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Discussion Starter #1
I just stumbled upon the story posted of the woman who shed off the home intruder. Props to this woman for making a tough choice that allowed her to protect herself. When I first read this, I couldn't imagine how I would act in such a situation. Than it dawned on me how much my memory has faded... because I have been in this situation before. I hope being here, I can shed some additional insight to the members of this forum who have not had this experience and have some worry about being caught in similar circumstances.

I was in 9th grade and was home alone at 11 p.m. (in a "nice" neighborhood) on a friday night. I hear a bunch of male voices walking along the street and when I walk out of my room to check it out, the front door bursts open with a male that must have been in his early 20's. I yell at him from down the hall to get out of my house and the drunken/drugged response from him was something along the lines of "I am going to kill you". I could also tell that this guy already had blood on his white sleeveless undershirt. I run back in my room and lock the door behind me and dial 911 stating that some1 is in my house threatening to kill me and that I need an ambulance sent to the house also (About this time, i was on the verge of truly understanding the term 'scared sh**less'.) This dispatcher tells me that help is on the way and to lock myself in my room; which i have already done. Little did I know that my 18 year old sister was also home with me (she lives in the basement part of the house and has her own entrance). I hear her open the basement door to see what all the noise was when he was throwing down chairs, flipping tables and making a mess of the whole house. At this point, he decides to try to jump through an expensive bay window and my sister thinks its a good idea to try to stop him as opposed to staying in a safe location. I hear her scream as they start to fight in the other room and my first instinct was to grab my Co2 powered pellet gun as my only form of defense I could comprehend in the panic. It was not loaded and I did not have time to rummage through the closet to load it. I figure I might be able to bluff him to get away and when I get out (it looked like a real handgun), my sister runs towards me telling me NOT to shoot and we both run back into my room locking the door. He ran towards us also which meant the bluff apparently had no effect on him in his drugged up or drunken state.

After about 10 minutes, I don't hear any more noise and we make a run for it outside to the street, at which point the first responder paramedic arrives. He waits with us at the corner of my street and the police show up promptly 5 minutes after that with no lights or anything on (take 'promptly' with a largely sarcastic tone to it). Two patrol cars arrive around basically the same time so the two officers go into the house guns drawn and the guy leaves the house on a stretcher covered in blood and in handcuffs. One of the volunteer EMTs went to my high school and of all the things to go through my mind at the time was me thinking how i would probably NOT be the freshman bullied after him seeing what appeared to him as a guy 6 years older than me getting his a** kicked by me. (kind of off topic, but felt i wanted to add that bit of comedic relief)

My neighbors had called my parents while we were waiting for the cops to arrive to come home from a friends house, not giving much details just saying they needed to come home immediately. The 4 patrol cars surrounding the house and the ambulance loading someone in it in the driveway was probably not the most re-assuring image to my parents that their children were o.k.

Some background of what i learned later about the situation at the police station at 4 am was that the guy breaking in had a .34 BAC and somehow thought this was his house. He had come from a party up the street from me and was breaking stuff there too so he got jumped by their house owners and dragged down our hill, thats why he was covered in blood. Also when the cops entered the house, they found him in my closet reaching for my (real looking) Co2 powered handgun when they entered the room. He was already on probation for another crime and even after this case, all he got was extended probation and a restraining order issued against him.

Idk if i went into too much detail for the story, but here are a few lessons/ points I can bring up from my experience:

1- If this happened today when I currently own a real gun, I would have definitely shot him when he charged towards me when my sister was retreating to my room. Would I have regretted this at the time if this was the case? No, I felt my life threatened like no other time before and would have done so to protect my sister and myself. Given the facts that I know after the fact, this being a drunk partygoer who was so intoxicated, he thought he lived at my house and running away from people jumping him at a party- I would have had a REALLY HARD TIME dealing with taking a life under those circumstances. The lesson this had taught me, is that protecting myself comes as a priority, but to only use such force when you KNOW you have to in order to save yourself. If this situation repeated with me being a gun owner and not knowing their true intentions, I would only use it as a LAST resort with my life being at true risk.

