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Solicitors and uninvited house "visitors"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sean Dempsey, Oct 8, 2006.

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  1. Sean Dempsey

    Sean Dempsey Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    (If this is not appropriate, move/delete it. This was the best fit of forum i saw.)

    My neighborhood has had a recent burst of solicitors and unwanted house visitors. I live in about a 100 home community, walled but not gated, there's only 1 entrance and 1 exit, so none of the homes are on public streets, the entire community is self-contained. Also, I think it's important to note that since we are in southern utah, it's a largely LDS community (the church is right here on the grounds), and largely retired/families. That being said, it's a very quiet, calm place to live. There's no transient rentals or apartments or anything nearby. I love my calm quiet neighborhood...

    Oh, and my front hard has about a 3 foot iron fence around it, but my main entryway does not. I just have a screen door and my regular door. So my lawn is not available unless you walk all the way up to my door, then turn back onto the lawn.

    In the last week, I've had the following people darken my door:

    #1- new orleans refugee selling cleaning products. how do I know he was from NOLA? his entire crew was arrested later that day and written up in the paper. They had hit just about every house in town and people finally just got fed up. They were EXTREMELY aggressive, forcing themselves onto my porch (where I was letting my dog poop on the lawn at the time), and refused to take no for an answer, even going so far as shining my shoes RIGHT THERE without my permission.

    When I tried to egress and tell him I was not interested, he became pretty agitated. I just walked back inside and closed my door when he shouted something and then left (to go to the next house). Plus, he approached me with a standard badguy interview, talking about the weather and making casual conversation as he stepped onto my property.

    I was EXTREMELY upset by this. I didn't not have a gun on my person when he was there (not that salespeople warrant firearm use), but I felt very threatened by this guys approach and "forcing" himself onto my porch and almost into my house. And when he got mad I wouldn't purchase his cleaning products, he got agitated and tried to get me to buy through intimidation. At that point, there was someone on my property doing something I DID NOT WANT THEM DOING, and I had asked VERY VERY POLITLEY for them to leave multiple times... I wish I had my piece on me.

    Later I heard from some other friends they visited that they actually started arguing and swearing at my friend who lives about 5-6 miles away. After this guy left, I was VERY angry... I felt super manipulated and controlled, especially when he tried to use emotion and intimidation to leverage me. :cuss:

    #2 - Group of people from unnamed church (not LDS) came to my door to ask if I "Believe we are living in the last days". Very cult-ish. I told them flat out "no, I do not."

    They then asked if they could read me some scripture, to which I said "no", and told them I Was not interested. After a few moments of stunned silence, they left. This wasn't threatening, but it still bothered me. You come to my house and ask me if I believe the end of the world is coming, and can you read my from your religious book (they never specified their church).

    #3 - Last night, dark, about 8 pm, I am out letting the dog poop again, and this guy comes up and does an "interview" with me about some random stuff, then hands me a flyer and says he can come clean my carpets right then, it'd take about 20 minutes. He asked when the busiest room in my house was, and I told him the "front porch, due to all the traveling sales people".

    My wife was putting the baby to bed, and we were getting ready to watch a movie. I told this dude I wasn't interested, and he again got agitated and sorta pissy, and I just walked back in and he left.

    Okay, so here's the part about guns. This sort of stuff REALLY pisses me off. Like, bad. Bad bad. :cuss: :cuss: :cuss: I realize that none of these occurances justify even showing a firearm, but I definitley felt violated and manipulated. As responsible firearm users, I believe we are supposed to be polite and assertive. I tried that with these people, and they still got super bitchy with me.

    I'm getting pretty tired of feeling controlled by people who violate my space, even in small ways, but not enough to warrant any sort of counter measure. I don't feel that people are free to just come up, ring the hell out of my doorbell, wake up my baby, upset my dog, then try and sell me something I Don't want, refuse to listen to me decline their products/services, and then get agitated when I tell them I am not interested.

