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Old April 16, 2010, 09:33 PM   #51
WhyteP38
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In some states, the law does not permit the use of deadly force to defend the home.
I wonder which states those are.

I have heard of states that require a duty to retreat if you can do so with reasonable safety (or words to that effect). However, I have not heard of a state with a blanket prohibition against using lethal force in self-defense when one is in one's residence.
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Old April 17, 2010, 07:57 AM   #52
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Posted by WhyteP38: I wonder which states those are [in which the law does not permit the use of deadly force to defend the home].

I have heard of states that require a duty to retreat if you can do so with reasonable safety (or words to that effect). However, I have not heard of a state with a blanket prohibition against using lethal force in self-defense when one is in one's residence.
The issue was whether one might be prosecuted for "defending the home."

Again, in some states, the law (1) establishes the presumption (usually rebuttable) that the fact of a forcible, unlawful entry provides the occupant with reason to believe that he or she was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, and (2) states that the occupant has no duty to retreat. In some, an attempt to enter will suffice, while in some others the intruder must have entered the home. In still others, the entry into the home by an intruder does not justify the use of deadly force.

The OP spoke of firing at a person breaking into the house. In some states one may use deadly force in the event of such an attempt. In some others, the entry must first have been effected, and, of course, the intruder must not be attempting to leave. I was speaking of those in which the fact of unlawful entry alone does not justify the use of deadly force. Even though the perp is in the house unlawfully, there must be reason to believe that he actually poses an imminent threat of death or seriously bodily harm ("A, O, J"), and the use of deadly force must be immediately necessary to prevent said harm--meaning that one cannot safely escape after having retreated from the attacker as far as possible.

In some such states, what the resident perceived as an immediate need for deadly force in self defense was not so judged by others after the fact. In some others, as it has been related to me, similar occurrences were what led to the enactment of what many refer to as castle doctrine laws.
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Old April 17, 2010, 09:03 AM   #53
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Posted by OldMarksman:
The OP spoke of firing at a person breaking into the house.
Yes, and he also spoke of a cop defending himself with a .380 but with no reference to a home or residence. If we are going back to the OP’s original post, as you did, is the topic “firing at a person breaking into the house,” is it cops defending themselves with .380s, or is it the thread title?
Quote:
Using the Powell Doctrine of Overwhelming Force for Home Defense
Given the title and this:
Quote:
I can see where it is not just good common sense, but essential to use the heaviest weaponry available to you to defend your home. In my area of the woods, that weaponry would be an AR type rifle or a shotgun. If you do not use the Powell doctrine when defending your home, then the attacker might decide to stand their ground and fight.
it appears the topic is the use of overwhelming force for home defense, not “firing at a person breaking into the house” or cops defending themselves with .380s.

The topic covers a broader range than simply “entry.” At a minimum, “the use of deadly force to defend the home” includes defense within the curtilage, attempted entry, the process of actually entering, someone who has entered but may not be posing an immediate threat, and someone who has entered and is posing an immediate threat.

Quote:
Posted by OldMarksman:
In some states, the law does not permit the use of deadly force to defend the home.
All I am asking is for you to provide the name of one state with a statute that is a blanket prohibition against using lethal force in self-defense in one’s residence.

During my service in the Navy, I either lived in or was TDY to many different states. Some were “duty to retreat” states; others were not. I have never seen a duty to retreat statute that was a blanket prohibition against using lethal force in self-defense in one’s residence. They all required you to retreat if you could do so with a reasonable expectation of safety or words to that effect.

However, just because I have never seen a duty to retreat statute defined as a blanket prohibition against using lethal force in self-defense in one’s residence, that does not mean there is no such statute. Therefore, I would like to have the name of at least one state so I can Google its criminal code and check how the duty to retreat is defined.
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Old April 17, 2010, 09:36 AM   #54
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All I am asking is for you to provide the name of one state with a statute that is a blanket prohibition against using lethal force in self-defense in one’s residence.
There are no such statutes, nor have I implied that self defense in one's own residence is unlawful anywhere in this country. I did comment about the use of deadly force in the defense of the home.

To my knowledge, the use of deadly force to defend oneself when immediately necessary against imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm is lawful everywhere in this country, inside the home or out. It is when one uses deadly force to stop an intruder from entering the home, or when deadly force is not immediately necessary (for example, if safe retreat had been possible) to defend oneself against an intruder who has entered the home unlawfully, that one can get into a lot of trouble in some places.

You probably won't find a statute that says so, however; it's just that in some states the statutes that cover the justifiable use of deadly force do not refer to forcible unlawful entry into an occupied residence as a reason to assume justifiability, and that the case law doesn't either. (It may be that Massachusetts did have such a law on the books before 1995.)

