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Old March 27, 2011, 08:39 AM   #1
Mutatio Nomenis
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Burglary Scare

Yesterday, there was a bit of a burglary scare at my house. I was home alone, just me with the cats. Suddenly, I hear Dad's car alarm go off outside. The garage is always open, and there's been a string of burglaries and carjackings in the area. It's Saturday, so everybody's either out somewhere or lounging around in their homes. I hear some pounding outside, so I turn off the T.V., say a little prayer, grab a big 7 inch steak knife from the kitchen (we don't have a gun), and burst out into the garage yelling :"HEY! HEY! YOU! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!"

It turns out that no one was there; one of the cats hard taken a hard leap onto Dad's car's hood and set off the alarm. Other poundings were from the cat being startled and knocking stuff over in its panic. When Dad got home, I told him about the burglary scare and how I had gone out there with a knife. He was angry.

"Why the hell did you do something so bloody stupid? Of course it's just going to be a cat; people just don't do things like that here!"

I wanted to yell at him: "What if it was a real burglary? What if I did find something going on? If you don't believe in the right to keep and bear arms and the right to protect yourself and your property, then shut up and be a good little victim!" I was quiet in order to avoid a fight.

I have no doubt that I did the right thing. I knew that I was putting myself in danger by going out there. With the dramatic crime increases in my area, how do I let my parents know that there's a growing likelihood of us experiencing a robbery and I'm the only one in the family who believes in RKBA. Mom won't have guns, and Dad is a softy, and my brother is the most likely to freak out at the threat of danger. How do I make sure that they're safe and protected without armament or taking defensive action?

Last edited by Mutatio Nomenis; March 27, 2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old March 27, 2011, 08:49 AM   #2
WC145
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If they're not willing to take responsibility for their own safety and the protection of their property, then about all you can do is put 911 on speed dial and hope for the best.
Good luck.
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Old March 27, 2011, 08:53 AM   #3
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Firearms are obviously the best weapons for home defense. However, if your folks are interested in having something to protect themselves that does not require ammo, you might try Cold Steel [the knife company]. In addition to knives, they also make various instruments of medieval mayhem. Check out their War Hammer, not to mention their swords, and also their "unbreakable" baseball bat. In fact, if you contact them, they'll happily send you a free video showing just how remarkably effective their wares really are. None of these items would be my first choice, but in the absence of firearms, something is better than nothing. 1-800-255-4716, WWW.LTSPECPRO.COM
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Old March 27, 2011, 08:59 AM   #4
dannyb
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I am no expert

with the inevitable "but." I usually am not the first to answer something like this, but your case reminds me of a personal experience of my own. Some years ago, when we lived in a different house than now, I heard a loud racket coming from our garage. Unlike you, I had a shotgun (usually kept unloaded) that I put a few shells into it and went to investigate. As I approached the door from our basement to the garage, I heard noises of things being pushed off shelves, general banging around, and I was convinced that we had a burglary in progress. I slid the safety off, stood by the doorframe, popped open the door to the garage with my shotgun going into point mode, and came within a microsecond of blowing out the headlights of my car. There in garage was one startled raccoon. It ran, and I unloaded my shotgun while shaking from the adrenalin aftermath. The whole reason for the ruckus was that I had forgotten to check that the garage door was closed before going to bed.
What does this have to do with your situation? It occurred to me that I had gone in like a blind idiot (much as you did with the knife in your hand). If it had been a real burglary, especially if it had been more than one burglar, I would have been an easy target, shotgun or not. Lesson learned, I put a video camera in the garage, one covering my deck, and one covering the front door. Today, these devices are dirt cheap, can be bought at Costco for a couple of hundred bucks, are not terribly difficult to install, communicate wirelessly with your computer, and TELL YOU WHAT IS MAKING THAT RACKET WITHOUT YOUR HAVING TO EXPOSE YOURSELF. If it's the cat, breathe a sigh of relief; if it's a burglar, call the cops and find a safe place to await their arrival. Being armed is a good thing in a tense situation, but being informed about what you face is far more important - armed or not. If others claim that you're paranoid, remember that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not out to get you.
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Old March 27, 2011, 09:07 AM   #5
Spats McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutatio Nomenis
. . . . (we don't have a gun) . . . .
Now there's a phrase we don't see much around here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutatio Nomenis
. . . . With the dramatic crime increases in my area, how do i let my parents know that there's a growing likelihood of us experiencing a RKBA. Mom won't have guns, and Dad is a softy, and my brother is the most likely to freak out at the threat of danger. How do I make sure that they're safe and protected without armament or taking defensive action? . . . .
I assume that you don't really mean that "there's a growing likelihood of us experiencing a [Right To Keep and Bear Arms]," and that it's simply a typo. Presumably, you mean "experiencing the need to defend yourselves."

