Image by Boch.
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Last week, I wrote a story on six ways good guys can screw up a self-defense use of force incident.  It sparked a lot of rather vigorous comments and a post/link from Law Professor Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, which I take as a huge compliment that a nationally known law professor would post my work for another million people to see.  My goal, along with my fellow instructors, remains to help good people not get themselves caught up in the criminal justice system in the aftermath of an otherwise righteous use of force.

Some folks took a lot of issue about not resorting to deadly force to stop a property crime.  One “anonymous” commenter offered this:

“ Better to call the police, wait inside your home and let the cops take care of it. That’s why you have insurance.”


I don’t insure my gun collection or my parents life’s savings. If someone is trying to take either, they are going to die. End of story.

I’m sorry readers, the saying “No ‘stuff’ is worth killing someone over” isn’t exactly true. If they are stealing my old lawn mower from outside, okay, fine. If they are stealing things worth literally decades of someone’s savings, nope, they are going to die. Jury or not. Actually. I would gladly kill someone, illegally, so that my life’s savings could go to my kids. No problem with that. At all. A lot of people would, And criminals should know it too.

Good on him for conceding that stealing a lawn mower doesn’t reach the threshold.  Smart cookie.  Then he writes, “stealing things worth literally decades of someone’s savings, nope, they are going to die. Jury or not. Actually. I would gladly kill someone, illegally, so that my life’s savings could go to my kids.”

I hate to break it to you, sir, but your life’s savings won’t go to your kids.  It’ll go to the deceased burglar’s next of kin in a wrongful death lawsuit.  And you will face years in prison.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get out in time to see your kids and grandkids before you die, but they won’t have any of your stuff.

In Illinois, we had a successful farmer named James Love shoot and kill an “unarmed” drunk and stoned 20-year-old body builder a few years ago.  I helped the defense attorneys on that one, pushing back on the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman comparisonsEven before the case went to a criminal trial for murder, the kid’s mom had filed a wrongful death lawsuit.  Yes, the very same mother who filed for an order of protection against her own son a few months before because he was so violent when he drank.

She wanted the entire farm, and everything the man owned in the wrongful death suit.  Fortunately the jury saw the truth and acquitted Mr. Love in pretty short order.  That, of course, shut down the wrongful death action, but Love still spent over $100,000 on the criminal defense legal bills.  But it was a small price to pay to fight for his freedom and for his family to retain ownership of his multi-million dollar farming operation.

Others raised other, very valid points.  Including Kyle Guthrie.

Kyle Guthrie 

I’d go a step further. If you’ve ever had a social media presence, you better hope you aren’t in the crosshairs of an activist prosecutor…

He’s right.  If you’ve ever posted memes in poor taste [you should see Jeremy’s face right now], or those expressing your intent to dial .357 instead of 911, you may see those placed in front of the jury.  You better have some self-defense legal coverage because you may need it in the worst way if you post flippant comments on your social media feed.

Problematic Signs for Gun Owners

Here’s one I hope is in jest.

That’s why you keep a throw down. It’s got my prints on it because I had to clear it.

Really?  You’re going to tamper with a crime scene?  And if discovered, the police/prosecutor/judge/jury’s not going to believe a word you say about anything.  Modern forensics bring some powerful tools for big cases.

In California, there is a presumption that an individual breaking into your home without your permission is intending great bodily injury or death to occupants of the residence. 

We have that in Illinois if the entry is made in a “violent and tumultuous manner.”  Translation to English:  if they kick in your front door or bust through a window or sliding glass door, you may freely punch their ticket.  You’re presumed to have legal justification.

At the same time, just because they’re “bought and paid for” doesn’t mean using deadly force is the best option.  As I’ve written before, there are a LOT of downsides to using deadly force, both personally, financially, professionally, socially and more.  Don’t believe me?  Ask George Zimmerman or Kyle Rittenhouse.  Or even former cop Darren Wilson (from whom I got a thank you card in the aftermath of the whole Ferguson fiasco).

Here’s one from a poster who I always enjoy reading his comments:

“If they’ve got your TV, tell them to take the remote too and be on their way.”

Um, no. The most important thing is for everyone involved (including the criminal) to live through the encounter, but I’ll be darned if I’ll permit an intruder to enter my home and take what he wants without consequences. If I have to ruin the TV by smashing it with a baseball bat out of his hands, fine. If I can’t have it, neither can he, and I’ll be yelling and swinging all the while to put the fear of God into him and make him reconsider entering the Haz house ever again.

But there’s no way I’ll just sit there and watch him/them take stuff. Too much of that nonsense going on here in CA already.

Again, are you willing to risk a George Zimmerman life over a bloody television set?

You’re risking a lifetime of bad dreams, the Mark of Cain, potential loss of a job, relationships, marriage, freedom, drug and alcohol issues, sexual dysfunction (hey, they got a pill for that!) and even your life over a frickin’ Samsung TV?

Guns Save Life deputy chief joe morelock
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Deputy Police Chief Joe Morelock at Guns Save Life’s Champaign, IL meeting.

Like a cop who shot a home intruder after intervening to stop the man from strangling his girlfriend in front of the cop’s private residence, you might have to move to help protect your family from retribution from the dead perp’s pals or family.  You might have to drop a hundred grand on moving, selling your current residence at a loss, plus hotels and all the rest over a goddamn $500 or $1,000 big screen?  You’re not thinking rationally, sir.

Easy to say, I know.  I’ve been there, not thinking clearly after getting victimized.  But I learned a very valuable lesson thanks to others setting me straight right here in comments.

Image by Boch

Then there’s this one:

“Avoid defending property”

true. for now. but people survive by means of their property. there is coming a time when property will be so stolen and looted and robbed that shooting looters, thieves, and shoplifters will be necessary for survival.

just not yet.

