In the video above, gun guru Rob Pincus advises armed and barricaded home defenders that they might want to give a home-invading bad guy one more chance to “make the better decision and leave”—if the bad guy knows where the good guys are holed-up. Rob doesn’t provide any suggestions for what an adrenalin-infused homeowner might say to said scrote. I’ve got a gun and I’m not afraid to use it? I like “Don’t make me shoot you!” combined with “Leave now!” That said, I can understand the counter-argument to ask first shoot later: you’ve just told the bad guy or guys that they’re engaged in a life-or-death confrontation. They might then decide to bring their A-game, beat-you-to-death-wise. What’s your take? Heads-up or all-guns-blazing?

175 Responses to Question of the Day: Warn the Bad Guy?

  1. It all depends on the situation. If Its late at night are they not already expecting a fight at an occupied house?

    • Be careful with the warning shot. Floriduh imprisoned one woman who did that when her abusive spouse came to call.
      The only warning I would give is the brief flash they will see expanding arround the fast approaching projectile that is intended to get to the heart of the problem. And I won’t stop with one. Multiple shots means multiple chances there will only be one side to the story, and tax payer money won’t be wasted on feeding and housing them for even one day.

      • Except you are twisting the facts on that case. So why don’t you read up on it a little. She fired a “warning shot” into a room full of people, including her two children. Not to mention she wasnt cornered. She left to the garage, and came back in with the gun. So do your research. FLAME DELETED

  2. I would have to say it depends on the situation, I would more than likely try to get them to leave before shooting, mostly because I would rather not have to shoot someone and deal with all the legal repercussions of doing so.

    • Absolutely agree; the only down side is if they leave, they (or others who they blab to) may come back another time to try to find your gun(s) in addition to other valuables,

      Best to secure your abode from easy entry. If they insist on B&E, and IF you have the option, order them to GET OUT NOW. If it is a home invasion, or you don’t discover their presence until they’re right on you, your only option MAY be to respond by shooting if you are able to arm and defend yourself before being immobilized.

      Having a 911 dispatcher on the line is great in theory, but in the heat of unfolding events, you may never have the opportunity or presence of mind to make the call.

      • If you recognize a deadly threat, your priorities must be, in order:
        Defend yourself 1st.
        Defend your loved ones second.
        Call authorities third. (There has been an intruder shot at this location. The homeowner is armed.) Secure your firearm.

        Call your lawyer 4th.

    • I know Hollywood is Hollywood, but they do depict a LOT of armed confrontations. If you pay attention to movies and TV shows in these situations you will see time and again thiings go south because somebody was TALKING WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHOOTING!

      What is the main rule for a self-defense shooting? You must consider yourself or someone else (other than the BG) in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily injury. If your gun is out and you are confronting the guy(s), especially in your own house, this criteria must already have been met. This is not the time to have a conversation with someone who is not up at the moment for logical discussions of his life choices. Also, do not advertise your exact location and do not announce that you are armed. If you seem to think a warning shot might do the trick and send him packing, make sure it is close enough to his actual location that you can claim it as a miss!

      My Platoon sergeant in the Army when we pulled guard duty always told us that if confronted we should shoot to wound, but ALWAYS try to wound them in the ear. The most effective warning shot is the one that whistles right past his ear.

  3. I’m a big fan of “If you do not leave RIGHT NOW I am going to shoot you” with the 911 operator listening. Very direct and clear in intent, yet gives them the “out” before things go hot.

    • +1

      I like the simple. “LEAVE MY FAMILY ALONE OR I’LL SHOOT!”

      Mr. Pincus does a great job of laying out some good principles, though whether or not you give a warning is pretty situational. In all likelihood, my kids and wife will be with me, barricaded in my daughter’s room.

      • G, there’s are some really good reasons to end the warning with “shoot YOU” and not just “shoot”.

        First, it’s a clearer declaration of intent that you intend to shoot for effect. “I’m going to shoot” leaves open the possibility of an (ill-advised) warning shot, and may convey uncertainty about who’s in control of the situation. “I’m going to shoot YOU” is unambiguous — I am the one in control, and YOU are about to be ventilated.

        Second, making the statement direct and personal (and, preferably, delivering it command voice) has a stronger psychological effect than a generalized warning. From talking to family members who went the LE career path, it’s pretty clear that use of strongly identifying language (“I will shoot YOU”) is more effective when addressing a perp than generalized language.

        Interestingly, this turns out to be effective even if there are multiple perps, no need to modify it to “all of you”.

        • Fair points, Alpha. Or maybe in the heat of the moment, a shout of “HEY YOU” will be followed by the sound of my gun giving them a hollow point massage.

        • pg 9) Virginia is a “stand-your-ground” state. That means AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT PART OF “THE PROBLEM” and are innocent, ………..

          i was always given the impression that there was duty to retreat.

        • The problem with “common law”, other than the fact that’s uncommon in the extreme, lies in the fact that it’s unwritten, uncodified. That may be fine when common sense is a common commodity, but it’s fraught with peril these days.

          Unwritten law today is, by nature, bad law, because it is susceptible to interpretation by scoundrels, knaves, robbers, demons and other judges and prosecutors, scandalous public “servants” who in the pockets of corporations and other mega-monied ruinous entities.

