It Wasn’t a Defensive Gun Use (And Thank God for That): Papadopoulos Edition

 

One of my favorite gun gurus [not Michael Bane above, although he’s a good ‘un] once said, “If someone’s in my house who shouldn’t be I’m shooting them.” It was the only statement he ever made with which I disagreed. But hey, he’s a combat vet: a man who knows a thing or two about playing the odds. Odds are if someone’s in your house who shouldn’t be—especially at ‘o dark hundred—they pose a credible, imminent threat to life and limb. But not always. I keep bringing up the possibility of a child providing early morning unauthorized access (or egress) to a member of the opposite sex. True story. Here’s another cautionary tale rip/torn from norwalk.patch.com . . .

A city man looking for his car Sunday night kicked in the door of an apartment, but the person he was looking for lived in a different unit in the building, police said.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Cotto said officers were dispatched to 5 Eclipse Ave. at 11:07 p.m. on a report of a man having kicked in the door of an apartment demanding to know where his car was.

“Where’s my (expletive) car?,” officers reported he asked the people in the apartment. The apartment’s occupants had no idea who he was, Cotto said, so a woman there called 911.

The man left . . .

There are lots of way to look at this, aside from “thank God some innocent homeowner didn’t get charged with manslaughter and lose his or her gun rights forever.”

First up, everyone who has a gun for self-defense in the home should have an alarm system for their windows and doors (renters can buy a portable system). Next, home carry. (No one expects the Spanish Inquisition). Also, develop a home invasion response plan for yourself and your family and do at least one dry run per year.

More to the point . . .

Always give yourself the option of NOT shooting. Keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the [suspected] bad guy, allow for the possibility that they will turn tail and run or mistaken identity (know your target and what’s beyond it). Practice NOT shooting at the range (bringing your gun on target with your finger off the trigger).

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a defensive gun use. Unless there is. As always, good luck with that.

Cotto said the officers learned Papadopoulos had been out drinking with a friend, and that person told Papadopoulos he was too drunk to drive and took away Papadopoulos’ car keys.

Later, knowing his friend lived at 5 Eclipse Ave., Papadopoulos went there, but kicked in the door of the wrong apartment, Cotto said.

 

comments

  1. avatar Robert Farago says:

    We’re still trying to fix the comment and new post notification system. This is a test.

  2. avatar Wiebelhaus says:

    The very last option for me personally is shooting, I’ll try everything I possibly can within reason to avoid shooting.

  3. avatar Wiebelhaus says:

    And oh yea, Michael Bane is my favorite personality/celebrity gun person, I like him allot, he seems like good people.

  4. avatar sdog says:

    what a drunk idiot, he should be happy he did not get ventilated, but i do agree that it was a positive outcome for all involved (sans the door of course).

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    In many respects it is, of course, preferable if a homeowner doesn’t have to shoot a home invader. The flip side, however, is the old adage “hesitation kills”.

    As decent human beings, we don’t want to shoot other people even if the other people are criminals who just invaded our homes. As decent human beings, we don’t want other people to harm us or our families, either … and our family’s well being takes precedence over a home invader. If you are going to “hesitate” and try to avoid automatically shooting the home invader (which I commend by the way), you must be certain that your firearm is already aimed at the home invader, there is at least 15 feet between you and the home invader, and most importantly you must be certain that there are no additional home invaders.

    If you take the moral high ground and give the home invader one last chance to surrender or retreat, you should also be prepared to act immediately if the invader does not immediately surrender or retreat. An invader that hesitates is sizing you up and planning how to lunge at you. If the invader lunges, a pistol will not immediately stop the attacker unless you hit the attacker’s central nervous system. Even if you put a perfect shot in the attackers chest, the attacker is physically able to function for at least 10 seconds. That is plenty of time for the attacker to inflict serious injuries.

    1. avatar sdog says:

      +1 uncommon sense, this is where i think a light on a home defense pistol/long gun is key as well.

  6. avatar Brian says:

    Sorry, folks but I gotta disagree. I fully agree with positive ID of targets but if you kick down my door you are leaving with some souvenirs. That doesn’t mean necessarily that I intend to kill anyone, but even mistaken identity doesn’t change the fact that they committed a home invasion. My views might be skewed by my training (8 years military) and my state of residence (Texas). YMMV

    1. avatar CCW Guy says:

      I’m in agreement with Brian here. He kicked in the door and no telling how far he actually entered the dwelling. Impaired, breaking down your door, cursing and screaming. It’s good food for thought.

    2. avatar Closet-Gun-Nut says:

      I’m sure many will disagree but stories like these are why I’m switching to the soon-to- be released Taser X3 civilian (HD) model, as my go-to house weapon.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still have access to my handgun if needed, but I’d rather make the possible mistake of wrongly shooting someone with a Taser than a firearm.

