It Should Have Been A Defensive Gun Use: Just Your Average Home Invasion Edition


When I search for material for our It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use posts I usually select stories where defenseless Americans are brutalized by armed thugs of one stripe or another. But this story at caught my eye because it seems so mundane. No one was injured. And yet . . . Well, see for yourself . . .

DAYTON — A family was awakened early Saturday morning to the sound of intruders in their Harvard Boulevard home.

According to Dayton police, a 911 caller said two males gained entry through a bathroom window just after midnight Jan. 2, 2016, and forced the family — including a husband, wife and two grandchildren — out of their beds and into the living room while they went through the home and took various items.

The family told police the suspects carried pump-action shotguns.

While the family was being held in the living room, they heard a woman coming home. They heard her through the door and reportedly told the suspects not to shoot.

That woman evidently heard their plea and ran next door. She told police later that she saw the two suspects run from the house. She said she thinks she heard the voice of one of the suspects before but couldn’t tell police who it was.

A PlayStation 3, a backpack, Dell laptop and call phone were reported stolen from the home.

As of this writing, the perps remain at large. And that’s it. Only not really. The matter-of-fact text doesn’t do justice to the horrors suffered by four innocent Americans at the hands of two shotgun-wielding criminals. The inevitable psychological effects of the home invasion.

The FBI does not keep statistics on “home invasions,” also known as “hot burglaries” (where the home owners are inside). They lump the stats with all forms of burglary. “In 2014, there were an estimated 1,729,806 burglaries,” reports. If one percent of those were home invasions, that’s 17,298 incidents.

Gun control advocates would have you believe that incidents like the one described above argue for gun control – as if the bad guys would be deterred by restrictions on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Anyone else who contemplates that crime – who really thinks about it – would want to have armed self-defense. And so they do.


  1. avatar Eric S says:

    The proper response was demonstrated in the Dayton area recently.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      I think you missed it pretty sure it was covered; One less menace to society I’m sure was “turning his life around” or some tripe with two more left to be a burden on the taxpayers or meet a similar fate.

      This fellow’s lucky that he got out as easy as he did. Hopefully better prep keeps the hounds at bay in the future.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    When you chose not to be armed you leave the decision of whether or not you survive a home invasion entirely in the hands of the invaders.

    Petit family, anyone?

  3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I read once that half of all burglaries in England are hot burglaries. Of course over there if you stab a burglar with a kitchen knife they let the burglar go and put you in prison.

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      That makes it look like they want the successful good guy to roll the bad guy up in thick plastic and drive him to a “dump” for the rats to chew on. After all they don’t count a dead body as a crime until they arrest someone.

    2. avatar Jason Lynch says:

      And I read somewhere that in the US, you can buy a “machine-rifle assault-gun” with high-capacity “bananana clips” full of “Teflon-coated Black Talon cop-killer dum-dum bullets”, over the counter in any Wal-Mart (fitted with “shoulder thing that goes up” for a small extra fee) cheap for cash, no questions asked… Should we believe every bit of propaganda we get fed?

      From a legalistic point of view, there’s no such thing as a “hot burglary” in the UK – if the occupants are home and “felt threatened”, it’s robbery not burglary (and a much more serious case, and much harder to deny in court)

      In the UK, in general, burglars very much prefer empty houses, and will evade if disturbed. They’re also unarmed. Why? It’s easier to talk their way to a “reasonable doubt” or a lower sentence if they can try to claim they were confused, or lost, or helpfully checking a door left open. If they were unarmed, not obviously equipped for burglary, and their response when challenged was “Sorry mate, wrong house? Just leaving…” they’re more likely to walk or will be out much quicker. Meanwhile a knife will get you trouble, a gun will get the book thrown at you (and if you can afford, and are willing to risk carrying, a working illegal firearm plus ammo in the UK, you aren’t doing casual burglary).

      If they get away from the scene on the day, a burglary is considered administration to roll up if they ever do match the crime to a suspect – and if nobody saw you, there’s rather less chance of being identified. A robbery is newsworthy, a live investigation, and a priority to get some action on. Again, much more incentive to avoid people if possible.

