keep coming without knowing they're injured for minutes simply on adrenalin. If that worst case happens, the advise is to keep firing at center mass until they go down. The legal aspect of the class is as or more valuable than the shooting skills, especially since every state is different. I highly recommend that you spend the time and money for the training and information. It really helped me process and settle all of those questions.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:00 PM
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Anyone, after a shooting, will find themselves in a position where they have to articulate what actions they took. Its always best to have an attorney present when that occurs. Before something like that happens, it is best to get familiar with your state/local laws on the use of deadly force.

In terms of "shooting disarm or disable," most people find that when leveling a firearm at a deadly threat, the fight or flight thing kicks in and the gross motor skills take over, and with the tunnel vision and all - people find that center mass of the threat is the best they can reasonably do.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:55 PM
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A verbal warning would be situational at best.

If someone bursts into your bedroom at 2am, shouting a warning is probably not the 1st thing that will pop into your mind.
Alternatively, hearing someone creeping around down stairs at 2am is a completely different scenario.
It is a good thing to discuss, research and understand what the potential repercussions of a self defense shooting are and more importantly to be comfortable with them long before every purchasing a firearm for the express purpose of self defense.
At the moment of truth you do not need indecision keeping your finger off the trigger.

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Old 03-23-2013, 11:48 PM
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Thanks for the excellent comments! Just to clarify, I was referring only to a situation where a would-be intruder is attempting to forcibly enter the home through a locked door. The law in Texas is very clear on this issue, so my concern is only for whatever impact it might have on my personal safety to warn an unknown assailant who is still on the other side of the door. No warning is required in Texas in this situation, either before or after an individual forces their way into the residence. An individual attempting to force their way in can in fact be shot through the door, and the homeowner - according to law - will be held blameless if he believed his life was in danger. I would never shoot blind though, so my concern is only whether to attempt to warn such a person away before they enter, or wait for them to gain entry, and then shoot. Again, not a legal issue, just trying to sort out the best approach for myself beforehand.

FWIW, I was prompted to ask about this as a result of a 911 recording that I heard on YouTube earlier today. During the call, the Oklahoma homeowner waited patiently inside with the 911 operator on the line until the intruder broke down the door. Then he fired three shots. He is not expected to be charged, but I couldn't help wondering why he didn't attempt to warn the burglar away.

Thanks again for everyone's input!
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:27 AM
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Sometimes, bad guys have to live (or die) by the decisions they make. IMHO, every home invader needs to be waited on on the other side of the door by an armed homeowner. If 90% of their worthless butts were killed just inside the door, maybe this insanity would stop.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:13 AM
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I really think you should invest in a good alarm system and a Rottweiler. A small caliber or large caliber Rottweiler. Doesn't matter.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeffersonwasright View Post
Thanks for the excellent comments! Just to clarify, I was referring only to a situation where a would-be intruder is attempting to forcibly enter the home through a locked door.
This example is still too general to give a consistent response. We've had discussions about this in the past. Is the intruder a meth head looking for a quick drug money score? Is he one of a trio of BGs who are trying to enter and perpetrate a violent home invasion? Or is he simply the town drunk who is so plastered that he's keying into the wrong house? Awareness of one's situation will help to determine one's actions. Coming down in the middle of the night and seeing/hearing your back door being jostled might first warrant a stern, "The police are on their way! I have a gun! Go away!" BGs should be inclined to leave, while the town drunk may not process your command. Obviously, you need to be armed when addressing this situation, no matter who is paying a visit. Hopefully, LEO will be on the scene before you are forced to act, but that is often times wishful thinking.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffersonwasright View Post
... but I couldn't help wondering why he didn't attempt to warn the burglar away.
mc5aw's first post in this thread is golden. It was very balanced, reasonable, insightful, and sensitive to where the OP is coming from. That said, I'll go down a less tolerant path. It's just my opinion, of course.

One good reason not to shout a warning (as a poster has already said here) is that it gives your location away. (So do steady-stream flash lights at night.) You lose a tactical advantage that you need. 'Tactical' is not a dirty word -- do you want to live? Are people counting on you for some kind of support, or even your simple reassuring presence? Then you have a duty to survive this if the knock (or the shattering glass) comes. How do you know the guy at the door is acting alone? What if his job is to distract and occupy you while his buddy comes through the back door to subdue you, or take your wife or child hostage, and then unlock the front door?

I read an interesting statement by the FBI recently. Whereas in years past burglars avoided the use of weapons -- which added time to their sentences -- we are now, as a Nation, so broadly and predictably armed for legitimate self defense, that the bad guys are beginning to arm themselves again for 'illegitimate' self defense! And they're working in crews more often than they used to, for the purposes of shock, awe, and tactical advantage through overwhelming numbers. There are too many 13-rd Gkocks out there to ignore, so they form larger teams.

I don't want to shoot either, but I look at this philosophically (and even religiously). Anyone who is trying to break into my house, where my 10-yr old daughter lives, has already forfeited his right to compassionate treatment and restraint from me (the other reason the Texas homeowner remained silent, I suspect; he was morally willing to 'take out the trash...'). When an aggressor makes a foolish life-or-death choice, and has the gall to involve me in it, his rights end at my door.

