Question of the Day: Do You Own Anything You’d Shoot Someone to Save?

“Amy Brewer heard suspicious noises coming from under her house,” reports. “She armed herself with a .38 revolver and went outside to investigate. “Brewer saw two males fleeing into a neighbor’s yard so she shot at the males twice, striking one in the left leg.” Cops arrested Ms. Brewer and charged her with assault with a deadly deapon inflicting serious injury.

Poetically enough, Ms. Brewer lives in Devil’s Court, North Carolina. Here in Texas, she wouldn’t have been charged. Be that as it may, JWT and I were recently talking about a similar event, wondering why you’d shoot anyone for stealing stuff.

TTAG’s resident war hero thought about it some more and said there was one personal possession he’d shoot to recover: his father’s guitar. Dan says things can always be replaced, but he might shoot someone trying to steal his dog (above) “which only counts as an inanimate object after he’s been chasing a tennis ball for 30 minutes.” I lost my desire to keep stuff after the second divorce.

Do you own anything you’d shoot someone to stop them stealing it?



  1. avatar Soylent Green says:

    It’s not about the stuff (usually); it’s mostly about principle.

    Sadly you can’t really do that.

    1. avatar Doktor says:

      Sure. Grab my gun and see what happens.

      Guns are objects, right?

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      It’s about the stuff.

      Dan says things can always be replaced

      Well. Dans wrong.

      What about a persons life savings? Can that be replaced? When they steal your shit – they are stealing money which you traded your time for. And stealing your time is stealing your life. Your time is finite and is an absolute precious commodity for which we all lose when we trade it for money.

      I personally know an individual that keeps his mountains of life savings in a tangible form well hidden but close to him. I guarantee that if someone was running off with just 10 years of his life savings he would blast their unarmed self in the back of the dome and that person would just end up as another picture on a milk carton or an empty case file covered in dust.

      This is why it is imperative that we as a people teach our kids and other peoples kids not to steal. Some things are not just “stuff.” They are our time. They are our life, and we traded our life for that. “That” being something that one could retire on, or to pay large medical bills at the end of life, or to pass on to children in need. What is that worth? It’s worth a lot – I’ll tell you that. And to many it is worth defending even if that means death.

      1. avatar David Walters says:

        I won’t shoot someone if they stole or damaged anything that was covered by insurance and was inanimate. So, take my truck if you must.

        But my 120 lb., intact, male, protection-trained German Shepherd Dog with immediate access to the driveway where the truck is parked day and night may feel differently about this than I do.

  2. avatar ADM says:

    Inanimate objects? A few hard drives with irreplaceable contents, maybe, if they were somehow also stealing the backups. Other than that? Pets, certainly. My instinct is to also say yes for my motorcycle, but after my gut reaction of “that motherfucker’s taking my bike” goes away, I’d hope to remember that I have theft insurance.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      So accessory to stealing from the insurance company (all it’s policy holders)? Insurance fraud?

  3. avatar Ddub says:

    I live in NC also, so no, jail/prison are not worth it.

    1. avatar Jake Rogers says:

      I also live in NC but if someone had any intention of taking or harming my dog Charlie I would not hesitate.

  4. avatar Bob says:

    Only things insurance or money can’t replace.

  5. avatar David says:

    Under normal circumstances, no, not for the sake of the stuff alone. Now, where I live, Castle Doctrine is a thing, so catching them in my house for whatever reason would probably end very poorly for them, as I am unlikely to question them as to their intentions. Also, it is illegal here to defend property with lethal force. And I question the morality of shooting someone over stuff. But every circumstance is different. Under SHTF conditions, where such stuff might carry more value, I.E. my family’s food, health etc, then I might see such theft in a very different light.

  6. avatar CueBaller says:

    I’d shoot to save my truck, assuming I’m in it at the time (carjacking), but I doubt that’s what you’re talking about here.

    Shoot to prevent the theft of something? Nope.

    That being said, my dogs are my family… and I would shoot to save them.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Have your story straight, or you will likely go to jail for it. For instance, “he was coming for me, my dog slowed him down long enough for me to shoot.” should do it, but “He was hurting my dog.” would not.

      1. avatar Ed Rogers says:

        My dog is always with me. Anybody going after him, is going after me. I would consider an advance as an attack, not a theft.

        Self defense.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Pretty sure that would do it.

        2. avatar C.S. says:

          Po-po dogs are po-po, isn’t that the precedent?

