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Old October 31, 2008, 01:26 PM   #51
Frank Ettin
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And to my way of thinking "checking on a noise" doesn't necessarily mean going out for a look. I can look out the window. I can wait quietly and listen closely for further noises. It's been my experience over a lot of years that so far I've always been able to identify the noise as something innocuous without having to go wandering about.

As far as the statistical side of things go, remember that the odds that it's something to worry about are independent from the odds that if it is a BG and you go looking for him, something bad will happen to you. Yes, it's extremely unlikely that it's a BG. But if it is, and you put yourself in to a situation in which you're at an extreme tactical disadvantage, it becomes almost a certainty that you will lose. Remember Mas Ayoob's story about the NTIs (see post #25) -- the [highly skilled and highly trained] good guys never won.
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Old October 31, 2008, 01:38 PM   #52
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As far as the statistical side of things go, remember that the odds that it's something to worry about are independent from the odds that if it is a BG and you go looking for him, something bad will happen to you. Yes, it's extremely unlikely that it's a BG. But if it is, and you put yourself in to a situation in which you're at an extreme tactical disadvantage, it becomes only a certainty that you will lose. Remember Mas Ayoob's story about the NTIs (see post #25) -- the [highly skilled and highly trained] good guys never won.

It's not that simple though. First, there has to be a badguy. Let's just make that a given. There IS a badguy. Now, he has to INTEND to hurt you, have the ABILITY to hurt you, and then actually ACCOMPLISH hurting you. I think it's a pretty safe assumption that 3 out of the 4 times you find yourself in that situation, you would walk away unscathed. Simply because only one of those 3 things has to NOT happen for you to be okay.

(Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating one way or the other. For the record, my instructions to my wife are to stay concealed, cover the doorway to the bedroom with the pistol, and wait for the police. I understand the tactics involved in clearing houses vs. defending a position, etc, and you'll never here me argue that clearing space is more advantagous.)

But in one thread, it's suggested that you should so something because of the stats and then in another, that line of reasoning is completely ignored. That's what I am addressing.

If you're going to say that 83% of the time compliance leads to no injury, therefore you should comply, then you have to accept that if 75% of the time confronting a badguy leaves you unharmed, it's not "wrong" for someone to take that course of action. You can't have it both ways.
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Old October 31, 2008, 01:48 PM   #53
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From Hondo 11:
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Say you hear a noise and you go outside to check it out. You find someone prowling around your house.
Not withstanding the obvious question of why you decided to assume the risk of doing so, (1) what did you intend to do if you did encounter someone (I'm assuming that you are a civilian with no police powers), and (2) would you report it if they went away? A neighbor of mine had a can of gasoline taken from a shed this summer, and he didn't.

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I wonder what the percentages say about how many times they run away and how many times they attack you and cause you injury. I would be willing to bet that at least 75% of the time the confrontation results with the suspect fleeing.
That might be interesting to know. The availability of statistics on cases in which people are not attacked would depend upon three things: (1) whether people do report such incidents, (2) whether the police consider them serious enough to retain records of them, and (3) whether there is a central database of the numbers. I don't know, but I suspect that all three conditions are not met. Means you won't find your stats. Police shootings, aggravated assault, rape, murder, yes, but prowler incidents? David Armstrong, any input on this? Anyone else?

However, if you get mugged or shot, or if you shoot someone, or get charged with brandishing or assault, I'm sure you will become a statistic. I'm not sure how you would apply it analytically to your question.
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Old October 31, 2008, 02:29 PM   #54
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Not withstanding the obvious question of why you decided to assume the risk of doing so, (1) what did you intend to do if you did encounter someone (I'm assuming that you are a civilian with no police powers), and (2) would you report it if they went away? A neighbor of mine had a can of gasoline taken from a shed this summer, and he didn't.
Are you asking me specifically? I didn't say *I* would go outside or that I advocated it for anyone else. I simply made the point that if stats and adherance to those numbers is good for one side of the argument, then it's good for the other side as well.

Very few things in this realm are abosulute. "It depends" is the answer that covers almost any scenario you can dream up. SOP's/Guidelines are good to have as a starting point, but things rarely stay so scripted. That's why I don't like absolute answers and why it drives me nuts when people tell others (or imply) they are "wrong" in their way of thinking.
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Old October 31, 2008, 02:52 PM   #55
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From Hondo 11:
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I simply made the point that if stats and adherance to those numbers is good for one side of the argument, then it's good for the other side as well.
You were asking about how many prowlers who were encountered outside ran away and how many attacked. I'm not quite sure what you would do with that information, but I simply opined that I doubt the such stats are available. I would be happy to be proven wrong.