      Have a great day!

      PS- I would love to see a review of the X3 HD on this site.

    3. avatar Paul says:

      I have to agree with Brian. Come in my house uninvited and you will be shot. The castle doctrine applies in our state, so even if the person isn’t armed, you may shoot them. Way too many variables to consider not to shoot, especially with my family here.

    4. avatar JoshinGA says:

      Im going to agree with Brian as well. The guy forcibly entered their apartment while screaming obscenities. That is, in my mind, a credible threat. If he kicks the door down, what else does he intend to do? You dont know. Standard I called the cops, get out of my house warning, and if he advances on you, he may leave with a couple new holes.

    5. avatar JPD says:

      100% agree with Brian. Since I have no mind reading skills, plus very little time to react when door is kicked down, I will not hesitate to use my firearm.

  7. avatar Fyrewerx says:

    Not to mention that the last home invasion cost me $1200 for front door, and locks, repairs.

  8. avatar Michael B. says:

    If the person is trying to run out of the house or puts their empty hands up when they see me they’re not getting shot. If a person kicks down my door and starts screaming about their car they’re getting shot. No way I’m taking my chances with some drunken wild man, and how am I supposed to know what he’s going to do anyway?

    If there’s anyone in my house without my permission with anything that can be used as a weapon they’re probably going to get shot. I won’t ask them to put their hands up. DRT, hopefully

  9. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    Seems like it might depend on the situation. Someone bursts in yelling “where’s my bleeping car”, I might wait a skad longer to let fly to see what happens next. However 3 or 4 guys comes crashing in, in an obvious attempt to overwhelm, it seems that waiting puts yourself at a tactical disadvantage and gives the bad guys more options and momentum. That being said, this is all Monday morning QB’ing. Bad guys often use the element of surprise catching us good guys off guard. Hard to know exactly what I’ll do if it ever happens to me.

  10. avatar jwm says:

    A lot of variables. If you have teen agers of either sex, and I have had both, then sooner or later you’re going to encounter a half dressed teen ager that isn’t yours trying to sneak out of the house. Know your target really does apply.

    But that’s a world of difference from a grown man kicking your door in. This man who did this better fall to his knees and thank whatever god he believes in that he didn’t get shot full of holes.

  11. avatar ChrisH says:

    This seems like an odd story to talk about not shooting. Kicking in doors and being aggressive doesn’t sound like a very wishy washy situation. Then there’s the bit about how the guy got “irate” when the cops showing up to ask about his door kicking escapades, and it makes me think the residents got very lucky this violent retard didn’t harm them.

  12. avatar -rsh says:

    I note that the story comes to us from Norwalk, CT, which isn’t on the list I count among the Free States. I wonder if Mr. Papadoupoulos would have kicked in a door had he been in Texas, no matter his state of inebriation.

    No matter how drunk I might be, given that I live in a free state, I think I’d reconsider kicking down any door around here.

  13. avatar bigcuz says:

    Like Robert, I know a man who heard something go bump in the middle of the night & investigated. He stepped out of his BR (gun in hand) and saw a half-naked man at the door to his daughter’s bedroom. Fortunately he turned on a light and proned the kid out instead of shooting because, you guessed it; unauthorized boyfriend visit.

    1. Shoot the first boyfriend found in the home uninvited by daddy, and the word will spread.

  14. avatar BambiB says:

    >> . Practice NOT shooting at the range (bringing your gun on target with your finger off the trigger

    So… practice LOSING a gun fight? I think not.

    A more fitting end might have been for the drunk to take a round or two. Handgun wounds are rarely fatal unless they do significant damage to vital organs, major arteries or the central nervous system. Plus being shot tends to have a sobering effect.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      It takes almost literally no time to move your finger from the non-firing (off the trigger) to the firing position (on trigger). Given the effects of adrenalin and “muscle memory,” if you put your finger on the trigger you are VASTLY more likely to automatically fire than not. Why deny yourself a fraction of a second thinking time? It won’t put you at a strategic disadvantage and it could save two people’s lives. At least.

  15. avatar Sean says:

    Kick in my door after I go to bed, and you are dead. All you characters that want to think this over and get in touch with your feelings and on and on are going to die from overworking a simple fact. Some one is in your house who doesn’t belong, isn’t there collecting for the Salvation Army. And I don’t care who it is. If you don’t make them dead, you’ll be dead, with a lot of fun stuff before hand. Enjoy your careful considerations now, and tweak your moral points, and fine tune them, and remember blah, blah, blah. I feel sorry for a lot of you.

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