Locked bedroom door no good for me
I have seen the strategy of retreating to a safe room when an intruder is present and waiting for him to breach this room before considering using my weapon. This made sense to me in this no castle doctrine state of MN. The older I get the more I worry about what lawyers and over zealous DA's would do to a resident here if they left their bedroom/safe room and sought out the intruder, so the locked door policy seemed right. The problem for me is all our bedrooms are on the second floor. The only staircase exits and faces my bedroom door and that would be fine if I could guaranty the BG would come towards my door but if the BG decides to do a u-turn off the stairs, he would have access to my son's room. So is the best strategy to leave the door open and remain behind cover and await the intruder to come up the stairs and then announce I am armed as you see him on the stairs? Not allow him to advance off the staircase? One thing that works well is our outside lights (especially the porch lights in this case) shine through the front door and windows at the base of the stairs illuminating the stair case. I would be in total darkness but the staircase would be lighted.
Amazing (but good) the questions my brain is asking me since joining/reading this great forum!
Bottom line. Get between the BG and your son at all costs. That is YOUR house. Don't let the fear of a sneaky lawyer prevent you from doing what is needed to protect yourself and your family.
Tactically you don't want to go down the stairs to try and "ambush" the BG, but you would want to, as a minimum, put yourself and your gun between the BG and your son.
Take a long look at your stairs setup and see if it would be better (more cover) if you stayed at the top of the stairs or bottom of the stairs.
If you think about it, that situation would actually help you as far as the legalities go. Think about it. You have no escape.
"Sir, I stayed upstairs with my son and the BG came up the stairs. I have no way to escape and the BG would not listen to my warnings to stop. He kept coming up the stairs and I feared he would kill my son and I. I felt I had no alternative."
Bottom line. DO NOT allow a BG to advance up the stairs. If he puts his foot on the first stair after you have announced your warning, you should be in the process of administering what we call in the military circles "a steel injection".
I think the thing to consider first is keeping the bad guy OUT of the house in the first place.
2x2 sticks in sliding windows.
a good dog.
Outside flood lights with motion detectors.
A house security alarm sign, even if you don't have the service.
a neighborhood watch sign, again even if you don't have the service.
All of those can be useful in determent, which should be your first effort. If you have those things, a reasonable arguement could be made that the bad guy ignored the obvious "warning" and had bad intentions in mind when he got into your house, so you had already issued one "warning" and the second would be verbal prior to an altercation.
As for home protection, I like the idea of a safe room, but I think the idea isn't practical in all homes. A second floor safe room doesn't do you any good if the intruder is between you and the stairs and you are both on the ground floor. :rolleyes:
The key for any "siege" circumstance is to force your attacker into an easily held bottle neck. One way in, one way out and you on the opposite side of it. Any hallway, or staircase, is ideal for that purpose, because of the length of travel.
To get to you, they have to enter a tight, constricted, narrow space where bullets have a better than average chance of finding flesh, and they have to be in it longer than the blink of an eye like a doorway.
Arranging furniture can also create an "inside the box" sort of bottle neck. If the bad guy can't "walk/run" because the couch is in the way, s/he might not automatically think about jumping over it, and instead running along the path created by you.
Situational awareness is key, as is "that" feeling, so you should pay attention to it.
Just a couple of days ago we had a story of an old couple who had their home broken into and the husband, who was in his 90's I believe, had a pistol inside the couch cushion he was sitting on. When he pulled it and started shooting, the bad guys started running and he saved his wife and himself from getting robbed &/or worse. That is something to consider....
BacktoGats, Your living in a "no castle doctrine state of MN" problem is soon to change. Not to be a buzz kill, but you are going to have much larger fish to fry once the unbiased and broadly experienced statesman, Al (Mick Jagger) Franken weasels into office.
You think you have over zealous lawyers and DAs now, wait until they let the dogs out! I feel your pain and hope there is a grass roots movement underway.
Best of luck, and you can count on us watching what this comedian (read joke) does to your state's civil/human rights!
**NOTE TO GOVERNMENT: My home is my castle, donít even think about f**king with it!
I agree with JD. I call it layering the security.
Make your house uninviting with lights and signs. 360 degree fence if possible with locked gates.
Make entry difficult/slow/noisy. Supplementary locks on windows. If a window gets broken, replace with lexan, stronger than plexi glass and does not yellow as bad.
Enhanced security on doors. Good steel clad doors, double cylinder deadbolt locks (key to get in or out), reinforced striker plates (simple 3" deck screws through striker plate instead of 3/4" OEM screws).
Choke points inside to funnel the BG.
Secure com. Insure your house phone line cannot be cut from outside and your cell phone gets reliable reception inside.
