Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two weeks ago my stereo was stolen from my car, two days later would-be thieves were scared off from the other side of my apartment building while snooping around, three days after that my friend's stereo was stolen from his truck. We share an apartment. So a couple days ago I got myself a Mossberg 500 in case someone broke into the actual apartment.

So, hypothetical situation: The stereo thieves come back and I hear them outside and call the police. Can I at this point go outside to confront them with my shotgun? If they hop in their car and try to make a break for it can I shoot out their radiator or tires so they don't get too far? If they try to run me over and I shoot at them am I liable for their death because I was never forced to go outside to confront them in the first place?
 
G

·
if you are trying to keep criminals from making a get away, the i say hell ya you should shoot there tires and if they try running you over, you have the right to kill them. i mean if they are trying to kill you, isn't it self-defence to fight back(weather u kill them or not). because they were trying to rob you and probably would have attacked u if they entered your apartment and found you home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
Different states (not to mention countries - you don't say where you're from) have different laws regarding the use of lethal force to protect your home and/or property. It completely depends on the jurisdiction you live in. I've lived in 4 states and they're all different.

In many cases (I would say "most" but that would surely get jumped on) you must show that there was a physical threat to you. That is, you can't shoot at someone running out the door with your VCR under their arm. (Please remember, I said, "in many cases." I'm sure your state/county/city law is different. Especially if you're from Texas. :))

Remember, life is not a Rambo movie. The scenario described above by our "unknown" Guest is dangerous fantasy that would likely get you jailed in any state in the US. "Shooting out the tires", "probably would have attacked you." Indeed. And remember, if you do ever shoot someone, you get to carry that with you for the rest of your life, whether it is deemed "justified" by a jury or not. (And you will very likely go to trial.)

-- Sam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Okay, we have had this question a few times before and I am going to give the same answer(s):

Self Defense is just that: self defense. At no time should you persue the person who may be threatening your person or property. There are basic rules of self defense. In the event an intruder enters your dwelling you should look for the following avenues in the order listed.

1.) Evade the intruder and possible confrontation by removing yourself from the situation. If you hear an intruder ransacking your home. Get yourself out the window, back door etc. and go to the neighbors and call the police.

2.) If evasion is not possible (3rd floor apartment, no backdoor, etc.) then you should arm yourself and call the police immediately and explain the situation. Many times they will keep you on the line until they arrive. Tell the dispatcher you are armed and in what part of the dwelling you are in. At this point you may choose to call out to the intruder and announce that you are armed and the police have been contacted and dispatched. Stay in your secure room (we'll assume this is your bedroom), armed of course.

3.) If the intruder attempts entry to your secure room, which by now you should have locked. Announce again that you are armed and will use deadly force if he/she enters. The intruder enters and is clearly armed and moving toward you in a threatening manner. At that point you may choose to defend yourself with deadly force.

These scenarios are very generic I know, and each real one could happen in a 1000 different ways, but the general rules apply. Notice the one thing that did not happen in these cases: you (the would-be victim) never went on the offensive.

If you successfully chase the intruder from your home - STOP! He is gone and police are on their way. You have successfully deterred an intruder and possible assailant. At this point the police can search the neighborhood for the intruder (I would bet a couple cars or more would be dispatched in this case - with the second and third setting up in the area to intercept).

If you chase the intruder from your home and continue to persue, you become the assailant and in the event of an exchange of fire resulting the death of the intruder, you just opened a big can of trouble for yourself.

The NRA reports that if you are involved in a shooting where you are the victor in the duel, you can expect, on average, to pay $75,000 in legal fees. Remember it isn't just a judge and jury you will have to contend with. The kids parents, or the man's wife, or whomever may be close to the fallen criminal who may see this as an opportunity to Easy Street, will be after your hide and your money. Even if it was ruled as justifiable and you do not have to defend yourself from a judge and 12 peers, you will more than likely have to fight lawsuits from loved ones. Now....is all that worth a car stereo or a TV? You may think, "Well....it's the principle of the thing. I shouldn't have to cower in the corner of my room while I am being robbed." And you would not be alone in those thoughts, but you must think past the "here-and-now".

