home defense questions


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kry_90
January 4, 2009, 11:41 PM
if someone breaks into your home does it matter if
A.they dont have a weapon but attack you in effort to take your weapon
B. they have a knife but no firearms and try to stab you
C. they do have a firearm and try to shoot you

in any of those situation i feel that to protect my family and i.
it would be okay legally to shoot to kill in this sutuation
am i in the right

but lets say i shot to wound like in the arm or in the leg as a "warning" shot
and the burglar surrendered until the police arrived

legally which would be a better situation for me
also if either situation happend when the police arrived to investigate
i know they would take the firearm i used but
would they take my other firearms also even if they were not used

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Jorg Nysgerrig
January 4, 2009, 11:51 PM
A.they dont have a weapon but attack you in effort to take your weapon
Depends on where you live.

B. they have a knife but no firearms and try to stab you
Depends on where you live.

C. they do have a firearm and try to shoot you
Depends on where you live.

in any of those situation i feel that to protect my family and i.
it would be okay legally to shoot to kill in this sutuation
What you feel has little do to with what the law says.

am i in the right
Legally? Depends on where you live. Morally? Who am I to say?

but lets say i shot to wound like in the arm or in the leg as a "warning" shot
Shooting to wound is usually a bad idea, as are warning shots.

legally which would be a better situation for me
Depends on where you live.

would they take my other firearms also even if they were not used
Depends on where you live.

bmxr4life87
January 4, 2009, 11:59 PM
in todays judicial system criminals have waaay more rights than the working class do. so shoot to harm is no good because it can be percieved that you really didnt fear for your life. however if someone is in my house im going to assume they are armed and assume their sole purpose is to do me harm. if they appear to be unarmed they get one verbal warning to hit the floor and dont make a move otherwise they will be going head to head with my 12 gauge. police are trained to shoot to kill for a reason.....

kry_90
January 5, 2009, 12:12 AM
well heres my biggest problem
i work all over the country
my home is in missouri
im currently living in louisiana
and im moving to iowa next

Tamlin
January 5, 2009, 12:20 AM
"Depends on where you live" is the correct answer - home defense laws vary from state to state. Most states, however, use the "reasonable person" standard - meaning, would a jury believe that your use of deadly force was reasonable in your particular situation? The "shoot to wound" mentality will not be good in most states. This is because most states have no problems letting people use deadly force when they believe their lives are in danger. If you're aiming at a guy's kneecaps and not at his center of mass, do you REALLY think your life is in danger? Would a jury think so? Now, if I had a shotgun and knew I would not miss a guy's kneecaps, and knew that I could take him out that way and disarm the threat, I would swear up and down that the deadly force I used against him was immediately necessary - but I just happen to be a bad shot . . . or else in the excitement the gun went off before I raised the barrel to the intruder's chest level . . . ;) But seriously - you will be ok if you can genuinely justify why you needed to act to take someone else's life. He's standing in your bedroom with a knife and you shoot him - no problem. He's standing in your front yard with a knife and you shoot him - Ummm, get a GOOD lawyer.

absentmindedjwc
January 5, 2009, 12:26 AM
@jorg

Where would you not be allowed to shoot if they have a firearm and are threatening you with it?

Even in Chicago with an "illegal" firearm (since there is the pistol ban), the state says something along the lines of someone shooting a firearm in self defense may not be targeted because of any municipal laws or ordinances.

A week or so back there was the post on here talking about the man in Chicago that shot someone for breaking into his home, and there were no charges filed against him for possessing or discharging a firearm, or more importantly: killing a man for entering his home.

But yeah, only point a gun at someone if you intend on killing them. If you shoot someone in the leg and he surrenders, he can sue you later on for the bodily harm. He tries to rob you/kill you/etc... and ends up getting a pay-day in the end because you decided you were going to go for a warning shot.

(same crap with someone breaking into your house, falling, breaking something, and then suing you for the broken bones/other injuries... it is crap, but our legal system protects them for some unknown reason)

EDIT: oh, and to OP: if someone breaks into your house, and you perceive some kind of threat to your life or the lives of your families, take a shot and worry about the consequences later..... jail is a lot better than being dead

Frank Ettin
January 5, 2009, 12:53 AM
Your questions have no simple "cookbook" answer, i. e., if A then do B. First, much depends on the exact law of the jurisdiction in which the event takes place. Second, it's always going to be a matter of judgment based on the exact circumstances. As they say, "The devil is in the details."

The legal standard, in general, is that one may use lethal force only when a reasonable and prudent person, in like circumstances and knowing what you know, would conclude that lethal force is necessary to prevent otherwise unavoidable death or grave bodily injury to an innocent. To demonstrate that there was indeed a real danger from the assailant, one must show that the assailant had (1) the Ability, i. e., the power to deliver force sufficient to cause death or grave bodily harm; (2) the Opportunity, i. e., the assailant was capable of immediately deploying such force; and (3) put an innocent in Jeopardy, i. e., the assailant was acting in such a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude that he has the intent to kill or cripple. A person claiming self defense will need to be able to articulate why in the exact situation as it unfolded he concluded that lethal force was necessary based in the forgoing paradigm

There are no simple formulas.

