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Old August 5, 2009, 04:05 PM   #51
markj
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Shoot thru the door? I myself would not, it puts holes in the door.

Someone kicking in the door? Use WildAlaskas method, retreat to a safe room arm yourself dial 911. Why would you do anything different?
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Old August 5, 2009, 04:13 PM   #52
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Why would you do anything different?
Because they're kicking down the door to the safe room?
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Old August 5, 2009, 10:30 PM   #53
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Why can we throw rule #4 out the door in this situation? I wouldn't advise shooting a silouhette in the dark either (even though you may be justified in doing so). That's why carrying a weapon-mounted light or handheld tactical light is thought of as a "must" for home defense!!
You're not throwing out rule #4, but you ARE identifying a person as a threat justifying deadly force without seeing them in both cases because that's how the law (in my state and others) is written.

I'm home alone at the moment, my wife is in another state. If I wake up in the middle of the night to a loud noise and the security system alarm to find an intruder in my bedroom I don't have to see him to know he doesn't belong there and to know that under TX law I'm justified in using deadly force against him if I feel there is no other option.

Similarly, the fact that a person is trying to break down a door to enter an occupied residence, BY LAW (in my state and others) identifies him as a threat even if the resident can't see the person in question.

Ok, let's take this one step further. We have had at least one TFL member who was totally blind. Are y'all saying that a blind person can not use a firearm in self defense due to the limitation of rule 4?
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Old August 6, 2009, 08:41 AM   #54
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John - You are also missing entirely the point of my post. As stated several times already, the legality of the shoot is not in question. Fire away!

However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.

What if your wife came home early?

What if your neighbor stumbled in drunk?


You COULD shoot them, but do you want to? (you may choose not to answer regarding your wife )

There are a million what-if's - each of them solved by POSITIVELY identifying your target rather than identifying them through some process of elimination.

I am not saying there are also not several plausible scenarios where shooting through a door makes perfect sense. My over-arching point is that IN GENERAL, shooting through a door is a bad idea.

As for a blind shooter, unfortunately he has a higher burden than the rest of us. Certainly he doesn't have carte-blanche to fire away because of his blindness? If we asked him/her, my guess is that they would be even more cautious in ensuring any target was a true threat (by whatever means possible) before fireing. For a sighted person, the easiest way to positively identify your target is using your eyes. I cannot speak for the blind on what their tactics should be in a SD situation.
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Old August 6, 2009, 08:50 AM   #55
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However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.

What if your wife came home early?

What if your neighbor stumbled in drunk?
Which is entirely different than shooting someone who is attempting to break down your door.

You wife is unlikely to be attempting to smash her way into her own house or bedroom.

Your neighbor, being sufficiently drunk, MIGHT be banging away at your OUTER door, but your bedroom?


Quote:
I am not saying there are also not several plausible scenarios where shooting through a door makes perfect sense. My over-arching point is that IN GENERAL, shooting through a door is a bad idea.
That's the same general idea of almost everyone else in this thread also.
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Old August 6, 2009, 08:59 AM   #56
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Bababooey has made the point regarding the risk, as have those who have related accounts of tragedies that have resulted from such shooting.

Earlier, I pointed out a question about the effectiveness--what are the chances that you would stop the assailant?

Some time earlier this year, I read a post about a man who fired a shotgun through his bedroom door at someone trying to get in. As I recall, it was effective: it stopped the threat. The man who was not hit took the man who was nicked in the shoulder for medical treatment, and they were arrested.

If it were necessary and the risks were contained I guess I might shoot through a door, but frankly, I cannot really visualize when it would be necessary.

Door with glass window, paricularly a broken window? Different story, maybe.
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Old August 6, 2009, 09:17 AM   #57
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Your neighbor, being sufficiently drunk, MIGHT be banging away at your OUTER door, but your bedroom?
And if he/she is drunk enough to be forcing the front door or to have forced his way inside and be working on the bedroom door, isn't the threat still real and fully demonstrated? Drunkenness is not a license for assault or forcible entry or, as near as I know, any other illegal act, and there are plenty of neighborhoods where neighbor is not a synonym for friend anymore. I don't want to plug a buddy of mine, but if he is threatening my family, drunk or sober, he is not my buddy any more. If you do stupid things when you get drunk, quit drinking. AA has helped a lot of people.