You mentioned "shooting to kill." Another member called it "shooting till the threat is down." That's the proper view to take; you want to stop a threat from proceeding, pure and simple, and expired aggressors are incidental to this goal; the goal of survival. If you happen to miss the Vulcan pinch point with your generous 'warning' shot, and hit an aorta, oh well. Bad for him, and better his than yours. But it was his choice to be at your door, and now your actions may have some input into whether he appears the next night at someone else's door.

BTW, personally, I wouldn't linger near an entrance trying to forestall an invasion. I'd grab cell phone, gun, and daughter, and retreat to the most defensible part of the house -- the part I have already selected in case I ever have to go there -- and make my stand there. If in my absence the bad guys plunder the house, fine. The cops are coming, and it's only stuff. But they're not coming upstairs.

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Old 03-24-2013, 04:36 AM
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First eliminate the thoughts of shooting to disable or wound because of the caliber you were carrying at the time. Many a person shot with a .22 was killed instantly because the bullet hit the right spot.

Every situation would/could be different dependent on your state law, your level of training and the actions of the suspect. If your state law says you do not have to give a warning, you can shoot through the door and so on do what you feel you have to do but realize when this happens and you then find out you have shot your neighbors 12 year old who was banging on your door to alert you of a fire at his house you also have to live with the aftermath.

Everyone has to make their own decisions in regards to the given situation. As for myself I will identify my target before shooting, give a warning if appropriate from a position of cover and will use whatever force needed to stop the threat from harming me or mine whether that is the simple display of a firearm and intent to use it to multiple rounds fire with a reload if the threat remains.

Once you engage, engage with the purpose of shooting until he stops whatever he was doing that made you shoot him in the first place. Whether or not your state has a castle doctrine or not just because you can shoot, should you. There have been several high profile cases where the castle doctrine and stand your ground laws have been questioned and challenged.

If I find a person in my living room at 0300 my intent is to stop the threat which includes the suspect leaving my home willingly to be apprehended outside away from my family. If he is armed all bets are off unless he chooses to comply same if unarmed. If he complies great if he poses a threat then he is dealt with accordingly.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:27 AM
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I am curious why you consider a 9mm to be a "shoot to kill" weapon when other loads you've had were not. 9mm is a great little round, but definitely not the man-stopper some rounds can be. (Also don't get me wrong, I love my 9mm, for me the purchase was made because the gun would be fun to shoot more than because I wanted to be able to crack the engine block of a Mack Truck.)

Shooting to wound, is a great idea in theory... in fact the one anti, that I have discussions with on a regular basis, wants to believe that a 20 gauge fired at the legs is enough to stop a dedicated attacker, and while it MAY be is it worth taking that chance? (Its like buying sub-par insurance, it might help you, but if you can't be 100% sure of it what's the point?) I, like you, don't want to kill anyone (ever, for any reason) even hurting someone is a terrifying prospect for me, and if it was JUST me in danger, I'd be less inclined to act in my own defense. That all said, I have a wife, and almost more importantly 2 little ones. The discussion at that point is open and shut, you endanger my kids or wife and we're past the point of a discussion, or even a warning shot. (To be honest this rule applies whether I have my 9mm, a baseball bat, or just my bare hands if need be.)

As for firing a warning shot through the door, I am glad you have the law on lock. That's number 1, know the laws as they stand, make an informed decision. After that, though, I would hold my fire until they were through the door. First off, someone breaking in, I am going to need to replace the door whether they crowbar it or I shoot it, so that point is null. Second, I'd MUCH prefer the police to do the job that I pay my taxes for, if they can arrive before the door breaks, good (in a situation like this every second I can stall before needing to take a shot the better.) (In fact, this is one of the major reason's I think Joey Biden's "Shoot your 12 gauge through the door!" line is moronic.) Third, (and has been mentioned) the longer you have to prepare/identify the person breaking in/talk to the police/get your family out of the area where gun play might be happening the better.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:29 AM
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While gun forums are a great place to chat, trade pics, share opinions and pose questions of those more knowledgeable...

I feel that you might benefit from some overall philosophy training! There are many alarming statements in your original post, regarding your overall mindset. (caliber of weapon, shoot to kill, shoot to wound, should I give verbal warning...etc...)

One excellent resource is the book by Masaad Ayoob, In the Gravest Extreme., which deals with self-defense shootings, overall mindset, post-shooting suggestions, etc..
Although written in 1980, it remains relevant to this day.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffersonwasright View Post
I've always had at least one firearm in my various residences. Except for a shotgun that I no longer own, they were all small caliber, either rifles or revolvers. It was clear to me in the past that if I shot an intruder with these small rounds, it probably wouldn't be shooting to kill, but rather to disarm or disable. That's OK with me, because killing someone - unless I'm staring down the barrel of their gun - conflicts with my personal beliefs. At those times when I lived in states without a "castle doctrine," I was also aware that shooting an intruder who was unarmed could be much more expensive and risky if he lived than if he died. That was OK with me, too. I've learned over the years that there's often a price to be paid for doing the right thing. I know many people won't agree with me on these points, but I wanted to present my views.