...only point a gun at someone if you intend on killing them...
Nonsense. An honest person points a gun at someone to stop a lethal threat and protect the life of an innocent. If merely pointing the gun stops the threat, fine. If you have to shoot, you intend to stop the threat. If the assailant dies, so be it. But your intent is not to kill him; it's to stop him.

bang_bang
January 5, 2009, 01:07 AM
Some state laws revolve around the idea of taking lethal force when one protects their family/home when threatened.

Define threatened.

If there is someone in my house that isn't supposed to be there...I'm threatened. Even if they don't have a gun or a knife.

How does the judicial system define this "threatened" state of being?

rmmoore
January 5, 2009, 01:11 AM
As other posters have stated, much of the answer depends on where you live. If however, you live in a State that has a Castle Doctrine law, under most circumstances (never say never or all), you are within your legal rights provided you comply with the requirements as set forth by the particular CD law you have. They ARE NOT all the same, even though they SHOULD be!!! You NEVER "shoot to kill" as it implies intent, and THAT, even in self defense, can land you in jail. You "shoot to stop the threat". If, as a secondary effect, he dies, then so be it. That WAS NOT your intent. Warning shots may be construed as willful endangerment of innocent bystanders, neighbors, ect. and MAY reflect some "intent" related isses. Bottom line, noone can tell you exactly what you should or shouldn't do in a millisecond decision you may have to make, in a dynamic situation that could determine life or death. You do what you have to in order to keep you and your family safe. Deal with the rest of it later, at least you're alive to tell your side of the story.

Duke of Doubt
January 5, 2009, 01:17 AM
Many lawyers, usually criminal defense lawyers, are well versed on matters of state and local firearms law, defenses to homicide charges, self-defense, defense of others, competing harms and other doctrines.

Hire a licensed attorney in your state to advise you. It may be the best money you ever spent. The criminal defense attorney is the gun owner's friend.

WardenWolf
January 5, 2009, 01:20 AM
I'd agree with one thing the others have said: shoot to kill, never to wound. That should be your unofficial off-the-record policy. Your on-the-record policy is, "shoot to stop the threat". If you wound the guy, it's your word against his, and some people can come up with some mighty inventive stories. If you kill him, it's your words, and the evidence. And it tends to be much more cut-and-dried. If the guy survives, fine. But you should take no measures to attempt to preserve his life by placing the shot somewhere you perceive as less-lethal. If you've made the decision you have to fire, you've made the decision it's necessary to take his life.

GregGry
January 5, 2009, 03:51 AM
if someone breaks into your home does it matter if
A.they dont have a weapon but attack you in effort to take your weapon
B. they have a knife but no firearms and try to stab you
C. they do have a firearm and try to shoot you


All of thoes options are completely different circumstances. B and C would easily qualify as deadly force. A) depending on all of the circumstances surrounding it, would likely qualify.



in any of those situation i feel that to protect my family and i.
it would be okay legally to shoot to kill in this sutuation
am i in the right

You are in the right when you follow your state laws. If you are in a situation where you are at substantial risk of death or great bodily harm, or someone else is at that risk, then using deadly force is legal


but lets say i shot to wound like in the arm or in the leg as a "warning" shot
and the burglar surrendered until the police arrived

What tells your neighbors, and anyone else that a shot was a warning shot? Does the shot scream "Warning shot" when it happens? A gunshot is a gunshot to anyone that can hear it. Warning shots aren't required by law, and they aren't going to save you in court. If you at risk of great bodily harm or death, then if you pull the trigger you better aim for what you can hit. You don't want your bullet to strike someone other then the target, so don't shoot for the arm/leg/etc. Also, shooting to wound should be completely removed from your brain. If you shoot a person in a arm or leg they could die from shock or blood loss if they don't get medical care. A bullet anywhere on the body can be serious.



also if either situation happend when the police arrived to investigate
i know they would take the firearm i used but
would they take my other firearms also even if they were not used

They may or may not. If you are arrested because they believe you did something completely wrong/your a felon/you have warrants/etc they may take other firearms that are in the house.

GregGry
January 5, 2009, 03:57 AM
If you wound the guy, it's your word against his, and some people can come up with some mighty inventive stories. If you kill him, it's your words, and the evidence.