I'm with you, pizzaman.

To get back on topic, however briefly, it would require special circumstances for me to fire through a closed door, because of the issues of target identification and risk to other people in the vicinity that have already been discussed. Not saying its impossible, but it would have to be at the coincidence of several unusual circumstances for me personally to feel I done the right thing.
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Old August 6, 2009, 09:48 AM   #58
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John - You are also missing entirely the point of my post. As stated several times already, the legality of the shoot is not in question. Fire away!

However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.
The "should" aspect is going to depend on the situation and whether or not you are in fear for your life. John's wife isn't going to come home early and be trying to break down the door of her own home.

If John's neighbor is drunk, but sufficiently functioning to be breaking down John's door, then John probably should be in fear for his life. The neighbor isn't there with a pizza to share with John or to ask for a hug. As with the New Bohemians musician, a perfectly nice person chemically out of their mind can be a true and credible threat.

It might be unfortunate to shoot your neighbor, but necessary.
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Old August 6, 2009, 12:50 PM   #59
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It seems this thread like so many others on gun forums or other forums (sports in particular) has gotten blown all out of proportions. I don't really see anyone questioning the legality of shooting through the door in some very specific cases and don't see anyone saying that you should never do it. What I do see is a lot of people saying that if you do you better be sure of what you are doing and don't go shooting through the door when the pizza man delivers even if you haven't ordered a pizza. There is a big difference between someone knocking on your door and someone trying to break it down and if you can't tell the difference get rid of your guns. If you are on trial for shooting a 4 year old boy that you claim was trying to break down your door you better not put me on the jury.

However if you shoot two escaped convicts that were doing it then more power to you but you better know the difference or wait until they are inside so you can see. We can come up with 10,000 scenarios and 500 actual cases but none are going to matter when you are on trial. Quit the nitpicking and arguing and use some common sense. It's like the question that keeps getting asked about when it is OK to shoot someone. Only you will know when it happens and if you aren't sure then you better think twice as it will be a life changing experience for you either way.
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Old August 6, 2009, 12:55 PM   #60
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+1 pt 111
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Old August 6, 2009, 01:48 PM   #61
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Well, I guess we can close up TFL and call it a day! No more discussions allowed.
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Old August 6, 2009, 02:18 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by bababooey32
Well, I guess we can close up TFL and call it a day! No more discussions allowed.
Yah...
And wouldn't that be a shame. This has actually been pretty useful, IMO -- much discussion of the actual issues, little if any of the usual it's-legal-therefore-it's-a-good-idea stuff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT111
Quit the nitpicking and arguing and use some common sense. It's like the question that keeps getting asked about when it is OK to shoot someone. Only you will know when it happens and if you aren't sure then you better think twice as it will be a life changing experience for you either way.
It's easy to put up extreme cases and then say, "Well, anyone ought to be able to tell the difference," which seems to be what you're doing. But "thinking twice," before the fact, is more or less what's going on here, and it's a useful exercise, for exactly the reason you point out.
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Old August 6, 2009, 03:18 PM   #63
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Because they're kicking down the door to the safe room?
If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand. Phone connected to 911, makes it easier afterwards IMHO.

Seems to me that most of the younger guys have this wierd "I can handle this" mentality. This way of thinking can and will get them hurt. I only hope they live thru it and learn from it if it does go bad. Getting shot really changes your perspective on things.
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Old August 6, 2009, 05:21 PM   #64
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If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand. Phone connected to 911, makes it easier afterwards IMHO.
Given my previous experience with 911, if there is an intruder in the house, then 911 is the least of my concerns. I have several other things that I need to be doing that rank quite a bit higher that pertain to keeping my family safe than gabbing with some operator and trying to convey the significance of my situation so that they have some officer arrive at my location sooner after the event has culminated.
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Old August 6, 2009, 06:35 PM   #65
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If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand.
Prepared for what? Do you think the guy(s) will just stand there in the doorway, lit from behind, while you shoot them? Will the first shot or four or eight do the trick?

Thanks anyway. I'll be putting 8 or 10 shots through the door from behind cover in the master bathroom and then reloading with a 19 round mag. No way I want somebody in my bedroom who's crazy enough to break down the door.

