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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We always keep our cars in the garage, and the garage doors closed. There's no way to tell when we're home or when we're not just by looking at the house.

I was doing some chores Sunday afternoon, so the doors were open. I was in the kitchen getting some ice water, and headed back out into the garage, to find some dude standing in my garage with a big smile on his face, wanting to shake my hand and tell me his name. His car was parked in the driveway behind him. He was wearing slacks, a polo shirt and had wire-rim glasses on. I include these details because they may have influenced my response, which was:

"Why are you in my garage?" :ticking:

He then proceeded with his sales pitch, until I cut him off mid-sentence telling him to get out and not come back, at which point he smiled, apologized and proceeded back to his car.

Question: How many of you would have drawn upon seeing him? (btw, mine stayed concealed) If he were wearing different attire, would that influence your reaction? I'm not sure there is a right or wrong here, just looking for responses and observations.


Afterstory: Of course, I watched him as he left and pulled into my neighbor's driveway and went to her front door. I watched from an unobserved position while she spoke to him on her front porch, then she invited him in and closed the door! :aargh4:

I figured she's on her own at that point and went on about my chores...
 

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I most certainly would not have drawn unless he made a quick advance on me upon the sight of seeing me. But I would have been ready to. And around my house I OC so door to door salesmen and jahova's witnesses usually make their pitch real brief when I come to the door or something to see what they want.
 

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I would have called the police after he left. I might have drawn if I had entered my garage and saw a stranger there. He had no right to enter your garage which is part of your property. He is taking a big, dangerous chance continuing to do so. I don't know what South Carolina's castle doctrine is, but this was a clear case of trespassing. You had no idea what his intentions were.
 

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INSIDE my garage? I can get REAL rude with a NEIGHBOR in that situation. You really, really don't want to be a stranger in that same situation.

From the description of the event, I would not have drawn without additional provocation though. Get a description of the person, vehicle, license number, etc. and just make a note of the date and time. I might call it in to the police of my "Spidey Sense" was tingling enough.
 

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I would not have drawn. But I love pocket carry because I could be ready to draw and fire and noone is the wiser other than seeing a guy with his right hand in a pocket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
What was he selling on a Sunday afternoon?
I would called local PD.
Who knows. I stopped him mid sentence.

I forgot to mention that I did get his license plate while it was parked in my neighbor's driveway. Given that she welcomed him as her guest, I decided not to call the police.
 

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I'm a young guy still in school. Unfortunately I have a job where I have to go door to door. It's not sales but still. So I have a different view then most who have never had a similar job. I hate it but it pays me well. And with a girlfriend that has a 4 year old and a dead beat drug addict ex-boyfriend/ baby's dad. I suck it up cuz I have to support them.

Anyway I would never go into someone's house/garage without invite. I get to save people a lot of money with our utility that I work for so most people don't mind seeing me. But I always make my presence known if they don't notice me. I don't want to startle anyone. I keep my hands visible and move slow. Iv had guns pulled on me or people answer while open carrying. I just play it off tell them why I'm there athan after they calm down make a comment about the type of gun/caliber, d start small talk about firearms. NRA stickers are my favorite. Once I inform them I am also a member they get pretty friendly!

On a sepperate note, if they are respectful, cut these guys some slack its a crap job but we gotta pay the bills :)
 

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Chance of him getting up to the house without me knowing are pretty slim, but if that happened and I walked into my garage to see an unexpected unknown, I wouldn't have drawn if I saw empty hands, but I'd make sure he knew he wasn't welcome... in a command voice that would make a DI cringe. Force of presence and voice can be pretty violent.

Hand(s) in his pockets...

And I'd call the police afterwards... if my wife hadn't already done so when she heard me "conversing" at him.
 

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I agree that drawing wasn't necessary. But instead of asking, "What are you doing in my garage?", you should have asked him, "What are you doing in my house?" That might have driven home the point that he entered a space that should have stayed out of. If you leave your front door open, that doesn't mean that anyone is welcome to just come on in. However, I'm not sure how the castle doctrine applies to garages.
 

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...more than a few times, when the police check out door-to-door salesmen, especially those not sporting city-issued permits, there's a reason they didn't apply...warrants outstanding or a criminal history...

