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Old May 6, 2006, 03:26 PM   #26
Tim Burke
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Mas Ayoob a junior member of THF? Preposterous.
Not really. We get new members all the time. He doesn't get to start with 200 posts just because he's Mas Ayoob.
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As I recall you were one of the "experts" who recommended not challenging an intruder.
As I recall, he advised that it is unnecessary to challenge an intruder that poses a lethal threat, and unwise to challenge one unless you have a strong defensive position. That isn't the same thing as finding someone in your home that you don't immediately recognize.
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Old May 6, 2006, 11:22 PM   #27
DobermansDoItGoofy
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lazy shades of grey...

Knowing what you're shooting at...is very very very very very important.
Stuff like 'challenging' gets lazily taught...and it's understandable to an extent...because there are so many different scenarios. The main thing is to understand the intended purpose of 'challenging' - it is to identify the target
and to take take command of the situation. "Who goes there?!" is the classic challenge...and in a home defense situation I like 'Who are You and Why are you HERE?!' a lot better than 'Freeze!' or some more offensive threatening statement. Afterall, I am also trying to identify the target! Anytime a gun is drawn the situation has been escalated to the hilt of do or die. My inclination is to not draw a gun unless I intend to shoot it...and to not shoot it unless I intend to kill! So what do I do when there's a stranger in my house and I'm scared? Well, there's lots of scenarios ie. is it daytime with the door open or nightime and more shocking! Is it in an apartment complex or an isolated house waaaay out in the boonies ? Luckily my Dobies usually resolve all these problems for me!!!!! I feel sorry for the 'stranger' in my house! He's going to be greeted by a few curious Dobie diplomats who will do the challenging for me! Yep! For you see 'guns' are limited - and no matter what technique there is - it boils down to human interaction and judgement calls. Oh , before drawing a gun and challenging...you might duck out of sight, do some observing and call 9/11 ! The gun is the very last resort! Once you pull out the gun you're pretty much stuck with it!
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Old May 6, 2006, 11:51 PM   #28
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We all seem to subscribe to the mantra of "the mere presence of firearm, even if not fired, can be a great deterrrent to crime" or whatever the NRA slogan is.

I believe it, and I think most people on this forum live it.

Obviously, commom sense and the situation reign supreme.

I am the "good guy" regardless of whether or not the stranger is the cable guy or the dreaded someone else; having the option to shoot, or not shoot, is our greatest advantage.

Your day in court might vary from mine, depending upon your state's laws and the prevailing social/political composition of the jury.

Take the appropriate action or inaction accordingly. Be advised, this could include moving (to Arizona ).
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Old May 7, 2006, 03:37 AM   #29
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Let's not pop the corks yet...

Perhaps we should reserve judgement on just who 'Mas Ayoob' is until TFL staff can verify this person AS Mr. Massad Ayoob?

Anyone can take a reputable name and use it as their own to lend credibility to statements we might otherwise disregard.

I'm sure that such a notable personality as Mr. Ayoob would get a posted greeting/welcoming/announcement here by TFL staff.
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Old May 7, 2006, 06:03 AM   #30
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Folks,
I've read all of your posts with great interest. I would like to mention something that is closely related to this thread. I just read an interesting study (I'll get the details Monday of who conducted it and when), but it had some very interesting findings. The bottom line is that a study of actual incidents of both life threatening and non-life threatening situations by law enforcement officers (local, state and federal, but I think mostly local) disclosed that the higher the escalation of the situation the worse the police officer's commands became. In other words, when an officer was directing a bad guy to stop, drop to his knees, place his hands behind his head, etc., the commands were short, clear, direct and very specific. When the situation was an officer confronting someone with a firearm, the commands were usually vague, indecisive, not specific and unclear. For example, in one situation, a police officer was confronted by a bad buy with a firearm. He kept telling the bad guy that "I don't want to have to kill you." The end result was that the bad guy did not drop the firearm and the police officer had to shoot him. The folks conducting the study were very surprised at this.

I just scanned the study at work (I'm a LEO), but I'll get more details tomorrow and relay them to you folks if y'all are interested. The study surprised me too because we are taught to give very specific commands in small increments. Thought you folks might find this interesting in light of this thread.
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Old May 7, 2006, 06:38 AM   #31
Mas Ayoob
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A few points...

rbk2000: I got the same warm welcome anybody gets when they start posting here, but none of us gets a tickertape parade. The beauty of the forum is that it's an egalitarian arena where we all start with the same pile of chips. Tim Burke was right on that. I'm a "newbie" to the gun message boards.

