Social Question

chyna's avatar

So you own a gun and someone breaks into your home while you are there. Do you use it?

Asked by chyna (45035points) September 3rd, 2017

Will you grab your gun if you hear someone break in or will you call the police and hope they get there and help you?

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78 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Call the cops, my firearms are so locked up, even under duress it would take a full five to ten minutes to get them unlocked then load them any intruder would be long gone or do whatever to us they wanted.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My two dogs (combined weight of 180 pounds) will probably take care of the intruder.
No guns in the house.

NomoreY_A's avatar

In Texas, I can shoot the guy as long as he is actually inside the house. In the yard is a whole other ball of wax. When seconds count, the Police are minutes away.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If I owned a gun, and I don’t and have no desire to own a gun, the gun would be in a gun safe. So unless the robber gave me some advance notice, I doubt I’d have time to get the gun out of the safe so I could shoot the intruder. I think I’m better off calling the police.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, I’ve always felt that I’m at high risk of a criminal getting the gun away from me, so I’m nervous about owning a gun for protection. However, if I did own a gun and had the wherewithal to use it, I would. I would try to call the police, but if someone was breaking into my house and was an immenent threat, and I had no where to hide, I’d hopefully warn them I’ll shoot, and if they take one more step forward then I’d fire.

I remember a few years ago a single mother of a baby warned two guys trying to break in her house that she would shoot if they didn’t leave, and I guess they didn’t believe her. One was shot dead, the other ran off. I don’t remember what happened, but my feeling was more power to her.

Coloma's avatar

I don’t own a gun either but if I did, being single with no kids or anyone else in the house I would keep it easily accessible and yes, if I woke to an intruder in my house I would have no qualms about using it. I’d like to say I would warn them in advance that I was armed but if the intruder is already IN my home, well, all bets are off and I wouldn’t feel one bit bad about taking aim and firing. No worries about it being anyone I know, nobody would I know would just walk into my house unannounced, without calling out to me. The way I see it, if you are invading someones home with the intent to rob, rape or murder them, well…you’ve already invited a confrontation that may have deadly consequences.

Coloma's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Actually most dogs will not protect their owners. A dogs barking is the biggest deterrent to criminals as a barking dog is an alert system.
I have read that very few dogs will actually flat out attack intruders, most of the time they run scared unless they are professionally trained guard dogs.

jca's avatar

I don’t own a gun and I don’t intend to but if I did, and someone cam into the house uninvited, they’d be shot. Only, of course, after I double-checked that it wasn’t a friend. Not that friends come into my house uninvited, but I’d give a glance before shooting.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. Shoot, shoot to kill, ask questions later. The person entering may have the same thing in mind for me!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’ve always said I would, but probably not. Shooting someone is pretty final. I had my chance a few weeks ago while I was docked in Fort-de-France getting ready for the trip back home to St. Lucia. Fort-de-France is the big city in these parts.

I was sleeping in the cabin at the bow of my boat. The door was open so I could see through the the salon to the gangway hatch leading to the deck. I woke up when I heard somebody sliding stuff around and saw the silhouette of a guy in the gangway, backlit by the dock lights. I have a .357 magnum in the drawer in the side table and the bottom half of a cue stick up against the bulkhead next to my berth.

I watched him fuck around with some of my electronics for a sec, then yelled at him to get the fuck off the boat. He started ripping electronics out of the console, so I grabbed the cue stick and charged him. He dropped everything and ran back up the gangway with me right after him. He made it to the cockpit above decks at the stern then turn on me. I whacked that motherfucker up side the head as hard I could and fell over the transom into the water. I was yelling at him the whole time.

I watched the water wondering if I was going to have to fish that fuckwad out and he popped up and began to slowly swim away. LOL. I called the harbor master and later some gendarmes showed up with the guy. He was a local (Martinique), early twenties, his head was all bandage up and he didn’t look too good. I showed them the damage and filed a complaint and they dragged him away to the hoosegow.

