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By Brandon via

William McKinley awoke early Saturday morning to his dogs barking at something outside. He never came back from his investigation. McKinley was found in his driveway with multiple stab wounds. Police theorize that McKinley went outside and confronted two suspects who broke into his car. Valerie McKinley says her dad owned a gun and had a concealed carry permit.

Apparently, though, he didn’t have it with him when he went outside to investigate early Saturday. “It doesn’t seem like he knew there was any danger,” she said. “I don’t get it. I know if he saw someone out there he wouldn’t have come out unarmed.”

His daughter brings up an important topic that I push on a regular basis; carry, carry, carry.

While I hate using a real-life tragedy such as this to nail home the point, it’s exactly the reason why I feel so strongly about carrying at home. More importantly, carrying all the time and not only when you think you might need your firearm.

No one ever knows what will happen until it’s too late. Don’t be that person.

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  1. Why would someone go outside in the dark, even armed? Am I just too fearful? I would have turned on all the lights, inside and out. Then looked out windows. If I saw something, I would retreat to my defensive position and phone 911. If I didn’t see something, but still believed someone was prowling, I would retreat to my defensive position and call 911.

    • Be ready for the commandos to start attacking you for being prudent. I said basically the same thing a while back on here and Oh Boy! There are going to be about a hundred replies to this about how they would have rushed out and shot the property thieves special ops style.

    • That’s what a good flashlight and a pistol on your belt (assuming you were wearing one) were for….or better yet, a good light mounted on a 12 gauge…..

      • Why would I go outside? Even with a dozen guns and lights? My understanding is I may defend my home from inside, but once outside a person becomes the aggressor or at least risks being relieved of the castle doctrine. I think I wouldn’t care what it outside, so long as it doesn’t come inside. Property can be replaces, but inside my house is my life and my family, who are irreplaceable.

        • “My understanding is I may defend my home from inside, but once outside a person becomes the aggressor or at least risks being relieved of the castle doctrine.”

          That depends on what jurisdiction you are in.

          Ask a qualified attorney where you are, don’t trust a keyboard commando.

          As far as I’m concerned, your initial instinct to stay the hell inside sounds like the wisest and safest move.

          • In my concealed carry class, the cop teaching stated that once you go outside, the threat isn’t imminent any more (if it ever was). That means if you go outside, you are “hunting”, as deadly force in defense of simple property is not authorized. Therefore, if you go outside, you are “provoking” a possible deadly incident, because if you had not gone outside, the prowler might have gone away, or only taken convenient objects in the yard or drive. He did not say that a person would be convicted of being the aggressor, but the cops might just decide to let you sit in “the cooler” until the detectives and prosecutors sort it out. Oh, any you will lose your firearms, all of them.

            Convinced me to remain inside the castle.

        • The LEO’s comment, that the “threat wasn’t immanent anymore” if you go outside, doesn’t make sense. The Castle Doctrine doesn’t (in states I’m familiar with) make a threat immanent. You aren’t worse off for investigating what sounds like an intruder breaking into your car, for example. If there is a robber outdoors, and he confronts you with apparent ability and immanent intent to grievously injure you, you have the right (again, in states I’m familiar with) to use deadly force in your defense.

          I would not, of course, counsel going outdoors if it wasn’t necessary. I’m simply critiquing the LEO’s language. Better would be to point out that once you go out of doors armed, the existence of a Stand Your Ground law (in case or statutory law) becomes a key issue.

          • The thrust of the LEO’s comment was that the castle doctrine only applies inside the home, else it is general self-defense. A person who is outside and faced with deadly threat that person did not instigate, then self-defense it is. If “hunting” for a potential criminal, that encroaches on law enforcement, and not only is not castle doctrine, it is non self-defense because a “hunter” is by definition an aggressor. (trying to condense 3hrs of classroom here). While in a trial the jury may not find the “hunting” homeowner guilty, you have no better than 50-50 chance of not being arrested and losing your firearms. According to the instructor, crimes against property (external) do not constitute an imminent deadly threat, ever. The prosecution theory is you went looking for trouble with intent to do harm. I think his point was you will face greater loss going outside than just your stuff.