  7. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

    If it isn’t breathing then I wouldn’t shoot even after dark in Texas. There is one exception — if you are walking out the door with my guns I will use deadly force because those guns may end up taking a life down the road.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Your exception is interesting.

      My initial reaction is agreement. Upon further reflection, where do we draw the line? If they are stealing your car, they could use that as a deadly weapon to run-over and kill someone … as well as a multitude of other items to directly affect a violent crime. Would you use deadly force to stop someone from walking away with your baseball bat? Your kitchen knives? Your extension cord (which a criminal could easily use to strangle someone)?

      What tdiinva is touching upon is whether a genuine and righteous desire to prevent future violent crimes is a justifiable reason to use deadly force on a thief. (Of course such an argument assumes that almost all criminals will continue to commit crimes until something stops them … and I think that is an exceedingly fair assumption.) Great question.

      1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

        While a baseball bat or a car could be used to kill someone that is not its only use. A gum in the hands of a criminal will at a minimum be used to unlawfully ll intimidate someone and in many case kill or maim someone.

      2. avatar Defens says:

        In my state you can legally shoot to prevent the commission of a felony. For example, if you see someone dousing your neighbor’s house with gasoline, and a lighter at the ready – in theory you could shoot them.

        If you make the assumption that a robber most likely has prior felony convictions, then a felon in possession of your guns is committing a felony. In some states, they would also be taking possession of the guns without a proper background check, generally a misdemeanor for a first time offense. So – it’s a stretch – but stealing firearms is potentially a shootable offense. So would other felonies, like auto theft, grand theft, etc. It would be a pretty sketchy defense against any charges brought against the homeowner, though.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Check your local laws. In my state it is justifiable to use deadly force to stop the commission of a ‘forcible felony’. One of the criteria for classifying it as a forcible felony is that the perpetrator is armed with a fire arm during the commission of the crime. If he is stealing my fire arms he is therefore armed and I am justified in using deadly force (I would think). Incidentally it is a felony to knowingly buy or sell a stolen fire arm, but I could not find anywhere where it is a felony to actually steal a fire arm.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Hell, it’s not even a FELONY to illegally be present within the US! How moronic is that.

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          Arson! Albeit you seem to mention it in passing as a “property” crime, I think you have hit on just about the best edge case here.

          Suppose you observe someone about to commit arson; or, someone who has just committed arson. Maybe the building is occupied; maybe it is not. You are convinced, or have some belief, about its state of being occupied. You know, or have some belief, about the ability of occupants to escape the fire.

          If the crime of arson has not-yet occurred – it’s merely about to happen – and you know that the building is occupied by individual(s) who will be unable to escape, then it’s a case of defense-of-others. Conversely, if the arson has already occurred, then it’s deadly force on a fleeing felon.

          Arson is considered heinous – a particularly acute crime. Arguably, society can indulge the risk that a thief may escape identification, capture and prosecution; however, society can not indulge the same risk of an arsonist at large.

          (This thought – the risk to society that a criminal may escape identification, capture and prosecution – seems to be pertinent to use of deadly force on a fleeing criminal. Is a fleeing rapist in the same class as the fleeing robber? Is the risk of a subsequent victim of rape a greater threat to society than the risk of a subsequent victim of robbery?)

  8. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

    “Own” – Can’t immediately think of anything that warrants that level of effort. As noted, ‘things can be replaced’. The level of PITA for replacement may vary, but it can all be replaced eventually.

    While I don’t technically “own” them, protecting
    1. Kids
    2. Wife
    3. Close family and friends
    would warrant trigger pulls.

  9. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    honestly, in the here is your trail date sense, no.

    In the heat of the moment, catching a bullet while committing a crime is part and parcel of being a criminal. There should not be a penalty against someone defending their property and person.

  10. avatar Old Air Force says:

    Pets (fur children), guns, most inanimate objects if the thief has a weapon and threatens me, but other than that, no. BTW, in Texas where I live SOME crimes occurring at night warrant use of deadly force to prevent.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      If pets are “fur children”, does that mean children are “pets lacking fur”?

      Maybe I’m old-school, but I look at my pet (one cat) more like “soft cuddly indoor livestock that I don’t eat” than “fur children”.

      1. avatar Taylor TX says:

        Maybe its just a thing with you “cat people” 🙂

        My furry chilluns’ are definitely worth putting down a 2 legged varmint.