This comes down to articulation.  Can you articulate why the bad guy stealing your genset outside was a direct threat of great bodily injury?  Have a good attorney to help.  But yes, if you have medical devices, powering them could go towards a valid reason to potentially use deadly force to repel a thief.  Ditto for life-sustaining medications.  The same goes for food in times of scarcity.  Not so much in the case of that old lawn mower or Craftsman cordless drill.

By the way, this is a great video.

Then there’s this from Uncommon Sense:

There is a hint of wisdom in the concept that dacian shared: there are rare circumstances where a “home invader” is not actually a home invader at all. That being the case, a home occupant should be certain that the person in their firearm’s sights really is a home invader before pulling the trigger.

I have three first-hand experiences of such rare circumstances–which do not seem so rare now that I think about it.

First experience, I was a child and went with a friend and the friend’s father to a small “observatory” with a modest telescope open to the public. It was night and we had never been there. My friend’s father misinterpreted the signage and we literally walked in to someone’s home by mistake–a totally honest mistake with zero threat to the homeowners. Fortunately the homeowners for whatever reason were not alarmed and we promptly vacated–very sorry and very embarrassed.

Second experience, I asked a friend if I could borrow something. My friend told me that no one was home, the door was typically unlocked, and directed me to go inside to get the item. So I did. And, as I always do, I announced myself loudly–feeling really stupid speaking loudly into an empty home. Surprise! An adult family member was home unexpectedly and had no idea that anyone would be walking through the door before lunch time. Thankfully, the family member knew me and knew that I was not a threat.

Third experience, a neighbor was leaving town for a few days and asked my child to feed her cat while she was out of town. I drove my child over to her home. My child used the key to unlock the door and go inside to feed the cat. And, at my instruction, my child announced entry into the empty home–feeling dumb about doing that. Surprise! The neighbor was home because we came over on the wrong day. (My child was confused on the dates.)

Now, in all three instances, we did not break down a door. We were, however, potential “home invaders” as far as the home occupants were concerned. Thankfully my friend, child, and I are all here today because the home occupants did not immediately shoot us. Honest mistakes–which are zero threat to home occupants–do happen. Plan accordingly.

Well stated on the importance of not turning to deadly force the instant an uninvited guest strolls through your front or back door.  Who knows, it might be your daughter’s boyfriend sneaking in for a midnight rendezvous.

Over at Instapundit, there were a couple of comments I wanted to share.

Richard • a day ago
1. Avoid. See Farnam about the 4 stupids.
2. Evade. See Cooper about situational awareness.
3. Retreat. See Ayoob
4. If necessary, fight. Making sure you understand the law. See Branca.

Wow.  Richard gets it.  I’ve trained under two of the four he mentioned and one or two of my fellow instructors have trained under Cooper and Branca as well.  Richard’s right.  Although I know a couple of attorneys including Guns Save Life’s own Steve Davis who I think are as good or better than Mr. Branca in teaching the judicious use of deadly force.

Lastly, this one made me laugh out loud in bed, waking up my wife.

sfalphageek  Boyd • a day ago
I don’t know if this is exactly what you’re looking for in terms of firearms insurance, but Home Depot will rent you a backhoe for two days for $398.50.

Go forth and be safe.  As I’ve written (plagiarized from Andrew Branca to a large degree), carry a gun to make yourself hard to kill.  Know the law to make yourself hard(er) to convict.


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  1. I don’t have anything to add to the discussion. I’m not a legal expert. I’m not a firearm’s expert. I’m not a self defense expert. I’m only expert at being me.

    I can tell you that you don’t want to be caught on my property messing around. “Messing around” includes stealing, harming my livestock, abusing my kids/grandkids, abusing my wife, or myself.

    Things may well escalate all the way to a cooling body.

    I’d rather be judged by twelve, than carried by six. Sorry, it was your mistake. You shouldn’t have assumed that I would be a willing victim.

    Stay off my property, and there will be no problem. And, no, I don’t really distinguish between inside the house, and outside the house. But, you’re more likely to get a pass if you’re 600 feet from the house, stealing a watermelon, than inside the house doing anything at all.

    Whatever you do, you DO NOT want to make me feel threatened.

    • I hate to break it to you, sir, but your life’s savings won’t go to your kids. It’ll go to the deceased burglar’s next of kin in a wrongful death lawsuit.

      Actually no. Because you are under some delusion that I would cooperate in giving them my savings. By the time the civil suit went through, there would be nothing for them to have. Likely, the assets wouldn’t even be in this country. So – good luck criminals and moms of criminals trying to make a buck!

      What Boch is missing here is this: I’m getting old. I am NOT starting over now. There comes a point where “seeing” your kids, etc. becomes less important than knowing they are financially provided for.

      • You won’t be cooperating in giving the criminals’ family your life savings.
        You will be spending your life savings defending yourself from being prosecuted on a killing charge.
        The retainer to hire a defense lawyer in a case where you shot a criminal (even if he lived ) will be at a minimum $30,000.
        You will spend at least $200,000 before you even get to trial.
        Investigators and experts, all cost lots of money and have to be put up in hotel rooms.
        And they don’t stay in the local Holiday Inn.
        If you go to trial you are talking about somewhere around $500,000 to mount a serious defense.
        And there is a huge difference between a $300,000 defense and a $500,000 defense
        if you are convicted and go to appeal that costs extra.
        I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of money laying around.
        And if I sold my house to Try to stay out of jail for the next 20 years, there won’t be much left over to give as a settlement to the criminals family

        • Doctor duracoat,

          “You will be spending your life savings defending yourself from being prosecuted on a killing charge.”