          It has no place in modern society, where even state laws are enacted by the thousands each year, without regard to common law or national and state constitutions.

          When they say (was it Pogo?), “the law is an ass”, that’s PRECISELY what I’m talkin’ about.

        • I am NOT a “libertarian”, small L or upper case. I see many problems with their philosophy, but I also see much common ground. I supported Ron Paul primarily because the man is honest, upright and sincere in his approach to the Constitution and BOR. I voted for him in 2012. I also voted for Cynthia McKinney in 2008, and I would vote for her in 2016, if she runs, but she hasn’t yet committed, because she is working on her doctoral thesis. I don’t support her every view or position, but because she’s extremely gumptious, and has immense principle.

          She’s perhaps the most courageous politician I’ve ever supported.

        • “I see many problems with their (Libertarians’) philosophy”

          Would you mind listing what, specifically, you believe these problems to be?

          Thanks in advance.

        • Voting for McKinney says a lot about you. She is absolutely certifiable and in the pay of various Islamic governments

        • Thanks you so much for the kind words and great information. Hope to hear from again real soon.

  4. It will certainly help your defense against those who blame the victims for everything if you first give a warning to the perp.

    • Under prevalent bad law, I am not certain if it can’t be twisted into “premeditated manslaughter”, or worse, in certain jurisdictions.

      • It is certainly forbidden to express an intent to kill them if they do not leave. Intending to ‘shoot’ them is close enough to intending to ‘stop’ them in my state to be acceptable. Most shots, it is established, are not fatal.

        But this is all a bit beside the point. You can’t very well shoot them if you can’t see them. You can’t act as though they present a threat justifying lethal force if you cannot see them, or haven’t seen them before retreating from sight. Warning an out-of-sight perp that you have a gun is, I think, bizarre. It makes the assumption that the intruder is merely a burglar, not a psychotic. Why make that assumption? Why assume they are not armed and psychotic? No reason. Shut up, call 911 if you can, and prepare to defend. Having done those, call out an instruction to “leave immediately.” If you want to tell them to leave, do so. Do not tell them you have a firearm. If they, themselves, are unarmed burglars, it is unnecessary detail. If they are armed pychotics, it is an invitation to a gun fight. Or so I believe.

        As to warning shots, they are illegal in most jurisdictions, and no one but Biden would recommend them. There is, however, such a thing as an honest miss on a first shot. They happen all the time. There had better be a bona fide threat in your house before you pull the trigger, though, and they had better be in sight, and you’d better know what’s behind your point of aim, despite Biden’s blather. Just my views. No fancy citations to offer.

    • First of all, we have steel security screen doors and 3 huge dogs as our first line of defense.
      After that, everyone except my 9 year old is carrying when we’re awake and with a gun hidden within quick and easy reach when asleep. All of us were trained at Front Sight here in Nevada. Out of every course we’ve taken, about half seems to be classroom time, with about half of that dealing with avoidance of confrontations and the other half about the legal and personal ramifications of shooting someone.

      One of their big points made was to give a warning, whether someone is approaching you in a parking lot, or banging on your front door. They’re not going to come back later for your guns, they’re going to move on to easier pickings. Human predators are just like animal predators, they’ll always go for the weakest as to insure their success and avoid injury or death.

      If you’re on the street, order them to stop and not to come any closer, if they continue tell them you will shoot if they continue.
      In your home and they’re banging on your door, order them to leave while you’re calling 911.
      Then. do what you must to protect home and family.

  5. If there’s time (big if), warn first, then shoot, especially in your own home. Sure, Servpro can get the bloodstains out of your carpet and the brains off your walls, but when they say “like it never even happened,” they are referring to your savings account.

  6. I ran an intruder that had blocked our rear door from the outside and broken into our house off by racking the action of a pump shotgun. I was upstairs with my family and he or they were downstairs. Police got there a few minutes after. That was in the days before i had experts advising me that i would draw a buttload of fire by racking the shotgun and giving away my position.

    I’ve verbally warned off agressive people on the street. Shooting should be for when all else fails except for very limited moments.

    If you wake up to an intruder already in your room or your kids room it’s no longer time for warnings.

    • jwm: No disrespect intended, but the first sentence reads as if he broke into your house by racking the action of a 12-gauge shotgun. I totally understand how that happens. The twisted syntax, I mean… not how one can break in racking a 12-gauge shotgun.

    • By racking, you either put a good round on the floor or there wasn’t one in the tube.
      Some prefer to shorten the list of things that have to happen before the firing pin hits the primer.

      • First, for safety purposes it is MUCH better NOT to have a round chambered in any weapon unless you are either carrying it in a holster or in your hands.

        Second, for SA configure your firearms the same way EVERY TIME. There should be no clicks, and no unspent rounds on the floor.

        Some people on this site need to educate themselves b4 they get into…trouble.

        • I learned this the hard way, a couple times. Luckily for me, nothing that some wood and spackling couldn’t fix, because no one else was around.

          These days, I don’t keep a round in ANY chamber, EVER. The potential cost is far too great.

      • Wasn’t one in the chamber. I had toddlers then and kept the shotgun, a used 870 with short barrel. on nails above the bedroom closet door on the inside of the closet. The only pistols I owned at the time, nearly 30 years ago, were kept locked in a tool box in the same closet. Ammo was, except the loads in the shotgun, locked in a seperate tool box in the same closet.

