Self-Defense Tip: Answer the Door

“According to Phoenix police, the 20-year-old man smashed the arcadia door with a garden weeding tool after rattling doorknobs and ringing the doorbell,” azfamily.com reports. “The 47-year-old woman grabbed her gun and hid in the bathroom.” Before we reveal the upshot – so to speak – of this unfortunate event it’s important to note that the Phoenix woman faced a standard-issue home burglary, and might have avoided bloodshed if she’d acted differently. . .

Generally speaking, burglars don’t want to rob a house when residents are inside. People who own stuff don’t look kindly upon strangers entering their home to take their stuff. In places where firearm ownership is common – and in places where it isn’t – burglars are well aware that they face the possibility of ballistic ventilation from frightened and/or aggravated home owners.

So burglars tend to surveil their target and then, as an extra precaution, knock first. If a home owner answers the door, they make up some excuse for their presence and piss off. If there’s no answer, it’s one, two, three, green light.

That’s why burglars often operate in two-man teams. One guy knocks on the front door, the second waits around back. When the second gets the all clear he breaks in and lets number one in the front door. Or number one joins number two ’round back.

So if a stranger knocks on your door, you best be answering. NOT OPENING THE DOOR, of course. If you don’t know someone, if you’re not expecting them, don’t let them in. Don’t even open the door. “No thank you!” is an excellent answer to their enquiry, no matter what the caller’s excuse. Repeat it loudly and then retreat. If you suspect bad intentions, if your spidey sense is tingling, call the police. Preferably with a description.

Note: some burglars aren’t quite so polite. They rely on our old friends speed, surprise and violence of action to perform their evil handiwork. Again, never open the door to a stranger. And . . .

Home carry people. If someone unknown’s at the door, you want to answer the door with a gun to hand. Sooner rather than later. If someone bad’s coming in hot – if they pose a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm and imminence is imminent – you might want to greet them with hot lead. That’s not the time to be hunting for your gun. 

OK so . . .

Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the man went into the bathroom and punched the woman in the face several times. She fired one shot, striking him.

Police arrived and found the suspect on the floor in the hallway, still partially in the bathroom. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

Thompson said the suspect will face charges upon his release from the hospital.

Police say the shooting was “certainly” self-defense, which means the woman will not face charges.

“The woman was certainly acting within her rights to defend herself,” Thompson said. “Keep in mind that not only was she the victim of a burglary, but then she was the victim of an assault. One can only ask the question: What might have happened had she not taken the action she did to end this confrontation?”

Or, again, what might have happened had she answered the door.

comments

  1. avatar Kirk says:

    It’s a shame the perp survived.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Two to the chest one to the face. Always.

      “Why’d you shoot him in the face?”
      “Because they didn’t stop after two to the chest.”

      Important, they wont be back to rob you again, or get revenge.

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        You have to worry about the scumbags friends.

        1. avatar Romeo says:

          That’s fine, you can now rely on your recent experience. Two chess, one face, got it!!

        2. avatar JR says:

          We hear this a lot. Does it really happen except in movies?

          Eliminating gang-on-gang retaliations, does the ‘average’ home invader that gets ventilated have friends that try to pay that back?

          Data and sources, please.

        3. avatar Jacob says:

          I can’t imagine that they would come back. You just proved that you are fully able to defend yourself with lethal force, and that’s when you aren’t expecting it. I think they would slink away, off to find easier prey.

          Source: my brain [no link provided]

        4. avatar Justin_GA says:

          Yeah it happens. Retaliation…… If you can it’s best to just put the body in a garbage dumpster and call it a night. I mean why waste the police departments time. The incident was resolved and Kpacstion’s crew just thinks he got it from another violent gang.

      2. avatar RLC2 says:

        http://jeffcoopersmozambiquedrill.blogspot.com/

        Oddly, in San Diego, I am told by a CCW instructor the SDPD considers head shots to be murder shots.
        Not that it matters as no one can get a CCW right now except retired cops, and donors to Sheriff Gores campaign.

        1. avatar Kyle says:

          I would tell them good luck in court. “I just fired” “I missed” “I closed my eyes” – All valid arguments that are pretty hard to disprove.

        2. avatar Nighthawk says:

          in California their ass is so backwards it ends up being their face. Commiefornia’s “laws” tend to not apply in free states. Head shots aren’t “murder shots” they are “manstopper shots” cause if the SOB has a weapon they aren’t going to get a chance to take you down with them as they bleed out. Police departments train 2 to the chest and 1 to the head, I guess they teach “murder shots” if that training is in CA?

        3. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Well, in California, yeah, I could see that BS. Man, some states just feel like a whole different country. Here in GA though we got the Rick Grimes standard. Head shots, neck bites, its all good.

      3. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

        Miss, why did you shoot him in the face??
        Because he was UGLY!!!!

        1. avatar Sheepdog6 says:

          “I missed. I was aiming for his (comment moderated).”

  2. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    I love happy endings.

    1. avatar Frank Masotti says:

      The perp survived. How is that happy?

