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The Morality of Home Defense

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posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 02:23 AM
I'm wondering how people feel about defending your castle. There are a lot of situations that can come up when you least expect it, which lead to many possible reactions.

For example, a story my wife told me from when she was a child that happened in their home in Ohio. A man who had been stabbed wandered onto their land and into their home. Walked right into the kitchen, bleeding and clutching the wound. Freaky thing to have happen to you, whether you're a child or an adult. I believe her father escorted the man outside and called the police. She didn't say if they rendered any other aid.

In many states, not sure in OH, you are within your rights to shoot to kill. Someone strange is in your home, you have to assume they're not there to do any good.

Someone can break in, intending to rob your house in the middle of the night. They may be armed, they may not be. They may have intent to harm, they may not.

Someone could be being chased by a killer and come into your house to escape. They could be being chased by the police and do the same.

I guess the point is, you can never really be sure what someone is doing in your home. You don't know motive, intent, or ability. So the question is, how do you feel about absolute defense of your home, that is, shoot to kill and ask questions never?

Can you really afford to hesitate, to use non-lethal force, or even do nothing when your loved ones are at stake?

I debate myself over this on occasion and I usually come to the conclusion that I would only do my best within the situation to figure out if the intruder is actually a family member, but in the case I know it can't be (I live 1000 miles from any other family than my wife), I wouldn't hesitate to use lethal force on someone who is not trying to declare themselves.

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 02:43 PM
I don't think morality comes into it when you are woken up in the middle of the night full of adrenaline and go into instinct mode. The only thing that might personally slow me down would be the legality and fear of spending my life in jail. Here in Canada I am pretty sure you can't just shoot anybody, even if they break into your house in the middle of the night. You must use "reasonable force" to remove them (Which means to shoot you'd either have to see they had a gun, or they were running at you with a knife.) But what is "reasonable" comes into question too.... if you've never hit somebody with a baseball bat before, how do you know how hard you have to hit them to knock them unconcious, versus kill them?

If you live in a dangerous area and you feel your life is at stake, I think it's better to stop the intruder with all the force you've got and deal with the aftermath later. Even if you get unlucky and have to spend a few years in jail it's better than being dead. If you live in an area where burglars are likely to be unarmed, or kids just looking for alcohol, it's better to go easy.

Especially in the US court system, if you decide to shoot you better make sure it's a lethal shot, because if you put somebody into a wheelchair for the rest of their life, they're going to sue for millions and win for sure. Don't shoot an intruder in the back or you're pretty much screwed as well.

[edit on 3/22/2008 by Yarcofin]


posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 05:55 PM
Missouri is a Castle Doctrine state. You can use deadly force if someone is simply in the act of breaking in to your home or vehicle without the threat of legal or civil retaliation. If a person is in the process of breaking or has already broken in to an occupied residence, which a vehicle is considered an extension of, there exists probable cause to believe the intruder intends to inflict severe bodily injury or death on the occupants.

But the morality of such a position is subjective. The need to defend yourself or your family is one which most people will never encounter. When it does happen however, it will be an event you will remember for the rest of your life. So, in my opinion, you had better be sure you had no choice but to pull the trigger.

An intruder climbing in through a window is momentarily at a disadvantage if you have sensed their entry before they have seen you. The threat of deadly force may be appropriate prior to the application depending on if you believe they are armed. If an intruder is already inside but you are upstairs and they are down, the staircase is a free-fire zone. Otherwise if you encounter an intruder you are at a distinct disadvantage. You will be in fight-or-flight. They will be charged with adrenaline with cat-like reflexes, possibly high on crack, meth, etc. If you challenge them and they are armed, the last thing you register will be the sound of their gun. So if you are certain this is an invader, it doesn't matter if their back is turned or if you can't see a weapon. Shoot first and don't stop firing until they are incapable of fighting back.

[edit on 22-3-2008 by apc]

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 07:11 PM
I probably wouldn't waste someone over property, but if I felt justifiably threatened, the threat is dead meat. Period. This kind of thing is a no brainer. If you are confronted with a deadly threat, you do what you must to protect yourself. You don't shoot someone though because you are mad that they ran off with your iPod, ha. If they come into your home to rob you blind while you are there, that is a threat ~ you waste them. If you hear a noise out in your garage, you don't go grab your gun and run outside to create the threat. If an angry mob is sweeping their way through the neighborhood with torches, you could try to stop them. But why risk it? Is all your "stuff" that great?

Don't risk your life over "stuff."

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 07:25 PM
I read a post by an ATS member which summs up my thoughts on this position exactly:

"Remember, I didnt make the decision that the intruders life was worth less than the stuff he was trying to steal.... the intruder did."

posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 08:15 PM
If one made it through the myriad defenses in place in the middle of the night the dogs would certainly be on alert. At the point They were trapped There would be like force, if needed but I do have a large selection of handcuffs and transport irons so submission would be the choice of life. I intend to harm no one unless forced to do so, in like force, in which case I am well above average in multiple target acquisition.

On a side note I have a buddy with a 50' extension cord and a set of worm prods under his bed with a lamp switch next to the handles. I would not want to disturb his sleep if you get what I mean. It depends on the state and the law where you live.

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