ID target or Shoot


GottaBeAh.40

Crazy old Bird
Your home is dark, it's late and you hear someone inside your home. DO you try to ID the individual or do you use deadly force without issuing any commands or effort to ID?
 

Is this a serious question? Because, frankly, even the most neophyte gun owner must know that identifying your target--at the very least to the extent that you are certain the target is a threat and not, say, your spouse or child, or favorite in-law whose car just broke down a block away--is one of the most basic rules of responsible gun ownership/use.

Not to mention that use of deadly force requires (depending on the individual state's laws) at least some reasonable fear of death or bodily harm. Blasting away at an unkown target "without...any...effort to ID" hardly seems to meet that standard.
 
Is this a serious question? Because, frankly, even the most neophyte gun owner must know that identifying your target--at the very least to the extent that you are certain the target is a threat and not, say, your spouse or child, or favorite in-law whose car just broke down a block away--is one of the most basic rules of responsible gun ownership/use.

Not to mention that use of deadly force requires (depending on the individual state's laws) at least some reasonable fear of death or bodily harm. Blasting away at an unkown target "without...any...effort to ID" hardly seems to meet that standard.

Yup it's a serious question.

I saw a similar thread on another site asking if you should shout a warning to an intruder or not. I was so surprised at how many folks responded with something like, NO warning, no ID, I'd shoot to kill. Needless to say I was amazed at the responses and just wondered how the responses from the folks at this site would be....
 
Ahhhh....get a damn flashlight and make sure of what youre shooting at.

Agreed. It was argued that, If you say anything or use a flash light you'll give your position away and would be shot. I could see their point, but for me, It's a risk I would have to take.
 
With just me and the wife at home.. Alarm set.. and the bedroom door locked.. I'm calling 911 1st.. if they try to attempt to get through the bedroom door.. that is their bad decision.
2:31am call came into 911 center
2:34am intruder shot
2:38am Police arrive..

I think it is open and shut case.

If the person leaves prior to the police showing up.. So be it.. it will be the intruders lucky day..

2:34am intruder shot
2:38am 911 called
2:45am Police arrive

In Florida, you are still probably open and shut case, but not as clear cut as the previous example.
 
... its dark, you hear someone inside your home, do you use deadly force without issuing any commands or effort to ID?

... use of deadly force requires at least some reasonable fear of death or bodily harm. Blasting away at an unknown target "without...any...effort to ID" hardly seems to meet that standard.

Agreed! And, it's important to remember, whichever method of response you choose... (blindly blasting away, OR identifying the target and warning)… LEO's will be recording the facts of the scene in order to determine whether your actions were justified or not. That determination will come down to INTENT.

I would suggest it’s a good idea to have a phone near your weapon so that if time permits you can dial 911. If possible, let the 911 operator know someone has broken into your home, that you are armed and that you need police sent to your home promptly—but, even if you can't actually speak to the 911 operator, you now have a witness on the other end of the line recording the incident. Yell out to the intruder that you are armed, that the police are on the way and that you want them to leave now! If they do not leave and you must confront and ultimately are required to shoot, yell, “STOP! STOP!” prior to your first shot fired. Yelling stop is both a warning to 1) possibly scare of your attacker, and 2) CYA: COVER YOUR ASS! By giving these verbal warnings and yelling STOP you have demonstrated your only desire was to simply STOP the threat.

This is a smart practice to employ in any exercise of deadly force. INTENT! INTENT! INTENT! YOU NEVER SHOOT TO KILL!! You ARE NOT allowed to shoot to kill. You ARE allowed to shoot to STOP a THREAT!

ID and warn the attacker/intruder. That warning will go a long way to proving you were justified in your exercise of deadly force!
 
Hmmm... I can totally see both sides of the story. I'm an advocate of PID (positive identification). However, in a castle doctrine state (like SC), if I hear a bump in the night, I feel the wife beside me, grab the XD, peek in on my daughter, I can shoot whatever is moving because it is in my castle illegally. While that's not ethically correct, I'm protected by law.

Having said that, yes the flashlight comes with me. I will hear the general area of the intruder and not turn on the light until I feel it will be time to shoot. Bang! I win.
 
Hey HootmonSccy: You are my kind of guy. Right now it is just my wife and myself (we are retired). I lock my bedroom door, I have a cell phone in the bedroom, I have a 38 behind my bed and a 12g in a closet about 2 sec from my bed, and I have a bright LED flashlight. If someone is rummaging around in the house, I will call the police first and wait. Anything in my house that is worth anything is insured so if they take something and run so be it. BUT if they try that bedroom door I will have a bright LED light on the door, I will let them know that the police have been called, I have a pump 12g that I then let them hear when I pump load into the chamber, and I will position myself to the opening side of the door at an angle from the light and my initial notice. I have a throw rug on the floor such that if they even break the lock, the door will be forced into a partial open position and I will let then let them know what 00 buck feels like. If they come in thru my sliding doors off the bedroom, I will reach for the 38, laser them, and let them know what hollowpoints feel like. Some people have bigger problems like children in other areas of the home--this is considerably more difficult and I wish them well.
 
