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The mainstream media normally restricts itself to stories of defensive gun uses (DGUs) where someone is shot. If it bleeds, it leads! But wait! Here’s a DGU from where no one was shot and the bad guy was deterred.

A 23-year-old resident told Deputies that he had been in his bedroom when his dogs started barking. Thinking that someone was in his home, the man grabbed his 12 gauge shotgun, loaded several shells of ammunition, and walked out of his bedroom. As he made his way to the living room, he spotted a man dressed in all black with a ski mask over his face.

Upon being confronted, the intruder ran out the front door. Deputies conducted an area search and a K-9 Unit attempted to establish a track of the suspect to no avail.

I’m sure some of you would have preferred the perp’s perforation. I understand the logic: one less bad guy roaming the streets, looking for more subservient victims. A bad guy who might come to the next fight in a proactive mood, armed for the task.

But ServPro. And lawyers. And nightmares. And therapists. As far as I’m concerned this was an excellent result. Agree?

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  1. Robert, I understand your conclusion…..but, rather than the bad guy being rendered incapable of further crime, he was merely pushed from one end of the balloon to the other; still on the hunt, still a danger.

    But the good guy ending up unharmed is a win, no matter the situation.

    • But maybe (unlikely), it scared the bad guy straight. Doubtful, but sorta possible.

      And there’s the old adage, the only gunfight you ever win is the one you’re NOT in. If the good guy shot the bad, his life is essentially ruined, so even if he ‘won’ the gunfight, he still loses.

      • I do get your point, but in my jurisdiciton, if you display your firearm (other than at the barbecue), and you don’t fire it in self-defense, then you were not in imminent danger, and the display can be used by the intruder to press a charge of brandishing. you are not allowed to present a threat of deadly force if you are not facing imminent death or serious bodily injury. it is a foolish law that essentially states the if you present your firearm, “….shoot. don’t talk.”

        • Yeah, that certainly sounds like a stupid law. Then again, that’s why you call 911 FIRST before the perp has a chance to… and why we have jury nullification, too.

        • “I do get your point, but in my jurisdiciton,…”

          Where might that be, so that I may never mistakenly ever be there?

        • Sounds like something I’d hear from Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, or another place where they’re caught between rural conservatives and metastasizing Liberals.

        • Anonymoose: There is no prosecutor in Colorado that would charge a legit DGU, not even in Denver. Hell, Denver is still dithering about charging a man who was growing pot in his backyard, heard a couple teens raiding his garden, and killed one from his upstairs bedroom window and planted a gun (his own, just purchased) under the body.

          Had the shooter been white he’d be charged already. Since he’s not, they’ll do a little more “investigating” first.

        • I don’t know your jurisdiction, but I’m willing to bet you have seriously misinterpreted the statute.

          Now, it’s true that many jurisdictions apply the same legal standard to threatening the use of deadly force, as by presenting a firearm, as they do to actually firing. That is, if you don’t have justification to threaten deadly force in the first place, then you don’t have justification to fire, either. This establishes a high standard for threatening others, so as to dissuade people from threatening others capriciously. The rationale is that presenting a firearm escalates the situation and could transform what otherwise would have been a minor altercation into a major exchange. If it really was a deadly situation, then you’re OK to shoot.

          The situation can change in the instant between presentation and discharge, though. Presentation alone may be sufficient get the assailant to change course, such that deadly force or its threat was justified at time of presentation, but not at the instant of discharge.

          What you’re describing is firing as retroactively justifying threatening, or threatening providing you with a license to use shoot anytime thereafter. Neither of those sounds plausible in the law.

          • Agree. The law as written is illogical. Similar to the Massachuetts law that made non-leathal defensive weapons illegal (mace/pepper spray), leaving deadly force the only option. I am not one to believe that laws that don’t make sense are mistakes, shortsightedness. They are intentional, and we the intended target. When you hear legislative hoof beats, think Zebras, not horses. So, how does this type law play out?

            Problem: guns owned by average people; gun bad.
            Solution: make using guns difficult to use, such that people are discouraged.

            Thus, if you present you firearm in defense, you must be facing, entirely, imminent danger of death or serious, life-threatening injury. If you must use a gun to prevent death, if that gun is the only way to defend yourself, to save your life, firing the gun is the only justification for the use of deadly force; use of deadly force. Presenting a gun in and of itself is not deadly force. If you present only, you are threatening the use of deadly force before the threat to you becomes imminent. In doing so, you are vulnerable to the charge of menacing or brandishing. Even if you would and can prevail, you will be charged and tried. That outcome is the intended deterrent to using a gun. The incredible change in your life from entanglement in the legal system (notice I did not use the term “justice”) is not something to toss aside as an inconvenience. So, from the beginning, the intent of lawmakers was to hopefully convince you that having a gun in defense is worse than running away, or finding a different weapon. If so, point gained by the state. (and that is not even considering asymmetric application of the law among different ethnic groups).

        • Brandishing a shotgun? That guy must be mistaken because my shotgun was locked away in the closet where it belongs. I was pointing a broom handle at him. But, since it was dark he probably thought it was a shotgun.

          • Worth trying. But trying it will be part of a trial where you are tried for trying to defend yourself.

  2. Why did he have to load his 12 gauge? That’s just stupid. You should absolutely keep something handy for home protection, but why the hell wouldn’t you load it? Just load the magazine and leave the chamber empty… geez

  3. No situation that requires a gun for defensive purposes is optimal and therefore such a situation has no optimal outcomes.

    This was about as good as you can hope for. The only better outcome is the BG surrenders and is taken into custody.

    To me, it goes in the win column.

    “As the great warrior poet Ice Cube once said; ‘If the day does not require an AK, it is good'”.

  4. I’m curious why this particular story is getting attention. There is a whole subreddit called /dgu/ that reports on defensive uses. There are literally dozens per day, and most are more noteworthy than this.

  5. I will expand on strych9’s commentary.

    Here is the progression of best to worst outcomes for the homeowner
    — Best: invader surrenders and goes to prison.
    — Good: invader escapes and never comes back.
    — Okay: homeowner incapacitates resisting invader.
    — Okay: homeowner kills resisting invader.

    Here is the progression of best to worst outcomes for the community
    — Best: homeowner kills resisting invader.
    — Good: invader surrenders and goes to prison.
    — Okay: homeowner incapacitates resisting invader.
    BAD: invader escapes and terrorizes other homeowners.

    The optimum outcome for both the homeowner and the community does not allow for the home invader to escape. Therefore, I will argue that this result was a poor result overall. How many other homeowners will suffer loss of property or, worse, be beaten, raped, or killed because the home invader escaped?

    Of course the aftermath of righteous self-defense can be downright horrible. I would argue that the aftermath of letting violent predators go free is much worse.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with the logic.

      Although, depending on local politics and laws, the homeowner needs to do what is best for him/her.

    • I’d say the worst outcome for the community is bad guy giving up and goes to prison, incarceration rates and costs are too high.

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