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Scene of the crime (courtesy Google maps)

A TTAG reader writes:

I’m an executive for a MI company that has a “no weapons” policy. I carry my Griptilian in with me, but my G17 stays locked in my car, but that’s beside the point. The founders of the company staunchly believe that it is the role of government to protect us, not a citizen’s responsibility. This philosophy, unfortunately for one of my company’s founders, has yet again been turned on its head. As reports, a man claiming to be a police officer attempted to enter the home of said founder just shy of midnight on Wednesday; he was refused entry and shot the homeowner [through the door]. Not saying that it would have gone differently for me, but when I get a knock at my door at midnight, I answer it GLOCK in hand.

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  1. “The founders of the company staunchly believe that it is the role of government to protect us, ”

    Not really true; this is just your accountants talking. In every large corporation, the real decisions are made by the accountants.

    • Yup.
      It’s cheaper to have life insurance policies pay out than to pay out wrongful death lawsuits. So if a guy takes a gun into an office and kills people, they can say it was a violation of their policy, and they’re not liable.

      • A lot of people say that, like they know what they’re talking about, but it’s inaccurate. For starters, many businesses, including gun ranges and LGS’s, not only allow but require their employees to carry side arms, and there’s no outrageous liability insurance premium levied against them. Similarly, you don’t see special liability endorsements required for firearms liability coverage in a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. You may from a property loss perspective, because firearms can be expensive and may need to be itemized like jewelry, furs, specialty electronics, etc.; but not from an injury liability standpoint.

        Moreover, innumerable establishments implicitly allow concealed firearms on their property by not barring them with legal signage. Occasionally shootings happen, but they aren’t liable in lawsuits. A wrongful death action generally won’t be successful on the merits unless the defendant commits a “wrongful act”, or otherwise acts with carelessness, neglect, recklessness and so forth. It’s not as simple as “so and so brought a gun and shot the place up, now you, the business owner, must write the victim’s family a check.”

      • Hence the title “controller” for the head accountant (and quite often executive manager) at a business.

        • That’s not the meaning or the origin of the word “controller.” It goes back to Middle English and always pertained to the keeping of financial records.

          Misinterpreting a word or making up your own definition for it may not seem like a big deal, but consider the issue that the antis always have with “well regulated” in the 2nd A.

        • foggy,

          I am not making up anything. From Google:

          noun: controller; plural noun: controllers
          a person or thing that directs or regulates something.
          “the power controller on a subway train”
          •a person in charge of an organization’s finances.

        • controller (from the OED)


          Forms: 4–5 counter-, conter-, cownterroller, counteroller, countrollour, 5 cowntroller, 6 controwler, 7 (contrerollour, -rouler), 6–9 controuler, 6– controller. Also 5– comptroller.

          [In ME. counter-roller, -our, a. AF. contrerollour, countreroullour = OF. contre-rolleor (= med.L. contrā-rotulātor), agent-n. from OF. contre-roller, med.L. type *contrārotulāre: see control. (Examples of the agent-noun as name of an official apparently occur earlier than those of the verb.) Already in 15th c. often reduced (as in contemporary Fr. contrôleur) to counterollour, countrollour: the first syllable of this was mistakenly supposed to be count, etymologically compt, and the word was spelt comptroller; this erroneous way of writing the word was especially affected by official scribes, and hence became the established form in connexion with various offices; in these its retention has prob. been partly due to a desire to separate the title from the general modern sense of control.]

          1.1 One who keeps a counter-roll so as to check a treasurer or person in charge of accounts.

             [1292 Britton i. ii. §16 En presence del viscounte qi nous volums qe soit soen countreroullour en tut soen office.]    1393 Langl. P. Pl. C. xii. 298 Selde‥ falleþ þe seruant so diepe in arerages As doþ þe reyue oþer þe conterroller [v.rr. counteroller, counterrollers, countrollour] þat rekene mot and acounte.    c 1450 Bk. Curtasye 550 in Babees Bk. (1868) 317 Þer-fore þo countrollour‥Wrytes vp þo somme as euery day.    1551 T. Wilson Logike 47 b, Comptroller or any other officer in the common weale.    1780 Burke Sp. Econ. Ref. Wks. III. 293 There is taken away‥the treasurer, the comptroller (for a comptroller is hardly necessary where there is no treasurer), etc.

          2.2 Hence a title of office: a.2.a A household officer whose duty was primarily to check expenditure, and so to manage in general; a steward. Now chiefly used in the household of the sovereign, and in those of members of the royal family, and spelt comptroller.

