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View Diary: He Tried To Break Down My Door (350 comments)

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    •  only one side of the issue (19+ / 0-)

      I perfectly understand the cops' concerns.

      However, in a recent incident in Texas, the cops took TEN MINUTES to get to his home, while he stood there holding a gun on the burglar who had invaded his home while he, his wife, and his son were sleeping.

      So, I understand the home owner's concerns as well.  What does a homeowner do to protect himself when the cops AREN'T there?   A LOT can happen when you spend ten minutes in your home with a home invader.  

      A responsible gun owner will get on the phone and work with the police to make sure that the police are safe from HIS gun.

      •  couple of details: was the burglar armed? (6+ / 0-)

        If so, was he armed when he entered the house or did he pick up an impromptu weapon?  Also, was he known to the homeowner or was he a stranger?  Finally, was he a career burglar or an amateur?
        These questions seem irrelevant  but they help frame the incident  

        •  The questions do seem irrelevant (9+ / 0-)

          A homeowner must prepare for how to deal with a potential home invasion BEFORE the home invader shows up.   He may be armed or not armed.  He may be amateur or career.   He may be known to the homeowner or a stranger.    And, the homeowner knows that he will have to deal with the situation until cops have been called and can arrive, which may take a significant amount of time.   He will be dealing with it himself, alone except for the help of his family.   And, the lives of not just himself, but also his wife and children are on the line.   Or herself.  Swap genders where appropriate.  

          People will argue as to whether the homeowner's introduction of a gun into the situation will improve or disimprove the situation.   The answer is -- yes.  I could find examples to demonstrate both points of view.

          However, it is clearly a reasonable decision for a homeowner to choose to own a gun to defend his home, and that is a clearly a decision that each homeowner must make for himself.    

          •  I have no problem with a limited selection of (5+ / 0-)

            weapons for personal protection. Very limited and certainly not with the ability to squeeze off 100 rounds rapid fire.

            Is that or is that not reasonable?

            Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

            by Pescadero Bill on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:55:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This gets into a much bigger issue (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fuzzyguy, worldlotus

              Since we have passed laws giving rise to an overwhelming drug mafia, the possibility that a small army of dangerous gun-wielding persons might attack a person's home does appear to be a possibility.    It may seem paranoid, but I'm not sure that these people would agree.   And, in this situation, there remains the possibility of mistaken identity.

              It also gets into the question of whether the government, itself, can engage in illegal activity.  I don't expect that I ever personally experience the govenrment will acting against me in an illegal fashion, but did the citizens of Russia ever imagine that their own tanks would roll upon their own capital?    Anyone familiar with the Danziger Bridge incident might wonder if people might find it necessary to have high powered weaponry to defend themselves against our own police.

              I truly struggle with this one.  Yes, on average, gun control saves lives.  However, if we abridge all our rights on average, we'll have nothing left.  Real INDIVIDUAL people still have a right to protect their INDIVIDUAL lives, regardless of what the average idiot might do, or maybe even because of it.

              It's a complex question.

              •  If a small army of dangerous gun wielding persons (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus, mamamedusa

                attack our home, we're dead because four people cannot overcome a small army.  They are attacking, most likely when we're sleeping or otherwise engaged in some normal activity that does not involve holding a loaded weapon.

                So we'd have to (1) assess the situation [by this time, we're dead, unless they're bad shots] if we survive
                (2) find the weapons [again, another opportunity to die!]
                (3) load the weapon [easy to do when you're being shot at, no?]
                (4) aim the weapon

                Now I should point out here that two of the dwellers in our house are under the age of 13.  Two of us wear glasses and are horribly nearsighted without them.

                Nope.  My chances are pretty bad stacked up against a small arm of dangerous gun wielding persons, gun or no gun.

          •  I notice you keep using the pronoun "he" (3+ / 0-)

            There are plenty of women living alone. Bet most don't use guns to protect themselves.

            Personally, I would prefer tazers, big dogs, baseball bats, or other more non-lethal defenses.

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:48:25 AM PST

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            •  When up against someone with a gun, I want a gun (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fuzzyguy, KVoimakas, Sean Robertson

              Did you notice the line, "swap genders where appropriate"?  


            •  Being a woman does make you react to fear (8+ / 0-)

              differently I think. At least a woman who isn't accustomed to dangerous situations.  

              I grew up in a non-gun house but  married someone who grew up being around every type of firearm there is  (his familys business was a sports store that sold all things sports related especially fishing and hunting stuff.) Early in our marriage hubby told me that since he had guns and rifles in the house I needed to learn how to safely use them.  I got a permit and he spent a lot of time and effort teaching me all about guns and gun safety.  

