Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't shoot. Call 911.

Now here's some advice that the pro gun extremists won't tell you about in the case of a home invasion ( burglary). Use your telephone rather than a gun. What a novel idea. From the article:
"Luckily, there are many non-lethal options available to deal with that possibility, and non-lethal might be the safest way to go. After all, those menacing shadows behind your house could just be kids taking a shortcut through the neighborhood.
Perhaps the single most-important item to have handy when an intruder is on the property is a telephone.
Telephones and TASERs
"Call 9-1-1 immediately, and then retreat for safety," advised Steve Tuttle of TASER International, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that makes the well-known electric-shock devices.
If you feel you must protect yourself, your family and your property, a TASER or stun gun, especially one that shoots a TASER projectile, is a possible option.
As Tuttle explained, "It allows a 15-foot zone of protection and a 30-second window of opportunity to get to safety."
Check to make sure you're allowed to possess a TASER or stun gun. They're restricted or illegal in eight American states and in most other English-speaking countries."
Hmmm. This makes too much common sense. For those who believe a gun is the answer to everything this advice might seem arcane or irrelevant. If you are not a gun owner as most of us are not, actually, what do we think we will do in the case of a home invasion? Have you thought about this?

Or would you do what Byron Smith did in the recent Little Falls, Minnesota shooting of two teen agers who  broke into his home? Let's hope not. Shouldn't shooting somebody be the last resort instead of the first resort? It appears now that the teens had broken into other homes looking for prescription medications. The teens were at fault for breaking into homes and most particularly the home of Mr. Smith. We don't know what happened after the break-in and more details are sure to come as law enforcement learn more about the crime scene. But this was not a case of simple self defense. Could a 911 call have saved the lives of the teens? Could Mr. Smith have left by the basement door which, in a photo of the home, looks like it opens directly to the outside? There is no evidence that the teens were armed. Many people would, as Mr. Tuttle from the linked article above suggest, call 911 and retreat to a safer place in the home or go outside via a different door, if possible.