        1. avatar Art out West says:

          Of course my wife has a much different view of the cat than I do. I like the cat (low maintenance pet), while she loves the cat. Of course dogs actually love you (unlike cats), but they take a lot more work. I’m more of a “chicken man”. Chickens give you eggs, live (and poop) outside the house, and make a nice soup when they get old.

  11. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Um, yea, my guns. Try to take my guns and you’re going to find yourself on the wrong side of at least one of them.

    1. Armed robery by default. AOJP is fulfilled.

  12. avatar Nanashi says:

    Everything, the criminals will only commit more violent crimes if they get away unmolested, but Florida doesn’t let me.

  13. avatar JPD says:

    Let’s see. My motorcycle, guns, Rolling Stones collection, dirty socks……oh, wait……..

  14. avatar Binder says:

    He we go with TAG. The shooting took place on the North Carolina Barrier Islands at 4 pm in the afternoon (so the whole “under the house” need to be taken with a grain of salt). So TAG should be asking the question, if you see someone leaving your back yard in the afternoon, should you shoot them? I think you will be hard presses to get away with that even in Texas.

    Love this line, “”They were here to commit a criminal act and in my mind they admitted their guilt when they started running their car was in the other direction they had no business at this house,” Brewer said.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say. RF, wtf makes you think you could get away without arrest for shooting someone who is running away and does not have your property with him? That does not match up with any TX law that I know about!

      1. avatar paul says:

        That was my first thought when reading the account of this shooting. I’m not sure that I understand why she left her house in the first place but I really don’t understand shooting at someone who is fleeing with or without your stuff (guns exempted) as they pose no imminent threat.

        1. avatar Binder says:

          From her comments she shot them because they ran.

  15. avatar gargoil says:

    not really no. but then again, i don’t own anything extravagant, antique, or rare by any means. now if i was a farmer or something, i would definitely shoot someone for stealing cattle/livestock because thats their literal livelihood.

  16. avatar FlamencoD says:

    I don’t own anything inanimate that is worth taking a life for if someone is fleeing with my stuff – even a thug’s life. Not even the electric guitar my father just hand built and gifted to me this past summer, or my hand made flamenco guitar, or my Gibson Les Paul, or…you get the picture. Those are valuable items but not worth taking a life for. The potential legal issues (even in a good shoot) and potential for PTSD is not worth an inanimate object. Note that this assumes the thief is actively fleeing and running away with said items outside of my house. As others have said, if they are inside my house, then that’s a different story, because there is a potential for them to get violent, and I won’t have that. But at that point I’m not defending against them taking my “stuff”, I’m defending against violence. Same goes for a robbery out on the street – I wouldn’t be defending my “stuff”, I’d be defending against the potential for them to inflict violence on me or a loved one.

    Obviously when it comes to someone taking my wife or kids, all bets are off and I will defend them vigorously and by any means necessary anywhere. That goes without saying for all of us.

    That said, I wouldn’t shoot someone if they were running away with my cat (or dog, if I owned one) – in the grand scheme of things, they are just animals.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You can look at that pic above and say that is “just an animal”? You’re not human!

      1. avatar FlamencoD says:

        He’s cute. But, admittedly, I’m not a dog person, so, that probably affects my thinking. But yeah, a dog, while part of the family, is just an animal, and I wouldn’t kill for one. Obviously, most people who own dogs feel differently about that fact and believe they are somehow part human or as important as a human family member (they are important, I know, but not as important as a human family member in the grand scheme of things). I would instead hope that the cops could find the perp and get my dog back safely. Again, this is assuming the perp is running away and already outside of my house. Like I said, all bets are off if they are inside the house because of the potential for violence against me or a loved one.

        1. avatar paul says:

          If my dog allowed itself to be taken away by a guy on foot, I’m not sure I want him back!

        2. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

          As important as a human family member? For the vast majority of dog owners, probably not. As important as criminal who chose to break into your house to harm your dog? That’s a different calculation. Though, putting moral arguments aside and sticking to legal arguments, I think pets are legally property in all states.

        3. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

          Most dogs will give their lives for you so yes, I feel I owe my dogs reciprocity.

