Let Them Go – Don’t Use Deadly Force to Defend Your Property

Thief in car

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The US Law Shield people have sponsored a number of free legal seminars in Illinois and I attended one last week. It helped that I knew the attorney delivering the presentation and who went into detail regarding the legal standard for justifiably using deadly force. However, some of his words seemed to go right past at least a few in attendance.

Steve Davis told the fifty-odd people present that he strongly recommended never using deadly force to defend property. Even if your state has a provision allowing the use of force to stop certain property crimes, it may be a violation of federal civil rights laws and court precedent (Tennessee v. Garner in particular).

Besides, he pointed out, from a social morality point of view, how will it look to a jury – or a skeptical prosecutor – that you shot someone over a radar detector or an old Craftsman lawn mower?

Davis urged people not to confront suspects in property crimes but to instead “let him go.”  He even had those present repeat after him several times.  “Let. Him. Go.”

Attorney Davis did a good job explaining the laws on the justifiable using deadly force. As I expected him to. After all, years ago I recruited him and his wife to join our GSL Defense Training team not only as outstanding firearms instructors, but also as one of our attorney legal instructors.

Steve Davis lecturing at one of GSL’s free Educator classes GSL Defense Training photo by John Boch

Davis has also been published here at TTAG, including Beware of Gun Signs: The Law Has No Sense of Humor.

Yet despite all this, when it came to the question and answer segment of the seminar, one concerned guy raised his hand with a sincere question.

“I live in the country and have a long driveway. If I see a suspicious vehicle there as I come home, would it be considered brandishing a gun if I parked in my driveway to block them from leaving while I go investigate with my gun in my hand?”

“Why would you park to block them from leaving?” Davis asked.

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His reply: “Because the sheriff will never get there in time. And I don’t want them to get away.”

Davis emphasized using restraint instead of confrontation, urging him instead to call the police from a distance and watch and report to dispatchers any updates until deputies arrive.

“And if they try to get away?” the man asked, seriously troubled by the idea of allowing burglars to flee, especially if they have some of his stuff when he could slow or stop their escape.

Let them go!  Try to get a license plate, but let them go,” Davis counseled

Davis then reviewed some of the common post-defensive shooting issues people face, but rarely consider. From Lethal Force Institute (MAG-40, we are both alumni) here are a few we’ve seen first-hand in local cases.

  • Profound Sleep Disturbance – this one is present in 100% of self defense shootings – the hangover from the adrenaline dump during the violent event makes it hard to sleep in the immediate aftermath. After that, nightmares and insomnia set in, further exacerbating some of the other symptoms.
  • The Mark of Cain Syndrome – present in 100% of self defense shootings – the sense and/or reality that every one (including strangers) is seeing you differently after you kill in self defense – guilt is almost never the operative dynamic in post-shooting trauma, unless one did, in fact, fire wrongly. But having killed a man makes people look at you differently: your parents, your children, your spouse, your peers on the job, your neighbors.  People no longer look at you as Mr. Friendly, but as he who killed.  They treat you accordingly.We all know that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s safe to assume that it is a duck.  But we never think that if we were treated like a duck (killer), talked to like a duck (killer), and forced to go through life as if we were a duck (killer), we would start to feel, and maybe start to believe,  that we were a duck (killer).  The person who has justifiably used deadly force will often be treated by society as if he were a murderer, and this inevitably makes him feel the symptoms of guilt he does not deserve to bear.
  • Depression – from just feeling lousy to becoming suicidal
  • Appetite Disturbance – loss of appetite – or overeating.
  • Social Withdrawal – One is often socially ostracized (see Mark of Cain syndrome).
  • Sexual Dysfunction – 30% chance of impotence (but they’ve got a pill for that, right?), loss of sexual energy and interest – or a period of promiscuity (usually a passing phase).
  • Pharmacological Cascade – use of drugs to function, then drugs to sleep.  The use of drugs for the relief of symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress gets out of hand as more prescription drugs are needed to counteract the bad side effects of other drugs.
  • Financial ruin / loss of assets.  Lawyers aren’t cheap.
  • Loss of job.  If your job considers your absences or simply finds the public fallout from employing you too much to bear, they will let you go.
  • Retaliation threats.  The injured/dead party’s family, friends, fellow gang members will have it in for you.  You may have to move to deal with the threats.
  • Fallout for family members.  Everyone in your immediate family will suffer some degree of Mark of Cain as well.  They have to watch their backs too.
  • Divorce. 
  • Prison.  There’s always a chance your lawyer doesn’t do a good job in the high-stakes game known as a trial.
  • And then there’s Survival Euphoria.  The person who successfully lives through a violent attack becomes euphoric.  This happens not because they have killed, but because they have lived through a near-death experience.  Unfortunately, this euphoria can be misinterpreted by others who don’t understand as being an emotion of joy or happiness about killing someone.  But Survival Euphoria is really a profound happiness that they are still alive.

Is it prudent to risk any or all of that over someone stealing your new big screen TV or a chainsaw? Or maybe even a nice 4-wheeler? Captain Obvious says, “no” rather emphatically.

The same goes for observing someone breaking into your car parked in your driveway or on the street in front of your house. Don’t leave the house to confront the thief.  Don’t even stick your head out of the front door to issue a challenge. Because if things go south and the assailant has a gun, you could end up dead.

Yes, you might have your Garand trained on the bad boys as you confront them from your front door, telling them to “Get off my lawn!” and dust them after they present a gun.  Suddenly you’re back to killing someone because you escalated the situation by confronting some poor, misguided future brain surgeon or rocket scientist when all they wanted was to steal your car stereo.

While most people would agree with me that we shouldn’t simply allow evil to go unchallenged, how will that argument play out to a jury with a Moms Demand Action member or two present and a grieving family in the back of the courtroom sobbing periodically through a trial? Just play it smart and safe. Observe discretely and call 9-1-1.

Arson or attempted arson of an occupied dwelling would probably be one of the few “property crimes” where deadly force would be justified. But then, someone attempting to set fire to an occupied dwelling isn’t an attempt to damage or destroy property, but to kill those persons inside using fire and smoke as the weapons.

The bottom line: play it smart and play it safe. Don’t use deadly force over property crimes.  It’s just not worth it.

comments

  1. avatar JoeWay says:

    Absolutely let them go! Insurance will cover what has been stolen. Anything they take will not replace your beloved peace of mind! Anything outside the house belongs to police taking care of it! Anything in the house, well that’s just the way it goes! Use sensible response!

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Sure, insurance will pay for it … less the deductible, less the depreciation (depending on the policy), and you’re also not likely to get compensated for the time you lose dealing with it all.

      Insurance will also not make up for the feeling of violation that being robbed brings.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Deductible, depreciation, and time spent filling out insurance forms vs hiring a lawyer and defending yourself against criminal and/or civil complaints.. Hmmmm You will come out cheaper in the first instance.

        1. avatar No one of consequence says:

          Perhaps.

          But either way, the criminal is causing harm to the victim; and said harm won’t be fully compensated by the insurance.

          Let’s not pretend otherwise. Saying “insurance will cover it” is a partial truth at best.

        2. avatar Lewis Brande says:

          In my CCW re-up class this past month, they specifically told us that property crimes are a no-go in terms of self defense.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “In my CCW re-up class this past month, they specifically told us that property crimes are a no-go in terms of self defense.”

          There ya’ go. Know the self-defense and defense of property laws wherever you may encounter an armed self-defense requirement. If traveling between jurisdictions, know the laws in every one of them.

        4. avatar Big Bill says:

          And if you’re not home when the theft occurs, you are still left with exactly the same problems.
          That’s called life.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        WHAT insurance

      3. avatar BigMikeU says:

        I really think its sad we are being told to allow some scumbag that is stealing our stuff to just get away?I will never allow my self,family or Property to “ever” be violated! I dont have insurance either and cant afford any kind of theft insurance!If anyone wants to steal something that i need to make money with or hurts my dog while entering my house that will end up with a knife in their hand while i stop them from doing further harm!Im tired of people telling me the bad guys are not worth our safety or piece of mind! To hell with that i say and use the Constitution to defend your self,family and property!I totally agree with you…. PERIOD! May for ever and always “only” GOD BLESS AMERICA!

        1. avatar Dan W says:

          That’s the spirit that built this great nation.

          You’d think we’d lost a war to have been so throughly demoralized and our institutions so perverted.

        2. avatar Felix says:

          That’s NOT the point of this article.

          Every action has a cost, initially and recurring. Here there are two actions. Both have costs. Those costs differ. This article points out those two actions and their costs, compares them, and reports that killing someone who is ONLY stealing property has higher costs than leaving it to the police.

          This is not about confronting a burglar in the middle of the night, home invaders, or any self-defense scenarios. It is about purely property crimes.

          If you cannot see that difference, then you are going to handle the situation even worse than the average joe.

        3. avatar Bob Watson says:

          Felix,
          Your balance sheet is missing a few items. I would ask you to consider the costs, not only to individuals, but to society at large. Consider the cost of structuring the legal environment such that property owners are too fearful to confront thieves in the act of stealing their property. The logical outcome is more thieves stealing more property. The recurring social cost will inevitably lead to a society where property rights are merely a quaint, outdated concept. A world in which the police consider theft to be a matter between you and your insurance company is a world in which a thief has as much right to your property as you do.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Consider the cost of structuring the legal environment such that property owners are too fearful to confront thieves in the act of stealing their property. ”

          Imagine a society where a homeowner is jailed for shooting a thief bent only on property crime outside the residence. Imagine a society where, due to incarceration, property protection with a firearm results in loss of the very property the resident attempted to protect. Imagine a society where property protection with a firearm results in separation from “normal” society for a predetermined number of years, after which the property protector is immersed in a criminal society, with no hope of escape until the predetermined number of years of incarceration expires. Imagine a society where the property protector is released from prison, given $25 and a bus ticket to the nearest town. Imagine the remainder of life for the property protector who just had to prove a point.

          Point is, prepare yourself carefully before deciding righteous anger will carry the day. Just think it through (and brief your family – it there is one – on the possible consequences for them), that’s all. Just think it through. if you are going to risk it all, make sure the loss is bearable.

        5. avatar Jack Furbush says:

          A really bad Idea saying that on a public forum ” they’ll end up with a knife in thire hand” What is wrong with you? You just told the whole world you plan on lying to the Cops about what happened when you clime the punk on the garage floor came at you with that knife in his hand and you had to give him that 3rd eye. You probably should be wearing your N#$$=%€ Are Dumb T Shirt when they show up. I hope you like taking warm showers in the wee hours in the morning with your cell mate, because that’s going to be the end of your trail unless your the one on the floor telling St.Peter at the pearl gates your here because you got shot with your own gun trying to defend your 100 pice drill bit set.

        6. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          There you go! Kill ’em.

          And if you want to avoid that annoying questioning by the police, just bury them in the back 40.. No one’s going to miss a couple of thieving scumbags.

      4. avatar SoBe says:

        Still cheaper and less of a hassle than hiring a defense attorney(s), a private investigator, expert witnesses, spending more than a few nights in jail even if they are kind enough to grant bail and assuming you can afford it, losing your job at a time when you most need it; and all this is assuming they drop the case or you win at trial. Then comes the civil suit where the standards of evidence favor the plaintiff.
        Besides, I never watch TV and forgot I even owned a chainsaw.

    2. avatar arc says:

      A lot of people can’t afford insurance on equipment directly related to their lively hood, much less trinkets in a house. Can’t replace pets either.

      Defending livelyhood is a go in just about every state and carries more weight than simple property like lawn chairs.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        Seriously?
        As someone who has been a small business owner, and managed a few others, if you can’t afford to insure your tools, you probably can’t afford to stay in business.
        If, though, you choose to not get the insurance, the burden is on you to properly secure said tools. Yes, I know, if someone really wants them, they will get them. But there are lots of others out there who will offer lower hanging fruit. Let them get their tools stolen.
        It’s your property. Take the responsibility to properly secure it.

        1. avatar Arc says:

          Sure, let me put a bank vault on a rickety barn and see how that works out. Maybe I’ll find $30,000 lying around for a steel frame building.

          Not everyone is John Doe mega corp and a lot of us are putting profitable businesses together on shoestring budgets, it takes time to grow before fancy shit can be had.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Maybe I’ll find $30,000 lying around for a steel frame building.”

          If you are a gun owner, and don’t have “$30,000 lying around” in one form or another, your liability, should things go sideways, will not be reduced just because you are “poor”.

          Tens of millions of gun owners probably do not have sufficient ready cash available to keep them from penury should they be personally introduced to the criminal justice system. They do they. Maybe you should do more than you.

        3. avatar Big Bill says:

          Arc, I noticed you completely ignored the insurance part, and went to the alternative.
          But, hey, it’s your stuff. Do what you want. I just hope you realize t hat if someone really wants your stuff, they’re going to get it, whether you’re there or not, but they’d rather do it when you’re not there.
          So, no insurance, no security. Do you sleep in your barn?
          (I’ve been accused of that more than once)

    3. avatar Dan says:

      No I’m not going to let them go. I’m going to let them have it.

  2. avatar Tom T says:

    At one time it was acceptable to kill someone for stealing your horse. The law (and common sense) recognized that it wasnt just “property”. It was the means of providing for your family. It was needed to earn your living, and to travel to obtain the essentials for a basic quality of life.

    My vehicle is no different. Even a week without one would have a devastating effect on my family beyond the monetary value of the car. So yes, I would take the life of someone trying to inflict that harm on my family and endanger their wellbeing.

    1. avatar Larry says:

      Good luck with that. I would advise getting multiple CCW insurance policies.

    2. avatar Cory C. says:

      I appreciate the sentiment but that’s a bit of an overstatement. One wasn’t allowed to shoot people for stealing a horse because the horse was expensive or that it provided you with the means of making a living. They allowed it because stealing someone’s horse may quite literally doom them to dying out on the prairie.

      1. avatar daveinwyo says:

        True as far as a horse.
        Cattle rustlers were hung for stealing cows i.e. property. The only ones that complained was the thief.
        As for the rural areas. Can’t stop ’em? It’s just property?
        My wife and kids are home. A vehicle comes off my property that doesn’t belong and I say “it’s only property”? I have to call the cops 30 minutes away?
        What’s wrong with that picture?
        Lawyers have F-ed up this country pretty thoroughly.
        Sure and swift punishment will “deter” crime. “Let ’em go” encourages more bad behavior.

        1. avatar texmln says:

          The best part of living in the country is you don’t HAVE to call the sheriff and there’s ALL THAT LAND that things can disappear on. The only legal trouble you create is the trouble you make for yourself. Shoot, shovel, shut up!