    So, hopefully I've expressed my frustration. How are we, as people who support the RKBA and are going to be scrutinized for doing so, handle these situations that are definitley violations, but aren't bad enough to use (or even mention) firearms? Because frankly, I'd like to introduce most of these people to the business end of my shotgun. And even thought I am calm and polite with the unwanted visitors, I still feel VERY violated and manipulated, and usually it takes a few hours to calm down from all the adrenaline. People do not have permission to step onto my property, however small, and escelate situations to their fancy. :banghead:

    I swear, someday I want to live out of the city on a fenced, gated, "do not disturb" ranch somwhere.
  2. thumper723

    thumper723 Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    Lost somewhere in time!

    I have had this happen a couple times in the last year, but not all in the same day. 1st was Katrina Refugees. Mind you, I had just gotten back from JTF Katrina (SAR Helicopter Pilot), and had dealt with the dregs of society for 2 weeks screaming at my crewmen, and generally being rude.

    My wife had answered the door, and this group of 3 really push 20-30ish men from NOLA tried the same routine that they tried on you. She was polite but they would not leave. I came from around back (I was cooking on my BBQ and heard this). I had my 45 OWB with a cover shirt off. They still got bitchy, until one realized I was armed. Called JSO on them. They were arrested about a week later for breaking and entering. Apparently they were casing those who let them in, one would use the restroom, unlock a window, and they would come back later when nobody was home.

    About 2 months ago we had a rash of evey deonmination you can imagine. 2 left as soon as we said "not interested in switching", but 5-6 got really upset.
  3. LkWinnipesaukee

    LkWinnipesaukee Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
    Cant you just happen to be cleaning one of your guns as they approach you?
  4. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Essex Co, MA
    I understand your frustration. Your post brings up a few important points.

    1. Walled and/or Gated communities are not the safe havens many sheeple think they are.
    2. It is good to be armed, even in your own home.
    3. Never trust someone who arrives at your home unbidden
    4. Claymores are a good investment
  5. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
    "#2 - Group of people from unnamed church (not LDS) came to my door..."

    I'm sorry, but considering all the LDS members I've had banging on my front door for the past 26+ years (I'm 56) I'm just sitting here thinking there is justice in the universe. :) No offense, it just struck me as funny.

  6. Axman

    Axman Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Golden Valley, AZ
    I know it's irritating, but what really can you do?

    Here's how it should go...

    Solicitor: May I interest you in XXXX product?

    Home owner: No, thank you!

    Solicitor: Thank you for your time, have a nice day!!!

    Unfortunately it does not go this way in all scenarios.

    Now my unusal visitor story...

    I live in a very rural area with very few neighbors. I had a knock on my door once and when I looked out the window there was a hispanic male (race is not a factor however) who was clean cut and nicely dressed. I opened the door and left the security screen closed and locked. He told me he needed a ride somewhere because he was at a friend's house nearby and his friend was too drunk to drive him (He had no car himself.). I explained that I would be happy to drive him if I knew him but since I did not know him personally, I would not give him a ride anywhere. He left quite frustrated and I never saw him again. I kept my shotgun in the corner behind the door so it was within reach should he have attempted to open the door (It was locked). He could have been Richard Ramirez or David Burkowitz for all I knew. After this happening over 2 years ago I still can't believe the gall this guy had coming to someone's home to ask for a ride.
  7. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    Garland, TX
    You've hit on one of the reasons why I want to move out in the middle of nowhere. I want my house to be set at least 100 feet from the road and have no trespassing signs. I'm tired of coming home to 3-4 flyers stuck on my door and foot prints in my flower beds.
    (Having your own personal range is another reason to live in the country.)
  8. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    I don't allow solictior's near my residence; unless they contact me first by
    PX. They MUST first idenify themselves, state what kind'a
    organization they represent, and have positive ID once they arrive
    at a reasonable hour picked by me. The only person allowed in my house
    at any hour is my Savior Jesus Christ, and his father.

    FootNote: I'm not try'in too be a hard person to deal with; as my only
    intentions are to protect my family, my property, and my valuables.
  9. Bruce333

    Bruce333 Member

    Aug 22, 2005
    Smithfield NC
    Just how do you accomplish this? Keep the drawbridge over the moat raised? Not all of us have that option.
  10. CornCod

    CornCod Member

    Aug 12, 2006
    Pest #1 appeared to me to be absolutely inexcusable, violating your personal space and touching you (in this case your shoes) without your permission. You might have been justified in boxing his ears.