      There are rare and newsworthy exceptions, but dig into them and they have a habit of confirming that a good way to avoid Bad Things happening to you, is to avoid illegal transactions with Bad People. If you aren’t believed to be “looking after this package, and don’t tell anyone” for your boyfriend/brother/’business associate’, for instance, your risks drop dramatically.

      Defensively, it’s a popular myth that “if you resist the burglar they jail you” but actually, you have to be pretty egregiously stupid to get in trouble – but those cases are the ones that get distorted and reported. Cases like this one – – don’t seem to get the same level of attention, but that’s the actual UK case law rather than myth and misrepresentation.

      Deaths and serious injuries will be investigated, even tried, but sometimes cases go to trial precisely to place a stake in the ground as to where the precedent and case law lies – so that there’s clear evidence for the future of “do not bring charges on this, they’ll be found Not Guilty as per “.

      So long as the Bad Guy has most of the wounds to his front, and you didn’t chase them down the street to kill them or drag them back inside to keep hacking at them, an intruder who’s unwise enough to pick a fight with the homeowners will be told to “go and do one, sunshine” by the forces of the Law – but, frankly, in the UK you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than suffer a full-effort “home invasion” by armed intruders.

      1. avatar Nedd Ludd says:

        Thanks for taking the time to provide the detailed UK crime report.

        Could you explain the phrase:
        “If they get away from the scene on the day, a burglary is considered administration to roll up if they ever do match the crime to a suspect”

        I suspect this means these events aren’t treated as crimes and thus aren’t reported in the UK crime statistics.

        Here in the US we have a special type of violent criminal.
        Their behavior is caused by playing violent video games and eating too many sugary treats. Alas, these creatures don’t say:
        “Sorry mate, wrong house? Just leaving…”

        Here are just two examples:

        New Jersey Home Invasion UNEDITED

        Two men have been charged in the murder of Amanda Blackburn, a pastor’s pregnant wife who was shot during a home invasion

        1. avatar Jason Lynch says:


          A burglary is very definitely a crime and will be reported – you can’t claim on your insurance for the goods stolen without a crime number, and that’s a good way of tracking how many burglaries you really get from either end (matching up police reports and insurance claims) to keep the stats less dishonest.

          However, once the scene’s gone cold, a simple burglary becomes a low priority for investigation compared to a “crime against the person” (robbery or assault) committed against a homeowner. Individually the odds of catching and then convicting the criminal other than in the act are low, hence why it tends to sit on the books rather than have task forces dedicated to it. If there’s a pattern (geographically, by behaviour, whatever) then the police are able to focus in: the majority of burglaries are done by relatively few habitual criminals so catching and convicting them is worthwhile once their patterns can be exploited.

          The remainder tend to be opportunistic one-offs by morally weak folk who notice a laptop computer left temptingly near an open window or similar and those are very hard to crack once the perpetrator’s gone and the evidence sold on, and those in particular tend to end up unsolved cold cases. Doesn’t mean they’re “no-crimed” or ignored, just that they’re a low priority until something indicates there’d be value in re-examining them.

          As far as I can tell, the US and UK are about as safe as each other: you can put yourself at far more or less risk by simply moving around within either country, than you would by going from one to another. Stay away from Bad People and try not to do Bad Things and your chances of coming to harm in either country are low… which is either an argument for, or against, firearms ownership.

        2. avatar AdamTA1 says:

          “Here in the US we have a special type of violent criminal.
          Their behavior is caused by playing violent video games and eating too many sugary treats. Alas, these creatures don’t say:
          ‘Sorry mate, wrong house? Just leaving…'”

          I hope you’re kidding. Violent criminals are morally corrupt individuals not kids that “played violent video games and ate sugary sweets”. Saying violent crime is caused by violent video games is the same as saying violent crime is caused by guns. It’s just another lame excuse to avoid looking at the real issues.

        1. avatar Jason Lynch says:

          I was quite specific with my statistics. You found eight cases in a year (and these are considered significantly newsworthy events, notice – “man bites dog” not “dog bites man”) while we have thirty to sixty people struck by lightning in any given year.

          Seriously, more people win the National Lottery jackpot than suffer “home invasions” over here…

        2. avatar JQP says:

          Jason, I bet all eight of them would have liked to have had a firearm at the time their homes were invaded, even if they’d never admit it.

          Won’t help much against lightning strikes, though.

