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Old February 13, 2009, 03:23 PM   #1
Firepower!
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Home intrusion response

Lets say there is a break in and you become aware of it with sufficient response time to prepare and arm yourself.
What would be your action (please choose from the options listed)?
A) fire warning shots first
B) shoot to incapacitate
C) shoot to kill i.e. open head shot and you take it

How will you react? The intruder is armed and presumed dangerous.
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Old February 13, 2009, 03:31 PM   #2
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Plans are just that....

Do plan but know that in a time of crisis.... you don't shoot so good.

So, to advance your scenario a bit.

You get your gun and call 911 and lock your bedroom door. The intruder breaks down the door. He's a threat and he's made it very clear he's not there to sell you some candy.

You shoot center mass. Where you hit is a totally different answer.

In times of stress you can't really aim to shoot an arm or leg. That nonsense is just that nonsense.
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Old February 13, 2009, 03:36 PM   #3
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Here's what I teach gals to do...

So, in a situation where a gun has to be deployed.

Keep in mind this is for high stress and for somewhat new shooters.

Aim at the center midline just below the belt and just shoot. The recoil will "walk" you all the way up to the head when firing multiple shots center mass.

On the other hand if you can shoot a paper plate with multiple fast placed shots then just shoot center chest.
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Old February 13, 2009, 06:31 PM   #4
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D) Shoot to stop the threat
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Old February 13, 2009, 06:34 PM   #5
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How about we just try telling the BG to go someplace else and leave us alone? Why the need to shoot all the time?
"STOP! I am armed and have called the police! Leave now! If you come closer I will shoot!"
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Old February 13, 2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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Good point

Yes, it's ideal and most of the time this should work.

Yell that you have called 911 and that you have a gun and your going to use it. Hopefully they'll reconsider and leave.

From this point wait for the police to arrive and stay secure.

Do not clear your house. Stay on the line with 911 and wait. Once the police have cleared your house then you can relax.
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Old February 13, 2009, 06:43 PM   #7
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...because the bad guy isn't there to bring you your Valentine. He may already know you are there and he came prepared to fight.
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Old February 13, 2009, 07:02 PM   #8
David Armstrong
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He may already know you are there and he came prepared to fight.
yes, he may. But it is just as likely that he may not. And even if he came prepared, would you think it more likely or less likely for him to continue knowing that you are armed and ready and the police are on the way?
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Old February 13, 2009, 07:39 PM   #9
Terry A
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[QUOTE][/David Armstrong How about we just try telling the BG to go someplace else and leave us alone? Why the need to shoot all the time?
"STOP! I am armed and have called the police! Leave now! If you come closer I will shoot!" QUOTE]

Hi David,
I have agreed with a big majority of your posts here in the short time I've been aware of this site. However, I disagree with this one, at least to a point. Here's my thinking.....

Pick any sport, i.e., boxing or wrestling for example. The average amateur boxer or wrestler can beat an untrained man in a street fight a big majority of the time. A low level pro boxer destroys the average man. And a top level pro destoys low level pros. There's a pecking order.

The average police officer, with his training, beats the untrained gunman more than the other way around. A SWAT or CERT trained officer has even better tactics than the average street officer. But a good SWAT officer loses (in all probability) to a special forces operator such as a SEAL or Delta operator. My point being there's a pecking order in gunfighting also.

I can see if you surprise some kid in your house while you're cutting the grass.
Your suggested voice commands are probably what the majority of us would also do. But, if a home invasion happens in the middle of the night and the BG has a gun, my mantra says after he's identified, he's shot. That's not just bravado talking either. If someone breaches my home, I have to assume they know at least something about me. I've been a police officer since April 1981. Was also on our Drug Task Force entry team for 10 years and I've been to more tactical and entry classes than I can enumerate. I've said all that to say this....I'm not taking a chance that the guy(s) standing or walking in our home with guns is not a credible and determined adversary. Lots of BG's have also had training or are very confident with the gun skills. Just because we're gun owners and law abiding citizens doesn't mean we have the market cornered on gunfighting skills. By not engaging at the first opportunity, you risk something a little more prolonged or worse....

Here's some good reading. Sorry it's so long, but it has much value.
Are We Breeding a Police Culture of "Additional Victims?"

Part 1 of a 2-part series

By Chuck Remsberg
Senior PoliceOne.com Contributor

Law enforcement agencies "should build a police culture that accepts, validates and rewards a fighting spirit." Instead too many are creating "additional victims," hesitant officers who shy from using deadly force when it's legal and urgently needed. The result: "Some officers today are more afraid of being sued than being murdered!"