    Pests number #2 and #3 should not have infuriated you. I think that perhaps you were, understandably, feeling a little crabby due to the rudeness of #1.

    There is an interesting trend in American society these days that people feel that they should live very isolated lives and that anyone that shows up on their doorstep unbidden is some kind of semi-criminal. As someone trained in the social sciences, I have been thinking a lot about this kind of "hermetically sealed" life people tend to like nowadays. I think some sociologists have touched on aspects of it. I don't condemn it, but I guess there are both negative and positive aspects to it.

    I confess that once a week I go door-to-door leaving tracts promoting Lutheran Christianity as part of my church's evangelism program. When I do this and I run into people, I am extremely polite and ask people to forgive me for bothering them ect. I have "hit" a thousand homes and only a couple of people have been rude to me, although I am a big, wierd, scary looking brute.
  11. gregthehand

    gregthehand Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    Brookshire, TX
    Have you thought about contacting the local sheriff's office and asking if they let their deputies patrol private nieghborhoods in their personal cars? It may sound crazy but this is common practice here in TX. I know because when I was in Law Enforcement we did it all the time. Most guys would buy late 90's Crown Victorias and install a few lights, and a magnetic door decal. All you have to do then is post "No Solicitaion of Any Kind with out Approval of POA" signs on the entrances. That means if the cops see's people he does not know walking around with flyers, bang they're tresspassing. Also it really makes crooks want to think about robbing a 'hood that is patrolled reguarly by a cop that stay in that area. Also another big bonus is the kids don't drive really fast through the place either. We did this in private controlled streets as well as public. We just couldn't write tickets on the private ones. Anyway just food for thought.
  12. carterbeauford

    carterbeauford member

    May 26, 2006
    41.16N, 80.09W
    Nothing wrong with that, but I second the request on how exactly you accomplish this.

    I have the advantage of living about 500' from the road in what might not appear to be an inhabited house (converted barn) and have never had anyone other than the pizza guy and the County Sherrif knock on my door. The pizza guy had the right address.
  13. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Member

    Aug 26, 2006
    North Carolina
    FWIW, I have a 6 foot privacy fence around the rear perimeter of my property, and a 4 foot picket fence around the front. Both of my gates carry "no tresspassing/no solicitation" signs. When the simple "Did you notice the sign" doesn't remove them right away, a call to the police with a description is my next step. No, I have never followed through with tresspassing charges against a church, so long as they agree to never step foot on my property again. Use the law, and for those that get hostile, or the would be robber, I always have a chambered P220 in the small of my back, or in hand behind me.
  14. garyk/nm

    garyk/nm Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    New Mexico, USA
    How about posting a "no solicitors" sign at the front gate, then call the PD and file a trespassing complaint if it is ignored?
  15. Whitewolf 508

    Whitewolf 508 Member

    May 8, 2006
    Dutchess County NY
    Unwanted solicitors

    I had unwanted solicitors twice.

    The first time I was living in the city and a person knocked on the door in the late afternoon. When I opened the door, he said he was selling magazines. I said I did not have any money and my wife had the checkbook at work. With that he reached over and patted my stomach saying"Doesn't look lie you have missed a meal." The Walther on his nose convinced him it was time to leave the building. I called the police and advised them. An officer came by and spoke with him. Turned out he was on parole for burglary.

    The second time I was living in the country on a 1/2 mile long private road. A car pulled in my driveway and a man got out. He came to the door and insisted he was going to read the bible with me. He would not take no for an answer and tried to push in. My Lab-shepherd mix made a grab for his crotch. I only stopped him a fraction of an inch from his target. The man bolted from the door and went down the 7 steps without even touching them.

    Since then..no more unwanted solicitors.:D
  16. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Member

    Nov 1, 2004
    Also make a habit of carrying a pocket pistol (e.g., a Keltec P3AT) whenever you are at home.
  17. sgphoto

    sgphoto Member

    Apr 3, 2006
    I have a two "No soliciting" signs posted at my driveway. If a person can read, the sign cannot be missed. With the exception of the neighborhood kids, who I've told they may knock on my door when selling their candy bars, the signs says it all.