        • AnyMouse, what kind of commie cops do you have in your state? In Mississippi Castle Doctrine applies to everything from your house to a tent. If you’re sleeping in it you have a right to defend it. Your vehicle is also considered an extension of your home and the statute specifically says you can defend it with deadly force. We also have a pretty good stand your ground law. It basically says if someone is committing a felony you can use deadly force to stop them. Hell a few years back a store clerk killed a guy for stealing a case of beer in our most anti-gun city (Jackson) and was found not guilty.

          • Apparently the force is with you. Not so much everywhere else. Let us say my state is greatly influenced by New York and California liberals. While I cannot claim to be a law expert, I do know that even with the castle doctrine, and a version of stand your ground (which excludes “hunting” law breakers), there is much independence among LE and District Attorneys. We have seen examples of DAs who boast that regardless of the laws, you will be prosecuted for using a firearm in self-defense, a means of discouraging gun ownership. The choice to stay alive trumps the DAs, but liability insurance is a must have, including for accidents and intentional lawful use. Apparently, it wasn’t always this way.

        • If it is possible to do in your neck of Americana you are dwelling , as it is in mine , here is a simple suggestion to take care of most nighttime snoopers and thieves that I have used on numerous occasions .
          Set up a simple bullet catch target with a solar light to light it . Mine is two square bales of straw in front of a stacked wall of solid concrete blocks and a simple silhouette target stuck to the front , changed fairly often because of weathering . Make sure there is nothing behind the target of coarse , like a neighbors house or property of any kind , and that you can acquire the target easily from an open door or window and when any unfriendly is rude enough to disturb your leisure , unload your loudest Gatling you have into it . It is also recommended you take an extra magazine or loaded pistol with you too . I like to use my PMR 30 for my Gatling and my Ruger SR9c as my backup . I used to use my AR as the Gatling but after acquiring my first PMR . I have no better fire breather in my arsenal and it’s probably louder than my 45 cal. , will cost you about $10.00 but It has gotten me through two encounters without a hitch .
          I realize a lot of people , probably most , live in neighborhoods or areas where this isn’t legal or practical so that’s a bummer , but it works at my house plus you get a little low light training .

    • I wouldn’t turn on the lights inside, I wouldn’t want potential bad guy to know my location. I don’t go rushing outside, and I try not to be out and about in the dark unless the wife’s dog has to go outside. Even then I have the BG380 in the pocket.

      • I understand. Guess I was thinking about it being really late at night. Yes, I would go outside to smother the BBQ, bring in the party food, that sort of thing. Good idea to take a weapon, even early.

      • I didn’t understand the turn on the inside lights either. I want it lit up outside and dark inside. Better night vision for me and who knows the inside of my home better than me?

        • Guess I was thinking that turning lights on inside would signal prowlers that the house wasn’t empty, and maybe not a good place to be right then. Turning on the outside lights after would further demonstrate the home is occupied, and darkness on the outside was denied them. All in the effort to have trouble beat a hasty retreat. After seeing comments here, turning on only the outside lights seems a better idea.

      • Being a former nuker, I get that. But seriously, what could I gain by being separated from my defensive position and family?

    • @ AnyMouse
      I agree. I home carry and am pretty heavily armed but very little good is going to come out of going out to confront suspects at night. Even if you prevail and shot and killed the guys, you’re going to go through hell and the cops are going to take your guns while it’s “reviewed”
      I have cameras, dogs, and 1300 watts of motion lights, a 500 watt and each side of the garage door with a sensor and another sensor at the other end of the house with 300 more watts and then another light I can turn on with another 300 watts. I can really light up the front of my place. I also have an AK47 with a Surefire 300 Ultra and I STILL wouldn’t go out and confront someone. Screw that, turn on lights, yell at them, point the damn rifle out the window, but unless it’s life or death, like they are stabbing my neighbor, I’m not confronting someone. Now if they are inside my home, which would be a neat trick with four big dogs, or kick the front door in, different story, they die.
      There is a time and place to be a commando and every place and every time isn’t it.
      The purpose of self defense is…well, SELF DEFENSE, not self offense.

      • ^ This. So much better (and way cheaper) to spend money on lights, motion detectors and cameras, heavy duty front and back doors, etc. than lawyers.

    • AnyMouse,

      I see nothing whatsoever to criticize in your analysis.

      I think it is exceedingly foolish to go outside to confront an unknown disturbance when you have no idea who or what has alarmed the dogs, where that “who or what” is, how many “whos or whats” are there, and what capabilities/weapons the “whos or whats” have.