        This was before the interwebz experts could tell me that by racking a shotgun I would draw hails of accurate full auto fire from the bad guys. Thankfully I know better now.

      • Many police agencies, when they issued a shotgun to carry in a rack inside the patrol car, had the ppolicy of loading the magazine, then putting a piece of masking tape around the slide. It was then easy to tell if the slide had been racked and a round loaded.

        I just love watching the cop shows and seeing the LEO with a perp in his sights, and THEN racking a round into the chamber! I’ve even seen shows where they do this racking motion THREE times during a pursuit and you never see a round fly out of the action. First thing I think of is, “are there actually any rounds in the magazine? If he hasn’t noticed this he’s in a world of trouble.”

  7. is this f&$k’in joker for real? step 1. run away step 2 barricade your self up stairs? doesn’t that happen in all the Hollywood movies kick down my door and you will be pickin buckshot out of your ass that’s my warning to the bad guy

  8. because there is always someone more skilled and faster than myself, I am against it unless I believe I have every advantage possible. Not going to end up in the ground or hopital because a gave courtesy to a criminal. During an event, I don’t believe in devoting mental energy to worrying about a trial or defense.

    • I like the way you think.

      Along the same line, why do we (the good guys) have to be restricted to “reasonable force” when dealing with an unreasonable attack/assault by a bad guy that feels no such restriction?

  9. I wouldn’t say a peep because if you do warn, then shoot and kill, it could be seen as premeditated murder and not self defense. Shoot first, speak second.

    • Wow. An excellent point that never occurred to me. Not as well-formed, anyway. “The key…is through the looking glass. Black is white: white is black.” – Jim Garrison

  10. The only way I would ever use a warning is if I kinda think, maybe, for some unknown reason, the person in my house is a family member or friend and I can’t be sure enough to identify the target.

  11. Having been in a few scrapes and situations over the years I fully understand just how locked up your brain can get. Therefore our “fire drill” scenarios includes me shouting “We are armed, the police are on the way, and you should leave NOW before I release the dog, this is the only warning you are going to get.”

    I figure that would give any home intruder something to think about.

  12. Let’s establish two extremely important facts right away with respect to the question about whether to warn a home invader:
    (1) The homeowners have already suffered a tremendous psychological injury as a result of a home invasion — even if the home invader breaks through the door only to immediately retreat.
    (2) Home invaders demonstrated beyond any doubt that they have no regard for the homeowners when they invaded the home. The only question is how far do the home invaders intend to go. Whatever the home invader’s plans, all of them are extremely bad for the homeowner. And remember, the home owner has no idea what the intruder’s plans are … which could include sexual assault, torture, and murder.

    Given the above, I see no reason to extend any “courtesy” to home invaders. Further, a home owner who warns an intruder has given up several tactical advantages, including the element of surprise and their location as well as an indication of their gender, age, and number of defenders. Personally, I would be incredibly reluctant to issue any verbal warnings.

    • Additionally, if you warn an intruder that you will shoot (with the hope that they retreat) you have just confirmed that you have firearms in your home. That means the intruder will wait until your home is empty to break in again. Or worse, the intruder comes back another time and jumps you as you unlock your door: now they have you and your valuables. Telling a criminal that you are armed may win the battle but lose the war.

      Crime is all about risk and unknowns. The more risk and unknowns, the less likely the criminal is to attack. The less that criminals know about you and your home, the better.

    • I agree. I mean I can see MAYBE warning the guy if you still have your wits about you and you have time, but most likely, that’s not gonna be the case. It’s gonna get ugly REAL FAST and you’re not gonna have a civil shouting conversation with the guy.

      That said, I also don’t believe in a duty to retreat from your own home. I mean really, if a man can’t even feel safe in his own home…there’s a SERIOUS problem. There should be laws that basically call for the flogging of District Attorneys if they try to say “you are required by law to flee your house”. I mean, REALLY???

      Plus, it would suck to have run to your neighbors house and take the risk of your gun safe being broken into and those firearms being used against me (hopefully your safe doesn’t suck). This is why I’m an advocate of home carry.

  13. I really think that shoot first ask questions later is a big problem with LEOs today.

    If you really have time to shout out a warning, then you should as you are not immediately in danger, yet.

    If you have time to give that warning, then shooting them should they decide to proceed should still be feasible.

    Just shooting should be a final line of defense as a responsible gun owner.

    • The key difference here is that LEOs have to go looking for trouble and get into the middle of it. Same thing as yesterdays question about walking up to an unkown situation, that’s every situation with a LEO. Yes, they should be required by law to identify themselves and ask you to disarm. Different story when the fight comes to you. They’ve already been warned about the dangers of a life of crime and already made their decision. The time for talk is over.

      • I agree. There are times when judgment will say a warning is appropriate, but it should not be automatic, I think. I prefer an order to leave rather than a threat (or ”promise”). Burglars understand what that means, and psychotics don’t care.

        [No one has suggested, yet, that the warning be delivered in a Don Corleone voice, to add gravitas. Why this was left out of the video is beyond me. Loudly: “Vito, Lucca, dere’s some creep in the living room. Take im to da fishes.” ]

  14. I know it won’t always be possible to tell the difference as it happens, but not all forced entry crimes are home invasions. The bad guy may or may not know you’re home. They may be stupid or cocky enough to think they won’t wake you up, or to think they will be in and out before you can do anything.

