Teen TXTS "They're in the house!"

Teen TXTS "They're in the house!"

This is a discussion on Teen TXTS "They're in the house!" within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Taking a true news story and making it into a hypothetical, "What if it was me" situation. Have a mild ethical dilemma with it. Maybe ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    Teen TXTS "They're in the house!"

    Taking a true news story and making it into a hypothetical, "What if it was me" situation. Have a mild ethical dilemma with it.

    Maybe you saw this article todayFOXNews.com - Ohio Teen Hiding in Bed Foils Intruders With Text Message - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

    Young teenage girl home sick from school. Two people come in the unlocked back door. Teen text-messages Mom, who calls 911 while she's racing home. When mom gets home, she rams the perp's car and then wrestles with one of the perps (a 20yo female) who came out of the house.


    Here's where I come in: No doubt in my mind--this has already been decided--if I come home in that situation (and assuming I've got my CCW and am carrying by that point, which at current isn't a reality, but hey, I'm working towards it), I'm already drawn and ready to shoot. The 20yo female comes out of the house--and my kid is inside--I'm dropping her and then heading inside to clear the house.


    But the perp's mom says,
    Burns' mother, Virginia Burns, said her daughter is only guilty of "bad association."

    "I think that my daughter has made the wrong choice in people, and now she's going to pay the price for that association," she said. "I believe in my daughter. She is a goodhearted individual. But she has made a bad decision and she'll pay the price for it."
    So now I've killed--or done my very best to kill--someone's daughter, and mom thinks she's a "goodhearted individual." Now, I feel that this "goodhearted individual" crossed the line when she entered my house to burgle it. No doubt she wasn't planning on paying that high of a price, but then she should have thought about that possibility beforehand.

    So, do you agonize over this at all? Have you ever thought about being forced to kill someone who's not truly a hardcore criminal, but in fact just someone who's only just beginning to head down the wrong path? Someone who's just fallen in with the wrong crowd, or maybe even just rebelling a bit against mommy and daddy to see what they'll say?


    I'm ready to defend my family, even with lethal force if that is called for. Furthermore, I have no plans to interrogate someone as to their general criminal record or plans for the future before I do so. I'm just not settled how to deal with the fallout of destroying a human life.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array dcb188's Avatar
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    It has to do with the threat that you perceive to yourself or your family AT THAT MOMENT. So if someone is unarmed and running from the house, you cannot legally shoot, or if you can legally shoot in your state, then you could be in big trouble. And why? for defending your family? No, for not defending your family.
    Vary the scenario just a little and there are reasons to draw and/or shoot. But that specific scenario you gave? No drawing and no shooting. The threat or invasion is over with. No one is coming at you with a weapon.
    You did not hear a shot fired inside and now here comes a perpetrator running outside toward you, gun in hand, waving or pointing it at you.
    This is my gut reaction to the scenario as presented and others will or may differ. But just responding to what you asked in that very specific circumstance. You are not protecting your life or anyone else's at that moment, and there is no real reasonable danger to you or to yours at that precise moment.
    We can vary the scenario slightly and add things and then you would be justified not only in drawing but in shooting to kill.
    But the scenario as given? My own opinion, and it is only that, is that no shooting and perhaps yes perhaps no re drawing the weapon.
    And the breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony, happened with you outside the home and you are just now arriving after that part is over with, the perpetrator already inside the house and now leaving.Not that she should be commended for leaving, but the B&E happens when you are not home yet. So you cannot be in any danger.
    Your daughter is home but not in any danger as the time for that has passed when you see the young woman running out the front. So your shooting is way after the fact and with no clear threat to you or yours re bodily harm or injury either. It would be an after the fact shooting, not a whole lot different from someone robbing you, they run away, you shoot them after being robbed and after the threat to you is over.
    Not identical but similar situations in many respects.

  3. #3
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    So let me get this straight...

    You're gonna shoot the person you see coming out of the house before you have all the facts and no clear threat of imminent and otherwise unavoidable death or crippling injury to you from the person exiting your house?

