Self-Defense Tip: Home Carry. And STFU.

According to philadelphia.cbs.local.com, seventy-seven-year-old Ruth Salzman is a Czech-born Holocaust survivor. And now, a victim of a home invasion: “Two young men with bandanas over their faces and a hatchet in one hand [said], ‘We came to get your money!’ I thought it was a joke, it was surreal. Every time I said something, they maced me some more, about four times.” The men ordered her to lay face down on her bed, and then stole three handguns, jewelry and $100. How would this have turned out if the septuagenarian had followed TTAG’s advice to home carry? And although our sympathies are with the victim, this is exactly the kind of thing you never EVER want to say. To anyone. Ever. “Next time, they come in, I’ll kill them. I’m not opposed to shooting them. They come back, I’ll kill them.” [h/t to Daverino62]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

32 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Home Carry. And STFU.

  1. avatarjoe says:

    An alternative to “home carry” is to (a)not leave your door(s)in a condition that makes a push-in easy,and(b)have a firearm handy on each level of the house.If you have a CCW permit,try to not leave home without it because it really sucks to walk in on a burglary where the burglar may have your own firearm in their possession.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Handy schmandy. A gun should either be on your hip of locked in a safe. Leaving/hiding guns around the house/apt is irresponsible. They can be stolen or, worse, found by kids/grandkids.

      A quick access 9G safe or suchlike is a good answer to “how do I get my gun now that I need it?” But not the best. You want to try to win a footrace to your gun safe and then open it?

      Home carry. I mean, what’s the downside?

  2. avatarTotenglocke says:

    Go granny – apparently she’s got more balls to do what’s necessary than Robert does.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Huh? It’s one thing to have balls (wait . . . checking . . . yup there they are) and another to make it difficult to stay out of jail when you do what needs doing. Unless you believe that the bad guys watch the TV news, and consider the vic’s remarks deterrence, threatening to kill burglars is a dumb move.

      • avatarTotenglocke says:

        Given that Pennsylvania has a castle doctrine, she can say anything she wants and if they break into her house again (doubtful they could prove it’s the same people anyways), she can shoot them a thousand times and it’s all kosher.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          From your lips to the prosecutor’s ears. ‘Cause politics has a little something to do with it.

        • avatarRalph says:

          Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine is very strong, but it’s not an unrestricted license to kill. The law specifies that “an actor is presumed to have a reasonable belief that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself” under many circumstances. The law has not been tested because it’s brand new, but usually a “presumption” can be rebutted. If I were to announce that I was going to kill a certain person and I did, I may have rebutted the presumption and confessed to a crime. The rule, as always, is STFU.

        • avatarJoe Grine says:

          +1 to Ralph’s comments.

        • avatarHSR47 says:

          Wait, what?

          Let’s look at the meat of what you’re referring to:

          “(2.1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2.2), an actor is presumed to have a reasonable belief that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat if both of the following conditions exist:
          (i) The person against whom the force is used is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered and is present within, a dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle; or the person against whom the force is used is or is attempting to unlawfully and forcefully remove another against that other’s will from the dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle.
          (ii) The actor knows or has reason to believe that the unlawful and forceful entry or act is occurring or has occurred.”

          As far as I’m concerned, her saying “if someone else breaks in again I will use lethal force” does not in any way affect her standing with regard to the law, as in such a situation, the party against whom lethal force would be used is unlawfully entering (or has already unlawfully entered) her dwelling, thus satisfing (i), and she knows about it, thus satisfying (ii). THUS, she is presumed to have a reasonable belief that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect herself.

          That said, it IS generally wiser to refrain from such talk; However, such talk has no bearing on this woman’s rights under Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes as amended by HB40 as signed by Governor Corbett this June.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Ultimately, your rights may be determined by a jury of your peers. Threatening to kill people whom you later kill will not go down well with people charged with deciding whether or not you HAD to shoot. Just sayin’.

  3. avatarJason says:

    At your age, you’re more likely to need quick access to a defibrillator than a handgun. But will we see you carrying one around the house? Do you even have one, period? It’s no more expensive than a moderately priced AR-15. You can order one on Amazon and have it tomorrow. But you won’t. Why? Because it’s not about reducing risk. “Home carry” has nothing to do with life saving, and everything with your personal fantasy of gunning down Black Bart with your Red Ryder as he climbs over the back fence.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Tr0ll alert.