If one employs deadly force in self defense, it is up to him to provide evidence that his action was justified under the law. In some places, evidence of a forcible, unlawful entry of the actor's occupied residence will suffice. In others, it will not.
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Old April 17, 2010, 10:07 AM   #55
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I agree with you that some states do not find self-defense is justified when someone is breaking into your home.

In an odd counterpoint to that, when I was going through my CCW class in North Carolina years ago, the course materials and the sheriff who was instructing the class informed us that if someone was in the process of breaking into your home, you were justified in shooting to stop the entry. This applied even if you were shooting through a door that had no windows. However, if the person managed to get inside your home, you were not justified in shooting unless you were facing an immediate threat of death, serious bodily injury, or sexual assault.

The idea that someone who just broke into your home and is now within spitting distance has, essentially, the choice to make the first move, but that you are justified if you shoot through a door at someone jiggling your doorknob, even if you can't see who he is, never sat well with me.

As for "defense of the home," perhaps I run with an unusual circle of folks, but whenever I hear that expression, it includes defense of yourself and others within your residence. In fact, the statutes I have read usually use "residence" or "dwelling" rather than "house" or "home" because "residence" and "dwelling" include trailers, apartments, and hotel rooms. All of the statutes I've read that deal with use of lethal force for self-defense treat trailers, apartments, and hotel rooms the same as houses. A few, such as Georgia, treat your vehicle the same as a dwelling when you are in it.

If one is talking about defending the physical structure of one's dwelling, or the outlying structures and grounds within the curtilage, the only expression I have ever heard for that is "defense of property." I am unaware of any state that allows use of lethal force in the defense of property. Except maybe Texas. So there might be a few. I'm just saying I'm unaware of any.
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Old April 17, 2010, 10:31 AM   #56
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I find it interesting that......

as best I can determine not a SINGLE poster has actually had a real world experience in a home defense scenerio.
It appears that few, if any, have read any of the books written by REAL experts on the subject.
There are several basic rules often stated:
1. Have a plan to retreat to a safe room that has a solid door that locks, provides some protection (like a big bed), is equipped with a cell phone, covered windows, emergency lighting, a 20 bore youth model shotgun filled with duck/goose loads (shoot em' in the face) and a handgun.
2. Retreat if possible to that room.
3. Have good outside lighting with motion detectors.
4. Never answer the door to unknown people.
5. If there is an incident that results in gunfire, be sure there is only ONE witness. (you).
6. If there is an incident, say NOTHING to the police without an attorney (yours) present.

It's fun to postulate about being a modern day John Wayne, but there are people who have been there and done that, whose experience is readily available to anyone who reads.
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Old April 17, 2010, 10:36 AM   #57
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...when I was going through my CCW class in North Carolina years ago...
Here's the current NC statute:

Quote:
S. 14‑51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.
(b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.
(c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.)
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedL...S_14-51.1.html

The intent would seem to be to justify deadly force in self defense, but note the reference to prevention of a felony.

Texas permits the use of deadly force when necessary to prevent the taking of or to recover tangible, movable property. That's unusual.
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Old April 17, 2010, 10:40 AM   #58
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Posted by Brandy: I find it interesting that......
as best I can determine not a SINGLE poster has actually had a real world experience in a home defense scenerio.
Was the question asked? I have had three such experiences in the last 46 years....
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Old April 17, 2010, 10:47 AM   #59
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Brandy, that's a little condescending. If you have taken any shotgun courses you know that 'shooting 'em in the face' is way more easily said than done when you have been dumping adrenaline into your bloodstream. I remember during my Blackwater shotgun class being told that we could miss with a shotgun at 7 yards and thinking that I would never miss a target at 7 yards...well, I did, and I've been shooting shotguns for ages.

It happened to me and it can surely happen to you. Center of mass. That can be done under stress much easier than shooting a plate-sized target with what amounts to be a rifle-sized hole at short distance.
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Old April 17, 2010, 10:59 AM   #60
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There are several basic rules often stated:
1. Have a plan to retreat to a safe room that has a solid door that locks, provides some protection (like a big bed), is equipped with a cell phone, covered windows, emergency lighting, a 20 bore youth model shotgun filled with duck/goose loads (shoot em' in the face) and a handgun.
2. Retreat if possible to that room.
3. Have good outside lighting with motion detectors.
4. Never answer the door to unknown people.
5. If there is an incident that results in gunfire, be sure there is only ONE witness. (you).
6. If there is an incident, say NOTHING to the police without an attorney (yours) present.
The fact that these things are often stated does not make them right.

Greg has already addressed # 1.

The fifth one is downright bad advice. First, if a person you have shot does not happen to die, you cannot administer a coup d'etat to eliminate him. Second, the dead will testify, through forensic evidence. Third, should one eliminate third party witnesses? Come on, now.