    3. avatar Username says:

      Letting property crime slide is a sign of a declining civilization.

      1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

        Yep, can’t say that enough. 🙁

      2. avatar Done in Dallas says:

        With a lot of jurisdictions not pressing charges on property crime under $1000, yes it is headed south.

      3. avatar strych9 says:

        The recent effective decriminalization of property crime is problematic.

        Allowing homicide over relatively minor property crimes that do no involve a threat of injury or death to an innocent person is arguable. Very arguable.

        Shit, most people think Iran is a country run by religious zealot nut cases and has a “rule of law” that’s fucked six ways from Sunday (assertions I would tend to agree with). But even those barbarians only cut of people’s fingers for theft (or sometimes the hand for major thefts, apparently).

        1. avatar Erik Weisz says:

          But that’s punishment (the threat of which is a deterrent) vs stopping the crime from happening at the time. I think it depends on what the property actually is – just a car vs a beloved hot rod you built/restored yourself that insurance will never come close to compensating you for (for ex), those are different things altogether. The question becomes is it worth it to point a gun to stop the theft (and risk escalation), because that’s not killing someone unless things go south, at which point you’ve killed in self-defense, not over property.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          No, Erik, there is insurance available that will specifically cover than coveted hot rod. Not the emotional costs of having it taken, but the financial ones.
          I understand the problems with having a work truck stolen, but that’s not in the same league as a hot rod, which you have because you want it, not because you need it.

        3. avatar Erik Weisz says:

          It was just an example, dude. Insert anything you really care about that you really wouldn’t want stolen. Maybe a pet.

      4. avatar frank speak says:

        would agree…it’s the old “broken windows” scenario….

      5. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

        Chicago lets criminals flee in their cars. They don’t chase. Does that stop criminals? Does that embolden criminals? Guess which one.

        1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

          The no police pursut policy that most P.D.s have adopted have nothing to do with catching criminals. They are injuring and killing to many innocent by bystander. The population has doubled in America over the last 50 years. There are simply to many people in the way to sustain 90 mph pursuits. Although criminals need catching, not at the cost of so many innocent lives and millions of dollars in property damage to uninvolved parties. Those that feel mere property should just be surrendered to criminals need to snap out of it, and start pushing back on elected Prosacuters, city and County Attorneys. Remember that bullshit on you state election day. Although I have a common value of human life (especially mine) I’m also aware that If the average thieves understand that the taking of other people’s property just might have a real bite to it, just like it used to and in some ares still does. When it’s you hard earned being taken from you, especially by force, let’s see if you hum the same toon

        2. avatar ColoCopper says:

          The “shall not pursue” policy in most police departments does NOT apply to situations where if a fleeing violent felon were to escape there’s a very good chance he might endanger other people’s safety in the future. I.e. known murderers, rapists, armed robber’s and other similar violent criminals. And although I hated the policy at the time & still have issues with certain components of it, I do see the logic of it in crowded urban settings when it comes to pursuing for minor traffic violations, most misdemeanors and non-violent property crimes. After all, no respectable cop I know wants to have to let a criminal get away while they’re in hot pursuit of them. But the realities of relatively recent court rulings have made doing otherwise far too risky both civilly and criminally. And I’m sure as hell not going to piss away me and my families future for some non-violent lowlife, especially if my own department DA’s office won’t back me up. It’s just not worth it anymore.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Hot pursuit is somewhat related to gun ownership itself. That is, what is the acceptable level of accidental death? We get beat up over ~500 accidental deaths due to irresponsible use of guns. How many such deaths are acceptable to society? Vehicle hot pursuit is no stranger to accidental deaths resulting from collisions with non-involved motorists. How many such deaths are acceptable? Is it even an answerable question, in either case?

          Since no one can outrun a radio signal, why is hot pursuit even necessary anymore? Or does the public confuse hot pursuit of a fleeing suspect with Code 3 response to a crime in progress?

    4. avatar Felix says:

      If a week without your car would be devastating, what do you think a week in jail would be? If you think paying the deductible, filling out forms, and buying a replacement car would be devastating, what do you think would be the result of spending tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers would be? Hint: unless you got CCW insurance which actually pays in your specific circumstances, there is no deductible on those lawyers — you owe the full amount, and they just might now want to take your case unless you have a lot of money up front.

    5. avatar Jack Furbush says:

      You are absolutely correct. When I was a boy back in the 60’s one of the residents down the street from my house blew a scumbag away He cought trying to break into his car on a warm summer evening. The Cops showed up, took his statement. Waited for the M.E. and a Detective to say O.K. to remove the body. The Grand Jury refused to indite as the Country Atturney told him the most likely would and that was the end of it. No mark of Kane, just the opposite, he was somewhat a local hero,he was a 67 year old WW2 Army vet. Hey told the local paper ” If I wasn’t afraid of Hitler & Mussolini I sure as shit ain’t afraid of some punk trying to steel my car ” ” I need my car to get to work, take my Wife to her Dr. Appointments ” This is the problem when We the People let Lawyers make the Laws rather than us. All this tap dance and outrageous experiences are all their doing. This is Number 3 of the 5 reasons are why society is so F&%ked up today. Sure let the scum of the earth take from us anytime they feel like it and punninish us for protecting our lives, livelihood and hard earned. That makes as much sense as a screen door on a submarine.

  3. avatar John G. says:

    Our righteous ability to defend our property has slowly been stripped away from us over time. Property crime and theft is so rampant today that in large cities police don’t even respond in person to a 911 call for stolen property. “Someone” will eventually take a report. Thieves operate with near impunity in today’s world. While the dumb crooks quickly get caught, the smart ones can go for years.

    Only a few generations ago, horse thieves were executed. Oftentimes, but not always, by hanging. The punishment was not simply for the loss of the monetary value of the horse, although that could be considerable. There was more to it. Horse thieves were hung because a stolen horse could mean the loss of a man’s livelihood. Or the theft could result in the owner being stranded far from the nearest town. It could be a death sentence, for he might die of exposure. All his gear in the saddle pack on the horse being taken as well, he would have nothing to sustain himself. The severity of the crime indeed matched the punishment

    Is there no parallel to that today? Is there no theft, the prevention of which would warrant the justified use of deadly force? I believe there are such cases. Today, many states consider homicide to be justified if the slayer had reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm. I would like to see another validation added to that short list – reasonable fear of severe harm to one’s livelihood.

    While I would not advocate using deadly force against one who is caught stealing a relatively easy-to-replace personal item, I believe there are some cases where the use of deadly force might be justified. For example, in the realm of larceny, there are few crimes dirtier or more dastardly than the theft of a working man’s tools.

    Imagine this scenario: A thief steals the work truck of a self-employed tradesman, a sole proprietor. In the truck are ALL the tools of his trade, including tens of thousands of dollars of store-bought and custom crafted tools, unique to his specific trade. Early in the morning, the tradesman exits the house, eager to take on the big job he just landed. To his horror, his truck is gone. Stolen, with all his tools in it. Do you think for a moment that he can simply call his insurance company and an adjuster will run over and cut him a check for his loss, wave a magic wand, and make him “whole” again?

    The short, medium and long term effect on his life is devastating and overwhelming. First, since he cannot work, the job goes to someone who can. Bills, including rent, utilities, credit cards, and much more await him. Oh, and a truck payment. Did you know that you still must make your monthly car payment, even if your vehicle is stolen?
    He is facing eviction. The man and his family are devastated. He has suffered severe harm to his livelihood, the recovery from which may take years. Depending on the severity of the theft and the age of the victim, he might never fully recover from the devastation. Had he caught the thief in the act, if you were in his place, would you not have at least considered used deadly force to stop the bandit? Again, if I were on the jury of such a man, I would be very sympathetic to his plight and might vote to acquit him.

    Another hypothetical but possible case, one in which we all may be exposed to, in the digital era: A criminal computer hacker has gained access to your bank account in which your life savings reside. With a few keystrokes he could wipe you out and leave you utterly ruined and homeless. If you were able to physically stop him, but the only way to do so was to kill shoot him, would you not take such action? If you were on the man’s jury, would you vote to acquit him? I might very well do so.

    Legal, moral, and ethical questions about the use of deadly force will always exist. Let us look at this from another angle. We property owners work hard to acquire the money in order to afford our belongings. We take on actual risk every day. We take on risk while driving on the roadways to and from our jobs. Many of us take risks on our job itself. Read for yourself the Top 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. How is it righteous, just, or fair, then, that a thief – at virtually no risk of harm to him – can come and take our hard-earned property? He certainly should have to face equal risk! In other words, he should – at the very moment of his criminal act – be exposed to the accumulated risk that you were exposed to, over time. You risked your life over a period time to acquire your possessions, so why should the thief not face equivalent risk?
    The discussion should not be whether a human life is more or less valuable than property. I know of no one who would shoot a thief caught stealing his Sunday paper from his front porch, for example. The argument I make is about risks and stakes. What is at risk if you shoot the bad guy stealing your property? That has been well hashed out. We know that we could face a criminal penalty. What, however, are the stakes, if you do not stop him?

    Thoughts on Private Property

    “All men are by Nature free and equal and have certain inalienable rights among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
    — Nevada State Constitution, Article 1, Section 1

    So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community. “
    — William Blackstone

    “Life and liberty are secure so long as the right of property is secure.”
    — John Locke

    People can have a long-term life plan only if they know their private property is secure.
    — Mencius

    And it is no less true, that personal security and private property rest entirely upon the wisdom, the stability, and the integrity of the courts of justice.
    — Joseph Story

    The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.
    — Karl Marx

    In socialism, private property is anathema, and equal distribution of income the first consideration. In capitalism, private property is cardinal, and distribution left to ensue from the play of free contract and selfish interest on that basis, no matter what anomalies it may present.
    — George Bernard Shaw

    If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.
    — Ludwig von Mises

    Protection of private property is a fundamental right protected in a strong democracy.
    — Jim Ryun

    The fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that no private property shall be taken for a public use without the payment of just compensation.
    — Elton Gallegly

    The right to private property meant at the same time the right and duty to be personally concerned about your own well-being, to be personally concerned about your family’s income, to be personally concerned about your future. This is hard work.
    –Mikhail Khodorkovsky

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      Mickey, you have a ride in your quote from the Nevada Constitution giving one the right to:

      “defending life”

      There is nothing in that quote that authorizes a right to defend property, just one’s life.

      There are 1000 different legal remedies to having your property damaged, destroyed or stolen, there is no recourse after taking a life.

      Perhaps in the anarchist world one can take justice into their own hands, but not in our civilized society which is governed by the rule of law as determined by duly constituted legislatures.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Fuck, “legal remedies”… anybody tries to forcefully take something of mine, they’re leaving the scene in a body bag. Here’s the beautiful part. Black letter law in my state, lethal force used to stop a felony comes with blanket criminal and civil immunity attached.

        1. avatar Women Liberation Front says:

          Being a neanderthal is nothing to be proud of.

        2. avatar Dan W says:

          This is the spirit that build the civilized world. The opposite that so many here are embracing is what will destroy it.

          You don’t get to stop exercising once you are in good shape. You have to keep up the habits that got you where you are if you want to stay there.

        3. avatar Rad Man says:

          WLF, you’d probably advocate letting a rapist have his way too, rather than needlessly escalate a situation.

        4. avatar I won't go to jail for murder/homicide/manslaughter over a lawnmower or even my truck... says:

          And if their lawyer proves the one item they stole falls just under the amount for it to be a felony, what then? You killed a guy over your lawn mower blade sharpener? Good luck with that “Mr. they are going out in a body bag”. It’s sub-intelligent turnips like you that make perfect examples for the other side… idiot.

        5. avatar frank speak says:

          what about this scenario…you try to stop him without displaying a firearm…he resists…and there is a physical confrontation which you try to end by displaying a firearm but he persists…and then??????…..I mean, if you take this line of reasoning,..a store owner has no justification in using a gun to prevent a robbery……

      2. avatar Jack Furbush says:

        Our so called civilized society you like to tell your self about is a myth. The fact that we allow these animals the ” Rights” to treat us like sheep to be shorn is about as much proof as even you should need to see that. I was a Cop for 33 years. I’m here to tell you, the victim is the last thing this so called civilized society you think we live in cares about. I would arrest these same animals over and over for these same mere property crimes you call them until The steel The wrong car, rob The wrong Liquor store, burglarized The wrong house and either got blasted by The victim or it was some Lawyers, Celebrity, or Political Hacks interests or house, car. The rights to protect life,livelihoods, home and property are absolute in both English Common Law, the Napoleonic Code. These are where our laws are come from. The problem is Americans have let Lawyers interpret and corrupt or legal system into a very lucrative venue for themselves by making any action outher than calling 911 a loser for you. Hide and call the Cops. Average response time can be between 10 minutes to 10 hours for a property crime. In the mean time your hiding in your home watching what you have worked how many hours for just being taken away. That’s about it today. God help you today if you the little pee on tax paying honest citizens stand up for what belongs to you and the right to live in a decent community. The Police Department owes no specific duty to the individual unless promised. Only to the City/Town/County/State as a whole. You are the one responsible for protecting your lives and property. This subversion of our Justice system isn’t so much a Socialist plot as it is the Lawyers profession insuring a substantial living for themselves. Remember, Judges and most Political Hacks were Lawyers too.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      All those quotes refer to the government’s relation to private property.

      None are intended as an authorization to kill someone engaged in simple theft with no other circumstances that provide a threat to you or another person’s safety.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Correct.

      2. avatar Jack Furbush says:

        Your only partially correct. Under both English Common Law and the Napoleonic Code, where our laws come from the killing of even a petty thief was lawful. America revised these statutes over the years to far from the intention of these laws. A harsh punishment either by the victim or by the Court was a very effective deterrent to crime. The perversion of our legal system is a direct result of why crime especially violent crime is so high in America today. It was left to the individual to set the limits of how much force if any they would see fit to defend life, livelihoods, property not The Government. The presumption was a decent person would unlikely kill a person over an Apple or some small trifle in their shop. But would be able to defend, Life, Family and Home without fear of persuasion by nither Government or Friend, Relations of the offender.

  4. avatar Thixotropic says:

    Excellent Advice.

    But hard to take when it’s your stuff walking away…

  5. avatar Larry says:

    100% agree. Lots of gun people do not get this.

    This also applies if you are confronted by a “bad” guy. If you can get away…..through de-escalation, walk or run away then most states say you have to duty to do so. If the prosecutor or jury believes that you had a chance to get away vs using your gun they will stick it too you. It needs to be a CLEAR case of “I had NO OTHER choice” than to use my gun to defend myself and/or my loved ones. In that case you will be justified and get off from criminal case. Then you can get ready to fight the civil case next when the dirt bag’s family comes after you and your $$$$$.