As to the question, "How do I make sure . . . ," well, you're just going to have to have a sit-down with them. Just start with, "Mom, Dad, we need to talk." If they absolutely won't have a gun in the house, look into pepper spray, tasers, and other alternatives. Make sure that whatever you're looking into is legal in your area, and legal for you to own. Remember that distance from a BG is your friend. If you have to use a weapon, one that works from 40 feet is better than one that works from 2 (arm's length or so).
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Old March 27, 2011, 09:19 AM   #6
threegun
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Quote:
"Why the hell did you do something so bloody stupid?
Dad was 100 percent correct.

Quote:
If you don't believe in the right to keep and bear arms and the right to protect yourself and your property, then shut up and be a good little victim!"
I believe in this right and IMO it should be the first amendment. However making a smarter decision to stay inside the home wouldn't be being "a good little victim" necessarily. You can call professionals to handle the job and prepare with your knife to defend your life should your home become compromised.

Going out from a safe area to seek danger while wielding a less than optimal weapon with little or no training in its use is without a doubt "bloody stupid". Dad was correct and although your intentions were noble it was a bad idea.

Now with that said you can learn from this scenario. Train in how to use a knife. Develop tactics for using it to its fullest potential. Make a plan. Then when you get to the ripe old age of 18 buy a long gun and do the same with it. Then at 21 get a handgun and repeat.

Good luck.
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Old March 27, 2011, 09:29 AM   #7
Eagle Eye
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The garage is always open, and there's been a string of burglaries and carjackings in the area.
It would seem logical to not have the garage always open, and even more so given there has been a string of burglaries and carjackings in the area. One is asking for trouble to leave the garage open.

And by the way, wasp spray has a range of about 25 feet or more and is an excellent perp repellent. Aim for the head.

Last edited by Eagle Eye; March 27, 2011 at 09:34 AM.
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Old March 27, 2011, 09:40 AM   #8
microman
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Quote:
Mom won't have guns
Quote:
How do I make sure that they're safe and protected without armament or taking defensive action?
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Old March 27, 2011, 09:51 AM   #9
ClayInTx
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You might have been taking a knife to a gunfight.

If “things like that don’t happen around here” than why a car alarm in the first place? It becomes nothing more than a nuisance at home and is useless anyway because car thieves know all about disabling alarms in 15 seconds. Commercial car alarms are good for nothing more than finding your car when you don’t remember which lane you parked in at Wal-Mart.

Your dad might not be such a wimp. I, myself, might have appeared to be at times because I tried to never chastise my wife in front of the children. But you better believe she knew where I stood and what was going to be what when we were alone.

Also, it’s their house, not your house. You didn’t say how old you are but when you are buying your own food, your own clothes, in your own place then you make the rules. Listening to Forum Ninjas can get you into a world of grief.

Meanwhile there’s a rule of parenting: Me dad, you kid, that settles it.
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Old March 27, 2011, 10:46 AM   #10
Mutatio Nomenis
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I turn 18 in 4 days. I'm going to get an accurate airsoft reproduction of an M1911 then because my parents won't have firearms in the house and I am intent on owning a gun when I can and definitely practicing good form and marksmanship. Anyway, my Dad's car is right next to the door, and from the house, anyone trying to break into it to drive it off would be about 4 feet from the door, so it would have taken me all of 1.5 seconds to identify the target and strike.

The car alarm came standard with the vehicle.

I used to take martial arts, and I regularly practice the more effective techniques so I know how to fight.

I saw it was a cat and patted the animal on the head. "Me fecistis solicitum, Felicula." Translation: 'You made me worried, Kitten."

Last edited by Mutatio Nomenis; March 27, 2011 at 12:16 PM.
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Old March 27, 2011, 11:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
You might have been taking a knife to a gunfight.
Exactly!
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Old March 27, 2011, 12:17 PM   #12
jeepstrapped
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I agree with three gun
Quote:
Quote:
"Why the hell did you do something so bloody stupid?
Dad was 100 percent correct.