          Lol. No I won’t. In my state, if a stranger is in my home and I blast them, the cops show up, give you a fist bump, and then clean up the mess for you. DA tips his hat to you when you see him in the grocery store!

          “If you go to trial you are talking about somewhere around $500,000 to mount a serious defense.”

          Lol! You missed the entire point of my entire argument. I wouldn’t spend a dime on my defense. Lol. I am not spending the money. Period. They won’t be finding the money. Period. The criminal scum or their scummy family won’t be getting a dime from me either.

      • @Anonymous

        “I’m ‘anonymous,’ but not anonymous to TTAGers here. I’ve been commenting here since at least 2012.”


        either you are “anonymous” to TTAGers here or you are not “anonymous” to TTAGers here.

        You cant be both “anonymous” and not “anonymous” at the same time.


        • You cant be both “anonymous” and not “anonymous” at the same time.”

          Unless you’re Schrodinger’s anonymous poster…

    • “I’d rather be judged by twelve”

      don’t forget that happens twice – criminal, then civil. and civil suits don’t require 12 votes to convict, just 9.

  2. Besides the other sides of it, I don’t want the burden of having to shoot someone emotionally. I know it’s easy to be billy badass and say “it was him or me/it was justified/I had to save myself/whatever” but I doubt it works that way in reality and you’ll always have some kinda second guess in the back of your head. Absolutely not to say I wouldn’t do it if the need arises, I just hope it never does.

    Property in most cases definitely isn’t worth it to me. Obviously if it’s something that has implications from your health/safety perspective like someone trying to steal your heat during a freezing spell that constitutes something else entirely.

    Also, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone quite bluntly. I don’t need to be a Billy Badass. Too much stupid becomes of a person being a billy badass.

    • “the burden of having to shoot someone”

      for some it’s no burden at all. in fact they look forward to it, because shooting someone will RELIEVE them of their burden.

    • In my personal experience, the more *personal* the situation is the less you care when they don’t survive it. Closer encounters give you less time to consider options are are, IME, less prone to 20/20 hindsight finding errors. Therefore, while unpleasant and risky, they are quite easy to justify knowing you killed someone.

      I’m not recommending a course or action, just remarking.

      But then… I’m not exactly normal in the mental department so… YYMV.

    • Our society has decided that mere “stuff” is not worth a human life. So logically it follows that: If someone steals your car, calling the police would send men with guns out after your “stuff”. If it’s wrong for you to kill over “stuff”, then it’s wrong to outsource the killing.

  3. This is excellent advise and I will add another word of caution.
    When in public places or among friends it is best to not brag or state what you would do during a bad event. Making statements about the destruction of another person’s life in any public way can and will be held against you in a court of law. Keep in mind the prosecution will bear down hard on the “words” spoken and even if you were joking it will be rather difficult for your attorney to prove otherwise.
    If you want to play it safe, then watch and control you mouth and words spoken.
    The converse is true.

    • Yeah it’s also probably best we all don’t talk about guns in public. We could easily be construed as a gun nut by a prosecutor. We also should probably avoid things like gun advertisements, “right wing” themed attire and flags, and visiting too many sites like TTAG, (a prosecutor can look up your search history and paint you as a gun nut for reading too much here) buying too much ammo, owning too many guns, voter registration or public record so you better not be a registered republican either. Furthermore too much range time could be seen as a sign of aggression and love of violence.

      Honestly it’s probably best that you just don’t own a gun. It’s legally too risky if you have to use it. If your attacked you can simply reason with your attacker and just give them what they want so they leave you alone.

      • (grin) good response.

        the key is moderation. stand for your rights, but don’t be a mad dog about it, and remember that rights go both ways.

        • Rights go both ways, until one party willingly infringes on the other.


          True in traffic law. True in civil law. True in criminal law. True in Natural law. Everyone can live peacefully exercising their personal rights, until someone steals from, punches, defrauds, or otherwise harms another. Then the injured party’s rights become primary.

      • gee whiz welcome to human nature 101 .don’t you have to have a gender first to be gender neutral ,the ambiguity of your position rises like smoke from a smothered fire ,or the smell of a truck hit dog body

    • some reject the concept of responsibility. their idea of rights is identical to that of criminals – “I’se jus’ doin’ what I gotsa DO!” – and they recognize no limitation on the actions they think they need to take.

      • This is surprisingly common among the “moral”.

        It’s a justification and simultaneous denial of emotional dominance in human brain function via appeal to authority. One of the odder facets of human behavior IMHO.

        Similar to, “You’re angry, i get it. Calm down a bit and let’s…” being interrupted by “I’M NOT FUCKING ANGRY GODDAMMIT!”.

        A remarkable elucidation of the fact that stepping outside yourself is hard under the best of circumstances and impossible in real time when under stress. Because emotions regulate everything people do, unless that person is a true psychopath.

      • I find it to be a toxic mix of sociopathic behavior, lack of impulse control and lack of foresight. The latter being an educational issue. The second may be associated with the first but I’ve never seen any lit. on that. It would make a certain amount of sense, in fact it could be the driving force. A slight misinterpreting of “helping” mixed with impulse control issues would probably yield the same results in the brain’s reward pathways.

        Much sociopathic behavior is learned. I’m pretty much a sociopath. I scared the fuck out of every psychologist and psychiatrist that ever had the pleasure of talking to me post my being ~12 years old, and I was forced to see a number of them by politicized schools v2.0. The fact that I can turn empathy on and off at will really freaks those people out. My personal experience suggests that this was probably learned too.

        Most sociopathic behavior has very short temporal horizons and should be avoided IMHO. Over a longer-than-immediate timeline it’s better to either leave people alone or use such tendencies for truely educational purposes. Longer term the individual benefits greatly from a healthier group, far more than the individual will benefit from a unhealthy group.

