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Old November 17, 2009, 06:13 PM   #26
doh_312
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No telling what a stranger in my house has brought with him as a weapon or picked up in my house to use as a weapon. Supposing he has a shotgun with him hidden under a long coat. By calling out to him you've given him the ability and time to get that shoty muzzle moving your way.

No sir, not a chance worth taking in my book. You break into my house and I'm shooting you before you can shoot me. If you are a 14yo kid, someone should have raised you better. I protect myself and mine from harm first and foremost. ANY intruders pose a threat to the security of my family and will be dealt with accordingly.

Cleaning up a blood mess I can handle, losing my wife to a BG's weapon I cannot.

Glad OP came out on top. Some tactics work for some, others would choose other tactics. Bottom line is you and her are safe. Well done friend
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Old November 17, 2009, 06:16 PM   #27
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You did GREAT! I was shaking just reading it!

You do realize that you owe that neighbor kid the newest X-box game that comes out this Christmas don't you?
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Old November 17, 2009, 07:39 PM   #28
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armed, I don't know what your angle is, but if it is to change my mind you can forget it. I've stated my position clearly and we disagree...I'm fine with that
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Old November 17, 2009, 08:49 PM   #29
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wyatt, i don't have an angle. I was having a discussion.

I'm Irish. I'll argue with myself, if nobody else is around!!
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Old November 17, 2009, 08:55 PM   #30
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HAHA, I've got some Irish blood flowing around in there somewhere too, that explains it!!
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Old November 17, 2009, 10:00 PM   #31
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Oh hell---We're in real trouble then... I'm Scotish with a healthy dose of German. Good thing there's no whiskey involved here--there could be a war! Or a hell of a party!
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Old November 17, 2009, 10:36 PM   #32
Phoebe
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You might want to pick up a book called, "On Combat", by Lt Grossman, to understand the physiological things that happen to us when we're in a life or death situation. Though it's geared towards soldiers and LEO, most of it applies to any of us.

Shaking? That's totally normal.

As others have pointed out, it's just adrenaline dump.

Tunnel vision, impaired fine motor skills, changes in hearing, vision, and even embarrassing bodily functions like defecating or urinating are normal things that can happen.

When I confronted a BG in my own home, I misdialed 911, not once, not twice, but THREE times.

Everything you did sounds text book perfect. Pat yourself on the back.
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Old November 17, 2009, 11:10 PM   #33
chris in va
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The first things I did after moving into my one level house was get those window screechers and bar both doors with floor jambs. They won't keep someone from coming in eventually, but will give me time to wake up and get things sorted out.



The one...and only...time I've ever experienced a break-in was living in a second story apartment. BG was trying to get away from the cops, chose our little place to try and hide. My mom sees the door knob turning (how he got past the lock I have no idea) and slams her body weight against it, then cranks the deadbolt. It was a very close call. Couldn't PAY me to live in an apartment again.
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Old November 20, 2009, 12:57 PM   #34
Daugherty16
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Well handled

Nice going. Really. you defended your home and woman valiantly, nobody had to be shot, no legal bills, no mess to clean up. As for the shakes - be glad for the adrenaline as it helps with clear thinking and taking decisive action when the SHTF. After the crisis passed, let the shakes come, you've earned them. But i agree that you owe that kid a new game!

What's to improve? Phone in the BR is a no-brainer, with 911 on speed dial. A simple thing for the cell is to put the charger on your nightstand, and plug in every night when you retire. Unless you want to sleep with your holster on, i'd suggest you develop and practice a nightly routine, such as placing the HD gun in the nightstand - you definitely don't want to be fumbling with a safe in the middle of the night; put the taclight and cellphone in their places, same way every night. How about a gun for your girlfriend, just in case she's alone if it happens again?

Lock changes have been mentioned. Above all else, you want your bedroom door to be an effective barrier that will buy you precious seconds when you need them most. Get an apt above the 1st floor, if you can. A dog is great in many ways, but a Shepard in a 300' apt may not be too practical, or even allowed.

It surely sounds like you handled yourself and the situation well. You didn't bring this situation on, the BG did, but you were prepared, and you executed smartly. And showed excellent restraint in a critical situation. (applause).
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Old November 21, 2009, 04:55 AM   #35
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Good job.