Regarding # 6: if there's a second crook in the basement, or if an accomplice has escaped, or if someone has been wounded and requires immediate attention, are you going to wait until your attorney has arrived to give that information?

I doubt that you would find such advice in books by "real experts."
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Old April 17, 2010, 11:16 AM   #61
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Here's the current NC statute:
Quote:
The intent would seem to be to justify deadly force in self defense, but note the reference to prevention of a felony.
That reminds me of one of the examples the sheriff used about a homeowner and his family who were about to eat dinner when a stranger walked through their front door, sat in a recliner in the living room, and passed out. Turned out, the stranger was drunk and went to the wrong neighborhood and the wrong house thinking it was his. It was an example of someone in your home who is not intending to commit a felony.

However, I thought that example was better for theoretical discussions rather than real-world decisions. Your average citizen would have to know what is and is not a felony, and then would have to have some way of discerning a person’s intent in a few anxiety-filled moments.

Much better was the sheriff’s other example of when he and his partner responded to an armed intruder call. They arrive, get out of the car, and the sheriff starts talking with the homeowner while his partner takes a 12-ga. shotgun and goes searching for the intruder.

The partner finds the intruder, who aims a pistol at him. The partner fires into the intruder’s chest. The intruder turns and runs. They find him face down, dead, about 100 yards away. He had enough time to kill the partner even after taking a 12-ga. blast to the chest.

Makes me wonder whether there is such a thing as overwhelming force in a civilian scenario. A rifle or a shotgun is much more powerful than a handgun, but it hardly seems to fit the idea of “overwhelming force” as used in the context of the Powell Doctrine.

When people ask me about self-defense in their homes, I always recommend the following:

Get a dog. They are good deterrents, good alarms, and good companions.

Barricade yourself in a safe room that is adequately prepared. Don’t go prowling around unless you must, such as if you have family members or friends who might be in danger.

If someone busts through the door of your safe room, blast them with the maximum you have. If that person made it through your dog and busted down your door, it’s lethal force time. And at that point, I doubt there will be much legal trouble due to whether you used a rifle, shotgun, pistol, or katana sword. If by some chance you are prosecuted, I also doubt 12 jurors will consider it use of overwhelming force. Many, if not all, of them fear break-ins too.
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Old April 17, 2010, 12:29 PM   #62
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This brings to mind the Dozier Drill, shots to the chest then a shot to the head. Sounds great, but under stress and with a target that's not stapled to cardboard, it's not so great. I'm not a ninja, I'm just a normal guy that doesn't shoot 1,000 rounds/week. So heaven forbid that I'm ever faced with a situation like this I am going to try to stop the threat by aiming center mass.

A lot of 'experts' write great articles but when push comes to shove I am not an 'expert', I'm just a simple homeowner that wants to protect his family. If some folks can hit a fly on the wall under that kind of stress, great, I tip my hat to your marksmanship. I can only say that I've missed a plate with .00 buck at 7 yards, and although it was a fine miss, it was a miss nonetheless.

Last edited by Greg; April 17, 2010 at 12:34 PM.
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Old April 17, 2010, 01:00 PM   #63
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I agree with you.

Your average person is going to face a situation with lots of unknowns. There's a good chance it will also happen in the middle of the night with a lot of instant chaos in the dark after being roused from a deep sleep.

With a dog, you might get some warning. Whether it's enough is probably a matter of chance.

To me, barricading yourself is the method that reduces the number of unknowns as much as possible under the circumstances. It also narrows your target zone to a doorway and/or windows, which should increase your chances of placing effective hits. Sight-in and wait. Fewer variables to consider, greater chances of success, and a whole lot simpler to explain if it goes to court.
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Old April 17, 2010, 01:35 PM   #64
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Body armored bad guys will still hurt if you put a load of shot in the chest at the distance implied in a home invasion. Perhaps a qualifier here, in the distance in most homes.

Nope, never had a bg break in. Several different times had the dog go crazy at a door or window. Dogs are effective. Now if you had a big dollar kind of a hit on you....perhaps the c-4 door posts would be the beat option.
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Old April 17, 2010, 01:49 PM   #65
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I would think getting hit in the chest with a 12 gauge round of anything would seriously slow down just about anybody even with a vest. I may have to ask some of the LE folks that I know. I have no first hand experience with this but seems to me that it would take some serious regrouping to recover after being hit with a 12. You might live but you'll be pretty uncomfortable.
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Old April 17, 2010, 02:40 PM   #66
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No phone calls necesary. You could just ask me.

The force will feel like getting hit with something in the chest fairly hard, basically about the same amount of force the shotgun hits your shoulder with. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Remember that from physics? Of course it will be a smaller area at close range and there won't be a recoil page.

It isn't like television. The guy won't get knocked off his feet, lay there unconscious, then suddenly come back to consciousness and bust open his shirt to show his vest.