      Furthermore, the last thing in the world I ever want to do is leave a good defensive position with cover/concealment and EXPOSE myself to an unknown threat who then has the advantage of cover/concealment AND the element of surprise. Anyone who thinks that is a good idea is playing with fire.

      • For awhile there, I was thinking I really was a mouse. Appreciate all who agreed I wasn’t being foolish.

      • You’ve hit all the good points here. I would only add that if the outside disturbance was sufficient to attract the resident’s attention, then it may have attracted a neighbor’s attention, too. That neighbor may have called the police already, who arrives to find the original resident skulking around in the dark. That’s fertile ground for deadly misunderstandings.

        There was a Dallas case from last year, which I believe TTAG covered, wherein a homeowner was killed by a responding officer unaware that they were each seeking the same prowler.

      • I have never in my life confronted an actual problem, but if I had called the cops (would have started before 911 came into being) every time I was concerned about something outside my home, they would have ceased responding around 50 years ago. If I KNOW there is something wrong, I’ll call 911, but if there are strange noises there are a thousand possibilities and only one requires 911. “Please come and save me from the raccoons!” “There’s a 5-point buck in my yard! Help! Help!” “My children have arrived unexpectedly, please come and welcome them for me!” Thanks, I’ll go see for myself.

        Meanwhile, when I take my pants off, the gun stays on the belt, when I put my pants on, the gun is already there. If something is so important and urgent that I respond in the middle of the night without putting on my pants (like my granddaughter screaming, glass breaking, similar), then I will hit the “all lights on” button beside the bed, illuminating all 3 floors like daytime, and pick up a gun a good deal larger than what is on my belt. And there is nothing “commando” about that, more like common sense.

        Actually I said that wrong, I’d pick up the gun and then hit the lights.

    • Because, 9,999 out of 10,000 times, it’s not a person breaking into a car, it’s raccoons in the trash, or a possum, or stray dog.
      That’s why it’s important to carry when you go outside, for that one time in 10,000 it’s something else. It’s easy to dismiss the noise as something benign, but still needs attention. Nobody likes having to gather all the garbage because animals have spread it everywhere.

      • We have wolves, raccoon, foxes, whatever messing with stuff all the time. Always wake up glad it was no more than that. The clean-up is inconvenient, but not worth literally “losing sleep over.” Think I will stay inside in a defensive strong point if I think there is a human threat.

      • I was hoping someone would raise this point. Calling the cops and hunkering down over a noise outside is just the other side of the coin from going commando over it. There is room in the middle for normal things, like seeing what is causing the noise.

        I’m not arguing right or wrong, but if ever the time comes that I’m afraid to go outside at night I’m turning in my man card. YMMV, but for me, I’d rather fight, maybe die, that hide in my safe room, hoping that noise isn’t danger, or someone needing help, a lost child or injured neighbor perhaps, or even someone stealing my stuff. If I can’t roam my own yard at night there is a much bigger problem than how to react to a noise, and that problem would be with my heart and head. That sort of problem is a lot worse than a noise in the dark.

          • Something got garbled. My original statements explained that most noises are ignored, because it could be animals or a tree branch rubbing the house, or any number of non-threatening things. In those cases, not stopping the damage is highly unlikely to result in catastrophic outcomes. It is the neighbor dogs going crazy, or loud crash and bang that would really startle someone that would cause me to go on alert and turn on the lights. IF there is not threat, I would go back to normal. IF there is an obvious threat, or the disturbance continues after lights go on, THEN I would retreat to the defensive position and call 911.

        • Ardent,
          Spot on Dude. When did we become a nation a cowards? I live in the country. The fastest the sheriff’s deputy can get here is more than half an hour. I have a three stall horse barn, I have three out buildings, and a garage. I hear stuff and the dogs start barking. I go outside with a 150lbs male great Dane, a good flashlight on a long gun and a handgun on my belt.
          My wife is armed and there are two very protective Danes with her and one that I am unsure about.
          I had some theives that I suspected were local teenagers . I caught them one night and I fired a load of #9’s (my anti-chicken stealing dog load) in their general direction. And you know what? No more burglaries

      • I have carried for so long now it’s as natural to me as putting on my underwear . I never leave the house without my underwear , my wallet and my carry pistol . I cut my grass with my carry so I wouldn’t have gone out without it anyway , but to the occasional carrier , don’t ever do what this poor soul did . Learn from anyone and anyway you can . If you don’t leave anything in your car worth killing someone over then just call the police and protect your own . If you can do what I described previously , scare the bejesus out of the vermin , it may lower their testosterone a notch and save their ass in the future .

