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If it was family you don't shoot.
Make sure the wife and kids are secure, and find a defensive position from which I can safely ambush. You do arrange and choose furniture with that contingency in mind, don't you?
On that note, does anybody know if the Taser shotgun shells are available for purchase yet? Don't want to mess up the carpets unnecessarily.
Of course, most of these home invasions occur in the wee small hours, when you will be both really groggy and pissed, and less tactically minded.
In a somewhat related matter Jerome Ersland was just convicted today of 1st degree murder for his actions in a robbery in OKC in 2009. For those unfamiliar with the case I'll gove a quick rundown:
Ersland was working at a pharmacy in Oklahoma City. Two kids came in and attempted to rob him. One kid pulled a gun and Ersland shot at him but missed. He did hit the other kid who was unarmed and that kid hit the floor. Ersland then chased the kid with the gun out of the store but came back in after a couple of seconds. He walked back to the counter stepping over the body of the kid that he shot and went to a drawer in the back of the store where he grabbed another weapon and then walked back to the kid on the floor and shot him 5 times. The security camera footage can be seen here.
This was a proper verdict and it seems that the jury was out for less than 4 hours.
Use of force is a serious matter. I see all kinds of comments here and elsewhere saying this, that or the other should happen in such and such a case. I see all kinds of comments about how a "threat" can be determined and what should be done to eliminate that threat. Many of those comments tend toward the "shoot the sumbitch until he stops twitching and then twice more for good measure" ideology. Even today I am seeing those kind of comments not just here but on another forum which is geared far more toward the ideals of "conservativism" than this one is. I understand that mindset but it is misguided and dangerous.
Before exercising the use of deadly force you MUST make sure of what you are doing and who you are doing it to. If you are a pharmacist who just got robbed at gunpoint I can understand that your adrenaline is pumping but exercising deadly force against an incapacitated target is STILL wrong. If you are a cop who is confronted by a suspect holding a weapon you STILL need to assess whether that suspect has an intent to use that weapon and if your house is being broken into by unknown people with guns you STILL need to assess whether they intend to use them or not.
Ersland initially did everything right. He recognized the threat, took cover, took aim at a legitimate target without putting anyone else at risk and took his shot. It was the stuff after that where he screwed up. In Tucson we don't have all the facts yet but it seems that Jose Gurena handled things just about right. He recognized a threat, picked up his weapon and (based on the weapon still being on safe) was in the process of assessing the threat when he was shot. It seems that the SWAT cops who shot Guerena are the ones who fucked up. It appears that they instigated a threatening situation and then opened fire before assessing the situation.
The overarching rule regarding use of force is "Only use that force which is necessary to eliminate the threat". We are human. We won't always abide by that rule 100% but we always need to be aware that when we choose to or are left with no option but to use deadly force we are committing ourselves to an act which will have consequences that are quite likely to be irreversible.
How would a police officer react to his wife if she just woke him up and said I saw a man in the bushes with a gun?
In my hometown two late teen guys picked up a couple of 16 year old girls. Their plan was to go drinking. The boys stopped at a convenience store and went inside and one guy distracted the clerk while the other shoplifted a case of beer. As they left the store the clerk realized what happened and he grabbed a gun and ran out the door and shot at the car as it drove away. One of the girls was shot and immediately died.
The girls had no idea what was going on - they thought the boys were old enough to buy beer.
In another case 80 miles away a boy and his date ran out of gas. He mowed the lawn of a fellow that lived nearby, and his lawnmower was there, along with his gas can. He went to get the gas can. The home owner heard the noise and shot and killed the kid. Dead over a can of gasoline! And, it was the kids own gasoline.
When I hear people talk about the security that gun ownership provides I think of those two kids.
"There is no gain in arguing with a poo flinging monkey. While his
gibbering and raucous cries of victory may seem obnoxious in your ears
as you walk away, he will soon be quietly sitting behind his bars again
and licking his own feces off his fingers as you carry on with your day."
Trespassing or theft can get you killed. Yeah, the teen girl didn't know she was getting a ride from a thief and became a victim of the actions of the thief.
I never need to worry about such an incident. I have one of these by my doors;
“Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” - Lord Palmerston
After calling 911 I'd slip out the basement and join them, then ask that we go over the plan one more time, just to be sure
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)
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We won't always abide by that rule 100% but we always need to be aware that when we choose to or are left with no option but to use deadly force we are committing ourselves to an act which will have consequences that are quite likely to be irreversible.