Quote:
If you don't believe in the right to keep and bear arms and the right to protect yourself and your property, then shut up and be a good little victim!"
I believe in this right and IMO it should be the first amendment. However making a smarter decision to stay inside the home wouldn't be being "a good little victim" necessarily. You can call professionals to handle the job and prepare with your knife to defend your life should your home become compromised.

Going out from a safe area to seek danger while wielding a less than optimal weapon with little or no training in its use is without a doubt "bloody stupid". Dad was correct and although your intentions were noble it was a bad idea.

Now with that said you can learn from this scenario. Train in how to use a knife. Develop tactics for using it to its fullest potential. Make a plan. Then when you get to the ripe old age of 18 buy a long gun and do the same with it. Then at 21 get a handgun and repeat.

Good luck.
And ClayInTx
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Old March 27, 2011, 12:27 PM   #13
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I have no doubt that I did the right thing. I knew that I was putting myself in danger by going out there.
I agree with all who have noted that knowingly putting yourself in danger is NEVER the right thing to do. And as a father, my reaction would have been similar to that of your father, in that I would NEVER want my kids to put themselves in harms way. Especially not to protect my possessions. Protect themselves from harm, protect other family members, that's taking responsibility and admirable, although regrettable that you would have to because I couldn't be there to do that.

So, ++ to your father for caring about you.

And i don't know VA laws, but in many states "advancing" to confronting a burglar does not allow you to use deadly force, even if attacked after doing so. You were still the aggressor, and initiated the conflict. If the burglar moved from the garage into your house and then encountered you, the situation reverses, you MAY then have the right to use deadly force, although seldom if the BG immediately turned to leave.

911 and insurance are the answers to protection of possessions. Agreed, police most-likely can't respond in time to prevent the theft, which is a good argument for possessing a gun because they usually can't respond fast enough to protect your life either, although 911 is STILL the appropriate first move, if possible. But to protect possessions, deployment of a gun is seldom warranted, almost never the right thing to do.

Being the victim of theft is definitely not enjoyable, or something to shrug off as an "oh well, that's life" experience. Hence keep the garage door shut, do all you can except for use of deadly force to avoid being a target/victim. Thieves usually are opportunists, looking for easy targets, so do all you can not to be an easy target. But it's still the PD's job, let them do it.

Above all, be safe.
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Old March 27, 2011, 12:32 PM   #14
TailGator
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Leaving the garage door up not only gives people access to your garage, but good cover to work on access to the house even if the door between is locked. It costs nothing to close the garage door, and accomplishes nothing positive to leave it open. You and your folks need to give serious thought to more basic security issues before or concurrently with any discussion of having a firearm in the house. A gun is not a solution to every problem, and is certainly not the only consideration to address in home security.
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Old March 27, 2011, 12:43 PM   #15
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""If they're not willing to take responsibility for their own safety and the protection of their property, then about all you can do is put 911 on speed dial and hope for the best.
Good luck."" copied from post #2

To original poster-If of age, I see youare a student, you could obtain a legal gun so as to defend the castle even if the King objects. One day he may understand.

Sign up for, yourself and the King, emails from VCDL, a very fine orgn you have there in VA. Wish we had something that good in MI.

"Then when you get to the ripe old age of 18 buy a long gun and do the same with it. Then at 21 get a handgun and repeat." copied from later post-
Probally can get a handgun from individual seller at 18, depending on VA law.
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Old March 27, 2011, 12:43 PM   #16
Mike38
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I used to take martial arts, and I regularly practice the more effective techniques so I know how to fight.

Old, worn out saying, but it’s applicable in this case…..

“My two friends, Smith & Wesson, will beat your martial arts classes any day.”

BTW, your Dad was right. If all you have is a knife, let the bad guys take what they want. Grab a phone along with that knife, and lock your self in the bathroom. Dial 911 and let the Police worry about it. If by chance the bad guy breaks into the bathroom you’re in, then and only then use that knife.
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Old March 27, 2011, 12:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutatio Nomensis
I wanted to yell at him: "What if it was a real burglary? What if I did find something going on? If you don't believe in the right to keep and bear arms and the right to protect yourself and your property, then shut up and be a good little victim!" I was quiet in order to avoid a fight.
Two points:

(1) As others have noted, leaving the garage door open "at all times" is just plain dumb. I live in a semi-rural area that has become more 'burb than rural. When I was a kid, more than 50 years ago, it was generally safe to leave garage doors open around here. Now, today, people have had cars stolen out of closed and locked garages. Keep your doors closed, or else just hang up a sign that says "Steal me."