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        No lives were lost. He’s a scuzzball, but he’s still a human being and wasn’t condemned to death by a judge and jury.

        And who knows? The experience might have got his attention, and might motivate him to seek another line of work!

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          Possible, but doubtful.

        2. avatar ropingdown says:

          Yep, might give him the heads up to move on to something like Identity Theft.

        3. avatar Model66 says:

          +1

        4. avatar Jeremy says:

          while not condemned by a judge and jury, its just a variation of death by cop.

        5. avatar James says:

          I agree with you. Sure, if he died as a result of his actions, then I wouldn’t shed many tears, but he’s still a human being. One who’s made some really bad decisions, but a human being nonetheless, and I am in a way happy that he isn’t dead.

        6. avatar Nighthawk says:

          You cannot apply justice to a defensive gun use. It’s survival.

      2. avatar Greg in Allston says:

        It’s happy because the shooter doesn’t have to deal with all of the baggage, head trips and karma that comes with taking another human beings life.. That the BG survived might make him a little more circumspect as to his future vocational choices. I call that a win/win. Were it me and I sent the BG to the great, irredeemable beyond, I doubt that I’d lose much sleep over the matter, but then I’m not wired like a lot of my fellow citizens. She’s alright and he’s going to get his just rewards. It’s all good from my perspective.

  3. avatar C says:

    “We’re very happy with out current religion, thank you.”

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      I prefer “Our Exalted Master doesn’t like us discussing religion with outsiders “…

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        careful, the ATF might get involved, they have a thing for sticking their nose into your business if your religious. And fire, they love fires, big ones.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Oh, they love religious people, as long as you’re the right religion.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Wow. Tough call.
    Only an open, honest interview with the bad guy could answer that.
    Any way you poke it, a gun in hand is worth two in the safe…

    1. avatar TheBear says:

      That’s why I keep a Sig .45acp by my front door. That way I don’t need to home carry either.

      It’s hard to home carry in underwear.

      1. avatar Todd S says:

        NAA 22 magnum revolver… cheek carried 😉

      2. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        i struggled with the same question, how to carry when lounging in boxers and a tee shirt. My solution, a shoulder carry rig, pretty comfy.

        1. avatar TheBear says:

          This is not a bad idea at all.

  5. avatar John Locke says:

    Sorry I disagree, I shouldn’t have to bother answering the door if I am home. This guy took a chance that he didn’t need to. Why put the onus on a homeowner because he or she doesn’t feel like answering the door? One shouldn’t feel obligated to answer the door, just because someone one on the other side is knocking. Maybe this guy will re-think his career choice, instead of stealing others people’s property.

    As the saying goes, “dyin’ ain’t much of livin’, boy”

    1. avatar Bob says:

      from The Outlaw Josey Wales.

      1. avatar John Locke says:

        One of my favorite westerns.

        1. avatar RLC2 says:

          Always feel bad for the dog…

    2. avatar Phil says:

      I agree. If the feeling is “no one answered=no one is home, free to enter” then maybe more people not answering while armed is the cure. Eventually, a no-answer will be just as dangerous. I want to live in a world where it’s understood that breaking an entering is Russian roulette for the criminal, except of course I’d prefer a full cylinder.

    3. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

      It’s an issue of practicality John. It takes 1 second to tell someone to F’ Off!, but 2-3 hours to clean blood and brain off the walls and floor. Unless you’ve got carpet. If you’ve got carpet, you’re gonna have to toss that s#!+.

      1. avatar John Locke says:

        I get what you are saying, but in the same token, there are times I just don’t want to bother answering the door due to other things going on at the time or cannot due to sitting on the porcelain throne or taking a shower/bath.

      2. avatar doesky2 says:

        Good to know…recently refurb of the 1st floor is now all hardwood.

    4. avatar Bob says:

      Does anyone here think that the anti’s could point to this post and say he’s just itching to shoot someone?

      1. avatar dh34 says:

        The anti’s position….. would be curled up in the fetal position, wetting themselves until the bad man was gone or in this case being savagely beaten until the cops responded…if and only if she got a 911 call off before he assaulted her.

        So in this case, she actually did what the anti’s suggest is the proper response…retreating (even in your own home).

        However at the next point in the decision tree, she opted for the “end the physical assault; put the intruder on the ground; hand the police a suspect; deal later with a wet clean up on aisle 1”, vice the option 2 – “cowering, taking the beating and possible death, while waiting for response, then at best spending time in hospital trying to give a composite artist a description of the perp.”

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        The antis could say that about *any* post.

    5. avatar Ardent says:

      I was waiting for this, in what world should I be compelled to answer my door, especially on threat of intrusion or assault? The very notion that I should act as a ‘safety’ for a stranger, who is bent on nefarious acts, so that he can be sure my house is safe to burglarize is preposterous. I home carry and I say go ahead and kick the door and take your chances. I’m never going to feel sorry for a burglar, hot, cold or otherwise. It’s a human being alright, but one who has forfeited anything approaching respect or decency. Just the fact of being biologically human doesn’t grant one some special status in the universe.

