Scene of the crime, San Antonio (courtesy myfoxsanantonio.com)

The story is simple enough: “A family living at an East Side home [in San Antonio, Texas] were terrorized Monday morning by men who showed up at their door with shotguns,” foxsanantonio.com reports. “Police say the men knocked on the back door of the home on Montana. Someone inside the home opened the door and the men walked in holding shotguns. They stole a flatscreen television, a gaming console and some DVD’s before running away. No one was hurt. The suspects have not been found.” Your average gun grabber would say, see? If the residents had defended their property by force of arms someone would have been hurt. Gun owners know differently. There is no guarantee that the victim of a “hot burglary” will emerge unmolested. Here’s another home invasion story from today’s chicagotribune.com . . .

Two men were found dead Sunday morning after an apparent home invasion in the South Chicago neighborhood, authorities said.

Authorities said the men, 18 and 35, were apparently shot to death during a home invasion in the 9100 block of South Commercial Avenue on the South Side.

The men were found by police just before 5 a.m. and pronounced dead on the scene.

Here’s another one from yesterday’s indiananewscenter.com:

The shooting happened just after 3:30 Sunday afternoon at 1010 west 10th street in Marion.

When officers arrived they found a female victim with a gun shot wounds to her leg.

Police say the victim was at home with her child when a man and woman wearing masks broke in through the back door.

Police say while the victim was attempting to call 911 she was shot in the leg by the male intruder.

Both intruders then ran out of the house, and so far police have not made any arrests in the incident.

The victim was transported to an area hospital before being flown to a Fort Wayne hospital. The victim was last listed in stable condition.

Marion police did not say whether the victim’s child was hurt.

There is no statistical data on home invasions (there is no such FBI Uniform Crime Reporting classification). Common sense suggests that most home invasions involve drugs, one way or another. But not all. Some home invasions are “simple” burglaries, where bad guys act on the assumption that the homeowner will be unwilling or unable to stop them from stealing valuables. Like this.

In all cases there is an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Believing that acquiescing to home invaders’ demands will prevent death or grievous bodily harm is a foolish bet. By all means, hunker down, call the cops and assume a defensive position. But there’s no getting around the fact that giving the bad guys what they need instead of what they want is a better bet.

56 Responses to It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use: Shotgun Vs. Shotgun Edition

    • If it comes to that… I prefer IEDs. Far cheaper and more effective for the situations when you stop caring about the gang colors and bling the thugs breaking down your door are wearing.

    • I like your sentiment- breaking and entering is breaking and entering, regardless of the uniform. Be careful out there, though- typically the ones with things written on their backs bring 30-40 of their friends, an MRAP or two, and plenty of ammo. They’re never there to just take your TV, and they never flee when they find out you’re home and armed. And when they’re done, you’re the criminal.

      • Why would the police be raiding your house? unless you have violated the 3 Stupids…. How often has your house, or someone’s that you know, or someone with six degrees of separation been raided?

        Mistakes have been made as to adresses on raids, but generally speaking if you are not involved in crime or associate with criminals why would the police be raiding your house?

        • Because they have the wrong house? Because your neighbor called the cops on a “suspicious gun nut”?

        • First- I don’t know why cops execute no-knock warrants at all, but that seems to be the nature of Vhyrus’ allusion.
          Second- Improbable and impossible are not the same things. Carrying a gun for self-defense looks ridiculous from a statistical perspective, but looks awfully appealing when your front teeth are going down your throat in a mugging. Similarly, no-knock raids on the wrong house happen daily, and the wrong people sometimes get shot during them. I don’t have a solution, but the warning still stands; know your target.

        • Hot summer day in Sacramento, My neighbor was cleaning his rifle in HIS garage, door was 3/4 way up and side door open for air (cleaner). Neighbor called cops and SWAT showed at my door. Living behind the law abider, Popo finest needed to get an angle on the mad bang stick cleaner. Those fat f**ks in black kak wedged themselves between my outdoor fireplace and a wood fence.

          A patrolman could have walked up and engaged in conversation, but noooooo, gotsta justify the gear. Really sad.

        • I see them on Live Leak regularly. The last one I saw was a guy whose apartment was raided and his dog–which was leashed inside the apartment–shot to death. Wrong apartment–the police wanted “1234 upper”, but raided “1234 upper rear.” And of course his apartment was totally trashed.

        • Not being associated with criminals slashes your odds of any kind of violent encounter, not just of those associated with police, true enough.

          Then again, if we’re already operating far out in the tails of statistical probability to begin with, then pretty much every once-in-a-gajillion scenario you can think of is fair game for contemplation. That includes active shooters, deadly family feud next door that somehow spills over to your house, mistaken SWAT teams, meth head car jacker with cops in hot pursuit who happens to turn down your cul-de-sac and crashes into your front yard to make his last stand, and, of course, zombies.