Tim Burke: You nailed it. The hypothetical in my book was an armed intruder in the house, and then and now I would probably dispense with the challenge in that situation.

The concern with this thread is treating ANY unknown person in the home as a bought and paid for bad guy. If someone wants to start a thread on the theme of "have you ever found a stranger in your home and it turned out there was a good explanation," you might be surprised at the results.

The "home as castle" principle does not allow us to have a dungeon in the basement or perform executions there. There are times to challenge, and times to shoot, but the time to shoot will be determined by the presence of an obvious threat over and above mere presence.
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Old May 7, 2006, 08:16 AM   #32
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welcome to TFL

Wow, the neighborhood has just improved. Welcome to TFL, Mas Ayoob!

I had to chuckle at some of the posts in this thread. If I was as willing to draw as some of y'all, neither of my younger children would have any friends left. Either I'd have shot 'em by now or else their parents would have forbidden them to come over to that crazy lady's house who draws down on teenagers in her living room.

If you live alone and you do not have a landlord (who might be in your house fixing a leak that's flooding the apartment downstairs) and you have all your layers of security on when you leave, and when you get home you find somebody in your living room, THEN you might have reason to draw without challenge. But take any of those parameters away and there might very well be somebody in your living room you don't know when you get home. And I don't think you want to be "drawing down" on them thinking you can get away with an apology later.

I have walked in to find very oddly dressed young men and women in my house before, the whole goth-and-baggy-pant thing, and my response is a pleasant but firm "who are you and why are you here?" The answer is always that they're there as guests of my youngest son. Had I drawn and even shown my gun, never mind pointing it at them, I don't somehow think an apology would have been enough. I expect their parents wouldn't have settled for that.

Challenging before shooting is a good idea, seems to me...

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Old May 7, 2006, 09:23 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Charlie
...escalates force based on an established use of force continuum...
And THAT is what I think is missing from 90% of these conversations and hypotheticals.

I wonder - how many instructors out there actually teach Escalation of Force as a guiding concept?
A common theme that I read is a lack of a solid grasp on the force continuum - one only applies force in degrees appropriate to the level of threat, and only then just enough to de-escalate the situation. Sometimes that means someone gets shot, more often it means that someone does not.

I often see two camps form on issues like this, those who say "Shoot first, ask later", and those who say "Don't draw until the last possible second"...
I'm pretty sure the answer lies somewhere in the gray area between the two.

Besides, has anyone said that you're going to get in trouble for drawing down on someone but not shooting, unless you're just brandishing the weapon, of course. DRAWdoes not equal SHOOT
As other people have noted, bringing a handgun into any situation before it is warranted simply escalates the entire process, so really it comes down to acceptable levels of risk for each individual. If you point your weapon at someone, I should hope that the situation has already deteriorated to the point where that was your only option.

In answer to the original question: Of course you challenge! And maybe you do it with your gun halfway out of the holster, just to be safe
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Old May 7, 2006, 10:16 AM   #34
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All of the above said, it should be said, with the exception of some cities and neighborhoods, almost never is there a call for pulling a weapon. It's just life in general that usually resolves itself. There is a great deal more paranoia evidenced on gun message boards than is warranted in general society. With the noted exceptions.

Still, I talked with two LEO's last week, both from your basic Small Town, USA and they both said the same thing, "You just never know".

But as Mr. Ayood noted in his book, you don't want to go there if you can possibly avoid it.
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Old May 7, 2006, 12:06 PM   #35
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When my father in law was still alive he suffered from dementia. Since my mother in law had a key to the house it would have been possible for him to get in my house. In fact he got in the car a couple of times and drove over before the sun came up. It would have been something that would have been almost impossible to live with If I had followed the philosophy of just shoot and killed or injured my father in law.

While its great to have a sidearm to defend yourself, its even a greater responsibility to make sure you use it right. Our instructors for the CHL Course were deputies for a local sheriffs departments we went over the continnum of force as CPT Charlie described as well as escalation and descalation. They were well experinced law enforcment officers who have never had to shoot another person even when thay have had to draw thier weapons.
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Old May 7, 2006, 12:53 PM   #36
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Back in the old days, when a Russian Cossack had drawn his saber in anticipation of combat and subsequently had not used it for its intended purpose, he would lightly run the blade across the back of his wrist--just enough to draw blood--before resheathing it. Perhaps those of us who feel that drawing must be followed by shooting would be open to employing that old Cossack custom.
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Old May 7, 2006, 02:52 PM   #37
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I Laugh...