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SOP's/Guidelines are good to have as a starting point, but things rarely stay so scripted.
I'm with you there, but if you were to entertain assuming the risk of going outside to face a prowler, it would be a very good idea for you to first find out what your legal standing would be if you went outside armed and encountered someone, with different possible outcomes, in the state where you live.

Where I live I can get into nothing but trouble. My state is not unusual in that respect, and we now have some of the better gun laws.
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Old October 31, 2008, 03:27 PM   #56
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If you're going to say that 83% of the time compliance leads to no injury, therefore you should comply, then you have to accept that if 75% of the time confronting a badguy leaves you unharmed, it's not "wrong" for someone to take that course of action. You can't have it both ways.
It's not having it both ways. In both situations IMO the goal should be to minimize danger and loss of resources. In the robbery, you have two choices, comply or fight back. With the noise, you have multiple choices on what to do. With the robbery initial compliance minimizes danger and loss of resources. With unknown noise outside, going out maximizes potential danger and loss of resources, while there are many other options that can give similar results with less chance of loss. As fiddletown pointed out you have two different sets of odds to deal with, one favorable and one unfavorable. Minimize the unfavorable (attack by BG) while maximizing the favorable (stopping noise without placing yourself in danger). Sort of "If flipping on the porch light makes the BG go away, why do you want to flip on the light and go outside? Will that make him go away more?"
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Old October 31, 2008, 03:32 PM   #57
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And to my way of thinking "checking on a noise" doesn't necessarily mean going out for a look. I can look out the window. I can wait quietly and listen closely for further noises. It's been my experience over a lot of years that so far I've always been able to identify the noise as something innocuous without having to go wandering about.
Exactly. What some are also missing is the idea that if there is a problem it can best be solved also without going out for a look. Turn on the lights. Yell out the window "Get away from my stuff, I'm calling the cops!" Wait it out a bit to see if the noise can be ID'd. All sorts of options that solve the problem without wandering around increasing your danger.
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Old October 31, 2008, 03:34 PM   #58
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Means you won't find your stats. Police shootings, aggravated assault, rape, murder, yes, but prowler incidents? David Armstrong, any input on this? Anyone else?
Can't speak for anyone else, but all the info I've seen leads me to believe there is no source for that information.
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Old October 31, 2008, 03:49 PM   #59
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I realize that a source for those specific stats probably doesn't exist. That's why I just threw out the 75% and clarified that it was just a seat-of-the-pants number. I think it's probably a little low too. It's pretty rare, respectively, for someone who's breaking into a house, garage, etc, to attack instead of running away. Even more rare is the one who decides to attack and has the ability to hurt you. And even rarer still is the one who decides to attack you, has the means to hurt you, and accomplishes exactly that.

As for minimizing loss or resources- you have to decide whether you want:

A. No injury to you, yet some property loss. (Stay inside and call the police)

B. Injury to you and no loss of property. (Go outside and the BG hurts you)

C. Injury to you and loss of property. (Go outside and the BG hurts you AND takes your stuff)

D. No injury to you and no property lost. (Go outside and not get hurt and BG takes nothing...OR...find some other way to deter them from inside.)

I think most people would take D and you can possibly accomplish that from inside as well as outside. You probably have a better chance of staying unhurt if you remain inside, but you have probably a better chance of deterring the theft by going outside. It's a risk/reward decision that can only be answered by the person facing it.

I'm not arguing that going outside is the RIGHT thing to do. I am saying that telling someone it's the WRONG thing to do isn't correct either. THAT's my point.
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Old October 31, 2008, 03:55 PM   #60
Glenn E. Meyer
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but you have probably a better chance of deterring the theft by going outside. It's a risk/reward decision that can only be answered by the person facing it.
That's if the crook decides not to engage. The debate is that if you do decide to explore the house or search outside, you are at a disadvantage if the crook wants to ambush you.
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Old October 31, 2008, 04:00 PM   #61
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That's if the crook decides not to engage.
Most don't engage. In the Waffle House robbery thread, you said that most robberies don't end up in shootings, so that should come into play when you make a decision. You advocated taking statistics into consideration. Yet here, even when you know that a higher percentage of crooks don't engage, you point to the anomaly (a fairly rare instance of someone getting hurt) and use that to advocate a course of action. In both scenarios, this one and the robbery one, being in the statistical minority has the gravest consequences. Yet you argue for following the numbers in one case and against it in the other.