        • “I don’t like most people, does that make me sociopathic?”

          Nope. You learned not to like most people, because most people turned out to be garbage.

        • “I don’t like most people, does that make me sociopathic?”

          no. sociopaths are alone in their world. sociopaths neither like nor dislike people – to sociopaths other people are not people but rather are just animate objects, to be used or discarded or played with or eliminated as the sociopath feels is necessary or desirable.

          (there is also such a thing as group sociopathy – one tribe seeing itself as alone in the universe and seeing all other tribes on earth as animate objects put here to serve them.)

          “most people turned out to be garbage”

          not even this guy is a sociopath – though it may be difficult to distinguish his behavior from that of a real sociopath.

        • @Ridgerunner

          No. That’s being pragmatic, the approptiate term for that is misanthropic. More commonly summed as “People suck”.

          Most pragmatists are, myself included.

  4. The last thing I would want to do is shoot someone(either injure or kill), but, when it comes to my and in particular, my family’s safety, the threat will be eliminated. Yes, it sucks to get back a car that has been stolen, they can never make it original again, but it is just a thing.
    Having a family member get abused in any way is not right, expect that can to be opened.

    • Yes, it sucks to get back a car that has been stolen, they can never make it original again, but it is just a thing.

      Are you still paying for the car? Is it a lease or are you financing? If so, yeah, who cares right? Also, it’s insured, right? But what if you just paid $125,000 for it, in cash, and it’s not insured. Is it still just a thing? Or is it several years of your life?

      I’m sure the queen’s crown is “just a thing.” But I’m also sure that someone in the process of stealing it, would likely get shot on sight, especially if they thought they were going to get away if they didn’t shoot them.

  5. Man Protects His Wife And Daughter From Armed Home Intruder >

    “According to the police report, Valle had broken into the house and was attempting to break into the home’s second story master bedroom.

    The family, whose name has been redacted from the police report, woke up to a loud breaking noise. The husband was told by his frightened wife to call the police. They then barricaded their bedroom door as they also had their daughter in their room, the man went to a safe and retrieved his firearm.

    Once armed the man then warned Valle and told him to leave. Valle responded with “Pistola” and continued to try and break into the room. Valle at the time was armed with a knife and shirtless. The homeowner then fired a warning shot into the ceiling but Valle didn’t stop. The man then shot Valle through the door hitting him in the knee.


    A warning shot is maybe not a good idea but it happened so nothing that can be done about it, and also now the guy probably has a hole in his roof that’s going to cost some $$$ to get fixed. The defender didn’t really want to shoot, but the verbal warning and warning shot didn’t get the point across. That’s most defenders, they don’t really want to shoot unless it becomes absolutely necessary and they would rather try to repel by brandishing or verbal warning than shooting and its somewhat rare for a defender to actually shoot (about 5%). But the family is safe, bad guy down and dragged off with a memento of the occasion. Even with police on the way, you are still your own first responder.

  6. My state has Laws specifically to address these situations. The Right of Self defense for any place you are legally allowed to be. Castle Doctrine for home and property and most importantly Laws that prevents civil suits in the case of a Good Shoot. Being No charges filed in relation to the actual shooting. Regardless of whether the attacker lives or becomes morgue slab temperature. I don’t want to shoot or kill anyone. That decision is made by the attacker, because my intent is to survive uninjured if possible and for my family to do likewise.

  7. I’m the one @ my house , no cameras, none of the redneck family gonna say anything. Throw down.

  8. Okay, I’ve read the article, and I appreciate Boch’s critiques of our own…um…critiques…of his original article. As long as everything is said respectfully, differences of opinion can foster a robust and productive conversation. I always find Boch’s contributions worth reading.

    That being said…(drum roll please)…

    I believe, good sir, that you misinterpreted my quoted statement and responded under the assumption that I was advocating for a good ‘ol fashioned Louisville Slugger whoopin’ on the knees-and-noggin of the thief holding my TV. Nope. I said I would smash the TV out of his hands and yell to put the fear of God into him. Ideally, he’d run out the front door and never return, and I’d make the appropriate call/report to the Sheriff station. The best outcome is for everyone to live through the encounter, unhurt and wiser for the ordeal. But if the average thief is mainly an opportunist looking for easy targets, then allowing him/them to complete their thieving unhindered would encourage them to return, or at least to comb through the entire house to strip it clean. And that would likely lead them into my bedroom, which would definitely result in them being shot and wounded/killed.

    I would prefer that the thief leave on his own accord, as scared as possible. Pointing a gunn at him and barking an order might do that, if he can actually see the gunn and process the situation accordingly. But there’s a reason why LEOs often use a “shock and awe” tactic of yelling commands…it’s to overwhelm a suspect’s ability to OODA, prompting him to succumb and surrender. And I doubt any D.A. would press charges (or any jury want to convict) a homeowner for using a similar tactic to knock his own property out of a thief’s hands and persuade him to leave the premises. Everyone lives.

    I’ll finish by including the obligatory statement that we all train, but none of us are absolutely certain how we’ll respond until the situation occurs. I’ve gone through hundreds of hours of professional training; I’ve undergone DGU and shoothouse scenarios that require quick critical analysis (OODA) that determine whether someone (you or your adversary) will live or die. And I’ve gone through thought exercises in my head countless times. I will not regret using deadly force to defend my family and my home if necessary. And I understand the potential aftermath. But I will not stand by and simply watch as a criminal has his way within my home. To do nothing (or to “hand him the remote as well”) would simply encourage him to return at least, or escalate to more deadly actions at his next target home at worst.

    California – and dare I say the nation at large – is undergoing a descent into lawlessness. And (to borrow from Burke) I choose to not be one who allows evil men to succeed because I did nothing.

