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Old January 20, 2006, 06:41 PM   #26
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That's a VERY good point. That would have been safer for LE as well, I suppose.
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Old January 20, 2006, 06:47 PM   #27
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Glad you're OK. You may want to consider keeping some pepper spray/OC in the bedside table. With all the kids' friends coming in and out at all hours of the night-that may help. It's easy to walk around with if your firearm isn't always immediately available. I don't lock up my OC, I do lock up all firearms.

Is it the best possible scenario-no but if there are a ton of kids around it's probably better.

Again, glad it worked out for you.
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Old January 20, 2006, 07:08 PM   #28
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Sounds to me like you handled it just fine, particularly considering you aren't a trained pro. Congrats on keeping a cool head under stress...
To my great mortification, my father once told me; "you care nothing but for dogs, shooting, and rat catching, you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family"

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Old January 20, 2006, 07:08 PM   #29
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WildAlaska said:
And if that scumbag was mentally ill?
It is a good question that should be addressed. It was also very much discussed on these boards after the mentally ill man was shot by the air marshals.

The intruders motivation does not matter. Perhaps martians are transmitting to his fillings messages to invade homes, or voices told him, or he is just delusional and thinks he is in his bathroom. In every case where the intruder is mentally ill one thing does not change, the apparent threat to the homeowner. How does the homeowner know if the guy is harmless crazy or serial killer crazy? You do not know if he just plans at looking at the wall or eating your children's livers. You do know he is certainly where he doesn't belong, is inside your "danger area," and is ignoring the commands of an armed individual.

Feel bad for his "sickness" but as Connery said to Costner when standing over the body of a ganster he had remorse about shooting "would you rather that had been you?" You make the decision based on the information at the time and do your best not to look back.

As far as orderring him out of the house to the awaiting officers instead of having him go prone. Given the situation in this case I agree with the poster. Sending him out was the best thing to do. I base this on the following:

1. The cops were already near, note he heard the sirens.

2. People can fault you for "taking someone prisoner" but can never fault you for orderring them out.

3. In the end what you really want is him to be out.

4. The police ARE going to enter the house and with guns drawn. Personally I would rather I NOT have my gun in my hand at that time. At the same time I do not want to put it down while a BG is on my floor before the officers enter. Sending him out gives you the opportunity to put the gun down without any risk before the police enter. Sure, it may endanger the police some to send him out there but it is THEIR job to arrest nut cases. It is my job to protect my life. I am going to make the decision that lowers the risk in my favor every time.

Having him go prone if the police are not there yet is a good idea. Personally I want him to be apprehended and I do not want him getting away to return later. In this case though it sounds like the police were there.
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Old January 20, 2006, 07:21 PM   #30
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Charles Manson is mentally ill. Wasn't he involved in some people getting butchered?

I'm no doctor, so any prognosis I might make that the guy is a sheep and not a wolf would put my family at serious risk if I'm wrong.

Face it: In a home invasion scenario, you will have to make a decision without all the facts. You must do the best you can with what you have. I will err on the side of safety for my family and me. Regardless of the outcome, I couldn't live with myself otherwise.
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Old January 20, 2006, 09:53 PM   #31
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Whyte38: I thinbk he deserves to be applauded for reaming alm. I think he came out on top, so he won tht one. My response to his post was merely to give him a little credit for showing restraint and not needlessly blowing the guy away. Your certainly right: It is important to analyze these situations. But I do think it was a little more than just luck. Also, his later post shows he was unaware of an older son with a baseball bat, good thing he didn't spray and pray.
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Old January 20, 2006, 10:16 PM   #32
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oh man whyte, that elevates it.
I remember the testimony of one of manson's victims crying out, "stop stabbing me, you already killed me."
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Old January 20, 2006, 10:33 PM   #33
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I liked the fact that you had back up if things went bad. Your son showed some smarts by staying out of the way but at the same time being close enough to help if you needed it. When i said i would have engaged him without the pistol. At that time you had the advantage of surprise. I don't like them having time to get their act together. If he was there for nefarious reasons he wouldn't expect you to react so quickly on the offensive.Always do unto others before they can do unto you!
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Old January 20, 2006, 10:49 PM   #34
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I'ld love to claim that I knew I "had back-up" but the truth is I do not even remember seeing my son in the room that night. I first learned of it when he told the Police as they were asking questions. I guess that's what they mean by getting tunnel vision. I was so focused on the BG.

I would like to think I saw him and just did not register because he was not a threat. If that's not the case, and he had been another BG, I would almost certainly have been dead meat.

Also, he's just a little guy and the "bat" was one of those 12" - 14" giveaway at the gate jobs; not very effective.
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Old January 21, 2006, 12:13 AM   #35
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I think you did a great job restraining yourself. That being said, I would never have investigated any noise without a sidearm. And knowing the castle doctrine law here in Florida, this guy would have been taken down in my living room. Drunk, lost, dillusional, whatever....I feel very strongly about defending myself from an intruder in my home.

