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Old March 2, 2010, 05:03 PM   #26
Dwight55
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Retrospectively, . . . bb gun, . . . kids, . . . ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

At the original first moment though, . . . rounds coming into my living room, . . . through my double paned windows, . . . while I am sitting there: it would be very well for them to be gone by the time I can get to my gun safe.

I would like to think I could slip out the back, . . . skirt the tree line to their position and see just who and what is going on, . . . and that would be plan numero uno, . . . probably AR in hand, . . . 1911 backup.

But I'm just afraid that it may result in a much quicker 30 cal response if something like this happened at my house. Especially if I could hear the muzzle reports, . . .

While we have never had any drive by shootings in my neck of the woods, . . . we did have someone open up a full auto about a 1/4 mile away back a few summers ago. Even inside the house, . . . that unmistakeable sound learned decades ago, . . . set me on edge until I found out nothing was incoming at my coordinates.

Those kids don't know how lucky they really may be.

May God bless,
Dwight

May God bless,
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Old March 2, 2010, 05:07 PM   #27
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SiNNiK, I was the one that was the hardest on you. No apologies.

One of the things I strongly believe in, as both an older TFL member and as a mentor, is to never blow smoke up your prom dress. If I whisper sweet nothings in your ear and repeat faulty urban legends just so everyone likes me--and it get's you killed or maimed--I will have done you no favors.

I truly believe in 'the prospect system' of learning things. We are hard on the newbies, we rub their noses in it, we dress them down publicly. But we never have to hose them off a guardrail.

If a TFL member openly published his code of behavior and beliefs, actions that might get him shot, and I did nothing because I just didn't want to get flamed, would you consider my decision prudent?
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Old March 2, 2010, 05:16 PM   #28
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Tourist,
Your problem lies in the fact that you don't actually answer his question. You call him foolish for chasing after them. Okay yes, and he knows this. His question was about returning fire when he was, in fact, in reasonable fear for his life. Your criticism of him, while indeed warranted, is completely irrelevant to the discussion...

OP
Returning fire is acceptable if you beleive your life is indeed in jeopardy. Your problem in this case would be the fact that you would most certainly be prosecuted, and be at the disadvantage of hindsight. While you may have done the right thing by returning fire (in some circumstances), you will certainly have to pay for it afterward in court, so you better really be sure you were in fear for your life...
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Old March 2, 2010, 05:23 PM   #29
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I just never assume that returning fire is in anyway the best course of action, ever. In fact, doing nothing is often the best thing.

When someone is in danger, do you know who usually gets killed? It's the first responders who rush in with no information and no plan.

If you want to return fire, be my guest. You're responsible for every round you fire. If you can justify your actions, hey, you're an adult, burn the whole box up.
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Old March 2, 2010, 05:26 PM   #30
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I just never assume that returning fire is in anyway the best course of action, ever. In fact, doing nothing is often the best thing.
Well yeah, that is of course a given.
The difference is shooting only when you have to, as opposed to when you are allowed to.
In this case, I feel like you really wouldn't be allowed to (in the sense that hindsight would come back to haunt you in court), but if you really felt threatened and you couldn't find an alternative, then you should do so.
Honestly, I'd be more worried about hitting the house across the street than anything else...
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Old March 2, 2010, 05:29 PM   #31
SiNNiK
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Quote:
Dwight55

At the original first moment though, . . . rounds coming into my living room, . . . through my double paned windows, . . . while I am sitting there: it would be very well for them to be gone by the time I can get to my gun safe.

I would like to think I could slip out the back, . . . skirt the tree line to their position and see just who and what is going on, . . . and that would be plan numero uno, . . . probably AR in hand, . . . 1911 backup.
Yeah, I think I may have had a small percentage of blood in my adrenaline stream, immediately and completely amped.

My front door is actually on the side of the house and when I came out, I turned the light off, cracked the door and listened, nothing, slipped out and was in this dark space between the car port and the house when they came back by and got my car.