That sobering message was delivered passionately in Milwaukee earlier this month by one of a rare breed, a tell-it-like-it-is administrator, Chief Jeff Chudwin of Olympia Fields (Ill.) PD. Chudwin spoke on "Surviving Officer-Involved Shootings and the Aftermath" to kick off an intense tactical operations seminar produced by the Assn. of SWAT Personnel-Wisconsin, hosted by the Milwaukee County SO and attended by nearly 200 SWAT-team operatives.

A former street cop, former prosecutor, long-time president of the Illinois Tactical Officers Assn. and a PoliceOne contributor, Chudwin across a rapid-fire, provocative two hours presented graphic illustrations of what can only be called the wimping of American policing, and issued a stirring call for change. In some cases on-scene video drove home the impact.

A plainclothes officer is being slashed in the face and neck during a ground fight with a knife-wielding suspect. Under life-threatening attack, he hands his gun to another officer because "he's afraid he'll discharge the weapon accidentally" during the struggle. "He gets praised by the media for 'showing restraint,' but what he did makes my skin crawl," Chudwin declares. "Why didn't he shove the muzzle in the suspect's eye and pull the trigger?"
Another officer responds to a man-with-a-gun call at a food mart, sees the suspect with a gun in hand but stays in her patrol car. The suspect grabs a citizen whom he forces to the ground at gunpoint. The officer fails to intervene. The suspect murders the captive by shooting him in the head. Still no action by the officer beyond "officially observing." Responding backup finally kills the offender. A disturbing footnote to this event, Chudwin says, "is that some of her peers feel the first officer did nothing wrong."
An offender who has murdered his girlfriend is outdoors in a residential neighborhood firing a gun randomly. He's surrounded by SWAT but the officers take no action other than trying to maintain a loose perimeter, even when he points his revolver directly at them. The standoff drags on through many threats to police and public until he eventually is shot when he closes in on an officer and points the gun at him. When Chudwin asks the officers why they didn't fire earlier, they explain: "Our commander told us not to shoot him." "An outrage!" Chudwin declares. "If you're putting an offender at the top of the list for safety, then you have your priorities screwed up. Why are we catering to the person who created the problem?"
SWAT officers are offered rapid deployment training by a tactical organization but back away from the concept because they consider it "too dangerous." "We don't run into the muzzle of a machine gun," Chudwin chides, "but we do run into danger every day, and we should be prepared to do it."
An active shooter is inside a fast-food restaurant killing people. A SWAT team is ready to make entry or to fire through glass to take him out. A commander en route but 10 miles out orders the officers to stand down until he gets there....A commanding officer instructs his street personnel, "You can't shoot at anyone until you are shot at first".... A chief states that anyone who can't control an aggressive offender with a knife from 5 to 7 feet away without using deadly force should not be a police officer-all examples of "lunacy," Chudwin says.
"That kind of thinking can put you in a black hole you can't get out of. This is the culture we have to get away from. There is no obligation for you to be injured, wounded or murdered" rather than shooting to stop a lethal threat.

Chudwin made clear that he is not advocating the development of rogue officers who pursue vigilante missions on the street. But he does feel that officers and agencies should embrace a greater willingness and readiness to use lawful deadly force in appropriate circumstances.

"Predators are out there, not afraid of us, willing to attack us," said Chudwin, who has had two friends who were murdered on the job. "But officers often back away from aggressively finishing the fight."

Part of the problem, he suggested, is unrealistic training that teaches officers to rely on tactics and equipment that in many real-life confrontations don't work.

Field experience has well established that pepper spray, for example, "won't work against people who are committed and willing to fight to the death." Yet he showed dramatic video of a determined naked man moving threateningly down a city street with a knife after having cut off his own penis. Responding officers attempted-futilely-to control him with endless verbal commands and bursts of OC. Their solution ultimately was to risk their own safety by dog-piling him.

Why waste time and heighten your personal risk "by trying something that cannot work, like pain compliance against a crackhead who can't feel pain?" Chudwin asked. "Why create false expectations of success?"

He deplored the tendency, again often reinforced in training, to over-verbalize. "Show me a Supreme Court case or statute that says you must give verbal warning before using deadly force," Chudwin challenged. "There isn't one.