To get to the question, my situation recently changed when I bought a 9mm semiautomatic. With the larger caliber of this gun and its large capacity mag, it's a shoot to kill weapon. It's extremely unlikely that anyone entering my house uninvited in the middle of the night would live to talk about it. Bearing in mind how I feel about all this, is it ill-advised from a personal safety perspective to shout a warning through the door if someone is attempting to force their way inside? I don't mean standing directly at the door, of course, but rather in a position removed from the immediate area, but where a verbal warning could be reasonably expected to be heard outside. Is there any historical or even anecdotal data to indicate that such an approach places the homeowner in more or less danger than killing the intruder after they enter the home?
I am sorry to respond in a negative way. There is so much wrong with the wording of your post that you might be surrounded by anti gun people.
1. You can never shoot someone unless you are in imminent danger, usually that means a person is near you with a weapon and threatening to use it.
2. There is no such thing as a "Killer gun" and magazine capacity has nothing to do with it. Killers are deranged people.
3. All the castle doctrine does is say that you are not required to run from an aggressive person.
4. If someone walked in your house uninvited in the middle of the night then you did not lock your door. If you did it is breaking and entering.
If you leave your door unlocked all night you must confront an intruder and tell him to leave. You must call police and explain the situation.
Obviously if he attacks you when you are trying to call police the situation has changed and you are now able to defend yourself.
Obviously if you have a gun and he does not then the Minimum Necessary Force issue comes up. No court approves of someone shooting someone who was unarmed, was only drunk perhaps, and thinking he is in the right house for example.

Somewhere you have heard all the anti gun rhetoric and they phrase it wrong intentionally.

Tell them to walk in a restaurant cooking area and tell you which knife is a killer knife. No knife is a killer knife. Only some people are killers. Just like hammers. No hammer is a killer hammer.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Delos View Post
If you leave your door unlocked all night you must confront an intruder and tell him to leave. You must call police and explain the situation.
I don't believe that one....

So if I forget to lock my door anyone can walk in and I cannot defend myself until I talk to him first?

What if I think I locked my door?

What if I locked it but my wife unlocked it?

I'll have to research it, but I've always believed a person in a house that wasn't theirs was breaking and entering, no matter how they got in.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:44 AM
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OP, you are either poorly informed on the lethality of any caliber, living under the many lyths of internet lore, and throwing a line upon the waters.

Go have a talk with a lawyer who's well versed in criminal and civil matter in regards to self protection in the state of Texas.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
1. You can never shoot someone unless you are in imminent danger, usually that means a person is near you with a weapon and threatening to use it.
Not true.

Quote:
4. If someone walked in your house uninvited in the middle of the night then you did not lock your door. If you did it is breaking and entering.
Not true. Door doesn't have to be locked to constitute breaking and entering.


Quote:
If you leave your door unlocked all night you must confront an intruder and tell him to leave. You must call police and explain the situation.
Not true.

Quote:
Obviously if you have a gun and he does not then the Minimum Necessary Force issue comes up. No court approves of someone shooting someone who was unarmed, was only drunk perhaps, and thinking he is in the right house for example.
Also wrong.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:58 AM
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Nope. You have to actually break or disable something to enter the premises or property for it to be breaking and entering. Hence the "breaking" part. Being on private property with the intent of doing something unlawful is criminal trespass. That's where the notion of having to tell someone to leave if your door was unlocked comes into play. Your drunk neighbor comes stumbling in because the door is unlocked and he's inebriated to the point of getting his house wrong. You shoot him. Cops come, find his car full of beer cans, no sign of forced entry, and no weapon. Who do you think is in trouble now?
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:16 AM
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Nope. You have to actually break or disable something to enter the premises or property for it to be breaking and entering. Hence the "breaking" part.
This is incorrect, according to the following source's definition:

breaking and entering | LII / Legal Information Institute
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffersonwasright View Post
Thanks for the excellent comments! Just to clarify, I was referring only to a situation where a would-be intruder is attempting to forcibly enter the home through a locked door. The law in Texas is very clear on this issue, so my concern is only for whatever impact it might have on my personal safety to warn an unknown assailant who is still on the other side of the door. No warning is required in Texas in this situation, either before or after an individual forces their way into the residence. An individual attempting to force their way in can in fact be shot through the door, and the homeowner - according to law - will be held blameless if he believed his life was in danger. I would never shoot blind though, so my concern is only whether to attempt to warn such a person away before they enter, or wait for them to gain entry, and then shoot. Again, not a legal issue, just trying to sort out the best approach for myself beforehand.

FWIW, I was prompted to ask about this as a result of a 911 recording that I heard on YouTube earlier today. During the call, the Oklahoma homeowner waited patiently inside with the 911 operator on the line until the intruder broke down the door. Then he fired three shots. He is not expected to be charged, but I couldn't help wondering why he didn't attempt to warn the burglar away.

Thanks again for everyone's input!
Based on my personal experiences:
Make sure it's not a SWAT team at the wrong address before you start shooting. (bad karma)
Make sure it's not a drunk neighbor at the wrong address.
Make sure its not a rape victim trying to escape her attacker. Identify your target.