      As for speaking through the door, this is actually something people should train for. It’s often considered rude and can feel very uncomfortable to speak to someone through a closed door. Practicing with a friend will overcome this reluctance (and can lead to increased assertiveness in other ways). It doesn’t hurt to know exactly what you’re going to say.

      Because of where I live burglary is unlikely and I tend to answer my door, however there are those times when I don’t wish to and have sent callers away by speaking to them through the door. There is nothing wrong with this, however to insist that one must respond to a knock at the door is to negate the very meaning of the home as a castle and last bastion of defense and freedom. I submit the onus is on the caller to respect the home of another. It’s a seriously screwed up world when the onus is on the homeowner to respond to unwanted callers or face invasion and assault. There was a time when one would expect to be killed for forcing entry into the home of another and this is as it should be. There will always be crime and criminals, but it should always be that the criminals are the ones who are afraid.

  6. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    The woman may no longer be with us, but she is, because she was prepared with a gun. This gun she had available and loaded and ready to use. She obviously knew how to use her gun with the tension and stress, and with adrenalin pumping, having been hit in the face twice by the burglar/assaulter/thug.

    I am glad for this woman. I am glad she is still with us. I hope her attacker gets a long sentence. It is sad she had to experience getting hit in the face twice before she shot him. Maybe a little more practice with her gun, she may get quicker on the trigger and get him as he is coming at her, rather than wait until she is physically attacked and injured before acting.

    1. avatar JR says:

      Wasn’t there some guy this week saying in an article that women defending themselves with a gun was a basically myth?

      Guess he feels kinda dumb(er) now.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        I’d like to find that article and comment something like, “In how many cases of rape was the victim armed?” In fact, has anyone ever heard of any armed woman getting raped, anywhere, any time?

  7. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

    You don’t have to “answer” the door while responding to a knock/door bell. Just yell at them through the door. You are under NO OBLIGATION to actually open the door to see who it is. Yell at them asking who they are and what do they want (if you don’t recognize them through a window or peep hole). If you don’t like it and they’re not uniformed law enforcement then tell them to (Home Alone style) leave it on the doorstep and get the hell out of there.

    It keeps you on the safe side of the door, it doesn’t give them an ‘in’ to barge into, and lets them know someone is there.

    If they don’t like it, tough…unsolicited unknown visitors are not welcome.

    1. avatar TheBatman says:

      I don’t think the author was saying we have to open the door. I believe he, like you, was saying we should talk through a locked door; never an open one. Unforced entry weakens the self-defense argument, though it doesn’t take it away completely…

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        A lot of houses and apartments here in the sunny PDR of Taxifornia have these.

    2. avatar RLC2 says:

      Here is some advice I have read somewhere-

      Call 911. Put it on speaker and lay it on the kitchen counter while you take cover, behind the tiled wall, island, yelling- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, I HAVE CALLED 911, I HAVE A GUN AND I WILL SHOOT YOU IF YOU KEEP THREATENING MY LIFE.

      Do not pick up the phone. In most jurisdictions I understand a call to 911 left on, open line,
      REQUIRES a patrol car to be rolled.

      Comments by LEOs? Lawyers?

      1. avatar Nighthawk says:

        “Home Invasion In Progress” elicits the fastest, high priority response from a police department according to Massad Ayoob.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        In the same amount of time I could have loaded and retrieved my AR, piss on the cops. If you are worried about an audio recording, buy a thumb drive sized recorder for $10 and turn it on when you pick up your gun. THEN consider calling 911.

    3. avatar Ardent says:

      I’ve said this before here but it bears repeating: in this part of the country and especially in more secluded areas is considered polite to hail the house when entering into the curtilage. This is specifically because at night in the more rural areas one may well be facing an armed and alert homeowner before ever getting to the door. Police response times can be outrageous in these areas, upwards of an hour for calls that are not already to the level of lethal violence. It’s well understood that you’re on your own if something goes wrong and that the issue will almost certainly be decided long before the police arrive and that is assuming you have the means to summon them (cell service is unavailable over large portions of this county and not every home has a landline and the latter can be disabled).

      Here, one who approaches a strange house by night knows full well that they bear extra responsibility to declare themselves and their intentions, and approaching the more remote homesteads even by day places the onus of identifying and declaring on the visitor. This is as it should be.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Whass a “curtilage”? And I suspect you better not be just “enterin'” mine, neither!

        1. avatar Ardent says:

          Curtilage is the area around a home dominated and controlled by the home. It would include such things as a fenced yard, the area covered by and surrounded by outbuildings and barns or any other area of the ‘yard’ near a house that is encompassed by something the delineates it from other ground, such as a hedge or some other demarcation.

  8. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    …and what would have happened if she didn’t have a gun? Don’t see MAIG (or whatever they call themselves now) highlighting this incident any time soon huh? Where’s SW? A gun saved a life on Tuesday and I dont even hear so much as a tweet. They are such a farse. Fraud. Sham. How anybody could buy their bamboozelry is beyond my understanding.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Just wait. They will highlight the perpetrator as a “victim of gun violence.”