    • Not only is that the surest legal defense if something goes down but it is the best tactical position as well. You know your house; you can place yourself in an advantageous defensive positon and if you are in Castle Doctrine state you would be on solid ground taking the first shot and often the first shot wins. So, this keyboard commando thinks you are vey savvy.

        • I haven’t been to the Sig-Saur Academy, or taken classes from the approved trainers. Heck I am a danger to the community because I rely only the 1911 grip safety when it sits in the holster. I am also a retired federal parasite and you know what that means. 🙂

    • If you live somewhere that you have to barricade yourself inside your single family castle each night then you need to MOVE. If you’re a city hive dweller it doesn’t matter.

      • Not a matter of bunkering in every night. It is a matter of knowing that cover and concealment in a crisis is more helpful. We are talking here about an unusual situation where unexpected noise outside gets your attention, If there is a break-in, no need to go looking for prowlers who will either take simple stuff and leave, or eventually have to come into the firing zone unprotected. Actually, there is an escape to the outside capability if that seems to be a better option (unlikely because I don’t know where “they” are). Just not comfortable walking alone into the night. I have no illusions that I can out smart and out flank an unknown number of prowlers or robbers. I know how many family or friends are in my house, outdoors is not so certain. Given the advisory that leaving the “castle” is dangerous and potentially a disaster legally, I think I am more comfortable having home invaders come to me in a maze unknown to them.

        • Well, let’s not assume we are all in the same situation, then, as in your concept certainly does not apply to me, and I rather resent being called some kind of commando or cowboy because my life has a bit more complexity than yours. I live on the 3rd floor along with probably well past $100,000 in guns and jewelry (because most is in safety deposit box), in addition to my bride. One of my sons and his teenage daughter live on the 1st floor. I am NOT planning to hide under my bed and wait while intruders take whatever they like for several hours, thank you very much. In addition, there is a loaded 1911 in my car. We have had reported coyotes attacking peoples’ dogs, we have had armed robbers attempting to evade capture by dozens of cops running up and down our street, and the best way to describe the neighborhood would be “crime-free”! Worry level is near-zero, I would go outside at any time without worry, but never unarmed anymore.

          But here’s a present for all, I bet you’ll get a kick. Several years ago, I discovered a gun was missing, along with a loaded magazine. I actually did not know when it had been taken, hadn’t noticed immediately. I never reported it because I was somewhat concerned a family member might be involved. Well, this morning there was a Christmas wrapping type bag on the front porch, with my P229 and mag inside, along with a note of apology and 200 rounds of target ammo. How’s that for the spirit of the season? It was even clean and lubed.

          • Enough already you guys. AnyMouse said he valued his life and the safety of his family more than any possession. I did not see him calling anyone names. Calling out prudent behavior as “hiding under my bed”, or “turning in my man card”, then the left is correct; we cannot be trusted with firearms because it is all about being macho. What does it say that someone in a multi-family dwelling is eager to engage burglars with a gun, where a missed shot (good guy or bad guy) can injure non-involved persons? It is risky enough to use a gun inside a single family home, but in an apartment ? AnyMouse did not accuse anyone of anything, so these comments about him lacking pride, or manhood, or misstating his description of events that would cause him to go to his defensive position rather than go on a nighttime search and destroy mission are insulting, childish, just what the anti-gun crowd says about us. If you prefer to risk your life and your family’s lives by seeking a possible gunfight, OK, describe your approach and let it go at that.

      • I don’t see any reason for a person to charge into the night, looking to settle someone’s hash. AnyMouse has no more obligation to apprehend burglars than he does to engage thugs invading the house across the street. His prime responsibility is the safety of his family and himself. The poor individual who died attempting to stop bad guys at night tried to protect his family, but he left them vulnerable that night and in the coming days/years. Since AnyMouse laid-out the legal circumstances he lives in, he is right to remain within the castle doctrine and keep himself and his family safe.

    • Reminds me of what happened to me a couple of years ago, albeit it all ended well.

