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Local TV news loves them some home invasions. The subject’s a ratings winners fer sher. Over the course of the last six months, I’ve seen a dozen of these “what to do in a home invasion” local reports. This one is particularly annoying. Nebraska police officer Jason Bettin advises viewers to “flee, comply or resist.” Yes, but … the report clearly suggests that it’s a sequential hierarchy . . .

If you can’t flee, you comply. If you can’t comply, you resist. Resist as in … attack? You know, come at the bad guy or bad guys with speed, surprise and violence of action? Maybe before you even think about complying?

They can’t say that! Nor, apparently, can the news package use the word “gun.” (Or fire a revolver double-action without staging the trigger, apparently.) I’ve got one thing to say about all that. SALLY! SALLY!

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  1. Hm… I thought deadly force was authorized against home invaders in almost every state of the union… I know that even in Illinois, you can use deadly force to stop any violent felony. (Which would be almost any felony you’re present to be able to stop.)

  2. Makes sense to me.

    FLEE to the shotgun.

    COMPLY to burn a round or two of buckshot.

    RESIST urge to shoot the f-er again after they’re down.

  3. Pop quiz: What should you do when your home is invaded? (A) run screaming into the night/day
    (B) ask the invaders to leave, politely
    (C) submit for the good of all
    That’s all the choices you get under a firearm free society.
    You could call the police, but let’s stick to reality here.

  4. This story comes from Omaha where I live. The state has a castle doctrine and the Douglas County attorney’s office has a long history of supporting self defense. Last fall, we had a series of home invasions. Several were thwarted by armed homeowners. The score was one bad guy held at gunpoint for police, one shot and wounded, and three shot dead. None of the defenders were prosecuted. I haven’t heard about subsequent lawsuits by the bad guys or their families but, judging from comments by viewers on the station’s web site, I doubt they could find a sympathetic jury.

    • Everything you said is true, except we do not have a castle doctrine, self defense is taken on a case by case basis.

    • They make it nearly impossible to understand but the language is in there that force is authorized in order to retake stolen property or to stop theft of tangible goods in the act. I think the part about not being allowed to protect property means you have to let them actually try to steal it or be successful in taking your property. In other words, just because someone intends to steal your car, you can’t use force to prevent the theft but once it is taking place, you can use force. That’s how I understood it. Force was authorized for trespassing too.

      Also, I saw castle doctrine applying to residence or place of work but did not see anything resembling stand your ground law.

    • “Several were thwarted by armed homeowners. The score was one bad guy held at gunpoint for police, one shot and wounded, and three shot dead. None of the defenders were prosecuted.

      Which certainly raises the question: WHY ON EARTH are the police quoted in these articles always so loathe to tell people just how effective personal home defense is?

      When I was in LE, I worked for two different agencies (both in SC). I cannot recall knowing a single street cop or detective that did not actively favor “home defense.” The only one(s) that would make fluffy statements like in the quoted story were the political chief LEO’s.

      • “Which certainly raises the question: WHY ON EARTH are the police quoted in these articles always so loathe to tell people just how effective personal home defense is?”

        Good question. Progressive ideology tends to see property crimes as fundamentally caused by oppressive inequality—we have stuff others don’t have that we acquired through an unfair economic and class system. It’s understandable that poor people would want to have things that they can’t afford and, so, lacking resources they turn to theft and robbery to get better stuff. When property crimes happen, progressives expect victims to share the criminal’s guilt because, after all, if society were more equal the need for theft would be diminished. Telling people to “flee” or “comply” neatly fits the progressive ideal of shared responsibility because it allows the theft of goods to take place. Resistance is an entirely separate category, totally divorced from the crime itself. After all, it’s only stuff.

      • “Which certainly raises the question: WHY ON EARTH are the police quoted in these articles always so loathe to tell people just how effective personal home defense is?”

        The story only gave a few lines from the officer. We have no idea what else was said in the interview. Reporters often have agendas. (…as do cops, but I trust them more than journalists.)

