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Thread: Castle Doctrine

  1. #1
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    Castle Doctrine

    Steven Harris has been a lawyer since 1979, and he often defends federal agents and police officers in use of force cases. He is also a highly trained shooter, having trained with us and several other schools. Here is an article he wrote for Modern Service Weapons, but first some comments from me.

    Claude Werner (The Tactical Professor) frequently writes about negative outcomes arising from a homeowner going outside to challenge a suspected intruder. If you think there is a deadly threat outside, why go outside? Here, Harris details some legal issues involved. See

    http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=18502#more-18502

  2. #2
    Marginally Relevant NH Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Givens View Post
    Claude Werner (The Tactical Professor) frequently writes about negative outcomes arising from a homeowner going outside to challenge a suspected intruder.
    Tom, thanks for the link.

    IMO, Claude is right even on this one: the defender now has to live with killing someone that he may not have had to if he stayed inside. Though he won the legal battle, he may not in the long run win the emotional/psychological one.

    I would not have opened the door either to let someone get a toe-hold. Short of assailants getting ready to commit arson and burn me out of the house, I'll be staying inside waiting for LE to arrive.

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    Thanks for sharing

    while I believe most all of us here on PF know this it still can not be said enough. Kind of like muscle memory, read it, read it, read it , like dry fire practice.
    Thanks for sharing Tom

  4. #4
    Spending my time, now, in the inside of a courtroom, I have become much more aware of how the process works. Along with that comes my understanding that in a self-defense situation, one had better be able to articulate that you were in a life threatening situation that YOU DIDN'T PURPOSELY PUT YOURSELF IN. Like stated, short of attempting to burn you out, going outside to confront someone is elevating a situation that may be best left to LE.

    In current situations where LE won't/can't respond then I don't know what to say.

  5. #5
    Mr. Shovel Lover Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Givens View Post
    If you think there is a deadly threat outside, why go outside?
    Exactly. I had an incident at my home this year with a suspicious vehicle with an unknown number of occupants. I thought briefly about going out to see what was going on, but what ran through my head was, "you could end up badly outnumbered because you can't see if there is more than one person in the car." The LE response was four deputies and a K9 initially, with another three deputies backing them up. Two guys in the car had guns.
    It's dangerous to challenge a system unless you're completely at peace with the thought that you're not going to miss it when it collapses.

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    Wag more Bark less RJ's Avatar
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    Thanks Tom.

    In elementary school, one of the things that got drilled into my son by one of the teachers in particular, was just because you can, just because you want to, doesn't mean you should. I repeated it to him often.

    Great article and very timely.
    Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught. — J. C. Watts

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivantheterrible View Post
    Spending my time, now, in the inside of a courtroom, I have become much more aware of how the process works. Along with that comes my understanding that in a self-defense situation, one had better be able to articulate that you were in a life threatening situation that YOU DIDN'T PURPOSELY PUT YOURSELF IN. Like stated, short of attempting to burn you out, going outside to confront someone is elevating a situation that may be best left to LE.

    In current situations where LE won't/can't respond then I don't know what to say.
    The last line is the kicker - what if the new normal is " no one is coming - you are on your own"? Not blaming Police but blaming the political situation they may find themselves. One anti-gun argument was "do not need gun - police protect". If the police are not coming - will the "rules" or the interpretation of the rules change?

  8. #8
    Mr. Shovel Lover Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranger View Post
    The last line is the kicker - what if the new normal is " no one is coming - you are on your own"? Not blaming Police but blaming the political situation they may find themselves. One anti-gun argument was "do not need gun - police protect". If the police are not coming - will the "rules" or the interpretation of the rules change?
    Don't get wrapped up in TV commercials.
    It's dangerous to challenge a system unless you're completely at peace with the thought that you're not going to miss it when it collapses.

  9. #9
    Site Supporter Rex G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranger View Post
    The last line is the kicker - what if the new normal is " no one is coming - you are on your own"? Not blaming Police but blaming the political situation they may find themselves. One anti-gun argument was "do not need gun - police protect". If the police are not coming - will the "rules" or the interpretation of the rules change?
    A major thing that I have seen change, since I became an adult, in the late Seventies, is that the bad guys have mobile communication devices. This means that their reinforcements and/or screaming family members and other relations may start arriving, soon after an incident. We want to preserve evidence that works in our favor, but we may well have to exfil. Be ready to make such choices, and plan what to say to the authorities.

    The proliferation of mobile communications, and social media, can also, potentially, mean that bad guys may be recording their crimes. We need to be mindful that our attackers, or any bystander, may be shooting video.

    And, to go down the mobile device trail, further, let us remember that our mobile devices, and mobile service, can/will show where we have been, and when we were there.
    Retar’d LE

    Don’t tread on volcanos!

  10. #10
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    My counterpoint is that some folks have property outside of their houses that they don’t want stolen. Living out in the country, I know that law enforcement will take plenty of time to reach me. By then my ATV or other vehicle could be miles away unless someone decides to intervene. Also, my dogs could just as easily be barking at an intruder of the 4-legged variety. Around my area there are hogs & coyotes that can quickly cause financial trouble for me or my neighbors.

    I am lucky enough to have several neighbors who shoot that are usually close enough to respond if I needed them.

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