    Good luck with that plan.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  4. #4
    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    Hmmm . . .

    Not really addressing the question I was going for, but you guys have given me food for thought (certain posts being slightly more palatable than others, Bark'n ).

    Yeah, I was thinking that drawing would be fully justified. Seems like that may have been a more emotional that logical reaction. I've got much to learn, yet.

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    Senior Member Array dcb188's Avatar
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    We all have much to learn yet, me foremost.
    But talking about it now is not the same as doing it, so I guess this is the place to learn.

    But as for not addressing the question, I think you were basically talking about how to deal with your shooting of a young woman and we answered that question by saying you should not deal with it because you should not shoot. Was there more than that there? I didn't see it at the time.....

  6. #6
    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    Okay, but for this post laying aside my ethical question--which dealt with the emotional ramifications of destroying a human life--and let's vary the scenario:

    I'm inside with my family. Door opens and intruders are coming in.

    MI has a castle doctrine. Do I draw and shoot, even though I still am unaware of the perp's intentions and/or armed status?

    Seems like I would. Is the main variance that the perp in the OP is leaving the house, as opposed to coming univited into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcb188 View Post
    But as for not addressing the question, I think you were basically talking about how to deal with your shooting of a young woman and we answered that question by saying you should not deal with it because you should not shoot. Was there more than that there? I didn't see it at the time.....

    Sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear enough on my ethical dilemma.

    Dilemma isn't/wasn't whether or not to shoot. Let's say I had good reason to shoot, and did so, destroying my target.

    The perp's mom is saying, essentially, that she's a sweet girl, just a bit mislead. Not a hardcore criminal type. In the heat of the moment, I don't think that will matter one bit when/if I have to pull the trigger. But later on . . . I wonder if that would haunt me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array dcb188's Avatar
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    No. Drawing yes, Shooting no. What if it is some kid next door coming home to the wrong house? That has happened. What if police thought you were not home and were checking out a call for a burglary in progress and not announcing their presence. What if this and that.
    The question is still what is the immediate threat to you, and does it RISE TO THE LEVEL of your being justified not in drawing but in shooting.
    You still do not know what you are shooting at or who or precisely why.
    Nor do you have to question people til you are sure and dead sure.
    But you still need more information. Coming into the house could be for any number of reasons. Picture some drunk teen going into the house next door to where he lives, at two in the morning. This has happened.
    For all these reasons, no shooting, yet.
    But as each thing changes, so does your justification for shooting. So we need to ratchet it up a bit.

    Sorry, we both posted simultaneously.
    The perpetrator's mom says her girl is sweet. They all say that and more.
    Not hardcore. None of the young girls sneaking around the LaBianca house in the LA Helter Skelter murders were hardcore that night either, before the fact.
    But in the heat of the moment, that is the problem. In the heat of the moment unless your life is at stake, you still take the time to evaluate. Evaluate if you have the time.
    If a gun is pointed at you, zero evaluation, goodbye to perpetrator.
    If you do not have a gun pointed at you, evaluate until you know not only what you are doing but what they are doing and who they are.
    You are haunted now by what did not happen so you sure will be haunted if it really went down like we are talking about.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Seems like a lot of police end up with a lot of psychological anguish from shootings, even when they're "good" shoots -- justified and necessary.

    Regardless of the particular story, I would imagine that many people would wonder whether it was necessary, later on in life. Can't know until it happens, but by the time you know it's a bit too late.

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    Senior Member Array dcb188's Avatar
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    It is only secondarily an ethical dilemma because it is not a foregone conclusion that you would shoot the young woman. At least I hope it is not. So the ethical dilemma only comes after the shooting, which, hopefully did not take place in your scenario.
    But just from his proposed scenario, the shooting is not necessary or desireable.
    I know cops now who have aged ten years because of clearly clearly justified shootings.

  10. #10
    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcb188 View Post
    You still do not know what you are shooting at or who or precisely why.

    Well, I wasn't proposing shooting blindly around a corner, obviously. And I was thinking "invader comes into my home" was my reason for pulling the trigger.