        4. avatar FlamencoD says:

          Old Ben – Sorry, I should have said “nearly as important as a human family member”. I think that is probably true for many dog owners. Don’t get me wrong, I know dogs are important to families. But, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone refer to their dog as their “children”, I’d have a few more really nice guns. Nearly every person I’ve heard say that doesn’t have actually have kids so they don’t realize the love for a child will far exceed the love for a dog. I usually roll my eyes (internally, of course) when I hear someone refer to their dog as their child. It’s simple really – would they die for their dog? No, they wouldn’t. Ask them if they’d die to save their child’s life (after they have kids), and the answer is (usually) yes. It’s not really their fault, it’s just they can’t comprehend the depth of love they would have for a child, so they compare it (wrongly) to the love for their dog and think it’s comparable. It’s silly to me when people equate a love for a dog to the love for a child, but then again, I have kids so I know there’s really no comparison.

        5. avatar FlamencoD says:

          tdiinva – are you saying you would die for your dogs? Or were you saying you would take someone’s life for your dogs? I think I understand that latter point as humans get pretty attached to their pets, but I personally wouldn’t kill a human only for an animal.

          Paul – ha! I see your point.

        6. avatar CueBaller says:

          FlamencoD said: It’s simple really – would they die for their dog? No, they wouldn’t.

          I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen news reports of people risking their lives to save an animal which was caught up in a flash flood, fell through a frozen lake, still inside a burning house, etc.

          Your “grand scheme” is not necessarily the same as another’s, and while you may not risk your life to save an animal, there are plenty who would (and have).

        7. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

          I am saying I will defend my dogs just as they would defend me.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      The thugs are not taking your “stuff” but rather your life’s time which is not replaceable.

    3. avatar marco says:

      False (or incomplete) equivalence below. Maybe a dog is not the same as a child, but there’s plenty of people I wouldn’t die for that I’d shoot someone for. So it is a different calculation than “is it like a child or not” but “is it like someone I would shoot a bad guy over”. For most dog owners, the answer is yes, because they like their dog, and don’t like criminals. Simple balance there TBH. Also, having rescued some dogs, I know exactly how bad evil owners can screw up dogs. To hell with them. Literally. With a hail of lead.

  17. avatar former water walker says:

    I would shoot in a heartbeat for my wife and kids(and grandkids who live far away). Just being on my property? I’d be killing every day?

  18. avatar Ian in Transit says:

    Anything in the room behind me or a family member. If they have decided to come through armed residents to get it I have no misgivings their criminal activity will stop once they are in a room with my teenage daughter and
    have already claimed my possessions. If they want the TV and all that mess from the front rooms good luck to them beating the arrival of the police. That’s what cameras and insurance are for.

  19. avatar Shire-man says:

    Just the dogs and anything that happens to be on my person at the moment somebody decides they want to try and take it.

  20. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    you rent beer, so no. i would however be far less surly if they left me one at least.
    if someone was relieving me of my edc i would act to prevent this. but not for the value.

  21. avatar EJQ says:

    No, not inanimate objects. In fact, right now, there’s a big box Sony T.V. laying in the family room floor. That would trip a robber up, and definitely cause bodily harm. It still works, and another brand huge T.V. in a closet upstairs. None of us wants to get hurt moving them at the moment. Might excuse someone with a strong enough back to take those and throw in the flat screen. Small, easy to carry flat screen.

    The bedroom doors have locks, and in each bedroom, there’s an armed shooter. The homeowner’s insurance is on auto-pay, so it’s in force.

    Daughter is in an apartment complex that has been robbed. Her bedroom door has a lock on it, too. She has a twenty year old’s typical attachment to her “stuff” She will be armed in April, when she turns 21. I really pity the fool who breaks into her place, if caught.

    1. avatar Vanbulance says:

      States vary, but perhaps look into your laws- here in Indiana, you can own a handgun at 19 (maybe 18, I wasn’t here at that age so not sure). Actually, you can even get your license to carry (just can’t buy from a dealer with NICS until 21)- point being, she can potentially be armed now, and wait til April to start the carry process.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Van, that is exactly the kind of info that TTAG was started for, disseminating important info that not everyone knows.

  22. avatar YAR0892 says:

    It sounds like most responses to this are predicated on the assumption the owner catches thieves in the act or at least on the front end of the home invasion. From the abstract above, it sounds more likely the reason she was arrested was that she engaged fleeing subjects, not those caught in the act. That being said, assuming I’m on the front end of the assault, castle doctrine applies and an unwarranted/threatening presence deserves a hostile response. Don’t engage fleeing subjects, those in the act of attacking are a different story.