          Once you’re already in the land of the extremely unlikely, it’s no longer about one’s decisions or lifestyle. Instead, it’s all about the Universe and what fresh hell it chooses to lay at your feet that day, and how prepared you are to deal with it. Hell, if the Feds would allow it, I’d probably try to get our HOA to shell out for a Patriot missile battery for the subdivision, because for, for, well, for whatever comes our way, I suppose.

      • No… if you decide to play badass and fight back against even a mistaken house raid you won’t be a criminal, you’ll be dead. And dumb.

        • So you’re saying that any time a random stranger kicks in my door at 4am I should assume it’s the cops and put my hands on my head?

          That’s not going to happen.

          And yes, you’re right, if it is you guys busting in to the wrong house again, I will be dead.

          And that’s fu*king wrong.

          No knock warrants are fascist, goosestepping bullshit, and– and maybe I’m just a little fired up because the idea of getting shot to death because the cops can’t read a fu*king address pisses me off– any cop who takes one in the chest performing that kind of thuggish duty deserves it.

        • Hannibal,

          Sure, I might very well die in the process. That doesn’t change the fact that I have to shoot the intruders because I have no way of verifying who they are in the middle of the night and they could very well be a criminal gang. I cannot take any chances.

          I can tell you this much: the guy in front leading the charge is going to die at the very least, and hopefully the person behind him as well. It won’t take too many of those events happening before police realize they should stop no-knock raids all together.

          But again, what do you expect a homeowner to do? They are asleep in the middle of the night. Suddenly there is chaos: crashing, thumping, door frames breaking, glass breaking, loud footsteps, people yelling incoherent statements and commands, maybe even loud bangs that could be gunfire or flashbangs.

          As for the odds being low, that is irrelevant. The odds could skyrocket tomorrow for any number of reasons. No-knock raids are just plain wrong, period. They seriously threaten citizen’s lives for reason at all.

  1. In the first one, why would you open your back door for someone to let them in? If someone is knocking on my backdoor they are going to be greeted by a weapon of some form or fashion.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. REALLY? Someone OPENED THE DOOR for them? How courteous of them. (Shakes head sadly)

    • Not sure what part of the country you are in, but in the Midwest all of our friends and neighbors come to the back door.

      Although, if one of those friends or neighbors had a shotgun, I’m not exactly sure I would open the door.

      • There was a program on NET a while ago about growing up on a farm in the Midwest until just after ww2. The guy said everyone knew to come to the back/side door, except the traveling salesmen. Apparently it makes it easier to ignore the right people.

      • I guess it would depend on what part of the country. In Oregon, Texas, Massachusetts and Kansas I have not had anyone come to the back door who was a friend, relative or otherwise.

      • The part of the country is the East side of San Antonio. As someone who lived in S.A. for several years as a young man and worked a retail job on the East Side, well, let’s just say the East Side isn’t exactly where you’ll find the River Walk, Sea World, Shamu and all happy fun times. Opening any door at any time for anyone there carries appreciable risk.

  2. Only stat you can trust. 100% of home invasions happen at home. Ignore that stat at your own peril. And when somebody knocks on your door, confirm who it is before opening it.

      • A big stick with nails through it. I keep a stick made of Chinese Waxwood (from Cold Steel, check it out) as a last resort. It’s unbreakable; hell, if I strike it on concrete as hard as I can, it barely puts a dimple in it. A Sjambok is pretty formidable, too.

        • I have a big stick next to my door as well. It has a big piece of metal on the end of it, with a 3/4 inch hole on one end and a trigger on the other.

        • “They constructed a board with a nail in It, but they won’t stop there. They’ll construct bigger boards with bigger nails, and then they will construct a board with a nail in it so large, it will destroy them all…”

        • I made myself a mace. A stout piece of maple about 20″ long (trimmed from a tree in my yard), the business end weighted with a 3/4 x 8″ lag screw and four thick 2″ washers. It hangs by its leather thong from the coat-rack by the front door. I have one in my truck, too. Doesn’t take much room to swing it, and nobody’s going to just shrug off a hit from that thing.

  3. Who answers the door, especially after dark, without looking to see who it is first? Even where I grew up in Northern Michigan you always looked to see who was at the door before opening it (and this is a place where most people still don’t bother to lock their doors).

  4. Tactical Question…. 2 guys with shotguns what do you fare better with:
    1. AR-AK
    2. Shotgun
    3. Your choice of sidearm

    • If the question is based on the same scenario as in the article, I would go sidearm with the assumption that the fight is inside 10 to 15 feet.

      Outside that type of box, rifle for sure.

    • This sounds like the perfect layered defense scenario. Shotgun to open the defensive engagement, followed by the handgun. Then if the continue to fight as they run, rifle to reach out and touch the bad guys. Always have and use the right tool for the right job.