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SiNNiK, I was the one that was the hardest on you. No apologies.
Ok.

Quote:
KLRANGL

Your problem in this case would be the fact that you would most certainly be prosecuted, and be at the disadvantage of hindsight. While you may have done the right thing by returning fire (in some circumstances), you will certainly have to pay for it afterward in court, so you better really be sure you were in fear for your life...
Yes that would be a big problem too, I imagine.

I tell you though, I have thought for almost two years now trying to remember when I have been that scared with such a sense of impending doom, and I can count all of them on one hand and still leave a couple fingers in case I'd forgotten some.

I was absolutely positive that I and my family were being fired on by a larger caliber than what was actually being used.

Thanks.
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Old March 2, 2010, 05:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by KLRANGL
Well yeah, that is of course a given.
And we should say it then, long loud and often.

The TFL members are supposed to be our friends and fellow good guys. Giving them substandard information is tantamount to getting them killed.

I'm not the only one who thinks this. Police are often trained with a film to help them make such decisions. The film is called, "Shoot, Don't Shoot."

If it's valuable to them, it should be valuable to us.
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Old March 2, 2010, 06:37 PM   #33
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Point is there are 2 kinds of people, (lots of shades but that isn't the point here), there are those who run towards the fire and those who run from the fire. You ran towards the fire.


Anybody can talk big and they will say they would do this or do that but you never know how you will react till its party time. From this you learn and next time reaction will be tempered by experience. That will stand you in good stead.
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Old March 2, 2010, 07:12 PM   #34
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Old Grump, I believe every word you say. I also believe in not re-inventing the wheel. You can pick up a twenty year old gun magazine and find an article by Massad Ayoob that is just as fresh as if it was written yesterday.

A little calm common sense and a lot less machismo is all we're saying, and that idea pretty much works for any crisis.

My confusion comes with the very thing you've pointed out here, we are talking about two sides. Since when has getting your head blown off for nothing become "my learned opposition"?
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Old March 2, 2010, 08:17 PM   #35
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Posted by KLRANGL:
Quote:
Returning fire is acceptable if you beleive your life is indeed in jeopardy.
"Returning" fire? They initially shot at windows in the house and departed; when they returned they shot at his car window.

"Believe"? Actually, it is reasonably believe. That belief and the reason for it would have to be supported and will be challenged.

...and of course there's the lttle matter of necessity.

The OP said he thought the perps were endangering family members who were in the house. The questions he would have to answer are (1) what made you think that these guys, who had shot out your car window after shooting out other car windows, were shooting at the house; (2) did the shots sound like they came from a gun that was capable of shooting through walls (earwitness testimony from others and perhaps expert testimony could be damaging there); and (3) why did you go outside (this having to do with state of mind--did the defendant actually need to defend himself, or had he intended to shoot the perps--and with the necessity of using deadly force)?

The OP has said "I was absolutely positive that I and my family were being fired on by a larger caliber than what was actually being used." Problem is, he would have to present evidence supporting that claim, and the prosecution would likely present evidence in rebuttal. The reaction of others to the sound of the air rifle (any earwitnesses, or others at a demonstration) might be the most damaging; where the shooter, the perps, the defendant's car, and the house were situated at the time the car window was broken would enter into it; and the defendant's reason for going outside would probably come into play, as well.

What often makes the explanation really tough is being limited to yes or no answers to pointed questions during cross examination.

A defense of justification just might prevail, albeit at high cost; and then, it might not.

I would not want to bet my fortune, record, and freedom on it.

Perhaps this will help.

http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/01c1...ocument&Click=
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Old March 2, 2010, 08:31 PM   #36
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Why would someone have a silencer and randomly shoot out windows? lol...