      My across the street neighbor is a reverend and he was away on a retreat. One night around 10pm I look out the front window and see his front door is open. I know he’s not home and there are no lights on. Do I go over and give a look see? Hell no. I call the police. They arrive, do a walkaround outside and then go in the front door. No one was there, nothing was missing, and to this day we don’t know how or why the door was open 3 days after the neighbor had left.

      Sure, I could have walked over and looked. And if someone was there I could have gotten shot or something. As a rule of thumb, I let the pros do pro things. Busted pipe in the basement? Turn off the water supply and call the plumber. Possible crime at the neighbor’s house? Keep an eye out and call the police.

      Don’t go looking for trouble and it won’t find you. Don’t go out in the dark unarmed investigating a noise. Be smart.

      • Ragnarredbeard,

        The same thing happened to one of my neighbors. I discovered that their front door was wide open in spite of the fact that it was about 20 degrees outside with a stiff (and very cold) wind.

        On the more innocuous side of things, they may have had a natural gas or carbon monoxide leak and opened the door to clear the dangerous gas. On the more sinister side of things, home invaders could have busted in. I circled the home and looked for any signs that anyone was inside or outside. Not only did I NOT see anyone inside or outside (nor any other open doors/windows), there were NO TRACKS in the fresh snow leading up to the open door. I yelled from outside and no one responded. I called the homeowner’s cell phone and no answer. I had young-ish children at home … alone while I was 300 yards away checking on the neighbor. Given so many variables, the fact that I had no backup, and the fact that I would be leaving my children in an extremely vulnerable situation if something happened to me, I called the Sheriff and had a deputy follow-up. He checked out the home and found nothing indicating any foul play, other than the front door being propped wide open. The homeowners returned and had no explanation.

        To this day, we have no idea who or what opened their front door and propped it open … without leaving any tracks in the snow.

        • Kids broke in, puffed some weed, had group sex, then left the door open to air out the place ‘cuz they’re nice kids.

          • once upon a time, one of my neighbors heard a break-in at night, across the street. the neighbor went to investigate and found teenagers inside a home where none of them lived. one of the teens was the son of a member of the church my neighbor attended. neighbor called police and the teens were booked and released to parents. next sunday, the father who attended the same church accosted my neighbor and began screaming that the neighbor had no business getting involved in a breaking and entering, causing the teens to be arrested. the father made it clear that his son intended no harm to any person, and the father paid to have the damage repaired; didn’t warrant calling the cops.

    • In NC your castle extends to the curtilage of your property. Therefore, if they have entered with weapons I’d say that satisfies the ‘forcible entry’ part. Although yes I know it’s not advisable.

  2. Yep. A couple, both with CCL’s, were at a rest stop here in New Mexico when they were kidnapped by escaped convicts, taken out to the mesa away from people and murdered and their vehicle stolen.

    I bet you they both thought they were safe. (It was a rest stop!!) and they didn’t have their firearms on them.

    In your home, at a rest stop, even if only a pocket .380, have a firearm immediately available.

  3. Easy and convenient home pocket carry is one of the main things that I love about my 642 and P3AT.

  4. I don’t carry perse, but I have a firearm within arms reach at home. I don’t have kids, just a dog, so being holstered up when I know I’m not leaving the apartment is not a must. Second floor of two floors is an advantage too, one way up the stairs, only way in.

  5. 2am dogs rasing hell. Out go the dogs with me behind. Mag light in one hand, S&W Governor(6 rds 000 Federal handgun buck) in the other. Way smaller than a shotgun and lighter than a sherriff.

    • Screw that, the dogs barked and have done their jobs. I’m not letting them out and endangering them needlessly.
      There could be cops outside and guess what they like to do…shoot dogs. Shooting my dog would go over with me like a fart in church. On the other side of the coin is a bad guy or bad guys who injure my pets, again not going over well with me.
      The dogs do their job by alerting me and then allowing me to safely evaluate what the disturbance is. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a Racoon in the back yard. How they know they are out there is a mystery, but they can tell from inside they are out there. But something out front, I first look in the camera, then pop a front window open. If nothing is seen I go out first, not the dogs, armed. Usually it’s kids walking up and down the street real late. The camera has sound and the dogs can hear foot steps and voices several blocks away.

    • You’ll want to be careful about what you let them hunt. Judging by the mug shots from this incident, that particular raw meal would’ve been heavily laced with (not so natural) methamphetamines.