The situation you discribe-- individual outside an outer door that is locked-- is not clear in regard to Texas law. Don't delude yourself. The results (in court)of your actions in defending yourself WILL vary depending on your location.

Use "shoot to kill" in your discussions and you will be isolated and portrayed as a madman in Austin, no good instructor will fail to warn against such language. ("stop the threat" is the terminology).

I'm not talking about fairness or any happy BS, your question is essentially "what happens after I shoot?". Nothing is cut and dried, even in the Lone Star State.

Please get training (even if only concealed carry permit) and get self defense insurance from a well respected law firm that specializes in self defense and 2nd amendment law. (I use Texas Law Shield, and part of their service is getting you up to speed on the law and continuing education with updates and refreshers.)

When seconds count, Austin PD is only minutes away.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:52 AM
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Guys state laws regarding B&E vary from state to state and the fact that the door was unlocked does not matter in many places.

In Arkansas it is Breaking or Entering and usually applies to vehicles and non occupied structures while Burglary is the act of entering an occupied structure so there are differences state to state so know your individual laws.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
To get to the question, my situation recently changed when I bought a 9mm semiautomatic. With the larger caliber of this gun and its large capacity mag, it's a shoot to kill weapon.
You may be over estimating the power of your hand gun. Unless you manage to break some bones or put a few in the head, you are still facing some danger. There are very few one shot instant kills, no matter what TV shows demonstrate. Humans are tough. There are a lot of stories of people hitting the BG multiple times and still getting hurt themselves, or the BG running off.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:02 AM
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This is incorrect, according to the following source's definition:

breaking and entering | LII / Legal Information Institute
Well I'd give you that the (even pushing open a door) being the gray area and up for interpretation. But you'd have a good argument in court either way with that one. Wikipedia has this to say:

Breaking can be either actual, such as by forcing open a door, or constructive, such as by fraud or threats.[4] Breaking does not require that anything be "broken" in terms of physical damage occurring. A person who has permission to enter part of a house, but not another part, commits a breaking and entering when they use any means to enter a room where they are not permitted, so long as the room was not open to enter.
Entering can involve either physical entry by a person or the insertion of an instrument with which to remove property. Insertion of a tool to gain entry may not constitute entering by itself.[4] Note that there must be a breaking and an entering for common law burglary. Breaking without entry or entry without breaking is not sufficient for common law burglary.

Although rarely listed as an element, the common law required that "entry occur as a consequence of the breaking".[7] For example, if a wrongdoer partially opened a window by using a pry bar and then noticed an open door through which he entered the dwelling, there is no burglary at common law.[7][Note 1] The use of the pry bar would not constitute an entry even if a portion of the prybar "entered" the residence. Under the instrumentality rule the use of an instrument to effect a breaking would not constitute an entry. However, if any part of the perpetrator's body entered the residence in an attempt to gain entry, the instrumentality rule did not apply. Thus, if the perpetrator uses the prybar to pry open the window and then used his hands to lift the partially opened window, an "entry" would have taken place when he grasped the bottom of the window with his hands

So they're definitely some gray area and I guess would fall to whoever's side had the better attorney. My thought is, I'm still going to know for sure who I'm about to pull the trigger on.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:28 AM
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While it's been said/posted before this "shoot to wound" thing is a total myth. Anytime you shoot someone, regardless of caliber, it may kill them. There is no time to aim in a deadly confrontation, you shoot to survive in a moment of adrenilin driven terror. I know b/c I've been there.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:20 AM
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If the perp is unarmed and doesn't advance toward me I don't think that I would shoot. If he takes my DVD player and runs out the door I would just wave at him. After all, a new DVD is cheaper than a new carpet and lawyer fees.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:20 AM
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See, now this is the thinking that has caused the castle laws to be adopted. There is a black and white issue being greyed up to the benefit of the criminal element. NO ONE has the right to enter your residence without your permission. Whether they walk through an open door, or come down the chimney. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to assess the threat and act accordingly. What makes a confused drunken neighbor less of a threat. (considering most rapes are committed by someone known to the victim). If he came in on me, I would handle it differently than I would want my teenage granddaughter to handle it.

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Well I'd give you that the (even pushing open a door) being the gray area and up for interpretation. But you'd have a good argument in court either way with that one. Wikipedia has this to say:

Breaking can be either actual, such as by forcing open a door, or constructive, such as by fraud or threats.[4] Breaking does not require that anything be "broken" in terms of physical damage occurring. A person who has permission to enter part of a house, but not another part, commits a breaking and entering when they use any means to enter a room where they are not permitted, so long as the room was not open to enter.
Entering can involve either physical entry by a person or the insertion of an instrument with which to remove property. Insertion of a tool to gain entry may not constitute entering by itself.[4] Note that there must be a breaking and an entering for common law burglary. Breaking without entry or entry without breaking is not sufficient for common law burglary.