...when I read people say that if you draw your defensive weapon, you must start shooting! "Don't draw unless you intend to start shooting". Thankfully, I have never been in that situation, but as a few others have said, use your common sense!
I think it makes more sense to say "don't draw unless you are prepared to start shooting".
If a situation appears life-threatening, I would not hesitate to draw my weapon. If I can then back away or somehow avoid shooting, then that's what I'm going to do.
Should you issue a warning or command? Depends on the situation! If you see an unknown person in your home with a sawed-off shotgun in the middle of the night...that would be different than an unknown person in your home at noon wearing a toolbelt...wouldn't it? C'mon!
I can think of nothing good coming from a shot fired in a defensive situation, other than living to tell about it. That's reason enough to be prepared, though.

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Old May 7, 2006, 03:00 PM   #38
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I think the key to remember here is that one should follow a force continuum. Confronting a perceived threat, eliminating that threat and resolving the situation is not a series of separated actions, but a continuum of action, which can be followed or ceased at any point along the continuum.

I challenge while drawing my weapon. As I raised 4 children, and helped raise several others, the threat was usually eliminated before the weapon came to point on the perceived threat. If the answer to my challenge was not appropriately answered, either verbally or by body language/posture, the weapon continued to come on target. If the perceived threat was not eliminated by the coming on target, I fired. I reached the firing stage once. I disarmed and restrained more than once. I stopped in the act of drawing many times and went directly to resolving of the situation by counseling the strange person and the youngster who invited the stranger into my home about how to behave while in my home.

My kids learned early in life that it was very easy to sneak out of the house at night. They learned at the same time that they had better make a LOT of noise when returning.

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Old May 7, 2006, 04:53 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pickpocket
I wonder - how many instructors out there actually teach Escalation of Force as a guiding concept?
Well, Mas Ayoob for one.

BTW, I don't know just how much time a webmaster is supposed to spend confirming that each poster using a well-known name is who he says he is, but quite a few of us have a basis on which to judge authenticity by what is posted. Having taken LFI-1, -2, and -3, I certainly think that the poster "Mas Ayoob" sounds like the real Mas Ayoob. Of course, that raises the question of who I am to testify.

Who will vouch for me as the real Model520Fan?

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Old May 7, 2006, 04:59 PM   #40
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The whip that instructs!

At my school, (www.gunsite.com) we teach that security is not only a way of thinking, but of life.

This encompasses all aspects of your being; physical, mental, and virtual.

While guns can protect your physical body, your virtual online 'body' may be vulnerable to hijacking in the form of impersonation. This is most commonly done by goblins in the form of identity theft.

But this can take other forms too, such as destruction of your reputation by posting scurrilous comments, using your name, in online discussion groups.

Just as you are required to provide proof-of-identity for certain purposes when your physical body is presented to others who don't already know you, so too do you need to have proof-of-identity when presenting your virtual body to others who don't already know you online.

This is where PGP comes in.

By creating a PGP key, and providing both the public key and key signature at a site that others already know belongs to you, you can PROVE that 'you are you' by signing your messages using your private PGP key.

Others who don't already know you (virtually), can then verify that the message being posted by 'you' (M.A.), really ARE from 'you' (M.A.), and not from someone pretending to be M.A. for whatever reason.

This also demonstrates that someone highly skilled in one medium can be woefully lacking in another.

An excellent tutorial to PGP can be found here.

Model520Fan is not a name that has a valuable real-world reputation attached to it, built over 20+ years, that can be damaged and sued, as 'Massad Ayoob' does.

If this was a physics forum, and someone calling themselves 'Stephen Hawkings' started posting here, it'd matter. 'Quark520fan' would not.

One doesn't matter, the other does.

So, yes, in any forum, regardless of subject matter, staff SHOULD take an interest in verifying that someone using the name of a noted authority/expert/celebrity in the subject matter, really IS who they are claiming to be by using such a name.