They are identified

Is this a serious question? Because, frankly, even the most neophyte gun owner must know that identifying your target--at the very least to the extent that you are certain the target is a threat and not, say, your spouse or child, or favorite in-law whose car just broke down a block away--is one of the most basic rules of responsible gun ownership/use.

Not to mention that use of deadly force requires (depending on the individual state's laws) at least some reasonable fear of death or bodily harm. Blasting away at an unkown target "without...any...effort to ID" hardly seems to meet that standard.

My outer doors are locked. There are only my wife and I in the house. If she's next to me, anyone else in the house is an intruder and will be treated as such.
 
I'm all for identifying your target and, if possible, what’s behind it. Even at home there is a difference in identifying your target and yell/screaming/ect. Also, you don't always have to make visual contact to identify a threat. If you wake to a bump in the night, know the only other person that should be in the house is in the room with you, announce, rack a shotgun, and the BG still attempts to make entry into your room. It's safe to say you have identified he's a threat.

I live alone so best case scenario:
I'm in the bedroom and hear someone in the house. I grab the shotgun (next to the bed) and lock the door. Then pick up the cell phone and call 911. Then rack the 12 gauge and announce. I'm going to guess must of the time the BG is not going to hang around after he hears a shotgun rack. Lol, I heard one time the best way to identify a threat is to rack a shotgun. If he’s friendly he’ll let you know, quickly!!

If I'm not in bed yet there is normally a gun close by and all the doors locked. If someone forces there way in, there is no warning, I go for the gun, stop the threat, and call 911.
 
alright since this came up and I already said to use a flashlight and ID the noise before shooting, heres my question...What do you guys think of the whole giving up your position argument with a flashlight? If you have a very bright LED light (which I do) which is pretty much blinding (and it is) would it be a good idea to get the light directly in the BG's face, disorientate him, and if needed save your life by shooting?
Or, do you guys think it's better to (I saw this in some show about concealed carry) briefly flash your light as youre moving from one room to the other, so If someone is in that room they can be identified, but then you wont have light to find your target when the shooting starts?
 
This is a big issue where we are right now. We have had massive amounts of break ins at mid day even. We the only warning the BG gets here is a boom boom boom and severe burning in his center mass. We have many very elderly folks that live around us and my wife and I both feel that it is our obligation to keep the trash from getting into their houses and doing them harm. They will not leave this house breathing, especially with the revolving door our PD has. He'd be back here the next night if he gets taken away in cuffs. It's amazing how often I lose my phone.....especially with all the shooting and him hollerin....for a little while.
 
alright since this came up and I already said to use a flashlight and ID the noise before shooting, heres my question...What do you guys think of the whole giving up your position argument with a flashlight? If you have a very bright LED light (which I do) which is pretty much blinding (and it is) would it be a good idea to get the light directly in the BG's face, disorientate him, and if needed save your life by shooting?
Or, do you guys think it's better to (I saw this in some show about concealed carry) briefly flash your light as youre moving from one room to the other, so If someone is in that room they can be identified, but then you wont have light to find your target when the shooting starts?

There's so many variables that can be added to the scenario that it makes it difficult to accurately describe how one would react to the invasion. I'm a big advocate for ID first and evaluate the threat level. If the attacker is unarmed and you kill him, regardless if your right or wrong, you stand a better chance of being brought before a Grand Jury and there goes the Bank account. Depending on the state you live in and the laws governing the Stand you Ground/ Castle, and property defense, you'll most likely be cleared of any charges, but I say depending on the threat level, you could've avoided that all together.

I've seen it somewhere, but can't remember where. Some statistic said that last year a gun was used in a robbery 2 million times. It also said over half the invasions were stopped by the presence of another gun in the home without a single shot being fired.

I'm not sayin I like the odds, but it's clear that just blasting away isn't always the best way to protect your family. One thing just stands out for me when I hear some folks say, "I'd shoot period!". What if there's more than one intruder, and he's in another part of the house that you're unaware of? You engage the first target and the other gets the drop on you? Bang you're dead. I can only speak for myself, but this is how I would protect my family in the event of a home invasion in the middle of the night.

I wake to window or door being broken. I grab my .40 G23 and my Cell phone. I make sure to wake my wife. I give her the phone and tell her to secure herself in a corner of the room that is tactfully safe to line of fire, and call the police, we are being attacked. While she's taking care of the that I move quietly to secure other family members to the safety of the my wife's location. I then position myself between the intruder or intruders and my family and wait behind a solid covered position until the police arrive. IF, anyone approaches my path and they have not Identified themselves as Police officers, they'll here one command. STOP! I have a weapon and I will defend my family. If they run Good! If they make any movement that I think to be hostile. Well, I'll carry out the command I shouted at um.