Although rarely listed as an element, the common law required that "entry occur as a consequence of the breaking".[7] For example, if a wrongdoer partially opened a window by using a pry bar and then noticed an open door through which he entered the dwelling, there is no burglary at common law.[7][Note 1] The use of the pry bar would not constitute an entry even if a portion of the prybar "entered" the residence. Under the instrumentality rule the use of an instrument to effect a breaking would not constitute an entry. However, if any part of the perpetrator's body entered the residence in an attempt to gain entry, the instrumentality rule did not apply. Thus, if the perpetrator uses the prybar to pry open the window and then used his hands to lift the partially opened window, an "entry" would have taken place when he grasped the bottom of the window with his hands

So they're definitely some gray area and I guess would fall to whoever's side had the better attorney. My thought is, I'm still going to know for sure who I'm about to pull the trigger on.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:32 AM
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  1. My first priority is to survive, unharmed. EVERYTHING else flows from that goal.
  2. We have castle doctrine in Ohio. If you don't want to get shot, don't be a home invader. That's not terribly complicated.
  3. You NEVER shoot to wound OR kill. You shoot to stop the threat. You continue shooting until the threat is neutralized. The most reliable means of stopping the immediate and credible threat of unlawful deadly force is one or more gunshots, center of mass. That has a substantial likelihood of causing death. I couldn't care less whether it kills my assailant or not as long as it neutralizes the immediate threat of an unlawful deadly force attack. Once the threat is neutralized, you MUST stop the use of deadly force.
  4. Deadly force is deadly force, whether it's with a revolver or a 106mm RCL, whether with a .25 or a 25mm. If your assailant isn't dangerous enough to kill, he's not dangerous enough to SHOOT.
  5. No "warning shots", EVER. Bullets go somewhere. In a self-defense situation they should go into your assailant and no place else. In Ohio, I have immunity from suit from an assailant (and survivors, etc.) for a good shoot. I have NO immunity if my warning shot kills a bystander.

Self-defense is a serious issue. It needs to be treated seriously, and BEFORE it arises.

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Old 03-24-2013, 12:00 PM
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If he takes my DVD player and runs out the door I would just wave at him.
That's my position, as well. I *really* hate thieves, but not enough to shoot someone who's running away. Texas law does allow for the use of deadly force in that situation (to protect property), but I wouldn't do it. As for your comment about an intruder, I differ regarding the response once someone enters my home. If it occurs at night, it's unlikely I would be able to make an identification or determine whether they're armed (neither of which is required of me under Texas law) without losing the advantage necessary to protect my family. I know what to do in that situation.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:47 PM
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Whether they walk through an open door, or come down the chimney.
Note to Santa: Clearly identify yourself before entering the Rhiner residence.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:54 PM
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There are many alarming statements in your original post, regarding your overall mindset. (caliber of weapon, shoot to kill, shoot to wound, should I give verbal warning...etc...)
I was a little moritifed myself by the overall tone, but didn't want to be rude. That, and it sounded like he was trying to get a handle on the concept. But if there is any truth in the anti's vaporous claim that a gun in the house is "more likely to be taken away and used against you" (you'll have to swim against a current of JHPs in my house to do that), this may be that scenario. I mean no offense, but the OPs statements suggest he is not really committed to his own defense. It requires a mindset of counter-aggressiveness and resolve that appears lacking here. This, if anything, raises the question of whether a gun is best tool for this homeowner. You don't have to defend yourself with a gun (you can use alarm systems, dogs, cops, safe rooms) but it's a powerful, convenient, and effective tool for the job.

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Old 03-24-2013, 03:39 PM
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I've always had at least one firearm in my various residences. Except for a shotgun that I no longer own, they were all small caliber, either rifles or revolvers. It was clear to me in the past that if I shot an intruder with these small rounds, it probably wouldn't be shooting to kill, but rather to disarm or disable. That's OK with me, because killing someone - unless I'm staring down the barrel of their gun - conflicts with my personal beliefs. At those times when I lived in states without a "castle doctrine," I was also aware that shooting an intruder who was unarmed could be much more expensive and risky if he lived than if he died. That was OK with me, too. I've learned over the years that there's often a price to be paid for doing the right thing. I know many people won't agree with me on these points, but I wanted to present my views.

To get to the question, my situation recently changed when I bought a 9mm semiautomatic. With the larger caliber of this gun and its large capacity mag, it's a shoot to kill weapon. It's extremely unlikely that anyone entering my house uninvited in the middle of the night would live to talk about it. Bearing in mind how I feel about all this, is it ill-advised from a personal safety perspective to shout a warning through the door if someone is attempting to force their way inside? I don't mean standing directly at the door, of course, but rather in a position removed from the immediate area, but where a verbal warning could be reasonably expected to be heard outside. Is there any historical or even anecdotal data to indicate that such an approach places the homeowner in more or less danger than killing the intruder after they enter the home?
I havn't gone through all the responses yet ... but allow me to point out the simple fact that if you pull the trigger on any firearms, be it a 22 short of a 120MM cannon, it is LETHAL FORCE any way you slice it.
understand that completely and embrace it. Because you really have no business pulling that trigger if your life is not in danger.
I carry, and to a great degree, recommend a 45.
the reason being the speed at which it can stop an attack versus smaller arms.
Abandon the shoot to wound idea. Results are not instantaneous and may result in YOUR death after your attacker refuses you the same courtesy of seeking a kinder gentler method.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:35 PM
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Note to Santa: Clearly identify yourself before entering the Rhiner residence.
I HATE surprises
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:52 PM
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Doesnt have to be a warning...can just be a simple fact...."hey Mr. bad guy i know youre busy and all trying to bust down my door so you can rob us and probably kill us but i just wanted to let you know that as soon as you break through my door you will be able to turn around and see your brain matter all over the place."