It WON'T knock someone down or even take them out of the fight. I've talked to people who have been shot without vests (actually penetrated in other words) and not realized it until after the fight is over.
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Old April 17, 2010, 03:33 PM   #67
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Yes, the laws of physics are the laws of physics, but when variables are left out of the equation the answer is wrong.

Set a watermelon on a post and butt-strike it. It will fall off, maybe have a bruise on the skin.

Set a watermelon on a post and shoot it with your 12 loaded with #8.

Check the results.
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Old April 17, 2010, 06:43 PM   #68
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So we have some posters with experience....

let's hear a narrative IN DETAIL.

Insofar as the sarcastic comments about attorney and talking to cops...obviously what Herter's used to call a drugstore cowboy.

My wife is a retired LEO....your credentials are?
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Old April 17, 2010, 08:34 PM   #69
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Posted by WhyteP38: When people ask me about self-defense in their homes, I always recommend the following:

Get a dog. They are good deterrents, good alarms, and good companions.

Barricade yourself in a safe room that is adequately prepared. Don’t go prowling around unless you must, such as if you have family members or friends who might be in danger.

If someone busts through the door of your safe room, blast them with the maximum you have. If that person made it through your dog and busted down your door, it’s lethal force time. And at that point, I doubt there will be much legal trouble due to whether you used a rifle, shotgun, pistol, or katana sword. If by some chance you are prosecuted, I also doubt 12 jurors will consider it use of overwhelming force. Many, if not all, of them fear break-ins too.
Good advice.

In two of three incidents in which I have been involved, I was not able to employ a safe room; at the time of the other, I had not been so advised. However, in all three, the deterrent value of the gun saved the day. I have never fired a shot in anger.
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Old April 26, 2010, 08:59 PM   #70
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If you feel you need an AR, shotgun, handgun etc to answer the door why the heck would you be answering the door? Why would someone shoot through a door? Leave the door, go to safer room, lock door, call cops. It seems some people are a bit too proactive when it comes to HD.
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Old April 26, 2010, 10:09 PM   #71
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My double stack .45 Springer is all i need. As for body armor how many home invaders wear body armor?? I sleep just fine knowing if you break in to my house there will not be a happy ending for the bad guys
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Old April 26, 2010, 10:28 PM   #72
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I generally agree with handgun w/jhp's as recommended by my instructor, and/or shotgun, one short enough for close quarters. Yes, pumping the slide is a fearful sound. I have lived in apartments too and realize how easily walls are penetrated. I asked my instructor, a lifelong leo, about Glasers, but he said they are not very effective. I liked the idea of them shattering when they hit a wall, little chance of going through to next apt. Good idea too, to reinforce doors. I read of a way to install 1/4 lag screws in the edge of the door, drill frame to accept bolts. They lock in like the still bolts on a safe door. High quality deadbolt lock is great, can also get shields to reinforce that part of the door around the lock. Nothing personal against the former prosecutor who posted, but some prosecutors are more interested in winning cases than promoting justice. I wonder how many crimes have occurred where the prosecutor had previously made deals with the BG, he does a home invasion and gets shot, then the prosecutor prosecutes the homeowner harder than he ever did the crook? Our state also had a few murder and rape cases overturned where DA's had ignored evidence of innocence, then fought when conviction overturned. No better than the criminals.
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Old April 27, 2010, 02:50 PM   #73
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let's hear a narrative IN DETAIL.
All my Grandma needed when a man broke into her house while the men were gone was a shotgun. He died, she was a hero. LEO didnt even take her in for talking.

Guy that shot at me outside the bar after I escorted him out missed 6 times. Threw down the gun and ran off to be arrested later.
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Old April 27, 2010, 10:30 PM   #74
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Yes, the laws of physics are the laws of physics, but when variables are left out of the equation the answer is wrong.

Set a watermelon on a post and butt-strike it. It will fall off, maybe have a bruise on the skin.

Set a watermelon on a post and shoot it with your 12 loaded with #8.

Check the results.
What is your point child? I've seen wounds from officers wearing vests struck with rounds including shotgun rounds. They weren't knocked off their feet, weren't out of the fight. Some didn't even know they had been hit.

In fact, I've talked to a guy who was hit with a pistol round that did not hit his vest (a through and through abdominal shot) that didn't even know he was hit until later.

It's call adrenaline. Hitting someone with body armor in the chest with shot or slug isn't going to do anything other than cause them a bruise. I don't care what your counterstrike buddies think.

Now what the heck does your silly watermelon experiment prove? Forget I asked. I don't really care.
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Old April 27, 2010, 10:33 PM   #75
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let's hear a narrative IN DETAIL.
No.

Quote:
My wife is a retired LEO.
And I don't get my old wives tales from an old wife.
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