Quote:
The debate is that if you do decide to explore the house or search outside, you are at a disadvantage if the crook wants to ambush you.
The debate has several facets. I have never disputed this point. In fact, I made it quite clear that I agreed with it.
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Old October 31, 2008, 04:54 PM   #62
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I'm not arguing that going outside is the RIGHT thing to do. I am saying that telling someone it's the WRONG thing to do isn't correct either.
I'll disagree. Telling someone they should minimize their danger and loss of resources should always be the default, and should only be countered in very rare and narrow circumstances. My $.02.

Quote:
Yet here, even when you know that a higher percentage of crooks don't engage, you point to the anomaly (a fairly rare instance of someone getting hurt) and use that to advocate a course of action. In both scenarios, this one and the robbery one, being in the statistical minority has the gravest consequences. Yet you argue for following the numbers in one case and against it in the other.
I think you are missing a key point. You can accomplish your goal the great majority of the time without putting yourself in danger, simply by turning on lights, yelling at the BG (or whatever), and so on. If that doesn't work, and the BG does stick around, the chances are the BG is not going to be deterred by your coming out of the house to tell him to go away. So the BG that sticks around is quite likely one of the higher risk encounters. The BG that sticks around IS the BG that is likely to engage. You've got the "don't engage" BGs out of the picture already.
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Old October 31, 2008, 05:39 PM   #63
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I haven't missed any point. You won't hear any argument from me that there are steps you can take from inside the house. I haven't said otherwise.

I happen to agree with you on this one (see my post regarding what I have told my wife to do), but I take issue with your attitude that there is only one correct method...the one you say is correct. You don't leave room for anyone to have a different opinion, a different perspective, a different thought process, or different priorities.

You use stats and logic to advocate your way when it suits you and then ignore it when someone can use it to bolster their opinion. It's as simple as logic and stats when it's backing you up, but it doesn't work that way when you disagree.

There is rarely a single right or wrong answer or solution to anything and it gets even more complex when people's varying priorities come into play. Some people think that property is worth defending, even if it's insured. To them, it's the principle. Much like 150 years ago, when people were hung for stealing a horse. A horse represented a man's livelihood and people saw it as a grave crime to steal one. People dropped everything to hunt the thief down and he was usually hung. Nowadays, stealing someone's car is just a "property crime" and is usually punishable by probation. Neither is right or wrong, just different. For someone to think that defending their property is worth the trouble and risk doesn't make them wrong. It makes them different than you.
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Old October 31, 2008, 05:39 PM   #64
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From Hondo11:
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As for minimizing loss or resources- you have to decide whether you want: A. No injury to you, yet some property loss. (Stay inside and call the police); B. Injury to you and no loss of property. (Go outside and the BG hurts you); C. Injury to you and loss of property. (Go outside and the BG hurts you AND takes your stuff) D. No injury to you and no property lost. (Go outside and not get hurt and BG takes nothing...OR...find some other way to deter them from inside.)
I might point out that B, C, and D are really something that you do not "decide", since in each case your decision has been to go outside. I will also point out that along with injury may come death. I might also point out that in each injury scenario you have mentioned "BG hurts you." Don't forget the possibility of being hurt by the police--see Fiddletown's post.

I presume from the fact that you are discussing the protection of property that you would either (1) be going outside unarmed with no intention of using deadly force, or (2) be going outside armed, with no intention of using deadly force (unless you are in Texas at night) unless you are put in personal danger, and that if the law in your state so requires, you would retreat before resorting to the use of deadly force. Right?

The former looks dangerous, and the latter looks both dangerous and pointless.

The best case is no injury and no loss of property, and the other three outcomes you have listed involve injury or death and/or loss of property.

You have not mentioned the possibility of being charged with a crime, which is a risk whenever arms are displayed or used outside.

Last edited by OldMarksman; October 31, 2008 at 05:46 PM. Reason: typo
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Old October 31, 2008, 09:21 PM   #65
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Sure, and I don't think anyone is saying never go check on a noise. I check on noises all the time. But if I hear a noise and think I need to grab a gun before checking on the noise, I'm going to get some help first.
This gets to the heart of the matter....
Why wouldn't you take your pistol with you to investigate every strange noise?

Exactly how do you determine if a noise is something that might merit bringing your pistol or not?

Obviously if you hear your back door being kicked off the hinges, or your kitchen window being smashed, or you hear someone trying to unlock your back door.....but how do you know that the odd "thump" isn't a criminal who just dropped something?

And if you hear an odd noise, say a bump in the night, but then you hear nothing else, do you just roll over and go back to sleep?
Do you call 911 and lock yourself in your bedroom?
Do you investigate the noise without your firearm?
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Old October 31, 2008, 09:47 PM   #66
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Yes, easyG, let's get to the heart of the matter.