  23. avatar Joe R. says:



    Shoot the MF and let everyone know that they claimed to be heading over to the home of anyone who protests.



  24. avatar Dale says:

    I don’t buy into the premise of this article. Asking if you can or should defend your “stuff” is stupid. If you can’t defend it then it isn’t really yours now is it? I’ve had to work a lot of hours and burn up a significant portion of my lifespan to trade for the things I own. Nobody is going to replace that time so I tend to value my “stuff” pretty highly and I don’t have much sympathy for a criminals poor life choices.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      In other words, you traded pieces of your life for money, and traded that money for stuff, because that stuff was worth more than the portion of your life you bargained away to acquire it?

      Not an entirely bad point to make, but as always, never talk to law enforcement other than to demand legal representation.

  25. avatar Ironhead says:

    Touch my family… including my dog… things will not end well for you. Otherwise no. I have insurance.

  26. avatar Ben says:

    My guns, as they are important tools for defense and hunting and the thieves become more of a threat with them. Also, my truck as that is a means to my livelihood.

    When robbers get taken out the gene pool the future gets brighter.

  27. avatar jwtaylor says:

    As a little background, that guitar is the only thing I have from my father, a birthday gift from when I was 5. It also contains his ashes. It is irreplaceable, and more meaningful to me than the thief’s life. And to clarify, I didn’t just say I would shoot the person, I said I would kill them, and probably anyone around them. And I’d do the time for it.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      You live on a goat ranch, right? Shoot, shovel, shut up comes to mind.

      Lot of problems got buried in them hills back home.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Shovel? Please. I own a backhoe.

  28. avatar Kendahl says:

    Unless someone is an imminent threat to life and health, there is no justification for shooting them. (Texas is something of an exception but only at night.) Two thieves running away aren’t a threat.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Disagree, completely. We decide these things by majority rule, and I concede that, in most places, your opinion is honored and mine is not. But for probably 99% of human existence, you try to steal my shit, and I will kill you. Kept the criminal class from conquering the world. What do you think happened to the guy who stole a milk cow, 5000 years ago? But we now know better than a million years of experience. I hope that is correct, but so far I am seeing no proof.

      OTOH, if you have to shoot someone in TX, just let them bleed until sundown.

    2. avatar TX_Lawyer says: It only has to be night for theft and criminal mischief (out of the crimes listed). Criminal mischief is a Class C misdemeanor by the way. That part of the law is pretty crazy.

  29. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    About 30 years ago a massive ice storm hit a big swath of northeast America and took down a lot of power lines. People were without power for weeks, and the retail inventory of generators disappeared.

    In that scenario, if someone tried to steal my generator or my vehicle, they would risk being perforated if they refused to comply with my commands.

  30. avatar More Dead Soldiers says:

    Any responses here predicated by the shootee not being a cop? As we all know cops are enthusiastic dog-killers and prolific thieves (even though they call it civil forfeiture).

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      If one came onto my property unannounced and shot a friendly 10lb dog, I’d assume I was next and respond accordingly, but that’s just self defense.

      1. avatar More Dead Soldiers says:

        “If one came onto my property unannounced and shot a friendly 10lb dog”

        Just following procedure, brah.

  31. avatar Justin says:

    About the only physical possession I would take the shot for is my firearms. Not because they can’t be replaced or any great sentimental value but because they would likely be used in further crimes against other people. it also increases the threat level of the perp to the point that lethal force would be appropriate.

    I’d likely have a nice long court battle after the fact but it would be worth it to keep my weapons from hurting innocent people.

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      That’s a good point – and something one hopes cops and DAs would appreciate.

  32. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    I can’t think of any except maybe weapons if I have reason to suspect that they will be used to harm someone in a short time frame.

  33. avatar Lanny says:

    Sure. A 12 lb. Miniature Pinscher. She’s my “kid”. Other than her, nothing is that valuable to me.

  34. avatar Bill says:

    I trained my dogs to attack. So, yeah, I’d pretend I just didn’t notice them eating the SOB. You break into a house with 4 pits and 5 GSD that’s what happens. You gonna learn today.

  35. avatar MLee says:

    Damn right there is!! Following that is NOT TALKING TO COPS other than I had fear for my safety and I want a lawyer.

  36. avatar Klaus says:

    My lucky socks.

