Originally Posted by UnderFire
Many states have a castle doctrine that allows you to defend your home, but doesn't justify shooting someone for just being in your home. Holding a home intruder until police arrive is the right thing to do, unless the threat level escalates.
I know in talk we try to express how "bad" we are, but to take one's life is a feeling most don't have or understand. Just imagine having to live next to that neighbor's wife & children and the guilt that there's no father in that household because you were over zealous.
In the scenario that Goju describes, it would be better to help the neighbor home, I really doubt he "deserves to die" because he mistakenly broke into your home. I would have him pay for the damages of breaking into your home.
One of the reasons that I suggest that you get to know all of the neighbors well (posted elsewhere). I am not sure that I want to 'think out' my rules of engagement while someone is coming at me. My rules of engagement are... you enter my domain and refuse my orders to comply instantly, I make every effort to terminate your advance on me or my family. Period. I am not about to give anyone a breathalyzer test before taking action. It is a sad situation to be sure and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life but at least I will know that I have done what I trained to do and have done my best to protect myself and my family. Hence the reason for the alarm system, the dog, the lights coming on, the 130db. alarm siren, etc. I have also done my best to prevent a tragedy from taking place.... at the point I start shooting the decision is out of my hands. It has been made for me and I am just following my training and instincts.
And by the way, I would never load a handgun for self defence with handloads nor would I adjust the trigger to make it lighter or whatever. The prosecution is generally looking for good cause to chase you. It gets votes.