Do you want to live? Burglary

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Judderman, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Sky One Thursday 21:00.

    Our favourite SAS guy Ryan identifies what is poitive action and what isn't if you discover an intruder in your home.

    So the question is, what would you do?

    I am a little ashamed to say that I would probably get tooled up and go look around, making noise as I go. I know this from experience, but rationally I would suggest that going tooled up is a bad idea (i dont really want to confront someone if I dont have to) and is very loosely based on the idea that criminals are not particularly brave and will do whatever they can to escape.

    So what do you guys think?
  2. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    I can't tell you for sure what I would do. But I can tell you what I've been trained to do and what the plans are.

    House clearing is a dangerous game. Police don't like to do it with less than overwhelming numbers and lots of armor and heavy ordnance. It's still one of their least favorite jobs. If you wander around looking for trouble odds are you'll find it.

    Consider your advantages. If you are in your own home, especially if the lights are off, you know the layout. You know where the obstacles are as well as objects that can be used as weapons. You can wait where you have all the tactical advantages and let him come to you if he doesn't leave. The really good trainers recommend just that. Pick up your favorite tool and your cell phone. Get to the pre-determined safe room. Take up a good defensive position. Call the police.

    Of course in the UK the law is mildly insane when it comes to defending yourself against intruders in your own home. It's particularly crazed if you aren't "sporting" about it and use your opposable thumbs to even the odds. Woe betide you if you even thought about using your cricket bat as a defensive tool. I guess they reward blind fear and unreasoning panic rather than considered reflection and reasonable fear. But I digress.

    My basic plain is as follows:

    1) Let the dogs out. Our older dog has alread driven off at least one attempted burglar (Good girl, Papillon!). If the scumbag is able to get through two good sized German Shepherds he's probably serious. The claim of self defense will carry a lot more weight.

    2) My wife and I have a code word which means "General quarters! Prepare to repel boarders!" and another which means "Come help me!" At the first the other will take a pre-determined safe position (there's a couple) with a flashlight, a shotgun and a big knife. First aid kit and fire extinguisher are nearby where they can be found in the dark.

    In the second case the hearer will grab whatever is nearest to hand and come running.

    3) Call the police. Stay on the phone with them. Make sure that whatever is wearing a uniform really is an officer; we've had home invasion types burst in with police uniforms and equipment in the area.

    4) If it's not a cop and it approaches the position "take the indicated action". If the burglar doesn't immediately show total surrender and follow instructions to the letter assume he is about to try and hurt or kill us. Our prepared positions offer enfilade fire with a good backstop, heavy masonry for cover which can stop bullets and decent concealment. And the bad guys have to turn corners while climbing stairs opening doors to get there.

    If they appear to be armed or there are several of them or any of a number of other aggravating factors they don't get a chance to surrender. I won't sit there in safety while a member of my family or a guest is at risk. If the bad guy decides to run I won't block the exit or pursue unless he's done something truly heinous and I believe that he will immediately go out and do something else awful. F'rinstance if he's just stabbed three police officers or shot a child he's shown a really exceptional disregard for human life and needs to go down before he murders someone else. If that means using deadly force it's regrettable but important to ensure the safety of other innocents.

    If I come face to face with the bad guy or he's breaking through the doorI would probably take vigorous action immediately. Every second wasted is a better chance that I'll end up injured or dead. Any criminal who's willing to do a "hot" burglary - one where he has reason to believe the home is occupied - is a serious threat.

    Besides, Oregon law is very reasonable about the use of force against people attempting burglaries against dwellings or attempting violent felonies against the innocent. The last one who came by tried to break into our house at night, when the lights were on, there was music playing, and I was clearly visible. When I told him to go away he was still rattling the door and telling me to open the door. The sight and sound of a shotgun racking had a salutary effect. "Look! It's the Amazing Levitating Bad Guy Trick!" Nothing less got his attention.

    I'd probably get prepared and wait for legal and tactical reasons. Also ethical ones. I don't want to hurt anyone unless it's absolutely necessary. Going tooled up only makes sense. If someone is willing to come into an occupied home he's probably ready for trouble if not actively looking for it. Criminals aren't "a cowardly and superstitious lot" like Batman says. I'm not going to bet my own safety on the theoretical better nature of someone who breaks the law.

    Of course, I'll leave him an out. The door is open. I won't get between him and it. If he decides to run more power too him.

    Now you know in more detail than you wanted :D
  3. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    As I live in an apartment with only one phone line, I HAVE to get up as it's in the kitchen, not the bedroom. Which is usually enough to get rid of anyone unwanted.

    But just to be safe, I do keep several small "decorative" knives handy, just in case. They're small enough to hide in the waistband of my shorts if I need to, just to avoid escalating the sitch.

    Home is pretty sacrosanct in PA as well, so not too worried there. I've got leeway.
  4. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    A few years ago I would have killed him dead where he stood.
    Today I know better. Today I would try to scare him into leaving.