Every situation is different, but the key is to play certain scenarios out in your head as if they could really happen and discuss um with your family, so you are all on the same page in the event something terrible happens. It's gotta go much deeper than just. "If they're in my house they're dead". Depending on the very situation the one ending up dead could be you or a family member. Stay safe folks! Cheers
 
Important to note the difference between "warning" and "identifying"--I will not shoot a target that I have not identified as a threat--e.g., someone is stumbling around my house at night, it might be my wife or one of my kids; I will identify more clearly first. BUT, once I identify the threat, if I am in fear of my life or of great bodily harm to me or to my family, the only warning will be the muzzle flash and loud noises emanating from the barrel of my gun.
 
Hey y'all: When I think about my procedures should someone be in my home at night, I will use a bright flashlight with LED shining at the locked door to my bedroom at shoulder/face height. I have a mat positioned on my side of the door that will "jam" the door even if the lock is broken or forced open; I will be located to the side of the door on its opening side and not in any way in line with the flashlight. Someone sticks their little pinky into the opening, after listening to the racking of a shotgun and an announcement of same, will be shot. It is only my wife and I and no children so no one else will be in the house except for the obvious home invasion perp. Castle doctrine in SC will be the final piece to the puzzle. Someone asked me about the "life changing experience". I answered that there are two life changing events 1) the perp's life has changed forever and 2) I will have to buy new bedroom carpet and repair a door jam
 
No alarm is too expensive to protect you and your family.

I have an alarm that I can set for "instant on" at night. My four dogs, and that alarm will wake me from sleep, so that no one will sneak in and be standing over me while I sleep.

With that said it is just me, and the wife (she's armed as well), so I have no one else to consider as friendly. If my alarm goes off, who ever presents themselves will get shot at. I also don't have to worry about calling 911. It automatically dials out to the alarm company. If you own a house I suggest you also get a radio transmitter back-up, in case they cut the phone line.

BTW, a mexican gang has been conducting midnight raids on homes here in Phoenix, dressed as police SWAT, with AR-15s and other weapons. Don't be fooled.
 
If you are lucky enough to live in a caslte doctrine state you are not legally required to warn the intrudor, but if you shoot someone in the back in tx it makes it alot harder prove for the investigation. My friend is now houston pd, he states, "Yell hey you, when they get 3/4 of the way around pull the trigger" though you should call the police as soon as you think there is an intruder looks better to a jury. also remember not to use your 1911 with the laser and flashlight with a 20 rd mag and punisher skull grips.
1st Call the police, if little time is available dial 911 put phone in your pocket
2nd grab your firearm, and flashlight or combination thereof
3rd locate intruder with light off
4th turn on light while yelling "Hey you Stop!!"
5th as the bad guy turns most of the way you get get A, Identification and B. a nice clear shot
 
This is a big issue where we are right now. We have had massive amounts of break ins at mid day even. We the only warning the BG gets here is a boom boom boom and severe burning in his center mass. We have many very elderly folks that live around us and my wife and I both feel that it is our obligation to keep the trash from getting into their houses and doing them harm. They will not leave this house breathing, especially with the revolving door our PD has. He'd be back here the next night if he gets taken away in cuffs. It's amazing how often I lose my phone.....especially with all the shooting and him hollerin....for a little while.


Be very careful what you post on an open forum. You never know when it will come back and bite you! :eek:



gf
 
ALWAYS remember that your "shoot" will be reviewed by a prosecutor and possibly a jury that may consist of fellow citizens who are very, very different from you with very, very different opinions. You must do everything you can to have your situation play out in the most defensible manner you can possibly take. The law may say you do not have to retreat, but if you are aggressive in your actions, it does not necessarily look good before a jury. The Myrtle Beach case recently discussed in these threads is an example. The CC guy, who was approached by the eventual victim and punched, should never have gotten out of his car--he could have retreated and driven away instead of the "macho-lets see what you got" attitude. As it turned out he declared himself guilty by driving away AFTER he shot and killed the guy and now faces manslaughter. In your home, a call to 911 before you do anything is certainly a good start and anything you can do to avoid the confrontation is also a good idea--these are the facts that will play our before a jury regardless of how strongly you feel about the castle doctrine. Easier said than done if you have children in other parts of the house but if it is just you or you and wife in bedroom, your insurance can take care of things if the perp leaves before the PD come. If the perp wants to come into your locked bedroom, now it is a "fear for your life" scenario and all bets are off.
Just my thoughts--to each his own and may we always be able to talk about this stuff and never have to act on any of it.
 

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