             1441 Hen. VI. in Ellis Orig. Lett. ii. 35 I. 107 Sir Thomas Stanley, countrollour of oure householde.    1461 Paston Lett. No. 411 II. 43 The sewer wyll not tak no men no dyschys till they be comawndyd by the Cownterroller.    1538 Leland Itin. VI. 2 One Fogge‥that was Countrowlar to Edward the Fowrthe.    1613 Shakes. Hen. VIII, i. iii. 69 For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guilford This night to be Comptrollers.    1641 Hinde J. Bruen xxxv. 110 Her father‥[was] with that honorable Personage Henry Earle of Darby, being Controller of his house.    1710 Swift Lett. (1767) III. 7 Sir John Holland, comptroller of the houshold.    1856 Froude Hist. Eng. I. 299 The archbishop sent his comptroller to the Prior of Christ Church.

          b.2.b An officer having similar duties in various public offices. In some of these the spelling is at present controller, in others comptroller, q.v.

      • In the company I work, no business decision is made without the approval of the legal department.

  2. Years ago, I did just that with my Sig brand GLOCK in hand, at 3 am, found a drunk nephew who thought he was having a good party. We partied, but he never did it again after staring into a .40 barrel sobered him up pretty quick.

  3. When someone knocks at my door at midnight, I don’t answer it. Problem solved.

    • If it is a criminal checking to see if anyone is home, your problem is not solved until he breaks one of your windows to gain entrance. Ignoring is probably not the best solution, call 911, report suspicious activity and explain. Then lock and load.

      • I assume he doesnt just sit there waiting empty handed. If it were me and someone is pounding on the door, police get called, carbine comes out of the gun locker, and I assume defensive position at top of the stairs and wait.

      • +1. Two years back several miscreants were knocking on doors at Zero-dark thirty trying to determine if anyone was home. A young woman knocked on the neighbor’s door on the left of us on Friday night looking for “Anne.” There is no “Anne” on our street and the woman claimed she must have had the wrong house. Of course, they did not think anything of it until Sunday morning when we all learned neighbor’s home to the right of us of was broken into the pre feeding Saturday night (yes, the neighbors to the left are naive libs). The folks to the right of us had been gone for a week and we suspect the thieves had been wandering the neighborhood during the day to reconnoiter potential targets. The house was trashed, every closet, cabinet and drawer was emptied and beds were flipped onto the floors. It seemed as much about vandalism and destruction as it did theft. The thieves managed to find a spare set of car keys which allowed them to load the couple’s vehicle to mule out a very sizable load of their possessions. If you ignore that 2:00 a.m. knock on your front door you do so at your own risk and those of your family members.

    • yep, as long as that door is between me and them we are all good. I’ve never understood why some people see a need to go confront someone knocking on their door in the middle of the night.

      • Concern for others, it could be my neighbor or a family member, determination, I will not let a knock on my door become a signal of threat, only the potential for one and I’ll conduct the normal business of living in society (i.e. answer the door) and competence, I can handle whatever is out there.

        That is why people answer the door at night, concern, decency and a simple sort of bravery. I wish you luck inside fortress misanthropy with all your fears.

        • It’s pretty dumb be without a peephole or other method to see through your front door without actually opening it.

        • “That is why people answer the door at night, concern, decency and a simple sort of bravery.”

          Well Said.

      • I tried to go knock on my neighbor’s door at 10:30pm tonight, but his front gate was locked, so I couldn’t.

        I was just going to tell him that his car lights were on.

  4. We have started a Neighborhood Watch which really helps neighbors to know their neighbors and where they live. All neighbors have arms and are trained in safety and proficiency courses by our local sheriff’s office. We host (and cook!) regular feasts to gather all neighbors together and make sure all who have concerns or questions can ask them. We have had no such attack in our neighborhood or armed home invasions which are common just a few miles away.

    In my case, not only is there a 17Glock in my wife’s hands, which she trains with regularly, but a 12 gauge in mine. No law enforcement can arrive quickly enough to save your life. If you are depending upon someone else in an attack upon your family and home, just have them call the coroner, not law enforcement.

    • No law enforcement can arrive quickly enough to save your life.

      That’s just what I would say to anyone entering my home unbidden.

      • I have a slightly different take on that:

        The law enforcement who are on their way sure hope you don’t live to tell them about what happened here.

  5. I happen to know the guy shot. He is, well, a flamboyant attorney. He has enemies. this was personal I am certain

    • Can you provide a little more detail as to why you know this was not simply a random violent crime?

  6. A little off topic, but…
    Another reason why no-knock raids by police are horse crap. Anyone can just yell ‘police’ while smashing your door in and wearing black. If barging in to a home (in a non emergency situation) was categorically illegal for police to do, everyone everywhere would be better off.

    • I suppose that in theory shooting anyone forcing entry into your home that you didn’t know to be police would be justifiable. The problem is you have to survive in order to prevail in court.