(2) The RKBA does not extend to protecting property (except in Texas, under certain conditions). If you had a gun, you could not go from a safe place (the house) to a possibly UNsafe place (the garage where you thought a burglar had entered) and claim self-defense if you were attacked and shot the perp.
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Old March 27, 2011, 12:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by langenc
To original poster-If of age, I see youare a student, you could obtain a legal gun so as to defend the castle even if the King objects. One day he may understand.
Umm... not good advice, really. It's Dad's house, so Dad gets to make the rules. When the original poster moves out and has his own place... he can make his own rules.

In the meantime, having a calm and friendly family discussion about other ways to make things more secure (that garage door...) would be good.
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Old March 27, 2011, 01:41 PM   #19
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“My two friends, Smith & Wesson, will beat your martial arts classes any day.”
Not always the case. At very close range a skilled person may disarm a person armed with a gun. Note that I said "may". No guarantees either way, but never assume having a gun makes a person invincible.

Quote:
(2) The RKBA does not extend to protecting property (except in Texas, under certain conditions). If you had a gun, you could not go from a safe place (the house) to a possibly UNsafe place (the garage where you thought a burglar had entered) and claim self-defense if you were attacked and shot the perp.


If that's the case, then I assume you can't carry concealed in Texas? After all, you would have been leaving a safe place, your home, and therefore given up your right to self-defense, according to this.

So far as I know, you always have the right to defend yourself against attack. The fact that you walked from your bedroom to your garage doesn't take that away. After all, you have the right to go anywhere within your own home that you want to, right? And you don't KNOW that there is a dangerous criminal in the garage until you see him.

Last edited by GM1967; March 27, 2011 at 03:55 PM.
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Old March 27, 2011, 03:31 PM   #20
Crazy88Fingers
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1) Close the garage door.

2) Don't go charging out yelling with a knife if you don't know what's going on. There could have been an actual bad guy out there. Or perhaps a couple of cops were chasing a suspect onto your property and made a ruckus. In either case you could have very easily been gunned down.

3) If you're buying an accurate model of a 1911 with the intent of using it to intimidate someone, I'd stick with the knife. As the saying goes (another one) "Don't draw a weapon unless you intend to use it". And a plastic gun will be of no use.
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Old March 27, 2011, 03:57 PM   #21
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Consider taking an NRA "Refuse to Be a Victim" course.
Any of us could benefit by doing so.

RTBAV is not gun oriented. I cannot imagine your parents objecting to any of the content.
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Old March 27, 2011, 05:36 PM   #22
Eagle Eye
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If your father insists on leaving the garage door open, then encourage him to leave the keys in the car. That way, the thief will not need to destroy the steering column to take the car and it may be returned someday undamaged....ummm....maybe!
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Old March 27, 2011, 06:07 PM   #23
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Ditto on closing the garage door. You can buy (or make) a garage door status light for <$20 that will tell you if the door is up or down from inside. That should help with the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike38
Old, worn out saying, but it’s applicable in this case…..

“My two friends, Smith & Wesson, will beat your martial arts classes any day.”
I'd take exception with this broad statement, and would bet a bottle of your choice of beverage, if I can pick the victim.

I took a martial arts course focused on smart defense several years ago. The instructor consistently was able to gain the upper hand of a simulated armed situation through 3 steps of distraction, disarming and attack. While we practiced on each other mostly, the most interesting was an off duty cop he brought in and gave him paint ball pistol. The cop repeatedly never had a chance, even though he kept insist there must be some trick. Most of the students could do the same after a couple months of training.
I wouldn't bet on my rusty memory today, but expect with training most could a better than average chance against Mr. Smith and Wesson.

The real trick is to be situationally aware and don't invite trouble or get in that bind.
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Old March 27, 2011, 09:52 PM   #24
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If you can not have a gun, a baseball bat makes a much better weapon than a steak knife. It will easily break bones.

As has been said, never go charging into an unknown situation. I commend you on your courage, but not the best move.
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Old March 28, 2011, 02:08 AM   #25
Hook686
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If you were alone with the cat, why did you simply not close the garage door ?

However, since any unknown sound one hears, doy, or night, might be a BG out to do something bad, having a loaded gun handy sure makes sense.
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