2- Forget this whole story I told you and bare with this situation. You picture somebody breaking into your house in the middle of the night, you run to your closet and load your rifle or shotgun and then swiftly maneuver around your house and keep a calm sighting on the suspect....
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN in reality. I was running back and forth trying to get my phone to dial 911, find my pellet gun, barely able to open the case for it, completely unable to locate the ammo for it with how much i was shaking and (not that i ever admitted this to any of my real life friends), was on the verge of literally ****ting my pants. You are NOT calm, and you can NOT handle simple tasks like this.
Once again, if this happened again, in my situation with a real gun and being older now. I keep my gun loaded and near my bedside (i have no children in the house so that is not something i have to consider). If my adrenaline gets pumped up like this again, all I have to do is to cock the gun and i'll be ready to go with one in the chamber. I have also set up a plan in advance where I have a safe line of sight down a hallway and know that my family members are there behind me.

3-Family members...... something to think about also. If you plan on shooting that dark figure making noise in the night in ur living room, think again. Back to my situation. I did not know my sister was home, If i had a gun and shot into a darkened room, I could have very easily caused friendly fire to a family member. As all you shooters are aware of, know your background. and more importantly for a home invasion, know where your family is. I am the only one in my house now who has firearms training so i instruct my other family members (who also have weapons for home defense, but actually never shot them...thats a different story) to stay in a certain part of the house back to corner with the gun in their hand so they dont shoot me by accident. If i have to go in their line of sight, i will make it very clear that I am there and wait for them to respond first.

4- know your state laws. I lived in NY at the time of this and the police officer told me after the fact that I would only be justified to shoot if i saw a weapon in the intruders hand, which he had not had. I could possibly have faced charges if i had a gun and shot the intruder. The state I live in now has different laws allowing me to shoot under less strict circumstances.

5-your life is more valuale than a $1000 bay window. My sister put her life at risk to protect a piece of property that could easily be replaced.
6- dont bluff- my pellet gun would be no match if he pulled out a real gun. He could have thought I had a real gun and one shot would have me not being her today to share this story with all of you.

To sum up my priorities on the topic:
1. Your life and the life of your family comes first. Protect them if you must.
2. With 1 being said: Think before you shoot, Let me put my story in this context. people do stupid stuff when they are drunk and act like so, especially with a .34 BAC. Imagine you hear that your son or daughter got drunk at a party, got jumped and then tried to run to a house which they thought was theirs, unarmed and wind up getting shot and killed. Even with castle doctrines that would allow some people in some states to shoot over this, think of this as one of the reasons NOT to shoot right away.

Before any of you reply and argue my 2nd point, I want to make very clear that the safety of me and my family comes first over that. It is just something to think about.

Also, I may have a biased view in this story because I know how it turned out and the facts, and was not in as much danger as people in other situations may be in. If there is a weapon involved, things would be different.

I hope none of you ever need to enact my advice, but I hope it has taught you something to better yourselves.

Stay safe,
-A
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After re-reading the other story and concerns of some people I have talked to, I want to add a few more points. Use common sense, and that the 911 operator does not ALWAYS have the best advice for you. If i had stayed in my room, the intruder would have came back and to me before the cops got there, as opposed to me escaping to the street.
 

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I agree with you on your second point, but am leary at the same time. If I had a gun pointing at somebody and they continued approaching me I would no other choice but to shoot. How do I know what this person is capable of or what the intentions are.

After the fact, like in the ladys situation you are talking about, she found out the drunk guy was possibly trying to help his sister that overdosed. Or your situation where it was a drunk idiot that was not trying to harm you. If i had shot then learned that, it would haunt me for the rest of my life, even though I did the right thing.
 

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Live Clean, Fight dirty
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The person in your story is a moron, and I do not know his intentions if he breaks into my house, if he knows I am there and does not run back out the door he came, he will be deader than a door nail.

I have been drunk before and no point did it ever occur to me to break into someones house and terrorize it. Alcohol and drugs are not an excuse for being a thug.

If you have a loaded gun in your house and you are not willing to use it, get rid of it, it will do you more harm than good. You do not want to be harmed especially with your own weapon.
 

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I was just talking to my wife about this type of scenario the other day in the car. I have a BS in Criminal Justice, and had an Amazing female Criminal Law Teacher. She taught through scenarios, and even though I had the take the class twice (needed a C+ to pass), both times were eye opening.

(fyi I am in Pennsylvania)

I am not reading from a book or internet source, so If I phrase something wrong, sorry.

Deadly Force - Inflicting an injury upon someone, or causing to be inflicted, serious bodily harm or death. This could be striking someone about the torso or the head, including stabbing and gunshot wounds. If you hit someone in the leg with a baseball bat you should be ok....hit them in the head and you better hope they don't have enough money for experienced legal representation.