    • That is why you make the only choice presented to you and do not comply while there is still a breath in you. I always repeat this fact as it is an absolute when dealing with evil men. If a home invader has a loved one with a knife to their throat, it is a must to shoot the invader immediately in his nose or the clearest patch of skeletal upper torso. If they have a gun, it is a must that you wait until you can get a flaccid paralysis inducing shot so to prevent a parting shot from the criminal. Most criminals are not going to enjoy having a gun pointed directly at their face so don’t hesitate when a shot is presented and gently squeeze the trigger. Remember if the home invader kills your family member that was being used as a hostage, the invader is going to be alone with an armed and grieving family member who was just witness to the brutal killing of a loved one. Jury nullification or an affirmative defense of not guilty by temporary mental defect for killing the evil piece of scum may be in your future, or a lifetime of paying taxes for the murderer to watch cable and eat better than poor people on the outside. Free choice and all, just make sure the forensics match up to your story though. It is the same for citizens as it is for cops, It is not what happened but what can be proved.

      If you comply and drop your weapon you are at the will of an evil man with evil intentions. How could any man allow his family’s safety to be dependent upon if an evil man will show mercy in a situation the evil man instigated. Good men show the home invaders through some righteous firepower that we will kill, or for legal reasons shoot to stop the threat, in defense of our families.

  5. I’m guessing resistance becomes a bit problematic once you’re duct taped to a chair.

    • Yeah–Richard Speck was able to kill, what, eight young, fit student nurses, one by one at his leisure, because they all “complied’ and allowed him to tie them up. I remember seeing a guest on the Dick Cavett Show in the 70s use just that example to urge people, particularly women, NOT to just “comply”. (She was a self-defense instructor I gathered).

      • Not to mention once the bad guys have duct taped you to a chair there’s really no reason not to slap a piece over your mouth, taking away the valuable ‘beg for mercy’ defense strategy.

  6. More evidence POLICE sustaining their employment on the broken or dead bodies of citizens. RUN AWAY and will take a report. Really folks its time to just say FU to the crew with a uniform & badge. Time & again, they serve themselves, protect their pensions and in no position to provide meaningful help unless its buying homeless people shoes, or gun buyback gift cards.

  7. I am a proponent of the Biden plan, both barrels right about the Mason-Dixon line followed up with whatever other caliber I might have handy at the moment, just for the hell of it, of course. 😉

  8. Why should I flee? So the home invader can help themselves to my stuff that I worked hard to build or purchase? And so that the home invader can help themselves to rape the women at the next home? I don’t think so … homey don’t play dat.

  9. Flee in your own home? Nebraska? The only place you want to flee to is to where you can blast the thugs from safety.

  10. Yeah, staging the trigger is not good defensive technique and not good from a legal point of view I would think, but it does make for a dramatic video clip.

  11. Complying with an intruder is like complying with a bear. You are really taking a hell of a chance.

    Maybe the bear will eat you and maybe it won’t; maybe it just wants your picnic basket, but you can be sure a dead bear won’t eat you.

  12. Resist, then resist, and resist some more. Only flee if you run out of ammo. Only comply if you are dead.

  13. Pa residents enjoy castle doctrine which includes the home and the properly it sits on. The doctrine includes vehicles as part of ones domain. We also have SYG without a requirement to retreat

  14. In the event you find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself don’t use any more resistance than required. You should be polite and take a moment to think. Opposing the threat with a greater threat is not recommended. Self defense methods are discouraged. Wait for the police. Who better knows the number of the local coroner?

  15. It is this sort of twaddle that makes me hold cops in utter contempt.

    “But DG, most street cops would agree with you that you should have a dog and a gun to turn on intruders…”

    Yea, well, where the hell were they when this idiot reporter showed up, hmmm? I’ll show some respect for the other cops when they take the one shown on this report behind the muni garage and lay into him with some axe handles for the crime of gross stupidity and making the rest of the LEO’s look stupid by association.

    The hard truth is this. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The cops are under no legal duty to protect you, the individual. None. This has been upheld all the way to the SCOTUS. Castle Rock v. Gonzales – not even with a court order can you get the cops to protect you. Warren v. DC – not when you call and they say they’ll come out, can they be held accountable for failing.

    The FBI UCR shows that people who respond with more force to an intrusion or attack come out with fewer injuries. The best outcomes for criminal victims is for those who go full-force right up front. Most criminals see crime as a career. Getting injured or killed isn’t part of their career plan. Boosting your electronics, cash and stuff, hawking it and then sitting back with the cash from their ill-gotten gains and rolling a fattie – that’s their career plan. Not getting into a fight with someone.