I thought about the gun. I could have put a couple of rounds in him from my bed. Serously, I always said that I would. i don’t know why I went for the cue stick. I think it was that the guy was shorter than me. The cops said I was stupid. But this one dumb motherfucker now has a chance to change his ways and maybe do something good in life.

johnpowell's avatar

I have guns but I also don’t keep bullets in my apartment and the guns are in pieces. So I would need about 15 minutes and then make a trip to Bi-Mart for ammo. But if they are patient I would blast the fool that wanted my collection of Screeching Weasel CD’s.

funkdaddy's avatar

This is the stuff I have bad dreams about… basically what to do when there’s a threat and my family is involved. Last week it was multiple dreams about us all in the car when it flooded.

Small kids really limit your options. With where we live now, someone could steal everything they want downstairs and I’ll just call the cops and wait (my wife would probably call them). If they try to come upstairs, where everyone sleeps (and they probably know everyone sleeps) then I’d do anything to stop them.

Coloma's avatar

I’ll just use my heavy, carved, naked headhunter statue as a club. Thing is heavy enough to crack a skull I’m sure. Then I’ll whip out my roll of turquoise blue duct tape and lash the intruder to my wrought iron bed to wait for the authorities. Maybe pour a little Tabasco sauce in his wounds for good measure. This could be fun, justifiable torture. LOL

NomoreY_A's avatar

@Coloma Kinky… the local PoPo’s might not approve.

Coloma's avatar

@NomoreY_A Kinda fun to think of all the ways to torture someone that just scared you half to death. haha

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Coloma My little boy at 94 pounds would BITE in a very vital spot if you know what I mean.

Coloma's avatar

@Tropical_Willie So he’s a wiener dog? LOL

Tropical_Willie's avatar

IT will hurt for SURE , Black Lab and cross German Shepard.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Geesh… a question about how to deal with burglars gets turned into the Torture Annals of Marquis De Sade. Interesting. Also disturbing.

Coloma's avatar

@NomoreY_A Hey..it’s social, room to play a little right? Well according to me anyway. :-)

NomoreY_A's avatar

@Coloma Certainly! I’ll take any excuse I can find for one of my goofy one liners. All in good humor, as always.

Zaku's avatar

I would assess the situation as I thought was best.

If an intruder, I’d call the police or someone who’d call them for me.

Then I’d do whatever seemed safest for everyone.

I would not shoot at anyone unless/until it seemed necessary and like the best thing to keep everyone with me safest.

If I had a loaded gun and there were someone breaking into the house, I’d try to gain as much information as possible about who/where and how many there are, what they’re doing, etc. I try to get them scared off and not reveal my position if possible in other ways, and try to avoid violence unless it seems like it’s really needed to keep people safe.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

In the States, all you have to do is dial 911 and drop the phone if you’re afraid you’ll be located by an intruder. The cops will find you.

filmfann's avatar

I bought a handgun last year.
If someone were to be stupid or brazen enough to break into my home, I will brandish it, but probably not fire it.
I am hoping that just the size of it will scare others away.
That’s why I bought a big fucker.

JLeslie's avatar

The answers here make me wonder if women are more likely to shoot at an intruder than men if the situation is that they have a gun available to shoot the intruder. Take for instance @Espiritus_Corvus’ answer. I think a women wouldn’t care how big or tall the intruder was. I think women willing to fire the gun aren’t going to wait to see if the intruder has a gun also.

@Espiritus_Corvus In the states it used to be that if your phone was through cable, rather than the traditional phone lines, they couldn’t locate you. That may have changed. It also used to be that a cell phone couldn’t give them an exact location, but that may have changed too. I’d like to know actually. Now, I can get the exact location of my phone, so hopefully emergency services can too.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Oh, man, if I was a female? I probably would have blown that dude away right after he didn’t acknowledge my demand to get off my boat. He was right there. It was a clear shot. No way would I confront him physically. The cops said I should have shot him, too. Especially after he turned on me.