I hope for the sake of every person's well being on here, that nobody ever makes a statment like that after being involved in a shoot. If your shoot is even mildly questionable a statement like that will be absolutely horrible. A jury regardless of the facts will see a statment like that as a person saying they killed someone insteady of picking a different option so they would have a easier time in court since there will be no statements from other person. You should be thinking about if your life was actually in danger of great bodily harm or death, not I should make sure their dead so I have a easier time in court. court is not going to be easy regardless of the person surviving. The facts and your statements are what will be looked at. Your statments can kill your case faster and to a higher degree then even statments from the deceased person.

mgkdrgn
January 5, 2009, 09:59 AM
Get yourself more work in South Carolina ... the answers will be much simpler here. :D

well heres my biggest problem
i work all over the country
my home is in missouri
im currently living in louisiana
and im moving to iowa next

TRGRHPY
January 5, 2009, 10:46 AM
Don't ever try to wound someone with a gunshot. Two days ago I read the shooting policy for out local PD, and it specifically states that an officer is never to try to shoot to wound. I would take that as "good enough for them, good enough for me".

As far as the rest, you'll have to check you local as well as state laws.

NavyLCDR
January 5, 2009, 12:16 PM
Where would you not be allowed to shoot if they have a firearm and are threatening you with it?

In states that have "duty to retreat" laws, including retreat from your own home.

kurtmax
January 5, 2009, 04:40 PM
If it's in your house and the other guy is dead. It's your story only (your story as told by your attorney and your attorney only of course).

Just sayin'

Frank Ettin
January 5, 2009, 04:55 PM
If it's in your house and the other guy is dead. It's your story only...
Swell. So you shoot the guy and he breaks off the attack, but he's still breathing. You going to finish him off? There is such a thing as forensic evidence.

kurtmax
January 5, 2009, 05:41 PM
Swell. So you shoot the guy and he breaks off the attack, but he's still breathing. You going to finish him off? There is such a thing as forensic evidence.

Doesn't matter in Alabama. Still legal if you are in your residence or vehicle. I could shoot someone in the back from across the house if they broke in and be immune from civil and criminal lawsuits. And really, even with forensic evidence, how do the police know you didn't think the person still had a firearm or something making you fear for your life...

Now, this doesn't mean I would 'finish someone off'. Just saying it's possible. I don't actually want to ever shoot or kill anyone. But if you are defending your life it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6!

Frank Ettin
January 5, 2009, 06:10 PM
...Still legal if you are in your residence or vehicle. I could shoot someone in the back from across the house if they broke in and be immune from civil and criminal lawsuits....
I bet not, but enjoy your delusions.

Kleanbore
January 5, 2009, 06:19 PM
Several correct answers above:


Depends on where you live--some states have castle laws and some do not; the laws in states that have them vary a great deal. Differences include what justifies shooting; whether or not you are shielded against civil suits in the event of a shooting that is justified under criminal law; whether you must retreat inside your house; whether the law applies to your porch; etc.
Do not fire a warning shot
Do not shoot to wound
Invest in a consultation with a criminal attorney where you live


One wrong answer: Do not shoot to kill--shoot to stop. If the intruder dies from two or more very rapid shots in succession fired while he was in a position to do harm, that's one thing, but as Fiddletown points out, if you shoot someone to "finish him off," you will be found out.

Do not move the body, touch the weapon, or step anywhere or on anything that would disturb the evidence.

And as GregGry wisely points out, be very careful about whet you say to friends, neighbors, or co-workers or on the internet--don't convict yourself. Along this line, your off-the-record policy and the forensic evidence had better correspond exactly with your on-the-record statements. Should anything come out to challenge your credibility, you will be in very deep trouble with the authorities and should it come to that, with a jury.

I suggest that you spend some time studying these and the laws of the states in which you will be staying.

http://www.useofforce.us/

http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/01c1e7698280d20385256d0b00789923/f587d7d10c34fff2852572b90069bc3c?OpenDocument&Click=

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine

natecade1
January 5, 2009, 08:30 PM
Do not move the body, touch the weapon, or step anywhere or on anything that would disturb the evidence.

If I were to shoot someone in order to stop a threat to myself or loved ones in my home, I would definitely kick his weapon away from his hand/s if he was disabled on the ground. If he was not disabled on the ground then I would stop the threat.

Also many 9-1-1 operators may ask you to check his pulse.

mgkdrgn
January 5, 2009, 08:36 PM
I bet not, but enjoy your delusions.

He might be delusional in AL, but that is the way the law reads here in SC.

If someone breaks into my home, while I am there, I may assume they are there to do me grievous bodily harm and may use deadly force to repel them if I so desire, without warning. Doesn't matter which way they are facing, or if they are holding a gun, a hammer or Twinkies.

SC is also a "shall issue" state, and the CC classes are usually very full.

There also aren't many home invasions here ... gee... wonder why?

Frank Ettin
January 5, 2009, 11:26 PM
...but that is the way the law reads here in SC ...
I never form opinions based on anonymous, second hand broad statements about what any law says. No one should.