I know its problably not this simple but the way i look at it is i rather be them than me or even worse my family. Would it suck to have killed someone....ya no doubt it would...but how bad would it suck that your family got raped and killed and you could have stopped it but you dint.......now you dont have a family and your tax money feeds and supplys a roof over this guys head....Ill take the shots.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:11 PM
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Abandon the shoot to wound idea.
Not once did I say that was my intent. I only said - to paraphrase - that in the past I was OK with the disadvantages of using a smaller calibre weapon when necessary for defense. It was what I owned. If you look closely, you'll also see that I've owned a shotgun. That gun lived within arm's reach next to my bed for more than thirty years. I was skilled in its use, and it was always loaded and ready to go.

One thing I should correct is the phrase "staring down the barrel of a gun." Several of you have taken me to task for that statement, and rightfully so. It wasn't meant to be taken literally, and that's my fault. I had hoped my meaning would be clarified by comments regarding intruders in the second paragraph of my OP. That seems to have gotten lost in the mix.

Thanks to everyone who has responded, but especially those who stayed OT and attempted to answer my original question. I realize this must seem like a very rudimentary issue, and I appreciate your advice.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffersonwasright View Post
It was clear to me in the past that if I shot an intruder with these small rounds, it probably wouldn't be shooting to kill, but rather to disarm or disable. That's OK with me, because killing someone - unless I'm staring down the barrel of their gun - conflicts with my personal beliefs.
With sincere respect for your personal beliefs:

Basic Rules of Safe Gun Handling

All guns are always loaded.
Never point a gun at anything you are UNWILLING TO DESTROY.
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
Know your target.
Keep your gun at the minimum level of readiness.


The idea of shooting to "disarm or disable" is not a safe idea. If you discharge a firearm at someone, be it a .22 or a .50 or .308, you are employing deadly force, whatever the actual outcome. If your personal beliefs preclude that, you need to look into other options such as beanbag guns or Electronic Control Devices. If you shoot at someone, you had better be mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually prepared to deal with causing their death.

Respectfully,
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:31 PM
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We can all find some law, or case law that seems to excuse killing someone.

California law got ridiculous because of people who had invited someone over, then shot him, and claimed he broke in. They passed the must retreat if possible law. Naturally the pendulum swung back finally. And now the very confused want to blame guns.

Most every jury knows the difference between someone who was drunk, had no previous criminal history, and staggered in the wrong house. Especially if he is asleep on the couch when shot. Or is shot in the back with his face in the refrigerator. Or just so drunk he can barely walk. The cab driver had to help him find the right amount of money in his wallet.

Different than a person who is a career criminal ex-con who found the front door locked so went around the house and found an unlocked door or window.

It is why we have juries.

It is really sad when breaking and entering no longer requires breaking.

Or the other extreme - when first degree murder gets plea bargained down because of crowded courts or weak evidence - over and over and over. Often the staff and/or inmates in a minimum security prison has a big problem at some point. They might look at the body of a guy with no previous felony convictions who is in for grand theft motorcycle type crime. Then they look at the file of the killer describing his crime and the plea bargain. And finally he gets sent to a higher custody prison.

When California passed its career criminal law (in 1960’s or 70’s, for the second time I believe) many people wanted burglary considered a violent crime. Because when you come home and find your house has been burglarized you experience fear. Obviously some people want us to go back to the old west mentality and hang people for every crime?

The anti drunk drivers activist groups got mandatory sentences that forced release of worse felons in overcrowded prisons. It became law that if a drunk only injures himself he still is guilty of an injury accident. (They kill more people than our police-action wars)

In one rape case a woman said she did not tell him no - because in rape class she was told if rape was inevitable not to resist. So they passed a law saying a woman had to say no for it to be rape.

In the bad side of one city a drunk guy in his forties ran from police. In court he explained words to the effect “I knew they were going to beat me, and figured they would not beat me as bad if they were tired”.

No one should ever lie. Except when Jesse James’s gang robbed a bank in Minnesota and the bank clerk lied and said it was on a time lock. Waiting for the unlock time gave local Civil War vets time to get armed and ready. Strange horses were tied up at the bank? An obvious stranger lookout watching everyone?

It is what makes Jury Duty interesting. Sometimes it is okay to lie. Sometimes breaking and entering does not require breaking anything. Sometimes a woman is afraid to say no.