      • avatarJason says:

        For $1199 + shipping, you could own a miracle of modern medical technology. Something to address one of the most common life-threatening events known to overweight Americans today. So common that you can find them on aircraft and most public venues these days. But do you have one? No? Why do you want people – even people you like well enough to have as guests in your own home! – to die?

        But you’ll spend all sorts of money and effort to stave off an event that happens so rarely that when it does, it makes news. When was the last time you saw a news article about one of your neighbors having cardiac arrest? Never. Because it’s so common it’s not even remarkable.

        Gun people suck at risk analysis & mitigation.

        • avatarkarlb. says:

          That might well be true about risk analysis, but we all are selective about what what we will do to save ourselves. I workout like a fiend for health and fun, but I also motorcycle and bicycle as much as I can. Yup, my blood pressure is 106/66, and I have stupidly low cholesterol, so I probably won’t die of heart problems. But I love traveling on two wheels, which is inherently risky: I choose to ignore the risks.

          What we protect ourselves against has more to do with psychology than actual risk, one of the quirks of being human.

        • avatarJason says:

          If that’s your choice, great. But making generic pronouncements about what others should do with no regard for actual statistical risk is another thing entirely. Once you start making claims about objective reality, it’s no longer a matter of personal choice.

        • avatarAdam says:

          I home carry.

          I’m not an over-weight American. I go to the gym 3 days a week and lead a moderately active lifestyle. I’m a desk jockey for 5 out of the 7 days of the week, that counts against me, but I take steps to minimize the risks associated with long periods of sitting… like working out, getting up and waling around, etc. I think that my need for a defibrillator is mitigated enough.

          I have a valid CC licence and I carry whenever I leave the house, wherever I can legally carry. Often times when I get home I keep my gun on me simply because it’s easier than taking it off and securing it in the safe. At least till I go to bed.

          That said, we live in a nice quiet neighborhood. At least we did. Some new neighbors arrived a few months ago and brought a certain element with them that I don’t particularly care for. It’s obvious to anyone that’s not blatantly stupid that they are selling drugs out of the house. If you know anything about this type of thing you’ll know that this kind of “business” brings with it all manner of people that you don’t want in your neighborhood, around your family, and property that you’ve worked hard for.

          A few weeks ago, at about 11:30pm, my wife let the dogs out to fertilize the grass. The dogs (3) bolted out the door and my wife noticed that out Labradoodle was barking in a different way than he normally does. His bark had purpose and intent behind it. She thought they were chasing a deer, which often run through our yard. She went out the front door to make sure the deer was not being mauled.

          At the same time I was putting my shoes on to go take the garbage out to the curb. As I walked out the front door my wife was talking to another neighbor (who was leaving for the night shift) who was telling her [my wife] that she saw a man with no shirt on hop out front fence as he was being chased by our dogs (good dog!).

          We could hear the man in the brush across from our house. We called the police, who responded via 3 officers in about 5 minutes. The officers used a FLIR camera to see if they could find the suspect but to no avail. He got away.

          Our back yard (we live on an acre) butts up against other neighbors property on all sides. There is no conceivable reason why anyone who’s not invited should be in our backyard at any time much less at 11:30pm. This is scary for a number of reasons – why was he back there, what was his intent, etc.

          My wife talked to another neighbor the next day who told her that a week before out incident (when we were on vacation) they had a man hopped up on something in their yard shouting at the top of his lungs, making all manner of threats. He was caught and arrested, I believe they had to taser him to get him to comply.

          So, yes I home carry and now with more purpose than just laziness. The cops might have gotten there quick the first time but will they be that fast every time? What can a drug induced maniac do to you or your family in 5 minutes?

          Oh, and I also had a flashlight – always do.

        • avatarRich says:

          Sorry to hear about your new neighbor.

          You might want to look at getting something like the MURS radio setup.

          http://www.murs-radio.com/

          They have motion sensors that trigger a voice alert over the radio when something is detected.

          I’ve not used them personally, but I’ve good things about them.

        • avatarGS650G says:

          We don’t suck at hitting targets. Beat off your attacker with the deflib paddles, or better yet charge it up and zap him. I’ll hand out tickets to hell instead.

        • avatarTravis Leibold says:

          Is it even possible to use a defibulator to save your own life?

