It's illegal to defend yourself from a burglar in your own home?

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posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 03:51 PM
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OK, this has been bothering me for several days now, so I came to ATS for advice and explanation.

My brother and his wife recently moved from Texas to Missouri due to a job transfer. When they got there, they had dinner with my uncle and his wife, who also used to live in Texas, but moved to Missouri due to a job transfer as well.

During dinner, they got the usual advice about new places you get when moving somewhere new -- "Don't go to this part of town after dark," "This is a great place to go on the weekends," etc. But they also gave them another warning -- if someone breaks into your house in Missouri, you can go to jail for shooting the burglar after they've broken into your house -- especially if the burglar dies.

What?


The burglar broke into your house, with the intent of vandalizing your property, stealing from you, physically hurting you, or all three. You should have every right to defend yourself, your family, and your home from an intruder. In Texas, this right isn't even an issue... but apparently it is in Missouri. (And some other states too -- I've read about simliar laws in California and Massachusetts, for example.)

Why does Missouri law say that my brother can go to jail for defending himself, his family, and his home from criminals? It's the criminal's fault if he or she gets shot and dies -- they shouldn't have been breaking into anyone's home, threating the family within. What is the logic behind this?


If you have to depend on the police to protect you -- most of whom are good people who protect & serve, but can't be everywhere all the time -- then you're a sitting duck, a victim waiting to be randomly chosen by a criminal who's feeling lucky.


[edit on 11/5/2004 by ThunderCloud]




posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 03:54 PM
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I believe the law states you may shoot and kill if you or another is threatened with "Death or grievous bodily harm."

Basically, you can only shoot him if he has a gun or other weapon.

DE



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by DeusEx
I believe the law states you may shoot and kill if you or another is threatened with "Death or grievous bodily harm."

Basically, you can only shoot him if he has a gun or other weapon.

DE


Deus, if somebody threatened me, in a burglary situation, regadless of the visible weapon, like "I'm gonna mess you up", I'd be right to drive a slug into them, n'est pas?



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:04 PM
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Make sure you stab the burglar through the front and not the back, but what ever you do make certain to kill him/her or they'll sue.

If at first you don't suceed, try, try again.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:05 PM
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Yeah, that's what you SHOULD do. Like I said, threatened with grievous bodily harm or death. I'm not sure if Missouri police are allowed to dismiss a case as self defence summarily or not, so that might give you some legal troubles.

DE



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:07 PM
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You can always do waht the cops do. Shot him in the front and put a weapon in his hand. He is dead and can't counter what you say.


Not serious, but it does happen

*edited to make clear was not serously suggesting that-if not perfectly clear

[edit on 11/5/2004 by mrmonsoon]



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:23 PM
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Sadly, this issue belies a more ominous and sinister problem; cities, municipalities, and counties that deny you Second Amendment right to even legally own a firearm to defend yourself, and family. Express condolences to our international friends who are likewise denied this right by their respective governments.

The second issue is the grave misconception that the police have some obligation to protect you. Oh contraire, the police are only obligated to act after a crime has been committed (you know, put you in a body bag, string some yellow tape around the scene, etc) this has been ruled upon by the Supreme Court (I will not comment on the interventional responsibilities of foreign constabulary, but I would expect the same).

The final conclusion, like mom always told me (and mom knows best) better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six.

Think the Government cares? Guess again.


[edit on 5/11/2004 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:29 PM
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I believe if you are threatened, you can take action similar to the Police and react with a level force. If the crook is unarmed, you might get away with beating him a bit (a la Baseball Bat). If he has a deadly weapon, the deadly force could be justified.

The main rule a Police officer told me. If you shoot them...make sure they fall inside the house. There are some technicalities there.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by Mirthful Me
The second issue is the grave misconception that the police have some obligation to protect you. Oh contraire, the police are only obligated to act after a crime has been committed (you know, put you in a body bag, string some yellow tape around the scene, etc) this has been ruled upon by the Supreme Court (I will not comment on the interventional responsibilities of foreign constabulary, but I would expect the same).