  9. avatar knightofbob says:

    A prospective burglar knocking on the door is casing the target. If they proceed to break in after a lack of answer, then the homeowner is likely in the advantageous position of having the element of surprise. That there may be a team is just more argument against using a double barrel shotgun as your exclusive go-to defensive gun.

    The burglar in this case was looking for an easy in. He likely knew the homeowner was there, alone, and had every intention of forcing his way in when she answered the door. Let’s say he did go away, though. He would have had every intention of returning, sooner more likely than later. Meaning if she didn’t leave the house for the rest of the day, he would have come back when he expected her to be asleep, with violence in mind as plan A.

    I’d say the real lesson here is keep your doors locked, even when you’re home. Know your home’s vulnerable points. And be prepared to act first.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Yup, locked windows and doors even slow down an infantry platoon. Having to actually break in makes a lot of noise and is high profile. And if someone actually breaks in through a door or window into your house, in most states at that point you can blast them no questions asked.

      1. avatar 357Sig says:

        Unless they’re the cops doing a no-knock raid on the wrong house, in which case you’ll go to prison for murder in most states if you kill one of them. However if the cops kill you in the process, all is forgiven because of the mistake.

        Just the way things are here in the good old US of A.

        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/01/robert-farago/police-militarization-claims-texas-swat-deputys-life/

        1. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Yup, that’s pretty sleazy. Personally, I don’t care if they do that, I’m lighting their asses up. Anyone that breaks in unannounced gets lit up. I’m pretty confident I could get a few of them before they get me, and they will get me no doubt, but maybe they’ll learn a lesson. Great article though.

    2. avatar Kyle says:

      I don’t answer the door unless I am expecting somebody. If you are stupid enough to try and break in, you will meet your maker. If you want to break into somebody’s home, you should be prepared to die for that Xbox.

      1. avatar Todd S says:

        Nobody is willing to die for an Xbox. PS4, well…

  10. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    @ Grumpy in Kali, to add to that know your local law enforcements uniforms… Costume shops sell some convincing uniforms. Also if unsure dial dispatch and ask if it is a LEO.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      With a gun in your hand.

  11. avatar Gunr says:

    I can’t imagine why someone faced with a burglar, would wait till they had been hit “several” times before opening fire. If the dude is that close up and in your face, he could have grabbed her piece and the outcome would have been much different.
    Thankfully, it turned out OK.

  12. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “Or, again, what might have happened had she answered the door.”

    Nothing would have happened if the BG wasn’t a POS.

  13. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    My only real problem with her approach is that she allowed him to get close enough to punch her. I would have preferred her to take some cover in the living room and fire at the attacker from where she could still maintain some situational awareness. Holing up in a bathroom leaves her cornered and vulnerable if the attacker has a partner with a gun.

    Beyond that, I’m even ok with her not answering the door. Consider it the residential counterpart to concealed carry. We’ll call it concealed occupancy. It adds a nice little what-if twist to the standard burglary decision calculus. Maybe the silence greeting a would-be invader’s door knock means no one’s home. Or maybe not.

    Ok, tough guy, your decision: You knock, there’s no answer. You can get the hell out of here, leave people in peace, and go get a job, or…..you can choose what’s behind Door #1. Let’s make a deal….

  14. avatar Model66 says:

    I have a REAL QUESTION. No criticism or anything, just personal ignorance.

    They show (presumably) the woman’s pistol being put in a clear evidence bag. They are already calling this incident to be justifiable. So…

    Why do they take the woman’s gun?
    What happens after they take the woman’s gun?
    How long/ is it likely that she gets her gun back?

    I appreciate any replies based on experience and knowledge, so please keep your opinions out!
    Thanks in advance!

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      Its standard procedure. She will probably get it back after the DA announces his decision.

      1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        Maybe… if it’s not “lost.” Even if everything goes perfectly, it might be months or even years before she gets it back. Best thing is to have more than one gun. The cops are most certainly not going to be concerned about leaving her defenseless.

        The worst thing that could happen to her is to find herself unable to even purchase another gun after this incident. If she has another, or others, purchased privately…. she’s much better off.

        Two (or more) is one, one is none.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Perfectly legitimate question. Like Kyle said, it’s standard police investigative procedure. They’ll run ballistics on it to see whether it’s a match to any other investigation. They’ll also keep it it as potential evidence in the event she’s charged. Technically, when the the police arrest you for something, it isn’t for that something itself, unless they have an arrest warrant. Technically, it’s for suspicion of that crime. That’ll get you a ride downtown and later an arraignment, but for felonies they need an indictment to pursue charges. That can happen later, even if the police on the scene say it was justified. Just ask George Zimmerman.