Poor kids don't realize how crazy ppl are now a days. Regardless they wouldn't deserve to be shot at for pulling a prank. Modern windows won't break from a BB how did it break a car window to?
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Old March 2, 2010, 08:41 PM   #37
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Quote:
"Returning" fire? They initially shot at windows in the house and departed; when they returned they shot at his car window.
Easy buddy, I was speaking in generalized terms. What happened in the original story is pretty much irrelevant at this point.

Quote:
"Believe"? Actually, it is reasonably believe. That belief and the reason for it would have to be supported and will be challenged.
No need to play the semantics game. I already said to expect to end up in court.

Quote:
...and of course there's the lttle matter of necessity.
Yes, I am of the opinion (which I thought I made clear) that just because you can shoot, doesn't mean you should if you have better alternatives.

Quote:
Why would someone have a silencer and randomly shoot out windows? lol...
Because they don't want to get caught?

Quote:
Poor kids don't realize how crazy ppl are now a days. Regardless they wouldn't deserve to be shot at for pulling a prank. Modern windows won't break from a BB how did it break a car window to?
Of course no one deserves to get shot because they are pulling a prank, but sometimes the line between prank and attack is pretty vague in the instant it happens.
And modern pellet guns can go through windows with ease.
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Old March 2, 2010, 08:44 PM   #38
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Old M: Thank you for the link. Very intresting and informing.

SiNNic: remember that you are now a civilian and your actions are going to be scrutinized accordingly.
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Old March 2, 2010, 08:50 PM   #39
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What adds considerable confusion is that everyone answers the question filtered through his (or worse yet, his understanding of his) state's laws. Or even worse yet, his opinion.

None of the above is particularly valid on a macro scale.

If the OP had posted his state, we might be able to have a more focused
discussion on which of his actions were/were not/might have been legal. (Since he mentioned "CHL" in a subsequent post, I'm gonna guess Texas, because that's what we call it here).

Any discussion on what was "wise" is opinion.

Absent location, we cannot determine what is legal. Remember, just because it is legal does not mean it is wise, but again, that is opinion.

For example; if you live in Illinois, any action above and beyond cowering in fear is "unwise", because, viewed in the context of Illinois law, it will be illegal.

If you live in Texas, the laws are a bit different, and if you predicate what is "wise" (at least partially) on what is "legal", the judgement changes dramatically.
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Old March 2, 2010, 10:57 PM   #40
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Quote:
Quote:
Why would someone have a silencer and randomly shoot out windows? lol...
Because they don't want to get caught?
Anyone sane enough to plan to get a silencer to shoot out windows wouldn't be dumb enough to shoot out windows....
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Old March 3, 2010, 12:54 AM   #41
SiNNiK
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Quote:
Old Grump

Point is there are 2 kinds of people, (lots of shades but that isn't the point here), there are those who run towards the fire and those who run from the fire. You ran towards the fire.


Anybody can talk big and they will say they would do this or do that but you never know how you will react till its party time. From this you learn and next time reaction will be tempered by experience. That will stand you in good stead.
I've always tried to console myself with that, and hope I can do a better job in the future, if needed.

Thanks Old Grump.

Quote:
OldMarksman

I would not want to bet my fortune, record, and freedom on it.
Given what you've said, I sure am glad I didn't have to bet mine on it either.

Quote:
KLRANGL

Yes, I am of the opinion (which I thought I made clear) that just because you can shoot, doesn't mean you should if you have better alternatives.
You at least made that clear to me, since I read your post.

Quote:
Maromero

remember that you are now a civilian and your actions are going to be scrutinized accordingly.
No problem there, I've been out since '87 and have gotten rather comfortable as a "PFC".

Quote:
orionengnr

I'm gonna guess Texas, because that's what we call it here
Yup, Texas. I should have noted that. Thanks.

Certainly got a lot to think about from this thread, I appreciate y'all's input.
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Old March 3, 2010, 03:03 AM   #42
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Something not mentioned

If I were able to give chase to someone who shot up my house or car, it would not be to return fire, as that would be unjustified, both in my mind and in my jurisdiction. However, giving chase in order to get an ID, a license plate number or to prevent continuing perpetration of a crime or crimes IS justified.