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      Might as well just eat the bullet yourself. This is how far we have fallen.

      Killing scumbags should be rewarded. Their families should not be able to go after you but should be held to account for the acts of their kin.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        “Killing scumbags should be rewarded.

        It’s not.

        Their families should not be able to go after you…

        They are.

        “…but should be held to account for the acts of their kin.”

        No, they shouldn’t.

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          It’s a bitch living in the real world isn’t it Strych?

    2. avatar EndDangerEd says:

      So a disabled person who cannot “run away” would be justified in defending themselves, and by extension a custom modified vehicle since there IS no “replacement” possible for custom modified transportation and the victim couldn’t “get away” in the first place? Therefore to “stand and deliver” is the only response available? So the ONLY people who can actually DEFEND American Society are our cripples? A SAD day in America! Guess the Russians are right…. to fix things you first deal with all politicians, then the lawyers…. (who might become politicians too, as most older ones are….)??

  6. avatar Dude says:

    A pet is considered property. You can’t defend your property with force. What you can do is verbally engage them. When they turn their to attention to you, it becomes self-defense.

    1. avatar Arc says:

      Yeah, not happening. I don’t tolerate anyone, two leg or four, attacking my pets and livestock. Laws are in the works to finally begin treating pets as family/household members as they should be, but its a long way off. Hope can be seen though.

  7. avatar Ton E says:

    Don’t certain states allow deadly force to defend property? Just out of curiosity. I couldn’t drop the hammer on someone over property.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Quite a few states do.

      1. avatar SoBe says:

        Wrong. Deadly force in defense of property is only legal in Texas, and then only under very strict circumstances. Most states allow defense of persons IN property, ie., occupied property, and only defense of the persons not the property. Carjacking with baby in car seat vs. theft of unoccupied car, for example.

    2. avatar Tom T says:

      I believe they “allow” you to try stop the crime. If while doing that there is a threat to your life (eg: the thief attacks you) then your actions of self defense are a result of THAT, not the initial theft.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        What you believe and what a prosecutor believes he can prove may well be very different.
        And if he believes he can prove it, it will cost you a lot more than your insurance deductible, even if he’s wrong. A LOT more.

    3. avatar MB says:

      Texas is different. In Texas, one can use deadly force not just to protect a person, but also to protect personal property, including to “retrieve stolen property at night,” during “criminal mischief in the nighttime” and even to prevent someone who is fleeing immediately after a theft during the night or a burglary or robbery, so long as the individual “reasonably” thinks the property cannot be protected by other means.

  8. avatar No one of consequence says:

    I get it. Property isn’t worth your life, or someone else’s. The repercussions – personal, professional, legal – of shooting someone can be severe. And there’s always a risk of escalation, of an innocent getting hurt or killed, and so forth.

    But, that said, the more I hear Democrat politicians say they want to take resources that people have worked hard for, and give them to people who have refused to work; the more I hear stories about “catch-and-release” criminal justice systems … the more this kind of advice rankles.

    “Let them go” is probably good and wise advice. But that doesn’t make it any less unpleasant to receive. And it also makes me wonder … haven’t you just taught the criminal that there’s a place that (hopefully) still has good stuff in it, and where the owners won’t fight back?

    1. avatar arc says:

      I’ve already spent years growing several botanical specimens, in a few more years, some will have been in my care for a decade. In a lot of cases, property is worth life.

      A dog breeder would not let someone back up a truck and take all their stock and litters. A cattle rancher isn’t going to let anyone rustle their cattle. And I am not going to let someone come in and take all my stock/mother plants that I propagate from.

    2. avatar Arizona Free says:

      A case involving a neighbor spotting two individuals going into his neighbor’s house. He called 911 and the operator repeatedly told him not to confront the two. He went out shot and killed both. He did not face trial.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “He went out shot and killed both. He did not face trial.”

        Are we to conclude this is a universal prescription, regardless of local law?

        1. avatar ColoCopper says:

          RE: “A case involving a neighbor spotting two individuals going into his neighbor’s house. He called 911 and the operator repeatedly told him not to confront the two. He went out shot and killed both. He did not face trial.”

          And if that case were to be taken into Federal Court and tried there as we’ve seen happen more often recently? What do you think his chances would be there? Anyone can come up with the occasional exception to the rule; that’s exactly why they’re called “exceptions.”. Because they don’t usually go down that way.

          So you’re certainly free to go ahead and gamble away on you and your families future if that’s your decision. But have you asked them how they feel about that? I’m betting you haven’t!

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Are we to conclude this is a universal prescription, regardless of local law?”

          A question in response to an example of an exception (maybe a gross exception) apparently used/reported to justify deadly force in protection of property in any circumstance. As is sarcasm. As in ridicule.

          Maybe because I have never been wealthy enough to have a thing/property worth giving my life for, a reluctance to risk death to defend said thing just seems prudent. Of course, knowing the law in my district might have something to do with it: deadly force in protection of property where there is no direct threat to the owner is prohibited in all circumstances.

  9. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Most states don’t like people using deadly force to defend property if your life is not endangered. And, even if your are found not guilty, like the man says there is always the time and financial cost of legal defense. Get a copy of your state’s crimes code and read the General Principles of Justification. You should know those laws and those regarding firearms. You should a copy of them. You can get it on line but I buy my state’s crimes code every year to insure I have all amendments and additions. It’s cheap at 3 times the $45. Go on line to NexusLexis.

  10. avatar Old Joe says:

    And this is why we have so many people doing stupid shit and nefarious things…the government who is supposedly there to protect us is unable and has taken and is trying to take our rights to protect and defend ourselves, through gun control and tyrannical courts…such a pity and travesty.

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      They not only fail to protect us they actively stop us from doing it ourselves.

  11. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    I imagine that Steve is a fairly wealthy man. Property theft is more painful for people who are closer to the edge than some dude with enough surplus wealth that most thefts would only cost him a s day or so of hassle.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Someone (Vic Nighthorse) finally said the most important aspect to property crime: a thief who steals a victim’s property is actually stealing the victim’s TIME.

      How so you ask? The victim invested time to personally fabricate or to work for the money to purchase that property which the thief stole. Therefore, a thief is taking the victim’s time without compensation. That, by definition, is SLAVERY.

      If it was crystal clear that a criminal was going to kidnap and enslave a victim for several days/weeks, we would all agree that said victim would be justified to use any force necessary to prevent the criminal from enslaving the victim. Well, that is the exact result of thievery. A victim who earns $1,000 a week has to work an extra two weeks away from family and hobbies to recover a $2000 property loss. If enslaving me for two weeks would justify deadly force, so should theft that represents days/weeks of my time to recover the loss.

      Caveat: I do not condone the use of deadly force for petty theft, such as a thief who attempts to steal an apple from your home or grocery store.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        It’s pretty rare that I disagree with either you or Vic but here I do. Apologies for the length here.

        The idea that “theft of time” is a capital crime undermines the entire concept of legal self-defense that may become lethal to the criminal because it attacks the base philosophy behind forcible self-defense in Western thought.

        We’ve seen in the UK, and particularly in London, what happens when you undermine this philosophy. Other, competing philosophies worm their way in and everything goes sideways. Pretty soon you can only legally carry a personal “panic button” because the laws are no longer based on an actual underlying philosophy. We see another form of this kind of lunacy, going in the other direction, in parts of Africa and, to some extent, the Middle East as well. One way or another it becomes the “Wild West” and never to the benefit of the law abiding.

        Historically speaking, before Progressives got their claws into everything, the Western concept of being able to morally, legally and ethically use force was a fairly simple test: You are placed in a circumstance beyond your control in which it is reasonable to believe that a criminal is going to damage you in a way for which a court of law cannot make you whole. A court cannot heal a crippling injury nor can it remedy death. The court cannot bring the dead back to life and cannot replace a lost limb, lost sight/other sense etc. In these cases, where you may reasonably use force to defend yourself against that person who you rationally believe presents a serious threat of inflicting an injury for which no compensation can be offered.

        Other than that lethal force is not acceptable for the crime in and of itself (Though attempting to detain the individual to answer for a lesser crime may produce a greater crime for which lethal/potentially lethal force is reasonable. However, that is a separate issue). It is not acceptable because what’s supposed to happen (though admittedly this seems rather rare it seems these days) is that the accused, if found guilty, is supposed to be compelled by the court and justice system to compensate you for you loss. Time is effectively money, money can be paid. Ergo, your loss of time is actually a loss of money which can be repaid to you in an amount that you have free time equal to or greater than that time which you lost to cost of the theft. Or the perpetrator can be made to work for you for a set period of time that is based on the value of the damage they caused you. Since the court can (and again, I admit this often doesn’t happen these days) “make you whole again” for the theft, you can’t just haul off and kill someone for simple theft.

        Here’s what people are going to hate, but you used the example: Kidnapping, in and of itself, isn’t justification for lethal force either. The justification for lethal force in a kidnapping situation comes from the unknown factors surrounding the attempt to forcibly take someone against their will. The victim doesn’t know what this person is going to do to them and the victim is not required to submit to the perpetrator’s will in order to find out. Some would say that this is a distinction without a difference but that’s not actually true, and it has implications farther down the road. For instance, if somehow, you knew that what was coming was three hots, a cot, and a week of lawn care with no pay followed by return right to your doorstep, you would not be justified in killing the slaver. It’s the fact that once under their control you don’t know what will happen that gives you the justification for the use of deadly force.

        In such a case you are not duty-bound to assume that the person won’t seriously harm or kill you because they’ve displayed behavior generally indicative that they very well might. This is similar to a catching an actual burglar in your house in the middle of the night. Potentially lethal force is authorized specifically because you don’t know what they’ll do and they’ve already displayed behavior that suggests they may well harm you and are certainly in a position to actually do so. You don’t have to assume that they’ll just take some stuff and leave. And, honestly, you’d be a fool if you did make that assumption.

        This is similar to why you can, in some circumstances, legally kill someone who’s *just* throwing haymakers at you. First, a punch can and does sometimes kill. Regardless of what moron armchair UFC refs might think, boxing is a martial art and martial arts are designed specifically to be lethal force. Secondly, and related to our kidnapping thing above, because if they manage to knock you out then you’re entirely defenseless and at their mercy. Given their already observed behavior you are not required to assume that they’ll just leave you unconscious and further unmolested. You are allowed, rightly IMHO, to assume that they very well may proceed to permanently injure or kill you once you can no longer resist/escape.

        These things are entirely different than someone stealing stuff from your car or rooting around in your garage when you’re not immediately present. In those cases you don’t have an argument that they present an immediate, credible threat of harm that could not be remedied by a court. Of course, you can attempt to detain them and if they decide to become a threat at that point then this is all off the table.

        At this point, on a topic like this, I can’t support just throwing out the underlying philosophy because where does it stop? Is a kid breaking your window with a rock something you can shoot them for? The window cost money, money is time, they cost you time. Is killing them remotely appropriate? Few would say so but I’m sure that there are some would argue that this is reasonable. Is that a debate we want to have with some asshole who shoots a kid over a broken window? Probably not. Logically, under the idea that “time theft is punishable by death” we have no argument against just shooting the kid. At that point it’s an entirely subjective value judgement of the value of a dollar vs. the value of the life of a silly kid. Can we kill the kid because it’s an Anderson window? Because it’s double pane? What about Hurd windows? This goes down a road that makes no sense, has no objective standards and that is something I simply cannot support.

        If we want to abandon the current set of lighthouses we better have something to replace them. Otherwise we’re just a bunch of dipshit Progressives with different opinions on what’s acceptable.

        1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          Well, my main point was actually that the poorer the target is the more harmful the theft. Maybe less so than it used to be but under some circumstances that theft approaches a life or death matter. If one is out hiking more than a days walk back and it is cold taking their gear could kill them. Sure it is an extreme case and not very likely but it is possible. Also sometimes the loss of a vehicle sends a person in to a downward financial spiral. I do agree that it is usually not worth it to respond with lethal force. However if you are say a good wrestler, is it unethical for you to try to apprehend the thief and thus prevent the crime, your loss and the loss of future victims. I posit that if the thief then ratchets it up to a lethal confrontation that is on them not the victim. The victim should have the right to try and stop them, perhaps not with a lethal attack but certainly with a subdue and or capture. I myself would be unlikely to take the risk but if on a jury I wouldn’t vote to convict the aggressed against for defending their property.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          Vic:

          I would tend to agree with this.

          There is a question of immediacy here. Being robbed in a position where death or great bodily harm is likely without what’s being stolen and in a situation where it can’t be replaced before you would expect the harm or death is an extreme case, yes, but it’s one I’ve asked a lawyer in a different way (in regard to medical condition I was diagnosed with last year which can be lethal very rapidly and also cause me to appear drunk and cops are not going to like a potentially drunk guy with a gun on him) and, yes, it’s a tough hill to climb and you better be spot-on in how you act and how you tell the investigators about it, but yes, ultimately you can get away with that legally, and I would argue morally and ethically as well. You’re not under an obligation to inform the person that they’re stealing equipment that someone requires to keep living at that point either IMHO. They decided to steal and that created a threat of great bodily harm or death. The fact that they don’t realize this until you wreck their day isn’t your problem, your fault or your concern.

          With financial things… really I can’t support that because some old guy on fixed income gets an expensive window broken and blows a kid’s head off over it because it really does create a financial problem for him… no. You simply don’t get to kill people over money or inconvenience.Now, as I said, the courts these days don’t deal with this well at all. Putting a thief in jail doesn’t help the people he stole from. By itself such a legal outcome is dumb, counter productive and just an emotional thing. Recompense is what the court is supposed to provide. IMHO, the answer is to fix the courts, not to throw out the underlying philosophy. That said, I get why people find that whole thing very frustrating. I’ve been the victim of armed robbery and burglary and I know how much it sucks and completely fucks up your life if you don’t have a lot of money because it happened to me when I didn’t.

          As for the rest of it yes, I agree completely with your assertions. You can detain the person. If they resist then you can ethically use what force is necessary to effect a detention so that they can be handed over to the court/authorities. If they resist in a manner that presents a threat of great harm or death to you then you’re spot on to kill them at that point. They committed a crime then upped the ante to threatening you. You’ve committed no crime nor any unethical action, you are blameless and they’re now threatening you with what no court can replace for you. If they die doing that, well, they made a serious of unfortunate decisions that resulted in their untimely demise.

