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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's say you live alone in a studio apartment. Bad guy #1 breaks in through the front door, and bad guy #2 breaks in through the back door.

You are cornered, and they are 10 feet from you. You yell compliance but neither get on their knees, after pointing shiny new Kimber .45 at their noggins. If they lunge, there is NO way you can nail both, as they are only 10 feet from you.

Scenario #1: CAn you shoot? They are unarmed and standing still but not complying.

Scenario #2: Can you shoot? They are unarmed but advancing.

Scenario #3: Can you shoot? They are ARMED but only with a screwdriver or a crowbar, and are NOT advancing but not complying.

Scenario #4: Can you shoot? They are ARMED with a knife but not advancing or complying.

Your opinions? I live in a relatively conservative part of California, but with juries, you never know.
 

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<><> 1> no
2> yes
3> no
4> no
This is just my opinion, I believe lethal force should only be used as a last resort. In 1,3,& 4, your life is not in immediate danger. How'd I do? Is this a test?

Raspy
 

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Would a reasonable person believe that if they didn't shoot, they would be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury? If the answer is yes, then you are probably justified in using deadly force. I'd be fairly comfortable in believing that unknown persons in my house are not there for charitable work and pose a danger to me. As always, if you have a means of avoidance or retreat, take it but don't allow the situation to degenerate into a losing position. IMO, #1 is a maybe but the others are probable shoots because of the location, distance involved and disparity of force.
 

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1- Probably not.
2- Yes. Disparity of force, and they are going after your weapon.
3 & 4- Yes, armed with a contact weapon, inside Tueller drill distance, disparity of force.
 

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Is your query based on what you can do legally, or is it based on what you should do to save your own life? If you are dead, laws mean nothing to you.

Whether or not your could legally shoot is dependent on your local laws. I am not sure what you mean by saying they are standing still but not complying. If they are not complying, then you should be in fear for your life. Do what you have to do.

The local law issue is very important. In the other thread on 'shoot through the door part 2," and the original "shoot through the door" thread, it became obvious that local laws vary widely on what you can do if someone has broken into your house.

If two intruders break into your house through different points of entry, it does not sound like they are there for your toaster and TV.

Oh, and how do you know they are not armed? You don't see any weapons, that I understand, but why would you think people breaking into your house were not armed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all your feedback.

Raspy: It's not a test, I was just curious, as sometimes the folks on the forum bring up points that I otherwise would not have known or even thought about, example, a trigger job looks bad in court. I had no idea until 2 days ago. (gives me an excuse to buy another gun, though).

Blinder: Let's say I have NO chance on retreat. Heck in my studio apartment, I have to eat outside on the patio (not an entirely bad thing and it's warm and sunny most of the year here in Kali) becuase there's no room inside. I am absolutely cornered, and I have NO chance on winning a hand-to-hand fight, despite the Hollywood notion that Chinese people can take on armed gunmen with our fists wearing only a bathrobe!

007 (Doublenaught spy, love the name): Not complying means I'm telling them to get on the ground and put their paws on their heads, or get the hell out of my apartment and they just stand there laughing at my measly 5'5" 110lbs. People my size don't do well against bullies unarmed. As for not knowing if they are armed, they don't have their weapons if any, drawn, I can't see them. Capping them and finding out they had their own guns will sit fine with me, but maybe not the jury.

More thoughts?
 

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It is human nature, I suppose, to want pat answers and expect that those answers even exist. I'm not sure they do. Tim touched on it, but it is important to understand just how quickly an attacker can close a 10-foot gap. Given just your raw reaction time, he may be on you before you can do much of anything...especially since you're having to split your attention in the postulated scenario. There is no requirement for you to stand fast and await their choice of action.

In the scenario where they aren't visibly armed and are stationary, one might consider going to a close quarters gun retention position and simply bowling over or the smaller/weaker looking of the two. This might give one an opening to increase one's distance from the targets (one of which will be down with a broken knee, we hope). Whether this would be reasonable or not depends on your hyper-rapid "reading" of the situation. Are they not fleeing due to being stupid juveniles intent on stealing your VCR and who are now tranfixed like a deer in the headlights or are they hard cases who just aren't real impressed with people pointing guns at them? In the cases where they are armed and/or advancing, one would probably be best served by shooting and moving. It'll all depend on your skill level, their skill level, and a heaping helping of chance. If everything works out so that you are alive and unindicted afterward, then it worked out well.

Rosco
 

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If you were in Texas, the fact that they broke into your home would give you all the justification you need to defend yourself even if they no longer are advancing on you, but they aren't complying either. I would have no problem interpreting the intruders' actions of standing their ground in your home at gun point as a sign of aggression because they are holding their ground, thereby keeping you as hostage.