  37. avatar Does it matter says:

    Yes I do have things that I would shoot someone to keep. For example, my life, my girlfriends life, I’d shoot someone trying to rape and murder someone. Let’s see yup that’s it. I have my fire arm to protect myself or anyone trying to hurt or threaten anyone’s life. It’s not to protect my wallet. Not to protect my tv or car. It’s to protect life. Criminals don’t care about laws. Obviously if people are being murdered in places guns are illegal, that proves that. And if you disagree, you are blind to the evils of reality.

  38. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Stuff doesn’t just mean toys or other frivolous belongings. Your car, on the side of a desolate, snowy road, may be covered by insurance (assuming you have full coverage and aren’t upside down), but you may freeze to death before filing that claim.

    In a post-natural disaster scenario, that gas generator worth a few hundred bucks may be all that is keeping your life saving medication at its necessary refrigerated temperature.

    If you’re a mechanic or machinist, that expensive set of tools you’ve spent years accumulating is essentially your family’s livelihood, as many shops require workers to furnish their own tools.

    The linkage between stuff and life may not be as separable and repairable as at first thought. If someone’s making off with your lawn jockey or garden gnome, well, maybe you hold your fire and just wait by the mailbox for the hilarious photos to roll in from his future travels. In other cases, you shoot to stop the theft.

  39. avatar Paul Hurst says:

    Wrong Question. The correct question is:

    Is there anything I have YOU are willing to die trying to take?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      And the answer is clearly “Yup, everything you own, plus a good time with your girlfiend!” We have the entire concept turned completely around, so that it no longer makes a bit of sense. Criminal vs good guy. Criminal dead, oh, well. Good guy dead, yo ass goin’ down. Used to be like that, if you chose to be a bleeding heart you could stand by while a few invaders had a good time with your wife and daughters, then stole everything you owned, otherwise you could blast them to kingdom come, no problem, maybe you get a medal. Our society’s priorities are currently irrational.

  40. avatar Jiz says:

    Depends on the scenario really. Stuff can be replaced. I may not want to go through the legal trouble for just “stuff”. Unless you advance on me then I’m gonna defend myself and my property.

    But if a bad guy goes after my family or my cat, I’ll empty my magazine of “Controlled Chaos” on his face. **Lord, thank you for the fine people at Lehigh Defense and their lovely ammunition, also thank you for the blessings of full (standard round) magazines and the freedom to own them. Please protect the people stuck behind enemy lines and restore their rights as soon as possible. Amen**

    Yea I admit it, I’m a crazy cat lady. There I said it.

  41. avatar George says:

    Not over STUFF. To protect family yes.

  42. avatar strych9 says:

    Generally speaking if you’re out breaking in to places that you don’t own I figure you’re playing dice and betting your life that you win. I’m not a fan of the death penalty but if you get killed while in the act of committing your crime… well maybe you shouldn’t have been committing whatever crime you were committing hmmm?

    That said, generally shooting someone who’s fleeing is something I consider a no-no. Of course if they’re shooting at you as they’re fleeing or trying to… well, go right ahead drop that motherfucker.

    When it comes to burglary/theft the only thing I would kill/seriously harm someone for stealing is a firearm and only if I caught them taking it. The reason being that what they’ve stolen can be used to harm other people with relative ease. The same can’t be said of my socket set no matter how much it cost me. I’d be pissed about the latter but that’s why I have insurance, a security system, cameras and why we have a legal system.

    Now, on the other hand, if you fuck with my wife or dogs be advised that you probably forfeit your life for doing so. Also be advised that I’m the sort of person who will hold a grudge over that sort of thing and might just return the favor by doing something to your family. This applies equally to home invaders and cops with the wrong address too. You’ve crossed a serious line and you should expect serious consequences for your actions. “We got the wrong address” isn’t an excuse. It’s an explanation of your fuckup. You did indeed pick the wrong address and you’re likely going to pay a very dear price for having done so.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      “The same can’t be said of my socket set no matter how much it cost me”

      I think that is a perfectly rational attitude, and should be your choice. OTOH, I wonder who the flaming hell pretends to have authority to make that decision for ME! If I have made my decision to cash out all my investments and sink my family’s entire net worth into gold, then face a robber with a knife on the way home to put that gold in my safe, FUCK you and your rules, I am going to shoot him!

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I am unaware of any state where a guy with a knife who’s actively trying to rob you isn’t fair game.

        There’s probably some commie state where you have to retreat or some shit but I am not aware of it.