              I'm considered to be a cool head and in my profession as a hospital nurse was in emergency situations often enough to know that when an emergency occurred, I became laser focused on doing what needed to be done promptly and efficiently.

              However none of those situations put my life in danger and a person reacts very differently when sudden and acute personal fear consumes you.

              Hubby worked revolving shifts at that time and he was on night shift when I experienced this firsthand.  I was sleeping and about 3 AM the bedroom window rattled.  It brought me somewhat awake and when it happened again violently I was wide awake and fear grabbed me hard.  It was a double window and strong and there were then repeated blows to the window. I was scared out of  my wits and got down on the floor and crawled to my hubby's bedside drawer where he kept a gun ( a 45).  I crawled over to below the  window (I have no idea why - I was operating on fear and acute fear is not logical).  I pushed the curtain a tiny, tiny bit aside so I could look outside and a dark form all the sudden came lunging at me. I immediately (again the fear was controlling me and my logical  mind was nowhere around)  lifted the gun and pulled the trigger over and over again.  Even as the information was seeping into my brain that what had hit the window had fur I was still pulling the trigger.

              I was so frightened I forgot all my lessons on guns and just reacted viscerally. One of the lessons I forgot in my panic was you have to remove the safety in order for the gun to actually shoot bullets. So despite my repeatedly pulling the trigger it had not actually fired.  And I had not killed my husbands new and extremely expensive bird hunting dog.  The dog was kept in a large run w/ doghouse in the corner of the backyard and it had somehow climbed the 10' cyclone fencing and escaped the dog run.  Why he was throwing himself violently against the bedroom window I have no idea.  But luckily he lived through the incident.

              It was a real wakeup call to me that when fear totally consumes you, your logical mind very well may not be in control right away.  

              •  that's the thing (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                catly, suzq, ladybug53, worldlotus, bluesheep

                i think a lot of people have put confidence in an item that is without emotion, not even considering that they are the ones whose emotion ultimately controls that item. and away from the situation, we all are brave. i am not a complete idiot. i had scenarios in my head. what i would do. what i would not do. but in the moment, when you wake up to terror... it's not like you're watching it unfold before you. it is THERE. it has BEEN THERE before you even became aware! and it is terrifying!

                i mean, for christ's sake, I called my parents first! that was helpful in no way whatsoever.

        •  entlord: not known to the householder; (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:57:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thank you; here a couple of rashes of burglaries (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, gramofsam1, worldlotus

            turned out to be local kids, most of the jr hs age.  I would hate to kill a local 13 year old coming in a window on the grounds it was a home invasion.

            BTW, the argument that being armed will prevent the govt from doing as it pleases with you seems pretty specious.  Govt is much better armed and prepared to deal with you in an adverse fashion than you are to deal with it

            •  Anyone would hate to shoot a kid (4+ / 0-)

              A responsible gun owner will attempt to give a person a chance to stand down before firing, if at all possible.   It happened recently here in Texas, where the guy held his home invader at gunpoint for ten minutes waiting for police, without shooting the guy.

              An irresponsible gun owner will shoot you if he catches you climbing in his window.  So, you'd best warn your kids to knock.

              Kids who engage in this level of crime are  risking their lives.    At age thirteen, I knew I was supposed to knock, and that it could be dangerous to be caught sneaking into someone's home, if I was mistaken for an intruder.   The thirteen year old kids who are out committing crimes, at least some of them, do carry weapons and they do shoot people.  

              I sat on the jury for one of them.   Idiot kid tried to grab a twelve pack at a convenience store.   Someone startled him by walking into the store at the wrong time, and the kid fired off a shot precisely at the place where the store clerk's head would have been, if he hadn't moved.    It's only blind luck that it was only attempted murder, and not successful murder.

              The time to save that kid's life is before they get to the point where they are committing home invasions and armed robberies.  Once they are on that road, it's only a matter of time before he shoots someone, gets shot, and/or ends up in prison.    All too often, they are tried as adults.

              I have a thirteen year old kid.  I am all too aware of the deadly situations that she could get into.    I talk to her about it, often.   It makes me sad that so many kids are at risk because they lost the parent lottery.

      •  True, but people have also shot family members (22+ / 0-)

        coming home unexpectedly, etc.

        There are lots of ways to look at it, but accidental deaths and unintended shootings of mistaken family members outnumber the times that a homeowner defends his home from an actual intruder.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:37:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (7+ / 0-)

          Idiocy is a major cause of death in this country.   Idiots do shoot other people, and they have a great track record for getting themselves shot.  They also cause many deaths on our roadways.  And, they find other truly ingenious ways to off themselves.  