There are exceptions to EVERY situation and no matter what would happen in that situation, somebody will second guess your actions, some guesses being supportive, others no so. It will help if you know the laws of your area such that you can plan possible courses of action before they occur. In Texas, an intruder in one's home may be defended against using lethal force if the home owner/resident feels their life is in jeopardy, and the intruder does not have to be armed with a physical weapon. Of course if the owner returns home to find an unarmed gang of thieves going through his home and he shoots them all, and they are all 9 years old or younger, he may have trouble justifying how his life was being threatened such that he needed to use lethal force.

In your case, you have two full-size intruders in your home, trapping you such that you can't retreat. If you are in fear for your life and have no other options, it might be prudent to change the disparity of numbers ratio and do so quickly. You can't fight on two fronts at the same time while being cornered or trapped.

Whatever decision you make may not be seen as being prudent or legal by law enforcement or by a later jury. That is a reality of the matter. However, to go to trial, you have to be alive.s. If Jethro Bodine and Ellie May are on the jury, you will do fine. Remember that Jethro always wanted to be a Double Naught Spy as well.

Maybe now would be a good time to start taking some defensive handgun courses and learn how to manage situations with multiple targets as well as single target
 

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Remember this criminal and civil is two totally different fields. I would say your OK in criminal court in all your scenerios....Civil court.....Your on your own...
 

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To bad they already got inside, as i understand it you could have emptied all your clips at them had they still been outside the door.. But now you may get in trouble.. <Sarcasm over> -Gilmore

[This message has been edited by Citizen_Gilmore (edited 08-27-2001).]
 

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1,2,3 and 4?
Shoot to kill both subjects.

Intention, Ability and Jeopardy.
They obviously have the “intention” to do you harm in all cases.
They obviously have the “ability”. (At the least there are two of them).
You believed that your life was in “jeopardy”.

I live in Colorado where I can shoot both with impunity in my home, without the above three requirements..

In Kali I would shoot both dead and then tell the best story that allowed me to use lethal force.

"They charged me your honor, saying they were going to kill me. I was in fear for my life!!"

Two shots center mass.

Patriot

A Pearl Harbor Story Worth Telling
Someone at the table asked a Japanese admiral why, with the Pacific Fleet devastated at Pearl Harbor and the mainland US forces in what Japan had to know was a pathetic state of unreadiness, Japan had not simply invaded the West Coast. "You are right," he told the Americans. "We did indeed know much about your preparedness. We knew that probably every second home in your country contained firearms. We knew that your country actually had state championships for private citizens shooting military rifles. We were not fools to set foot in such quicksand."


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"Both the oligarch and the tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."
- Aristotle, "Politics"
 

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Shoot them. Period. If they are that close, they are a threat. The fact that they are bigger and outnumber you shows a disparity of force.
 

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Are the bad guys relatives? If not, shoot in all four scenarios.

In California, the law is that you may use deadly force against anyone who "forcefully and unlawfully" enters your home, and who is not a family member. Breaking through your doors pretty clearly qualifies.
 

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The funny thing is about all these scenarios is that all of us will have an entirely different picture in our heads of the actual situation that is unfolding. Not only that but all defensive situations are extremely dynamic and can change at the speed of a thought. With that in mind my answers would be this:

Scenario #1: Depends on their actions. What is their body language telling you? In your post to doublenaught spy you say they are laughing at you. Is it a nervous laugh? They are standing still, but are they standing still because they are afraid that you with a drawn gun will shoot whoever makes the first move, even if it's trying to leave the apartment.

The picture you formed in my mind is it's somewhat dark and the two guys are laughing at me because they know they're going to get what they want and are figuring at the moment how to go about it because all I did was just throw a slight wrench in their works by being armed and trying to get compliance. Would I shoot? Is there any furniture between one guy or the other that is between me and that person making his rush on me slightly delayed? You can't retreat but when the bullets start flying is there enough room to move out towards one of the exits or just out of the corner once you've cleared a way? If both hands are visible I MIGHT not shoot YET. Remeber these scenarios are extremely dynamic. If at a moment one of their hands disappears from my sight the stakes are now higher. The danger will come from the hands. I would have commanded compliance a long time ago and one of the commands would have been to, "SHOW ME YOUR HANDS", "KEEP YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!" The hands disappearing from sight after that command I would consider a threat and would shoot, shoot a lot and move and move fast. Always look for a way out after the loud bangs and flashes an opening may occur for you to scurry out without having to deal with bad guy #2, he may be ducking to avoid being hit himself of may be going for his weapon. If he is going for a weapon, wether it be a gun, knife, pipe you'll make a harder target moving and not being where you were the second the shots went off.

Scenario #2: I would shoot and move again. Shoot a lot and move a lot. Again taking into account who will get to you first due to clear floorway and where is the closest exit. Why would I shoot.

1. I'd like to stay alive

2. I commanded them to stop and show me their hands and they contiuned to advance at a drawn gun and for that reason they must know the odds are stacked in their favor and I'm at a GREAT disadvantage.