Most of all, have a plan. Have a back up plan as no plan ever survives first contact. Make sure the others in the house know the plan(s) also.
Re-think your plan periodically to keep it current and workable.
If the attacker has a weapon and intends to use it against you, you have a clean shooting. It's best to meet the individual early in the fray before they're able to learn the layout of your house and develop a plan. I agree fully that your house should be hardened and made unattractive as possible to an attacker, but I'm taking the fight to them.
In California, a citizen using their power of arrest, can use any force they deem necessary to prevent the escape of a criminal, once those powers of arrest have been invoked.
This doesn't allow you to use Texas style force outside the home, but it does allow you to use what could be considered deadly force. I can't shoot someone in the back of the head as they flee, but an axe handle to the ribcage isn't going to get me prison time. Likewise, a bullet to a leg should be fair game.
By all means, do not allow an intruder access to your child's bedroom. Your son may be the intruder's target. (Google: Polly Klaas.) Get an early warning system, such as a barking dog, or one of those cheap door alarms available at most hardware stores. If you don't want a large dog, even a small lap dog, can wake you up. A large, barking dog with a tendency to protect the pack and with a minimum of training will eliminate the problem. But, that's another topic.
Do not rely on outside lights. They burn out, break and can be unscrewed. Do the best you can to harden your home, and make sure no one in your home ever opens a door to someone they don't know. Even in day time. There is nothing sacred about "broad-daylight," whatever that is.
Every situation will be different and should be addressed as such. There simply is no one-size-fits-all scenario. If you, or anyone else here, is ever involved in a use of force case, do the same thing that police officers do. Lawyer up. Be cooperative, be as polite as possible, but follow the same rules the cops follow, the Garrity case. The first officer you talk with will most likely be a uniform patrolman. Tell him / her something like; The guy broke into my house and would not leave when I told him to. I yelled that I had a gun and he kept coming toward me, (or my child) and yelled "F**k you" when I told him to leave. I became in fear of my (my child's) immediate death, and shot at him to stop him from hurting me (my child).
After that basic recap of what happened, tell the officer/s that you are frightened and want to cooperate, but want to talk to your lawyer before making any further statements. Then shut up. Give them name rank and serial number, but no details about the shooting. You will be eager to talk to them in order to clear things up as soon as possible, but resist that temptation. Every officer you talk to will later write a report of your statement. Human memories being what they are, all of the reports may not accurately reflect your statement. In most cases, this will be the first actual shooting they've ever responded to. Don't trust their memories. That doesn't mean they are out to screw you, but they too may be scared and confused.
It is quite common for someone who has just shot in self defense, to have diffculty in their memory. (I was involved in a shooting 14 years ago and still do not remember some things.) A young, inexperienced officer may mistake your temporary loss of memory as being evasive and will bear down on you in the questioning. "Officer, I really want to help clear this up, but I must wait until talking with my lawyer before giving any more details." Hopefully by that time, more experienced officers / investigators will be there to take over the questioning.
Depending on the policy of the police department, or the general maturity of the responding officers, you can expect a trip to the police department, maybe in handcuffs. Depending on the politics of the prosecutor's office, you may expect to be booked. In most cases you can expect a Grand Jury hearing, where you can be indicted, or cleared.
If you are ever involved in a shooting, your life has just changed forever. Be very, very careful about what you say, that very well could result in your imprisonment and at the very least, a very large legal expense. Never lie to the officers, and for God's sake, don't take the advice of the "Texas style" comments. It may be a good idea to take out pre-paid legal insurance, just as with car and home insurance, it may be a worthwhile expense.
Practice in your own home!!!
Great advice pioneer461.
One thing I have done is when there is no one else in the house, CLEAR the home defense pistol and do some walk throughs with some different scenarios in mind. My bedroom is on the top floor, my living room/ ketchen/ gunroom is on the second floor, and the kids rooms are on the bottom floor along with the garage. So like its been mentioned, every homes reaction plan will differ due to the layout of the home and how you must protect the kids. With my layout, I have not choice but to clear quickly to get to my children. With that as my only option, I don't have the luxury of barricading in; sudden, swift action is needed.
I do have a safe room in the middle of the house I can use the 36"x60" gun safe as a barricade if the scenario permits. From there I could hold off a small army of dip shxts. With enough guns and ammo, and if I tear the guns out, I could fit my wife and four children safely inside a three walled safe box, while using the door as barricade as I cover the only hallway in.
Look at the layout of your home, and use what you have in it to your advantage!!!! Remember the bad guy doesn't normally know what he's walking into! Make a plan and rehearse your actions. Always better to make a plan the whole family knows, but if there are small children, you may not want to scare them with the ideas.... bad guys in the dark corners of there bedroom..... but so long as you know what you are going to do, you are going to be ahead of the power curve!!
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