One thing is the same. When you pull the trigger of a gun you might need a good story for a jury.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:38 PM
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Coming down in the middle of the night and seeing/hearing your back door being jostled might first warrant a stern, "The police are on their way! I have a gun! Go away!"
I personally think that's an appropriate course of action. It's not a requirement in states like Texas, though, nor are homeowners typically charged for shooting an intruder, regardless of the intruder's identity, condition or motive. Still it seems that a verbal warning to someone attempting illegal entry could potentially save the homeowner a lot of trouble. The question is, why don't more homeowners do it? Why are there so many stories now of homeowners who wait quietly inside the house, then open fire when the intruder appears?
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:32 PM
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I personally think that's an appropriate course of action. It's not a requirement in states like Texas, though, nor are homeowners typically charged for shooting an intruder, regardless of the intruder's identity, condition or motive. Still it seems that a verbal warning to someone attempting illegal entry could potentially save the homeowner a lot of trouble. The question is, why don't more homeowners do it? Why are there so many stories now of homeowners who wait quietly inside the house, then open fire when the intruder appears?
I would say that 99.9% of homeowners are not prepared for a home invasion, and are caught off guard. Being awoken in the middle of the night then finding a stranger in one's home is going to illicit an initial fear response, followed by a self defense response (be it fight or flight). Having the presence of mind to offer a verbal warning is a learned response from extensive situational practice and training.

As to "homeowners who wait quietly then open fire", I think this is either an unintentional misstatement/mischaracterization or a deliberate attempt to portray armed homeowners as stealthy gun nuts ready to kill. In respect to the OP, I'll err on the side of the former description. I have not read "so many stories", but I will say that the average person who is part of a home invasion is probably hiding or trying to be invisible, as the situation plays out. Homeowners may be barricaded in safe rooms, or merely adhering to the rule of "cover & concealment", while dialing 911. If the homeowner is forced to reveal himself and take a shot, so be it. That doesn't mean he was lying in wait, ready to pounce in a predatory manner.

Ultimately, a person will revert back to training or instinct in a life and death situation. Some folks practice verbal commands for developing defense skills, other practice shoot first ask questions later. Whatever ends the threat fastest and safest. To each his own.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:06 PM
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Jeffersonwasright, I'm going to try not to pile on, but you need to revisit your mindset. If you need to shoot, plan on killing them. That is the only way to count on stopping them, and if you can't legally and morally justify killing them, you can't shoot them. Pistols suck for fighting. Anyone who takes a pistol to a fight they can't avoid is a fool. Put all your rounds in the upper body (above the horizontal and between the vertical lines through the nipples); throat, face (outside corner of the eyes to the bottom of the nose in a triangle. Shoot them to the ground, and keep shooting until you KNOW that they are no longer a threat. Ammo is cheap; your life is expensive. While some wounds may be fatal, few are immediate stoppers. If they turn and run, be grateful, and hold your fire.

First, layer your home defenses. I like having a fenced yard for a lot of reasons - 6', chain link, padlocked gates. There is also a "no trespassing" sign that even before the fence made it a crime to come to the door unless invited. We have no family in the area and no one has any reason to come to the house without calling us first; we're busy and tired and rarely socialize. In reality, the only folks who come to the house are pizza drivers, and there is an entry in their computer describing the need to call if I don't perceive their arrival in the driveway.

We have dogs. You can have any dog you want that fits your life style. We like large working breeds, and have mostly had Rottweilers. ANY dog can alert you to things going on outside. The larger dogs have more attention getting barks, so you pay more attention, and those outside are already warned. A pack is really useful - the offender might evade or stop one; three is a whole different situation. Anyone who keeps coming is either dumb or a criminal. If you have an outside door that is unlocked other than to pass through it, slap yourself. The locked door, as noted above, gives notice to all that they are unwelcome. It also prevents errors like someone walking in and meeting your stranger hating dog that thinks the neck is a nice place to hold. (We have one. We will not get to shoot anyone here unless they kill Bozo first, because he will almost certainly kill them.) At this point, with a trespass notice (see your state law to make sure you give notice correctly), barking dog(s), and a locked door, I can be reasonably sure that anyone who attempts to get in is a violent criminal who presents a serious risk to us.

Make up your mind to offend people. Their feelings mean nothing, and if you give their feelings any consideration to the detriment of your safety, you again need to slap yourself. If someone comes to the door, they need to be informed in a loud clear voice that they are unwelcome. Don't worry about using rough language - worry about not communicating well enough. My response to those folks is a verbal fireball. The number of *s it would take to enter them here would make the mods turn pale. At a minimum: "You at the door, don't move (other than as directed). Hands in the air, palms toward me. Back away from the door. The police have been called. Any action other than those directed will be responded to as an act of criminal aggression." (Or words to similar effect.) As also noted above: call 911, and leave the line open. Your words will be heard and given to responding officers, so they should know that this is important. The recording will help in the subsequent investigation. There have been two justifiable homicides in the Spokane area in the last decade in which the 911 call made it clear from to the start that the resident was in reasonable fear.

Now: Re-read the first paragraph about shooting the offender.