  4. avatar Broadsides says:

    Story from 2016/01/01
    An ex-con with a violent arrest history released from state prison in March of 2015, broke into a home in Lakeland, Florida and fired at two people inside, but was then shot and killed by the homeowner.
    Sheriff Grady Judd’s statement:
    “Forcing your way into an occupied residence is a bold and foolish decision. If you are foolish enough to break into someone’s home, you can expect to be shot in Polk County,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Entry through a bathroom window?
    Window locks?
    Lights on motion switches?
    Alarm system?

    Guess not.

    I bet they get a few of those things tomorrow.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      Those are all nice, but not as good as a gun.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Well I don’t mean to suggest it’s either-or.
        If those things cause a change in criminal plans and prevent bloodshed, all the better. At least with a little warning (from a dog or alarm), you might have a chance to present your gun before they present theirs.

  6. avatar Lib lurker says:

    RF though you are an ass, I do enjoy reading your site

    As such, I would like to point out you missed a great one for the should have been defensive series in the NYT dec 20 edition, which you can find by searching for scoutmaster and bear. Possibly your subscription lapsed

    Discussions on woods guns are always readable and entertaining as well

  7. avatar Mk10108 says:

    The horror of the mundane story is stomaching liberals condoning of robbery as though it’s a sanctioned career. Fits well with democrats narrative of citizen submission.

  8. avatar tdiianva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    Technically there is a difference between a hot burglary and a home invasion. In a hot burglary the per either enters the house covertly or when he believes that no one is home. There is no intent to confront the occupants. In a home invasion the person specifically intent confront and control who is there.

    1. avatar Omer Baker says:

      That’s kind of how the guy explained the difference between break ins during my concealed carry class (he worked undercover for the state police). If a person breaks into a residence that he believes is unoccupied but then finds people and attempts to leave without harming anyone then the break in is a “property” crime. If the person breaks in while he thinks people are there and doesn’t try to flee if confronted then it’s a “personal” crime. I don’t remember the exact terms, but the difference is if it’s a crime against persons then defending with deadly force is justified, if the crime is against property then the use of deadly force is NOT justified.

      1. avatar Evan in Dallas says:

        It might depend on what state you’re in. I’m pretty sure you can shoot someone over property here in Texas, but I personally have no interest in shooting someone over my tv.

      2. avatar JQP says:

        It absolutely depends on what state you’re in. Around here the law is the castle doctrine, basically. Someone breaks in and you shoot him, he goes to jail and you don’t.

  9. avatar california richard says:

    Put signs on the lawn that say either “armed resident” or “unarmed resident”…. The unarmed will sue to have the signs taken down……
    It tells you everything you need to know about why gun grabbers feel “safe” in their homes.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I have heard that about 10% of burglaries in the United States are “hot burglaries” — meaning the people who live in the home are actually home during the “burglary”. In other words 10% of “burglaries” are home invasions.

    If the FBI is saying that there were 1,729,806 burglaries in 2014, that means there are about 173,000 home invasions annually. Since there are about 117 million households in the United States (according to Wikipedia), that means a home invasion occurs in about 1 in every 676 homes annually in the United States. Over the course of an average lifespan of 75 years, that means your odds of being the victim of a home invasion would be about 1 in 9! Wow!!!

    I have a really hard time believing that 1 in 9 people over their (average) lifespan of 75 years would be victims of a home invasion. I am confident that I could ask 100 people who I know (or are parents of people who I know) who are approaching 70 years of age and not a single one of them has been a victim of a home invasion. Any thoughts anyone???

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Just like with other violent crime statistics, your “overall chance” in your lifetime of being a victim of (insert crime) has a lot more to do with your relationships, personal associations, tenancy to break the law, and geographical location within the country. You can’t compare the risk of someone who lives on 200 acres in Montana and honesty works for a living to someone who lives in an apartment in Englewood (Chicago) that sells drugs and bangs for a living.

  11. avatar Larry says:

    I work as a firefighter, often we need to again entry without causing damage. Check the welfare , lock outs, and so on.

    The first thing I do is send a guy to the bathroom window, second floor one are almost ALWAYS unlocked , first floor ones are locked more often but a good number are not .

  12. avatar PeterW says:

    What we need to do is track down these gun-toters and politely inform them that their actions are illegal.

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