I didn't read the ruling but essentially this argument is a gross exaggeration. The cops aren't obligated to lie their lives down for you (although sometimes they do), however they are definitely obliged to intervene.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:32 PM
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The people who are making these laws depend on those burgurlars that live on these things. B/c when they are not stealing from you and getting away with it if you go around shooting them. They will not have any more peons due to little crack head jobs like go shoot this person and I will give you this crack we found in a bust last weekend.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:32 PM
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Mirth,

The more I read your posts, the more I agrree with what you have to say.

You can not depend on the police to protect you-they will not. They don't stop crome from happening-there show upo and deal after the fact.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:39 PM
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It all depends on state law.
Here in CT you must retreat unless in your own dwelling or business (you must be owner of the business) from a threat.
You DO NOT have the right to kill someone for walking out of your front door with your television. You DO have the right to shoot someone threatening your life or someone elses if you must. In most cases the racking of a 12 Ga shotgun will make the criminal soil himself and run away (thankfully).



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by Aelita
I didn't read the ruling but essentially this argument is a gross exaggeration. The cops aren't obligated to lie their lives down for you (although sometimes they do), however they are definitely obliged to intervene.


No, they are not, not even a little. As a student of Constitutional Law (amateur, grade 2b) I have studied this little bit of judicial malfeasance.


previously mentioned source
The courts have decided that you have no right to expect the police to protect you from crime! Incredible as it may seem, the courts have ruled that the police are not obligated to even respond to your calls for help, even in life threatening situations! To be fair to the police, I think that many, and perhaps most, officers really do want to save lives and stop dangerous situations before people get hurt. But the key point to remember is that the courts have said they are under no legal obligation to do so.


To be more specific:


District of Columbia Court of Appeals
{There is a}"fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen" (Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981).


Please review the case studies and the respective judicial rulings, and reassert your previous statement. I am in no way saying that I think law enforcement officers would knowingly fail to intervene, merely that they are under no legal obligation to do so, their individual moral obligation may well supersede any thought of jurisprudent nullification.

Previously provided source.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 05:18 PM
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I have three cans of pepper spray all over the house, so that I won't have to use a gun... We do have guns, I don't know how to use them and i'm scared to anyway since they make a loud noise and I'm jumpy enough as it is....

I rely on the spray and my own unique set of martial arts moves...
I'd # him up "if" I could get him down, make a citizen's arrest and call the cops over to pick him up...

I wouldn't just kill him because he broke in, because I know for damn sure it would be my ass that would be booked.

I guess you need to have plan a and plan b before pulling out your pistol...

But it's also one thing to scare him with a gun, lock and load I believe is the term? But don't shoot unless you have to and unless he's facing you..

If he has his back turned to you and you shoot him, you're #ed...

Do I have this little ditty of injustice right??



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 05:28 PM
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Around here you have to be threatened but we are pretty loose on the word threatened.

It amounts to if they break in you are threatened, if they are in your yard its a bit more touchy. Be sure to kill them so their is only ONE side to the story. I have NEVER heard of someone going to jail around here for protecting his property.

To me you should be able to shot ANY threat anywhere no one should have to "retreat".

If you dont want shot play nice



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 05:29 PM
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Personally, i'd shoot a burglar right in the back of the head, and say his crowbar and my drill looked like a rifle and a gun.......then get off scott-free.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 05:37 PM
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i live in massachusetts, and according to my history teacher, you can only use a weapon under 6 inches or something in massachusetts. theres a law against using excessive force though (like covering your entire house with electric wires). he also told my of an example where this store owner shot and killed some guy for stealing something and nothing happened to him (although i bet businness went down).



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 06:50 PM
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I took a self defense class taught by the local sheriff's office on how to use a gun. We were instructed by the deputy that if you are in your home and someone breaks in, get you loaded gun and shoot until it is empty. He also assured us that if we were ever put in this situation, he would testify on our behalf.

A few months back a guy broke into a truck (not in my city but near by). The owner of the truck came out of his apartment with his gun and shot the guy dead. The owner of the truck was arrested but later released because he was "in fear of his life".





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