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Thread: Question about home invasion

  1. #1
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    Question about home invasion

    Hello,
    Last night a man tried to kick in our door in the early morning. He wasn't successful at breaking in the door. I got a glimpse of him through the window, not enough to positively ID the guy, but enough to see that it didn't look like he had anything in his hands. So it got me to wondering, if he had been successful in breaking in the door, would I have been within my rights to kill him if he was unarmed? My wife and nearly 5 year old son were also home at the time if that makes any difference.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    You surely have the right to stop him in defense of yourself and family.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member DonRow's Avatar
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    Hell yeah you do!


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    Probably better to look up the law than rely on answers from internet strangers:

    39-11-611. Self-defense.



    (a) A person is justified in threatening or using force against another person when, and to the degree, the person reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. The person must have a reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. The danger creating the belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury must be real, or honestly believed to be real at the time, and must be founded upon reasonable grounds. There is no duty to retreat before a person threatens or uses force.

    (b) Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury within the person's own residence is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury to self, family or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence, and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

    (c) The threat or use of force against another is not justified if the person consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other individual.

    (d) The threat or use of force against another is not justified if the person provoked the other individual's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:

    (1) The person abandons the encounter or clearly communicates to the other the intent to do so; and

    (2) The other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the person.

    (e) The threat or use of force against another is not justified to resist a halt at a roadblock, arrest, search, or stop and frisk that the person knows is being made by a law enforcement officer, unless:

    (1) The law enforcement officer uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest, search, stop and frisk, or halt; and

    (2) The person reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary to protect against the law enforcement officer's use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.

    [Acts 1989, ch. 591, 1; 1990, ch. 1030, 8.]

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    I take that to mean that I would in fact be within my rights if I had shot him if he broke through the door. Obviously not if surrendered first, I should have put that in my original post. That's reassuring to know.

    BTW, yesterday when he tried to kick in the door, while I had done plenty of shooting before and have alwasys supported open carry, I was not a gun owner myself... but there's not a posession in the world that I wouldn't have given to have had one last night for the 3 or 4 minutes that it took the cops to get there. Today my wife signed up for a security system... but I bought my own security system, a Walther PK380.

    Coincidentally, one of my wife's co-workers that lives nearby (just about 3 blocks away) had their basement door kicked in and some minor stuff stolen while they were home too just about a week or so ago. We suspect it might have been the same guy, most likely a druggie looking to steal enough stuff to sell to get the next high.

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    Campaign Veteran Verd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z1P2 View Post
    I take that to mean that I would in fact be within my rights if I had shot him if he broke through the door. Obviously not if surrendered first, I should have put that in my original post. That's reassuring to know.

    BTW, yesterday when he tried to kick in the door, while I had done plenty of shooting before and have alwasys supported open carry, I was not a gun owner myself... but there's not a posession in the world that I wouldn't have given to have had one last night for the 3 or 4 minutes that it took the cops to get there. Today my wife signed up for a security system... but I bought my own security system, a Walther PK380.

    Coincidentally, one of my wife's co-workers that lives nearby (just about 3 blocks away) had their basement door kicked in and some minor stuff stolen while they were home too just about a week or so ago. We suspect it might have been the same guy, most likely a druggie looking to steal enough stuff to sell to get the next high.
    Good for you! I'd suggest to get a second handgun, or a shotgun, and have your wife practice with it. You can't be home 100% of the time. And yes, you would have been well within your rights to use deadly and lethal force against someone who was entering your home illegally. Just don't tell anyone that your intention was to "kill" the burglar/home invader, just that your intention was to stop them (if they died, well, that was not your priority, just the safety of your wife and children). Remember, while it is legal to protect your family with deadly and lethal force, the family members of the person you fired upon can still attempt to sue you. Always have to watch what you say.
    One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796.
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    We thought about a shotgun but I don't have anywhere to put a shotgun where my not quite five year old could get to it. He's autistic, so I don't have any expectation of being able to teach him gun safety any time soon or even being able to teach him to stay away from it. So I showed my wife how to use the handgun tonight instead. The Walther was a good pick for the two of us because it's not too small for me, and it's not too big for her, and it's small enough that it can be stored up out of reach from our son.
    Last edited by Z1P2; 01-18-2012 at 03:47 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran Verd's Avatar
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    Completely understand. I have three kids and while they know not to touch our firearms (hell, they know that if they want to shoot the bb gun they have to ask AND have an adult be outside with them even though I ran amuck from 6 years old on with my bb gun as a kid) to the point that we can leave our guns anywhere in the house and they won't touch them or even look at them like they want to touch them, we don't keep any gun in our home chambered and loaded. Sure, I'm apparently screwed if someone breaks in because it will take 1.5 seconds longer to get a bullet in the barrel and shoot than someone who keeps their guns locked and loaded 24/7, but when you have kids you have to protect them from not just outside forces but themselves.
    One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796.
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).
    Find businesses that are pro gun and those that aren't. Support Friend or Foe by using it!