    I used to have guns in the house. I don't have guns anymore so shooting him is not an option. (I'm still very pro-gun. I just don't have any.) I have a 7-inch tanto, and in the context of a house fight (narrow hallways, furniture all over the place, etc.) I have sufficient confidence in my fighting skill. The burglar will be in a world of hurt if he touches anyone in my family.

    It's not likely to get that far, though. If there's a choice between someone in my family going to the hospital with injuries (including me), and the burglar taking some property, the burglar will take some property every time. There's a difference between courageous and stupid, and I'm not stupid, and I'm never going to value stuff more than myself or my family.

    At least, I don't think I'm stupid. ;)
  5. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    Nope, as I said above, most of the time, they're gonna split upon finding out people are home. They're not dumb enough to turn a burglary into a murder.
  6. Hiroji

    Hiroji laugh often, love much

    I guess it would be hard to tell until put in the situation. I think the first thing would be to wake other family members and make sure they are all safe. We all have phones in our rooms too which would help. It would be scary, i mean to confront him. You are no doubt half asleep and the nutter downstairs could be high on drugs or anything, with no regards for your life. Is your DVD player worth your life?. Sure these people are scum and you would like to pop their skulls, but you just never know who it is you may be messing with.
  7. sliver

    sliver Work In Progress

    Unfortunetly, perhaps both for me and the would be burgler, home invasions are not at all uncommon here in southern California. If someone forcibly enters my home in the middle of the night, given the overall climate of violent crime here I can not allow my self the luxury of assuming anything other than they are here to do grevious injury to me and my family. That being the case (and the fact I quite enjoy shooting sports) I have a variety of firearms at my disposal at any time within my home. My first choice would be the winchester 1300 short barreled shotgun I keep in my bedroom. Loaded with number six birdshot, and being a cylinder bore, one slug spreads out wide enough to allow me to be as much as four degrees off center at ten feet and still hit them with enough lead to equal the kinetic energy of a .44 magnum slug. Plus, the relatively fine shot is not likely to penetrate exterior walls of the home so it's unlikely I'll accidentally shoot my next door neighbor! This particular gun carries eight rounds, and frankly, if I can't hit them with that, I wouldn't hit 'em with anything. No, I'm not going to wait and ask questions first or give them a chance to pull thier own piece out; in my home they will be hunted down and eliminated like any other dangerous preditor. I realize some will find this moraly questionable. If some left wing extremeist judge decides to throw the book at me for killing someone invading my home, well, so be it, I can live with jail time much better thant I could ever live with the knowledge I did nothing and somene hurt/raped/killed my wife or child.

    Now, before everyone lables me a right wing psycho extremeist (i'm not, and no, I didn't vote for Bush either, but that's another thread entirely), please answer me this: If you lived here, and heard about home invasions regularly (in fact one happened to a very close frined of mine, he was held for three days before he litterally jumped out a second story window and ran for help) might you feel the same way?

    Also, for those of you planning on defending yourselves with knives, what would you do if the invader had a gun? I realize if you live alone, the question is only of your own safety, so you're certianly entitled to do whatever you want. But, if you have a wife and family, what happens to them once you're out of action, the invader has allready commited one murder and has little else to loose? Just food for thought.

    Let's hope none of us ever actually have to face this situation or follow through on these choices.
  8. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Knives and guns are appropriate for different situations. At very close range a blade might make more sense. There are also jurisdictions where one or the other will be illegal.

    When it comes to firearms I heed the wisdom of my first Silat teacher's grandfather:

    "All a gun does is put holes in him so you'll be better off in the knife fight you were going to get into anyway."

    "If you need a gun carry two and a big knife. If you don't need a gun carry a .25 automatic"

    "Shoot for the belt buckle"
  9. J-Wo

    J-Wo New Member

    The problem in the UK is that guns have been illegal since 1997 (bar shotgun licenses for farmers) so if someone invades your house with an illegally obtained firearm there's really not much you can do.
    I know that when Australia banned firearms, burglary there shot up by about 40%, and there were similarly worrying statistics for the UK.
    I'm not in favour of the lax gun laws that the US has, but I'd like to at least see some loosening of the laws in Britain.

    The case a few years ago of farmer Tony Martin being jailed after he shot two criminals who invaded his home showed how much of a grey area it is in the UK. One of the guys trying to sue Martin for "loss of earnings" (he was a drug dealer) as a result of his injuries was, to me, ridiculous.
  10. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    Sliver, perhaps it's different in Cali, but in all the years I've been practicing law, I have found that most burglars (a) don't carry firearms because they don't have the balls to use them, and (b) most of them are cowardly enough where they will turn tail and run at the first hint of someone being home.
  11. Grey Rain

    Grey Rain New Member

    Could you please cite that from a credible source? Cheers.
  12. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    That's why one has to distinguish between "hot" and "cold" burglaries. In the US most burglars enter during the day when people are away at work. They don't want trouble. The ones who come into obviously occupied houses are a different breed.