    Some of the vibe I've gotten off this forum is that you don't want to give the perp a chance to harm you or your family. I know I've read threads recently where folks advocated no warning sounds (racking a round into a shotgun comes to mind), just click-boom. I'm assuming that would also be true for pointing a gun at someone. Perhaps I'm overlooking something, here.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcb188 View Post
    It is only secondarily an ethical dilemma because it is not a foregone conclusion that you would shoot the young woman. At least I hope it is not. So the ethical dilemma only comes after the shooting, which, hopefully did not take place in your scenario.
    Well, honestly when I posted it was a foregone conclusion in my mind. Good thing I posted so we could talk about it.


    I know cops now who have aged ten years because of clearly clearly justified shootings.
    Yes, I'd imagine so. That's really more of where my OP was heading. The other stuff is a distraction. A good and necessary one, however.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array dcb188's Avatar
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    Under your specific scenario you did not know who it was, when you woke up. You need to know in some way what is going on before you shoot, unless you simply have to shoot now to protect your life, now.
    If it is not like that, you have to be somewhat sure of what you are doing.
    You do not want to give anyone the opportunity to harm you or your family.
    Based on your specific scenario I was asking you questions.
    The more you know about what is occurring, the more your justification for shooting.
    Let me run something by you.
    Police get a call for a B and E in progress. A neighbor calls it in. It is your house. You are home asleep and the caller got the house wrong. But both your cars are in your garage, all lights are off and you left the back door ajar.
    Officers arrive, and to this kind of call it would be at least two officers, one front and one back, and anyone else who was in the area would assist.
    They see the back door ajar. They have not used lights and sirens because it would not be done in the proximity of that type of call.
    One enters the back area. Comes into the house. You hear him or her.
    You open fire.
    Do you think this has happened before, or could happen?
    Or the drunk 18 year old next door opens your kitchen door and walks in and throws his keys on the kitchen table and heads to bed. But he is in your house, not his. Do you think this has ever occurred or could occur?
    And you open fire.
    This is the problem. You have to find out as much as you can before you just fire. Not a complete investigation but something.
    In the scenario presented it is zero step to hearing something until you fire, and that is your own scenario.

  12. #12
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    Rev9mm, I didn't mean to be harsh or blunt... Sorry!

    What we talk about here is killing people. It's a serious topic. About as serious as it gets.

    Anyone who wants to carry a gun for defense needs to dig down deep and do a lot of soul searching before they strap that gun on.

    There is a lot to learn and know one has learned it all. I certainly haven't.

    You've come to the right place to learn and exchange ideas.

    Here's one of my earlier posts from the reference section that may be helpful... or not.

    Can You Be Too Prepared



    As far as your your initial post goes... I do not feel it was a shooting situation as the tenants of lethal force were not present.

    In order for a justified shooting to exist, you must be in immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat of death or crippling injury.

    Which means the person you shoot has to have the ability to immediately kill you, the opportunity to kill you, and have placed you in jeopardy by threatening or giving you a clear indication that they intend to kill or cripple you.

    In my opinion, the person merely exiting the home in your original post (running or otherwise) exhibited none of those factors.

    Again, sorry for any offense.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  13. #13
    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    First, just want you to know I'm listening. Not trying to be a know-it-all by any means. Don't know if I've come off that way or not, so just thought I'd mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcb188 View Post
    Let me run something by you.
    Police get a call for a B and E in progress. A neighbor calls it in. It is your house. You are home asleep and the caller got the house wrong. But both your cars are in your garage, all lights are off and you left the back door ajar.
    Officers arrive, and to this kind of call it would be at least two officers, one front and one back, and anyone else who was in the area would assist.
    They see the back door ajar. They have not used lights and sirens because it would not be done in the proximity of that type of call.
    One enters the back area. Comes into the house. You hear him or her.
    You open fire.
    Do you think this has happened before, or could happen?
    Sure it has happened, because it seems reasonable. I'm shooting at what I perceive to be an intruder, and in this case one with a gun. Here's the way I'd see it going down: I somehow hear the noise. There's a quiet rustling through the house which alarms me greatly. I take my weapon and flashlight to cover the bedroom hallway while my wife quickly dials 911.