    First, get a dog. A real dog. Not some version of a cat that barks when it wants a treat. A dog that can stand flat on all four feet and rip someone’s balls off. That’ll be 27+ inches at the shoulders, 90+ pounds. Better yet would be 28 to 30″, and 120+ lbs. Intruders are scared witless by dogs. To look at reports from around the country, even cops are scared of dogs, apparently losing bladder, bowel and trigger control at the mere sight of a dog. Dogs are like an alarm that responds. I don’t know why people don’t learn more about dogs. A real dog goes a long way towards providing protection.

    Then get tooled up, which TTAG covers in depth.

    • I agree the officer looks dumb in this clip, but I would hesitate to condemn him until I saw the entire interview. Selective editing can make anyone look stupid. Reporters sometimes ask the same or a similar question several times until they get the answer they want. Short quotes can easily be taken out of context. We’re looking at something like thirty seconds of speech from probably a fifteen minute or maybe much longer interview.

      For all we know the cop made a long speech in favor of armed defense that was never shown. I’m not saying it happened in this case, but journalists do this kind of thing all the time. Best to simply not talk to them and to take whatever they report with a large grain of salt.

    • First, get a dog. A real dog. Not some version of a cat that barks when it wants a treat.

      This made me think of what you should say if asked for self-defense tips without mentioning guns:

      Get a dachshund. Keep that dachshund loaded, and keep it on your person. In the event of a home invasion, point your dachshund at the intruder’s center of mass and fire until they stop moving.

      • When I was a kid with a paper route, those wiener dogs were the bane of my life. They’d launch out of a door on collection day like a missile, aiming straight for my ankles. I learned to wear heavy leather boots because of those twerps.

        I dislike the entire breed to this day. Utterly useless, and usually spoiled. If people want a small, low-to-the-ground dog, get a Corgi. They’re just as useless, but I’ve yet to meet a Corgi that wasn’t happy to meet everyone.

  16. I may be the minority here, but just because you are legally authorized to use self defense does not mean that that should automatically become the first response in your tool kit. Needlessly escalating the situation is a good way to get yourself and others killed, simply because you have lost any and all advantage in that circumstance by driving the other person to react however they will — which you can’t predict.

    If the person is attacking you directly, or begins to direct come after you, fine, do whatever’s necessary, but your *stuff* is insured, and if you can pull back to safety, call the cops for the eventual insurance report, and end up never having to deal with the intruder, so much the better. You get a free upgrade on all the crap he stole thanks to that insurance company you’ve been paying forever, he gets a ticket to jail when he tries to fence your stuff, and no one has to deal with the costs and consequences of having to clean up the mess left behind by a bad guy with a gunshot wound bleeding all over the damn place. That stuff *never* comes out of the carpet. And believe me, homeowners insurance is unlikely to pay for replacement carpet due to bloodstains.

    Then there’s the free, complimentary demonstration of handcuffs, prisoners-perspective all-expenses-paid trip to the local police station, quite possibly a stay in jail, meeting wonderful new friends and learning all sorts of new lingo even as you hire a man who looks at your child’s trust fund as the perfect fund for his next boat payment, and all of the costs associated with post-incident psychological support.

    Meanwhile, your wife, kids, family, friends, employers, neighbors, and community are all faced with the inevitable news reporting as the local stations try to stretch it out over a few days, the crazy cat lady down the block getting her moment to go on and on about how you psychicly antagonize her cats while secretly working for the martians, and that great job you have decides whether or not they want to be associated with an individual who just recently shot and killed a man, self defense or not.

    You should retreat if possible and get the hell away from the guy trying to hurt you. You should comply, or at least make it look like you’re complying, in order to pacify the intruder and reduce the threat he poses you and granting yourself more breathing room to come up with a plan B. And you should resist if A and B fail to prevent him from turning violent.

    (Of course, this suggests your average teenage burglar/home invader, and not someone there to hurt people and not steal stuff. If the guy jumps straight to “I’M GOING TO CUT YOUR HEART OUT”, then by all means, shoot the b*stard.)

    • Man, with all due respect, there are a LOT of failing assumptions in that post.

      Please stop giving advice. Someone might take that mess seriously.

  17. If you’re taking advice from TV programming, you have bigger problems than not being properly prepared for a home invasion.

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