For example, the South Carolina law does indeed protect the resident if the person "...is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcibly entered a dwelling...." (South Carolina Code of Laws, SECTION 16-11-440). Of course, there are some exceptions, like when the intruder is a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his duties, or if the person shot was seeking to recover his child, ward or certain other persons, or if the person using the force is engaged in unlawful activities. Then again, the protection attaches only when the intruder has forcibly entered. What if the door is unlocked? What if the intruder is your drunken neighbor who mistakes your house for his?

Alabama's law is similar. Castle Doctrine laws are great things, but they are not licenses to kill. The devil is in the details. And since Castle Doctrine laws are fairly new, I suspect that we will see some interesting case law develop as courts are forced to apply them.

absentmindedjwc
January 6, 2009, 12:30 AM
@fiddletown

Fine, then I will revise what I said to one of the main rules of gun ownership:
Never point a gun at something you're not prepared to destroy

Kleanbore
January 6, 2009, 12:45 AM
From Fiddletown: Castle Doctrine laws are great things, but they are not licenses to kill. The devil is in the details. And since Castle Doctrine laws are fairly new, I suspect that we will see some interesting case law develop as courts are forced to apply them.

Excellent point. As I understand things, the underlying principles of most castle laws were (1) to codify that a person within his habitation (and/or automobile, place of business, etc. ) does not have a duty to retreat if attacked, and (2) to establish in law that the fact of an unlawful entry in itself provides the basis for reasonable belief that the occupant is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

These laws vary greatly, in some cases requiring entry with force, and in others, simply requiring uninvited entry. Some specify that when aggression ceases, so does justifiability of homicide; some do not.

I think it's likely that with a few shootings of unarmed persons attempting to leave, or in particular, those who have entered without force, the laws as written will be tested against the original intents of the legislatures and the principles of the common law, and new legal precedent may redefine the prerequisites for justifiability of homicide.

That may or may not result in actions against the shooters taken to court in those proceedings. I, for one, would never take the risk--legal or moral--of shooting an unarmed intruder in the back.

mgkdrgn
January 6, 2009, 01:54 AM
Then again, the protection attaches only when the intruder has forcibly entered. What if the door is unlocked? What if the intruder is your drunken neighbor who mistakes your house for his?


Walking through an -open- door is not forced entry.

Opening a door and entering -is- ... and is not dependent on how much force you had to use to open it. (ie, locked or unlocked, a point specifically taught in our CC class)

If the person who forces their way in is a drunken neighbor, then that's just too bad for them, at least as far as the law here is concerned. Personally, I'm likely to verbally challenge someone before I shoot, if at all possible, to prevent just such a thing ... but I have no legal requirement to do so. If I can see the person is holding anything more threatening than the aforementioned Twinkies, I'm not going to take the time to ask for ID.

If you are engaged in some sort of illegal activity in your home, and that is why it is being forcefully entered, then all bets are off. Castle doctrine isn't there to make the neighborhood meth lab a safe haven.

Kleanbore
January 6, 2009, 11:15 AM
Walking through an -open- door is not forced entry.

Actually, it could be--but only under certain circumstances. See below.

Opening a door and entering -is- ... and is not dependent on how much force you had to use to open it. (ie, locked or unlocked, a point specifically taught in our CC class

Not necessarily. Under the common law, peaceable entry may become forcible entry, but only when followed by violence or threat of violence against the occupant.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/forcible+entry

Either the instructor did not know that, or it was omitted, or not remembered.

If the person who forces their way in is a drunken neighbor, then that's just too bad for them, at least as far as the law here is concerned.

That seems to be the case where I live, also, based on a strict, but lay, interpretation of the way the law is worded. But remember this: castle laws have been enacted primarily to establish that the fact of entry into the dwelling, etc., is in itself evidence of imminent danger of death or serious injury to the occupants, and in many (but unfortunately, not all) places, to eliminate any argument that the occupant has a duty to retreat before using deadly force. They were not intended to legalize murder.

The wording varies great deal from state to state. There have been convictions for actions that may seem to lay readers to have been within the letter of the law. As Fiddletown has pointed out, there is likely to be an emergence of case law to clarify the interpretation of these laws. And if too many drunken neighbors are shot, one can expect amendments through the legislative process.

Frank Ettin
January 6, 2009, 11:45 AM
...Opening a door ...is not dependent on how much force you had to use to open it.......If the person who forces their way in is a drunken neighbor, then that's just too bad for them,...
Maybe, and maybe not. We'll just have to see how the courts deal with some of these issues.

Kleanbore
January 6, 2009, 12:41 PM
I think it is dangerous to rely on a lay reading of any law. When it comes to laws involving deadly force, it can be very dangerous to do so.

For example, here's the castle law in my state:

563.031.
2. A person may not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself or herself or another against death, serious physical injury,[ rape, sodomy or kidnapping or serious physical injury through robbery, burglary or arson] or any forcible felony; or
(2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person.

Definition: "Unlawfully enter", a person unlawfully enters in or upon premises when he or she enters such premises and is not licensed or privileged to do so.