1. Deadly Force can never be used to protect property.

I find it funny how people say they will shoot someone if they come on their property, or if someone breaks into their house and tries to steal something (ex. tv, purse, etc) that they can shoot them. Those people will find themselves being in jail convicted of manslaughter or possibly murder. Property is replaceable, and inflicting bodily harm on someone is never warranted to protect property.

2. Deadly Force is warranted to defend life, particularly of yourself or another defenseless individual (ex. baby)

This is how this topic came up recently with my wife. We will be having a baby soon. In the scenario that I awake to noise and observe someone entering my childs bedroom in the middle of the night, they will most likely find themselves short a limb due to a sword inflicted injury. Of course I intend to quickly shine a bright flashlight at their face to reveal their identity and mask my own, and hope to temporarily blind them should they be an unwanted person. I suppose it is possible to accidentally injure a Stupid family member or someone you forgot was staying over, so it is good to double check, but be quick enough to strike first if you are unsure their identity.

If a single male, especially a group, enters your home in a violent manner and states "Im going to Kill You", IMO deadly force self defense is warranted. Of course its always good to aim for the thighs or legs if possible, as you truly do not want to 'kill' someone, i hope. This goes ten-fold if you are a female in this situation. Fire Away. As for bluffing, if your attacker senses the slightest bit of your confidence slipping, your screwed.

I'm not sure this went in any useful direction, but it had been on my mind lately, so I thought I'd spill it.

Good story and contribution.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have been drunk before and no point did it ever occur to me to break into someones house and terrorize it. Alcohol and drugs are not an excuse for being a thug.

If you have a loaded gun in your house and you are not willing to use it, get rid of it, it will do you more harm than good. You do not want to be harmed especially with your own weapon.
Very good points on what I quoted. Idk if that last point was aimed towards me, but Im the type to go on the defensive and make clear that if needed, I would use it. I just feel that if it was someone with a knife 20 feet down the hall, I would try the "drop your knife and put your hands up and dont move" thing FIRST, before I would shoot the person. If they had a shotgun at the ready... that would be a different story and I would be the person where having a loaded gun will be the best choice for my family. I guess the specifics reflect my personality somewhat. I am the type to always think things logically through before I act, a lot of this has to do with fear of getting sued, meanwhile other people react with emotion, in which they would shoot on sight, which is 100% OK if that action saved your own life.

And the first thing i quoted is exactly what the police officer said to us after the fact, that alcohol is NO excuse to act a certain way. Thats why I am glad he got prosecuted, even though it only ended in probation and no jail time. I'm just relieved at the fact that somebody's mistake didnt end in me having to make a hard decision that I would carry with me my whole life.
 

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aronck

Keep in mind that your goal is not to kill someone, It is to cease the threat. You do so by any means necissary. Once the threat is stopped you must also stop.

If you "aim" for arms or legs, this "proves" that belive you have control of the situation enough that lethal force is not necissary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I find it funny how people say they will shoot someone if they come on their property, or if someone breaks into their house and tries to steal something (ex. tv, purse, etc) that they can shoot them. Those people will find themselves being in jail convicted of manslaughter or possibly murder. Property is replaceable, and inflicting bodily harm on someone is never warranted to protect property.

Of course its always good to aim for the thighs or legs if possible, as you truly do not want to 'kill' someone, i hope.

Good story and contribution.
Both parts came up when i recently took a concealed carry class. In my current state, I am allowed to shoot somebody forcefully breaking into my home (ex. kicking the door in while I yell from inside to get away), but If i come home and see a person carring my flat screen TV out trying to rob me, I am not allowed to shoot unless it turns into a threat directly to me. The female shoot away thing is the same in my state for known reasons.

I would have to disagree on shooting the leg first for a couple reasons. 1- When you are panicking for your life, your aim may not be the best in the world and you should aim for center mass. 2- if they survive with a shot to the leg, you will most surely be faced with a civil suit against you with their lawyer questioning you on the stand with phrases along the lines of "so if you shot them in the arm or leg, you must have NOT felt that your life was in danger etc." I dont agree with this, but you know how our legal system works.
 

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Live Clean, Fight dirty
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I was just talking to my wife about this type of scenario the other day in the car. I have a BS in Criminal Justice, and had an Amazing female Criminal Law Teacher. She taught through scenarios, and even though I had the take the class twice (needed a C+ to pass), both times were eye opening.

(fyi I am in Pennsylvania)

I am not reading from a book or internet source, so If I phrase something wrong, sorry.