          The only thing I would note is that skill as a wrestler or any other martial art, as a victim of an already committed crime, wouldn’t matter much to me and, IMHO, shouldn’t matter to the court. As the defender you’re effectively going into that situation blind in terms of the criminal’s skill level, weapons on their person, friends watching etc. Of course, that’s not a justification to use a superior skill level to, like, torture the thief, beat him up way worse than you need to or whatever any more than you have a legal or ethical justification for an “anchor shot” on a wounded burglar in your house. But if Mr. Jerkwad happens to get hurt… his problem. If that injury is lethal… his problem. So long as you didn’t knowingly inflict the injury after you knew you didn’t need to there isn’t an issue IMO. Knocking the guy out with a RNC and keeping him for the cops is a bit different than knocking him out with that same RNC and then holding it until he has brain damage or dies just because you’re pissed.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          *series unfortunate decisions

        4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          strych9,

          My compliments on a well thought-out explanation, especially the underlying philosophy that the courts are supposed to facilitate our compensation for loss and how the courts cannot truly compensate for lost bodily functions, etc.

          I avoided excessive detail in my comment for brevity’s sake. Note that I laid the groundwork for NOT allowing deadly force for “petty theft”. And therein lies the difficulty: at which point would a theft transition from “petty” to “significant”? That obviously depends on the specific victim’s situation at the time of the theft.

          I also want to clarify that I despise having to use deadly force to stop a thief even when that theft is devastating to the victim. I want to further clarify that using deadly force to stop a devastating theft should only be permissible AFTER the victim has tried to stop the thief and the thief refuses to surrender or release the stolen property.

          Potentially taking a human life is never a fleeting matter under any circumstance, even when that life belongs to a criminal in the act of committing a serious crime. Devastating physical, emotional, and financial injuries that criminals inflict on their victims is never a fleeting matter under any circumstance either. And while we may be inclined to give deference to the life of the criminal (preferring to let him/her go or incarcerate him/her) for a single crime, criminals’ cumulative impact on society demands that we use extraordinary measures to ensure that they do not continue to devastate society indefinitely. In my opinion, the “happy medium” is that it should be legal for a theft victim to go to great lengths to detain a thief — including brandishing a firearm and holding a thief at gunpoint until police arrive. If the thief tries to escape without the property, then let him/her go. If the thief tries to escape with the property or attacks, then the property owner should be able to stop the thief. Again, this does not apply to “petty” theft and only applies when the stolen property represents a devastating impact on the victim which the courts cannot remedy.

      2. avatar rt66paul says:

        As for your caveat – if someone is hungry and they ask the store owner for an apple, the store owner will probably give him one – maybe not the perfect one, but……

        They don’t normally have to steal the apple

  12. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘If I see a suspicious vehicle there as I come home…’

    Why wouldn’t you just get the license plate number and call the police?

    Besides the potential legal trouble you might get in, you also might find out that you weren’t the only one who brought a gun to a gunfight. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about how long it will take the police to get there, you’ll be far too worried with how long it takes the ambulance.

    1. avatar How_Terrible says:

      ^ This, so much this. My body currently has zero bullet holes, and I am heavily invested in keeping it that way.

  13. avatar John G. says:

    Here in Nevada several statutes address defense of property to one degree or another. Here is a good one:
    NRS 200.120  “Justifiable homicide” defined; no duty to retreat under certain circumstances.

    1.  Justifiable homicide is the killing of a human being in necessary self-defense, or in defense of an occupied habitation, an occupied motor vehicle or a person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors to commit a crime of violence, or against any person or persons who manifestly intend and endeavor, in a violent, riotous, tumultuous or surreptitious manner, to enter the occupied habitation or occupied motor vehicle, of another for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein.

    2.  A person is not required to retreat before using deadly force as provided in subsection 1 if the person:

    (a) Is not the original aggressor;

    (b) Has a right to be present at the location where deadly force is used; and

    (c) Is not actively engaged in conduct in furtherance of criminal activity at the time deadly force is used.

    3.  As used in this section:

    (a) “Crime of violence” means any felony for which there is a substantial risk that force or violence may be used against the person or property of another in the commission of the felony.

    (b) “Motor vehicle” means every vehicle which is self-propelled.

    [1911 C&P § 129; RL § 6394; NCL § 10076] — (NRS A 1983, 518; 2011, 265; 2015, 1781)

    **************************************************************************
    Notice the definition of “crime of violence” which addresses person OR property

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Note also that it specifies ‘occupied’. If you’re not in the house or car when the crime begins but insist on engaging the bad guy anyway, what happens?

      1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

        You get the vegetable cutlet on Fridays and you should respect the other races space at all times. I your cellie is a Muslim, be quiet when he prays if you can’t leave for a few minutes.

  14. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

    Sooo, John, what’s your address?

    I’m betting you have some cool and expensive toys / stuff and since you will not defend it or prevent me from “reallocating your resources”…I’ll take my chances with evading your local PoPo…after all, when seconds count, the PoPo is minutes / hours away.

    On a more serious note: At what point on the ever slippery legal / moral slope do we as a Society stop enabling bad behaviors among those inclined to bad behavior? I live in the boonies and I am my own first-responder…If I make the decision to use lethal force, fully understanding the implications under my State’s laws, then I am solely responsible for that decision and am prepared to defend it to your hoplophobic jurist. (snarky note: I might just decide to use a broadhead instead of a firearm…won’t that stymie the Anti2A’s…hypothetical discussion…”Prosecution: Why didn’t you use a firearm? Defense: My client did not wish to further the aims of Bloomberg and The Moms by giving them additional ammunition”).

    1. avatar rt66paul says:

      If you are far enough out in the boonies(and have use of a backhoe), it is a moot point.

  15. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    I have had Right Wing Morons right on this forum claim that if they caught someone stealing from them either on their property or saw them breaking into their house that they would immediately open fire. Bad move, as when you kill someone over property it looks bad to a jury even if you are within your rights. Especially if the person moving around in the dark happened to be a teenager. In many States its against the law to kill someone over stealing or damaging property. In our congealed carry class we were taught that in our State if we saw that someone had broken into our car and was taking a radio out of it, lethal force or even physical force against them could result in a long and expensive court case against us. The law can often be fickle according to what jury and what prosecuting attorney has the case. I have followed cases in Ohio were in some instances people went to jail for shooting someone in a robbery and in other cases got off scott free when in my opinion mommy is late today they should not have such as when a teenage boy was hanging on a rope from the ceiling quite helpless and was shot by the owner of the building but in another case a store owner actually gunned a fleeing robber down with an uzi sub machine gun in broad daylight on a city street and was not prosecuted. Or in another case when a man shot a fleeing man that had broken into his barn and went to prison over it.

    The moral of the story is that property can be replaced and most of the time the stuff being damaged or stolen is worth far less than the thousands you will have to pay lawyers to defend yourself especially when the lawyer turns out to be one of your biggest enemies.

    1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      In my State we do not have to have “congealed” carry permits…

      “Go, I say go away boy, you bother me”
      – Foghorn Leghorn

    2. avatar SkorpionFan says:

      Vlad,
      Can you provide the date, location, and reference(s) for the incident “store owner actually gunned a fleeing robber down with an uzi sub machine gun in broad daylight on a city street and was not prosecuted?”
      I don’t know of a case where an owner of a legal, NFA-registerered machinegun, such as the “uzi sub machinegun” in your story, used it to shoot a fleeing robber.
      I’ve read there have only been two homicides with NFA-registered machineguns.

      Are you refering to this case in Ohio?
      “On September 15th, 1988, a 13-year veteran of the Dayton, Ohio police department, Patrolman Roger Waller, then 32, used his fully automatic MAC-11 .380 caliber submachine gun to kill a police informant, 52-year-old Lawrence Hileman. Patrolman Waller pleaded guilty in 1990, and he and an accomplice were sentenced to 18 years in prison.” https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/data-on-crimes-w-nfa.526307/

    3. avatar Vlad's dad says:

      The boy never did learn to spell. That deficiency prevented him from ever using a dictionary. As a result, he never learned that words have specific meanings. I remember when he wanted to compete in a 4th grade spelling contest. We had to get special permission for him to participate (he was in the 8th grade at the time). He became enraged after dropping out in the first round. As I recall, the word that stumped him was “cat”. He started shrieking and calling the judge a “Right Wing Moron”. His mother was so proud of him. She told anyone who would listen, “that’s my boy”. I slipped out the back door and headed for the nearest bar.

      1. avatar B.D. says:

        It’s hilarious watching him make up all these fake degrees from shit he copies and pastes (steals) but he fails to even make a comprehensible statement. Plus, once he gets angry he cannot avoid name calling which is a direct reflection of the trollish nature he attempts to evade. This fucken guy is the type who loses it and goes on a rampage. No doubt he does not own a single gun, and probably has a prior record so never will.

      2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        Lol

  16. avatar former water walker says:

    Well kid’s we’ve had an uptick in property(and assault, MURDER and rape)crime in my formerly quiet and “safe” burb south of Chiraq. I never go outside unarmed. I also can’t afford to lose my crappy car(only got liability insurance). Or anything really…would I shoot a punk? Not saying on a public forum!

  17. avatar Arizona Free says:

    So banks and circle k’s and any number of businesses can and do have armed guards. Armored cars making money drops have multiple armed guards. All these businesses have shot at those that just wanted to take property. Holding a cell phone looks a lot like a gun ask any cop that has shot and killed a suspect. I bet there is not one cop that would not shoot someone loading up their stuff. One more thing how many people have an inventory of their stuff, all their stuff. Every last necklace or ring your wife has. Every tool you have in your garage. All the priceless objects handed down to you from family members that can never be replaced. Man up and protect what is yours.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Banks, stores, etc. almost always are open and full of people when the bad guys enter to commit the crimes. Armed bad guys threatening employees and customers have elevated the situation above simple property theft.

  18. avatar johnny go lightly says:

    Yup, let them go….so that they can drive down the rural road to the next farmhouse and pull a Clutter family masascre. Or so that they can kidnap a young child playing in the front yardd and do a BTK on her. Yup, that is the way to go. And it won’t have any moral, pyschological or community repercussions.

    1. avatar CLarson says:

      Yep, this is good advice for rich rootless cosmopolitan types who constantly move from ever more culturally enriched areas. Not so useful for people with roots and or want to put down a stake and live in peace. Insurance will get more expensive and also word will spread that pickings are good if a stand is not taken.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      Or, let them go, and hope he meets one of the people here who advocate killing for minor property theft.
      If even 10% of those armchair killers are actually going to do this, sooner or later that thief will meet one of them, and give his momma the opportunity to say, “He was a good boy who would never do that” and sue him for much more money than he has.

  19. No worries! In the People’s Republic of M Assachusetts…The Homeowner/Apartment Dweller is required to keep ALL fire access open for ALL home invaders in case of a fire 🔥! Also, The M Assachusetts resident has a duty to provide warm milk and cookies to ALL possible home intruders in the event they have low blood sugar! It is best to secure a ” marijuana card” for the local dispensary…This way the resident can provide some quality ” Maui Wowie” to help “mellow- out” the home invader/invaders…Lessing the chase for a violent encounter by showing the perpetrators that YOUR a really cool 😎 person! Since, really…There’s no NEED for a gun anyway…Only POLICE need those….lol…..

  20. avatar Sam I Am says:

    How interesting. Didn’t we have this discussion, just last week?

  21. avatar Texican says:

    Just a note from the Republic of Texas:

    A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41 ;  and

    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

    (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime;  or

    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property;  and

    (3) he reasonably believes that:

    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means;  or

    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    Oh, that it were so in other states!

    1. avatar GunnyGene says:

      It is nearly identical in MS, under our justifiable homicide laws regarding felonies. Applies to criminal trials as well as civil actions.

  22. avatar ahil925 says:

    I had to work to earn the money for my stuff. My life span in finite, the time I spent working I’ll never get back. Some one stealing from me is robbing me of that time I spent working and thus robbing me of my time on earth, robbing me of my life. We all make choices that may not be the best use of that limited time but it is YOUR choice to make, not some felon’s.

    1. avatar CLarson says:

      A legal insurance spokesman telling customers to avoid putting themselves into situations make insurance claims. 🤔 He might have great advice but I question his motives. Insurance companies love being paid and not have to service claims. It’s not like its their hard earned property being stolen or destroyed.

    2. avatar CC Ryder says:

      ahil925,
      Yes, you hit the nail on the head with that one.
      BTW, glad you brought it up because if you or someone else wouldn’t have I was going to.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      How much more of your time and money will be taken by the system after you fire that shot? You do you. But if I can avoid bringing the system into my life I’m doing just that.

      1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

        Math is hard.

        I want to shoot it.

  23. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Sorry, dude. Here in the great state of Texas if I catch you effing with my stuff in the middle of the night, I have a positive right under the law to use deadly force to protect property. Its been tested in court so many times its not even in question.

    Guy in a 2nd floor apartment hears noises in the parking lot. Its some guy messing with his car. Dude took him out with a deer rifle from the balcony. No billed him.

    Rancher caught a rustler. Strung him up from a tree. County sheriff came out and said “no problem”. County prosecutor no billed him.

    Just another reason Texas is the best.

    1. avatar Randy Jones says:

      Getting ‘no billed’ and doing what is legal can be two very different things. I’ve been on a grand jury and the arguments people make for ‘billing’ or ‘no billing’ often have nothing to do with ‘legal’ and illegal’.

  24. avatar neiowa says:

    It must be hell living in the peoples republic of Illinois.

    1. avatar CC Ryder says:

      neiowa,
      Yes and it’s just one of many reasons people are leaving the state.

  25. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    Excellent article, thanks. While the responses are running their predictable courses, it’s planted the seed of thought.

    I’m considering my own circumstances, as to what my options would be. While I HATE thieves and such, will it be worth it to shoot a person? That’s why this discussion is so important. For me, I’d have to feel physically threatened before shooting another human being.

    One thing that is seldom brought up – hearing damage, from discharging your firearm without hearing protection.

  26. avatar Mad Max says:

    Keep your firearm concealed, go up to the perps on your property and take your stuff back and tell them to get lost. If they leave, try to take lots of pictures of them and the car they are driving.

    If they are stupid enough to not drop your stuff and run but instead try to fight, then shoot them. You gave them the opportunity to leave and they chose to stay and fight.

  27. avatar TickTalk says:

    Yet another reason to have a clean drop weapon.. just make sure to get the prints and blood spatter correct.
    ‘Yes officer, he was coming at me with that big old rusty knife, I had to do a mag drop on him…’

  28. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Back in the day, horse thieves got shot or hung. But we’re “civilized” now. Really?