Does anyone really think that the legislature intended for me to be justified in shooting a neighbor who happened to walk into my house through an unlocked door?

I wouldn't want to try it in court.

natecade1
January 6, 2009, 12:44 PM
Not necessarily. Under the common law, peaceable entry may become forcible entry, but only when followed by violence or threat of violence against the occupant.
Not necessarily

legal dictionary/thefreedictionary.com
is not a legal definition.

It may be a commonly used definition or an incomplete definition but I know here in MD and I'm sure other states as well, you can be charged with 3rd degree burglary just by turning the door knob and entering. Turning the nob takes force. Now if you entered with intent to commit a crime then its a felony.
4th degree burglary is non-forced entry with no intent to commit a crime here in MD. I've never heard of anyone being charged but an example would be you leave your garage door open and a homeless person decides to take a nap/sleep in it.

scottgun
January 6, 2009, 12:46 PM
I think it is dangerous to rely on a lay reading of any law.

If a reasonable, intelligent, average citizen can not read and follow the law, then what good is the rule law?

Frank Ettin
January 6, 2009, 01:08 PM
If a reasonable, intelligent, average citizen can not read and follow the law, then what good is the rule law?
Part of the problem is that reading a single line or paragraph in a statute gives one an incomplete view of things. There's that statute, then there will be judicial interpretation of the statute, and then there will be other statutes that may have application to the particular set of circumstances. That's just the way it is, and it's not going to change any time soon.

Mello
January 6, 2009, 01:21 PM
Shoot to end the threat, not to wound.

Most experts agree that means shoot for the center of mass. If a handgun is used that generally requires firing two rounds with a major caliber, three rounds or more with a minor caliber. If a 12ga shotgun is used, one shot should do it (assuming 9 - 15 pellets of 00 buck enter the chest).

Any discharge of a firearm or shooting is deadly/lethal force in most jurisdictions.

There are 50 states and the District of Columbia all with different standards. This is further complicated by each county's (parish's in Louisiana) District Attorney's policy.

kry 90,
You might want to read some of Massad Ayoob's book concerning the legal side of the use of lethal force. It is a complex matter.

If you are interviewed by police after you have shot someone, you might want to phrase your statement to make it clear that you shot to stop the threat to you or some other innocent from imminent great bodily harm or death.

Not that you shot to kill or shot to wound. <---- bad, bad

expvideo
January 6, 2009, 01:28 PM
but lets say i shot to wound like in the arm or in the leg as a "warning" shot
and the burglar surrendered until the police arrived
Shooting is shooting. If you didn't need deadly force, you shouldn't have used deadly force. "Shooting to wound" is generally considered a really really bad idea. Either you are in so much danger that you should be shooting to stop/kill, or you shouldn't be shooting at all.

Deanimator
January 6, 2009, 01:49 PM
but lets say i shot to wound like in the arm or in the leg as a "warning" shot and the burglar surrendered until the police arrived
Shooting somebody is deadly force, PERIOD. It doesn't matter WHERE you shoot them.

If you don't feel somebody is immediately dangerous enough to you to merit killing them, they aren't dangerous enough to shoot.

You shoot to STOP the behavior you're in reasonable fear of. Invariably the most efficacious use of the firearm to stop, entails substantial risk of death.

Where I live, the standard is a reasonable fear of immediate danger to life and limb. That requires means, opportunity and immediacy.

You don't have to prove that they WERE going to harm you (which usually involves BEING harmed). You have to prove that a reasonable person in the same situation would have felt an immediate danger of death or great bodily harm. Here in Ohio, in your home or car, you're covered by "Castle Doctrine". That means that the prosecutor has the burden of proof to show that what you did WASN'T reasonable.

GregGry
January 6, 2009, 02:16 PM
You don't have to prove that they WERE going to harm you (which usually involves BEING harmed). You have to prove that a reasonable person in the same situation would have felt an immediate danger of death or great bodily harm



You do have to prove that they had intent on harming you (what they said, their actions etc). You also have to establish that they were capable of causing you great bodily harm or death. Fear of being in danger of your life doesn't not prove that someone was actually capable of killing you. This is accurate for most states.

Deanimator
January 6, 2009, 02:26 PM
You do have to prove that they had intent on harming you (what they said, their actions etc). You also have to establish that they were capable of causing you great bodily harm or death. Fear of being in danger of your life doesn't not prove that someone was actually capable of killing you. This is accurate for most states.
That's why I said it had to be a REASONABLE fear and cited the "reasonable man" test.

Believing that he was going to kill you through magic isn't reasonable.

Believing that he meant you harm because he was standing in your living room at 02:00am, carrying a machete is reasonable. In Ohio, the presumption under such circumstances is that your actions were reasonable. If the state is going to prosecute you, they have to demonstrate that it wasn't. In Ohio, good luck doing that.