    Or, they may be the real deal, intending to seize you and your family to make you open a safe or make ATM withdrawals. These are rare, but serious enough that they definitely deserve some planning time.

    I would say, if it sounds like someone is tiptoeing around, trying to be quiet and you hear drawers/cabinets opening and closing, it may be worth a warning. Most criminals are cowards. Call 911 first, and then yell “police are coming, leave now,” or something similar. If they come for you, assume they mean you harm and act accordingly. If they leave, problem solved. If you yell something like “blink and you die in the dark, mother****er,” then you may have a problem down the road.

    Nobody should want to kill another human being, no matter how much they deserve it. The goal is to prevent harm to you and your family, and if you can do that without the aftermath of taking a life, so much the better.

    • 100% Agreed. An incident that recently occurred to an acquaintance of mine was that a older person, suffering dementia, walked into the house and then proceeded to fight them thinking they were in the correct house. It’s rare, but another good example of what you’re reference.

    • ” not all forced entry crimes are home invasions.”

      Hmmm. OK, let’s break that down into constituent parts. It’s your home. Everyone’s with me so far. He entered without permission, hence he INVADED it.

      It’s a “home invasion”, or else the English language has been re-written overnight.

      • A home invasion is an act by a individual or group to seize control of your house. A hot burglary is merely a break in and robbery in an occupied house. They are two different things. In a home invasion the intruders are well armed and often willing to fight at least until one their number takes a round and then they run away. Many hot burglaries are committed by unarmed criminals. Most so-called home invasions are really just hot burglaries.

        • The problem is that a homeowner has no way of knowing whether the situation is a home invasion or a hot burglary. Worse yet the criminals themselves don’t even know which way they are going. Criminals are opportunists. What starts as a “hot burglary” could quickly become a “home invasion” if the criminals think they can get away with it.

        • In either case the person who legally belongs there should not bear any responsibility to any parties who do not legally belong there. Breaking in to someone’s house constitutes reckless disregard for the safety and property of others at best, someone who does this should not receive any special consideration.

        • I should clarify, I don’t think anyone should have a legal duty to give a warning, or to retreat, or to do anything else. I also don’t think it’s possible to be certain what a particular bad guy’s intent is. However, I do think that bad guys vary enough in their methods that a one size fits all plan may not be the best approach.

          All I’m saying is that when you’re working out what the best plan is given your own skils, equipment, home layout, and anything else that enters the equation, you may benefit by trying to solve the problem instead of winning the gunfight. If the problem is armed men trying to kill you, then the two are the same. If the problem is a twelve year old kid who’s running for the door with your ipod, they may be different.

          If the problem is somewhere in between, and you have enough information and time to figure it out, a warning may scare off someone who would shoot back. It’s another tool you can use, just like motion lights, an alarm, or a dog. If the tool doesn’t work for your problem, by all means do whatever it takes to protect yourself. If you don’t have enough time to figure out the details of your problem, then in my mind it slides up the scale and changes my response accordingly.

  15. Couldn’t hurt for the 911 recording to include you shouting a warning. The goal isnt to trap the bad guy, trick the bad or even to shoot the bad guy. The goal is to end the threat. If shouting “Imma kill you!!!” causes him to run then objective complete. If he doesnt seem to care or take the threat seriously then the objective will have to come to the messier mode of completion.

    • It may be considered ill-advised to yell “Imma kill you” if 911 is on the line. You aren’t permitted by the law to intend killing a perpetrator. You may only intend ‘stopping’ the perp. I don’t mean to quibble, but some people are unfamiliar with this detail of courtroom nuance.

  16. How’s about, “I have a gun. You can have it if you promise to leave!”

    Seriously, a gun is its own warning. See my gun. Run away fast, or else put your hands behind your head and lie down so I can tie your ass up.

    “Scrote”. Another keyboard, RUINED.

  17. I’ve been told that the sound of a slide or bolt racking is one of the most universally recognized sounds. (Thanks movies & TV!)

  18. Depends. If I can barricade, and am on the phone to 911. “Get out!! The police are on their way!”

    If I am en-route to getting my kids from their rooms to one place. No. The warning will be the tactical flashlight coming on- my actions at that point dependent on their actions and whether I (or those I am responsible for) are in imminent danger of great bodily harm.

    The assessment of imminent danger informed by
    – times for a person to draw and fire a weapon http://www.forcescience.org
    – CA presumption of imminent fear of great bodily harm in my home.
    “Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury
    within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of
    imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the
    household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the
    family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and
    forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason
    to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry had occurred. Great bodily injury
    means a significant or substantial physical injury. (Pen. Code, § 198.5.)
    NOTE:
    If the presumption is rebutted by contrary evidence, the occupant may be
    criminally liable for an unlawful assault or homicide.

  19. my little boys bedroom is across the house from mine with the front door in between. if someone kicks that door in at zero-dark-whenever, and if the situation allows, i will be fighting to get to him.