The shooting in Minnesota as well as the recent shooting of a Florida teen by a law abiding gun permit holder have put a spotlight on self defense and the use of guns for self defense. From the article:
When he was arrested, Dunn claimed he was going to turn himself in, but it does not explain fleeing the scene, or the county, or why his girlfriend failed to alert law enforcement about the shooting. After his arrest, Dunn told detectives “he felt threatened and that is the reason he took action.” Police in Jacksonville said the teens were unarmed, and Dunn is being held without bail and was transported to a jail in Jacksonville Monday to face murder and attempted murder charges . On Monday he pleaded not guilty in Brevard County court, and his attorney claimed “it will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted very responsibly and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these circumstances.” On Tuesday, his lawyer told a different story and claimed “he acted the way any responsible firearms owner would act in a similar situation because a shotgun was aimed at him,” and that her client  was “devastated that anyone was harmed in this instance.” Dunn did not tell police about a shotgun, and it is incredulous that he fired eight or nine shots into an occupied parked car and was devastated anyone was harmed. Police still claim the teens were unarmed, and that they admitted their music was loud, but that the confrontation was a verbal exchange over loud music. Apparently no-one left either vehicle.
A Florida attorney said using a “stand your ground” defense was tricky because “Mr. Dunn is going to have to answer the question, ‘Why did you not call the sheriff’s office? If you are reasonably protecting yourself, why did you leave the scene, get in the car, and the next day, flee the jurisdiction of Duval County?’ There’s no indication that Jordan or anyone else in that car had a gun, there’s no indication that they were any threat to Mr. Dunn.” Maybe the threat to Dunn was that 17-year-old Jordan Davis was African American, or that after just leaving his son’s wedding he was alcohol impaired; police will never know whether alcohol was a factor because they did not locate and arrest him in another county until the following day.
Mr. Dunn is likely to have an uphill battle in convincing a jury that shooting at a car full of teens for playing loud music was a justification for the murder of one of the teens. What did he think would happen when he fired 8 bullets into a car? Why didn't he call 911 if the music was that offensive? This case has received national attention, as well it should, for its' similarity to the Trayvon Martin case:
Police said they didn't find a weapon in the SUV with the young men, and Ron Davis said he doesn't believe Dunn's claim that he saw a gun. He thinks Dunn is searching for an explanation.
"They were just 17-year-old kids that were having a good time, coming from the mall," he said.
The shooting has revived the debate over Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force if they believe their life is in imminent danger. Dunn's attorney hasn't said whether she will argue the shooting was justified under the statute.
The law came under harsh criticism after Martin was shot in February by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who believed the teenager was acting suspicious. Martin and Zimmerman got into a fight and Zimmerman said he thought Martin was reaching for his gun. Authorities didn't arrest Zimmerman for more than a month after the shooting, adding to the furor.
"This case is so far from Trayvon Martin's case," Ron Davis said.
University of Miami law professor Tamara Lave, who has closely followed the Martin case, agreed.
"I don't see how he is going to prevail under 'stand your ground,'" Lave, a former public defender in San Diego for 10 years, said of Dunn. "You're allowed to own a gun. Even if there was a gun in the car, that doesn't mean the gun was used to threaten him in any way."
The shooting unfolded about 7:40 p.m. when Dunn stopped at the gas station with his girlfriend after going to his son's wedding, police said. Dunn's girlfriend went into the store, and he told the young men to turn the music down.
"It was loud, they admitted that, but that's not a reason for someone to open fire on them and take action," Jacksonville Sheriff's Lt. Rob Schoonover said.
Dunn fired eight or nine shots into the car and Davis was hit a couple of times, police said. Dunn's girlfriend ran outside.
"When she came out, she said, 'What's going on?' and supposedly his statement was, 'I just fired at these kids,'" Schoonover said. "At that time I don't know if he knew that he struck anyone in the vehicle."
Dunn and his girlfriend drove off and spent the night at a hotel. Dunn was arrested a day later at his home in Satellite Beach, about 160 miles away, when police tracked his license plate.
He told detectives he had been in the process of turning himself in to a neighbor, who was in law enforcement.
"His side of the story is he felt threatened and that is the reason he took action," Schoonover said.
Dunn was described by police as a gun collector who shot at local ranges. His attorney, Robin Lemonidis, told The Florida Times-Union her client "absolutely" saw someone with a shotgun in the SUV. She only said "we'll see" if Florida's "stand your ground" law would be part of her defense.
Police didn't know if Dunn had a concealed weapons permit, but said he had the gun for a "long period of time."
Lemonidis told the newspaper Dunn was "devastated that anyone was harmed in this instance."
Phone calls made to his relatives were not immediately returned.
Police said they were looking into whether alcohol was a factor, but didn't know. Lemonidis said it was not. An assistant for her said she did not want talk more about the case more until the trial.
Stand Your Ground laws are and should be under scrutiny. From this linked article in the Minnesota Post:
For Ms. Stilling, the main problem is expanding the scope of the these laws beyond the home.
"When you're talking about the sidewalk immediately outside your house, it seems to me that's going to be an area where there's a higher potential for kids, perhaps naughty but innocent of any destructive intent, could end up," she says. Just talking to teenagers reveals stories "about underage drinking parties, or 'Risky Business' parties, and how everybody ran from the cops and scattered into surrounding yards, where they could end up in a position to frighten someone."
In an opinion article for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, she wrote: "I do think that someone needs to tell the kids that the rules have changed."
If the recent incidents raise concerns about an increased danger to teens, however, they also show that prosecutors retain power to take action against those who, they say, misapply the law.
In Florida, Mr. Dunn has been charged with murder and attempted murder. His lawyer says he will invoke stand your ground in defense. Dunn claims he saw a shotgun being raised in the back seat of the car. Neither witnesses nor police report seeing or finding a gun.
In Minnesota, Mr. Smith has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder. While the initial shootings may have been defensible under Minnesota's new castle law, prosecutors said, Smith's decision to shoot the injured teenagers again is likely not covered under the law, since any bodily threat to him had been effectively neutralized.
Yes, the rules have changed. Law abiding gun owners feel emboldened to shoot teens ( or others) for being naughty. This is not how it has always been. This a result of the extreme agenda of the NRA and its' minions. In some cases, the Stand Your Ground defense is not helping the shooters. That's a good thing. But why have the laws in the first place if that is the case? The laws just might be creating more situations where a gun owner feels as if they can shoot without consequence. Without the laws in place, would the mentality be different? I'm just asking but I'm not the only one who is asking. How many more of these cases will it take for the citizens and legislators in states that have Stand Your Ground type laws to reconsider how the laws are actually working. Real people are being shot to death about things that don't deserve killing. There are non lethal ways to deal with people doing naughty or even unlawful things. Do these people deserve to be shot to death? We should remember that George Zimmerman, the shooter of Trayvon Martin, had already called 911 to report what he thought was "suspicious behavior" by Martin as he walked through a Sanford, Florida neighborhood unarmed. That's where Zimmerman should have left off and the police should have taken over. If Martin was doing anything wrong the police would have discovered that. But he would have been alive today. Taking the law into one's own hands is not often a good idea. If Mr. Dunn was offended by the loud music coming from a car full of teens, why not call 911? Police might have come to suggest that the teens turn the music down. But since when is playing loud music a criminal offense? The intolerance of others and the shoot first, ask questions later mentality exhibited in these high profile cases is frightening.