You CAN'T prove absolutely that somebody meant to harm you without LETTING them. That's why the law doesn't require ABSOLUTE knowledge. It only requires a REASONABLE fear of immediate danger to life and limb.

JImbothefiveth
January 6, 2009, 02:52 PM
but lets say i shot to wound like in the arm or in the leg as a "warning" shot
That's still lethal force, because they can still easily die from it.

A.they dont have a weapon but attack you in effort to take your weapon
B. they have a knife but no firearms and try to stab you
C. they do have a firearm and try to shoot you
Some places have a duty to retreat, or to flee. If the duti is to retreat, a good way to do that would be to go in to a room with only one way in, and lock the door. Fleeing is a bit more dangerous, since you could be ambushed while doing so.

But, once you retreat, or try to flee, it is my understanding that if you feel you are in fear of your life, you can shoot.

mgkdrgn
January 6, 2009, 03:04 PM
Does anyone really think that the legislature intended for me to be justified in shooting a neighbor who happened to walk into my house through an unlocked door?

I wouldn't want to try it in court.

At least in South Carolina ....

If they walked in in the middle of the day, saying "Hey George, you home?" as they entered ... questionable... but why would you shoot your neighbor under such a circumstance unless you had reason to believe he meant to do you harm? Just bored?

They walk in un-announced, at 3am, and you and your wife are in bed?

BANG!

You won't have to worry about "trying it in court" because it won't get that far.

Apply some common sense to this thing folks. Murder and self defense are NOT the same thing. No law gives you the right to murder anyone.

A well written castle doctrine allows you to defend yourself in your home from -unwanted intruders- w/o fear of legal repercussions. The fact that they have broken into your home while you are there is considered to be reason enough to be in fear for your life/safety, no other justification is necessary.

Those laws were written to -specifically- protect us from our own legal system and over zealous prosecutors.

DMC
January 6, 2009, 03:43 PM
I would think that the OP on this thread really doesn't have any desire to kill anyone.

That being said, I dont think we are talking about killing an intruder that has no intention of causing harm to another person.

Plain and simple the participants of this thread are the very reason the Castle Doctrine was formed. In effect to protect people from lawsuits by liberal thinking people that will dream up all kinds of reasons as to why a person shouldn't be permitted to defend themselves in their home.

I personally believe that lethal force should be available to stop anyone who wants to take away your right to life liberty or the pursuit of happiness. That being said if someone is breaking into another's home, car, or trying to steal their property, a person should have the right to kill them if necessary to stop them.

If this were the law of the land their would be much less crime "period".

We can thank all of these liberal thinking people for the crime we have now. Especially consdering that we have liberals defending the morally defective under almost every circumstance you could think of. And using tax dollars to do so.

And to the OP, read the self defense laws for any state you may be residing in. If you are renting temporary shelter, that is also considered your dwelling.

Deanimator
January 6, 2009, 05:03 PM
Plain and simple the participants of this thread are the very reason the Castle Doctrine was formed. In effect to protect people from lawsuits by liberal thinking people that will dream up all kinds of reasons as to why a person shouldn't be permitted to defend themselves in their home.
I'm a "liberal thinking" person.

I don't care if you want to marry another guy.

I don't care if you want to stay home and smoke marijuana.

I don't think that you should be FORCED to pray in school.

I don't care if you want to VOTE IN A SECRET BALLOT to join a union.

I DO care if you want to use force or the threat of force to take things that don't belong to you, force yourself sexually on women/men/children, or murder people for whatever reason. If you do these things, I'm perfectly happy with your intended victims or a handy bystander shooting you until you stop trying to do these (and similar) things. I don't care if you die in the process of being stopped. More to the point, I HOPE you die violently if you try to do these things, because you not only contribute nothing to society and your fellow man, you make it impossible for others to live a decent life. Society has finite resources. I'd rather see them devoted to helping people who DON'T try to harm others for malicious reasons.

Kleanbore
January 6, 2009, 07:03 PM
The fact that they have broken into your home while you are there is considered to be reason enough to be in fear for your life/safety, no other justification is necessary.

Those laws were written to -specifically- protect us from our own legal system and over zealous prosecutors.

I think that pretty well sums up the whole idea of castle laws.

DMC
January 6, 2009, 10:36 PM
Quote:
Plain and simple the participants of this thread are the very reason the Castle Doctrine was formed. In effect to protect people from lawsuits by liberal thinking people that will dream up all kinds of reasons as to why a person shouldn't be permitted to defend themselves in their home.

I'm a "liberal thinking" person.

I don't care if you want to marry another guy.

I don't care if you want to stay home and smoke marijuana.

I don't think that you should be FORCED to pray in school.

I don't care if you want to VOTE IN A SECRET BALLOT to join a union.