This may seem hard to swallow, but this isn't the Old West. Self Defense means defense. You can't go after a punk-assed criminal and shoot him down. Even if the world would benefit from this persons demise and the bells of justice ring out with joy upon your shooting him down doesn't matter. You chased a guy down the street and killed him - you're going to jail. Once you cross that line (however fine it may seem), you go from upstanding citizen to criminal.

By all means arm yourself for self-preservation, but stay cool, use your head and don't play Rambo. Stay alive my friend and refuse to be a victim! :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,750 Posts
Good post, Mike. Well written. Lots of good advice and common sense in it. But, I've got to point out one thing I disagree with. That is the advice that a person should flee his own home (out the window or back door, etc) if an intruder comes in.

In many states, perhaps even MOST states, a person's home is his castle. He is under no obligation (legally, morally, or otherwise) to flee from his home to avoid an illegal intruder, even if the homeowner (or renter) can safely do so. I'm not saying that it's open season on home intruders and we should shoot them on sight. A person still needs (in most states) justification for shooting an intruder. I'm saying that if a person chooses to stand his ground in his own home and he/she has REASONABLE cause to fear for his/her safety or life, then he/she will usually not even be indicted for defending himself. That, of course, is no guarantee that you won't be sued in civil court for your actions in depriving the worthless scum's wife of her share of the illegal loot, but that is a chance that I'm willing to take. I think that you'll find that in most cases such as this, if the criminal charges won't stick, then the civil suits have little chance of collecting anything either. Besides, it costs just as much, or more, to bring a civil suit to court and most attorneys aren't going to spend 75K of THEIR money on the slim chance that they might collect something. In any event, in the unlikely event that I'd have to spend 50K to 75K to defend myself in court for defending myself in my own home, then I'd just pay the money and consider it as paying my dues to help preserve our rights to live in peace and safety in our own home without having to run out the back door if some worthless scum barges in the front door. The more we accept the mentality that the criminal has some RIGHT breaking into our houses and threatening us, the less secure we all are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
I understand precisely what you are saying Ulysses, and I'm not saying I disagree with you. The advice I gave regarding removing yourself from the situation was for one reason and one reason only: self-preservation. If you want a gauranteed chance to stay alive - avoid the conflict if at all possible.

My scenario is complicated by having children (like many of our members). It would be very difficult to herd everyone together and then evade the situation, and the conflict may very well take place during the herding process.

My analogy for this type of conflict goes like this: If someone offered you $1,000,000 to spend the night with your wife would you let them? Many people think they know the answer to that question, but if they truly had $1,000,000 laying on the table in front of them, they may answer differently. The same goes for a gun battle in the name of self defense. I don't think (without a considerable amount of professional training) that the average person truly knows whether or not they would pull that trigger until the situation is staring them in the face. Their answers may change...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,317 Posts
cartridge guy has it right. am a l.e., armed and unarmed guard and ccw instructor. i get flamed regularly by internet rambos for speaking of my experience. am 55 and have trained a bunch of people. if you have experience, share it. if you do not have experience, you only have an argument. keep that to yourself. if you take cartridge guy's advice, you will sleep better at night. if you are enough of a fool to shoot someone over a car radio, i hope it is near me so i might be able to testify against you in a court of law. remember, if you have a family, that is your first priority. even if you do not do time for being a fool with a gun, you can bet the scumbag you shot has a scumbag family that would love to live in your house and drive your car. you are not thinking about your faminly when you go to civil court and get a horrendous judgement against you. an above post said i will pay the judgement and get on with my life. do you have six or seven figures in your bank account? i don't. i have nra insurance, but that will barely cover legal expenses. if you chase somebody down and shoot them, you get sued for millions of dollars! duh! think this out, people.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,750 Posts
John,

"shoot someone over a car radio"??? .......... "chase someone down and shoot them"???