    Still your friend, Mr. Boch.

    • I love Boch. If he thinks I’ve taken a stance against him – I haven’t. I just have a slightly different point of view, in some areas. To each their own.

    • Good response and I agree that anyone having to write another article about comments that had a different point of view is a bit too sensitive. I noticed he did not include the comment I wrote the first time which is similar to the one that I have written again below.

  9. I said this the first time I read this and I will say it again. First while I agree with most of what the author had to say I still have to disagree with that comment on the TV set. I wonder if he realizes the permission he is giving people in many unknown situations to feel its ok to enter someone’s house and just take their personal belongings? Many states are Castle Domain or Make My Day States and anyone entering your home who may present a threat to you is fair game as a few people noted in this article. Given the situation in this Country today where someone breaks in your home no one can be certain what their overall intention is and its better to be safe than sorry. I would rather be on trial for defending myself, family and property against a perceived threat than having the perpetrator be on trial for killing or injuring me and my family. I think the author is being a bit too sensitive because everyone did not just agree with him. You can’t paint every situation with the same brush and in the case of a home intrusion everyone needs to decide on the level of risk to themselves. There is NO one solution to all issues and the author should know that.

    • “I think the author is being a bit too sensitive because everyone did not just agree with him.”

      it wasn’t mere disagreement – some of the responses were outlandish and well-warranted response. perhaps you are being a bit too sensitive yourself?

  10. New carpet is a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle than the optics of them being found out in the driveway having bled out.

    • ding ding ding! That’s right! Burn the carpet, burn the under foam padding under the carpet, and soak that slab in a healthy amount of concentrated sodium hydroxide, mixed with water, for a good length of time, hours… days.

      Do not hand them a TV and a remote. Instead, hand them some hot lead, and a solemnly uttered “f*** you,” as they black out forever.

  11. I liked both articles.
    Good to know Mr. Boch, reads and took the time to respond to some of them.
    Good on others to comment and or clarify their position.
    Generates good discussion.
    Thank you all.

  12. “I hate to break it to you, sir, but your life’s savings won’t go to your kids. It’ll go to the deceased burglar’s next of kin in a wrongful death lawsuit. And you will face years in prison. If you’re lucky, you’ll get out in time to see your kids and grandkids before you die, but they won’t have any of your stuff.”

    You do know the rates of case clearance for homicide is very low in some areas, then there is that pesky prosecutorial discretion that favors good generally law abiding citizens in some areas as well?

  13. When someone steals from you they’re not just stealing your property they’re stealing a portion of your life that you dedicated to gaining that property. It’s like they took a pint of blood or a kidney. No matter how good your insurance is you don’t get that back. And once you’ve gained property you may not have the ability to replace it if a thief takes it. Plus, anyone who breaks down your door and comes into your home at any time of the day or night has shown that he has no compulsions about hurting you. You are lawful to defend yourself up to lethal Force in that situation. If someone breaks into my home and they’re not yelling “Fire!” and dressed in fire department clothing then they better be prepared for lethal force. End of story. Thankfully, I live in a state, texas, that protects me as a homeowner unlike some other states. Notably, John Boch lives in Illinois where there isn’t a whole lot of freedom going on. And in those places, his warnings may hold water.

    • When someone steals from you they’re not just stealing your property they’re stealing a portion of your life that you dedicated to gaining that property. It’s like they took a pint of blood or a kidney…

      I’d spend a few minutes thinking this through on both ethical and purely self interested grounds.

      • Depends upon how fervently you look through that particular lens.

        When my own children were teens and entering the typical phase in which they were wasteful and ungrateful for the food, water, electricity, gifts, et al that they received from me and others in their lives, I chose a moment in which they were less-than-thankful for a dinner that had been served to them one evening. A dinner that had been intended to be “special” for us as a family.

        I asked them how much money it had cost their mother to purchase the ingredients and items from the store. They gave a guess which was undervalued, and I told them it was more than double that. Then I asked them where she obtained the money to buy that food. They replied, “From her job?” Yes, I said, and based upon the dollar amount of the grocery bill, she had worked the better part of a full day for her employer. Every day we wake up with the gift of the day before us, and the ability to choose how we want to spend that day. Some people choose their own selfish pursuits and leave their spouses. Some sit and do nothing while watching TV, essentially wasting it. Others trade most of it doing tasks for another person (or business) in return for money, with which they can then spend for things such as food. And let’s not forget the additional time spent preparing it in the kitchen.

        In essence, the delivery of a plate of hot food to you as you sit down at the family dinner table represents the fruits of a person’s labor; the result of trading a portion of their life (which they’ll never get back) on your behalf, to nurture you.

        So, boys, do you want to look your mom in the eyes and tell her you’re ungrateful for her decision this morning to literally give you the gift of her day she could have spent any other way if she had chosen to?

        …(lowered eyes)…(murmurs)…”Thanks, Mom”…

        • Haz, this is why I despise thieves so much. I see it as a form of incremental murder. Like you said, the things in a person’s life don’t just appear, they are traded for bits of life. That TV set that guy took out the door is a week of life stripped away, maybe even more. Maybe insurance will cover the loss, maybe it won’t, but the owner spent his life to get what was taken, and to have that so casually taken is infuriating.

      • Strych9, is this ethical enough for you?

        Exodus 22:2 – “If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.

        • I’d be interested to learn the context for that. Some Bible verses, like many laws that seem strange on the surface, sometimes have interesting stories behind them.

        • Phil Wilson, there is really no context for that verse other than God stating what the Israelite’s laws were going to be. Directly from his mouth as it were. Chapter 22 is only two chapters after he gives the Hebrews the Ten Commandments. So, it is just expanding on the Ten Commandments in practical ways.