          If we could find a way to outlaw idiocy, or find a cure for it, I agree that we could, indeed, save many lives.


          •  One person's non-idiocy ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, DFWmom

            ... is another person's "I wanted to make sure the person at whom I was aiming my gun was not a member of my family."

            And that is what gives an armed intruder the greater advantage.  The intruder knows anyone in the house is hostile, and so the intruder has no need to be cautious before pulling the trigger.

            "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

            by JBL55 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:53:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do they, Yucatan Man? I challenge that claim (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happy camper, fuzzyguy, KenBee

          because what we don't hear about are the instances in which the homeowner defends his or her home without such a mistake.

          They're not news, because nobody's hurt. "If it bleeds, it leads ..."

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:58:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, splashy
            They're not news, because nobody's hurt.
            if this happened, it would be news, period. a homeowner, defending kin, kith and castle, with a firearm, would be news, whether or not anyone was hurt. to assert otherwise means:

            a. you have no clue what you're talking about, and are simply repeating NRA lies.

            b. you apparently don't watch the news, or read newspapers, because these events are reported, especially in the local papers.

            the NRA (and, more importantly, gun manufacturers) would have you believe that having a gun, for self-defense, would somehow reduce crime. i have at least two problems with this claim:

            1. per NRA gun safety guidelines, guns and ammo should both be stored, under lock and key, in separate locations, to reduce, as much as possible, accidents. the guns should be unloaded and, preferably, with a trigger lock in place. if someone breaks into your home, in the middle of the night, in the dark,  the odds of you getting both gun and ammo together, in time to use them in self-defense, are slim.

            2. the average person lacks the training required to use a gun effectively in self-defense, and most likely with either shoot themselves, or have the weapon taken from them, and used against them.

            if you insist on having a weapon for self-defense, you'd probably be better off with a shotgun. accurate aim isn't as much of an issue, at close range, with bird-shot. i suggest a .410 for the ladies, it doesn't kick as much, and it will still hurt someone.

            that said, it still isn't safe to leave it lying around, loaded.

        •  statistics accepted and refuted (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, happy camper, fuzzyguy

          YucatanMan, I recall your anti-gun position from other comments.

          I won't dismiss incidents like these, documented:

          New York


          North Carolina


          Use of guns against intruders, requires either charges against the homeowner, or a gunshot injury:




          Rarely is this sufficient to make the news, or be cited in a report:

          She said there was an intruder.  
          We all know using a handgun to defend your home is bullshit.  Studies prove it.

          More calling bullshit on her "story":
          Can she point to someone in a police mugshot?  Is he in handcuffs?  No.  He doesn't exist.
          Does she have a history of acting the idiot with a handgun, firing randomly at the peril of her neighbors?  Fucking likely I'd say.
          How many times does she call the cops, 'wanting a patrol' as 'someone is breaking-in'.  Nutter, plain and simple.  Shouldn't have a gun.

          Typical gunhomeowner, drunk, stoned, or just plain fucking nuts, shooting at shadows.  Or she's one of "those women" who get-off by having cops respond and "save her".


          Or then-again perhaps this happens more often than not, and isn't documented by the authorities.
          I didn't read in leavingthezoo's diary:  

          "Police arrested the other guy shooting his gun for reckless endangerment."
          So was that a legitimate use of a gun in home defense, or needlessly/recklessly endangering the neighborhood and responding officers?

          (Officers, who if felt endangered, would lock the sonofabitch up, after "helping him" into the doorjamb of the car a few times)
          Most common trait of arrested people:  "Clumsy".
          They "fall" often and repeatedly.
          Rodney King for example.

      •  Indeed, DFWmom; but not all people can (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        bring themselves to become responsible gun owners and firearms users.

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:55:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It remains an interesting question (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, BlackSheep1, fuzzyguy

          To what extent do we restrict the rights of intelligent responsible persons, in a futile effort to stop idiots from being idiots?    It is a very slippery slope.  And, at the bottom of the slope, the idiots are all still there, acting like idiots.   No matter what we do, what we sacrifice, we will discover that life is still inherently dangerous, and idiots are still inherently idiots.


          •  I refer you to Jerry Brown's death in Irving (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DFWmom, KenBee

            idiots persist.

            That said, I'm not sure we're not working too hard on behalf of those who refuse to stop being idiots. But I grew up on farms, and in Texas...before seatbelts were mandatory, and bicycles came with helmets...

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:17:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Totally agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This is very different from packing concealed heat everywhere you go.  As I understood the diary, the victim was a single woman living alone, in a trailer?  How that doesn't call for a self defense weapon of some sort is beyond me.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:10:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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