I DO care if you want to use force or the threat of force to take things that don't belong to you, force yourself sexually on women/men/children, or murder people for whatever reason. If you do these things, I'm perfectly happy with your intended victims or a handy bystander shooting you until you stop trying to do these (and similar) things. I don't care if you die in the process of being stopped. More to the point, I HOPE you die violently if you try to do these things, because you not only contribute nothing to society and your fellow man, you make it impossible for others to live a decent life. Society has finite resources. I'd rather see them devoted to helping people who DON'T try to harm others for malicious reasons.
__________________


Either you or myself has a blurred definition of liberal. The political mindset you described is Conservative in my opinion. Liberal is the old school Democrats, until they became the entitlement party and became inundated with all of the Socialist way of thinking.

Whatever you call your way of thinking, I think we could say that we basically agree on defense of ones self, or property.

shiftyer1
January 6, 2009, 10:54 PM
I don't think I could honestly shoot to wound a man standing in my bedroom. I don't even think I would wonder if he was armed. I do however think I'd naturally assume if he was in my room or house for that matter uninvited, especially at nite, that he was there to harm me or my family and the chest seems to be the biggest target. Hopefully IF the time ever comes it is automatic.

jorb
January 6, 2009, 11:45 PM
I was in fear of my life and I shot to stop the threat.

swooshonln
January 7, 2009, 01:20 AM
Ok so where can I find specific laws pertaining to my state? (North carolina)

What I need to know is if a intruder kicks my door in at 4 am (forced entry, no unlocked doors/windows etc) at what point I am allowed by law to shoot (or if I am allowed at all). Is this something that will be laid out in a specific law? And are these laws available online for my state? This is one of the only situations I will need to fire my gun for ( in the event of home defense, for its one of the only reason I purchased my gun. I am stuck in a bad area for another 5 months)

mgkdrgn
January 7, 2009, 08:22 AM
Ok so where can I find specific laws pertaining to my state? (North carolina)

What I need to know is if a intruder kicks my door in at 4 am (forced entry, no unlocked doors/windows etc) at what point I am allowed by law to shoot (or if I am allowed at all). Is this something that will be laid out in a specific law? And are these laws available online for my state? This is one of the only situations I will need to fire my gun for ( in the event of home defense, for its one of the only reason I purchased my gun. I am stuck in a bad area for another 5 months)

Google is your friend.

I don't think you are -quite- there yet in NC.

http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum41/16906.html

Kleanbore
January 8, 2009, 03:57 PM
Answer to scottgun from Fiddletown: Quote:
Originally Posted by scottgun
If a reasonable, intelligent, average citizen can not read and follow the law, then what good is the rule law?
Part of the problem is that reading a single line or paragraph in a statute gives one an incomplete view of things. There's that statute, then there will be judicial interpretation of the statute, and then there will be other statutes that may have application to the particular set of circumstances. That's just the way it is, and it's not going to change any time soon.

That's a good answer from an educated person.

The Arizona government website on CCW and related subjects contains a most excellent, almost eighty page white paper by an Arizona attorney on what one can and cannot do legally with a firearm or other weapon. Much of it is specific to Arizona law and case law, but this part is someting that everyone should note carefully:

Criminal laws are "statutes" that have been enacted by government
legislation. In Arizona, the statutes are named "Arizona Revised
Statutes," and they are numbered by sections. They are abbreviated
"A.R.S. §______." Criminal laws are affected by politics, compromise, special interests, public pressure, time constraints and the committee
process in the legislature. As a result, criminal laws often contain vague,
ambiguous, confusing or even conflicting provisions. Politicians in the
city, county, state and federal governments, anxious to "do something"
about society's problems, have created a bewildering array of confusing
and sometimes conflicting criminal laws affecting your use of firearms.
You should not assume that you understand a criminal statute by
merely reading it. Courts determine the meaning of criminal statutes, and they sometimes do so with bizarre results. If a criminal statute is too confusing, or if it conflicts with higher laws, such as the Constitution, the courts may decide that the statute is ineffective, partially unenforceable or wholly unenforceable. The legal principles used by the courts to interpret the meaning of criminal statutes have evolved over centuries, and scholars argue endlessly over how the laws should be interpreted. In other words, you should not assume that you understand the meaning of a criminal law by simply reading a statute and attaching your own meaning or dictionary definitions to it.


The whole seventy-seven page paper is worth reading, even if you are not in Arizona. It is regrettable that this hasn't been done for all states.


http://ccw.azdps.gov/procedures/documents/ccw_legal.pdf

One more time, in Missouri, the law states that deadly force is justified if the person against whom it is used has entered or remained in an occupied dwelling without permission. Does anyone really think that I would not be prosecuted, and likely convicted, if I were to attack someone who happened to be in my house and beat him over the head from behind with a piece of pipe, unless evidence existed that he was intent upon serious wrongdoing? Really? Does anyone think that's what the legislature had in mind? Frankly, I most seriously doubt it. But isn't that what the law seems to permit, to the lay reader?