Handguns are highly controlled on most these islands. Only cops a few licensed proffessionals and organized crime types have them here. And they don’t burglarize boats. Knives are the thing here. He could have had a knife and I could have ended up with my guts spilling out into my hands. Gives me chills to think about it.

ragingloli's avatar

I doubt the plastic pellets would faze him that much.
Maybe if I went for the eyes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Yeah, if the bad guy had a gun or knife then men (you) are in the same position as a female. Guns are the great equalizer.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t own a gun and no one ever breaks into the houses here. If I had a gun I would hope the thief would steal it and leave.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

People do break in to houses here and I would only use a gun as a very last resort. There would not be call the cops or get a gun ready it would be both if possible. They make small quick open safes that are just big enough for a handgun and give you relatively fast access. This can bolted to the floor inder a bed or somewhere discrete yet handy. I’m not going to confront an intruder other than to alert them to my presence as an attempt to de escalate the situation. It takes police time to respond. Having several means of defense as a bridge until they arrive is something people seldom think about.

Muad_Dib's avatar

I don’t have a gun.
I wouldn’t have a gun.

I do have a dog that I walk often (so everyone nearby knows I have him). He only barks when there’s someone in the yard.

I wouldn’t shoot someone. But my dogs have, in the past, gotten big, juicy treats for deterring intruders. I forgive them the blood stains on the carpets.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I think a good dog is the best deterrence. I think everybody should own a dog anyway, not because they are a good deterrence and are great on point, but because they really bring joy to their masters and happy people do less harm in this world.

ragingloli's avatar

I would rather litter my front yard with anti personnel mines than to get a dog.

Pachy's avatar

If I owned a gun—and I intend never to do so—I would not know what I’d do until faced with the situation. In this calm, speculative moment, I simply cannot imagine the the terror of having myself or a relative threatened with death, or the guilt of killing another human being.

chyna's avatar

@Pachy That is exactly my thought. I do have a gun, but I don’t know that I could bring myself to use it. I have a dog, but she wouldn’t do anything. If she hears a noise in the house, she looks at me as if to say “go check that out, mom.”

jca's avatar

I always magined (planned) that if someone came into my house, I’d grab something heavy (a vase, for example, not that I have any vases but this is what I’m theorizing) and throw it out through the window. Hopefully the loud noise of shattering glass would make the neighbors curious and maybe they’d even call the cops. Meawhile, hopefully the intruder would realize that this noise is going to alert others that there’s an issue, and he’d get scared off and leave.

Pachy's avatar

@JLeslie, with all due respect to your belief, I don’t agree that guns or any type of killing weapon—hear that, NK!) equalize anything. They just lead to killing.

That said, I’ll disengage from this thread. I hate guns and hate the insane NRA claim that more guns make us safer.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If someone bigger and stronger is intent on doing bodily harm to you a gun certainly turns the tables.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I had a high school buddy that traveled in the Caribbean 35 or 40 years ago; he kept a metal flare gun, which held a shotgun shell in the chamber (Crow would know what I’m talking about).

Muad_Dib's avatar

All guns can do is put a hole in something within firing distance of the gun.

Everything else is up to the person holding the gun. That person could be a trained, capable individual who reacts quickly and accurately under pressure, or it could be a 6 year old with the basic ability to google his way into picking a lock. Or it could be the neighbor’s punk kid, because let’s be honest, people who have guns “for protection” love to brag about that fact, and that leads directly to literal tons of guns being stolen.

Not to mention that the guns don’t care if the thing they put a hole in is an actual home invader, or your own offspring

Muad_Dib's avatar

Dogs can learn who is allowed in the house. Guns can’t. Dogs 1, Guns 0.

Coloma's avatar

@Muad_Dib But dogs are useless if the intruder has a gun. Intruders shoot dogs every day, and again, the majority of pets are not going to attack, they are just going to frantically bark and then run away in most instances.

Muad_Dib's avatar

Dogs are a deterrent. Intruders actively avoid dogs. The capacity for attacking is a bonus feature.

Guns invite criminals – because criminals actively seek out guns to steal. Guns also (as mentioned) are much more likely to cause harm to someone in the household than to deter or harm an intruder.

I know everyone who throws down money on a Glock thinks they’re goddamn James Bond, but it’s simply not true.

kritiper's avatar

@Muad_Dib Not everybody knows how to play with guns so your point is moot.

kritiper's avatar

@Muad_Dib Gunplay is a serious, deadly game. If you don’t know how to play, don’t.