And I don't care how it looks to the cops or the DA. My first priority is to keep me and my wife alive. In D.C. you might get arrested, but you'd be alive. In Florida, not a problem.
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Old August 6, 2009, 06:50 PM   #66
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If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand. Phone connected to 911, makes it easier afterwards IMHO.
I've already clearly stated that I (my wife actually) would be on the phone to 911. The intruder would have already broken down one door (because I have NO accessible windows), would have to be disregarding the alarm siren and also disregarding repeated, continuous warnings that I am armed and the police are on the way.

I will NOT wait to see what they plan to do when they come through yet another door and I have to count on my gun killing him before he can kill me.

I will NOT subject my wife and children to the trauma of watching their father kill a man and/or seeing their family being attacked in the process.

He can die on the other side of the door, or lay there bleeding or retreat if I miss or the wounds are not severe. He is not my concern.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; August 6, 2009 at 06:59 PM.
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Old August 6, 2009, 07:53 PM   #67
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Well, I guess we can close up TFL and call it a day! No more discussions allowed.
Not at all. I think this has been a very good discussion thread but it approaches the 10 second sound bite problem that the media loves and the public wants to have all the problems in the world solved with the one statement. In your OP you brought out the question and answer in your CWP class and was surprised at it. It would take the full 8 hour class to cover that question completely and there have been some very good points brought out. Discussions like this are extrememly useful but we must remember that we can't solve all the world's problems with one Internet thread or a 10 second sound bite.

The question was is it OK to shoot through a closed door and the answer was yes under certain circumstances. I would imagine that the person asking the question was asking about the outside door but as some have pointed out that it could be an interior door and that to me would be much different. The we could move to how about an door to an inside apartment or motel room. Would they be interior or exterior doors probably with no safe room to call 911 from.

We can't base our entire life around 10 second sound bites althought most officials get elected off of them so you see what happens when you pay too much attention to one. Suppose the instructor had answered the question with "Legally yes, but don't do it".
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Old August 6, 2009, 08:16 PM   #68
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Still hard to imagine you couldn't get a better shot after they got through the door. I'd never shoot through my front door. By the time a got the ladder out and climbed up high enough to be sure a miss wouldn't land in my neighbor's living room across the street, the door would already be broken down. If not, the door caving in while I was climbing the ladder would put me in a literally precarious position.

The hotel shooting reminds me of being in a hotel two years ago when someone banged loudly on the door of my room. I looked through the peephole and could just make out the distorted toe of the shoe on the guy hiding around the corner. Then he stepped out and repeated, so I called the desk to send security up. Then insults started coming through the door. Then security arrived. It turned out to be a hotel regular trying to play a joke on his friend in the next room. If I'd shot him it would have been justified I expect (this was in Texas), in light of all the stories about people attacked in hotels that you hear. But it also would have been bad karma all around. Not to mention a miss going into the room across the hall, which I consider unacceptable.

Cooper's rule 4 stands as unexceptionable, IMHO. Maybe I'll be able to come up with a scenario where it doesn't, but I haven't yet.
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Old August 6, 2009, 08:41 PM   #69
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Ah, but Cooper also admitted that he violated a rule when dry firing at the tele and explained his reasoning thusly...that I need my tele but I need my skills even more. So even Cooper knows that situational ethics can force ones hand where generally the rules stand.

Rules are a guideline for peacetime. When the balloon is in the air all bets are off and the situation dictates the actions taken. Real life steps in!
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Old August 7, 2009, 12:41 AM   #70
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However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.
I'm not saying you SHOULD shoot them, but I am saying that once you are certain that they are trying to get in, that they have an excellent chance of doing so and that they know you are there then they are definitely a threat. I'm also saying that a door is probably a better "stopper" than a handgun. Allowing them to enter seriously degrades your "tactical" situation. It's something a person should consider.
Quote:
Your neighbor, being sufficiently drunk, MIGHT be banging away at your OUTER door, but your bedroom?
My outer doors are far more secure than my inner doors--in fact none of my inner doors would stand up to any sort of assault whatsoever. Maybe that's something I should fix, but currently that's the way it is. The small chance that he might not be dangerous after he gets inside is insufficient motivation for me to let in a person who knows that my house is occupied and is still attempting to violently enter. Not if I can stop him.