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z1P2 View Post
    We thought about a shotgun but I don't have anywhere to put a shotgun where my not quite five year old could get to it. He's autistic, so I don't have any expectation of being able to teach him gun safety any time soon or even being able to teach him to stay away from it. So I showed my wife how to use the handgun tonight instead. The Walther was a good pick for the two of us because it's not too small for me, and it's not too big for her, and it's small enough that it can be stored up out of reach from our son.

    For a shotgun there are items like http://www.mossberg.com/cgi-bin/comm...tion&key=95092 . It's not the only model or manufacturer out there.

    When you write this
    and it's small enough that it can be stored up out of reach from our son
    you scare me! Unless it is locked up it is not "out of reach"! Please do not depend on anything being "out of reach". Go look up "handgun safe" or "gun vault" and buy something to keep your son and your handgun apart.

    Oh! And "Welcome to OCDO!" Now take you and your wife to the range and practice shooting.

    stay safe.
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    Well don't worry, it's got a lock on it too. But I don't want to take any chances, so I prefer to keep it out of his reach anyway, and also out of his sight. That way there's no temptation and no way for him to even have a chance of getting his hands on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z1P2 View Post
    We thought about a shotgun but I don't have anywhere to put a shotgun where my not quite five year old could get to it. He's autistic, so I don't have any expectation of being able to teach him gun safety any time soon or even being able to teach him to stay away from it. So I showed my wife how to use the handgun tonight instead. The Walther was a good pick for the two of us because it's not too small for me, and it's not too big for her, and it's small enough that it can be stored up out of reach from our son.

    I know someone who has a Autistic child & yet they keep their loaded gun on the nightstand in a safe the requires their handprint

  12. #12
    Regular Member J_dazzle23's Avatar
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    There are plenty of safes on the market with key/push button combos for very cheap. I really like the key idea as it does not require batteries or power.

    What I personally use is a small safe that slides in my nightstand. In the day, the only way to open it is via a code. (But my gun is on me anyway) at night, I just put my keys in the lock and shut the door. That way I can reach down and turn it and I have my loaded weapon ready. On top of that, I never misplace my keys

    Just my way of doing it. I heard a lot of suggestions when I bought my first gun, and I appreciated the different approaches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    For a shotgun there are items like http://www.mossberg.com/cgi-bin/comm...tion&key=95092 . It's not the only model or manufacturer out there.

    When you write this you scare me! Unless it is locked up it is not "out of reach"! Please do not depend on anything being "out of reach". Go look up "handgun safe" or "gun vault" and buy something to keep your son and your handgun apart.
    Oh! And "Welcome to OCDO!" Now take you and your wife to the range and practice shooting.

    stay safe.
    +many

    A Gun Vault on a wall mount where it is immediately available is one choice (NOT next to the entry door or a window). You can then move it to the bedroom at night.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bc.cruiser View Post
    +many

    A Gun Vault on a wall mount where it is immediately available is one choice (NOT next to the entry door or a window). You can then move it to the bedroom at night.
    I used to hold the same position. Now, I'm not so sure. Here's why.

    What we're really saying is that the person who can afford a gun, but can't afford a pistol safe may not possess the means to protect those same kids from home invasion or burglary. I think making it a one-extreme-or-the-other proposition is not rational.

    For almost fifteen years I had a job that involved inspecting occupied homes. I've encountered home defense weapons in the dangedest places. I've seen a 12 ga pump stashed behind a bathroom door (the door swung into the bedroom) (no kids in the house). I've seen a .410 just laying on the very long master bath vanity counter top (no kids in the house).

    On the other hand, I've seen a presumably loaded handgun on the top shelf of a master bedroom closet, well out of reach of any small kids who didn't hijack a ladder from the garage and manage to get it upstairs and into the that master bedroom.