  20. I say whatever you do in these.cases were the right thing if you and family are still standing. I would rather be tried by twelve then carried by six. Too many if ‘s

  21. Wrote this above in response to racking the pump.
    By racking, you either put a good round on the floor or there wasn’t one in the tube.
    Some prefer to shorten the list of things that have to happen before the firing pin hits the primer.

  22. Huh, yeah, I’ll give an intruder a warning. It’s called my locked doors and windows.

    Whiskey Tango? Do invaders give you a warning? “Excuse me, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I’m going to break your window and enter your house uninvited, in effort to score items that will enable my meth addiction.”

    There is no reason to provide a warning to an intruder. If you are unsure on whom is in the house, you might feel compelled to announce your intentions. But this line of thought leads to policy, and there should be no duty to warn- it should not be entertained.

  23. Depends, if there’s space and distance and he’s unarmed, he might get a warning. He’d better not try to get closer, though. Armed, all bets are off. Any tactical advantage I may have, by lying in wait, I’m not going to give up because of some false sense of fair play.

  24. Would a sign stating “breaking in here constitutes your legal agreement, etc” on every possible entrance be anywhere close to legally protective of a homeowner? It doesn’t even have to mention violence or guns. I’ve seen these “auto EULA” things on plenty of products, yet I don’t see it used in this context, even though it would seem applicable.

    • Somehow, I don’t think it would legally work, but the idea amuses me. Perhaps something like this:

      By entering this building without invitation, you (hereinafter “the intruder”) automatically consent to all terms and conditions imposed upon you by the occupants of this property. The intruder shall be required to allow his/her body to absorb any amount of steel, iron, titanium, lead, electricity, chemicals or other substances and/or implements that the occupants feel are necessary to defend the lives, liberty and property of said occupants.

      If you do not agree to these terms, you must not enter this building without invitation.

    • Contractual agreement to approve one’s own killing is an agreement against public policy, a contract as well in most cases to commit a crime, and void. Only in the rarest of circumstances would it constitute lawful assisted suicide, in states where that is legal. However, this law against contract crimes is not universally enforced. I, for example, once ‘accepted’ the EULA on Windows 3.0, and might as well have been saying “go ahead, just shoot me.”

      • Air ball, RD. Maybe I didn’t clarify enough. There are plenty of agreements that release the owner of a location from all injury liability, if this were not the case places such as Disney World and Six Flags would have been sued out of existence already. It does not necessarily have to be a contract “crime” (you enter, you agree to die would be poor phrasing and not in the spirit of the signage) but it should certainly be allowed to state that any and all parties breaking and entering agree by such breaking and entering that they have reckless disregard for safety and any injuries they may incur by such unsafe action are their own responsibility. Like the only way you can have someone legally held responsible for regular old trespassing you have to have proper signage, you can even fine people land use fees if you use the proper signage, why wouldn’t it be ok here? Heck, the sign could just generally state “entering” not breaking and entering, which should stop people who say come over and get a booboo from a butter knife from having any legal standing to sue or whatever.

        If this is not allowed for a person’s home, but is allowed for places that are inherently dangerous, make tons of money specifically because they are dangerous, that would just make no sense to me. More corporatism protecting the monied over the people who money them.

        A sign like this should not have to even be an idea, nevermind necessary, because a homeowner should not be responsible for other irresponsible individuals simply because of proximity. These individuals should bear full responsibility for everything that happens to them.

        • Jake, of course I assumed your ellipse implied that the subsequent text would state their agreement to be shot. This is a gun site. What were you going to have them agree to? A massage? Dinner?

        • Agreement would be as stated, the act of entering places all legal liability for any injury accidental or otherwise on the entering party. Not sure how much simpler that can be phrased.

  25. If you have time to warn someone, chances are you are not in imminent danger, yet.

    When you answer a question like this, bear in mind how your comments will eventually look to the detective investigating the shooting. Do you look like a shoot first ask questions later vigilante who was not really in imminent danger when attacked?

    Even if you are “innocent” justifiable shootings can still rack up significant legal bills, and insurance only pays them upon your acquittal. Plus there is all the blood and mess. Yep, the bad guy may deserve it, I may be totally justified, and I may save the taxpayers a lot of money in a state that has no death penalty, but i just can’t afford the hassle if I can avoid it. Chances are no matter how righteous the killing it will be a huge headache. I am going to give them every opportunity to avoid a confrontation first.

    Plus, I just don’t think I should be cowering and sneaking around my own freakin house playing hide and seek, unless necessary. If I let them know I am coming, and they still don’t leave, it means they are armed and dangerous and prepared for a confrontation. I know my house far better than them, where the shadows are. Just because I have announced myself does not mean i’ve lost surprise if i need it.

    • Agreed, and if the perp has sympathetic, vindictive…relatives…you might end up sneaking around looking over your shoulder for a very long time.

      Best to keep intruders out in the first place by making entry onto your property and into your structure as difficult and exposed as possible. Then bad actors are more likely to go on to the next place unless they have some special attraction to yours.

    • Anybody ever sue the intruder or their estate for the cost of cleaning up the mess, and counseling for the psychological trauma of a shooting?

  26. I feel comfortable waiting at the top of my stairs and shooting anything on the way up. Otherwise, I’m hustling my family out the window.

  27. Assuming a home defense scenario, which appears to be what everyone is going with, I would not verbally warn them first.