It's obviously much better to prevent him from getting into the house in the first place.
Quote:
If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand.
I'm not in this to make it a fair fight. I'm in it to keep me and mine from getting hurt. The idea that I should let him in where we can shoot it out "clean" is just plain crazy as far as I'm concerned. If I can stop an obvious threat on the other side of the door it makes less than zero sense to let him in where he has far more ability to do me and mine harm.
Quote:
My over-arching point is that IN GENERAL, shooting through a door is a bad idea.
If they know you're there (a verbal challenge is called for here) and if you reasonably fear that they will imminently gain entry if you do not shoot through the door then I would say that shooting through the door is a really good idea.

Your over-arching point is correct in the sense that IN GENERAL, shooting someone, PERIOD, is a bad idea. It's only when someone has demonstrated that they are an imminent deadly threat (which they can easily do from the other side of a door) that it suddenly becomes a good idea to shoot them.
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Old August 10, 2009, 06:16 AM   #71
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I will not shoot unless he has already broken in

HI,
If the person has already broken trough my security door (which is in front of each of my external doors, after jumping over the wall that fences my property,and is now trying to break through my door it is highly unlilely that he is up to anything good.

My planned response to such a scenario is to gather the wife and kid in one room, (both me and the wife always have a firearm at reach), teh wife calls the police, and I shout to whoever is behind the door that police are on their way, and if he does get through the door I will open fire.

if the intruder is holding a weapon and is aiming it into the house
( I can see this from side windows and it takes me one flick of a swtich to illuminate all my yard) I will advise him again to go elsewhere, while covering him with my firearm.

The only time I will fire though a door is when the intruder is already shooting.

To explain my decisions, I need to highlight that our laws here are different than those in the US, which forces me to think ten times before shooting. including the fact that we now have 11 official languages, and if he survives he can claim that he thought I was inviting him as he only speaks the 9 languages which I was not using. ( I am no kidding you)

Therefore, I will hold my fire until he has broken in, but my family and I will be behind cover. ( my house walls are thick enough to stop anything short of a 50 BMG bullet)

Brgds,
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Old August 10, 2009, 06:44 AM   #72
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In fact

I have met a person who shot through the door after someone was trying to kick it in. He got off scott free because he was in fear for his life and that of his family. So there have been cases already that set precident to just such a situation.
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Old August 10, 2009, 11:23 AM   #73
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Dannyl, your plan sounds exactly right -- not only in terms of your laws, but tactically, as well... Although different house layouts, where any kids are, etc., may require other tactics, in general, people in jurisdictions that permit a "more aggressive" response would do well to have plans that are similar to yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipsetactical
I have met a person who shot through the door after someone was trying to kick it in. He got off scott free because he was in fear for his life and that of his family. So there have been cases already that set precident to just such a situation.
Where did this happen? It sounds like something that would've made at least the local news... Can you provide us with a link to a news report of this incident?
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Old August 10, 2009, 11:52 AM   #74
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Too likely to end like this: http://content.usatoday.com/communit.../07/68495159/1

Don't do it.

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Old August 10, 2009, 11:57 AM   #75
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Folks, you are missing one thing here that makes it a moot point.

The BG HAS to come through the door.

In the instant that they are framed in the door, you have a perfect target solution.

Why do you think that in law enforcement it is called the "fatal funnel"? Get caught in the doorway, you're as good as dead.

I still maintain this--never shoot through a wall or a door. Positively ID your target FIRST.

Here, there is an obvious solution that I'm surprised no one has mentioned yet. Here, in this case, the weapon light comes into its own.

I'm not talking about your piddly 60 lumen night light, either. Make your weapon light STRONG.

How to deploy it? You should be barricaded behind something, facing the door. In the instant that the threat presents itself, light it up with the weapon light. A good light will blind and disorient.

This gives you time to challenge or to engage, should the threat continue.

I use, and highly recommend the Fenix line of flashlights. My weapon light, and my carry light is the Fenix TK11. This light is powered by 2xCR123 batteries, and puts out a blinding 240 lumens of pure white light, from a Cree LED.

You should be mentally prepared to illuminate and take your shot IMMEDIATELY if necessary.

Again, identify your target FIRST. Don't shoot through walls, and don't shoot at motion.
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