As for the shakes, probably the best you can hope for is to delay them long enough to accomplish your mission. It's a matter of priorities. I excercise self-control by being conscious of the fact that keeping my witts straight provides me with the best chance of survival. I simply can not afford to relinquish control of myself at such a critical time.

The shakes will still catch up to you after the threat is passed though
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Old November 21, 2009, 05:04 AM   #36
Ryder
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No sir, not a chance worth taking in my book. You break into my house and I'm shooting you before you can shoot me. If you are a 14yo kid, someone should have raised you better. I protect myself and mine from harm first and foremost.
You might want to consider the consequences of that dead kid's relatives seeking revenge upon you and yours. Those people who should have raised him better may share many of the same criminal tendencies.
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:17 AM   #37
OldMarksman
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You break into my house and I'm shooting you before you can shoot me. If you are a 14yo kid, someone should have raised you better. I protect myself and mine from harm first and foremost. ANY intruders pose a threat to the security of my family and will be dealt with accordingly.
And Doh, in some states, but not all, the fact of an unlawful break in provides a presumption of imminent danger to justify the use of deadly force. Is that true in yours?

However, such a presumption is rebuttable.

Has it occurred to you that you may have just created the first piece of potential evidence to assist in that rebuttal?

Last edited by OldMarksman; November 21, 2009 at 08:25 AM.
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:37 AM   #38
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LOL, here in FL, I'm pretty sure you can sue the BG's estate for the cost of your ammo used to dispatch the ner' do well! JK
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Old November 21, 2009, 09:00 AM   #39
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You'll never forget that "shaking"

I remember about 26 years ago, before I had any training at all, holding a phone, trying to talk to Police while holding a gun aimed at the door as someone was trying to break in my front door.

That "shaking" is something you just can't explain to the extent that they'll really understand to anyone new to guns like the Grandma across the street who just got her first .25acp last week when she got her concealed carry license ...

But, now that you know about Adrenaline, you can prepare yourself for it.

So far, I've only had 2 guys pointing loaded .38s at my head while being robbed, and 5 others with 2 sawed off shotguns and various pistols while robbing my employer..... so I moved to another city.

Keeping your wits about you is important.

Last edited by RPB; November 21, 2009 at 09:06 AM.
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Old November 21, 2009, 10:15 AM   #40
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When my mom escaped an "ambush" by masked, armed, thugs, I got a call and remember adrenaline, and "shaking". I'm sure my mom was shaking, but she ran and got to a neighbor's house. Mom's ''Nightstand" gun is now her "carry" gun. I've only pulled mine once on a crackhead with a knife at a convenience store out in the middle of nowhere. He basically crapped his pants when he grabbed my door handle, and saw 9 millimeters in his eye. He vanished from the scene faster than I could blink. I didn't get too amped up, I sorta saw it coming and had my eye on him, so my adrenaline really didn't kick in.
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Old November 21, 2009, 02:55 PM   #41
doh_312
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OldMarksMan,

Yes it is true in my state. Thank goodness for common sense laws.

I'm not sure as to what rebuttal your speaking...
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Old November 21, 2009, 11:03 PM   #42
OldMarksman
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I'm not sure as to what rebuttal your speaking...
The presumption that an unlawful break in presents a basis for reasonable belief that deadly force is justified can be rebutted by the prosecution. That is, any evidentiary indication that one was not actually in imminent danger at the time would work against the resident and prevent a judgment of justifiability.

Understand that?

Such things could include forensic evidence, earwitness evidence, anything pertaining to state of mind (that might include an internet posting about the fate of an innocent fourteen year old), or any unwise thing said or posted after the fact.

Understand that?

Your "castle doctrine" was intended to address your need to present specific evidence that you were in imminent danger when your house was breached, and to obviate any duty to try to retreat--nothing more. It was never intended to permit you to kill an innocent in your house because you disapproved of his upbringing, or for any other reason under the sun. The issue is one of self defense--period. And, I should add, self defense for which the need is perceived by reasonable persons after the fact, and not just by the shooter himself.

It boils down to evidence--statements made prior to the fact, what appears at the scene and what others may bring forth, and what you say afterwards.

For the first of these, something like a public comment such as "If you are a 14yo kid, someone should have raised you better" just might turn out to be the pivotal factor in undermining your defense.

