The Second Amendment

The other night something bad happened at the home of someone close to me. I'll tell you part of the story today, and I'll give you the rest of the story later in the week. I'm curious about how you think it ended based on your feelings about guns and gun control. This is one of those stories that people use to point out how right they are to be on whatever side they choose to be on. So here's the story, tell me your ending based on whether or not you're for or against having a gun in the house. I'm repeating this exactly as it happened last week. This house is located on an upscale, quiet suburban street.

A woman in her early 40s accidentally fell asleep on her family room couch Saturday night. She was watching TV, exhausted, she nodded off around 10pm. Several hours later, she was woken by a loud pounding on her front door. Confused, unsure of the time and disoriented she jumped to her feet, stumbled to the door and opened it, thinking it must be her son returning from being out at the movies.

She quickly realized it wasn't her son, but someone trying to get in the house. It turned out to be a thirty something year old man screaming "they're trying to kill me" as he tried to push his way into the house. She pushed back and managed to hold him off until her husband woke up and ran downstairs…

Based on whether or not there were guns involved by either party involved this ends very differently. Was the husband carrying a gun? Did the lunatic trying to push his way into the house have a gun? If this was your house, how would it have ended? My experience has shown very few people are neutral on gun control, so I'm very interested to see what you think the best way to handle this situation is. No hints on how it really ended.

Comments

So what happened?

So Blake, as that old guy on the radio -the one with the name I can't remember - would say what is the rest of the story.

Oddly last night drunk yelling people did end up inside my house, it was the idiots from next door and I was out getting something from my car when they came through my screen door at midnight. These people are not on my favorite people list, but I didn't shoot them I just pointed them at their own door and gave them a little push.

answer

Can't resist giving you the answer...after all I do love reference questions. That 'rest of the story guy' is Paul Harvey. :-)

That is him

All I could think of was Paul Lynde, and that certainly was not it.

Castle Doctrine / Situational Awareness

In Michigan, one need not retreat in defense of one's home.

But, one should always be aware of their personal situation vis-a-vis safety and protection. To open a door in the scenario presented shows a lack of awareness and exposure to danger.

But, once opened, should the homeowner feel that their life was in danger, then use of force would be one appropriate defense.

Not enough facts leads to supposition and play-acting. Good luck if calling the police brings response in a timely manner.

Yes, I have a permit to carry, but live in the country and would never just open the door without knowing who or what was on the other side.

UpNorth Librarian

Get a Loud Dog

I do own guns--I inherited them from my dad and practice at the shooting range. I do not carry them or have them nearby. They are in locked gun safes and also have trigger locks. I like having them and keep in practice in case of a Katrina-like situation (or heaven knows what) in which people who did not ordinarily have to defend their homes ended up having to do so...we saw doctors, lawyers, teachers (and maybe librarians) on their porches with guns. I do believe in the 2nd Amendment and believe that it pertains to individuals, not just to the "militia."

Enough about that. At my house, the situation probably would not have gotten as far as it did in the scenario because we have two dogs: a 12-year-old Lab and a 13-year-old golden retriever mix. They are elderly and slow--but very noisy and, from the other side of the door, sound like they are Grendl or some other beast getting ready to eat you. We live in a college neighborhood where break-ins sometimes occur during breaks and holidays, but feel secure that, given a choice, an intruder would choose not to go the home with the noisy dog. Even had I opened the door, I doubt if the guy being chased would have pushed in so easily with the two dogs snarling at him.

The other thing I might have done is run outside and let him stay inside, but then whoever was trying to kill him might be lurking there.

Although I do not keep a gun by the front door, I do keep my cell phone there and have occasionally used it when someone has come to the door with the ubiquitous "can you lend me $3, I locked myself out of the car and have to pick up my wife at work" story. I say, "No, but I can call the police for you and they can get into your car."

I don't know how the story ends, but if a gun was involved, it might have ended tragically. If a dog were involved, it might have been different for a variety of reasons.

I like

I like dogs much more than guns. If you could only have one or the other the guns would go.

I am an NRA life member, gun owner, and I carry a gun every day.

I do own guns. I do carry guns legally. I do not answer the door at my house without a gun nearby.

If the lunatic did not obviously have a gun and was just trying to push his way in, someone may have indeed been trying to kill him so I would have pushed him back out on the porch, called the police, and made sure he was safe on my porch.

If he had a gun I would have pushed him out until such time as he threatened me with the gun. Just because he had one does not mean he is pointing it at me. If he threatened me with it I would shoot him.

If he pushed past me into my house armed or unarmed I would have run outside and locked the door behind me and called the cops. There are guns in the house but they are locked away so that he could not get to them before the cops got here. The ammunition for my guns is locked away in a place different from the guns, except for the one handgun I am using at the time (I have different guns for different circumstances, but only one with me at any given time unless I am going to the range.)