AOX (ROT-13 signature)

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Old May 7, 2006, 05:11 PM   #41
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Quote:
Capt Charlie wrote:

Law enforcement escalates force based on an established use of force continuum, and I think it's reasonable that non-LE should follow a similar course of action, i.e., use the minimum amount of force necessary to control the situation. Verbal commands fall within that continuum.
Absolutely... However, properly trained law enforcement officers as well as prudent armed citizens should also know that it's well within the realm of possibility that an encounter can start out at deadly force on the continuum, and that there is no hard, fast rule (absent poorly written department policies and procedures or state/local laws) saying that any and/or all lower steps in the continuum must be exhausted prior to deploying deadly force if deadly force is immediately required. It is dangerous to think that one must start at the bottom of the scale and go one step at a time until deadly force is reached. Our department, and many others from what I understand, has gotten away from the old "step" or "ladder" force continuum and gone with more flexible, lateral use of force models for this very reason.

I live alone and only two other people in the world have "legal" access to my house. I would recognize either of them instantly upon seeing them and neither would allow anyone into my home without my knowing it up front. If I came home and someone other than those two people is inside my house, damned right I'm drawing. Whether I challenge verbally or not will depend on lots of things that can't all be addressed in a single post on an internet forum. Everything that happens past coming out of the holster with my carry piece of the day will be based on judgements made as the situation unfolds, just like at work.

Now, if I had a roommate, spouse, children, or any other person living with me I'd be a lot more careful about drawing down on someone just for being in my house when I came in. As has been mentioned, there is just too great a chance that someone else has invited them in to just go pointing guns at them. Short of them being visibly armed, or obviously an ill willed intruder (mask, bag of my **** in their hand, etc...) I think automatically taking them at gunpoint would be a bit extreme.

All told, there is no single "right" or "legal" answer to the scenario of finding someone inside your home. As with all types of armed encounters this is something that is going to require common sense (as already stated) and judgement. Pre-incident determination that you are automatically going to draw and take them at gunpoint, or more specifically that you are going to automatically shoot given an intruder is a recipe for trouble. May as well be premetidation as far as I'm concerned.

And on that note, I think an armed citizen should be held to the same standards as an armed officer. If you're going to carry you should go to the trouble of educating yourself on how to take someone at gunpoint. Saying, "I don't have the training a cop has so I don't feel obligated to do anything besides just shoot." is not acceptable in my book. If you want to carry, you have the responsibility to know how to do more than just shoot. As the old saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything will be treated as if it were a nail. If all you have in your mental toolbox is "shoot", then you are not prepared for an armed confrontation at all. If your only plan is to shoot without using any other means of force you're just as likely to end up being a murderer as you are a law abiding self protector. Even if you end up being "justified" in shooting, it will be due to luck or happenstance rather than your knowledge and skills. Luck or happenstance isn't the way I think deadly force justification should be judged.

I'm 100% for the use of deadly force when it is justified. I'm just as thoroughly against it when it's not justified.
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Old May 7, 2006, 05:42 PM   #42
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Pre-incident determination that you are automatically going to draw, or more specifically that you are going to automatically shoot given an intruder is a recipe for trouble. May as well be premetidation as far as I'm concerned.
The recent Castle Doctrine laws premept these concerns by making the legal presumtion that someone in your house without a legal reason to be there is out to either kill you or cause you great bodily harm and you are justified in using deadly force to defend yourself and your assigns and are furthermore indemnified against civil suits in the matter.



Quote:
I think an armed citizen should be held to the same standards as an armed officer.
That would certainly result in a lot more bloodshed. The bar is actually higher for civilians than it is for cops, who seem to have some type of built-in immunity to prosecution.
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Old May 7, 2006, 05:47 PM   #43
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It is dangerous to think that one must start at the bottom of the scale and go one step at a time until deadly force is reached.
I'm glad you brought that up Rainbow. To my shock and surprise, I've even found LEO's that believed that.

You're absolutely correct that you can, and should, enter the continuum at any point, although it should be at the lowest possible point where you still have assurance of being able to control the situation.

For those not familiar with a use of force continuum used by law enforcement, it generally goes like this, although it may vary slightly from dept. to dept.

1. Officer, or "command presence"
2. Verbal commands
3. OC spray/mace
4. Physical force (strikes, kicks, etc.)
5. Taser
6. Impact weapons (ASP, PR-24, etc.)
7. Point/aim of a firearm
8. Use of firearm or other deadly force

A continuum used by non-LE would probably have fewer steps in the ladder, but one thing remains the same: The point of valid and justifiable entry into the continuum will be based on training received. My belief is that defensive firearm instructors should at least discuss other options than a firearm, and the conditions under which those options should and can be safely deployed.