I have answered the door before in the early evening (not quite dark yet) just to recieve a package from the UPS man. Guess what was in my right hand behind my back? Where he pulled up in my yard, I couldn't see his truck. Had I seen the UPS van, I probably wouldn't have carried my pistol with me to the door. Anyway, when I answered he strained as he set the package on the porch and handed me the pad to sign. I said pretty heavy huh? Must be ammo he said. I suppose I gave myself away .
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Old January 21, 2006, 02:41 AM   #36
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From your account of the event, you believed your kids were asleep in bed, you hear a noise that you identify as the front door opening, and then you check it out WITHOUT your gun? I don't get that one. Did it even cross your mind to get your gun? When something goes bump in the night in my house, I either positively identify the non-threatening cause of the noise, or I go investigate the cause...armed. And that's just for starters.
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Old January 21, 2006, 03:05 AM   #37
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3. Don't investigate "bumps in the night" unless you are ready to deal with the worst case scenario, ie bring the gun with you.
Yeah, really.

It's not like you were going down for a glass of milk or something. You were actively going out to check on the sound of your DOOR opening late at night.

I guess one thing you might have thought of was, "It could be one of my 8 kids..." So naturally you would not want to shoot one of them (I imagine). But surely some part of you also was saying, "Damn, it would be unusual for one of my generally well-behaved kids to be going out the front door at 11 p.m., so I'd best be on my guard."

Being on your guard would certainly not have included going out into the dark house without the gun you say you later ran back to retrieve.

Glad it worked out for you, though. It would have sucked to have killed a weirdo unarmed dude, and then had his blood and guts all over your house to clean up... [barf]

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Old January 21, 2006, 03:11 AM   #38
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I think you did a great job restraining yourself. That being said, I would never have investigated any noise without a sidearm. And knowing the castle doctrine law here in Florida, this guy would have been taken down in my living room. Drunk, lost, dillusional, whatever....I feel very strongly about defending myself from an intruder in my home.

Yeah, I pretty much would have to go with what you said.

"Some guy" is in my house, hands are not where I can see them, he's not doing what I loudly order him to do -- he'll be lucky if he gets orders at all apart from, "fall to the ground bleeding and die -- I doubt very much that I'll be "waiting to see what he does next," when that thing might very well be "get the drop on me, kill me, and take what's mine."

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Old January 21, 2006, 09:23 AM   #39
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Please look again at my post. I gave him credit for remaining calm and thinking. I simply disagree that restraint is always good. Look at police reports and crimes stats, and you will see plenty of times when too much restraint got the good guy killed. Which side of that ledger do you wish to be on?

The intruder had his hands in his pockets. Unless you have x-ray vision, you don't know what is in his pockets. You also don't know if this guy is bait to catch your attention while his buddies move in. As for his son, according to the description, his son was not in the field of fire, so his son was not at risk if he had shot the intruder. Please correct me if my understanding is wrong on that score.

This whole "hey it worked out, so you did good" mentality reminds me of my ex-wife. She used to use only the rear view mirror when backing up the car. I told her that she needed turn her head and look backwards so she could use her peripheral vision to see cars or kids on bikes coming from the sides. She replied that she'd been doing this for years and never had a problem, so therefore it must be okay. I told her she'd been lucky. Six months after we divorced, she totalled her car by ... surprise, surprise ... looking in the rear view mirror while backing up and then getting t-boned by an oncoming car. Luck can run a short time or a long time, but eventually luck runs out. Thankfully, hers ran out when I was no longer legally responsible for her; I really hate being sued.

After 2,000 flight hours in the Navy and 65,000 accident-free motorcycle miles, including two cross-country trips, I've had my share of good luck. I have never thought, "It worked out, so I did good." I've had too many times when things worked out despite the dumb things I did. I rode home drunk one night on my motorcycle. I got home safe. No one was killed; no serious property damage. It worked out--I came out "on top" so to speak--so I must have done good, right? If you do something good, doesn't that mean you should do it again? There is no logic in saying, "You did good, but don't do that again." I say I got lucky, that I shouldn't do that again, and so that was the one and only time I did that.

Things work out because of something that you did or because of luck. I prefer the first result because I can't control the second one.

Last edited by WhyteP38; January 21, 2006 at 11:12 PM.
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Old January 21, 2006, 10:28 AM   #40
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I have replayed this event in my head dozens of times since it happened, trying to learn from the mistakes I may have made. The input and observations I have read here have been VERY beneficial.

The thing that sticks out most in my mind (as you all have noted), I should have not have walked into a potential threat without a weapon. Especially since I had one, ready access, right by the bed.

Why did I do that? I got COMPLAICENT. "Home" had become a false refuge. I took off my gun when I got home and did not think about it until the next day when I went outside where it was "dangerous." I guess 20 years in the same home can do that to you.

I'm going to get up on my pulpit again and say that negligence is something none of us who are armed or who have weapons in the house can afford. In the time since this all happened I have tried to remain aware and ready to respond appropriately.

Now let me step down. . . ahhh, that's better!

Thanks for all your input; I hope this review has helped clear a few cob-webs from us all.