  6. My condolences to Mr. McKinley’s family and friends.

    About the only good that can come out of this is if we use it to educate ourselves. And what can we learn from Mr. McKinley’s horrible murder? Mr. McKinley went outside unarmed, exposed, alone, and without any details as to who or what he may be about to confront. In short it was a tactical disaster and he paid for that mistake with his life.

    • The best case for Mr. McKinley’s situation is for an armed neighbor, friend, family member, or police to approach his home from the outside — preferably with utmost stealth such that any potential burglars do not learn of their approach. That would allow the outside partner, in communication with the homeowner, to do two critical things:
      (1) Surveil the outside of the home from cover/concealment and determine if there are any burglars, how many, where they are, and possibly even whether or not they are armed.
      (2) Provide cover and backup in case the armed homeowner feels compelled to come outside.

      • Holy crap. If my neighbor died doing that for me, I would not be able to live with myself. Call 911, not a neighbor.

  7. Its also a known fact that people in cars relax and become less vigilant when they get near home and that most fatal accidents are usually a mile from your house. The same can be true about being around the house, you relax and feel safe but you can be attacked there just as you can out on the streets of a major city. It that being paranoid? Yes it is, but if armed you would stand a better chance of survival if you were attacked, remote as it might be in certain places.

    • A few years back, I read about car crashes occurring within a mile or two of ones home,
      so I moved.

      • {Rimshot}

        Yeah, the old adage that most crashes happen within 10 miles of one’s home makes a lot of sense when most driving is done within 10 miles from home…

        • One should become a perpetual ( permanent)
          traveler.. then you will beat the odds of having an accident within 10 miles of home……………………..

        • to borrow from an unnamed and undocumented source: “People who travel by airplane are more likely to die in an airplane crash than people who do not travel by airplane.”

          something profound there, but i haven’t tapped jack daniels enough to see it, yet.

  8. Pocket carry Rurger LCR 9mm or LCR 38 Always on me or within arm’s reach including under pillow.
    If it’s dark outside only thing in the driveway is a 2007 Honda Element & 2009 Suburu Forester – nothing outside worth stealing plus our Golden does a good impersonation of Cujo. Husband travels on business out of town so I have made home carry a habit. He knows I’m likely packing so when comes though front door calls out.

  9. If I felt like I absolutely had to go outside to investigate an unknown disturbance, I would strap a handgun to my hip for backup, grab a loaded military-style semi-automatic rifle or shotgun, grab my insanely bright flashlight (but turned off), slowly/quietly open the door with the most open part of the yard in front of it, and then dash out into the yard at least 20 yards away from the house to some sort of cover/concealment, as quickly and quietly as possible. And (this is huge), I would only do this with instructions for my family inside to immediately close/lock the door and wait until I reach my cover/concealment to turn on the lights. At that point, I have cover/concealment and I can see anyone prowling around the house … and hopefully they don’t know that I am outside.

    Of course I would have to be able to communicate with family members inside for status updates.

    • Let’s take a moment to appreciate the amount of time and effort that uncommon_sense spends on every single bump in the night. He’s definitely in operator territory at all times. Kudos!

      • Eric,

        I was not describing my response to a simple “bump in the night”. I was describing how I would respond if my dogs were barking in full alarm mode at some obvious disturbance.

        If you want to stroll out to your barking dogs with lights on and nothing in hand, knock yourself out … I hope that someone else doesn’t literally knock you out for being vulnerable and unprepared.

  10. Screw it, it’s not an emergency, call the cops.

    I’d MUCH rather call the cops than go outside and confront a possible paranoid meth-head and start shooting in my neighborhood. Call the cops. Don’t turn a non-emergency into an emergency.

    • If I call the police every time my ‘dog barks’ they would stop responding. Better idea would have been to look out a window…

      • If you had read my posts above, you would know that’s exactly what I do. If I saw someone outside doing criminal activity, you call the cops. You utilize all options to stay safe. You don’t confront crooks, you call cops, you don’t call the cops because the dogs are barking, although people do it around here as I have heard it on the scanner and it was raccoons.

  11. I agree with home carry. My friend was sitting in her kitchen at 5 in the morning, when someone kicked in the back door. Beaten and robbed. Her gun was in the bedside table. Guy didn’t even bother to look for that, after finding her cash, television and computer.