Quote:
As the old saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything will be treated as if it were a nail.
And that sums it up pretty well.
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Old May 7, 2006, 06:07 PM   #44
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Quote:
The recent Castle Doctrine laws premept these concerns by making the legal presumtion that someone in your house without a legal reason to be there is out to either kill you or cause you great bodily harm and you are justified in using deadly force to defend yourself and your assigns and are furthermore indemnified against civil suits in the matter.
There is a huge difference between being "justified" and "necessary". Are you saying that it's ok to take someone's life unnecessarily as long as it is justified? I've had numerous armed confrontations as an LE in which I would have been perfectly justified to close someone out. Fortunately, in all cases so far I didn't deem it "necessary" to do so and have avoided having to use deadly force to control a situation. Basing your actions on Castle Doctrine and the protection it provides without concern for anything else is ignorance and an abuse of the law. It would be just as wrong as me closing someone out every time I was justified to do so on duty without regard as to whether or not my actions were necessary.

Quote:
That would certainly result in a lot more bloodshed. The bar is actually higher for civilians than it is for cops, who seem to have some type of built-in immunity to prosecution.
Not sure this even deserves a reply...
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Old May 7, 2006, 07:05 PM   #45
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Quote:
3. OC spray/mace
4. Physical force (strikes, kicks, etc.)
OC before USD?
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Old May 7, 2006, 07:42 PM   #46
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RainbowSix,

You coice a valid concern many have about the Castle Doctrine.

The State of Florida took the Castle Doctrine one step further recenty in the form of it's new "Stand Your Ground" law which moved the policy into the streets. To a great extent, these can amount to a license to kill, without due process:

http://www.ocala.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...D=200551001015

http://www.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBU8E8H9JE.html?imw=Y



I can hear it now:

"He looked at me cockeyed, your honor, so I wasted his punk ass before he could mofo me."

"Not Guilty."
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Old May 7, 2006, 07:49 PM   #47
Tim Burke
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Quote:
OC before USD?
That's what I've been taught. The main reason I carry OC is to make sure that I don't get into a situation that requires USD while armed.
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Old May 7, 2006, 07:54 PM   #48
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Welcome to the REAL Mas. The FAKE Clint above is not so welcome.

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Old May 7, 2006, 08:04 PM   #49
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While discussion of hypotheticals is useful and consideration of the approaches and tactics used by well-trained and (at least in general) phyically-fit police officers fascinating, there are many of us for whom such considerations are academic.

I'm not fit. I don't yell well. I'm not young. But I can handle a firearm and I live in a state with a good "Castle Doctrine."

I live alone. I keep my house locked, all the time, even when I am home, inlcuding the first-floor windows. No one has keys to my house but me, period.

There are times when I have come home to find a light on, one I don't remember leaving on, My hand was on my gun while I checked out the outside of my house, and the weapon was in my hand when I unlocked the door and proceeded to check the place out, even though I was nearly certain no one was in the house. (If I'd been very suspicious, I would have called the police -- see above, in re training and physical condition).

YMMV. In my life as I live it:
  • The time to draw is before you're sure you're in trouble; a determined bad guy won't give you time later.
  • The time to challenge and aim is when you see an unknown.
  • The time to fire is if they neither comply nor run away.
That's pretty harsh, I know. But I am not an LEO and I am not a highly-trained warrior. I'm just a middle-aged -- okay, old -- lady who can hit what she aims at and understands the Four Rules. The plain or garden-variety Bad Guy is likely bigger and faster than me, so I need every advantage I can get.

Other people may have the luxury of considering the even-lower-probablity caveats and exceptions to the already low-probability happenstance of finding an unknown in your house; I do not. Others may live in such wise as to have a relatively constant influx of strangers, as the parents of socially-active children have reported here, and I think my approach would be a very poor one for them. --Of course, if you have a family under your roof, not only is there an increased risk, you've also got backup. Some of us don't, other than Mr. Colt, Mr. Glock, or Messers. Smith and Wesson.

My sidearm has cleared leather a lot of times without my having to shoot. That's normal procedure for self-defensive firearm use. But if ever I believe I need to shoot, I will, and without fretting a lot about it. For me, it really is better to live to possibly have regrets than die trying to avoid them.

"Internet bravado" isn't in it. It's about surviving. The brave and the strong, the bold and the quick all have their moment but in the long run, fortune favors those who are prepared.
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Old May 7, 2006, 08:05 PM   #50
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Now that TFL staff has verified him as such, I'd also like to welcome Mr. Ayoob here.

I'm sure he'll be getting a lot of questions directed his way in the future.

BTW, I was Clint Smith, to make the point about online identities.
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