If I take a bat, firearm or pepper spray with me, well that is justified, too, in case the criminals decide to change from fleeing to attacking. (Firearm carry is legal here, open or concealed.) However, the field tactic of "taking the fight to the enemy" may weaken the legal tactic of defending a justifiable shoot (or swift toss of the aforesaid bat through their back window). Oops. If they are still fleeing, throwing the bat might not be legally justified, either.

There is danger in defending your rights, your life or your property. Even if any potential shoot is fully justified.

Several years ago, a homeowner came home to find an armed burglar in his house. In his jurisdiction he was justified in cornering the burglar and killing him, as the burglar, when cornered, shot at the homeowner. The homeowner was legally right in every respect. Also, dead.

The burglar killed the homeowner and several years later the state killed the burglar. The scales of justice are as balanced (however imperfectly) as they are going to get. All, in all, I think the homeowner, if he had it to do all over again would elect to let the burglar go.

The particular instance to which I refer, I heard about from David Dow's book, The Autobiography of an Execution.

Balance the unfairness of letting a vandal or thief get away with his crime or your goods vs the unfairness of cutting your own life (or health) short. Evaluate your tactical position (including your likelihood of prevailing in the fight and, possibly, in court) and select your best course of action.

When a police officer is involved in a shooting, they have the resources of the department behind them. All the average citizen has is an insurance company and a liability policy they may or may not zealously defend, and that only in a civil court. And, while the Department has a public interest in defending an officer, an insurance company is not generally concerned with public interest. If a settlement is in their best interest, they will settle and pay the criminal to go away, even if it means you look like you were in the wrong.

Good Luck.

Lost Sheep

P.S. Still, revenge is sweet. If I found the guys who stole my snowblower right out of my driveway, I would not kill them outright. However, if they were drowning in front of me, I would consider the question of a rescue.
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Old March 3, 2010, 03:23 AM   #43
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Some trigger pulls will cost you every dime you have in legal bills.

That scenario would have been one of them.

WildthinktwiceshootonceAlaska TM
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Old March 3, 2010, 05:06 AM   #44
SiNNiK
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Quote:
Lost Sheep

However, giving chase in order to get an ID, a license plate number...
I tried like hell to read the plate but I couldn't see it clearly, but I admit that was not my first intention.

Thanks for your input, more things to think about.

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Some trigger pulls will cost you every dime you have in legal bills.

That scenario would have been one of them.
I believe you.
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Old March 3, 2010, 08:21 AM   #45
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Something that has bugged me

Did you at least provide the police with a description of the vehicle and occupants?
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Old March 3, 2010, 09:03 AM   #46
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skoro

Did you at least provide the police with a description of the vehicle and occupants?
Yup.
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Old March 3, 2010, 11:31 AM   #47
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What adds considerable confusion is that everyone answers the question filtered through his (or worse yet, his understanding of his) state's laws. Or even worse yet, his opinion...None of the above is particularly valid on a macro scale....

Absent location, we cannot determine what is legal. ...

For example; if you live in Illinois, any action above and beyond cowering in fear is "unwise", because, viewed in the context of Illinois law, it will be illegal.

If you live in Texas, the laws are a bit different, and if you predicate what is "wise" (at least partially) on what is "legal", the judgement changes dramatically.
There are variations from jurisdiction to jurisdiction on a number of things. The following come to mind:
  • Use of deadly force to protect property or even to recover it--OK in Texas under certain circumstances, some provision in Georgia
  • "Castle doctrine"--whether and where it applies, when it comes into play (forcible entry or no, is attempt covered, etc.)
  • Stand your ground vs duty to retreat
  • Conditions in which defense of a third party is permitted
  • Use of deadly force to prevent certain kinds of offenses
  • Limitations on civil damage assessments and how they come into play if they are provided for
  • Display of firearm--when it is lawful, what is the violation when it is not
  • Use of force in citizen's arrest
  • Handling of trespasser
  • What constitutes robbery vs. theft
  • Carry in bars, etc.
  • Requirement to disclose