    1. I’m not going to announce my position to an attacker. Surprise is one of the most deadly forms of advantage over an opponent, regardless of circumstances.

    2. I’m not going to take one of my hands out of the fight to call/keep 911 on the phone while there is an active intruder in my home. What if I need to utilize a flashlight? Or engage the enemy in hand to hand if I’m disarmed?

    3. If you do your job when you open fire, no one is going to be around to verify/argue with whether or not you issued a warning first. I’m not gambling away seconds in time-is-life on trying to give the bad guy an easy out. He/she is already a felon in my home, where my family sleeps.

    Target identification is paramount. Weapon mounted lights on home defense weapons are a necessity in my systems. Arm self, light target, identify target, dispatch target, confirm dispatch, remain in fight mode until home is confirmed clear, contact authorities, secure weapon as they approach home, shut mouth until attorney arrives.

  28. “1st rule of home defense is to evade” ??? Maybe in a state where the court punishes you for defending whats yours, but for me…I’m not turning my back on an unknown.

  29. I just had this conversation with someone last week. If an intruder comes in unarmed or carrying something other than a firearm, and hasn’t advanced close to me, I’m warning him to leave. If he advances towards me he’s getting shot. If he’s armed with a gun, regardless of how far away he is he’s getting shot.

  30. I cannot conceive of any advantage to warning the bad guy. So, I disagree with those that have expressed perceived advantages. I’m not saying they’re wrong. I’m just disagreeing.

    In my house, they were warned by the locked doors and windows. Then they were warned by the VERY loud alarm going off. They’ll get no warning from me.

  31. the boom from the heater should be enough warning.

    and I wouldn’t want to say the wrong thing. . . I’ll ask my lawyer if I said anything.

  32. As most folks seem to realize, “it depends” is the best answer. If there’s only one BG as far as I can tell and he’s far enough away from me/my loved ones I may say “Don’t make me kill you.”
    FWIW, “Don’t make me shoot you.” may not bring home to the perp that he’s just a trigger-pull away from Hell.
    Multiple BGs and/or proximity within my danger zone (I am an OFWG, after all) then I start emptying the magazines at them without prior warning. In Texas, if they’re on my property, especially after dark, without my permission they’re pretty much fair game (certain exclusions may apply).

  33. “LEAVE NOW.” is all a home invader will get from me.

    Pragmatically, I believe that NOT giving the intruder a chance to leave will, at a minimum, likely be financially costly to myself.

  34. Damn, this board REALLY puts stuff into good perspective. Many legitimate viewpoints. Good stuff. Personal thanks to everyone who posted.

    I, too, have a stairway. The plan is for the wife to get the phone, the mossberg, and the two boys in one bedroom with the door closed and call the popo. I will shoot whatever comes upstairs. I think telling someone to get on their stomach is a pipe dream. Very good point about them coming back to get my other guns, too. Also good point about hassle even in a justified shooting. Great topic.

  35. You ever notice the massive numbers of responsibly armed citizens (other than cops) who’ve been taken out by the bad guys? Neither do I.

    There’s a reason the bad guys end up on the wrong side of that equation more often than not. They don’t take time to practice.

  36. “Get out of the house?” Ever hear that a man’s home is his castle? I’m not abandoning my abode for the safety of a violent felon.

    Isn’t this the same guy who thinks you shouldn’t open carry in your own home because if someone breaks in and sees you open carrying they’ll kill you?

    or don’t carry a small 1911 because it will jam after only 200 rounds (far more then you’ll ever shoot in any self defense scenario)

    Pincus has all kinds of BS theories that are not shared by many people. I really wish TTAG would stop giving him legitimacy until he stops being making stuff up just so he can claim original ideas.

    • Excuse, pardon, but I don’t believe exposing him and opening him to criticism here qualifies as “giving him legitimacy”. No way, Jose…

  37. The one time I had to shoot a yoot, I was in plain view with a weapon pointed at him and clearly stated “I will shoot you. There is nothing here worth dying for.”

    Perhaps he inferred my meaning to be that there nothing there for which I’d risk death, and he took one step toward me. He then sat down hard and didn’t move again ’til a cop helped him onto a stretcher.

    In my limited experience, these guys don’t believe that a homeowner has the stuff to stand up to them, and so just proceed to do what they do.

    If you’re feeling charitable, by all means warn ’em of your intent. However, if they fail to perform an immediate about face, you should probably help them to take their lead supplement.

  38. If the guy has a weapon in hand then he’s not getting a warning. That weapon tells me he intended on harming or threatening anyone home at my house. It also tells me that if he was arrested or got away he could do it to someone else. Not okay with me. I could live with taking out someone like that easier than I could live with that same guy getting away and murdering another person.

  39. Let me see. If a perp is in my house then they:
    Came through my closed gate,
    Ignored the security lights,
    Ignored the barking dogs,
    And broke into my locked house.

    After overcoming all that, they will not be getting a verbal warning.

  40. Wasn’t it Pincus who went shooting with the Kardashians out on their yacht in the Pacific? No, by the way, I will never forget you posted that crap!

    I would give no warning if they were in my abode. They signed their own death warrants when they broke in, from that point they are a threat until they turn tail and take off running.