So based on your story I will make some assumptions that are most probably completely off base. The intruder was white, since you said the home was in a nice neighborhood I doubt the wife would have opened the door for a yelling black man. The man was not armed, as crazy white people who try to push into peoples houses have generally pawned all their posessions for meth so no gun as that went months ago. Also it would have to be a handgun as I assume no one will open a door to a screaming guy with a 12 gauge. I am going to assume WNY so handgun is much less likely than here in Florida.
Husband might not have been armed, if he was it was with a rifle or shotgun. He would probably not shoot a shotgun near the wife, and the rifle is probably out as most people don't use a rifle for home protection. I don't think anyone was shot.

The best way to handle the situation: look out the peephole and call the cops if you don't recognize the screaming nutjob on your doorstep.

I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.

I carry a cell phone because I can't carry a cop.

It's funny, you're the only NRA member whose first response wasn't shoot first ask questions later. 4 out of 4 I've asked all had the same strong reaction, something along the lines of this is exactly why they have guns, and shots would be fired if this happened at their house too.

whackjobs

I am not real keen on shooting people.... especially in my house. What a mess to clean up.

If he runs past without shooting me then have at it, what is he going to do toast all my english muffins. I have insurance for my stuff, and frankly my stuff is not all that great. If there were people inside the house I would do more to keep him out of my house and away from them, but if you want my TV live it up.

Having been an ER nurse for over a decade I have seen plenty of people die from being shot. Some people needed to be shot, most didn't.

If I knew the cops could get there quick enough I would not carry a gun, but I've had occasion to need it. There is never a cop around when you need one. I'm not stopping liquor store robberies, and if someone points a gun at me on the street I will run and hide before I start shooting if possible. But I do like to know if I need a gun I have one. I just hope never to need it. Sort of like my spare tire, a real pain in the neck if you have to use it, but really important if you have no other choice.

If I shoot someone I have to try and save their life - not a law or anything, just what you do when you're a nurse and know how to. Much easier to just run away.

whackjobs

I am not real keen on shooting people.... especially in my house. What a mess to clean up.

If he runs past without shooting me then have at it, what is he going to do toast all my english muffins. I have insurance for my stuff, and frankly my stuff is not all that great. If there were people inside the house I would do more to keep him out of my house and away from them, but if you want my TV live it up.

Having been an ER nurse for over a decade I have seen plenty of people die from being shot. Some people needed to be shot, most didn't.

If I knew the cops could get there quick enough I would not carry a gun, but I've had occasion to need it. There is never a cop around when you need one. I'm not stopping liquor store robberies, and if someone points a gun at me on the street I will run and hide before I start shooting if possible. But I do like to know if I need a gun I have one. I just hope never to need it. Sort of like my spare tire, a real pain in the neck if you have to use it, but really important if you have no other choice.

If I shoot someone I have to try and save their life - not a law or anything, just what you do when you're a nurse and know how to. Much easier to just run away.

Hmmmmm . . .

What kind of training might the gun weilder have had, if he or she was defending the home, in the application of appropriate force? If the suspected assailant is carrying the firearm, then reasonable use is almost certainly not a consideration. Even if he is just a distressed citizen. His frame of mind in the scenario you described is clearly not a state of rationality.

Okay, I'm complicating the scenario, and probably unnecessarily.

Keep in mind that the second amendment was enacted to prevent governments from disarming the populace as a means to implement authori- or totalitarian control. This was a common measure in tyrannical regimes, and hardly a recent one. It dates back to at least the time of Robin Hood in the -- 12th? 13th century? At that time, only the king's soldiers were allowed to carry weaponry. That's why the quarterstaff, as carried by John Little, was so popular. The soldiers could sweep into a village, round up all the sticks and burn them, and as soon as they were out of sight the men could pop into the woods and cut a new stick.

In more recent times, with the evolution of violent crime to include muggings, car-jackings, and home invasion, the right to bear arms has become tied to personal self-defense against one's fellow citizens as well. The thing is, criminals do not call ahead to book appointments, so you have to make your preparations based on what might happen. Just like buying insurance.

Personally, I feel that if you are going to keep a firearm in the house, you should be expected to be at least as accountable for it as you are for owning and operating a car. You should be required to take certain minimum training, and encouraged to take all the training you can. The government can reasonably be allowed to establish certain standards of quality for that training, and for security, although where the line should be drawn will forever be a bone of contention, and governments will always go beyond what is reasonable.

Other than that, owning a firearm should, ideally, be like owning any other piece of private property. None of anybody's business but yours.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

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