      That’s where the Grand Jury comes in. The GJ serves as an independent panel of disinterested citizens to examine the preliminary evidence and determine whether there’s enough there to substantiate whether a crime may have been committed and whether you’re likely the guilty party. It’s an enormously important check on the system as it serves to check the State’s power to destroy people with frivolous prosecutions. It’s an imperfect system, admittedly. Ask GZ about that, too. The GJ can indict you and you go to trial, or they can “no bill” you and you’re free. If it goes to trial, they will need to have ensured from the start that all the evidence, including your firearm, was preserved.

      Interestingly, the GJ can also serve as cover for the DA, too. In Houston (Harris County), all homicide cases are presented to the GJ as a matter of course, even if the police and DA don’t believe you’re guilty. It gives them someone to point to, when the community activists, agitators and media want blood, and say “See? It isn’t just us. Even the GJ says there’s no crime here.” It also keeps crimes from being swept under the rug.

      It’s a pain and extremely stressful, not to mention expensive, but it also helps the people. If no billed, it gives you an official finding to hold up as back up to invoke civil immunity when the little darling’s family tries to sue for wrongful death/injury. The police are supposed to release your firearm when the legal proceedings are complete. Often, that’s not a problem. Sometimes it takes a court order to get it back. Sometimes it’s in trashed condition when you do. If it was a particular nice firearm, it might get lost in the evidence room and never returned.

      Again, great question. Thanks for the opportunity to answer.

      1. avatar Palmguy says:

        “It’s an enormously important check on the system as it serves to check the State’s power to destroy people with frivolous prosecutions. It’s an imperfect system, admittedly. Ask GZ about that, too.”

        Florida does not require grand juries except in capital cases, and State Attorney Angela Corey bypassed the grand jury and indicted Zimmerman herself (probably to avoid a GJ no bill).

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Exactly. That was a travesty and should not have been allowed, as GZ’s experience bears out. Pure, crass politics drove that case, which the GJ mechanism could have prevented.

      2. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        So suppose after such an incident you put your firearm in a secure location. Can you refuse to produce the firearm unless/until the police come with a court order?

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          ” suppose … you refuse to produce the firearm”

          What would that accomplish, other than pissing off the cops?

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          That’s called tampering with evidence, here in Texas, a third degree felony good for a two to ten years inside.

    3. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Depends on the department. I’ve got a friend who lives in a fascist northern town where any kind of shooting inside city limits, no matter for what reason, the police confiscate the gun and you never, ever get it back. Weather it be justifiable homicide or ND or whatever, if anything happens with a gun, they take it, and keep it forever. Now down here in the south, IF they take it, IF, they’ll probably give it back relatively soon.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        And that is the same if it a LEOs gun, paid for by the city, right? RIGHT?! Or the mayor’s? City Council?

  15. avatar Lfshtr says:

    Rule number one don’t answer the door when you don’t know who it is! Rule number two especially if you are a female with a weak voice don’t answer the door. Rule number three lock yourself in a bathroom with a big gun. Rule number four if the BG tries to get into the same room with you shoot him. Sounds good to me all rules followed to a tee. Now sue the crap out of the BG for a new door and one new bullet. Be safe out there run if you can and if you can’t run seek a safe zone.

    1. avatar Ken Adams says:

      It’s impossible to sue a dead guy. I guess you could sue his estate, but most BG’s don’t have estates.

  16. avatar William Burke says:

    “Generally speaking, burglars don’t want to rob a house when residents are insider”

    So what they say is true! Sometimes insiders get burgled, too.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Text amended.

  17. avatar Dave s says:

    And the rental fee for a replacement weapon!

  18. avatar El Mac says:

    @RF, you sound like a typical leftard know it all. I do not believe you are that, but you certainly sound like it. Please. The homeowner is not obligated to “answer the door”. The onus IS NOT on the homeowner. She could have been taking a nap, sleeping off a hangover. She might have been in the shower. She might have been throwing up her toenails. She might have been playing with Mr. Battery Operated Happy. Who knows? Who cares? Please drop the blame gaming “what if” bullshit. That’s straight off of MSNBC.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      She has the right to be in her house, unmolested. She has the right to ignore a caller. But we’re not talking about rights. We’re talking about avoiding trouble.

      IF you can stop a burglar just by saying “No thank you!” why not do it? In the same sense that I don’t have to have a burglar alarm. But I do, because I’d prefer the bad guy not to enter my premises.

      The only gunfight you’re sure to win is the one you never have.

      1. avatar Nighthawk says:

        I think it’s a poor assumption to think answering the door will send people away. If they are coming around late at night it’s more accurate to assume they don’t really give a shit if the house is empty or not. Additionally, answering the door, even just calling out through it gives them the ability to know your location. I think if they are being brazen enough to try and lure you to the door, calling the cops and not answering it is a good idea. I’d rather ambush a pair of scumbags in my own home than let them get the upperhand on me. This woman hid in a bathroom and waited til the guy was beating her to shoot. Not exactly the best time to decide to pull the trigger and in AZ you have no duty to retreat.