  14. “Can you articulate why the bad guy stealing your genset outside was a direct threat of great bodily injury?

    I meant during a grid down. in such a time theft of critical supplies can result in death of those dependent on those supplies, thus requiring deadly force in defense of those supplies.

    great articles boch.

    • “Can you articulate why the bad guy stealing your genset outside was a direct threat of great bodily injury?”

      “Well officer, I was next to the genset and along comes that guy laying there who said he was gonna take it and would kill me to do it and he had the knife that’s laying next to him.

      What do you mean your wife has a knife just like that the kitchen? “

      • “he had the knife that’s laying next to him”

        that’s what Redneck.45lc says he’s going to do.

        • They have computers in prisons now the prisoners can use, he can post from there to let us know how its going.


        • @Redneck.45lc

          You would be surprised at what they can “prove” today.

          In today’s world they can tell if a ‘weapon’ was placed at the scene in a claimed self-defense shooting. Its not like it is in the movies. Every ‘staged’ scene has at a minimum at least two components that determine it to be staged.

          From the very first moment you touch that firearm to present it for self-defense to the last word from the legal system that says “yep, it was self-defense” – everything is ‘evidence’ until it isn’t and people would be wise to understand that.

        • “Booger, how they gonna prove that he didn’t have a Saturday night special with him?“

          1). It’s going to look suspicious when they find the homeowners DNA inside the pistol.

          2). It’s going to look suspicious when they find the homeowners cartridges inside the Saturday night special. What a coincidence.

          3). It’s going to look suspicious when they find no powder residue on the perps hands when there is a bullet hole in the wall that the homeowner says was caused by the perp shooting at him.

          It gets down to microscopic evidence, chemistry, DNA testing – all kinds.

  15. I’m a humble non-shit starter. I’m polite. I’m gracious. I’m a peace maker, if possible. I mind my business. I’m helpful, if the situation is safe. I TRAIN OFTEN. I remain calm in emergencies. I share my knowledge. I also pray everyday that, “I NEVER HAVE TO SHOOT SOMEONE!” That being said, I’m strapped 24/7. My life isn’t worth much, but the life of an innocent is. So, please don’t force my hand!

    This should be every single 2A loving person’s mantra!

    • I agree with this. I’m a humble non-shit starter.
      Unless you are trying to steal my kid’s inheritance, then, you’re gonna die. And if I lived in Illinois, given what Boch has said, I probably wouldn’t even call the cops. (GASP!)


      • “I probably wouldn’t even call the cops.”

        and if the perp told a friend that he was going to your place, and the friend reports the perp as missing, and the cops come asking questions?

        • Rant, when you set out to do wrong you don’t tell your friends. If you’re that kind your friend is too. You don’t want him to call crime stoppers, or beat you to the score. Ain’t saying anything anyway cause you don’t want to be a coconspirator.

        • “when you set out to do wrong you don’t tell your friends”

          lots, even most, of these types do.

          and (laughing) you do too. you’ve told all of us what you intend – and we’re not even your friends.

        • “and if the perp told a friend that he was going to your place, and the friend reports the perp as missing, and the cops come asking questions?”

          Officer: A friend of this guy said he was coming to rob your place. Have you seen him?
          Me: Nope. Never seen him.
          Officer: You didn’t see him on this day?
          Me: Nope. Never seen him. He must have robbed somebody else.
          Officer: [Winks at me], “You have a good day sir.”
          Me: You too.

        • “you’re counting on that? good luck.”

          I don’t know where you live, but where ever that is… it sucks.

    • That pretty much describes me as well. I will admit, however, that I have had the thought that if more criminals faced more severe and more immediate consequences for even minor crimes, then the risk-reward calculus in the minds of the criminally inclined might just shift a bit.

  16. As cruel as it may sound to some, don’t attempt to render aid to the target(s) of your DGU. Unscrupulous prosecutors will use it in an attempt to twist your motives.

    • if you render medical aid, you become legally liable for the outcome of that aid.

      on the other hand you can always call for an ambulance and/or EMT’s – and it will be held against you if you don’t.

      • Due to the particulars of my profession, I am required to maintain a CPR/First Aid certification. One of the most daunting elements of that requirement is the liability attached to action vs. inaction. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” is the phrase that always comes to mind during my required annual “class.”

        • in EMT and other classes I’ve always asked the instructors to clarify where we’d stand. I never got any kind of clear answer, it was always carefully vague and carefully “legal”. made me wish I hadn’t taken the class.

          as always, the real problem isn’t the aid or the circumstances or the intent – the real problem is the lawyers.

        • It doesn’t matter if you are medically trained and in your occupation there is some sort of legal requirement to render aid to those injured. If you are the victim, you have no obligation to render aid to your attacker.

        • @rant7
          Yes, the real problem is the lawyers and the vague definitions.

          @ .40 cal, the (well, a) problem arises when you are trained to and compelled by your employer to render aid in certain situations wherein the liability for success, failure or appropriateness of that aid rendering lies upon you, not your employer. Not to mention that it may or not be the official policy of your employer that, while you are acting on their behest, you may or not be able to defend yourself. Further, official policy and actual real-world implementation of policy are not, necessarily, the same thing.

          To be, somewhat, more clear, in general my employer and me are on pretty much the same page about these issues but I cannot speak for the lawyers employed by some potential future victim of possible hazards encountered in their possible participation in possible activities that could be possibly engaged in at some indeterminate time under the possible supervision of personnel at a location owned by the company I work for and that I may or may not mange and/or have built.