    Not going outside, myself. Cops don’t take long in this small town

  12. He gave up tactical advantage and it got him killed.

    The moral of the story here isn’t “always carry.” It’s “Don’t go looking for trouble you don’t need.

  13. If you think someone is prowling around outside, call the cops. Do this even if you live out in the country and it will take an hour for a deputy sheriff to arrive. (Your doors and windows should already be closed and locked.) Arm yourself and try to keep out of sight if anyone peers in. If the prowler breaks in, warn him to get out if you are confident you have the tactical upper hand. If not, or he won’t back down, shoot and continue shooting until he escapes or goes down and stays down.

    Don’t go outside to investigate. That puts you at a tactical and legal disadvantage compared to setting up an ambush indoors.

  14. If I didn’t home carry, I certainly would grab my gun before going out to investigate strange noises. That is, if I did go out. If the dog raises sand, I generally just look out the windows. Really sad it happened this way.

  15. Not going outside to secure my car at 3 am. My car is secured 24/7 by AAA. I’ll call 911 (Got the number written down next to my phone) and let the cops handle it.

    Short of a full scale home invasion my first step is to call 911. Always armed at home and within reach of a shotgun.

    Outside my home is copland. Let them handle it.

    • Believe it or don’t, it just struck me that I do not always recall immediately where my phone is. I *always* know where several guns are. Don’t worry, I will tell the cops my first move was to call 911. But it may not be the truth.

  16. Surprised the antis aren’t calling this guy a hero.

    “criminals are just poor, down on their luck and desperate – they just want your money/stuff, they don’t want to kill anyone, just give them what they want” / “pulling a gun puts a criminal into fight or flight, and can cause them to do something they never would” / “pulling a gun will just let it be used against you”.

    Guess that didn’t work so well for this guy.

    • “pulling a gun puts a criminal into fight or flight,”

      LOL! If I ever actually pull a gun, I will intend to put a criminal into seek medical care immediately or die, if he decides to try to fight anyway, I’ll make that decision for him, too.

  17. Yep, I’ll start calling the cops every time I hear a disturbance and my dogs bark. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the calls involving raccoons attempting to raid my trashcans, deer walking across the yard, bicyclists riding down the road (wannabe tour de France types), or Jehovah Witnesses dropping of a pamphlet. I’m not a commando, but I still have a little bit of courage and will to look into matters first before wetting my depends and calling 911. I don’t usually carry at home, but will take a gun with me to investigate matters. Every state is different relative to laws, thankfully where I live self defense doesn’t end at the threshold.

  18. I dont think (in this country at least) it’s gotten to the point where you need to carry all the time including in the shower as has been suggested on TTAG on more than one occasion. But yes, going to confront someone on your property committing a crime, it might be a good idea. Dialing 911 is a better idea. Nothing I own is worth getting ganked over. The Po Po get paid to shoot bad guys. If I shoot a bad guy all I am going to get is dragged down to the station house at the very least and then have to start spending money to get out and then hire a lawyer.

  19. I’m not especially macho, nor very young, nor what you might call aggressive, but I am seriously flabbergasted by some of what I’ve read here today. Maybe I have it wrong, but I’m just not afraid of noises in the dark. I’d like to think that even if I were I’d still have the wherewithal to claim my own yard.

    Maybe I have a greater commitment to my neighborhood, that I’m not content to let everything that happens outside my door be someone else’s problem. Maybe I have a failing with my sense of perspective, that I’d rather take my chances telling a thief to get lost than be victimized quietly, hiding in the dark.

    Perhaps I’m foolish and will eventually get myself killed, and be criticised by less civicly minded, more cautious men. However, I suspect that what allows me to investigate noises in the dark is a combination of confidence and determination. Confidence that I can handle what I find there and determination that I won’t be reduced to ceding my property, real and personal, my neighborhood, and my self respect to whomever may take it.

    I’m not advocating confronting every threat one might find, but I am questioning what type of man hides in his house expecting other men to protect his property. I have no doubt that it is safer for the body to do just that, likewise though I have no doubt that I’d think myself a victim and a coward if i chose that course.

    There is a lot of talk of freedom here, and liberty. I choose the freedom to explore my own environs, and the liberty to protect what’s mine, and the security of the knowledge that I can and will stand up for myself and what’s mine over the tyranny of fear, and the oppression of criminals, and the self loathing of cowardice.