Deadly Force - Inflicting an injury upon someone, or causing to be inflicted, serious bodily harm or death. This could be striking someone about the torso or the head, including stabbing and gunshot wounds. If you hit someone in the leg with a baseball bat you should be ok....hit them in the head and you better hope they don't have enough money for experienced legal representation.

1. Deadly Force can never be used to protect property.

I find it funny how people say they will shoot someone if they come on their property, or if someone breaks into their house and tries to steal something (ex. tv, purse, etc) that they can shoot them. Those people will find themselves being in jail convicted of manslaughter or possibly murder. Property is replaceable, and inflicting bodily harm on someone is never warranted to protect property.

2. Deadly Force is warranted to defend life, particularly of yourself or another defenseless individual (ex. baby)

This is how this topic came up recently with my wife. We will be having a baby soon. In the scenario that I awake to noise and observe someone entering my childs bedroom in the middle of the night, they will most likely find themselves short a limb due to a sword inflicted injury. Of course I intend to quickly shine a bright flashlight at their face to reveal their identity and mask my own, and hope to temporarily blind them should they be an unwanted person. I suppose it is possible to accidentally injure a Stupid family member or someone you forgot was staying over, so it is good to double check, but be quick enough to strike first if you are unsure their identity.

If a single male, especially a group, enters your home in a violent manner and states "Im going to Kill You", IMO deadly force self defense is warranted. Of course its always good to aim for the thighs or legs if possible, as you truly do not want to 'kill' someone, i hope. This goes ten-fold if you are a female in this situation. Fire Away. As for bluffing, if your attacker senses the slightest bit of your confidence slipping, your screwed.

I'm not sure this went in any useful direction, but it had been on my mind lately, so I thought I'd spill it.

Good story and contribution.

To me their is a difference between a Burglar (thief) and a thug. A burglar or thief to me will case your house case the neighborhood figure out the best time to break into your house and steal your stuff without any conflict. This to me is fine thats what I carry home owners insurance for.

A thug on the other hand breaks into your house does not care whether you are home or not, and knows there is a chance of conflict and continues to enter your house. Now any person who pursues these actions, is not rational.

My family and myself is a risk. We are in danger. Deadly force will be used. ;)
 

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Many criminals will consume drugs and or alcohol in with the intent to commit a burglary or home invasion. Their defense is usually something like the two previous storys. When brought into court, it makes it much harder to prove what their intentions were. At this point they are usually found not guilty as it is not beyond reasonable doubt that they are intended to commit a crime.
 

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1. Deadly Force can never be used to protect property.

I find it funny how people say they will shoot someone if they come on their property, or if someone breaks into their house and tries to steal something (ex. tv, purse, etc) that they can shoot them. Those people will find themselves being in jail convicted of manslaughter or possibly murder. Property is replaceable, and inflicting bodily harm on someone is never warranted to protect property.

seriously though- read up on Castle Law when you get a chance. Many states have it now- though it seems that states with a lot of liberal lawyers tend not to. Guess theres too much money to be made sucking the blood out of people that had the audacity to defend themselves.

That's right- Castle Law means there will be no shot up intruder suing the snot out of the victim.
 

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I agree with you on your second point, but am leary at the same time. If I had a gun pointing at somebody and they continued approaching me I would no other choice but to shoot. How do I know what this person is capable of or what the intentions are.
Dang skippy. There are many situations, especially perps on meth, in which an attacker shrugged off several rounds before succumbing to their wounds. Think of all of the stories of soldiers who were shot several times, but still killed people with their bare hands. You never know what the intruder is capable of.

Also, you don't know his motives or limits. His terms of victory might be to take people with him as he dies. My terms of victory are that nobody in my family gets a scratch. You can meet his force congruently when the terms of victory are so incompatible. For me to meet my terms, he might have to die before he gets all the way into the house. That might be the only way for me to guarantee that he doesn't get to lay a hand on my wife and children. I don't care what the odds are that he would succeed. I don't care if I don't see a gun. Unpredictable people are exactly that: unpredictable. He might draw and shoot randomly. He might pull a knife. He might even charge into a bedroom just so he can off himself in front of someone and give them nightmares about his death. He doesn't get to do that, and in my house, that's MY call.