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      Every man a Sheriff. There was little need for law enforcement back in the day. Now we have standing armies occupying our cities enforcing laws against the innocent to protect the guilty.

      What war did we lose?

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Everyman was a sheriff when the Sheriff deputized them. Otherwise, they were just vigilantes who would end up in prison or hung for murder. It wasn’t like the movies

  29. avatar Netherland Dwarf Rabbit says:

    I wouldn’t shoot a thief not for their sake, but for my own.

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      That’s a sad reflection of our civilization.

      1. avatar Netherland Dwarf Rabbit says:

        It’s a reflection of what I willing to bear emotionally and spiritually. It has nothing to do with “civilization”.

  30. avatar strych9 says:

    I would tend to agree with this advice but not generally because of the law (which varies, know your local laws!).

    The risk of engaging someone you don’t have to is not worth taking unless you have to take it, that is, they force the fight on you.

    It seems to me that this is a lot like fightin’ an’ wrasslin’ in general. It’s the people who really have no clue how dangerous a fistfight is that encourage such behavior. They’ve never been in a fight in their life but they’ll tell you all about how “hard” they are if someone “disses” them in a parking lot. And some of them really mean it. You can generally tell who the true believers are because they’re the ones lying in a parking lot in a pool of their own blood and teeth after “keepin’ it real” cause they ain’t gonna take dat shit(!).

    This isn’t that much different. A car on a long, rural driveway. Leave and call the cops. Watch from a distance. You have no idea how many people there are, how they’re armed, what they may be high on, how many more may be on the way, what they might have gotten from your house already to use against you etc etc.

    Yeah, theft sucks. No one likes thieves but engaging these people when you don’t actually have to and doing so without the legal protections afforded to cops is unwise. Basically, unless it goes perfectly, you’re only making the situation worse for yourself. The satisfaction you may or may not derive from “apprehending” the bad guys is not worth the downside risk(s) which is/are enormous.

    People talk about carrying for their family. Yeah, well if that’s your reasoning maybe you should try to avoid situations that increase the likelihood of having your kid watch you die in your own driveway gasping “But muh propertiiiii!!!” or having to see you in a prison jumpsuit for the next few decades if the jury doesn’t see it your way and the DA’s a jackass.

  31. avatar Dan W says:

    How far our civilization has fallen. You should have every right to kill the thief even after the fact.

    We tolerate more and more antisocial behaviors as we decay until there are no rules left.

    1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      Do you mean rules like you can’t go over to the guy who stole your TV’s house and murder them?

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      Yes, why bother with all that pesky due process in the constitution?

      Wow, you could be accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, all at the same time!

      I am glad I don’t live in your America, sounds like a very dark place.

      I would suggest that reasonable people are rightfully concerned about guys like you being armed with a 90 round drum mag and tactical gear. I’m just not sure you’re psychologically suited to own a lethal weapon.

  32. avatar RGP says:

    One point to remember, your jury will be selected from a cesspool of predominantly unemployed urban types who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty. They don’t like you to begin with because you’re not one of them, and they probably grew up with the guy who was trying to steal your lawnmower.

    1. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

      I’ve always been curious about this. I’ve been called for jury duty exactly once. I was selected. I didn’t try to get out of it. Most of the other people in the room tried their hardest to get out of jury duty. IMHO, that’s itself a sad state of affairs within our society.

      You see, Jury Duty should be seen as a Civic Duty, just like Voting. You want Civil Liberties and Freedom? It ain’t free, and everybody shares in the responsibilities.

      If you’re the defendant, isn’t that comforting that you are being judged by 12 people that don’t want to be there and do their Civic Duty.

      It should be Honorable to serve on a Jury. It’s what responsible adults do.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Agreed. It’s called a “duty” for a reason.

        Going out of your way to avoid it could rationally and reasonably be called “shirking” or even, dare I say, “dereliction”, defined as “the shameful failure to fulfill one’s obligations.”.(Emphasis mine.)

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Going out of your way to avoid it could rationally and reasonably be called “shirking” or even, dare I say, “dereliction”, defined as “the shameful failure to fulfill one’s obligations.”

          Jury duty cost me a well-paying job. Didn’t sign up for that “service”.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          “Jury duty cost me a well-paying job.”

          That’s illegal under federal law and under the law in all 50 states. You have a valid claim for wrongful termination, back pay plus punitive damages. If was during the hiring process you still have a claim. Find a competent employment attorney.

          ‘Didn’t sign up for that “service”.’

          Actually you kinda did. You decided to stay in the US after your 18th birthday and reap the rewards that come with living here. Those rewards come with obligations. Jury duty is one of those obligations. Arguing that “I didn’t sign up for this” is no different than a gun controller arguing they didn’t “sign up” for a country that has a 2A and allows it’s citizens to possess firearms. You either take the country you live in as it is or you leave and go somewhere more to your taste as an expat or go somewhere else, renounce your citizenship and pick up citizenship in your adoptive country.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Didn’t sign up for losing my job in “service” to my whatever obligation to be on jury duty.

          As to the illegality of being fired for attending jury duty, as I noted last night, if a person does not know how to terminate an employee without violating labor laws, some study is needed. Actually, it is no real effort to terminate someone for being absent attending to “civic duty”. The key is to not identify the absence itself as the reason.

          There are still states that acknowledge “at will” employment arrangements. In these states, “I don’t like your snippy backtalk” is sufficient. Or, “We have too many left-handers in jobs where right-handed skill is critical.” One favorite was, “We reorganized, and your function was assigned to three other people for continuity of operations and re-engineering our processes.”

          Where I worked, we had one division director declare that re-engineering was going to be so disruptive that persons over 40 should simply find new jobs at other companies. After some complaints were lodged with EEOC, the senior leadership stated the division director simply misunderstood the strategic moves necessary to take the company to the next level; there was no intent or desire to discriminate based on age of the employees. Poof, problem solved.

  33. avatar GunnyGene says:

    One last word. Everything that Mr. Davis said was designed to instill a fear of defending yourself and your property.

    Fear is the mind killer.

    1. avatar Some dude says:

      Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

      1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

        “Fear is the mind-killer. I shall not fear…”

  34. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    “Crimes of economic necessity” in Dallas County are no longer being prosecuted.

  35. avatar mgd says:

    Years ago, the driveway alarm went off in the middle of the night. Usually, it’s deer, but I went to check my cameras anyway and observed several people rifling through my company car. I thought it would be really easy to slip out the back door and hold them at gunpoint, but something told me to just call the police. I did and had my gun at the ready. Of course, by the time the police got here all I could tell them was which direction they went and the police looked at the footage and made a copy off my cameras as their faces were pretty clear. I got a call later in the day that the police had them all in custody and had the missing property that I listed.

    I’m grateful for not confronting them because the police told me that they found stolen firearms on them as they’d hit other vehicles in the area. The detective told me that they had questioned them and the perps said that while they were going through my car, they had armed lookouts posted. I never saw them on my cameras. I told the detective that I had my gun ready inside the house and he said that was good and I would have been absolutely within my rights to light them up if they had even tried to come in the house. He praised me for exercising restraint in not confronting outside them telling me that property is just not worth killing someone over and a grand jury may take a different viewpoint of the circumstances at that point.

  36. avatar tdiinva says:

    There is one piece of property I would used deadly force to stop a thief — firearms. A stolen firearm is going to end up killing someone. I feel that I have a responsibility to prevent that from happening.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Fair point.

  37. avatar Some dude says:

    I’ll never have US Law Shield as my carry insurance…

    1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      Why? Aren’t they one of the few who actually pay up front for both criminal and civil defenses?

  38. avatar Ark says:

    Please say it louder for the boomers in the back.

  39. avatar Chris says:

    Why not just throw them on the ground, put their hands behind their back, handcuff them, and wait three hours for the cops to show up? That’s what I’d do, not letting him run off with my tv with a chance that I’d be violating his civil rights.

  40. avatar daveinwyo says:

    The US is starting to look and act like “Escape from NY” or “Escape from LA”
    Lawyers are right up there with mosquitoes and ticks.
    We have allowed lawyers and congress to degenerate society to the tipping point.
    I.E. AOC “The electoral college is affirmative action for rural ares.”
    This article is another example of why “laws” and “do-good” lawyers have screwed we the people.
    Belushi and Schwarzenegger in “Red Heat”;
    B: You can’t do that, the lawyers wouldn’t allow it.
    S: Shoot them first.

  41. avatar Ralph says:

    All good advice — except I do not intend to be anybody’s mark. If my property needs defending, I will use an appropriate level of resistance, which does not include deadly force. If the situation escalates against my will, it won’t be me who does the escalation, but I will do what I need to do.

    The advice that we should just bend over is well intentioned, but doesn’t work for me.

  42. avatar Rodent of unusual size says:

    Uscca or nra carryguard covers lawyers and bail. The law explicitly covers trespassing is presumed in my state and confronting a trespasser is not illegal. Fun fact, if I shoot him and he lives he is charged with his own aggravated assault.

  43. avatar Chris Brown says:

    After reading this article, I’m going to sell all of my weapons and become a victim.
    Owning a weapon is just too stressful and dangerous…..

  44. avatar TweetyRex says:

    Once upon a time, when we caught a thief, they got justice directly from their victims. Anywhere from a trip behind the woodshed to a noose. But then we made a deal with the government. We would forgo personal justice (vengeance), and the government would make sure justice was fairly and evenly applied. So who broke the deal? The people? NO! The government has abandoned the deal, and the people. The government won’t protect your property, and forbids you from doing it. And how did this happen? Well, in a Democracy, a majority of the people GET WHAT THEY DESERVE! THEY GET WHAT THEY ASKED FOR! The residents of San Francisco have DEMANDED THERE BE HUMAN SHIT ON THEIR SIDEWALKS! And they got it. They DEMANDED THERE BE USED NEEDLES ON THEIR SIDEWALKS! And they got it. They DEMANDED that they be helpless in the face of mentally ill camping out in front of their homes and businesses. They DEMANDED that they be afraid to let their kids walk to school. And the government gave them what they wanted. If you want the same, vote the same. If you want different, VOTE DIFFERENT!

  45. avatar Alan says:

    Seems to me that respecting the theft of property, property the loss of which might well be insured, all other possible aspects aside, the following should not be overlooked. How much might legal defense cost you, the property owner.

  46. avatar Aleric says:

    Yeah let them go, the police will do NOTHING to find the criminals and will NEVER look for your possessions while your Insurance rate go up 30% to cover what they INSURE you for. FUUCK off, I normally don’t curse like this but I have been burglarized twice and the police weren’t even in a hurry to come file a report. A Detective I talked to said they NEVER look for anyone when I described a necklace that was custom made for my girl friend that could be found easily in a pawn shop. He informed me I could go look for it but even if I found it they wouldn’t do anything to the shop or follow up on it. WTF. THAT is the day I knew our justice system is broken beyond repair. THIS is why there are so many crimes never solved.

    1. avatar Sal Chichon says:

      Had my motorcycle stolen once. The system that I paid into (police, insurance) certainly did NOT make it whole again. Hell, they did not even catch the thief as far as I know. Fat lot of good the system did.

  47. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    HERE IS ONE FOR THE FAR RIGHT WHO IS ALWAYS THERE OWN WORST ENEMY.

    The Far Right is always screaming about the non gun owning public (who outnumber them at least 3 to 1) for wanting to take their guns but when they gun down a couple of wild and maybe drunk teenagers out misbehaving and blow them away the resulting publicity only hurts gun ownership as the gun owner is portrayed as a sadistic uncivilized Neanderthal who has little regard for human life and values a few pennies in property over human life. In other worlds the public view him as a dangerous red neck gun toting maniac that never should have been allowed to own any guns.

    I might say the above expatiation is not always false either. In our town one kid snuck into a local gun show and stole a .357 revolver . Later that night they went joy riding and smashing mail boxes with a base ball bat. One home owner just happened to be out in the yard when they smashed his mail box so he chased them in his car rather than get the license number and call the cops who would have nailed their asses with ease. Well he caught up with them and blocked them when they went down a one way road that dead ended and the panicked kid then shot and crippled the home owner for life. The result was that every gun owner in the town took the blame for holding a gun show, not having the guns all locked up or under glass and the city who owned the building the gun show was held in was sued for millions, the person who had his gun stolen was sued for millions because he failed to have it secured and the result was gun shows were banned in that building and that entire city forever and that was 50 some years ago. NOW THINK ABOUT JUST THIS INCIDENT NEXT TIME WHEN YOU MAKE COMMENTS LIKE “I WOULD SHOOT THE BASTARD BECAUSE I VALUE A FEW PENNIES OVER HUMAN LIFE.”

    Again gun owners often do the most to make the public want to ban all guns for everyone because in their blind greed they are their own worst enemies.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Pipe down kiddo.

    2. avatar Vlad's dad says:

      At an early age, the boy would concoct elaborate, self-contradictory fantasies. This was his primary strategy for evading responsibility/culpability for his own misbehavior. And, you guessed it, he learned this from his mother.

      1. avatar rt66paul says:

        So it is dad’s fault, for having unprotected sex with a crazy woman and fathered………

        1. avatar Vlad's dad says:

          Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…..

          When the boy was just a toddler, we played a fun game that I like to call “crawl into the burlap bag”. I even tied it shut a few times. Once, I threw the bag into the back of the pickup and drove down to the creek. But, I could not bring myself to do it. I have always been a weak man and now I am tormented by unrelenting shame and regret.

  48. avatar GS650G says:

    There is a reason why we have so many criminals and that’s because they can and do get away with it. Our civilized society sees to it.
    In an uncivilized society no one is going to get away with any misdeeds but that’s a hypothetical situation.

    Frankly even if he’s on top of you smashing your head on the sidewalk a Florida prosecutor is going to ruin you
    Property is never worth it that’s for sure but do we know where criminals cross from wanting hour shit to deciding to rape a woman or leave no witnesses?
    That is the bug question

  49. avatar Kendahl says:

    If it’s just property (e.g. your car being stolen out of your driveway), do not confront the thief. Stay in a safe place and report the robbery to 911. Yes, you will lose money even if it’s insured. However, the loss will be smaller than your lawyer’s bill even if he does no more than represent you during police interrogation. It sucks but the alternative sucks worse.

  50. avatar Robert Messmer says:

    Quote: “This also applies if you are confronted by a “bad” guy. If you can get away…..through de-escalation, walk or run away then most states say you have to duty to do so.” While true this is absolute garbage, This helps to explain antifa thugs swarming streets, burning cars, smashing business windows. It is what is behind the ‘good citizens’ harassing and throwing things at the Philly cops while those cops were trying to put an end to a mass shooting event. In Chicago they currently have a clearance rate of less than 10% on homicides. This tells the gang bangers that they have no reason to stop committing murder since they have better than 90% chance of never being caught, much less convicted.