      • Wow. I am new to this stuff, but Wow. Remember RIF (Reading Is Fundamental)? Please take time to read the comments. What I see is several people who, like me, don’t see a need to investigate every slight “bump in the night”, or even some louder “bumps” that may indiate only animals prowling about. The premise is that a not normal event seems to unexpectedly be taking place at night. AFTER turning on the lights and looking through windows there is a threat, or AFTER turning on the lights there is nothing visible, but the disturbance seems to continue or intensify, THEN retreat to a prepared defensive position and call 911. Nothing I read mentioned calling cops for any and all noises in the dark. My original question was about the prudence of going alone into the night even with a gun. Also noted in my comments is the fact that in my jurisdiction, using deadly force to stop external property damage or theft is not legal. Given the conditions described, what is to be gained by going outside to investigate?

        • Do you really have that much crime and violence in your neighborhood? Is the normal coffee-klatch discussion all about who was robbed and killed last week? I can’t even imagine a situation where I would be afraid to walk out my door to see what was going on, but if that happened I would probably feel the need to hide out on my neighbor’s porch, since she is in her 80s and alone.

          • The answer is, “No”. There is not that much crime in the neighborhood, making it highly likely that sounds that would get me up at night are not normal nature or neighborhood sounds (people go to and from work, or whatever), but within 1/4 mile, there were two incidents last year where a person was attached getting out of a car at night, and another where prowlers broke into a garage and set off the security alarm in a house. Both happened at night. My question all along was about the benefit of going outside at night to investigate abnormal sounds or events. Do I go out there to scare someone away? If I am armed, and someone is messing about, they can sue me for menacing. If I engage in a shooting I can be arrested for using deadly force outside my home. If I go outside and encounter forces greater than I can dispatch, perhaps they go next into my house and I am not around to help defend. Leaving everything to my wife to resolve. Where’s the benefit of going outside? No to be insulting, but I am confident enough in my personhood to not need to prove anything. So, where’s the benefit?

            OTOH, I can think of one benefit after all: maybe there are bad guys out there who will runaway when I approach. Runaway and assault a neighbor’s house.

  20. Just a quick search of Amazon turned up 4 camera wireless security systems starting at $250.00. I do not know why more people do not install them. It really solves the argument if you should go outside or not.

    • Why? Do you figure they’ll just steal the security system and leave? Seems pretty optimistic, to me.

  21. most likely, he went outside unarmed. we all do it. he was most likely thinking it was a cat or dog they were barking at. its hard to make yourself get a gun everytime you “investigate” something. its just so common place to just go check it out, just like in the movies.

  22. Pretty crazy some of the responses here. Hunker down, barricade yourself, and call the cops? Good Lord, people, where the hell do you live?

    Not every bump in the night is armed marauders looking to cause grievous bodily harm. If you hear sounds on your own property, it is wholly right, normal, and 100% legal to go outside and investigate while armed. Calling the cops every time you hear something, or see something, is pretty much exactly what the anti’s preach. Why do you need a gun if that’s going to be your philosophy? Get you some super duper bright outdoor lights, nice steel door, bar your windows, and hunker down every night. SMH

    Of course, if you look out your window and actually *see* an armed intruder, clearly it’s a wise, and tactically sound decision, to stay indoors, call the cops, and take up a defensive posture. But to make that your default tactic whether or not you see something? Hey, if that’s how you want to handle things, great. It’ll certainly assuage all the anti-gunners out there. But don’t preach to the whole as though any other action is irresponsible.

    • It sounds to me as though you are really advocating an armed confrontation despite your deceptive post. In many States its against the law anyway to shoot someone over someone stealing your property or even doing damage to it like your car. Even where it is not against the law you can still be sued in civil court by the survivor or his relatives and even if you win the law suit you still stand a very good chance of going bankrupt with the outrageous legal fees.

      • I’d guess you’re describing a very few states, not “many”, and I certainly would not live in one. But I don’t see where your comment comes from, he didn’t sound to me like he was seeking an armed confrontation, but you sound as though there is a burglary or armed robbery in your neighborhood every night.

  23. Robert always picks the worst examples to “home carry.” Plenty of factors could of got this guy killed even if he was armed with a gun. Meanwhile we know nothing of his mindset/training that would of prepared him for this attack.

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