          (In other words, if someone falls off of a roller coaster and is injured but not killed and an employee of the amusement park renders life-saving aid, but fails, who is responsible? The guest, the designer of the roller coaster, the guy who built it, the operator, the guy who put up the warning signs, the owner, the board, the CEO, the aid-rendering employee, some of the above, none of the above, all of the above? Not exactly my situation but, an analogous one.)

        • @MyName

          If you are the victim you have no obligation to render aid to your attacker.

          Self defense is a right, it does not always need deadly force. An employer can not forbid you self defense.

        • “if someone falls off of a roller coaster and is injured but not killed and an employee of the amusement park renders life-saving aid, but fails, who is responsible?”

          whoever generates the most legal fees.

        • @ rant7

          That, exactly that, is the (well, a) problem. Let’s just say, for instance, that someone is involved in a serious injury or death at a facility which I manage. Now, it is likely – nearly certain – that there is some sort of release clause that has been entered into by said client and it is similarly likely that the serious harm was caused by their own error, miscalculation or deed – possibly not, but, probably. Does that matter at all? Well, not much. Given all of that legal documentation, who’s head is going to be on the proverbial chopping block? The guy(s) who owns the property, the staff who operate or manage the facility, the person or persons who (try to) render aid, …? Often, the assumed responsibility will fall on those with the deepest pockets, at least in civil court (whether they, or anyone, has any real culpability). In those instances, however, where someone decides that the criminal court need be involved, the clock punchers are going to be under a lot of scrutiny. After any criminal proceedings are concluded, the civil matters will, likely, take center stage. At that point, people like me or in positions like mine (i.e. facility manager, operations manager, personnel manager) are likely to be forced to center stage. Now, to be sure, there are occasions in which people in operations or facility management positions, not unlike mine, are indeed responsible for encountered hazard sand there are situations in which they are not. To a certain degree, you place your bet and take your chances. There are, however, situations in which the licensed or credentialed or certified individual is disproportionately deemed responsible for potential or unforeseen or, even, unforeseeable harm when such person has no culpability in said harm. Such is the case in many industrial, workplace or recreational facility accidents and/or civil or even criminal litigation and such is also the case in private party self-defense litigation. I will readily admit that, my particular circumstance as someone who exists in an arena where either the participant, the provider or both could be culpable in harm influences my perception a bit but, that fact alone does not invalidate my perception. My, somewhat pessimistic, conclusion that, you are damned if you do or damned if you don’t, holds.

          Now, how does this extend to matters of self defense in general and armed self defense in particular? Well, somewhat seamlessly, as it turns out. If, one is in a position where they are expected to ensure the relative safety and well being of constituents by providing a “safe” environment and one is also tasked with providing insurance of and capability for life saving measures if needed and one is also prohibited from employing deadly force in an effort to save those same individuals that one is required to provide life-saving care for then, one is implicitly placed in an intractable situation. How can one be required to be prepared to render life saving care while being simultaneously prevented from performing life saving action?

        • “@ .40 cal, the (well, a) problem arises when you are trained to and compelled by your employer to render aid in certain situations wherein the liability for success, failure or appropriateness of that aid rendering lies upon you, not your employer. ”

          If a tree falls in the forest and nobody saw it or heard it – did it really fall? Who is the say that they needed “aid” – unless you told them they needed it and you didn’t provide it.

      • You have no idea what you are talking about. They are called good Samaritan laws. Yes they even apply in a DGU.

        • No, good Samaritan laws do not apply if you are the victim and were forced to shoot your attacker. I’ve been though this several times, if you are the victim you have no obligation to render aid to your attacker even if you are medically trained and normally have such an obligation to render aid to the injured.

          All good Samaritan laws do is offer legal protection for ‘bystander’ people who choose to render aid, it does not impose on them an obligation or requirement to render aid.

      • “if you render medical aid, you become legally liable for the outcome of that aid.“

        Next time use a pillow!


    • Definitely DO NOT render aid to the bad guy you shot, even if you are an EMT or a doctor/nurse or even if 911 asks you to. That’s something for separate police or EMT’s or medical personnel to do.

      There are a few different reasons you do not want to render aid to the bad guy you just shot, but among them is a legal thing that if that bad guy dies with you rendering aid an over-zelous or anti-gun prosecution is going to be all over you claiming that you intentionally did something to hasten the demise of the bad guy (e.g. opened up a wound so he/she would bleed out, or intentionally made the wound worse).

      I know it seems cold and callous, and it goes against the moral grain, but you do not want to end up in prison because the bad guy who tried to harm/kill you and you conducted a valid justified self-defense expired while you tried to render aid. And its true there might be some questions about not rendering aid, and it may even come out in court that you didn’t and the prosecution may try to use that to get some sympathy from the jury for the bad guy and anger against you, but in the end you have no such actual obligation.

      30 years ago, yeah, it might have gone in your favor to render aid (and even today in certain cases it might still, its not unheard of) but its a big chance to take, even back then it was really risky, and in today’s over-zelous and anti-gun prosecutor and anti-gun-people-on-the-jury world, you need to worry about you and not the bad guy.

    • I have a more immediate reason- if I just shot someone, it was because they were a threat. If they were a threat, them being shot doesn’t necessarily not make them a threat in grabbing range, unless they are so wounded that first aid is largely irrelevant. It also doesn’t mean that their accomplice, out of sight, isn’t about to enter the situation. As a conceal carrier or home defender, it’s just a bad idea to close that distance instead of opening it.

      I’ll call 911 to let them handle it. And you know what? EMS isn’t coming on scene until they make sure uniformed police have the situation secured.

      • “EMS isn’t coming on scene until they make sure uniformed police have the situation secured.”

        good point.

      • It is not uncommon for a wounded bad guy to produce a hidden weapon and try to press on with an attack if you come closer, like trying to render aid for their wound.