BTW - My door is locked.
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Old January 21, 2006, 10:42 AM   #41
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U were not wrong

I think U handled it like a pro. I know in California, U can't shoot someone unless it looks like they are going to bring U harm right then and there. Pretty scary situation though. I don't know what I would have done. I know if this was a police situation in California, the guy would have had 27 bullets fired into him for not taking his hands out of his pockets.
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Old January 21, 2006, 11:37 AM   #42
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I know in California, U can't shoot someone unless it looks like they are going to bring U harm right then and there.
In CA if someone uses force to enter your home you are assumed to be in fear for your life, thus deadly force is justified, someone would have to prove that there was a reason you were not in fear, such as you knew the guy and inviteded him there.
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Old January 21, 2006, 11:58 AM   #43
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I have to say ,aside from leaving your room the first time unarmed ,you handled the situation properly.For those of you who said you wouild have shot him.Its easy to pull the trigger.However its not so easy to deal with all that comes after.The emotinal side of it is as big as the actual action of shooting someone.Remember you will live that moment over and over again in your mind.The legal side also is no picnic.You may be arrested and spend a night in lockup.Not to mention the amount of money it will take if it should go to court.Be careful and shoot straight
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Old January 21, 2006, 01:04 PM   #44
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Any ending that doesn't result in death is a good ending. You made a mistake or two, but you've learned from them and moved on. That's how we get better. Good job!

While there are pro's and con's on this, the only other suggestion I would make involves the BG's detainment. I don't like serious bad guys on their feet. They aren't under real control while they're standing. Put 'em on the ground, face down, with ankles crossed and arms outstretched, palms up.

When you do this, command and control each and every movement by the BG, step by step. Don't just tell 'em to get on the ground, take it step by step, and make your commands clear, simple, and concise. Try to use a "command voice"; you want to be taken seriously.

This is all assuming, of course, that the BG will obey your commands. If not, your decisions and actions will have to be made split-second by split-second.
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Old January 21, 2006, 07:54 PM   #45
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WhyteP38: I'm not saying trust to luck. If I haven't been clear then, here's the deal: I don't think he should be too hard on himself. Yes he made mistakes. But he did do well. His family is safe, the intruder is in custody, and no one got shot. That's a success. Should he learn from the tactical errors he made, sure. But I don't think he should be paranoid, either. Do you freak out remembering the time you rode your bike home drunk every time you ride? Don't break out the chains and start the self-flagellation is all I'm saying. Just learn from your mistakes and move on.

Did you buy the car your ex wrecked? If you did, and she got it in the divorce, then you should be happy.

PS: When I was a teenager, my high school sweetheart used to leave the door unlocked so I could sneak into her house and hook up as her bedroom was on the first floor. Lucky for me her stepdad never investigated with a .45 and blew my head off. Guess he'd still be in prison now. Well maybe not, that was 20 years ago
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Old January 21, 2006, 10:54 PM   #46
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Regarding the ex, that's another time I got lucky. She had the payments for it after we divorced. Shame though; it was a nice car. Anyway, she didn't get hurt, just her bank account and her car insurance. (She wasn't a bad person, just not very careful; my biggest fear was that she'd run over some toddler or a tike on a trike.)

I'm not saying Phxdog should don sackcloth and put ash on his head. The situation isn't digital: all good or all bad. I do think he was extremely lucky that his gentleman caller wasn't armed or psychotic. I do think he made some serious tactical errors. I also think he demonstrated an impressive degree of self-control and thought. He can learn different tactics. That's relatively easy. The hardest part is learning to think under stress. I'd say he's got the hardest part licked.

And I'm not saying he should have pulled the trigger. Getting the intruder to put his hands on top of his head and then go prone can often be a viable option. But I think anyone who owns a gun for the purpose of self-defense should determine ahead of time where their personal line is. It's as vital a part of one's training as anything else. And I would save luck for poker or Monopoly.
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Old January 22, 2006, 05:56 PM   #47
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not too close

I think I would have barricaded myself/wife into the bd room, called the boyz in blue, and let the dog do his job; I can tell you from experience that massive dog bites hurt really bad; of course the bd room is armed to the hilt, (no guns in safes) and would take the swat team to extract us
but I think you did an excellent job; next time, lock the door.......
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Old January 23, 2006, 11:46 AM   #48
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Glad everything was ok....but everyone said it and now I have to chime in....KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED WHEN YOU GO TO BED. I actually had a friend of mine come home from a party around 4am, very drunk and walk into the wrong apartment. Scared the heck out of an old lady (who thankfully was an early riser and awake watching TV). She never called the cops. Next day after he sobered up he when to the apartment to apologize, and since he lived in a not so nice neighborhood to ask the woman to please keep her door locked in the late night, early morning hours.
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Old January 23, 2006, 12:10 PM   #49
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Most of it has already been said, so I'll just add my 'good job' to it.

You realize all the errors NOW. But you protected your family and didn't have to shoot. Feel good about it, lock your doors, and take your gun with you.
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Old January 23, 2006, 07:10 PM   #50
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yeah, in a word. Thats about as nutty a thing as I have ever heard. You are lucky you and your family are still alive. Hope you at least lock the darn door in the future.
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