  51. avatar Phil LA says:

    Spend $50,000 in lawyer bills over a $500 item?

    Guns are to protect life, not property. The laws are just stacked against us AND the responding police officer.

  52. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    There are too many comments here to read through them all, especially since roughly 60% of them are lame, off topic, or redundant.

    Best one of the couple dozen I’ve read on this article is John G’s. The scenario of the working man’s tools and truck immediately sprang to my mind, as well. That’s one of the closest modern day counterparts to horses in the old west. Those tools, like a horse in those days, are worth far more to him than their immediate market value. No wonder horse thieves were punished with hanging. No wonder owners of certain property today are willing to shoot a thief dead, despite the s!$% storm he may be bringing down on himself.

    Really, instead of mau-mauing law abiding folks into passively accepting victimhood at the hands of venal thugs, perhaps the thrust of the message here should be to “keep your hands off other people’s property, lest you get your head blown off.”

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Show me a jury that agrees it’s ok to kill someone over a toolbox.

      “Really, instead of mau-mauing law abiding folks into passively accepting victimhood at the hands of venal thugs, perhaps the thrust of the message here should be to “keep your hands off other people’s property, lest you get your head blown off.””

      Hopefully no one will take your advice and end up in prison.

  53. avatar Dan says:

    The “LET THEM GO” admonition is nothing but stark evidence that the Just Us System in America needs to be flushed and replaced with one that favors the HONEST VICTIM over the CRIMINALS. The laws need to
    reflect that someone who has made the decision to TRESPASS, cause property damage, theft and financial loss to another person has made a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to give up ALL their Rights including the right to live.

  54. avatar Sue Brown says:

    Hilarious article. Thanks for the giggle

  55. avatar ObiDon says:

    This is standard stuff. My CHL instructor taught us to defend lives and people but never property.

  56. avatar LOLNO says:

    JOHN LOCKE – SECOND TREATISE OF GOVERNMENT

    CHAPTER. III.
    OF THE STATE OF WAR.

    Sect. 16. THE state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and
    therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a
    sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of
    war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has
    exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any
    one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it
    being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which
    threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature,
    man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be
    preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may
    destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his
    being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because
    such men are not under the ties of the commonlaw of reason, have no
    other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as
    beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure
    to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.

    Sect. 17. And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into
    his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with
    him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his
    life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his
    power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me
    there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can
    desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by
    force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a
    slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my
    preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my
    preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it;
    so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into
    a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away
    the freedom that belongs to any one in that state, must necessarily be
    supposed to have a design to take away every thing else, that freedom
    being the foundation of all the rest; as he that, in the state of
    society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society
    or commonwealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every
    thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.

    Sect. 18. This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in
    the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther
    than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away
    his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he
    has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it
    will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my
    liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing
    else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put
    himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can; for to that
    hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war,
    and is aggressor in it.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Have your lawyer read this as his opening statement in your trial. It won’t convince the jury of much but maybe you might get a hung jury out of it after 50K in legal fees.
      Or maybe not.

  57. avatar Hannibal says:

    Tennessee v. Garner was very specifically about government intervention; it was about police (government agents) using a ‘fleeing felon’ rule to shoot (seize) fleeing suspects of a felony to bring them to trial. This is very different than a property owner acting under state law (which has not been invalidated) by shooting someone stealing property. Just not the same thing.

    That said, it’s generally very inadvisable to shoot someone over property. I’m sure there are exceptions but the benefits and risks rarely pan out… and unless you have an extremely good working knowledge of the law AND can read the situation fast enough to act properly and be sure you’re doing so… it’s a losing game.

    1. avatar Hans says:

      Excellent, first half of your post, Hannibal.

  58. avatar Dan W says:

    When the police come for your guns, just hand them over. Property isn’t worth fighting over. Those poor cops are just doing their jobs and want to go home at night.

    Plus think of your family and how you might get hurt if you resist.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Your sarcasm is met by actual events where a man died in his doorway. Go ahead and resist if that day comes to pass and see how you fare.

      1. avatar Beth O’Rourke says:

        Glad to know I am not the only coward here.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Plus think of your family and how you might get hurt if you resist.”

      Think of how your family might get hurt if you resist. An honorable, futile, death is still a death that cannot be reversed by being “right”.

  59. avatar Hans says:

    The author advise is common cents, however,
    it is also contributing to the growth of never ending
    property crime and more.

    Yes, there less less dead bodies laying around but
    society is slowly and surely dying.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Yes, there less less dead bodies laying around but society is slowly and surely dying.”

      It is a choice by society. We have devolved to the point where rehabilitation/correction/behavior modification is the antidote to crime at all levels.

      Unless, of course, you are considered untermensch.

      1. avatar Hans says:

        Sam, how rite you are! Here in Maoisota, more state tax dollars
        are om high education than the criminal justice system.

        Examine this chart on feral social spending !!

        https://slopeofhope[dot]com/2019/08/our-welfare-state.html#more-169059

  60. avatar Joseph says:

    A civilian cannot violate another person’s civil rights, only an agent of the state can do that. In Texas it is legal to use deadly force for property crimes committed during the nighttime. It is used often with no consequence other than to the turd committing the crime.

  61. avatar LastOfTheOldOnes says:

    Just reading this whole sordid article and the agreement of many posters makes me sick and disgusted. It shows that the future of America is completely and totally gone. We have wimped out, lost our balls, and been seduced by our easy lives, the illusion of liberty, the fear of offending others, by pretending we care and most of all, by the fear of having to leave our cocoon and face uncomfortable truths.

    Awwww… the poor little thieves just need clothes for college. Yeah, right. WELL, I DON’T CARE.

    Guard and confront, then, being rightfully in fear for you life, retaliate and destroy.
    Follow up with some Wild Turkey.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Prosecutors and prison have a way of taming even the bravest keyboard commandos

      1. avatar ColoCopper says:

        That’s absolutely right. While I think you’ll find very few of us on here that say we like it, the facts are that it is what it is and you’ve got enormous finances to cover your legal defense and plenty of vacation time should prison be in your future, you can’t just close your eyes, click your heels three times and make it all go away. It sucks big time but it is reality… crappy as it is.

  62. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    I had a laptop and a watermelon stolen out of the backseat of my car a few years back. Yes, they stole a watermelon, the reporting cop rolled his eyes when I told him, but he noted it in the report. I was out the watermelon, and IBM was out a nearly depreciated laptop. My boss lost one a week later, but they broke his window to get it, I think the company refused to pay for his window to add salt to the wound.

    The point is that shooting some worthless drug addled Democrat won’t make anything better for you, it will immediately complicate your life, even if you’re not even charged. Besides which, Mr. Useless might even find his way back into the light, repudiate the dark side, and vote Republican!

    1. avatar Jamie in North Dakota says:

      You nailed it!

  63. avatar Jamie in North Dakota says:

    I’m surprised how many gutless people on here agree with and support just letting people take your property…sheeple!!!

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      We aren’t letting them do anything. We’re just smart enough not to catch a felony or spend 50k on lawyers over some stuff.
      You’ll see the wisdom in this eventually.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “I’m surprised how many gutless people on here agree with and support just letting people take your property…”

      Supporting a series of laws, and accepting the reality of risks that accompany disregard are not the same thing. What you have proposed is false equivalence: obeying the law (if there is one) is some sort of character flaw. Which sounds familiar…let me see…oh yeah, causing a death by use of a gun in self-defense is no different than a death caused by an attacker.

  64. avatar Big Bill says:

    What many here are trying to describe when they talk about detaining (or shooting) someone for property crime is called citizen arrest.
    This is legal in all 50 states (and D.C.), but they are local laws. There is not (as far as I can find) any federal law authorizing a citizen arrest.
    Since these are local laws, it would behoove all to understand (not just read) the laws that pertain to your own jurisdiction.
    For example, not even the Great State of Texas allows you to shoot someone for theft of property. There are a lot of things you can shoot a perp for, but not for theft of property.
    It would also be wise to understand that the prosecutor’s office understands the law a lot better than you do, and it will not be operating under the stress you will be. The prosecutors are also well practiced in making arguments, based on their investigations, that you probably didn’t follow the letter of the law. Act in haste, repent in leisure.
    The arguments about the state of our civilization are, IMO, moot. What matters is what actually happens when you act. If you do act wrongly, you will probably have the distinct pleasure of watching civilization spiral further out of control from behind bars.
    But as I said earlier, I can’t tell you what to do. But I can say, with certainty, that actions have consequences. It’s your job to weigh the consequences against any actions you take. I will also say, educate yourself, so that you can be certain any actions you take are legal

  65. avatar rt66paul says:

    Things are just things, now, if he attacks me or my family, I will protect myself and mine.

    1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

      The rights to defend both life and property are absolute. If you investigate your barking dog or car alarm you don’t automatically dile 911. You wisely arm yourself and see what’s happening. If you confront a thief that turns on you, you didn’t shoot to stop the theft, you shot in self defense. If you shoot a man putting a weapon in your face demanding your wallet or car keys, you didn’t shoot over the property, you shot him because he threatened to murder you if you wouldn’t do what he said. That’s the difference

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        All these scenarios are different from simple property crimes. If you blast a thief it better look like he turned to hurt you in the act.
        Otherwise, you’ll be a guest of the state.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “The rights to defend both life and property are absolute.”

        Where, in the wide wide world of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is that the case?

  66. avatar J says:

    Since, criminals do not do the time for their crimes anymore and are let go soon after they are caught and big If they are caught these days. I guess we should all just give up our firearms and then go to a close range non-lethal option for everything, if we even have that as an option to use against criminals. Just open your doors to everything and put a note on your property items saying “Please take these items I worked hard to purchase, they are yours now.” All the way back TTAG suggests just let them go in their article below. I do not know when the criminal system has turned to a system of protecting the criminals.

    https://freeinkentucky.blogspot.com/2011/05/for-everyone-who-has-asked-me-can-i.html
    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/self-defense-tip-dont-hold-anyone-at-gunpoint/

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      When the state decided to prosecute people under rules even cops don’t operate under, that’s when it changed. We don’t have immunity. We barely have any protection after a DGU. Cops get lawyers and a few days to give a statement. You get taken in within an hour. See the difference?
      Hence burglar alarms, strong locks, situational awareness, and clear thinking about what is going on around you. It also pays to live a life that avoids conflicts with others as much as possible. Don’t ask for trouble and don’t be a target.
      Most of us will not be victims of crimes because we follow basic rules about how to act and live.
      Of course if you give up then put your stuff on the front yard and let it go.

  67. avatar Eminitrader says:

    Yes call 911 where the cops could care less if your car was broken into or if tools were stolen from your garage. In most cities they are understaffed and up to their neck in murders/rapes/gang activities nothing will ever come of it. What a sad country we live in today. Look at the rate things are going it won’t be long before if will be against the law to shoot someone during a home invasion if they are unarmed. Imagine coming home from work and as you’re coming in the door your local dindo nuffin is coming out…and there ain’t jack sh!t you can do about it.

    1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

      The author that wrote this article probably means well but he’s by and large wrong. There is a WHOLE LOT of it depends that goes along with any use of force laws deadly or not. There is no codified law that requires you to surrender or allow to have your property taken from you even if no force was used to do so. A disproportionate amount of force such as shooting your neighbor for taking your Sunday paper would certainly be on it’s face seem exsesive, unless he walked towards you threatening to kill you if you try to stop him. 98% of us would not shoot a shoplifter in our retail store for trying to pitch a candy bar. Libaral nanny state know it all’s can’t understand 98% of us know the right and wrong thing to do without our own legal system being weaponized against us to defend societies criminal elements from us, when it’s supposed to be the out her way around.Almost all of us might or would shoot a SCUMBAG we catch inside or breaking into our house. If we confront some A hole trying to take our vehicles almost all of us will try to stop it. There isn’t time to call 911. If the thief is already in my vehicle I’d be reluctant to shoot up my own truck. Because of these ever further left leaning courts we now have the greater concern over societies enemies rather than it’s law abiding citizens. That trend needs to stop.

  68. avatar AngryAz says:

    This kinda fiukng stupid article is why I read this page less and less…. let’s all get together and start terming these events late term selective abortions… no crime here move along

  69. avatar ColoCopper says:

    Lots of pontificating here about how things SHOULD BE, COULD BE, ONCE WERE, ARE IN (fill in the location), etc., etc.
    And even more chest beating accompanied by “if that happens to me I’m gonna (fill in the action you’re going to take), etc, etc. And yet even more stating “In my (fill in the state) it’s legal to shoot someone for property crimes.”

    It’s not at all surprising that this subject and the points that the author is trying to make evoke so many varied and oftentimes heated responses. No one wants to be the victim of a crime much less have their valuable property stolen from them regardless of how much or how little money they earn.

    But one’s wealth nor any of the other arguments above was/is the main purpose nor really even relevant to the primary point that the author was trying to make. Why? Because he’s not really trying to justify why things are the way they are in the legal system as it exists today in the United States. Instead he’s just trying to get people to consider two basic things.

    First is the point that in theory influences each of us to varying degrees and in reality not at all until it’s actually happened. And that is, of course the effect that shooting another human being and especially killing them has on one’s psychological well being. Think it won’t bother you both in the short term and, as is usually the case for the rest of your life? Think again. And if it doesn’t do either then you might be even more of a sociopath than the criminal(s) you envision possibly shooting.

    But even more important and really the primary point of above article in the first is this: using lethal force against someone for strictly property crimes is always going to cost you much, much more financially than the items being stolen. It could also very well cost you your freedom as well.

    And don’t think you’ll absolutely be safe because it happened in YOUR state and it supposedly allows deadly force to be used to protect property. If the victim, his family and/or even the attorneys decide to appeal a ruling favorable for you it could easily end up in an appellate court outside of your state…. especially if it’s taken to federal court as frequently happens with a criminal and/or civil charge of violation of one’s civil rights resulting in serious bodily injury or death. And while I’m not claiming to be an attorney I did spend a career working in the legal system as a cop. My point here isn’t so much to try to scare you as it is to make you aware of the realities of the legal system as it’s being applied to real life situations today here in the U.S. Obviously it’s completely your decision as to whether any of this matters to you or might give you pause to reconsider what you’ll do if confronted with one of the situations as discussed in the above article. That decision might seem obvious while you’re sitting in the comfort of your living room. “Hell yes I’m going to protect my property, no matter what it takes!” Seems clear, doesn’t it? But decisions like that have a way of not seeming so wise once you’ve been sitting in a cage with bars and with Bubba as your roommate day after day, month after month and year after year.