        • Its not uncommon for a bad guy to run off and then come back before police arrive. Its also not uncommon for there to be others in hiding that will attack before police arrive. Its also not uncommon for a wounded and down bad guy to attempt to resume an attack with a hidden weapon (e.g. a knife, maybe a gun) before police arrive. Remember, police do not suddenly appear, a lot can happen in the time it takes for police arrive so you are still your own first responder.

          Its not always a definite thing that stopping a bad guy stops the bad guy(s) completely.

          So why is the gun still in your hands? Its because of the uncertain factor that its ALL actually over and only a fool does not remain prepared in an environment where the threat can and will in likely hood in a lot of cases persist as imminent at any second.

          You planned for this, maybe trained for it, prepared for this – now its happened if it has. In your preparation and planning before and/or during the event, you need to expand that and include thinking beyond the event to post-event.

          Very few classes include what happens after you have no other choice but to pull the trigger because you feared for your life. Other than outlining a few legal tips (e.g. call a lawyer) or how to talk to the police when they arrive type of things, and some first aid stuff, there is very little given for the practical aspects of what happens after you pull that trigger in the event and before police arrive. Its not always as simple as simple all the time as saying “Whew! Glad that’s over. I’ll just sit here and wait for the cops.”

          Some say “I called 911, so I wait for police.”, and there is nothing wrong with that. But are you prepared for a possible necessary continuing defense after the initial event before police arrive?

          Whats your status post initial event before police arrive? For example: Are you so jittery now from the adrenaline rush that you can’t focus? Are any family or innocents or you injured – have you checked to make sure? Do you know your escape routes (e.g. if in home or in a store) or how you plan to exit the area if a follow on attack would over whelm you? Have another magazine handy? Is your position defensible or are you standing out in the middle of a room (e.g. in a home), are you still out in the open failing to fall back to a more defensible position? Is the wounded bad guy really not going to try to continue his/her aggression? Are there others you did not see?

          And one thing that is hardly ever touched on is: What do you do if police roll up and you are still engaging the bad guy(s) because you had no other choice? Remember this – when police arrive, to the police anyone not police with a gun is not a victim or a criminal but rather a potential threat target to them.

          (note: avoid drawn out fire fights if at all possible, and run away if you can. Do not go after the bad guys, go the other way.)

          In your planning and preparation, remember to include what happens post initial event and that it may not be completely over before police arrive.

  17. If you have to shoot someone why call the police at all? I got and dismembered pigs on a regular basis that are much larger than people.

  18. It’s the attitude that “I’m going to use my firearm when I determine, damn the laws”, that feeds into a non firearms owner impression of 2nd Amendment activists.

    They all want to play John Wayne and believe they have the wisdom of God to determine who is and isn’t a bad guy in split second.

    When you have no remorse nor guilt nor doubts about your personal abilities, you’re going to be on the wrong side of a lot of potential jurors.

    • “…no remorse nor guilt nor doubts about your personal abilities,…”


      Someone can’t be confident in their personal abilities now?

      Personal abilities… you sure of that?

      “It’s the attitude that ‘I’m going to use my firearm when I determine, damn the laws’, that feeds into a non firearms owner impression of 2nd Amendment activists.

      They all want to play John Wayne and believe they have the wisdom of God to determine who is and isn’t a bad guy in split second.”

      It seems your snowflakes can’t recognize their imagination and confirmation bias is making the decisions for them.

      News flash: Karen is upset, again.

    • “They all want to play John Wayne and believe they have the wisdom of God to determine who is and isn’t a bad guy in split second.”

      well, more accurately, they’ve already made that decision before the encounter occurs.

      was watching that movie “hell or high water” where the west texas civilians were all so gung ho for a shoot out with the bad guys, and it occurred to me why they were that way. they were under so much economic and social and personal stress that they just wanted to shoot someone, anyone, to vent their stress.

      it’s not that they’re john wayne. it’s that they need to shoot someone. any excuse will do, any justification is sufficient, any restraint is just more stress and therefore oppressive.

    • Sorry, Not John Wayne. We all live by our principles, whether they are popular opinions or not.

      In my opinion, you should be able to shoot a guy stealing 20 or 30 years of your life. If they are running way with valuables that took decades of savings to acquire, and for most, you acquired for your family and progeny, you SHOULD be able to shoot them. And not be liable!

      And this used to be the case, decades, centuries ago. It is still the case in many countries, just not communist/Soc ones.

      • “It is still the case in many countries”

        in such countries the perp can just as easily shoot you, with as little consequence.

        the purpose of rights and laws is to protect everyone, to replace violent conflict with due process wherever possible.

        • “…in such countries the perp can just as easily shoot you, with as little consequence.”

          The same is here, right here in the US of A. So I don’t know what point you are trying to make.

          Lately, the USA doesn’t care about law and order. If it did, I would be able to shoot people on my property in the process of hauling off a life’s savings, and not get sued or go to prison for it. But lately we have to sympathize with the criminals. But that’s pretty much how communism works anyways.

  19. Hahaha you got so butthurt you wrote a whole article trying to sh!t on commenters who disagree with you. Haha what a pathetically thin-skinned wimp you must be.

  20. “Who knows, it might be your daughter’s boyfriend sneaking in for a midnight rendezvous.”

    A lot of fathers who would let a thief go would probably shoot this one regardless of the consequences…

  21. Well, if I ever decide to become a thieving scumbag, I’m going to @rant’s house. While he runs whatever algorithm he needs to do to make a simple decision, I think I’ll have made off with everything but the foundation.

    • the “algorithm” is quite fast. cops do it all the time.

      of course the fastest “simple decision” is one you’ve already made before-the-fact. good luck when you have to answer for it after-the-fact.

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