If, you grab your gun and go investigate a noise; and

If, there is a BG, or more than one BG; and

If, he, or they, are willing to engage you;

Then the odds are overwhelming that you will lose (and if the police respond, you might get shot by them).

So, how do you want to play it?
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Old October 31, 2008, 10:44 PM   #67
bobn
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hm my post might not have been helpful...
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Old October 31, 2008, 11:22 PM   #68
David Armstrong
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but I take issue with your attitude that there is only one correct method...the one you say is correct. You don't leave room for anyone to have a different opinion, a different perspective, a different thought process, or different priorities.
Interesting. I went back through the whole thread and nowhere can I find me suggesting there is only one correct method, the one I say is correct. Perhaps you could paste where I have said that, as I seem to have missed it.
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You use stats and logic to advocate your way when it suits you and then ignore it when someone can use it to bolster their opinion. It's as simple as logic and stats when it's backing you up, but it doesn't work that way when you disagree.
I rarely advocate anything. I will point out what certain facts are and what various pieces of information show, but about the only thing I advocate in this area is make an informed decision using the best information you can get. As for logic and stats, I believe that I and others have shown how the logic in both situations you have referred to is quite in line in both. Logic and stats suggest compliance as the default with the robber, logic certainly suggests staying inside as the default with an unknown noise.
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Some people think that property is worth defending, even if it's insured.
And some people think that the moon landing were faked. And I don't think I've ever said property is not worth defending. I do happen to think it sort of silly if defending a $10 piece of property results in a loss to you of $1000.
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Much like 150 years ago, when people were hung for stealing a horse. A horse represented a man's livelihood and people saw it as a grave crime to steal one. People dropped everything to hunt the thief down and he was usually hung.
In spite of the fictional Westerns, few people were hung for horse stealing. And people rarely, if ever, would drop everything to go chase down a horse thief. Usually those that were hung for it stole the horse in a situation that put another's life in danger.
Quote:
For someone to think that defending their property is worth the trouble and risk doesn't make them wrong.
Don't think I've ever said that, either. It's often a bad idea, and depending on how you defend and where it might even be against the law, however.
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Old October 31, 2008, 11:32 PM   #69
David Armstrong
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This gets to the heart of the matter....
Why wouldn't you take your pistol with you to investigate every strange noise?
We look at it differently. I would pose it as why would you go investigate a noise if you thought you needed your pistol to do it? I live in a somewhat rural area. I investigate noises fairly often. I don't consider or treat every noise as if it is a life-threatening event. If it strikes me as a life threatening event, I'm going to let it come to me, if I can't get rid of it otherwise, so as to minimize my potential loss.
Quote:
Obviously if you hear your back door being kicked off the hinges, or your kitchen window being smashed, or you hear someone trying to unlock your back door.....but how do you know that the odd "thump" isn't a criminal who just dropped something?
I think we are trying to shift scenes here from "unknown noise outside of house" to "sounds like someone inside of house." If so, I would suggest there is a different set of dynamics that needs to be addressed.
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Old November 1, 2008, 12:35 AM   #70
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I have chimed in to these types of posts and threads before and i keep coming up with the same conclusion.People get you some night vision camera's,that way you never have to go peeping around corners again.It is also a good way to keep video proof of what really happened when and by whom.

From where i am sitting right now i am looking at 2 different tv's,one in my bedroom and one in my livingroom.No my house isn't that small just oddly laid out.I can see both my cars on one monitor and the front porch on my other monitor.I see all with these nifty little camera's and they even have audio to boot.each system comes with 2 camera's and a remote to change from camera to camera.They are available at wal-mart in the hardware section.

Yes if something does get in my house my first thoughts are to clear a way to my kids bedroom safely.So yes i'll be more than happy to clear a house with a gun.The furthest i'll venture outside is my front porch with a gun in hand.

Oh and back to main post the biggest problem i see with what the victim did,was let the b/g get close enough to him,stupid on his part.

A tip that i have started using in my cars to keep from getting brokin into so much,tie a couple of cans to the inside of your car doors,when someone tries to get in,it will make the most god awfull noise.
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Old November 1, 2008, 07:20 AM   #71
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From Hondo11:
Quote:
For someone to think that defending their property is worth the trouble and risk doesn't make them wrong.
Maybe, depending on the degree of risk, unless his intent is to use deadly force to do so. That's not my judgment of right and wrong, but the law in most places, dating back centuries.