I don't know whose remarks you were referring to, but it certainly wasn't mine.

Mike,

I didn't see your last post until today. Somehow I missed it several months ago. You mentioned the difficulty in "herding" them all together to protect them. Seems to me that it would be much more difficult to herd them all out the back door or the second floor window after the intruders have broken into your house and are advancing their way toward the bedroom area to see what they can find to steal...... or worse! While the exact actions a person should take will of course vary with each individual situation, I still say that intruders who have broken into an occupied house are extremely dangerous. If there is some way I could scare them off without endangering my life or my family's lives, then of course I would choose that option. However, if I perceived that their actions were an immediate threat to me or my family's safety, I would act to end that threat in the most expeditious way possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
what constitutes self-defense varies from state to state, community to community, there's no formula, and every instance will be heavily fact dependent: you will be gambling with a criminal prosecution and civil lawsuit if you go looking for a confrontation.

in general, don't use a deadly weapon in defense of property, and don't go looking on the internet for justification or excuses to take revenge on robbers.

to the poster wondering about the economics of lawsuits, a homeowners insurance policy picks up the cost of defense of a suit, but also provides an attractive deep pocket target for a lawsuit. for a lot of reasons, an insurance carrier is likely to pay off a claim if there's an indication of fault; trials are very unlikely if there's an insurer involved.

take all legal advice -- including this -- with a grain of salt.
 
G

·
I agree with Jack entirely this time. IMHO, don't ever use deadly force to protect your property. Only use it when legitimate, serious physical danger is imminent.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,750 Posts
Jack Boyd wrote: "to the poster wondering about the economics of lawsuits, a homeowners insurance policy picks up the cost of defense of a suit, but also provides an attractive deep pocket target for a lawsuit."

You raise a good point, but I'm not too sure that you are correct about your homeowner's insurance paying for your defense in the case of a homeowner shooting an intruder. It is my understanding that the liability portion of your homeowner's insurance policy covers "accidental" acts on your part, but not deliberate acts. For example, if your gun goes off accidentally in your house and injures someone, your insurance would cover it. OTOH, if you deliberately shoot someone, I don't think it would cover it. Similarly, if you are cooking a meal and accidentally catch the house on fire, you are covered. If you deliberately set the house on fire, you are not covered. I could be wrong on this point, but I don't think so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Ulysses said:
You raise a good point, but I'm not too sure that you are correct about your homeowner's insurance paying for your defense in the case of a homeowner shooting an intruder.
an insurance company's obligation is to defend and indemnify its insureds, two separate duties. in instances where insurance coverage is an issue, an insurer is still legally bound to provide a defense (pay for the lawyer) but can reserve its rights NOT to pay for any liability if the facts at trial show that no coverage existed.

perhaps an insurance guy could explain more of how this works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
In this day in age, the politicians are writing the laws so that everyone is a criminal if they do what is right. The laws are written so that if you teach your kids right from wrong, it is domestic violence (giving them a good smack when they mouth off, etc...). The way the laws are written now it is murder if you protect your family. You must protect yourself, but don't EVER EVER EVER shoot anyone outside the apartment. If you see them coming, don't hang them right there yourself, give them enough rope to hang themselves and wait for them to break in. When they do, you will be ready!!! This idea of huddling in a corner and calling the police is a bunch of bull****!!! Some people say they have to be armed themselves when they break in. Nonsense!!! If they break in they are advancing on you and that is all the information that you need!! Put you bead on his chest and give the ba$tard hell!!! -Matt Latham
 
G

·
That's right Matt. All you have to be is geniunely afraid for your safety. Someone breaking into my home would make me afraid for my safety. But if I didn't see the criminal until he was leaving with my TV, with his back turned, all I'd do is tell him to stop. I wouldn't kill him. That's just me. :oops:
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top