Understand that now?

It's important to never put into the public domain anything that may indicate that you would tend to use force in any situation in which it is not absolutely necessary to save your live(s) or, after the fact, say anything that someone else could use to make it appear that you have done so.

Also after the fact, keep all of your your discussions between you and your attorney, or they will be made public, to your detriment.

Last edited by OldMarksman; November 21, 2009 at 11:10 PM.
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Old November 21, 2009, 11:18 PM   #43
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"It was never intended to permit you to kill an innocent in your house because you disapproved of his upbringing, or for any other reason under the sun."

An "Innocent" wouldn't have broken into your house in the first place. I can't justify "innocent" and "break in". Should someone should break into my home when I'm inside minding my own business, I'd surely assume he was intending to do me or my family harm in one fashion or another.
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:11 AM   #44
OldMarksman
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An "Innocent" wouldn't have broken into your house in the first place. I can't justify "innocent" and "break in". Should someone should break into my home when I'm inside minding my own business, I'd surely assume he was intending to do me or my family harm in one fashion or another.
Good point indeed. Perhaps expanding on it would be worth doing. This is a lay discussion.

That ("I'd surely assume he was intending to do me or my family harm...") is one of the two main concepts behind castle laws in general.

Let's get the other one out of the way first: retreat. Not too long ago, a man broke into the abode of a Massachusetts woman and her child. She defended herself with a heavy old gum-ball dispenser and ended up getting charged because she did not attempt to retreat. I do not know the outcome. I'd move to another state.

The second is presumption of imminent danger. I've been told that before the castle law was enacted where I live, residents sometimes had to provide evidence that the perp actually presented an imminent threat. But as you say, if he has breached your door or smashed through your window at night, you can reasonably assume that he is not there to measure the drapes!

But it's not always crystal clear: there can be an innocent break in (more later), and the laws vary from state to state.

Not only do the written laws vary, but so do the real meanings--meanings determined from the context of the law in the overall legal fabric, and from the case law. It's never a good idea for any layman to rely on what he thinks the law says.

Here's a case in point: where I live, it says right in the law that I can use deadly force if someone enters my domicile or automobile uninvited, refuses to leave, or attempts to remain. It actually says "unlawfully" but that's defined elsewhere. For a private residence, it says that means "uninvited".

That's what it says. Would I rely on that? Not for a second. Why? Let's look at some state by state variations first. In both Florida, and Texas, the law provides the resident with the presumption that the entry (unlawful and with force in both cases--not mentioned in the law in my state) provides reason for belief that great harm is imminent. Good law, in my view. But as discussed in a prior post, that presumption can be rebutted, should there be reason or a basis. Says so in the laws in both places. The absence of such wording in the laws of some other states may not mean that the same thing will not apply.

In Colorado, the perp must have entered the house. Some guy who had the wrong house stuck his arm through the window to open the lock (innocent by any standard) and the resident killed him. The resident was not charged; part of the decedent's body had been in the house, and other circumstance would seem to have provided basis for reasonable fear. Of course, a later authority can always bring charges.

Oregon doesn't have a "castle law" in the code, but it is embodied in case law. A fellow came home to find a man unlawfully in his house and he shot the guy. He was convicted of manslaughter.

So, these laws vary a lot, and most of them are fairly new. That means that in some states the relevant case law has yet to be handed down. I don't know about you, but I don't want that to be done as the result of something I've done. I would be ruined even if not convicted. I have neither the money nor the remaining years left. So, what will I do when someone comes in "uninvited"? I'll act decisively when and only when I see no alternative.

Complicated? Well, there are some reasons why there's a strong--very strong--lobby working on a nation wide basis and contending that castle laws do nothing but legalize murder. One is the way the laws are written in some places; ours almost begs to be read that way. Another is because of the way some very unfortunate things have happened, such as the tragedies in Colorado and Oregon--not to judge the CO resident harshly here. A lot of folks use the Joe Horn case in Texas as ammunition, but it had nothing to do with the ''castle doctrine" clause in the Texas law.

And there's another reason--the "I'll blow 'em away" mentality often stated in various places, including this thread, does not help the cause at all.

The idea that a man's home is his castle was never meant to grant upon him the function of judge, jury, and lord high executioner all in one. Your shots should be your last resort.