I, for one, do not intend to find out.

mgkdrgn
January 8, 2009, 07:12 PM
"Does anyone think that's what the legislature had in mind?"

I can't speak for Missouri, but in South Carolina that is -exactly- what they had in mind. If someone forcibly enters my home while I am there, it is =assumed= they intend to do me serious bodily harm and I can act accordingly, including the use of deadly force, to stop the threat.

Does that mean I can shoot them, casually walk up to them as they lie on the floor unconscious, and but a "coup de gras" into their brain? No, it does not. As there then is no threat, that would be murder, not self defense.

I can use deadly force to stop the threat, but once the threat is gone, I must cease and desist. So again, does the law allow you to murder someone? No.

Does the law allow you to use deadly force to defend yourself? Yes.

Does the BG have to do -anything- beyond break into my home while I am there to be considered a deadly threat? No.

I don't know how to be clearer about it beyond the above. If you choose to retreat from your home if it is invaded, that is your right. Personally, I don't intend to.

Kleanbore
January 9, 2009, 10:17 AM
I can't speak for Missouri, but in South Carolina that is -exactly- what they had in mind.

What the law in Missouri says is that deadly force is not permitted unless the person against whom it is used has entered an occupied dwelling (or automobile) "without license". That seems a lot less restrictive than the following:

If someone forcibly enters my home while I am there, it is =assumed= they intend to do me serious bodily harm and I can act accordingly, including the use of deadly force, to stop the threat.

Does that mean I can shoot them, casually walk up to them as they lie on the floor unconscious, and but a "coup de gras" into their brain? No, it does not. As there then is no threat, that would be murder, not self defense.

I can use deadly force to stop the threat, but once the threat is gone, I must cease and desist.

And that is almost exactly how the Missouri law was explained in my State-designed CCW class, and it seems most reasonable to me. The operative words would seem to be to stop the threat. Regarding the statement "once the threat is gone, I must cease and desist," I was told that if the intruder attempts to leave I may not shoot. That is consistent, I think, with Garner v. Tennessee, which of course takes precedence over any state law. But it's not the way the law would seem to read, taken by itself. As Fiddletown and the Arizona attorney Michael Anthony have explained, laws must be interpreted within the context of other statutes, case law, and the Constitution. And that was my point.

So--I interpret what I am permitted to do the way I understand your explanation of the South Carolina law, and not the way one might interpret the law out of context and using lay dictionary definitions.

I imagine that the absence of the term "forcibly" in the Missouri law was intentional, and was intended to remove from the resident any obligation to present evidence that the entry was, for example, not made by means of stealth, but that's just lay speculation.

mgkdrgn
January 11, 2009, 08:42 AM
I imagine that the absence of the term "forcibly" in the Missouri law was intentional, and was intended to remove from the resident any obligation to present evidence that the entry was, for example, not made by means of stealth, but that's just lay speculation.

That would be even less restrictive than the SC law then. Here an intruder has to at least open a door or window to trigger the castle doctrine. It would appear that in Missouri they need only enter the dwelling. A bit more enlightened than the SC law perhaps?

Kat144
January 11, 2009, 10:28 AM
I don't think I could honestly shoot to wound a man standing in my bedroom. I don't even think I would wonder if he was armed. I do however think I'd naturally assume if he was in my room or house for that matter uninvited, especially at nite, that he was there to harm me or my family and the chest seems to be the biggest target. Hopefully IF the time ever comes it is automatic.

What I need to know is if a intruder kicks my door in at 4 am (forced entry, no unlocked doors/windows etc) at what point I am allowed by law to shoot (or if I am allowed at all). Is this something that will be laid out in a specific law? And are these laws available online for my state? This is one of the only situations I will need to fire my gun for ( in the event of home defense, for its one of the only reason I purchased my gun. I am stuck in a bad area for another 5 months)

Exactly. If somebody busts into my apartment in the middle of the night, he's not there to borrow a cup of sugar. But the last thing I'd want to do is get screwed in court because oops, turned out he wasn't armed and "well, y'never know, maybe he DID want sugar," or to have the "ability" argument thrown out because "well, you AND your partner were both home and that's two against one so he didn't have the ability to hurt you" or some ****.

In my mind, spending life in prison is NOT preferable to death, frankly--that's no life at all and not one I'd want to live.

Always been confused by this section from the UseofForce site:
Does the Preclusion standard mean that an ultimatum like “give me your money or I’ll hurt you” requires you to, well, give him your money? Unless you honestly believe that he may hurt you anyway, yes. The law values “life and limb” above property. Or you can refuse, but you may not respond with a fist. He’s giving you a choice, which, by definition, means that you still have options other than force.

This implies that if someone tells me to give them my money, and I say no, and they then try to hurt me, that I have to take it and can't defend myself because I didn't utilize the "option" of giving them my money? Or am I reading this incorrectly?

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