    When someone rings my doorbell, I don't go to the door, rather I open my office window and ask them what they want. Unless it's an emergency or Jesus (and He hasn't knocked yet), I ask them if they can read signs.

    If they say yes, I ask them why the sign shouldn't apply to them.

    If it's a religious group, I've often been told that God wanted them to talk with me about my soul.

    I tell them that God just spoke to me and didn't mention anything about them coming by so apparently they have the wrong house. Jehovah's Witnesses’ are the worst and are often obnoxious at best!

    If it's a solicitor who's gone past two "no soliciting" signs I stop them before they get a chance to deliver their sales talk and tell them that if they can't read and obey my signs, why should I think they would get anything else right.

    When they sometimes ask if my dogs bite, I tell them, "Of course and I have the bodies buried in the backyard to prove it!" and I'm not smiling when I say it.

    I don't care what you’re selling, whether it's magazines or salvation, if you see a "No soliciting" sign you'd best believe it. If you don't believe the signs, perhaps you'll believe the 12 gauge.
  18. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

    Jan 23, 2003
    If the homeowner's association won't post the entrance as was suggested, you could post a "No Solicitors, Salesmen or Proselytizers. Trespassers will be prosecuted." sign on your fence. It works for me.

    I also never answer my door or leave the house without at least my P-32 in my pocket. Having a cell phone or portable wireless landline handset on your person, if possible, isn't a bad idea either IMO. Ours works within 100' or so of the base unit and has a beltclip.

    If a firm "no" and a request to leave are met with anything less than polite compliance, create some distance, dial "911" and prepare to repel boarders. Allowing a stranger who comes onto your property uninvited to walk right up on you may be "polite", but it's a courtesy you shouldn't extend under most circumstances. Personally, I'd much rather be seen as "rude" than "food".
  19. another okie

    another okie Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    "I don't feel that people are free to just come up, ring the hell out of my doorbell, wake up my baby, upset my dog, then try and sell me something I Don't want, refuse to listen to me decline their products/services, and then get agitated when I tell them I am not interested."

    I know what you mean, but, well, they are free to do that. You are free not to answer the door. You are also free to unhook your doorbell and your telephone. If the baby is asleep, a note on the door saying that will keep out most solicitors.
  20. wuchak

    wuchak Member

    Feb 18, 2005
    Shawnee, KS
    Hang a No Soliciting sign with a Beware of Dog sign right under it.
  21. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Great Britain
    This is what landmines are for.
  22. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Essex Co, MA
    "Does you dog bite?"
    "Nice doggy" pat pat CHOMP
    "OW! I thought you said your dog didn't bite!"
    "That is not my dog"

  23. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

    May 31, 2005
    NC, USA
    That tends to work fine in most cases. The beware of dog warning also tends to be helpful. We rarely get people like that around here luckly apart from one or two lost people and those in cars that drive slowly down the road casing for a robbery that have been pretty much driven out the area by now.
  24. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    If you live in a private community then you can get the association to put up some signs at the entrance barring solicitors. I would have them put up a phone number on the sign to seek permission (for girl scouts selling cookies, etc). If your community is entirely private (i.e. the government doesnt mantain your roads) then solicitors would be tresspassing as soon as they walked through the entrance.
  25. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

    Nov 10, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Um...Actually, that's just returning to our roots.

    If a stranger rode up unexpected to someone's farmhouse way back when, they'd either be met with outright suspicion or a shotgun held in the owner's hand as they asked what they were all about.

    Knowing your neighbors is one thing. But distrust of strangers is hardly unhealthy, and is pretty American, I think.

    As for getting rid of religiousity sellers, there's some easy answers:

    "Have YEW found Jesus?"
    "What?! You lost him AGAIN?"
    "Yes, I did! He was hiding behind the sofa. I think he went that way."

    I also knew someone who had a little metal WWI practice finned bomb. If it was a saleman, they'd answer the door with that in their hand and not explain it or say a word about it, except if they asked, "Um...is that a bomb?" "Yes, it is! It's friendly.", and nothing more. They usually left quick. :D
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