      2. avatar El Mac says:

        @Robert Fargo, First, thank you for responding to my post. You again are ignoring the possibility that the homeowner might not have been in a position to answer the door. You are also ass/u/me-ing that by answering the door, the intruder would have been diffused. What if he were there to rape her as well as steal? The difference between a man answering the door, versus a woman or a child is significant. You/we do not KNOW the facts of the case. Monday morning quarterbacking a person’s use of a firearm is a typical Leftist/anti-freedom tactic. Please don’t fall into that trap.

        The bottom line is that she has the RIGHT to be safe in her abode, whether she answers the door or not. In a perfect world, sure…if she could read dude’s mind and know that by answering the door she could have diffused the situation, she might have done things differently. But that isn’t reality. We do not KNOW why she didn’t answer the door. But because we do not know, or because you/me might have done something differently, does not mean her actions were incorrect.

        One can also make the next logical step in your argument that “the only gunfight you are assured of winning is the one you do not engage in”…..well, let’s turn ’em all over to the godvernment so we can’t engage. Dangerous path, dangerous thinking that.

        Thanks for you time.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          ““the only gunfight you are assured of winning is the one you do not engage in”…..well, let’s turn ‘em all over to the godvernment so we can’t engage.”

          No, you idiot. It means, avoid stupid places where stupid people are doing stupid things, and don’t run around and pick fights with strangers.

        2. avatar El Mac says:

          @Rich Grise, I think YOU are the idiot. Go back and reread what I said. I “think” we are saying the same thing more or less. If you would read carefully, I think you would see that.

          The bottom line is, the shooting didn’t happen because the woman failed to open the door. It happened because d-bag decided he wanted to break and enter into someone else’s property. What is so hard to understand about that?

        3. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Yeah, my bad. Sorry, I’ll try to be more careful of what I’m reacting to and stuff.

        4. avatar El Mac says:

          @Rich Grise, Thank you Rich…and I’ll take back my comment as well. It happens, but we are square bro.

      3. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Why not? Because his next stop might be the 80+ lady living alone next door. I will not hide away because there might be a bad guy, I plan on everyone being good folks, and keep training equipment available in case someone is not. Hiding in fear is not living.

  19. avatar Shannon's Pimp says:

    You sound like an anti-gun anti-castle doctrine ACLU defense attorney.

  20. avatar Accur81 says:

    The lab and Weimaraner barking furiously add a nice effect. I don’t always answer the door, but I usually do so whilst armed. The dogs are restless until they get the “all clear” signal. Sometimes they are still restless, and need to be introduced to the new guest. If the guest is nervous, or doesn’t like dogs, they go in their kennels.

    I agree with the advice for the most part, but don’t feel that I need to interrupt my day for an unsolicited person on my property. If the visitor looks sketchy I’ll take a second to pull the Weim out. When she doesn’t get the all clear signal, she’ll be all snarls and teeth. It tends to dissuade people who want to try and sell me over priced garbage. The lab, on the other hand, is mostly good for an enthusiastic sniffing and tummy rub.

    1. avatar RLC2 says:

      Dogs good for keeping solicitors away.
      GSD and a Rhodie, tag team, crazy fierce barking at the knock.
      Oddly, never had anyone push the door open.

      1. avatar TXGal says:

        We have a sweet but very territorial large male Golden Retriever, goes Cujo if anyone knocks on the door or rings the door bell. Delivery and postal people know to just leave package on front porch. I don’t have to answer the door, he alerts me. If I don’t know you, I don’t need to know you and will not be opening the door. Would be a very bad idea to attempt to enter anyway, I always have a loaded Ruger .38 LCR in pocket holster. I belong to a Ladies Shooting League, range time at least twice a month, so believe me, won’t need more than 3 rounds to stop an intruder. Also have steel front door with reenforced dead bolt lock. We live in a small college low crime town, but rather be prepared than have regrets later. Evil &.crazy can exist anywhere

  21. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Self-Defense Tip: Answer the Door

    Horrible advice.

  22. avatar Crunkleross says:

    I make sure I know who is knocking before I answer the door from a position they can’t see me. I will already be armed. I’m not going to give away my position in the house by hollering at whatever it is at the door. It might be just as likely that the burglar or burglars will change their game plan to take me on rather than run away just because some OFWG is home.

    The fact that they are willing to take the chance of knocking on a door is important. That exposes them to a certain risk of discovery by recognition and police intervention later using the description given by the door answering home owner. The traditional view of burglars being meek and afraid of being caught needs to be updated. That might have some validity with night time “cat burglars” but not brain damaged meth heads willing to enter a residence in broad daylight.

  23. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    My question is, why did she allow him to get close enough to punch her? It’s lucky this didn’t become a gun grabbers wet dream where the attacker takes the gun away from her and uses it against her.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      She was probably paralyzed by fear on top of a lifelong taboo against hurting anyone, and probably a measure of disbelief; getting smacked kind of got her attention. “Hello? Yes, I’m really here!”

      That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it. 😉

      1. avatar Crunkleross says:

        She was crouched down in a submissive position, hiding and hoping he didn’t find her. That’s not the mind set you need to be ready to defend yourself. Attacking and using her weapon didn’t occur to her until the burglar knocked her head around. This is a good example of why mind set training is just as important as firearms training.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          You forgot screeching and shrieking until a couple belts reminded her that she was the only one who could help her.