    And not to mention having a multi-million dollar judgement ruled against you by the court to where you lose not only your current assets but most of the ones you’ll be working to get for years to come. That decision which seemed so easy at the time can easily become one of a lifetime of regret after the smoke has cleared.

    Of course none of this is referring to situations where your and/or someone else’s life is being threatened. That’s a completely different situation entirely and those situations where time delayed could cost lives you usually don’t have the luxury of any time to consider your options. Those are the kind of moral and legal things you should have already contemplated and decided upon even before purchasing a firearm for self defense purposes.

    But the point of the article is pretty clear and accurately reflects what’s been happening in the courts across the country during the past few decades in cases were lethal force has been used solely to protect property. Simply put…. the odds have not been favorable for those people who choose to do so, both in criminal and in civil cases. And while I can’t speak for anyone else I’ve always been much more concerned about the civil side of the issue than the criminal. Why? Because I HAD to know the criminal code prior to going out on the street as a cop. It was covered and tested regularly during the police academy and in comparison to civil law was much more straightforward…at least to my way of thinking. Civil law to me is much more murky and a complete crap shoot when viewed from case to case. And that’s why I’m much less confident of knowing the outcome should I become involved in a civil court case and particularly where a firearm is involved. And knowing ahead of time that society is viewing situations where they’re involved with an ever increasing suspicious eye is enough to convince me that I’ll ONLY use mine against another person to prevent serious bodily injury or death from occurring. And the standard used by the courts in those situations is almost always measured by what a REASONABLE person in those situations would perceive to be occurring. And while even though situation’s can become confusing in the minds of a jury, especially when subjected to the smoke & mirrors of a skilled attorney it’s that much more unpredictable when one enters the civil court arena. And that’s exactly the point the author was trying to get across in the article above which has subsequently provoked so many letters afterwards. Which brings forth one final thought: if you really have already decided ahead of time that you’re going to use deadly force to protect your property, and especially in knowing the the serious legal risks that you face in doing so…. do you REALLY want to be broadcasting that in a public forum where it can be located and used against you in court? If so you’d better be prepared for the consequences!

    1. avatar J says:

      The better questions for an article for us firearm owners would be, What force can we use? What about non-lethal use of force (taser or stun gun) to stop criminals? These would be great questions for all of us to know. I have not seen much about this topic for us firearm owners. Stunning a criminal till the police arrive is that an option? We can carry a tazer or stun gun in Illinois since, that court case was settle on the our side as firearms owners.

      https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/illinois-supreme-court-strikes-down-ban-on-carrying-tasers-stun-guns
      https://courts.illinois.gov/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2019/122951.pdf

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        You plan to stun a criminal until the cops arrive?
        Come up with different plan not a fantasy.

      2. avatar ColoCopper says:

        RE:. “The better questions for an article for us firearm owners would be, What force can we use? What about non-lethal use of force (taser or stun gun) to stop criminals?”

        That’s an excellent question and a great point. This will sound wishy-washy but the best answer I can come up with is to pose that exact question to your local DA’s office (or County Attorney, Prosecutor) or whatever the local charging office in your jurisdiction is called. My guess is that in some areas of the country, i.e. those run by the more spineless UltraLib Democrats they’ll either tap-dance around the issue or just say let them go.

        At that point I would attempt to pin them down by asking the same question in the context of a citizens arrest. I.e. you’ve caught them in the act of stealing your property while trespassing on your property. In nearly every jurisdiction simple trespassing is either a petty offense or a misdemeanor. However, in Colorado if they break into a car to steal something it becomes First Degree Criminal Trespass…a low level Felony ( an oxymoron for us normal non-criminal types) but very ho-hum for the career criminal. And if they unlawfully break into an occupied residence the “occupied” part becomes an enhancer to make it a more serious Felony. So the question then becomes if you attempt to detain them, i.e place them under a citizens arrest in an attempt to hold them until the police arrive what force, if any are you allowed to use if they resist. “IN MY MIND” there shouldn’t be any problem if they don’t resist and stay there until the cavalry arrives. And of course I said “in my mind” for a reason: I’m not an attorney so I can’t offer any kind of legal advice, just what seems reasonable to me. That said I know of people in Arizona who have caught illegal aliens on their own property and held them at gunpoint until the Border Patrol arrived. I can’t recall now if it was higher ups in the CBP or the DA’s office but one or the other actually went and met with the illegal’s afterwards and actually queried each one of them to see if they wanted to prosecute the property owner for False Imprisonment!!

        Anyway, assuming that you are allowed to make a citizens arrest the real rub arises when they don’t comply and start to leave. Already that’s well into where I’d want to know ahead of time where I’d stand with the local DA. If they say that they wouldn’t back you up legally then you truly would be on your own. And in that case if you detain them anyway you’d best have a really good attorney. And really good attorneys (another oxymoron!) don’t come cheap. Sorry but in today’s lawsuit crazy society any time you use physical force in a situation where you’re not having to defend yourself against actual or imminent physical force you are potentially opening yourself up to civil and/or criminal liability. And so just like you should know the law inside and out when it comes to using deadly force with your firearm you should also know the law if you know ahead of time that you’re going to use physical force against a criminal if you catch them committing a property crime. Wish it wasn’t so but….. wishing won’t cover your ass when it comes to most of these issues. Good luck!!

        1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

          Catching and detaining a shop lifter, burglar, persons attempting to enter the country illegally is not a crime. I worked with a private security agency some years ago hired by a group of Arizona rangers do just that. No crime.

        2. avatar ColoCopper says:

          RE: “Catching and detaining a shop lifter, burglar, persons attempting to enter the country illegally is not a crime. I worked with a private security agency some years ago hired by a group of Arizona rangers do just that. No crime.”

          You’d best check your “facts” again. Look up a case where a property owner in Cochise County, AZ. did exactly that with a group of illegal’s he found on his property. He was the person I was referring to where once the Border Patrol arrived the illegal’s were separately interviewed to see if they wanted to press charges against that property owner for False Imprisonment. And how do I know this? Because he’s a neighbor living within a few miles of my place; it was a well publicized situation.

        3. avatar Big Bill says:

          “Catching and detaining a shop lifter, burglar, persons attempting to enter the country illegally is not a crime.”
          That last part (“…persons attempting to enter the country illegally…”) may or may not be true. But it doesn’t matter.
          Reality doesn’t pay much attention to the niceties of legality. The fact is that in many places (including the minds of many prosecutors), being here “illegally” not only isn’t a crime, but it confers upon the individual who is here illegally a special dispensation from all of what some might consider the consequences of being here illegally.
          What that means in practical terms is that, crime or not, if you do detain someone you think is guilty of a crime, you can personally be financially ruined (and possibly spend time behind bars) for doing something that is perfectly legal. If you have a family, the consequences of those actions of yours can be disastrous to all concerned.
          If this doesn’t make you stop and think, I don’t know what would.

          Note: I’m not talking about the legality of your actions, I’m talking about the consequences in real life, which can (and often do) happen in complete opposition to the law. Yes, you might get an apology after the dust settles, but the results will last far beyond the apology.

      3. avatar Sam I Am says:

        About the “best” an article about “what force can we use” would be similar to the one, here in dispute. Local laws determine the type and circumstance regarding use of force (for whatever purpose). And the upshot would be the same as the current article: know your laws, and the laws where you travel. Make smart, not braggadocio (sp?) decisions you can live with if you make a mistake.

    2. avatar Jack Furbush says:

      I’m sure you believe what you say is the universal way it is. In my 33 years in lawenforcement I can tell you it ain’t. This endeavor as almost everything involving the legal system in America today falls into that void of it all depends. On such factors as where, when, how, What,who and why. It depends on the Prosecutor, the Judge and Jury If it even goes that far. Example. An aquientens of mine shot and killed a punk that tried to take his horse from his barn. He heard the commotion, walked into the barn confronting the would be thief. The punk laughed at him and asked what are you going to do about it? As he started to lead the animal away the owner stepped in the door and told him no. The punk picked up a shovel. The owner promptly drew his gun and shot him dead. This is where a Grand Larceny of live stock escalated into Armed Robbery. This happens in the majority of instances when the property owner attempts to protect property of substantial value. Sure, he could have just let the animal be taken and just called the Cops and his Insurance company. But that’s not how it played out. No criminal complaint issued by the County Attorney. I asked him what he would have done if he jumped on the horse and rode away, would you shoot him? He said no probably not, wouldn’t want to maybe hit the horse. Besides, I’m the only one that can ride him with out being thrown off. He said I didn’t shoot him over the horse, I shot him because he was going to cave my head in with the shovel. The idea that any of us that doesn’t suffer from PTSD because we’ve had to kill another human is a sociopath is absolutely BULLSHIT. Any man/woman I’ve killed in the line of duty/ defending myself could have just as easily have killed me. Wasn’t my idea. As the wise man once said ” If it’s him/ her or me, it ain’t gonna be me” As cold blooded as you may think it sounds, if your not prepared to take a human life to defend yourself or a loved one/ friend, STOP keeping or carrying a gun. It will end up being one more in circulation to endanger us all. I personally and almost all that I’ve worked with or know that have killed a human don’t give it much thought after the fact. Why should I? If you do that will hurt you if there’s a next time. You’ve already walked into a stacked deck, don’t make it worse. If you actually believe you can’t do it, That’s your opinion and good luck with that, don’t look down your nose at me because I don’t see it that way.

      1. avatar ColoCopper says:

        RE: “The idea that any of us that doesn’t suffer from PTSD because we’ve had to kill another human is a sociopath is absolutely BULLSHIT.”

        You’re absolutely right about that. Not everyone does and they’re certainly NOT all sociopath’s as a result. I misspoke there and didn’t catch it when I proofread it. My apologies.

        Indeed… after my own fatal shooting incident I continued working as a city cop for another 15 years before retiring. And although I did have some issues with PTSD it was literally years before the symptoms started becoming apparent. But to insinuate that anyone who doesn’t is likely a sociopath was totally wrong.

        What I was thinking at the time is that anyone who looks back on a fatal shooting incident in which they’ve been involved without wishing it could’ve turned out differently may have a screw loose. But the truth is that in the vast majority of cases that outcome is dictated by the perp.

        Thanks again for making me aware of the error.

    3. avatar Steve Davis says:

      Colocopper, you are exactly spot on. You understand the my legal and practical reasoning when I do the legal presentation the author quotes. The legal, economic, and emotional consequences of defending property with deadly force make it loser. As Boch also notes, the gunfight over property could be lost. As I state in the presentations, is a piece of property worth being paralyzed over, wearing a colostomy bag the rest of your life, or worth dying for? I am not surprised at some of the comments here. I get a lot of resistance when I talk about this at the presentations. I am simply trying to keep good folks from getting into trouble.

      1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

        Steve,

        You come across as a modern Neville Chamberlain.

        V/R,
        OGiM

        1. avatar Hans says:

          Oh Dear, crime in our time !!

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        So I let them steal my car. My only way to get to work. I let them go?
        So they steal my food. I and my family starve so they will not?
        They steal my money. Now I’m poor. But now they have my money now.

        It’s really amazing just how many Libertarians Liberals and the Left, and Conservatives think it’s ok for the state to kill to protect government property. But you can’t kill to protect your property.

        https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/panama-city-looter-shot-and-killed-while-trying-to-steal-a-police-car/

        You’re a hypocrite Mr. Steve Davis.

      3. avatar ColoCopper says:

        Well, truth be told I can’t honestly say that I would just stand by and watch my property be stolen without attempting to physically intervene either…. depending, of course on the circumstances. And those CIRCUMSTANCES surrounding the incident ARE CRITICAL! And if they DID deterioate to the point where I felt that my life or someone else’s was in serious danger then yes, my personal firearm would be clearing leather.

        But that’s different and a perfect example of the old saying that no two situations are exactly alike. The point I was trying to make is I don’t agree that in most cases deadly force is justified simply to protect property. And despite what some might believe those conditions are exactly the same for the police.

        Police cannot use deadly force ONLY to defend property; there has to be an additional component involved. Is the criminal armed? Are they using sufficient force for me to justify resorting to firing my duty weapon? Simply running away doesn’t cut it & hasn’t for us police for decades. The “fleeing felon” ruling handed down by the U. S. Supreme Court did away with that as an option for police.

        And so if the police are sworn to protect life and property as an occupation and still cannot use deadly force to stop in progress property crimes then what does that mean for the private citizen? It’s possible that you MIGHT be able to avoid criminal charges. But civilly? Are you prepared to gamble away everything you AND YOUR FAMILY owns currently and into the foreseeable future over a piece of property? I’m sure as hell not.

        Now as far as having a firearm available should things go drastically south? In my opinion, no problem….. in certain situations. But the huge caveat to that is this: the armed individual must have enough confidence, physical ability, familiarity with the law on deadly force and most importantly…. have the mental stability to be able to put all of those things together and still be able to remain calm enough during an extremely stressful situation to know when they’ve exhausted all other options if & when they’re presented with a deadly force situation as defined by law.

        And in my experience in having repeatedly come into contact with citizens who have just been in very stressful situations I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of them would be much better off in just letting the perp get away with the property, making a mental note of as many details about the perp (including vehicle info.) as they can, call the police and then immediately pass that information on to them while you’re still on the phone so it can then be passed onto the responding officers. And although I’m not saying always, I am saying usually. And if they can’t do even that because they were just too rattled at the time then how calm would they have been to rationally make a statutorily defensible deadly force decision? It’s not a criticism of the average person, it’s simply that the average citizen has not been exposed to the experience of being a victim of an in-progress crime.

        Is it possible that on a really busy shift that if all on-duty officers are tied up on more serious calls they won’t be able to break away to handle your stolen property call? No…. it’s almost guaranteed they won’t. But that also won’t be a defensible excuse in court should you end up using deadly force simply to protect your property.

        And as I mentioned before, you can’t count on your case to remain only within the local or even state courts jurisdiction. Even if you get off locally (and that’s a big IF) you could get still get charged federally, usually on a civil rights violation, something we’re seeing happen more often these days. I too cheered inside when Dirty Harry sarcastically said “Well I’m just all broken up inside about that man’s civil rights!” And although Dirty Harry was a theatrical wet dream for most of us cops it was still mostly Hollywood fiction and the vast majority of us recognized it as such.

        Anyway, the criticism regarding my PTSD implication towards EVERYONE was valid and I stand corrected on it.