Coloma's avatar

@Muad_Dib Yes, dogs are a deterrant but don’t count on your dog to actually save you from an intruder. The gun is what will save you not the dog. I’m not a big fan of guns but they, absolutely, have their place in terms of self protection. Like they say, don’t take a knife to a gun fight. If the intruder has a weapon your best defense is to have one as well.

Where I live most people do keep firearms as it is a rural/mountain/foothill community and very, very, few break ins occur as people know most property owners are armed. The only occasions I have had to use a weapon have been to shoot the occasional rattlesnake.

chyna's avatar

@jca You have a lot of “hopefully’s” going on. Don’t bet your life on hopefully you will have something heavy handy, hopefully a neighbor will call the police. You need a plan of action in place now before it’s too late.

jca's avatar

@chyna: I’m not buying a gun and I don’t see how I could make a plan when there would be a lot of variables going on. Where is the intruder? Where am I in the house? Where am I in relation to the phone? Where am I in relation to the door? Does he or she have a weapon? Many variables.

Coloma's avatar

@jca Agree, too many variables. There is no plan of action for a completely, unexpected encounter with an intruder. The only plan of action is have a weapon, of some sort, nearby, be that a gun or a lamp or a naked headhunter statue and hope you have enugh warning to grab it and defend yourself.

chyna's avatar

@jca I wasn’t suggesting a gun but perhaps a bat, pepper spray near your bed, a loud siren, anything to help yourself fight back.

jca's avatar

@chyna: I have a baseball bat in the closet but that’s only helpful if I’ in the bedroom and able to grab it if someone comes into the house. Even if I had pepper spray, if would only work if I were able to grab it quickly (which would mean having to have it all over the house) and it wouldn’t be a match if the intruder had a gun.

Coloma's avatar

Well…in the worst case scenario, to be awakened in the dead of night to someone looming over your bed, or catching a glimpse of an intruder while you are in the shower, no plan of action for those scenarios. Sure, if it’s 2 0’ clock in the afternoon and you see someone sneaking into your garage you have a lot more time to take action. Call 911, run around and make sure your doors are locked , find a place to hide.

Impossible to predict given the multitude of possible scenarios.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Absolutely. I haven’t shot anyone. Usually racking my shotgun will get people’s attention.

Years ago, I lived in the country. Out there, I would shoot into the air, if someone was where they shouldn’t be.

If it’s up to me, I’ll never have to use any of my firearms to hurt someone. But if it’s them or me? Sorry. Breaking and entering is risky. If I see an intruder, I assume that they are in my home to harm me, and act accordingly.

josie's avatar

My guns are locked up.
My home defense weapons are a baseball bat (metal) and a KA-BAR knife.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pachy I hate guns too. I don’t want to debate about my statement either, but I will say that I have lived in places where guns were never mentioned, and I’m pretty sure gun ownership was relatively low; and I’ve lived in places where people talked about guns regularly, and gun ownership was definitely very high. By far, without question, I felt safer in the places where guns are not part of the culture. We probably can agree on that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Dakota would attack, @Coloma. Of course, that’s what she was bred and trained in her early years to do. And now…she’s old. But I have no doubt she’d kill herself trying to protect me. :(

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Sure, some dogs would of course, depending on breed and training but I remember reading somewhere once that most dogs would not. If someone is counting on their couch potato Poodle or Labradoodle to turn into an attack dog usually won’t happen but the barking/warning factor is a really good deterrent a lot of the time.

MrGrimm888's avatar

When I used to sell guns, I’d have old ladies come in to buy them. Usually story was; they lived alone, and criminals in their area knew it. They would occasionally steal from their yard, or attempt to break in. They were scared, and I don’t blame them. I am a gun supporter/enthusiast. But I don’t think they should be used unless by a well trained and capable person. I recommended to many people, get a dog. The barking is usually all that is needed for deterrence. In my experience, many criminals are more wary of a dog, than a gun.