"It's not necessary to talk to somebody when they're trying to murder you. You can do it, but there's no legal obligation to and tactically it's not desirable. There are some offenders you simply can't negotiate with. Yet officers want to take things to the last instant because they have imprinted in their mind 'I don't want to shoot.'"

Reacting properly in threat situations depends on having the right mind-set, Chudwin stressed. "When you go out on the street, the first thing you say when you get in your patrol car should not be, 'Oh, God, I might get sued today.' You really have nothing personally to fear from liability when you follow law, policy and procedure. But fear of liability has led to the murders of police officers.

"If you're more concerned about getting sued than getting murdered, you can't do the job like it needs to be done. You're a threat to yourself and to others."

Regarding deadly force, "you have to know what you can do and when you can do it, and be prepared to do it immediately, without hesitation. If you fail any part of this equation, you will fail on the street."

The willingness to emphatically stop a life threat needs to be part of your mind-set off duty as well as on, Chudwin reminded. "Only 25 per cent of officers in some areas carry off duty, and then they carry no extra ammunition," he said in disbelief.

"Have some firearm on you always. You will be some place someday with your family and some antisocial s.o.b. will come up to you and want to cut your throat and take your children away-and you're not going to let him.

"Remember, there is no coming back from the dead. If you understand that, you will come home at night. You may be a little battered but you won't be full of holes because you gave some predator verbal commands rather than shoot him."
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Old February 13, 2009, 07:45 PM   #10
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Why would you even think about giving a BG breaking in to a house a verbal threat?....I don't know his intentions and he's going down if I can get a shot in...period.
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Old February 13, 2009, 07:55 PM   #11
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I like Evan Marshal's three step response.

Hands, weapons, death.

You look at their hands. If they're armed they need to be dealt with immediately.
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Old February 13, 2009, 08:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
How about we just try telling the BG to go someplace else and leave us alone? Why the need to shoot all the time?
"STOP! I am armed and have called the police! Leave now! If you come closer I will shoot!"
Excellent idea! In fact, why don't we add to that warning: "...go invade a much less prepared victim!"?

The way I see it, some mistakes just need correcting...
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Old February 13, 2009, 08:10 PM   #13
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Step 1... Dog #1 senses threat, then sounds alarm and self-deploys.
Step 2... Dog #2 sounds alarm and self-deploys.
Step 3... I arm myself and check my wife...who's already holding her cellphone & SIG.
Step 4... We listen carefully for unusual noises...like knocks on the door or screaming.
Step 5... Edit: Put pants on...
Step 6-1... Answer the door...give kid(s) a hug and remind them what time it is.
Step 6-2... Answer the door..."Yes, you can catfish but only take three"...remind them what time it is.
Step 6-3... Hear barking & screaming. Ask if anybody would like a paramedic...call 911.
Step 6-4... Hear shots, call 911, return fire as necessary.

In other words, try to be ready for anything...

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Old February 13, 2009, 08:14 PM   #14
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Shoot to kill. A person's house is their castle and should be dealt with as such. Saying stop go away is just sending the BG problem to someone else, maybe your relative or maybe your freinds house. A BG has to have some sort of deathwish anyway to invade homes he knows might be occupied by an armed citizen. Just as easy to oblidge him.
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Old February 13, 2009, 08:16 PM   #15
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Aim And Pray That I Do What's Right One Shot One Kill .
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Old February 13, 2009, 08:38 PM   #16
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"Step 1... Dog #1 senses threat, then sounds alarm and self-deploys.
Step 2... Dog #2 sounds alarm and self-deploys."

Best thing I've read all day...

In Tae Kwon Do and in Kenpo Karate (but not in Tai Chi...) I was taught, The assainlent wants to kill you. Kill him first. If he becomes unable to cause bodily harm, you may stop trying to kill him.

With guns involved, this is accelerated.
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Old February 13, 2009, 09:33 PM   #17
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I think people here are assuming that when they get into a gunfight with said intruder, that they are going to win... And we all know what happens when you assume.... you make an ass out of you and me...

Now im all for shooting any SOB that decides that my house is next on his target list, but I will also play the odds. I think David is most definitely right in his saying that you should inform them in the least nicest way possible that you have called 911, and are armed and ready to use lethal force. If they keep coming, which I doubt, then fire away. No need to get into a gunfight just to prove a point or prevent them from robbing someone else...
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Old February 13, 2009, 09:40 PM   #18
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Now go away or I will taunt you a second time...
David Armstrong's backup plan?
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Old February 13, 2009, 09:43 PM   #19
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None of the above.