    • The best safety is, again, common sense. 100% of home invasions happen at home. Don’t open the door to strangers with guns… No matter what their gang colors are…

    • #1 and #3. Semi-auto rifle that thinks it’s a sidearm. RFB!

      All my favorite guns have an identity crisis.

      Oh, and also option #4: don’t open the door for strangers with guns!

      It’s a good idea to practice point-shooting. The advantage usually described for shotguns, not aiming so well and still doing the job, applies to any firearm you practice point-shooting with. I’m wicked with my RFB out to 25 yards without even using the sights. Close to the same with my AK pistol.

      • Remember that your rounds can go through the door, whether pistol, rifle or shotgun. It is not necessary to expose yourself by opening the door in order to engage the threat. If you keep that important point in mind you may also realize that their rounds can come right back at you!

        For this reason alone I believe the pistol or AR/AK are the better choices for greeting unknown persons at your door. Since they will be most likely to shoot assuming center of mass behind the door, 1) DON”T stand in line with the door! and 2) Sit or lie back on the floor and fire upwards at the BGs. If they are close enough you may get a hit while their rounds will most likely go high. Unless you have some very high value (drugs and/or illicit cash) stuff in the house it is highly likely on being greeted with lead pellets exiting the house these guys will beat a very hasty retreat. YMMV.

        By the way, in almost every jurisdiction I am aware of the setting of “booby traps” or deadfalls, which would obviously include IEDs, is extremely illegal and will get you a long-term vacation at the greybar hotel. The regulars at this establishment will NOT be amused by the reason you have joined them.

        • In many states you can’t use lethal force until they breach the perimeter.

          Also make sure that you are on the hinge side if you can. That way when they breach you know where they are but they don’t know where you are.

    • Whatever is on-hand. Hopefully its something that you’re comfortable with.

      If two tweakers kick in your door, you’ll be stuck with whatever is handy, which in most cases isn’t a mini-gun ala Predator.

  5. Historically in the US Home Invasions were usually about drugs. However with the economy taking more of a dump and more and more people getting desperate, you are going to see more and more of this. Home invasions are common in England and Australia since owning firearms is either illegal or difficult. There, home invaders just beat the crap out of the occupants with bats or cut them with knives with little fear of the occupants defending themselves with firearms. With economic collapse we WILL see more prevalence of this particular violent crime increase, especially in areas where gun ownership is restricted/regulated.

    Home invasion is all about establishing complete dominance quickly over the inhabitants. Either with a gun, bat or fists, the assault is usually very brutal.

    The invaders are out to dominate you. When they break through your front door (weakest link usually) which they can do in seconds, they have already committed to trying to cause you grave bodily damage in order to establish that dominance.

    • It is my understanding that in some European countries keeping clubs or bats or knives or anything that could be construed as a weapon at the door and/or placed around the house is also illegal and can get you a weapons conviction even if you successfully beat off the Bad Guys. Even golf clubs!

  6. Lot of home invasions these days – at least up here in New England – are prescription drug addicts looking for meds or for things that will help to finance the habit. Where I am, they start out as burglaries, but the thieves are so out of their minds, they don’t check to see if anyone is home before going in. It can go from a simple B&E to something much more serious awfully fast. We had a really bad rash of these types of incidents over the summer. The nighttime break-ins were particularly alarming.

  7. Home carry, home carry, HOME CARRY.
    Seriously, there’s no reason NOT to. Even with cute cuddly 4 legged alarm systems, it pays to be prepared.
    I’d use my Supernova shotty in my home defense scenario. Its hard to double talk buckshot, now that I don’t live in an apartment anymore.
    BTW a good tactic I’ve considered is using some sort of door stop. My house is old and the backdoor Could fall with a harsh sneeze. Until I reinforce it, I’ve toyed with idea of some tactical door stop or something similar. Its worth thinking about.

  8. Sometimes the target is a child or woman in the home. Shasta Groene,or the Petit family.BTK just wanted to get off while killing.Still comply and hope they let you live?

    Once a criminal has control over you they may decide to rape and kill you even if they just entered the home to steal items.Happens all the time.People have a right to protect their family.

    A fantasy to think society is safe.

  9. People are focussing on firearms which is great. However, there are other items on the agenda. Namely: fortification. Shatter-proof your windows, strengthen your door frame and hinges, replace your locks with thick bump-proof options, get a metal door and make sure it’s solid or fill it with heavy material (sand, etc.), buy a door bar that mounts to the floor, install mirror-based viewing aids so you can see who’s at your door from any floor of the house without peaking your head out, and have a plan that your family KNOWS how to follow like they know how to tie their shoes (even in the dark) for responding to home invasion. Stay low, stay together, have secondary/tertiary barricaded rooms. Also, the smart know how to make these things happen without sacraficing the happy home appearance.

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