From easyG:
Quote:
Why wouldn't you take your pistol with you to investigate every strange noise?
Let's assume for the moment that I am going to ignore the statistics--the results of expert training and simulation--that indicate that I would have little chance of prevailing over an assailant or assailants, and I do go outside to "investigate."

What would I do with the pistol?

If I do encounter a man in the yard, in most jurisdictions, I can't point it at him for being there. If he is carrying my propane tank, would be I permitted to point it at him without being charged with brandishing or assault with a deadly weapon? Probably not, in most of these United States, but that's a lawyer's call--he hasn't given me reason to fear that I am in imminent danger of death or serious injury. I surely cannot say, "put down my property or I will murder you." Nor can I reasonably detain him, unless I want to assume the liability of a citizen's arrest. That's not for me.

Now, if I have the pistol, and I am attacked outside, in some places I can "stand my ground" and resort to the use of deadly force. However, in most places, my first obligation is to retreat.

So what's the point of having it with me?

And that would seem to beg the question, why did I go outside in the first place?

The risks (of injury, death, or legal difficulties) are high, and there's relatively little for me on the upside.

Quote:
Exactly how do you determine if a noise is something that might merit bringing your pistol or not?
Same thought process--what would I do with it?

Now, if I am out in the country, and I hear repeated banging that may indicate that something is awry with the livestock, it would certainly be appropriate for me to go outside to investigate and make things right. And it's not a police issue. Unless I'm legally prohibited from doing so, carrying a pistol would seem reasonable. If I happen to encounter someone any number of events may unfold.

There are two principal differences between this and the "prowler" scenario we have been discussing. One is that I do not expect trouble, and I can reasonably believe that I am not putting myself at risk simply by going outside.

The second is that if something does go wrong and someone is hurt, I will have had a pretty good reason to go outside, and I will not end up explaining to the authorities that the reason I went outside with a gun was to see if someone was taking my property.

I hope this proves constructive.
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Old November 1, 2008, 08:04 AM   #72
alistaire
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1) Never bring a knife to a gun fight.
2) Never ever bring a gun to a knife fight. When the man did not use his shotgun, he made it a knife fight.

Some people insist that if you hear a noise, hunker down and call the police. In the past 20 years I would have had to call them at least 50 times. I've found 3 squirrels, a collapsed book case, and a pot hole that caused passing cars to make a noise that echoed through the house. I’ve found no bad guys. If I had called the police every time, by now they would never bother to show up. I'll save my 911 call for when I need it.
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Old November 1, 2008, 09:06 AM   #73
OldMarksman
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From Alistaire:
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1) Never bring a knife to a gun fight. 2) Never ever bring a gun to a knife fight. When the man did not use his shotgun, he made it a knife fight.
I'm not sure what you are trying to say, but never bring any weapon to a "fight". In most places you may carry one peaceably or have one in your home, and use it if necessary should the "fight" come to you.

Quote:
Some people insist that if you hear a noise, hunker down and call the police. In the past 20 years I would have had to call them at least 50 times. I've found 3 squirrels, a collapsed book case, and a pot hole that caused passing cars to make a noise that echoed through the house. I’ve found no bad guys. If I had called the police every time, by now they would never bother to show up. I'll save my 911 call for when I need it.
I think you have misinterpreted the advice. What the experts say is that if there someone is breaking into your house do not go to him, but let him come to you, and if there are noises that indicate that a miscreant is outside, do not go ouside; and in both cases call the police. No one suggests that you call the police every time you hear a noise. Read posts 10, 47, 48, and 51.

The best advice I've seen so far on this and related threads is (1) do not put yourself unnecessarily in harm's way, because of the risk of your being killed or injured; (2) become familiar with the relevant laws concerning the use of lethal force, so that you do not unwittingly become a felon; and (3) take a course in the use of lethal force, to improve your understanding of the first two items, to improve your skills and confidence, and to give you a better idea of your limitations. The poor fellow with the shotgun ignored item 1 with tragic results.

Last edited by OldMarksman; November 1, 2008 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Rewording in last paragraph, for accuracy.
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Old November 1, 2008, 10:47 AM   #74
David Armstrong
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Quote:
1) Never bring a knife to a gun fight.
2) Never ever bring a gun to a knife fight. When the man did not use his shotgun, he made it a knife fight.
3) Never start a gun fight, a knife fight, or any other kind of fight when it isn't necessary.
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Old November 1, 2008, 12:20 PM   #75
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by alistaire
...When the man did not use his shotgun, he made it a knife fight.....
He most probably didn't use it because he never had a chance to. And he most probably never had a chance to because the BG exploited his substantial tactical advantage and was able to surprise the GG.
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