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I don't have a bedside gun......because I don't have a bed. I'm so terrified of intruders breaking into my house that I stay awake all night, every night, with a shotgun on my lap. I keep the PPQ holstered as a backup and, as a backup to the backup, I keep the PPS in an ankle holster.

I have various large-calibre revolvers strategically placed in every room around the house, as well as a small pocket pistol on a shelf near the doorway - so that I can slip it in my pocket if I have to pop down to the shops for a bottle of milk. As my back yard is quite overgrown, I take one of the large-cal revolvers with me when I go out there - you never know what kind of creatures might be lurking in the undergrowth.

The swimming pool is well protected by a scaled-down missile frigate - just in case uninvited guests think they can relax there.

My pride and joy, however, is the mid-upper turret salvaged from a scrapped WW2 Avro Lancaster. I changed out the original Browning .303 Mark IIs for dual .50 cals and mounted the turret on the roof of the house. That way I can see any potential intruders from a long way off and pick the buggers off as soon as they turn the corner into my street.

All of this despite the fact that I live in a very peaceful country where, unlike some other places, people don't go around shooting at one another.

Now isn't that strange?

Balor
 

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Securing your house is important, but in the choice between a camera and a gun I'll take the gun every time.
I have no knowledge of the law in your jurisdiction, but I would imagine that, in most jurisdictions, shooting an intruder in your home, regardless of whether it were, (in your eyes) justified or not, could end up costing you a lot more than special locks, reinforced doors, motion-activated lights/cameras and whatnot.

Perhaps even more than a Toyota Prius with mounted rotary cannon.

Having read this entire thread, I think that the best “bedside gun” solutions offered are the ones with four legs, a very loud bark and a menacing set of gnashers - or even better, multiple versions of said four-legged solutions. If this is backed up with the THREAT of using a firearm, then that should be enough to see off any opportunistic intruders. If you have to go so far as shooting and injuring/killing the intruder, then there would almost certainly be TWO losers.

Balor
 

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If the intruder were to show hands and comply with my commands, or retreat IMMIDATELY, I would not fire. If the person is intoxicated (stumbling drunk), I would also not fire.


But aggression and non-compliance that has me deem myself and/or my homes occupants safety in peril, it's my duty as a husband and father to neutralize the threat.


I'm sure you're well acquainted with the relevant laws in your own jurisdiction, but laws differ considerably from place to place and, where I live, you would be on very shaky ground legally with the “aggression and non-compliance”. There has to be a clear and imminent danger to yourself and others, from which there is no reasonable means to escape, before you could legally use deadly force. A perceived danger is not enough justification (for example, someone yelling and being verbally abusive). There can also be several reasons for non-compliance with an order, for example failure to hear or comprehend properly due to audio alarms, barking dogs, blinding light etc. Drunkenness (which you mentioned, but which is not always obvious) is also a reason. Another example would be light-headed youths playing a prank without fully realising that they are in mortal danger. To this list you could add just plain stupidity.

Breaking and entering/attempted burglary are, from a legal point of view, property crimes and do not merit the death penalty - not in a court of law and not in your own home.

Of course, if an intruder with a knife lunges at you or a member of your family you are legally entitled to shoot. Similarly, if they are obviously carrying a firearm and fail to drop it after being warned and ordered to do so. A female is legally permitted to use deadly force if there is an imminent (not just perceived) threat of being raped.

The point I was trying to make in my post is that ANY measures that one can take to prevent a deadly confrontation in the first place (barriers, warning systems, watchdogs, even a panic room) are infinitely preferable to having to shoot someone and live with the complicated (and expensive) consequences.

Balor
 

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Balor: Can you explain the clear difference between an imminent and/or perceived threat of rape, or other serious bodily harm?
No, I can't give an authoritative explanation because I have had no training in law and can only fall back on specific examples used during my own firearms training.

In general terms: a “perceived” threat is when you THINK that the other party MIGHT be about to do you harm, for example when you ASSUME that someone who has forcibly entered your home in the middle of the night and behaves irrationally or aggressively when challenged is about to do you harm. An “imminent” threat, on the other hand, is when they have taken concrete steps to harm you. I gave two examples of “imminent” in paragraph 3 of my last post. An intruder who continues to approach you, despite your best efforts at giving audible and visual warnings, could be construed to present an imminent threat but, in the absence of witnesses, a court of law would seek to illuminate the circumstances in minute detail. If you shoot an intruder who subsequently turns out to have a history of petty theft, but no record of violence, then you would probably be in for a rough ride in court.

In the case of sexual assault/rape, if, for example, a man approaches a woman, grabs hold of her and proceeds to grope her (without her consent), that would be understood as sexual assault and not as attempted rape, even if the woman feared that she was about to be raped. In such cases the woman would be permitted to use reasonable, but non-lethal, force to extricate herself from the situation. I personally know someone who, while walking home alone at night, noticed that she was being stalked by a stranger and prepared herself for a confrontation. The stranger assaulted her as she was opening the door to her apartment house. She slashed his face very badly with a pocket knife and was not subsequently charged (needless to say, the aggressor was charged with sexual assault). If, on the other hand, the aggressor pins the woman to the ground and attempts to penetrate her, then that is no longer a perceived threat - she is in imminent danger of being raped and, in the absence of any possible and immediate help from a third party, she can lawfully use any amount of force, even lethal force, to protect herself.

I'm sure the difference between a perceived and an imminent threat is also recognised in other jurisdictions. Perhaps some of our readers with a legal background could throw some light on how this applies in their own jurisdiction.

Balor
 

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If I happen to notice someone on the front porch, that shouldn't be there, I send a signal to the cage, hidden under a bush by the front porch, releasing the rattlesnakes.
Rattlesnakes?!!!........don't need 'em. I share a home with my mother-in-law. Any venomous snake that gets bitten by her wouldn't last five minutes. God help any burglars that she gets a hold of!

Balor
 
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