    By the time she gets on the line, anything could happen. The police--my perceived perps--could have moved towards the basement door, which is where my older kids are. Seeing this, I move after them, still perceiving a threat to my family. Or possibly they shine a light down the hallway and see me in my pj's with a gun pointed at them. However, hopefully in the fraction of time I've got I'll use some light to good advantage and spot the uniform and then back off. But, curiously enough, I myself might get shot by that time, too.

    Or the drunk 18 year old next door opens your kitchen door and walks in and throws his keys on the kitchen table and heads to bed. But he is in your house, not his. Do you think this has ever occurred or could occur?
    And you open fire.
    Well, we're still assuming my door is unlocked and/or ajar, which I'm faithful about checking every single night before I head to bed. So in my case, drunk dude tumbles into bed with me and my wife, scaring me awake, something bad is going to happen. In that case I'm no doubt wrestling with him in an effort to subdue him. No gun at hand, so no shot.

    But let's say I hear him innocently and accidentally come in--again, unlikely as I've secured the house before going to bed, but let's assume.

    Same initial scenario. I take my weapon and light and wife dials 911. Only now it's quite pressing, because he's heading to a bedroom. My kids are in those rooms. I come to the door and his back is to me, but I'm wary of a shot because my kids are lying directly on the other side of my perceived perp. So more than likely what I consider doing is hollering a command to intimidate him and/or get him to move. This buys him--and me--a few seconds. If I recognize him--and he's not the stupid drug-dealing kid from a few doors down--it buys him (and, again, me as well) a few more seconds.

    Odds are in favor that the drunk dude sees guy with a gun pointed at him and lunges for me, thinking I'm the invader in his house. If that happens, I pull the trigger as the threat level has just escalated pretty dramatically. If God is with both of us, the drunk dude stares stupidly at me and says "Dude . . . what's going on?". Either that or he pees his pants and begs for his life from the guy who he perceives as the invader. 1 in a million chance that in his drunken frame of mind he actually grasps what's happened and quickly explains.


    This is the problem. You have to find out as much as you can before you just fire. Not a complete investigation but something.
    In the scenario presented it is zero step to hearing something until you fire, and that is your own scenario.
    You're right, there, of course. But I'll tell you, I'm just concerned as all heck about protecting my family. Since you challenged my initial thinking, I'm just trying to work out where that fine line is between justified shooting and horrible accident.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Rev9mm, I didn't mean to be harsh or blunt... Sorry!
    No, no . . . all is well. No apologies needed.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    This is why when stuff happens close to us emotions can take over good judgement and you are already imagining the worse,even professionals are removed from cases that may be too personal.You don't know if the person that ran out may of heard screams and was investigating or heard a cry for help etc.That's why unless you are in imminent danger and have all the facts it's better to err on the side of caution.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array dcb188's Avatar
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    Rev9mm, no, you do not at all come across like anything other than someone running a scenario by other folks, that's all.
    So we change the scenario to read this way. You know all the doors are locked. So whoever there is definitely an intruder, because you know you locked all the doors and windows.
    Now we have you drawing your gun immediately, whether you definitely heard something or not, makes no difference.
    Got to make somewhat sure it is not one of your kids getting up to go to the fridge or sleepwalking.
    All that aside, I would say HEY WTH. Hopefully the guy would say something threatening or stupid, giving me even more reason to fire, as now I know it is a bona fide intruder. And whether I got a response or not I would probably open fire right about then. I do not have to conduct some Intruder Investigation.
    He is coming close, has no business there, doors are locked, he is not one of my children wandering around in the dark. This is an entirely different scenario from the first two and it ratchets up your right to fire.
    In my own opinion, I don't think you have to wait to see if he kills you.
    Last edited by JD; May 2nd, 2008 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Edited language work around.

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