        • avatarRuffRidr says:

          Ah, the fat white man gambit. Has JadeG recently changed names again? The pro-gun credentials seem to get better and better with each change. Next he’ll claim to be Wayne LaPierre himself.

      • avatarsdog says:

        do we have a mikebunchofnumbers koolaid drinker?

        • avatarJason says:

          I’d be willing to bet I own more guns than you do. And probably carry them more constantly as well. I’m a CCW holder, USPSA life member, and an NRA certified instructor.

          You don’t have to be anti-gun to think Robert Farago is a hysterical little girl when it comes to topic of home invasions.

        • avatarGS650G says:

          You sure are cocky, remember to call the intruder Sir and show respect.

        • avatarAdam says:

          As in the my case that I talked about above, some people live in areas where the risk assessment says that “home carry” is something that should be considered.

          I didn’t move into a bad neighborhood – the bad neighborhood moved into my good one. I live in a rural-ish area where I can’t always count on the 5 min response time of police. On at least two occasions (that we know of) intruders have been on our, or neighbors property. One of those intruders (that we know of) was on a drug induced rage.

          Given all those factors – I find that at least for the time-being I should have ready access to a self-defense firearm when at home. The easiest and safest way to accomplish this is to carry the weapon on my person – a.k.a. “home carry.”

          Just as a risk assessment of one’s health might lead one to find that a defibrillator is a good thing to have quick access to.

          I’m curious – your not anti-gun and I agree that the home-invasion issue can be blown out of proportion but is your only issue with this post – that the home-invasion issue is blown out of proportion, or do you have something specifically against “home carry?”

          If so, what is your issue with “home carry?” Can you answer that specifically and without resorting to ad hominems toward the post author or others?

        • avatarJason says:

          I have something specifically against scare tactics. It makes gun owners look bad, confirms a lot of anti-gun propaganda, causes unnecessary stress, and actually reduces safety when people spend excessive time addressing “risks” that are minuscule, when they could have used the same effort to address much more likely risks. (What economists call “opportunity cost”. The time & money you spend on A can’t be spent on B.) The point of firearms is to increase security and peace of mind, allowing you to get on with the rest of your life. Telling new gun owners that they need to wear a gunbelt around over their jammies is terrifically bad advertisement for the gun culture. This is not what people want to sign up for, nor should they have to. It’s idiotic.

        • avatarAdam says:

          I agree with your point that scare tactics are bad. But I’m just not seeing any in use in this post.

          Robert relays a story and then postulates that ready access to a firearm might have been of some benefit to the victim.

          At the very least he’s not employing any more scare tactics than you are:

          “At your age, you’re more likely to need quick access to a defibrillator than a handgun.”

          Your also missing the point that for some people (see my other comments) the risk is not so “minuscule.”

          I’m also at risk of calling you a hypocrite… did you not tout that you conceal carry? You do know that statistically speaking your need for a gun is rather “minuscule.”

        • avatarsdog says:

          have any more accolades that you would like to share?

    • avatarCoyote Gray says:

      Wait…one can “defib” themselves? While in the midst of a heart attack? I’d like to see that.

      • avatarAdam says:

        Fuck the defibrillator – be a man and use your teeth to strip a lamp cord and stick the wires on your chest.

    • avatarHSR47 says:

      “…buy a defibrillator…instead of carrying around the house…”

      Idiotic advice.

      Why?

      Simple: I can’t use the talking lunchbox on myself, thus it’s absolutely useless if I’m home alone. Not so with the firearm, which I can use regardless of whether I am home alone or not.

      Also, talking lunchboxes aren’t really all that useful; they will ONLY consent to give a shock if they detect certain very specific heart rhythms; otherwise they won’t do anything. As ever, for almost all cases, the best bet is for a properly trained person to perform CPR (although current training is highly neutered, having removed and changed much over the last 10-20 years). Either way though, you need at least two people to be able to use one.

  4. avatarJahfakin says:

    I grew up in Abington, home invasions was unheard of growing up. I’m now a Parole Officer in Philadelphia. I’m a firm believer in ADT or security of the sort. If a door or window opens, it gives you time to react. I also believe all weapons should be secure, even if you live alone. We now have 2 punks running around with 3 handguns.

    • avatarAdam says:

      Dog(s).

      Our dogs are family to us but (see post above) I’ve found them to be invaluable defenders of our home. Even if not trained for the task dogs typically scare the shit our of criminals.

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