Scenario #3: Again depends on their body language. I'd command them to drop their weapons now. If no compliance and their body language is showing that attack is emminent then I'd be forced to shoot.

Your words, "ARMED but only with a screwdriver or a crowbar" should be worded "ARMED with a screwdriver and crowbar" They are weapons and can do severe damage to a human body. To say "only" makes it sould less lethal than it can be.

Scenario #4:The same I would Command compliance and move. If they don't advance anymore then work on moving towards an exit. If they prevent you from that they have different outcome to the scenario in their play than you do theirs and it doesn't look good. Shoot then.

Always look for a way out without shooting. Always look for a way out while shooting.

Originally posted by Patriot:

Shoot to kill both subjects.


I shoot to STOP their actions never to kill. My intention is never to kill. My goal is to survive and live. If I see a threat to my goals I am forced to do something I don't want to do. If killing is a outcome of that action fine. But, KILLING was never my goal it was a simple by product that occured because of their actions. I tried to stop their actions as quickly as possible without any force and with the time I was giving to stay alive, but They FORCED me to do what I had to do.

Ross T.



[This message has been edited by ROSANGHAL (edited 08-27-2001).]
 

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2 through 4 are pretty easy for me. Number 1 is almost as easy. I would still have to say in FOML in #1. If they were where I could cover them both easily, they have until my arms get tired before I have to even the odds. If (like I presume you mean) 1 in front, and one in back, (now this is all hypothetical of course) whichever one I'm facing will have to be reduced to a non-threat, as quickly as possible. Then move in that direction (trying to open up distance between me and the other threat), while attempting to get compliance from threat remaining as I move back. Stop remaining threat if necessary.

I have an aversion for closing distance to a threat, so I wouldn't feel safe to do so (my bowl-over might be more of a bounce-offa).

Probably in fair shape criminal wise. Civil wise, if they move the trial to SF or LA, better learn where the soup kitchens are in your area.
 

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Originally posted by Double Naught Spy:
If you were in Texas, the fact that they broke into your home would give you all the justification you need to defend yourself even if they no longer are advancing on you, but they aren't complying either.
This is why i really like Texas. They might get some of that crap about being a 'gun-mad *******' state from anti-gunners, but that translates into English for me as a true 'right to defend' policy, as it should be. When in a self defence situation, it is total BS that you should already have to start thinking about the legal consequences when you pull that trigger - if your life is in danger, PULL IT! I'm sure CA style laws & civil proceedings get more innocent people killed from hesitation than bad guys who deserve it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Originally posted by ROSANGHAL:
Your words, "ARMED but only with a screwdriver or a crowbar" should be worded "ARMED with a screwdriver and crowbar" They are weapons and can do severe damage to a human body. To say "only" makes it sould less lethal than it can be.
In class, my professor (guess if he's a liberal) said something about having no right to defend if someone comes at you with a pencil, and you shoot them. I thought this was total BS because ONLY having a pencil can turn both your nice round eyeballs into pink slush. To me, great bodily injury translates to some forms of mutilation.

The thing is, havong ONLY a melee weapon and YOU having a gun, people who watch too many movies expect you to be able to conquer small armies with only a handgun...at least out here in CA that's what they think. That's why I mention ONLY a screwdriver. While screwdrivers kill more than knives, the control laws for knives are much harsher.

Also, what is the possibility, if you nail someone, that their lawyer reads these boards and say I 'premeditated to kill their client' by even talking about this issue here??
 

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Originally posted by Skunkabilly:
In class, my professor (guess if he's a liberal) said something about having no right to defend if someone comes at you with a pencil, and you shoot them. I thought this was total BS because ONLY having a pencil can turn both your nice round eyeballs into pink slush. To me, great bodily injury translates to some forms of mutilation.

The thing is, havong ONLY a melee weapon and YOU having a gun, people who watch too many movies expect you to be able to conquer small armies with only a handgun...at least out here in CA that's what they think. That's why I mention ONLY a screwdriver. While screwdrivers kill more than knives, the control laws for knives are much harsher.


Cool. We're on the same page then.

That's where, hopefully, you or your lawyer, if needed, can prove to the jury or judge or whatever that a weapon IS a weapon not because of what it is but because of what the wielder intends and uses it to be. But if you the prosecuted keeps on using the words "ONLY a screwdriver or crow bar" it shows that you fall into that same mentality of those same people who watch all those movies, like you mentioned above.

I wasn't picking on ya' Skunkabilly, just saw that line and thought I'd mention it.

Ross T.
 

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I reiterate.

SHOOT TO KILL!

However the politically correct way to address this in court is to say that you only shot to stop the threat.

"Yeah, thats what I wanted to do stop the threat your honor". (That means kill 'em!!)

Loyal Patriot


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"Both the oligarch and the tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."
- Aristotle, "Politics"
 
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