    • “Never forgive”? How many grudges are you currently holding? I can’t imagine what that would be like. You know what results from that mindset? Cancer. There’s plenty of research, going back nearly 100 years. Look it up.

      Don’t harbor so many petty grudges, man. It’ll take a terrible toll on you.

      There are indeed things that are unforgivable. But most of them are, by far.

      • Did I piss you off or something Willy? I just think Pincus is kind of silly for hanging out with the Kardashians, that’s all. Those people are disgusting, they represent everything that is wrong with America and the thought of them shooting off full auto rifles on a Yacht has a very Marie Antoinette “Let them shoot semis” kind of feel to it. Nobody likes a gun toting poseur.

        When someone breaks into your home, that is not the time to negotiate. You identify the threat and eliminate it. A truly determined, violent criminal will interpret any verbiage as a sign of weakness and adjust his tactics accordingly.

        • Didn’t piss me off one little bit. I agree with what you say here. I just thought it was a bit… extreme, something I’ve been guilty of myself. I just thing a grudge is a terrible load to bear, especially is there are many of them…

        • Not pissed in the least. It’s just that I think a grudge is a terrible weight to bear. I’ve been as guilty as most people. I find I do it less and less frequently. I’ve forgiven more grudges than I can count.

          On the other side, I’ve carried a few that I maybe shouldn’t have.

        • Frankly, the only Kardashian I could recognize in the street, or even name, is Gul Ducat.

      • YES! In fact, when that characteristic is looked at, the correlation with smoking (first- and second-hand) drops down into the noise.

  41. I think each situation/scenario makes it a case by case as far as home defense goes. However, away from home it opens up a can of serious worms in that the gad guy could make a claim you were brandishing or using a gun to gain leverage in an argument etc. That is serious dilemma under Florida Statutes.

  42. At a time when the anti’s are atacking “stand your ground” with everything they have IMO this is giving them ammo. Whatever gets taught by a “known” instructor tends to become dogma, right or wrong and will end up getting attention for the MSM these days. Ever think about what experience or education it takes to make a qualified armed home defense or personal armed defense instructor? Before you say LE or Military experience think about what their jobs are and what they really do. Sometimes I think the qualification is mainly to posses a furtive imagination and the ability to dream up situations and tactics that might work or sound cool and different in those imaginary situations. How are you going to be on the bleeding edge if you don’t invent it? For every tactic one can come up with for any given situation some one else can come up with reasons it will get you killed, so the debates will go on forever. For instance how could you ever be absolutely sure the BG entering your house doesn’t have a partner waiting to ambush you as you try to escape out the back door?

    Choreographing a train wreck.

      • To be clear I don’t know Mr Pinkus. I do know that it would be an unusual circumstance for me to let a BG know where I’m at by calling out to him. Face to face he will know I’m armed with the intention of using whatever it takes to make him stop.

  43. If there’s a clear way to avoid sending even a perp to eternity, I’ll try it. There is no substitute for using the best judgment you have in a given situation; I wouldn’t want to shoot a drunk that fumbled into the wrong house. If there’s a way to save everyone’s life, that’s the first choice. But there will be times you can’t.

    • That sounds all noble and praiseworthy, but there are plenty of people that this world could do quite well without and those willing to commit home invasions or armed robbery are right at the top of that list. How is it noble to NOT shoot someone who is engaged in such activities and then know, beyond doubt, that he will do it to someone else tomorrow or next week?

      I am sure that whatever action I take, and I lean towards double tap center of mass, I will pay a heavy price for it from a legal standpoint. I will not lose any sleep over sending the guy to hell. But I do know that every crime that guy commits, every person he robs or beats or shoots from that day forward, if I just scared him off when I had a legal right to shoot him, is to some extent my responsibility.

      As the Indians used to say, and I think maybe the Chinese as well, “If you save a man’s life you are responsible for him from that day forward.”

  44. From surviving a home invasion I have learned a few things…

    First
    The old “scare ’em off with racking the pump shotty” bit is a fllawed plan at best.
    Second:
    This is your turf. Your castle. Why would you alert any intruder (or in my case intruders) to your location an and show your hand before playinf your cards?

    Bottom line. When you think there is one, know that there are two. The only warnong I gave was an abrupt flash followed bu an immediate bang. Only after I found out there were actually 3 intruders. If your life is in danger never give up your position or let them know what you have. Suprose of attack and violence of force are your allies. Never reveal them until it is time to use them.

    • Agreed. if they are in your house, the threat of harm to you and your family is imminent. You have no way of knowing their intent, state of mind or level of motivation. If they aren’t running out the door with my TV, the sequence of events is “bang bang”….”stop, or I’ll shoot”. Assuming the dogs don’t dismember him or them.

    • Exactly right about the risk of multiple intruders. By too much talking, another bad guy(s) can flank you. Bad guys have also been known to take out the phone lines in advance of forcing themselves inside like the recent Iowa case.

  45. If he ignores the warning barks from my 2 shepherds, and manages to pull them off of his face, then the only warning he will get is 2 quick flashes.

  46. I have locks on the gates to my fence, double locks on all my exterior doors and locked windows. For all intents and purposes, where ever I am in my house, I am already “barricaded.” It is unreasonable for me to believe I am safer outside my home when a would-be intruder crashes at my front door. Could there be someone else waiting outside the back door?