  24. avatar ropingdown says:

    Not another post about “should you answer the door?” “should you call the PD?”…?

    It depends on your life, your preferences, your neighborhood. My home’s my castle. I’ll answer if I feel like it and recognize the person on the camera, which anyone on my home WIFI LAN can see in their room or at their desk.

    For those who remember, incidentally, Patty Labelle now has a Staffordshire Terrier and walks him in the neighborhood every day, is cheerful, is losing weight, and got rid of the pack of Rottweilers. Life is good.

    Answer the door, don’t answer it. Who cares? There is no right answer. I recall a post here last week about a lawyer in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Zacks: He answered the door, but did not open it. Five shots through the wooden door put him in the hospital. Some much for “answer, but don’t open the door…”

    1. avatar Broken 3ight says:

      Gotta agree with you on this one. Giving away your position by answering the door to someone you don’t know generally goes against my common sense. And if the whole point is to make them go away, wouldn’t they just show up the next day?

  25. avatar Sick of it all says:

    This article is almost completely justifying the actions of the intruder, and scorning the woman for defending herself. This is complete horse s**t. I’ll keep my second amendment, and you can KMA if you feel otherwise.

    Don’t want to die? Don’t break into my home.

  26. avatar A. Nuran says:

    It never gets that far. The Great Dane mix is an excellent watchdog and has very firm ideas about Unauthorized Behavior. Strangers are Unauthorized. Kinda sucks to be a burglar on our block. The neighbors on one side have a Rottweiler and a Pit mix. The lady on the corner has a Rott. When one starts barking they all start.

    Given a choice between burgling a block with lots of large loud dogs I’m guessing most thieves would just go somewhere else.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You’re probably right, and generally dogs are more fun than guns, even, but I wouldn’t bet my life on one.

      1. avatar A. Nuran says:

        Neither would I. Crime prevention and self defense are all about the odds. Make yourself a less attractive target and the odds of a bad guy choosing someone else go up. Exterior lights make my house less attractive. So does a lack of hedges and high fences (increased visibility). So does a large loud dog.

        A working criminal is more likely to go somewhere else to get whatever he wants with less effort and risk.

        If he decides to enter my house and ignore The Hound (probably not a good idea. The Hound has very firm ideas about territory and weighs 80 pounds) he will have to deal with me, my wife, firearms, knives, clubs and gawd knows what else.

  27. avatar Shakey says:

    Elderly women alone decides to hole up in a room with a locking door? It sounds to me like she made a good decision…



    “given the tactical challenges involved”

    🙂

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      Sounds to me like she barely escaped with her life after cornering herself in a room and hoping the bad guy would go away…. Luckily the perp didn’t have a knife otherwise…….

      Where was the police to secure the perimeter and save her?

      I personally think its a bad idea to hole up unless you have a very sturdy room or shelter that cannot be easily breached. Better to hunt the perp down and possibly catch him off guard then let him find you at his pleasure, especially if he has company.

      I have no qualms about taking life when needed. IMO if you break into somebody house or commit an act of violence against them you just signed your death warrant. Many home invaders are willing to do much more than rob you if the opportunity presents itself.

      IMO there is no such thing as just robbers. They escalate as they gain confidence and feel like they won’t get caught and escalate to violence quickly if they feel like it will keep them from getting caught.

      According to some posters who spend too much time on AR15.com and M4Carbine.net having enough sense to confront and shoot some scumbag breaking into my home makes me an “operator”. According to them I should attend a couple more Magpul classes that will turn me into a tactical ninja. I would need to shrink 5-6 inches and lose 50 pounds to look “Operator” in a cool kids plate carrier.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Brings up an interesting thought. Front door is busted in, police respond to find an intruder in the back bedroom, shot to death through the back. Is there a problem? Just curious, I am going to shoot whatever is available if it ever happens to me, discuss it later.

  28. avatar ccw says:

    Something is fishy here, a woman alone with a gun was able to stop an attack? I don’t think we are getting all the information. People should not be allowed to own guns because they are not trained like police and cannot protect themselves this lady is lucky the attacker had to drop a deuce real bad and tried to get to the toilet instead of taking the gun and shooting her with it.

    Robert, if you are in a car accident and you had to be cut out of the car with the “jaws of Death or whatever it’s called” just because in this instance you did not wear your seat belt and you were able to be saved doesn’t mean you should never where your seat belt…..

  29. avatar Len P says:

    Sometimes the knock at the door is just a pretext to gain entry, and not a way to see if anyone is home. Our neighbor just had someone show up at the door asking to use the phone, when she answered and told the woman at the door no, the accomplices attempted to break in through a window in the back of the house. They were scared off when the alarm on the house went off at that point, but if there was no alarm it would have been a very different outcome. I would suggest that arming yourself before answering is probably the best course of action, and if that means the perps think nobody is home, so be it.