If a verbal warning is appropriate and can be given safely, give it.

If it's not, don't.

Then shoot to stop the threat. Not "to kill," not "to wound," not "to get their attention," not "to leave a hole in the ceiling that I'll have to patch later..." Shoot to stop the threat.

Aim at the upper center of the torso, if that's available.

Or between the eyes.

Or the center of the pelvis.

Or the center of the largest part of their body you can see.

Keep firing until one of three things happens:
  • He throws down his weapons, puts his hands far above his head, craps his pants and pleads for mercy
  • He falls to the floor dead or unconscious
  • He runs away

When one of these things has happened, you have stopped the threat.

It doesn't actually matter which of the three events happens. You don't care HOW he stops being a threat to you. You only care THAT he stops.

As soon as he is no longer a threat, you stop shooting. Call for help as soon as you are sure you can do so safely.

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Old February 13, 2009, 10:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
I think David is most definitely right in his saying that you should inform them in the least nicest way possible that you have called 911, and are armed and ready to use lethal force. If they keep coming, which I doubt, then fire away. No need to get into a gunfight just to prove a point or prevent them from robbing someone else...




Good luck to you and David with your strategies. Mine differ greatly.
I hope you never have to face a home invasion, I fear for your safety.
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Old February 13, 2009, 10:08 PM   #21
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Yell that you have called 911 and that you have a gun and your going to use it.
Lock yourself and call 911 and warn in a loud and clear voice that you are armed, you called the cops and they are on the way. This is the safest and most prudent action to take. Most important, the phone call is being recorded and you are on record taking every precaution to avoid the intruder and warn him. That recording is your best witness in case the intruders pursue their intent and eventually die if you win that gunfight.

Quote:
Step 1... Dog #1 senses threat, then sounds alarm and self-deploys.
Step 2... Dog #2 sounds alarm and self-deploys.
Step 3... I arm myself and check my wife...who's already holding her cellphone & SIG.
Step 4... We listen carefully for unusual noises...like knocks on the door or screaming.
Step 5... Edit: Put pants on...
Step 6-1... Answer the door...give kid(s) a hug and remind them what time it is.
Step 6-2... Answer the door..."Yes, you can catfish but only take three"...remind them what time it is.
Step 6-3... Hear barking & screaming. Ask if anybody would like a paramedic...call 911.
Step 6-4... Hear shots, call 911, return fire as necessary.
Good point. It should be a system of defense. Think of target with rings from 5 to bullseye. Each ring represents a component of your system. Fence, watchdogs, patio lights with motion sensors, cameras?, window bars and door bars locks, ext., alarm system, safe room, weapons, ext. The list can get extremely creative, delusional and paranoid. The point is to make it so hard for an intruder that he chooses another target.

Last edited by Maromero; February 13, 2009 at 10:20 PM.
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Old February 13, 2009, 11:21 PM   #22
KLRANGL
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I hope you never have to face a home invasion, I fear for your safety.
Thats funny, because I cant think of a single person who actually knows me that would agree with you... I have no problem pulling the trigger when it needs to be pulled...

Funny, you didnt mention what your "strategy" was...

Maybe I should clarify a point... If I see the BG, im shooting. Id just much rather not be put into that situation, hence the verbal "get outa my house or i'll shoot you."
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Old February 13, 2009, 11:52 PM   #23
David Armstrong
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But, if a home invasion happens in the middle of the night and the BG has a gun, my mantra says after he's identified, he's shot.
But that is not the scenario that was offered. The scenario is a break-in, not a home invasion. People break into houses usually to steal things, not get into a gunfight. You've been an officer....tell me how many BGs you've kown who when committing a break in decided to stick around and get into a gunfight when they knew the police were coming?
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Old February 13, 2009, 11:56 PM   #24
David Armstrong
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Why would you even think about giving a BG breaking in to a house a verbal threat?....
Because there is a whole lot of potential upside and very llittle potential downside. If he goes away I save lots of time, energy, legal bills, etc. If he doesn't I shoot him when he comes into my room.
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Old February 14, 2009, 12:03 AM   #25
David Armstrong
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Good luck to you and David with your strategies. Mine differ greatly.
I hope you never have to face a home invasion, I fear for your safety.
I always find comments like that funny. Much like KLRANGL, nobody who knows much about me would think that. They instead would fear for the safety of whoever invaded my home, given my past performances.
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