    In the UK hot burglaries are at least as common as cold. Criminologists have hypothesized that it's because they don't think they are in as much danger.
  13. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Lets see, loud dog (not mean just loud), lots of noise, call the police, and lastly a WWII japanese bayonet in my nightstand. Quite sharp and wouldn't be fun to be on the other end of it.
  14. J-Wo

    J-Wo New Member

  15. sliver

    sliver Work In Progress

    Quite so BaiKai, as usual, you are a voice of reason. And frankly, for those who would pull a hot prowl, I think just hearing the shotgun chamber (it's quite loud) would be enough to convince them to leave post haste. No one in their right mind really wants to deal with a shotgun in a confined space and at close quarters where there's alomost no missing, and the effects are almost certinaly lethal.

    However, what I would be more concerned with isn't a hot burglary (as stated, they probably wouldn't stick around once we woke up) so much as home invasion, a different crime alltogether. Home invasion is usually performed by multiple assailants and they usually are armed. Home invasions enter with the intent usually to rob, but hold the people inside the dwelling hostage while it goes on. There are even cases (one I'm intamately framiliar with) where the assialants "camp out" and stay for a number of days keeping the home's occupants under control the entire time. This crime seems to be getting more common among meth users here in San Diego, though I don't have a good statistic to cite to back that up, so it's just my impression. Either way, the crime is much more violent, agressive and dangerous than the average burglary.

    All this being as it is, if someone breaks in to my home I'm not inclined to wait and findout if they actually invaders hopped up on meth or just a nice garden variety burgler who wants to pinch my tv and the loose change in my chouch. If they haven't already left by the time I run into them, well, endangering my family was their own wrong choice.

    Please understand I'm not one of these young agressive types who normally talks macho and puffs their chest, or looks for fights, but this is one thing I genuinely do worry about; entering my home in the night is where I draw the line between civilized human being and animal protecting it's young.

    As to carrying a knife with the shotgun or in lieu of it, frankly statistics just don't bear that out. If you check out FBI crime statistics (which you can at the only time where a victim of a violent crime generally comes out better off resisting is when they're armed with a firearm. In cases of both unarmed defense, and knife armed defense as well as a few others they've got statistics on, the would be defender generally was still victimized and generally got hurt worse than those who offered no resistance at all. Add to this the physics and physiology of the particular firearm I'm using: one blast from the shotgun at a range of twelve feet (most gun fights actually occur at six to seven) carries the kinetic energy of four .44 magnum slugs. This would put even someone the size of Dan Severn into hydrostatic shock instantly (read as body shuts down to try to survive and they are no longer a threat). Also, the area of effect nature of the weapon means I'm very unlikely to miss. By the way, a .25 auto would be very unreliable for home defense for a number of reasons. You may want to do some further reasearch on this or better yet take one of the firearms for home defense courses that are offered by most sherrif's departments before you make a final judgement here.
  16. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    There's a good thirty years' research on resistance to the violent crime of rape. The results are pretty much indisputable - fighting back, even without a weapon, causes a huge drop in the rate at which the crime will be completed.
  17. medi

    medi Sadly Passed Away - RIP

    Absolute rubbish. You're allowed to do what the hell you like in your home as long as you believe you are in danger (and you don't need to see a weapon for that to be true), however once you are out of danger you're expected to stop defending yourself. I believe the official statistics from the recent home office 'clarification' of home defense law was that there have been 15 prosecutions of people who used unreasonable force to defend private property (including businesses) from burglars in the last 20 years.

    To quote the CPS spokesman, those prosections were cases where e.g. a burglar had been tied up and set on fire. He said he had personally seen many cases where people had stabbed, shot, and bludgeoned burglars and had not been prosecuted.

    Martin shot the burglar in the back from around 30-40 feet as the man was fleeing the property, a fact not often mentioned by the hysterical media. As for trying to sue Martin, well you're allowed to try to sue for anything you like. As I recall the case was thrown out.

    Funny that it's the media generally that was making such a fuss about the law siding with the criminal: They are making people unnecessarily afraid to defend themselves in their homes and thereby helping the criminals all along.
  18. J-Wo

    J-Wo New Member

    True that he shot him in the back, I'm not sure that shooting someone in the back is necessarily unreasonable force when you have someone invading your house late at night, since they could easily be going to get a weapon or "back-up". I would probably consider it excessive but I've not been in that situation so I'm not sure how I'd react. I would tend to sway on the side of a non-criminal defending his home though.
  19. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    I like the idea of having them accidentally fall down the stairwell seven or eight times....
  20. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Hardly rubbish. You are allowed to use tools in self defense, but it is specifically and explicitly illegal to carry something around for the purpose of using it in self defense. Your laws, not mine. That rewards picking up something in blind fear as opposed to making plans and carrying them out in reasonable fear.

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