You hear a crashing sound and the sound of people in your home. You roll out of bed and grab your gun. You look into your home and see several intruders. At least one of them has a gun. You shoot at them, and they shoot back. Now, they run from your home. You stay inside your home and call 911.
The police were already headed to the area because your neighbors reported gunshots. You put your gun away when the police arrive. Officers find one of your attackers at the scene. Emergency Medical Services declares him dead. Police arrest the other five robbers as they drive from the neighborhood.
One of your attackers is taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound. This attacker was recently convicted of armed assault and was out on bond awaiting sentencing. Your attackers are held on charges of first-degree robbery and felony murder.
You’re not charged with a crime.
Our defender did a number of things that night that probably saved his life. He was facing six attackers and at least two of them were armed with handguns. Fortunately, our defender had a gun of his own for his defense. The immediate threats were the intruders who had guns in their hands, and the homeowner shot them first. He did not chase the attackers when they ran from his home. Our defender called 911 and asked for help. He gave a brief statement to the police when they arrived.
There are a lot of things the news article would include if you or I were there for the interview. The Law Enforcement Today article did a pretty good job as it included several points I could only confirm after reading a number of news stories on the attack.
This story happened in southern California and in San Diego County in particular. It is difficult to get a carry permit from the Sheriff of San Diego County, but it is not impossible. I know from personal experience that purchasing any firearm in California is both slow and cumbersome. You have to fill out lots of forms and come back after a waiting period. It is almost as hard to get ammunition. Our homeowner did both.
California Resident Shoots Dead Man Carrying Out Home Invasion Robbery: Police https://t.co/xwc5UVhq55 Good for Homeowner – defending himself and his property.
— Geoffrey Damon (@gdamon1806) November 12, 2021
So have lots of other people. Despite California’s laws that burden legal gun owners, there are, in fact, millions of gun owners in the state. It sounds hard to believe, but California has the most gun owners of any state according to a recent firearms survey. Armed defenders are everywhere despite what the biased mainstream media tells us.
Our defender kept his firearm where he could get to it quickly at night. This is an important lesson for the millions of new gun owners who are learning to live with a gun in their home. Gun store clerks can tell you about bedside safes and other ways to store your loaded firearm. The homeowner also kept his firearm in a condition such that he could use it immediately even though he was half asleep. That was particularly important in this case.
Criminals don’t fight fair. These robbers brought six attackers against the occupants of the home. At least two of those attackers were armed. The home invaders intended to overwhelm the homeowner with their numbers and their violence.
We want to avoid fights we can’t win and, if forced to, pick the fights where we have the best chances. In this case, the homeowner could have been killed if he walked into the center of his home to find out what was happening. There is a time to wait your turn until an attacker with a gun in his hand is distracted. There is also a time when it is advantageous to put forward an immediate and violent defense.
Six attackers have an advantage because they could coordinate their attacks and overwhelm us. We can’t pay attention to all of them at the same time. A defense that is sufficiently sudden and violent means the attackers don’t have time to coordinate their actions against us. In this case, the home invaders were too busy getting shot to attack the homeowner.
The element of surprise won the fight. We can’t act quickly if we’ve never thought about what to do. This defender recognized that there were many attackers inside his home and reacted accordingly to plans he must have thought about ahead of time.
This home invasion robbery with six attackers is not as unusual as we might think. A recent survey indicated that about one-out-of-20 attacks had five or more assailants. If we keep digging into crime statistics, we see about half of the attacks occur at night, and one-out-of-four attacks happen in our homes. An attack like this isn’t common, but it happens regularly. That should influence our decision about the firearm we choose for home defense. A five-shot snub-nosed revolver would not be my first choice if all things were equal.
Our defender made other good choices. He stayed inside his home when the intruders turned and ran. We want the criminals to be long gone before we go near the door to close it.
All that may sound obvious, but it may also come as new ideas to people who bought their firearms recently. I hope these new gun owners will take a class covering defense-in-the-home after they have taken a firearms safety class. That is where the instructor should talk about cover and concealment.
You are harder to shoot if you are out of sight. You are harder to kill if bullets can’t reach you.
It is time I took a defense in the home class again. We’re all influenced by our culture. Close-up fighting makes good movie drama, but it can get us killed. A firearm works at a distance and that is how we should plan to use it. If we can, we want to leave the close-combat for the stuntmen.
One last thing to mention is that the homeowner called 911, but his neighbors had already reported the incident. We want to see if anyone is injured and then ask 911 for help. That is what the good guys do. We want the arriving officers to know there is an armed good guy in the home calling for help.
Good guys who planned ahead also call their lawyer.
Rob Morse highlights the latest self-defense and other shootings of the week. See what went wrong, what went right, and what we can learn from real-life self-defense with a gun. Even the most justified self-defense shooting can go wrong, especially after the shot. Get the education, the training, and the liability coverage you and your family deserve.
About Rob Morse
Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.