...it's up to us to be cautious...and up to them to be legal...even with the permit, they have no business anywhere but at the front door where the doorbell is...times have changed to where we have to be more cautious...pros like the poster above understand that...
 

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At the crux of the question is the idea that appearances matter and that people will judge you based upon your appearance. In this regard, appearance also includes things like your demeanor and how you talk. This used to be a common accepted concept but I have noticed in recent years that there does seem to be some sort of "war" against this principle(*). Implied in the situation is the question of what if the guy looked like a ghetto thug, would the response have been different? My honest answer is probably, yes, it would have been more aggressive. Logically speaking, a nicely dressed person isn't necessarily any more or less of a threat than a poorly dressed person. However, as I said above, it is natural to judge based upon appearance and similarity to oneself and this will happen automatically and very quickly, and it will influence your response. It is all part of the hard wiring in our lizard brains.

(*)In another forum this last weekend, I was engaged in a heated discussion involving what I consider to be the parasitic class / element of society. In that discussion I referenced several examples of appearance and behavior that are characteristic of the denizens of the lower income neighborhoods of my city, such as needing to pull their pants up, driving crappy cars with flashy wheels usually accompanied by a loud "boom boom" sound, use of ebonics, etc and was told that these are bigoted phrases and concepts. Thinking through this some more, several things occurred to me. One, that everybody I've known, across all races and ethnicity, who has achieved socioeconomic and academic success does not have this sort of appearance and demeanor. Second, (my wife pointed out), that those who do carry themselves in this manner, do so because they desire an offensive culture and want to be (negatively) judged and be able to complain about being judged (back to my "war on appearances matter principle").
 

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Like you, based on his attire I probably would not have drawn but being in my garage is really pushing it. Like others have said I'd call the PD non-emergency line and let them know what transpired. For the DTD salespeople of DC here is a friendly tip: Standing by your car waiting for someone to reappear in the garage or on your way to the front door of the house are the only 2 places you should be. Overzealousness is not going to help you sell me anything or change my religion.
 

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However, I'm not sure how the castle doctrine applies to garages.
It varies by state and depends upon the exact wording of the law. For example, in NC, the castle doctrine applies to your home and curtilage, which is an odd, old legal term that refers to: "land immediately surrounding a house or dwelling, including any closely associated buildings and structures", inherent in this is the concept of where one would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Included in such a definition would be things like sheds, playhouses, etc but not an open field.
 

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I'm going to go the same way you did. No need for firepower, most likely have a little can of "seasoning" in the off hand but no obvious threat to start with. I'd have gone into the command mode too and made it clear he had overstepped his boundaries.

Would the manor of dress make a difference. Sure, I don't have to be PC with uninvited strangers on my ground. This doesn't mean that a nicely dressed interloper would be welcomed, but they may get a little more "tempered" first response.
 

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Draw, order him to the ground spread-eagle call the cops, let them sort it out. Did you get the license number? That's technically a home invasion.

I'm a bit ashamed at you for doing -nothing-.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Draw, order him to the ground spread-eagle call the cops, let them sort it out. Did you get the license number? That's technically a home invasion.

I'm a bit ashamed at you for doing -nothing-.
I thought you were joking at first. See post #7.
 

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That just enlightened me. I often mow the lawn and leave the garage door open, and since it adjoins my house by a breezeway with the back door unlocked. I will be taking my remote on the mower with me and closing the garage door.
 

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Draw, order him to the ground spread-eagle call the cops, let them sort it out. Did you get the license number? That's technically a home invasion.

I'm a bit ashamed at you for doing -nothing-.
I'll assume you're not joking. Draw? Why? Opportunity at most, no indication of ability or jeopardy. What do you do if he refuses to lie down? Shoot him? What if he's a good shot and draws and fires in response before you realize what's happening? Doubtful a jury would convict him for walking into a garage, he'd have a pretty strong case for self-defense.
 

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No need to draw your weapon based on the situation you described.

But as long as he is on your property (and even in the immediately observable area) keep an eye on him to judge his physical actions and his demeanor. If it strikes you as suspicious call the cops.

That's just being observant and careful.
 
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