        As I said, during the course of the actual crime I think the guy is fair game for getting shot full of holes.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          The problem here is a conflation of the risk of loss of property with the risk of life/limb while defending property. Generally, if you are in the process of being robbed it is a fair presumption that the robber is threatening your life/limb in order to persuade you to part with your property. Further, there is a fair presumption that the robber will carry out the threat even if you promptly convey your property. Thus, lethal force against a robber IS justified by defense of LIFE/LIMB, NOT by defense of property.

          As an exercise into the defense of property question, consider the following hypothetical scenario. A gang of retired NFL linemen (anonymously) publishes a plan of action to engage in “strong-arm” robbery. While masking their faces, they will surround a victim and take his property yet promise NOT to endanger his life/limb. The victim will be restrained; perhaps bruised. He will survive with NO permanent damage to his body. After adequate public notice of this plan, the gang accosts armed couriers delivering cash or jewelry to/from clients.

          Could/should society indulge such a criminal scheme with the protection of law? I.e., shall we forbid the armed courier to use lethal force to protect his clients’ money/property?

          Clearly, only property is involved. It’s insured; albeit the courier’s insurance premiums will be affected; the cost will be passed through his clients to their customers. Clearly, the gang of retired NFL linemen can part the courier from the property in his custody with NO PLAUSIBLE threat to his life/limb; so, the reasonable presumption of defense of life/limb is removed from the (hypothesized) scenario.

          What would it mean to society’s regime of applying the rule-of-law to protection of property if society chooses to indulge such a criminal scheme?

          Once society decides that the life of one robber trumps any value of money/property, our entire regime of defense of property is jeopardized. Every shopkeeper, every cashier, must refrain from use of lethal force in the face of a strong armed property. At trial, the victim will have to make a persuasive case that she had a reasonable basis to fear for her life/limb from an ostensible “strong-arm” robber. Absent testimony/evidence that the robber brandished a weapon her prosecutor could prevail in convincing her jury that she shot the “unarmed” robber merely out of fear of being restrained or bruised. What would be left of the “reasonable presumption” that the robber is threatening the victim’s life/limb?

          Conversely, if society decides that the defense of any property whatsoever justifies use of lethal force then a shopkeeper could shot a child stealing an apple.

          Some solution – between these two extremes – needs to be found.

  43. avatar Joseph says:

    “Stuff” is not usually worth taking someone’s life, even though it’s legal in Texas. However, if you are in, or trying to get into, my house illegally I don’t care what your intention is…you gonna break out in holes.

  44. avatar S.CROCK says:

    No, I would only shoot to save a life. Not worth having that on my conscience or the risk of the legal ramifications just to save stuff.

  45. avatar Billy says:

    One can also reasonably assume, that someone breaking into their house in the night is there to kill or rape, instead of steal. Remember, real burglars break in during the day when your at work. If someone is comming in at night, they’re probably there for you, and your stuff is just a bonus.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Today, one can “reasonably assume” that scumbags will come for your stuff when they are running short on drugs, whether that is day or night they will not even know.

  46. avatar Skootr says:

    The only items I own that I might shoot someone over would be if they were stealing some of my other guns. I figure if they are stealing my guns, they are likely to be using them on someone else, or selling them to someone who would and I see it as my duty to make sure that doesn’t happen with my firearms.

  47. avatar Pyratemime says:

    When it comes to things I would only shoot to prevent the loss of those items tied to my livelihood, my security, or a few heirlooms (IE my grandfathers purple heart).

    In terms of livelihood if your theft will cause disruption to my ability to earn a living and maintain the care and feeding on my family I will not accept the loss without dispute.

    In terms of my security the theft of my firearms and to a lesser extent my dogs. Anything that decreases our immediate ability to protect me and mine.

    In terms of family heirlooms quite frankly it is because $#&+! you. They have no financial value and will probably end up in the trash. This is emotional and not rational.

  48. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    If it were legal, I’d shoot a fleeing thief without regret. I don’t care how easily I can replace my TV. It’s not about the stuff, it’s the damage that thieves do to civil society. Thieves should feel like they are taking their lives in their hands when they engage in their trade.

    1. ^THIS

      It’s the “principle”, what’s MINE is MINE!

      The rule should be:

      If you’re a criminal and want my/our stuff whether it be a toothpick, wedding ring or guitar you better be prepared to pay with your life. If it was that simple “property crime” rates would plummet.