      • That is the million dollar question. Don’t know about other states, but here one of the several cases listed of justifiable homicide is

        Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:

        2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter
        the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein

        But if that “tumultuous” entry is by a cop that you didn’t identify early enough….well you would be lucky to make it to court to argue that you could not have reasonably have known he was a cop….

        • That was kind of my point. Shoot a cop busting in your home, and you’ll get ventilated by his buddies. Don’t shoot at someone busting in your home? May not be a cop at all.
          If we could guarantee our citizenry that cops would never bust into your home, everyone would be better off. There’s no justification for no knock raid warrants, ever.

  7. Whenever I answer the door, regardless of time of day, I always stand outside the doorframe with my foot wedged against the door itself. I don’t know why or where I picked up this habit, but its one of the very few odd behaviors i perform. I didn’t learn it from anyone, and I have never done it with the intent to avoid being shot, but I suppose its a pleasant unintended consequence of my strange behavior. Maybe this guy should have been doing the same, with a 12ga in hand just in case.

  8. the attorney shot is a fire breathing liberal . . . I doubt he owned a gun or would use one.

    • This whole thing could have been avoided had he just hung up a ‘This house is a gun free zone’ sign.

  9. One advantage to a handgun over a shotgun or rifle for home defense is that you can answer the door with your firearm behind your back. I had a Chinese delivery guy ring my door bell at midnight last year. No need to make him run home and change his drawers because he got the wrong address. It’s kind of hard to do that with a long gun. And if it’s a robber pretending to be a delivery guy he’ll try to push the door in – you’ll have one hand free to hold the door while the other hand is free to shoot him.

    • Something like this. . .

      I like a long gun for when I intend to shoot, that is, a breach has occurred and I’m reacting to it. However, with the fabled ‘knock and the door’ I like a handgun for just the reasons you give. I can answer the door without terrifying the innocent, meanwhile the gun is in my hand and ready for immediate use.

      Unlike some commenters I refuse to be a prisoner in my home or suspend the normal social niceties just because of the hour. I’ll answer any knock at my door, once I’ve had a glance through a window or peep hole to determine that it’s not an obvious threat, and with a pistol in my hand.

      • Obviously, long guns have their advantages. Shotguns with birdshot are best in apartments, rifles are far more useful than handguns past 25 yards, etc., but handguns have their advantages in a fight too, Inside of 5 feet I’d prefer a handgun because you have a hand free to block your attacker. Unfortunately I do not yet own a house large enough to necessitate a long gun as my primary defense, but I do keep a loaded magazine in my mini-14 in my safe, just in case of emergency.

    • Hey Gov.,

      Why would you open the door or even stand in front of your door before identifying who is knocking at 0’dark thirty? Just stand off to the side and yell, “Who is knocking on my door?” Depending on their response and who they claim to be, you can decide what to do next.

      • Because 99% of the time it’s just a Chinese delivery guy who got the wrong address.

    • Shoot him two or three times!

      Not all of us have such options, my double front doors are mostly prettily cut glass, with another 8 foot tall glass panel on each side so I don’t try to fool anyone.

  10. Obviously the guy didn’t fool him with the “I’m a cop!” routine… unfortunately I guess he stood right in front of the door or had a nice unsecure but decorative glass panel to the side.

    • From news video footage, he had a solid wood door and I counted five holes through the middle of that solid wood door.

  11. @ LarryinTX
    I don’t really understand what you mean by Sig brand GLOCK. I also don’t know why everyone has too say GLOCK!

  12. It’s a joke Umm…kinda’ like EVERY gun is a Glock. “Glock brand Glock”LOL.

    • We’re using GLOCK to mean an automatic pistol, showing our anti ignorance. Like all rifles are assault weapons. It’s a FUNNY!

  13. It isn’t utterly surprising that David Zacks had enemies. Between the occasional unsuccessful criminal defense in which the client ends up with nothing but a large bill and the disgruntled plaintiffs in discrimination cases who lost due to his defense of the City of Detroit, there’s bound to be a loose cannon or two. And then, perhaps, there are the ‘former associates.’

    The guy at the door was dressed in a hoodie, BTW, not in a PD uniform. Apparently Zacks is doing well in the hospital, so I trust he’ll spill the beans on who was gunning for him.

    I’m curious as to the business Zacks co-founded. Litigation support firm? I admire attorneys who manage to turn their knowledge to use as principals, as opposed client-service. Jerome Ginsberg and CyberSettle comes to mind.

  14. Silly… If it was a cop, they would not have knocked. Maybe blew the door open with an MRAP, but knock? Pffft.

  15. Now hold on a minute. There’s no way this story could be true. The victim lived in a very nice upscale neighborhood and violent crime never happens in those types of neighborhoods. /sarcasm_off

  16. The only time I answer the door is at 3am, if I’m home. Any other time I’m at work or asleep.

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