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Old October 7, 2014, 06:19 PM   #1
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Did I Overreact?

My wife and I live alone in suburban/rural Maine with a young small dog. We never get visitors without warning. So tonight when we got a knock on the front door at 6:30 (late dusk up here now) while I was doing dishes I grabbed the S&W 642 and asked my wife to grab the dog and secure herself with him.

She could see a kid with flyers hanging out of his pockets on the front porch. Our motion sensors lit him up well. I insisted that she get the dog and looked out another window and confirmed that he was alone, young, and four feet from the front door.

After she had the dog in another room I opened the front door with my left foot and shoulder behind it at about 45 degrees and the 642 in my right hand behind my back. I kept my body weight behind me and the gun behind my back while I curtly answered his questions about who I was voting for and then took his flyer with my left hand.

In the end it was just a small, 20 something political volunteer. In retrospect I kind of have to admire the courage that it must take to knock on strangers doors in the middle of nowhere. I never brandished, but did I overreact?
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Old October 7, 2014, 06:36 PM   #2
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Over react?

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Old October 7, 2014, 06:39 PM   #3
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No, it could of went the other way just as fast. There is nothing wrong with planing for the worst and hoping for the best.
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Old October 7, 2014, 06:45 PM   #4
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You did great.
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Old October 7, 2014, 06:53 PM   #5
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that's about what we do. no dog here. if there is a random knock at the door or car pulling up, wife goes in bedroom with the rifles, and I answer the door inconspicuously armed
My head is bloody, but unbowed
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Old October 7, 2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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Overreact, nope. Pretty much what I would have done, less the opening the door and answering questions bit. You done good.
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Old October 7, 2014, 08:06 PM   #7
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You did just fine.

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Old October 7, 2014, 08:32 PM   #8
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I don't open my door for anyone, basically.

I just don't.

If I invited someone to come over, or recognize a next-door neighbor, then sure. But if I don't know the person out there, then they don't get the door opened. I'm NOT running a "nice house". I'm not nice to people who come uninvited to my door. I just yell through the unopened door, over the barking of my German shepherds, that I can't open the door.

Never totally ignore a knock at your door. That tells the bad guys that you ignore noises and knocks and empowers them to come back another time and rob you; or rob you now if they truly think no one is home. But be cautious about answering the door because while you talk to the innocent looking young guy who just wants to give you a flyer, the rest of his bad guy crew can be around back breaking in. That has happened several times around where I live. So, don't ignore the knock, but for goodness sake, you don't owe any courtesy to anyone who comes uninvited to your door, so don't open it for any reason, ever. In this day and age, anyone coming to your door probably would call first, anyway. Uninvited people at your door do not get the privilege of you opening the door. Period. Be resolute about that.
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Old October 8, 2014, 07:13 AM   #9
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Rather than actually opening the door, was there a window you could have used, instead?
Look through it to verify who is there and use it to have the conversation, at least until you're sure if it's safe to open the door.
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
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Old October 8, 2014, 07:18 AM   #10
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If you're worried just don't answer the door. Unless its emergency services there's no law that requires you to open the door to...anyone.
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Old October 8, 2014, 07:22 AM   #11
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It might pay to let an unwanted visitor know there's someone home, though.
Rumor has it that most burglars avoid occupied places.
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
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Old October 8, 2014, 07:46 AM   #12
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You did good !
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Old October 8, 2014, 08:14 AM   #13
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Basically fine. In general nothing good comes from people coming to the door. I generally just like to be armed and look first with kids and dogs away.

Many here would think me lax, but it has work thus far.
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Old October 8, 2014, 09:22 AM   #14
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Why open the door?

"Go away, it's late." would have been enough.
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Old October 8, 2014, 12:06 PM   #15
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No, I don't think you overreacted

Years ago that happened when I lived in SD. A late night knock at the door and stupid me opened it. It turned out the guy was lost on our rural road and stopped for directions. After I'd given him the directions he wanted to shake my hand and I obliged. Then he left. My son just out of the Army looked at me and told me, "Dad he had full control of you!" He did too. That won't happen again.

Last edited by mquail; October 8, 2014 at 12:16 PM.
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Old October 8, 2014, 12:09 PM   #16
serf 'rett
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I grabbed the S&W 642
Everything looks good to me.

My question is - where was the revolver? Was it already on you or did you have to retrieve it from somewhere? (or perhaps it was with the dishes you were doing )
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
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Old October 8, 2014, 12:36 PM   #17
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It was in a strategic spot by the front door.
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Old October 8, 2014, 03:10 PM   #18
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Displaying the firearm or threatening the visitor is overreacting. Having it to hand and alerting the household is prudence.
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Old October 8, 2014, 03:53 PM   #19
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. In retrospect I think I did okay. I've got motion sensors over every possible entrance to the house, only the one by the front door was on. I did make that determination quickly.

I never displayed my gun, I never made a threat. I wasn't friendly, but I was calm. And in the end it was just a small young man trying to find out how I'd vote in the upcoming election, and while it was dark out it was still only 6:30 PM. I still believe that despite my precautions people like him have the right to come to my door and knock, and I still admire those who are willing to canvas in support of their cause.

But I learned that my doorbell is broken. That's why he knocked. And I learned that after two decades of owning big, protective breeds like Shepherds and Rottweilers I am in a much different situation with a small and completely unaware dog. The bottom line is that he made it to my front door and I didn't know it.

I'll fix the doorbell first. I've got a porch with a roof over it, so I figure that an intercom would allow me to communicate without having to open the door. Finally I'll be more willing to just look out the window, do my prep inside, and not answer the door if I don't want to. Again, thanks.
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Old October 8, 2014, 08:09 PM   #20
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That's pretty much what I do, except I don't "get" my little J frame. It's in my pocket. And I can see everyone within 15'-20' of the door. So I can see that someone's alone, and have my gun in my hand (in my pocket) without the whole family thinking I'm paranoid.
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Old October 8, 2014, 08:37 PM   #21
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If I am not expecting company I always answer the door armed, not as in I answer the door with a gun in my hand, but before I answer the door ill shove a pistol in my waistband.
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Old October 8, 2014, 08:43 PM   #22
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You did good. If you ever move to Dallas, keep your same level of readiness. It might save your life. We don't open the door unless we know who it is. Lots of bad things happen here in D. I would guess that a bad guy would have chosen the wrong home by going after anybody posting on this site.
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Old October 8, 2014, 09:51 PM   #23
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You did well I think, but to those of you who just don't answer the door, come on. That's just rude. Remember that we live in America, not the third world. Hell I live in Detroit, and I always answer the door (Pistol ready of course) when someone comes calling. Some people are so paranoid Remember, people can come to your door needing someone's help (car accident, attacker, injury etc.), not just your wallet.
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― --Thomas Jefferson

Last edited by NateKirk; October 8, 2014 at 09:56 PM.
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Old October 8, 2014, 09:57 PM   #24
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No you didnt. Good job..
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Old October 9, 2014, 12:14 AM   #25
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My next door neighbor had someone knock on his door late at night. He didn't answer the door at all, just watched the person through a window that gave him a view of the door. After waiting awhile, the person left. As he walked past the corner of the house, his accomplice, who had been waiting just out of sight joined him and they left together.
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