Pardon the length of the reply, but it's a very important subject.

By the way, I've had three break ins while at home, defended myself with a gun in each instance (without firing), and like the OP, I shook for a long time after each.
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:33 PM   #45
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JMarshall,

Glad everything worked out and that you and your family are safe. Does your girlfriend shoot? If she doesn't, it may be a good time to teach her how. I'm not sure if it would be the best idea to send her outside if things did go south. There are too many variables and unknowns.

Otherwise, it sounds like you did great. Just get that phone wired to the bedroom as soon as possible. And definitely buy that kid a new X-box game.
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Old November 23, 2009, 12:49 AM   #46
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A cell phone is your friend..........always nearby and no worry about cut wires.
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Old November 27, 2009, 06:04 PM   #47
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An unlawful entry is just that, about as black and white as it gets. If you are uninvited in someone else's castle you are unlawful.

Regardless of the stranger's intention or mindset when entering your house, he is unlawful. It counts as breaking and entering even if it is simply a mistake. It is simple, if your key dont unlock the door then it aint your house, less you made the old lady mad and she changed the locks.

Therefore your unlawful in someone else's domain and they have every right to see you as a threat to their life and deal with the threat. The fact that you innocently reached through my window to unlock my door and grant yourself access to my family is not a defense for why you should be handled differently than the guy who kicks the door down.

Are you suggesting I ask the stranger in my house at 2 in the morning weather he is here to harm me or just use the bathroom because he thought it was his house that he for some reason had to break into?
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Old November 28, 2009, 05:57 PM   #48
OldMarksman
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An unlawful entry is just that, about as black and white as it gets. If you are uninvited in someone else's castle you are unlawful.
Trespassing and theft are unlawful, but the penalties are prescribed, and those who can judge and administer them are defined (hint--the homeowner is not among them). Don't even think about using deadly force for those.

Quote:
Regardless of the stranger's intention or mindset when entering your house, he is unlawful.
The point?

Quote:
It counts as breaking and entering even if it is simply a mistake.
Is that a legal opinion? A crime usually involves a knowing and willful act and a criminal state of mind. Also, there may be a necessity defense in some cases, in some jurisdictions. But what does it matter? Yours is not the task charge him with a crime, to determine his guilt, or to to punish. Don't forget that.

Quote:
It is simple, if your key dont unlock the door then it aint your house, less you made the old lady mad and she changed the locks.
No, it's not that simple. Some three decades ago, a neighbor was unable to get into the house he had taken possession of that day due to a problem with the key, and he had to break in a basement window. Good thing no one shot him, don't you think?

Quote:
Therefore your unlawful in someone else's domain and they have every right to see you as a threat to their life and deal with the threat.
As stated earlier in this thread, there just may be such a presumption. It is likely rebuttable, however, and forcible entry may also be required.

Quote:
The fact that you innocently reached through my window to unlock my door and grant yourself access to my family is not a defense for why you should be handled differently than the guy who kicks the door down.
I would not be concerned in the least with the defenses available to, or the charges that might be filed against, the intruder. That's not part of the equation for me. I'm concerned with lawful self defense, and with that only.

Quote:
Are you suggesting I ask the stranger in my house at 2 in the morning weather he is here to harm me or just use the bathroom because he thought it was his house that he for some reason had to break into?
No.

I'm suggesting that you do everything you can to avoid getting shot and within that parameter, everything you can to avoid shooting.

If he leaves, you will be infinitely better off.

I've made the decision to shoot if necessary on three occasions, and on each a brief statement saved me from regret, an investigation, property damage, high legal fees, the risk of either civil or criminal liability or both, the risk of retribution, and--just one little thing--having my gun taken. There was never any question of an innocent break in in any of them.
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Old November 28, 2009, 06:37 PM   #49
rshanneck2002
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Now comes the court date? which i presume will happen when caught red handed. Hopefully he will plead out and save you alot of hassles? and he will remember you,thats for sure,how bad? that depends on his background, alot of gang bangers dont give a crap and will return. You really need info on individual. Just be prepared, long term?
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Old December 1, 2009, 05:47 PM   #50
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Pay attention over the next few days for suspicious vehicles and people hanging around who don't live/belong there.
Double check on that. Sometimes the BGs friends come in for revenge. Start conceal carrying as well.
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