And, of course, whether or not one can own a firearm or carry it openly or concealed varies among states and among locales within states. One cannot carry a concealed weapon in Illinois unless he is an active or retired LEO. One must keep his weapon concealed when in his yard in most Missouri counties, but he need not do so anywhere in Florida unless he steps onto an easement. How to keep a gun in the car varies. The kind of gun one can have and the kind of ammunition one can carry varies also. None of these details impinge upon whether the use of deadly force is justifiable in a particular incident: for example, it is lawful to use deadly force to defend oneself or one's family in Illinois, and (not that it applies to this scenario) the castle doctrine applies there.

The allocation of the burden of proof in an affirmative defense varies somewhat also, but I am certain that all of the points I made in my post above regarding what the actor would have to present apply in all states. To wit: some evidence that all elements of justification were met.

Considering that justification in the case presented by the OP would revolve around showing that he had a reasonable belief that the perps presented an imminent danger to people in the house, I'm not aware of any substantive jurisdictional differences that would pertain to the question posed by the OP, except that in some places (Massachusetts, for example) it is likely that the family would have been expected to retreat; I did not assume that in my post. That would add another important consideration.

That also underscores the importance of the point that one must understand the laws and what they mean in his jurisdiction, and in any jursisiction in which he travels.

Personally, I would not predicate what is wise upon what is legal. An airline mechanic in Houston who went outside with a shotgun at night to investigate a noise was acting lawfully (he did not fire), but he was ambushed, stabbed, shot, and had an arm amputated. If one lives in a residential area it is probably most unwise to traipse outside with a gun in hand where one might be ambushed or shot by first responders or other citizens--and that is of course an opinion.

Last edited by OldMarksman; March 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM.
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Old March 3, 2010, 12:15 PM   #48
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If one lives in a residential area it is probably most unwise to traipse outside with a gun in hand where one might be ambushed or shot by first responders or other citizens--and that is of course an opinion.
That would be a very wise opinion.

The great thing about liberty is that you get the choice to do things. Doesn't mean you have to do things. If you don't have to shoot someone, even if you could legally, it is by far better not to.

Aside:
good to see you back Wild
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Old March 3, 2010, 04:30 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLRANGL
If you don't have to shoot someone, even if you could legally, it is by far better not to.
Sir, I think your quote should be required to be printed at the beginning of every "scenario" thread in Tactics and Training.

Despite the caveat that 'realism' be required in that section, the questions are usually loaded for one and only one response.

"What if an axe murderer had my wife my throat, my alarm was broken, my cell phone depleted so I couldn't call the police, but I'm in a full body cast and the only firearm I own is an Indian Howdah pistol loaded full of several dozen Golden Sabers and four pounds of blackpowder. For a nano-second I get one clear shot at his torso. What should I do?"

Despite a warning I just received from a mod, I think the whimsy in me would force the response, "Well, how much do you love her--breaking a Howdah could cost several dollars to repair..."

If a realistic answer is expected, then a full adult response such as yours should be mandated as part of the deal.
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Old March 4, 2010, 05:14 AM   #50
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no way man dont even go outside. Now, if they had real guns they shot at your house and bullets came through the wall, circumstances might come afront where it makes self preservational sense to shoot a gun at the car. Just to get them to speed away and quit shooting at your house. But no, kids always play with their bb guns and paintball guns and harass people's cars and windows dont just end their lives for it. Let them get caught by the law. They will NOT shoot their bb guns at the cops and risk getting killed. Kids can be dumb, but it doesnt mean they should die. Thats horrible, way worse than the loss of some windows. Doesnt matter how dumb they are.
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