  49. avatar Marcus says:

    In a rational America… we still have, at least on paper, the Right of private ownership of property. That implies the right to control the disposition of said property. If we can prevent the unauthorized taking of the property then we have no property rights. Therefore we have the Right to defend our possessions.

    If a criminal in a failed attempt to dispossess of that is fleeing, it is safe to assume there will be other future attempts to violate the Rights of others in the future. In my world, if I ruled it, shooting the bastards is, ultimately, protecting an innocent unknown.

  50. avatar Ralph says:

    Do You Own Anything You’d Shoot Someone to Save?

    That’s complicated. If the BG was coming toward my stuff, the answer is yes. If he was running away, the answer is no. Unless he was running away with one of my animals, in which case he’d be demanding to get shot.

  51. avatar Frank in VA says:

    I guess that’ll teach that kid not to take his boyfriend under a neighbor’s house for a late night rendezvous.

  52. avatar LarryinTX says:

    It really is simple. Guy has raped, robbed, burgled, whatever, as he leaves you draw a bead on him, it should be YOUR decision whether to cap the SOB or not, who else is involved? He is the aggressor, you are blameless (so far), you think his crime does not deserve death, then hold your fire. Could it get any easier? Who decided to pass a law on the subject? *ALL* such laws are designed to control subjects, not to enable citizens.

  53. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I dont know what Id do in certain situations.
    Dont force me to find out what and all will be fine.

  54. avatar Matt in Tx says:

    If I have something you really need, just ask and I will give it to you if I can. But if you are too stupid or too drugged up or too lazy to work for a living and break into my house or property to steal. I will shoot you.

  55. avatar Erasmus says:

    “Do You Own Anything You’d Shoot Someone to Save?”

    Yes, my wife.

  56. avatar neiowa says:

    Really? Two days ago it was the other side of the coin.

    “No one with a pair would surrender his wealth/property to a armed robber”. “It he was armed, Prima facie evidence that is a likely murderer (of you)”.

    Somehow something changes when the thug is in your freaking HOME rather than behind you at 7-11?

  57. avatar adverse4 says:

    Take my wife……..please.

  58. avatar Shwiggie says:

    If the crook’s not coming or going after someone, no, I don’t shoot them. Not necessarily because I have any overwhelming respect for the lives of scum-suckers, but because I’ve been in jail to do presentations before, and that’s closer than I ever want to be to having to live there. I might and likely would desperately wish that someone would plug them somewhere along the way, preferably before my stuff was fenced or abused beyond desire for its return, but I’m not going to do it unless someone’s under actual physical threat.

  59. avatar IN Dave says:

    I would definitely shoot to save my dog, but I wouldn’t kill the person. I would just wound them and make them take my wife’s dog as they left.

  60. avatar Anonymous says:

    Dan says things can always be replaced

    What about a persons life savings? Can that be replaced? When they steal your shit – they are stealing money which you traded your time for. And stealing your time is stealing your life. Your time is finite and is an absolute precious commodity for which we all lose when we trade it for money.

    So Dan is mistaken.

  61. avatar Retro says:

    Furry pets, guns (makes it an armed robbery), drugs if I were a diabetic, for example.

    Can I fire a warning shot really near them?

  62. avatar M2AP says:

    What about all those small business owners during the riots? Their businesses aren’t “just stuff”, but their livelihoods and life savings.

  63. avatar jmf552 says:

    People here can shoot someone for any reason they want. But shooting someone for property is illegal in most states and immoral as far as I’m concerned. Are we going to start letting shopkeepers shoot kids for stealing candy? Where do we draw the line as to what dollar value or sentimentality a life is worth? I will never shoot anyone over property. I will never shoot anyone who is not presenting an imminent threat of grave bodily harm to me or my famility. My choice.

    I would stand in front of my business with a shotgun during a riot, but I would only shoot if they were coming at me to get to the business. Then I am under threat.

  64. avatar I1ULUZ says:

    Good luck finding 12 registered voters for the jury who will think she is guilty on the OBX.

  65. avatar Phil LA says:

    Thief today, rapist/murderer tomorrow.

  66. avatar Rifleman says:

    The question shouldn’t be for the owner of the property. It should be for the criminal. “Is it worth getting shot for stealing this TV?”

    If that was the case we would probably have less crime.

  67. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    No that would be illegal, as well as immoral. I have home insurance to replace anything I’ve lost.
    I’ve got some stuff that has sentimental value but I wouldn’t kill anyone over it.

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