@josie has the right idea. A baseball bat is a great defense weapon. It will never misfire, jam, and is unlikely to hurt an unintended target. Although it’s a longer weapon, and not well suited for hallways, or tight quarters. I like the small aluminum bats made for t-ball. I have one in my hall bathroom. Bats are great for breaking up fights too. They don’t escalate a situation as much as a gun.

ragingloli's avatar

A Gladius is better. It was designed to be used in tight formations.

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 A baseball bat you need to be within two feet of a person to hit them, unless you do a Hail Mary and throw it at someone. For some older people just lifting the bat with enough strength to give a powerful targeted swing can be very difficult. Plus, my mom is 5’2”. Men are an average of 5’10”. Swinging at a man’s head to knock him out would be pretty difficult for her. He could reach out and push her down or grab her before she pulled back enough to swing, unless she had the element of surprise on her side. Not that I want her to get a gun, I’m just saying a bat is much easier for an average adult man (not elderly) than say an average older woman. Ironically, I say all of this, and softball in my retirement community is a very popular sport.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Correct. I recommend mace for women, or elderly. Highly effective,non lethal, and no recoil. If the person lives in deep wilderness, I would go with bear spray, or even wasp spray. They have more range, but you really have to be apathetic to the person you spray…

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie You don’t swing for their head but go for the crotch or a knee with an upswing, it’s harder to block . Then go for the head.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Baseball bats are OK for jabbing in close quarters. You can do a lot of damage by jabbing someone in the teeth or sinuses with a regulation bat. But there is a reason cops have been carrying billy clubs since forever. The weighted end of a cue stick is quite effective as well. The many uses of the billy are on the net. In a jam, remember the car and house keys, too. They are quite effective if held in your fist with the keys protruding from your knuckles.

But it’s a lot easier to just get a dog. I wish I could have one on my boat. Or a 17 pound housecat. But that cat will kill you before he/she deems to allow some stupid human to train them.

jca's avatar

@Tropical_Willie: I think in the case of the elderly lady who is 5’2” (@JLeslie‘s mom), a baseball bat is not going to be easy for her to handle and it’s going to be easy for any reasonably strong intruder to take it away and hurt her.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Thus the invaluable cue stick. The bottom half, the weighted end. Superglue a bicycle handle to the narrow end and put a lanyard on it that she can slip on her wrist and it will be a lot more difficult to get it away from her.

chyna's avatar

I’m 5’2 and I think I would have no trouble swinging a bat. But, a bigger person probably could wrestle it from me before I could hit him. I like the idea of wasp spray because you don’t have to be too close.

JLeslie's avatar

When I was mugged I froze before I finally screamed out. Freezing is enough time for the bad guy to subdue me. Scary shit.

chyna's avatar

And I think I would probably freeze, too. I’ve heard noises in my house at night and freeze. Usually it’s the dog or ice maker.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I do think taking self defense classes helps a lot with the freeze problem.

Muad_Dib's avatar

Imagine freezing with a gun in your hand. Now the intruder has you and your gun.

jca's avatar

Let’s face it, no matter what the method, nothing is perfect. My “heavy object through the window” is not going to work in all the scenarios, all the time. Mace or pepper spray is not going to work unless it’s nearby and someone is able to grab it, a gun is not going to work unless someone is quick and ready to shoot, and also has the gun nearby when intruder intrudes, a bat or other heavy object is not do-able for someone who is weak.

@chyna – I’m not sure how old you are but @JLeslie‘s mom is probably at least in her early 70’s, so very likely not a match for a “bad guy” even if she has a bat or stick.

chyna's avatar

@jca. Yeah I said I wouldn’t be a match for a bigger guy either.

canidmajor's avatar

I’m still all about the dogs. The noise is a very effective deterrent, whether they would attack or not. My neighborhood is working class, no visible wealth, random intruders would be put off by the dogs barking. If an intruder were to target me, specifically, they would likely know enough to be able to hurt me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Funny how all the guys are going “Just whack them like this!” and the girls are going…um.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Haha, I’m all about whacking them too, provided you have the opportunity.
Actually I had the best attack “dog” in the world with my goose. Nobody got past Marwyn, he has wicked snap and twist and left hook wing action. LOL

ucme's avatar

Nah fuck that, we’d get the staff to release the hounds…guns are so crass & unnecessary.

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