        1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

          To have standing to bring such a case to a federal court the turd in question would have to have standing. The indictment would have to have the elements of a civil rights violation. Refusing to make a cake for a lesbian or refusing to rent or sell an appartment or house to someone because of race, religion etc could be brought forward against a civilian, a shooting by the intended victim of an attempted murder is very different. In fact you could actually be the one that would have such standing. Police Officers because they are officers of the court and have the standing to violate the turd in questions civil rights are a different element. The incitement would have to be that you deprived the turd in questions rights of life and liberty. He/She will have to be dead or crippled for this compliment to have standing. If your case has already been adjudicated in your favor or never brought to a trial, that incitement is very weak, has a strong chance of being kicked back to the lower court. In my 33 years as a Cop I was involved in 3 line of duty shootings and one off duty shooting. None of which involved any criminal actions. Only 1 resulted in a civil action brought against the city not me personally. It’s so that a civil action separately from any criminal action can be brought against you, unless you have substantial means that is unlikely. Civil action involving an insurance company normally results in a settlement awarding money as the remidie for pain, suffering etc. To bring suit against you personally does not involve a homeowner or car insurance company. They only cover accidents. If you intentionally shot the turd in question there is no insurance coverage and no guarantee of any settelmet. If his/her estate will have to find an Atturney that will actually take the case. First up is the $20,000 retainer. This won’t get him/her far. The burden of proof is 100% in the plaintiff to show that based on the preponderance of evidence presented at trial that It’s 51% likely you acted in a reckless negligent or exsseive manor causing the injury or death of the plaintiff(s). As in any wrongful death or egregious or crippling injury tourt it would involve at least a 4 week trial, expert witness, private investigator, financial expert, any medical Doctor that was involved in treatment. Any whiteness, Police and EMS personnel, court records if any exist. This action will take a minimum of 5 years to be adjudicated. My state for example has no punitive awards. Civi juries are notoriously stingy in such awards if the indictment was weak or punitive to begin with. Atturney fees, court costs and all other expenses are high. The average Atturney bills at $300 an hour and $500 to actually go to court. Any awards given to the plaintiffs if they prevail will go to the Atturney not them. He/She/them will expect a settlement check only to be handed a substantial Bill by the Atturney. That is what makes you personally sued unlikely. The Atturney only cares about getting paid. If the plaintiffs lose they in many states are responsible for the defendants legal costs. If a judge ruled the action to be frivolous or punitive it would be tossed out and that’s that. Even if the plaintiffs win what would they hope to recover? Unless you own your house and realistate, car it’s not on the table, you don’t own it. You can only be sued for the equity you might have. They can put a lean on any retirement or future money you might have. They can take the money you get if you sell your home or car. You might have had to sell them to pay your legal bills so there already gone. If the plaintiffs do win, you can motion for a stay of judgement until your appile is heard. That my very well take some time and result in the verdict being vacated. The judgement will not leave you without means to support yourself or family. It is true that you can be sued for most anything you do that results in financial lose, physical injury, wrongful death, public humiliation. In liable law The truth is an absolute defense. To sum all of this up, do not hesitate to defend your life if it’s threatened. It’s the only one you get.

    4. avatar Sam I Am says:

      TL: RIA

      +1, ColoCopper

  70. avatar Will Drider says:

    So the Bad Guys are carrying guns from you Safe, let them go?
    Had cash and gold (not insured) in the safe, let them go?
    Family member are normally in the house at the time bad guys are carrying out your property, let them go?

    I don’t agree with one answer fits all indoctrinations. Know the Laws, respond lawfully and appropriately (two different things).

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      If, as you say, I have the opportunity to let them go when they have anything from my safe, that means I’m there as they take stuff from my safe. In that case, it’s a home invasion, which is very different from a property crime.

  71. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    Historically, defending one’s property with deadly force was more understandable and accepted as being aa much a a right as the right to arms and self defense, because your property was yoursurvival. If some criminals steal your pigs where you and your family will then starve for the winter, use of deadly force to stop them was understandable. In modern times, shooting someone over a laptop is not accepted in the same way.

    1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

      That would depend on the level of force the turd in question used to take it from you. You do still have the right to not let your property to be taken from you. A civilian can only use equal force to defend themselves, that extends to your property as well. If the turd in question uses or threatened to use force to take it from you it now becomes a robbery. 1st degree robbery is defined by most states as when the victim is put in fear of life when a weapon is presented or simulated. If the victim is injured or killed it becomes an aggravated robbery and or attempt murder, murder. 2nd degree robbery is defined as when property is taken by force or the threat of force. Both instances allow a citizen to use the appropriate ( equal) and necessary to recover property and themselves. Catching someone in the act of taking your lap top on it’s face does not justify the use of deadly force. If the turd in question attacked you in your lawful attempt to recover it then there would be some justification if you had cause to fear serious injury or death from the attack. If your repossessing a car for a finance company you can’t use force to do so. Once you have taken constructive possession of it and the previous owner tries to take it from by force it becomes an Atempt robbery. The appropriate level of force (equal force) is lawful as is your attempt to stop or retake any property taken from you. To sum up, trying to stop or retake the theft of your laptop is unwise because you could be injured or killed doing it, but it’s not illegal.

  72. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    So I let they steal my car. My only way to get to work. I let them go?
    So they steal my food. I and my family starve so they will not?
    They steal my money. Now I’m poor. But now they have my money now.

    It’s really amazing just how many Libertarians Liberals and the Left, and Conservatives think it’s ok for the state to kill to protect government property. But you can’t kill to protect your property.

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/panama-city-looter-shot-and-killed-while-trying-to-steal-a-police-car/

    You’re a hypocrite Mr. Steve Davis.

    1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

      It would only be illagl to defend your property If you simply shot and killed the turd in question while mearly attempting to get into you car. If you confront and attempt to stop him from taking it and he threatened you or used a lesser amount of force such as pushing you away it now becomes a 2nd degree robbery. If he displayed or simulated a weapon it now becomes a 1st degree robbery. He’s now put you in a reasonable fear of your life. A civilian can only use an equal level of force to protect both life and property. Letting someone take your car is a judgment call only you can make at the moment. If he/she/ they dragg up out of it especially if there armed it now goes from simple larceny of your property to 1st or 2nd degree robbery depending on the level of force they use to take it from you. I personally stopped 2 turds from taking my truck many years ago. I yanked the would be driver out. He stood up and started twerling a butterfly knife around telling me what he was about to do with it. A bullet in the face put a stop to that conversation. The partner vanished into the night never to be seen or heard from again. I don’t blame him. If he had stuck around or arrested later he would ha cought a 2nd degree murder charge. I know went from protecting my property to depending my life. Was it worth it? Depends on your point of view.

  73. avatar bob says:

    If someone is trying to rape you, try to pee yourself so they get turned off. If you cant, just let them finish and they will go away.

    Eh, sounds like the same line of crap.

    Let the bad guys just finish, its not worth the hassle….

    Maybe there shouldn’t be any hassle??

    Hang em high, let God sort it out.

  74. avatar SouthernShooter says:

    Just in–
    Baltimore perp was shot and killed while trying to rob five men, two of which were off-duty police. He apparently approached the men as they were just hanging out and chatting saying, “Kick it up now. ”

    Got a kick he didn’t expect. BTW–the robbery weapon turned out to be a b b gun.
    ” Stupid is as stupid does. “

  75. avatar PuckToTheHead says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to shoot someone over trying to steal your cell phone left in your car, but there are similar consequences to letting someone rob you, such as nightmares, or fear of entering your own home, after you’ve been robbed. While the article makes some very good points, it completely ignores the flip side of it. However, you do have to be aware of and comply with the law regarding the use of deadly force when it comes to property. On the one hand I don’t want my family to fear coming home every night, or having nightmares, after having been robbed. On the other hand, I don’t know if I want to have nightmares over having killed someone over my TV. What this article has made me do is to think hard about what to do, should I ever end up in this situation.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “What this article has made me do is to think hard about what to do, should I ever end up in this situation.”

      Then, the article met its intent. Great!

      BTW, your family will have nightmares if you have to shoot someone; a horse apiece.

      1. avatar Jack Furbush says:

        The level of fear and trauma will depend on the events that actually happened. In some instances that can be devastating. Most of us though are not made of glass. We have no intention of allowing ourselves to be victims. If carpets need to be replaced or bullet holes filled in and painted over, so be it. It’s thire home and wouldn’t leave it. I was once in a Bar in Deadwood S.D. that had bullet holes in the walls dating back to the 1880’s to the reasent days. They had little tags with details about how they got there. They are an attraction and just part of the lore, and ledgon of the place not a point of fear and trauma. How many times in American history did people have to fight to defend home and property? They did so and still live in the homes thire ancestors built.

    2. avatar Jack Furbush says:

      Keep in mind that your on the fermist ground you could be in as far as defending your property. The fact that you have to confront an intruder in your home It’s self is the absolute worst property crime This turd can commit. If you become aware that your car is being broken into or about to be stolen or your barn, garage is being broken into you have the right to investigate. If you encounter an intruder(s) your laegl options are, run them off or detain them even at gun point if you think he/she/they might try to jump you as would a Police Officer would. It’s your home You have the absolute right to defend it. If you come home and find an intruder(s) inside the house, or they enter the house while you and your family are at home You have the right to use deadly force to repel borders. You have no obligation to issue a challenge or take prisoners. Any reasonable person of average sensibly would have reason to fear for their lives. This has gone to a home invasion not just a burglary. Your options here are very limited considering how these situations can turn out. Self-defense is no crime especially in such a stiuation. There are many high court rulings in case after case that affirms this We all know the rules of engagement out side of the house or other places you have a lawful right to be. On you property and especially in the house it’s completely different rule, this in my experience extends to inside your place of business if you own the business and or the premise. Even if your being car jacked. If your inside the vehicle and are being formidably removed you would have a reasonable fear of a crippling injury or death. Any rational person would not just walk up to a turd trying to get into your car to steel your cell phone or toll money etc and shoot them in the face. I doubt any of us you shoot a punk trying to steel a lawnmower. These are mere property crimes not worth a life or risking our lives over. If you do confront a turd(s) trying shoplifting in your store or causing damages or intimidating your employees or customers and he/she/they make credible threats that changes things completely. If a turd(s) try to rob you of your wallet and other variables and are armed it’s not a simple attempt larceny of your property, or our number you It’s now an armed robbery. If you decide to shoot, you fired in self defense, not over Your wallet and watch.
      The right to use deadly force must have the three basic elements. Means, Opportunity, Jeopardy. You have no leagl obligations to submit to such crimes. It comes down to a judgement call. If you feel you don’t need to shoot, don’t shoot. If you feel you and your family are in jeopardy, shoot and don’t hesitate.

      1. avatar ColoCopper says:

        Question for Jack Fur:

        Do you proofread what you’ve written before you press the “Send” key? If not then I highly recommend it. And if you do then…Holy sh!t!!! I don’t even know where to begin with all the mistakes; they really detract from whatever point(s) it is that you’re trying to make!

        1. avatar ColoCopper says:

          P.S. And I truly hope that nobody follows the bulk of your “legal” advise, or at least not if they don’t have the wealth and standby attorneys that Donald Trump has.. WOW!!!!!

        2. avatar Jack Furbush says:

          What law school did you not attend. I actually have a law degree and 33 years experience in lawenforcement. My remarks are based on real world in both a large city and some small cities. You write like you’ve got your nose in a law book and that’s all you know from. Exactly how many times have you had to fight another man for your bullshit life? Exactly how many people have you seen crippled or killed by the animals that victimize society? I personally don’t give a shit what you think of Donald Trump. I’m sure he doesn’t either. Anybody stupid enough to listen to what you say on this topic is setting themselves up to lose. If you think you don’t agree with what I have to say based on my real world life experience, them ignore it. As far as proof reading, try this ” KISS MY ASS TURD ” Did you understand that or do you need someone to translate?

        3. avatar ColoCopper says:

          RE:. “……do you need someone to translate?”

          Nope, you’ve lived up to my lowest expectations for an attorney.

        4. avatar ColoCopper says:

          But based on your “interesting” grammar and spelling I am curious what law school you attended. As an example here’s part of your letter that I’ve cut-n-pasted directly from your….ah… letter.

          “Keep in mind that your on the fermist ground you could be in as far as defending your property. The fact that you have to confront an intruder in your home It’s self is the absolute worst property crime This turd can commit. If you become aware that your car is being broken into or about to be stolen or your barn, garage is being broken into you have the right to investigate. If you encounter an intruder(s) your laegl options are, run them off or detain them even at gun point if you think he/she/they might try to jump you as would a Police Officer would. It’s your home You have the absolute right to defend it. If you come home and find an intruder(s) inside the house, or they enter the house while you and your family are at home You have the right to use deadly force to repel borders…..”

        5. avatar Jack Furbush says:

          Supreme court decisions going back over 100 years hold the rights of the use of force up to an including deadly force in the defense of both life and property. The Castle Doctrine is a good example. My cell phone has an annoying feature to translate incorrectly. The text I see is not always what it sends. That is of no matter. The obvious fact is you must have been out sick the day they thought law at law school. As to the concept of financial ruin as a result of being involved in such an incednt, at least 3 insurance companies sell insurance to protect you from such jeopardy. For the sum of $500. You can cover yourself for up to two million dollars and be represented by a compiten Atturney experienced in such law. A small sum considering. I learned early in life not to wast time arguing with an idiot talking out of his ass, that describes you well. I read posts on these forums that contain spelling errors all the time including yours. It’s the point that counts. The only points you keep making are the one on top of your head. Each of these events are different, there is no one size fits all answer. My event for example resulted in no criminal complaint or action taken against me. Yours could be very different. For the same reason I purchase car, home and other insurance I my need, CCW Safe insurance is a prudent dession.

        6. avatar ColoCopper says:

          RE: “…..and be represented by a compiten Atturney experienced in such law.”

          You mean like YOU? Pardon me while I choke back a guffaw; no… hysterical laughter actually. I want a “turney dat kin rede-n-rite.”

        7. avatar ColoCopper says:

          RE:. “Exactly how many times have you had to fight another man for your bullshit life?”

          You mean during my 24+ years as a full time, paid municipal police officer/Detective/Sgt./Field Supervisor/Watch Commander? Or the more nebulous “in law enforcement” as you claim?

          I don’t intend to explain nor justify the number of times that I had to use deadly force and/or take another person’s life other than to say they were to save other people’s lives (including a fellow police officer) and not my own “bullshit life.”

          However, I am still waiting to hear what mail order place you obtained your law degree from.

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