    Why is it necessary to warn before you take action? Your warning could make the assailant more interested in harming you. A woman with a small voice probably wouldn’t frighten a 220 lb. bad guy sporting a knife or gun.

    “Don’t put him in a position where he has to be shot”, this quote from this video disturbs me. An intruder must already know they have put themselves in a position where they may be shot. They deserve no warning. This person has invaded your home, he knows he is trespassing. Warnings are for those who have mistakenly encroached on private property.

    This bad guy has introduced violence in the worst way by breaking into your home. Your home is your last bastion of safety. It is the place where you are backed into a corner. The possibility of harm should be very clear to the bad guy and if he didn’t know, he should’ve asked somebody.

    I’m not in to killing people, and I certainly hope to never face it. But a guy bursting into my home deserves whatever pain he gets. And let’s be honest, the average citizen owning a gun in their home is not a professional home defender. We are rank amateurs at self-defense just on the basis that we rarely have to do it. (Practice doesn’t make you a pro) Home invaders, on the other hand, may likely be professionals at home invasion, intimidation, brutalizing and even killing. In such a case, the only way a citizen can win the encounter is by getting some upper hand. Warning shouts, warning shots, and locking yourself in a closet or room where you cannot see the intruder certainly gives away any advantage you might have had.

  47. In my state Im not giving warning. You are in my home while Im here, to me that to me puts my family in danger. No verbal warnings, no warning shots. Only shots to stop the threat. GA law is good on that front.

  48. In my opinion, the reason to hole up and give warning from a defensible position is to discriminate between a warrant being served at the wrong address and a home invasion. If you shoot at the cops, no matter how justified based on the situation, no matter how much they are acting like a home invasion crew: at best you will be spending a significant fraction of your future behind bars. At worst, you’re leaving your house in a body bag.

    Upon breach of our house perimeter, we will gather the kids, retreat to a room with one door and strong walls (that happens to contain the gun safe) and call 911. If I can hear sounds in the hallway, I will announce that 911 has been called, we are armed, and if they just leave before the cops arrive, no shooting needs to happen. If I see a shadow or face in the doorway after that announcement, it’s getting 9 balls of 00 buck.

    Exception: if I can’t get to a kid’s bedroom because someone is already there, someone is getting shot, and I’ll be holding a gun so we’ll see how that plays out.

    If we can pull it off, the cops should respond differently to this warning from a home invasion crew. And that difference could save lives, along with the continued “not in prison or dead” status of my children’s father.

    • Hope you don’t mind waiting 30 to 45 minutes. How strong is that door?

      Watch the movie, DIAL 911 AND DIE.

      • “How strong is that door?” You missed the bit about being armed and shooting 00 buck at anyone visible through the door. The door is open so that the intruders can hear us. We have the short-range household firepower pointed at the door, though, so I’m not too worried about intruders coming through it. We’re armed and we have other options. They want our stuff? Not worth risking my kid’s having a dad over. They directly threaten me or my family? There will be blood.

        We’re on 911 to establish a public record of events that will back up our account and also to determine if this is cops serving a warrant to the wrong address.

        I have no expectation that the police will defend anyone. Never have.

      • I think he means when it’s the cops themselves that are invading your home, which there seems to be a growing penchant to do these days.

        For the children, of course.(/sarc)

  49. My position is that I really really don’t want to kill anybody. It would be my absolute last resort. That being said, I think my deadbolts and AmStaffs are warning enough. If they are that determined to steal my stuff or hurt my wife or I, I don’t feel that much sympathy for them.

    OTOH, I seriously believe in identifying your target. My troubled younger sister has a key to my house and has been known to come by unannounced at odd hours of the night after arguments with her boyfriend. Luckily she’s only gotten a very bright flashlight shined in her eyes and a stern talking to about calling first lest she get bitten by the dogs or worse. Shooting first without seeing who’s there wouldn’t work in my situation.

    • Exactly. The dogs barking and the locks on the door are ample warning not to come in uninvited. I honestly do NOT want to kill anyone. Laws all over are you have to aim at center mass, so shooting the arm or leg is out. But if you think my TV, kidnapping my kids or wife, or even my 360 is worth your life, then i feel sorry for you. Coming in with weapon in hand (even a crowbar or bat) means you’re willing to hurt someone to get want you want. Which to me means you are an enemy combatant and will be dealt with as such.

      Honestly. In my mind. If you’re willing to break into my house and endanger my family and i, you’re willing to risk your life in doing so. So there will be no warning from me. I’ll yell WHILE I’m shooting at you “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!” But trust and believe, you will receive NO warning if you break in. I will be armed. My wife will be armed. We have kids to protect. So we have more on the line than the guy who just broke in.

  50. Never ever ever ever use the term “or i’m going to shoot you.” You need to use the expression “get out of my house I have a gun” While you may be in your right to shoot an intruder in your house and the state will find you proper in that action theirs a snag. If theirs a civil wrongful death suit using the term “i’m going to shoot you” can be construed as premeditation and will come back to hurt you. Its best to say anything but. if a shooting occurs you park your gun on the table you don’t want to be answering the door to the cops with gun in hand. That’s a good way to get shot yourself. Your adrenalin will be jacked up so don’t make any sudden moves until the police identify you or once again you may get shot.

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