Avoid stupid people and stupid activities. Home invasions are not random. Don't have a pot grow, or otherwise deal drugs. Don't get involved with someone else's spouse. Etc.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:46 PM
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I personally think that's an appropriate course of action. It's not a requirement in states like Texas, though, nor are homeowners typically charged for shooting an intruder, regardless of the intruder's identity, condition or motive. Still it seems that a verbal warning to someone attempting illegal entry could potentially save the homeowner a lot of trouble. The question is, why don't more homeowners do it? Why are there so many stories now of homeowners who wait quietly inside the house, then open fire when the intruder appears?
You begin with a post that is rather strange and vague. Then you come back sounding like and anti gun lawyer fishing.

I am only aware of one story of a homeowner hiding, in some state far away, and she did not shoot from ambush. The word ambushed or dry-gulched are Hollywood inspired words that usually means a bad guy is sitting along a trail behind some bushes “laying in wait”. But the word ambush survived the Hollywood cowboy movies and got use in war movies. It is now in the dictionary meaning surprise “attack”.

It depends on who is hiding from who and why.

Honest people never hide ready to ambush(or attack). They hide and often pray the bad person will leave without stealing too much or raping and killing. Nowadays they are often on cell phones to police. It is one indicator of who is the good guy. The person who is on their own property fearfully calling police is generally the good guy.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:47 PM
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Way back up the line of this thread someone suggested acquiring a Rottweiler. I live alone in a smallish apartment and have a fourteen-pound rat terrier who thinks he's a Rott--I think of him as a micro-mastiff. No, he could not take down an intruder, but he invariably lets me know when someone is at the door. Occasionally it's a raccoon or stray cat, but he lets me know. Any edge in awareness is useful. Gives me time to come awake, begin to assess what's going on, and arm myself as needed.

The legalities and philosophical implications of using deadly force have been hashed out exhaustively here. If it's a life-or-death situation, the intruder's or mine, I will do what I have to in order to see to it that it's not my life that's lost. I would hate to have to kill someone, but even at 75 I'm not ready to die if I can prevent it.

What follows, follows. That's what lawyers are for.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:13 PM
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I practice lying in wait...........
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:24 PM
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I would seek a qualified attorney's advice on exactly what to do when confronted with a stranger in my home, under the circumstances in which I suppose that I may encounter one.

But that's just me. I'm a gambler. Call me "Mr. Vegas."
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:54 PM
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I personally think that's an appropriate course of action. It's not a requirement in states like Texas, though, nor are homeowners typically charged for shooting an intruder, regardless of the intruder's identity, condition or motive. Still it seems that a verbal warning to someone attempting illegal entry could potentially save the homeowner a lot of trouble. The question is, why don't more homeowners do it? Why are there so many stories now of homeowners who wait quietly inside the house, then open fire when the intruder appears?
Please refer to all these stories of homeowners lying in wait. Sounds like internet, antigun BS.
Since you refer often what the law does and doesn't allow in Texas...
Here's a place for you to start. It's the actual law, "in Texas".
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:57 PM
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I practice lying in wait...........
Shhh.... I am trying to get him on a guilt-trip and you are blowing it for me.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mc5aw View Post
I would say that 99.9% of homeowners are not prepared for a home invasion, and are caught off guard. Being awoken in the middle of the night then finding a stranger in one's home is going to illicit an initial fear response, followed by a self defense response (be it fight or flight). Having the presence of mind to offer a verbal warning is a learned response from extensive situational practice and training.
Again, my question had to do ONLY with a verbal warning issued while the would-be intruder is still on the other side of the door. My concern upon discovering that an intruder is already in my home would be only how to end the threat.

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As to "homeowners who wait quietly then open fire", I think this is either an unintentional misstatement/mischaracterization or a deliberate attempt to portray armed homeowners as stealthy gun nuts ready to kill.
I intended no such meaning. Maybe you've been sensitized to my choice of words by the intense political pandering of the last few years.

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Whatever ends the threat fastest and safest.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bp231986 View Post
Doesnt have to be a warning...can just be a simple fact...."hey Mr. bad guy i know youre busy and all trying to bust down my door so you can rob us and probably kill us but i just wanted to let you know that as soon as you break through my door you will be able to turn around and see your brain matter all over the place."
You're absolutely right, and this probably should have been said earlier. It goes with the "I'd rather not be forced to shoot." idea.

Yelling a warning through the door = good idea.

Shooting a warning through the door = not such a good idea.

"I've already called the police, and I have a gun. Might be a good time to re-evaluate your plan here!"
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:53 AM
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I would say that 99.9% of homeowners are not prepared for a home invasion, and are caught off guard.n.
I will whole hearted agree with this. I've had a gun pointed at me one time in my life and I will never forget it. And this was from a distance, from another car.

I hope I never have to face a situation where I am awakened in the night to an intruder. I try to prepare, try to condition but in the end it is a frightful situation that in no way can I really be prepared for.

I actually had a dream the other night that I was faced with an intruder and had to discharge my 9mm. Even in the dream there was an instance of hesitance. I did fire and shot him in the head.. In real life, well that's another story..
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Concealed Carry & Self Defense Thread, Home Invasion Question in General Topics; I've always had at least one firearm in my various residences. Except for a shotgun that I no longer own, ...
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