    Perhaps the best I saw was two--two!--handguns in a kitchen cabinet above the refrigerator. This was one of those older kitchens before they started making the cabinet over the refrigerator the same front-to-back depth as the lower cabinets. Very difficult for a young kid to reach into that cabinet with a refrigerator in the way unless he climbed on something, then on to the top of the refrigerator.

    Even in a drawer with a key lock on the drawer or on the gun will be enough to keep most small kids from accessing dangerously a loaded gun (assuming its not one those pansy trigger locks where you just pull the lock to the rear to fire the gun).

    At some point we have to let the parent decide if his kid is intelligent enough to leave the gun alone, and use the measures that parent thinks are necessary for their kids to prevent tragedy. We cannot prevent every tragedy. Nor can we legitimately deny a parent with a tight budget his right to protect those kids by making a one-size-fits-all standard.
    Last edited by Citizen; 04-26-2015 at 12:44 AM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    Mee too, + many!

    I kept a Condition Three Luger quite accessible through my daughter's childhood, indeed, until she went off to university. I trusted her, but also trusted that more hand strength was required to toggle a round into the chamber than she possesses even now.
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    One of the anti's most successful campaigns is to convince gun owners to be totally afraid to have guns available and around when their are children in the house.

    I grew up on a farm the guns were hanging on a gun rack my dad keep a colt officers model 38 in the night stand drawer.

    There were 8 children in the house and none ever handled the guns unless they ask to or until the were old enough to do so.

    I started hunting by my self with firearms at the age of 9 that means I told Mom I was going hunting taking the 22 or 20 ga. off the rack and heading out the door.

    The same was true of the other brothers and sisters in the house

    I am a firm believer in training and responsibility.
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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z1P2 View Post
    Hello,
    Last night a man tried to kick in our door in the early morning. He wasn't successful at breaking in the door. I got a glimpse of him through the window, not enough to positively ID the guy, but enough to see that it didn't look like he had anything in his hands.
    So, what, you don't own a camera? You don't have a cellphone that can take a picture?

    Right now you have no proof this guy or any guy kicked your door.

    AND, if he did and came in and you have no audio or video evidence, then you're fighting it in court that this guy forceably entered and 'unarmed' threatened you with grevious bodily harm. Maybe he just needed to borrow your TV?

    I'd suggest you have video surveillance, have a camera handy, have motion sensor lighting and door alarms. Run your recorder if anyone tries that again and warn them and say 'for the record', 'I'm in fear for my life, DO NOT enter...'.

    You can also get 911 on the phone if your phone has a good speaker and say that into the phone.

    Look up on what to say after any shooting. (i.e. do not say 'I shot someone...'. In fact have someone else call 911 and ask for an ambulance.

    Good luck!

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Having an autistic Son is a challenge.
    The best place for your "protection piece" is on your hip, well holstered. Same for the wife. On your person, in a holster, at the ready. Anywhere else, it is not available or it is not safe. Make it a part of you and it will be there when you need it.

    For those of you that are hell bent for leather to "pop a perp", you might want to rethink that intention. Do you intend to "kill" or "stop" the threat? It does not stop there, your gunfire may linger for a great deal of time while others who were not there decide if what you did was "correct".
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    One of the anti's most successful campaigns is to convince gun owners to be totally afraid to have guns available and around when their are children in the house.
    Well said. Compare guns to other stuff like getting a bag stuck on your head and suffocating. The stats just don't support the fear mongering.
    My strategy was/is to expose my son heavily to guns to eliminate the curiosity that drives many accidents. He sees guns every day. At any time he can see any of our guns under my supervision. He can ask to see, breakdown, clean, dry fire any gun anytime. We also shoot together often.
    I believe he understands their danger but is also nearly bored by them by now. The mysticism is completely gone.
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    Well said. Compare guns to other stuff like getting a bag stuck on your head and suffocating. The stats just don't support the fear mongering.
    My strategy was/is to expose my son heavily to guns to eliminate the curiosity that drives many accidents. He sees guns every day. At any time he can see any of our guns under my supervision. He can ask to see, breakdown, clean, dry fire any gun anytime. We also shoot together often.
    I believe he understands their danger but is also nearly bored by them by now. The mysticism is completely gone.
    Chain saws, table saws, skill saws, axes, knifes bow and arrows machinery and many other things we used around the farm not to mention the large live stock. All of that can kill or hurt you, one was taught to respect it all.
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