    1. avatar Louis says:

      Here’s a question. Assume your neighbor answered the door with a gun. Alarm system failed, or none installed, when the accomplices smashed the back windows to gain entry. Would she have been justified in shooting the woman at the door as a possible threat and detriment to her escaping out of the house?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        My bet (not a lawyer, thank goodness) is no. She has no reason to assume the woman in front has anything to do with those in back, close the door in her face and head for the back. Turn around halfway, if the woman has entered the house, NOW shoot her. Otherwise, just shooting her sounds a lot like murder.

  30. avatar MudPuppy says:

    I’m sorry but she failed to follow the narrative. According to all the anti-gun media women’s guns are always taken from them and used against them. Shannon Watts must be notified so she can fly down and train this woman properly on the progressive way in which to resist intruders.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      OOoo. Can we send Dirk to help with the lessons?

  31. avatar Sky Pilot says:

    years ago, I’m in a motel in Albuquerque, on Central. somebody pounding on my motel door at 2AM. Yeah, I’m going to open the door.
    I knocked on the door three times from the inside. Very very hard. at the top, so the top of the door rocked outward.
    stone cold silence.
    “excuse me. I got the wrong room. I won’t be back”
    running feet.

  32. avatar James R says:

    Lets not forget the other, possibly more likely scenario that the person at your door is someone who actually needs your help that you can call the police/ambulance/tow truck for.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      If they’ve got lungs then they can announce their need, and I don’t need to be by the door to hear them. I’ll call for the help they need without going near the door. I’ll answer the door only if I can identify them as friendly low-risk locals. There is no reason non-locals should be on my road.

      When I was 17 my car broke down during a rain storm. I walked up the very long driveway to the nearest house, which happened to be the mansion of Joseph Pew, founder and chairman of Sun Oil Co., Sunoco. The woman of the house, an elderly lady, actually opened the door. I asked to use the phone. She simply said “no,” and closed the door. As I turned to walk back to my car I noticed that she let a German Shepherd out the door. It had the muscles of Charles Atlas and followed me all the way to the bridge half way down the driveway. And as I walked slowly but steadily I recalled over and over that the woman’s niece, Roberta Pew, was disfigured and almost killed by her own gone-mad German Shepherd guard dog a few years previous to the day. I resolved then never to set a dog on a retreating citizen.

      I walked to the next house up Grays Lane, where a man greeted me, let me use the phone, and offered me a cognac, which I declined. He was able to pin down my accent as I spoke outside his door, so he opened it.

  33. avatar Peter says:

    Our lovable lap dog is a 120lb Bullmastiff. They rarely bark, maybe a couple of “woofs” if someone is knocking and you can see her through the small window beside the door. I don’t like the window from a home security perspective but the sightof her makes up for the tactical weakness. I think…

  34. avatar IdahoPete says:

    “She fired one shot, striking him.”

    Empty the magazine/cylinder. Or at least double tap the SOB.

    1. avatar Greetings from Occupied CT says:

      It appearts the police were bagging up a blued revolver (around 1:25 in the video) so cylinder. Since the the perps injuries were non life threatening I am going assume it was chambered in .38 or, in the alternative, bad shot placement. So maybe he got one in an extremity and that was enough to take him out the fight. It would interesting to know more details.

      Also, interesting data point in the perpetual “revolver vs. semi-auto” debate.

      But, to your point, at *minimum* two in the chest and, if that don’t do it, one in the head. However, given that the woman tired to avoid confrontation, maybe she was reticent to fire more than once? It could also be a training issue.

      Anyway, I’m glad she’s alright and this really does prove the well worn adage that, at the end of the day, it was Sam Colt who made us all equal; because, unless you’re Buffy the vampire slayer, an average woman is generally at a significant height, strength, and weight disadvantage when it comes to unarmed combat, which is why I really think the anti-gunners are anti-woman as they seek to take away a woman’s most effective self-defense tool.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Professional victims.

    2. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Personally, I believe that if you use MORE force than you need to neutralize the threat, then you have become the aggressor. But if that’s your thing, knock yourself out; what goes around comes around.

  35. avatar LarryinTX says:

    So did her gun jam? Why stop at one? And if he’s lying in the hall, isn’t the source of all that testosterone close at hand? Just a couple pops, and his rehabilitation would go so much more smoothly!

  36. avatar Mark says:

    I disagree about answering the door – the perp wasn’t intimidated by her, answering the door would have only confirmed that he would be facing a woman after breaking in.

    I live in Phoenix, and dont answer my door unless I’m expecting someone. I am bummed that she didn’t start shooting as soon as her door was kicked.. No need to take a beating if you’re armed..

  37. avatar Ike says:

    The Handsome Hound says, “If anyone enters my abode uninvited and/or by force and/or by strong arm, or any other means outside of an invitation, THE UNINVITEE ASSUMES ALL THE RISKS AND EXPENSE ACCOMPANIED WITH HIS OR HER’S DECISION TO INVITE THEMSELVES IN; AND ALL BETS ARE OFF!!!”

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