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This is not the first time I’m advising armed Americans to hang fire on a ballistic response to bad guys stealing stuff. Previously on Who Wants to Die if They Don’t Have To, I’ve suggested giving your stuff to bad guys might be preferable to starting a gun fight. [Note: “might.”] I’ve also issued several alerts on the whole getting shot by the cops front. Happened just the other day to a liquor store owner. And if that’s not enough to make you stay indoors when bad guys are out there, somewhere, stealing stuff, how about getting shot by a neighbor? True story. And here’s something else to think about: what if you were the well-intentioned neighbor shooting the semi-naked neighbor who’s not the bad guy? That would be . . . embarrassing. Expensive. And easily avoidable. In short, don’t shoot anyone unless you know the whole story. Be sure of your target, ’cause death, injury, incarceration and/or financial disaster could be right behind it.

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  1. Well, I suppose I’ll extol the virtues of small town living again. When I see a neighbor in his underwear with a gun I figure he needs some help in a pretty bad way and I don’t mean of the clinical type. Also, I know all my neighbors so assuming I don’t know the person he’s chasing I’m closing in pretty quick on who’s the troublemaker.

    Interesting case in point that I posted here some months back: I actually have seen my nearest neighbor in his underwear, outdoors, packing a .45.

    We both thought someone was breaking into his truck and I was already outside to see what all the noise was about when he came out sans trousers to investigate. We managed to not shoot one another and after a hasty retreat for appropriate clothing (which I covered) he returned and we examined the truck in question, discovering an electrical problem was setting the alarm off.

    Every situation is different and almost anything can happen but observe-respond occurs in that order since respond-observe will often lead to serious mistakes. Maybe I’m just naturally lucky but it seems to me that most people hesitate before shooting at humanoid shapes and that saves them more often than it gets them killed.

  2. Additional thoughts: Practice communicating under stress.

    You get two for one on this exercise; stress inoculation, so that you can control stress in critical moments and actually think, and you learn to keep communicating with others BGs, other responders and bystanders alike. Learning to express what you want to happen verbally without having to think about it and while under stress can save lives, maybe yours.

    In this case what was wanted was help and not a fight and so “Don’t shoot me! I’m your neighbor! I need help!” Might have worked.

    I think it was just yesterday I commented on how living in an environment where it’s more likely the person you’re dealing with is armed than not creates some interesting behavior, such as acknowledging people and announcing yourself so as not to startle them.

    Having a gun might be the first rule of winning a gun fight but it’s not nearly enough to tip the odds in your favor, it’s just makes sure you’re both playing the same sport. It doesn’t mean that you’re in the same ballpark or even the same league. This sounds like peewee league ball to me, unfortunate but inevitable in such a populous country.

    Rather than the authors admonition not to interfere with criminal activity I suggest realistically assessing your skill set before attempting such interference. If the whole skill set is “I have a gun” better to stick to the defensive.

  3. The Robert Farago way of life appears to be hiding from the bad guys because of the fear that they (or some other idiot) may get you!

    Since we won’t be doing any fighting or standing up for our rights maybe we could all be in a choir together:

  4. What’s mine is mine. I earned it and have every right to protect it. Those trying to take it will be confronted and drawn upon. Either they cease and lay down till the cops get there, they run in which case I will not fire or they get aggressive towards me and may get shot.

  5. Robert, I applaud you. Unlike some of my fellow readers who bluster and swagger and feel they need to draw a line in the sand and show that they’re “real men” at every provocation, you take the common sense approach that not everything you see requires direct action by you. There are a very narrow set of circumstances that keep you on the right side of things when considering whether and when to deploy your gun or any other weapon or self-defense technique in defense of either yourself or others. Knowing and understanding those limitations will keep you out of trouble and out of the headlines.

  6. Plus one RF. Dying for your $hit is not a good reason to die. Unless a perp directly threatens me or my family or enters my home they can have my stuff. Insurance is for theft. Gunfire is for legal self defense.

  7. “Insurance is for theft. Gunfire is for legal self defense.”

    If you’re in my home taking my stuff you’ve already murdered my dogs= They are family= my life is in imminent danger as well= you die.

    You don’t need a 5 lb. hammer for trim nails so choose the right tool(or action) for the job. Sometimes the little details make a BIG difference….. Justifiably speaking of course.


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