After the fact, like in the ladys situation you are talking about, she found out the drunk guy was possibly trying to help his sister that overdosed. Or your situation where it was a drunk idiot that was not trying to harm you. If i had shot then learned that, it would haunt me for the rest of my life, even though I did the right thing.
People have been analyzing JFK's assassination for decades, but none of that analysis can go back in time and stop it. It's easy for an armchair general to be a Monday-morning quarterback. It's far more difficult to know what you are prepared to do and to do it unflinchingly.
 

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To me their is a difference between a Burglar (thief) and a thug. A burglar or thief to me will case your house case the neighborhood figure out the best time to break into your house and steal your stuff without any conflict. This to me is fine thats what I carry home owners insurance for.

A thug on the other hand breaks into your house does not care whether you are home or not, and knows there is a chance of conflict and continues to enter your house. Now any person who pursues these actions, is not rational.

My family and myself is a risk. We are in danger. Deadly force will be used. ;)
Do they wear name tags reading, "Hi I'm a THUG" or "Don't shoot, I'm just a THIEF"? Wouldn't that be a real convenience. :rolleyes:
 

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I would have to disagree on shooting the leg first for a couple reasons. 1- When you are panicking for your life, your aim may not be the best in the world and you should aim for center mass. 2- if they survive with a shot to the leg, you will most surely be faced with a civil suit against you with their lawyer questioning you on the stand with phrases along the lines of "so if you shot them in the arm or leg, you must have NOT felt that your life was in danger etc." I dont agree with this, but you know how our legal system works.
Not just civil court, but criminal court in some states. Either your life is in danger and you take extreme measures, or it isn't and you don't. But douchebag lawyers have exploited both. Some think that life is like the movies, and we can just shoot the gun out of someone's hand. I hope those ones never buy a gun. :rolleyes:
 

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seriously though- read up on Castle Law when you get a chance. Many states have it now- though it seems that states with a lot of liberal lawyers tend not to. Guess theres too much money to be made sucking the blood out of people that had the audacity to defend themselves.

That's right- Castle Law means there will be no shot up intruder suing the snot out of the victim.
The castle doctrine only states that you can defend yourself in your home when you feel an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death. Each state determines the level.

Those liberal states have duty to retreat which means if you have any way to get out of the house, you must. Only as a last resort can you defend yourself with lethal force.

The key words here are Defend Yourself

If a person is trying to get your property and puts you in the equasion things change.

You cannot defend your property with lethal force unless your life depends on the property, which rarely happens these days.

You just cannot shoot some guy because he is stealing your car from the curbside. He has to break into your house.

Some areas may vary, but this is how it is for most of the country.
 

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Those liberal states have duty to retreat which means if you have any way to get out of the house, you must. Only as a last resort can you defend yourself with lethal force.
You bring up a very good point.

The law states that you must SAFELY retreat, if possible, before using deadly force. If you have to jump through a glass window, or drop two floors, that is clearly not safe, and go ahead and shoot-em-up!

This thread is turning into a great discussion!
 

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Move to Georgia or Fla or any other state that has a castle doctorine and then you can take care of any bussiness that you need to and you can even own a firearm to do it.[A sword cut thats really close up work !]
 

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1. Your life and the life of your family comes first. Protect them if you must.
I will protect my life, family, and property.

2. With 1 being said: Think before you shoot, Let me put my story in this context. people do stupid stuff when they are drunk and act like so, especially with a .34 BAC. Imagine you hear that your son or daughter got drunk at a party, got jumped and then tried to run to a house which they thought was theirs, unarmed and wind up getting shot and killed. Even with castle doctrines that would allow some people in some states to shoot over this, think of this as one of the reasons NOT to shoot right away.
I understand what you are saying here, and I will teach my children (when I have some) right from wrong. I can't make their choices for them though, and if they put themselves in certain situations, they are going to have to know that there will be consequences for their actions. Your example changed a little from your situation though... He didn't just think that he was breaking into his own home unarmed, he screamed threats of killing you once he was inside. I would have put him down.

Before any of you reply and argue my 2nd point, I want to make very clear that the safety of me and my family comes first over that. It is just something to think about.
Right. I don't doubt that you would do what you had to do, I do however think that you probably draw the line in the sand a bit further back than myself.

Also, I may have a biased view in this story because I know how it turned out and the facts, and was not in as much danger as people in other situations may be in. If there is a weapon involved, things would be different.
Yeah, but who knows how else the situation could have gone? He might have tried to rape your sister, or do anything else. People are unpredictable and I think it would be hard (even after the fact) to know exactly what he was thinking and how much danger you two were actually in.

I'm glad everything turned out okay though. Best wishes.
 
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