With more cases like these in daily news reports all over America, attention should be focused on whether Stand Your Ground laws, conceal and carry laws and the mentality of the gun rights advocates are leading to more safe communities. There are cases of legitimate and justifiable self defense. Most states have statutes that allow people to defend themselves. But the NRA wanted more. They have overshot their influence and should be helping to deal with the problems created by their own laws. As long as people continue to believe that they are justified in shooting and killing another human being over loud music, walking through a neighborhood while unarmed and Black, or in an unarmed burglary, we will have vigilante justice carried out in our communities. Common sense tells most people to deal with these situations differently. Take the advise of the first linked article, above. Call 911. It will save lives.


Please read this great article about what MSNBC show host Melissa Harris-Perry had to say about the shooting of Jordan Davis in Florida by a law abiding gun owner:
On Saturday, Harris-Perry drew parallels between Davis' death and the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was also unarmed when he was shot and killed by George Zimmermann earlier this year. One similarity, she said, was "that sense for those of us who know them and love them that this country is no place for young black men."
Citing the gruesome murder of Emmett Till in the 1950s, she said that one thing has remained the same over generations of American history: "No presumption of innocence for young black men, no benefit of the doubt. Guilt not determined by what they did or said but presumed to be inherent in their very being. They need not wield a weapon to pose a threat because if you are a young black man, you are threat enough."


  1. When syg isn't helping shooters it only proves that the law is effective- its there to protect legitimate cases of self defense while allowing other laws such as murder or manslaughter be applued when its proven tge shooter or defender acted outside the parameters of justifiable uses of force. I agree, that's great- syg needs to stay however because those who successfully and legitimately defend themselves need protection after the fact from civil lawsuits often and audaciously effected by a criminal's family.

    As a former medic, i also agree, dial 911. However remember, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. In Massachusetts, civilians can't own tasers, so pepper spray (which i carry as well) or a firearm remain the only realistic choices for self defense. Funny you'd choose to quote taser though - not only are they schilling their product, but taser international has been the defendant in many civil suits because its not always less than lethal. Too many times people go into cardiac arrest and sadly, too many cops use them as a means of doling out " punishment " to suspects, in many cases, kids.

    At the end of the day, castle laws were written long before the martin shooting- they aren't going away and laws exist for when people like Smith cross the line.

    1. Obviously you read that I said self defense laws are in place in every state- castle laws. We have a castle doctrine provision in Mn. law. It's been working. We don't need to take that further step with SYG laws. That was my point. We will disagree about this. They were a solution looking for a problem.

  2. In the case of the Minnesota shooter, Byron Smith, he gave no warning, he attempted no retreat, and he didn't just shoot the kids, he executed them by shooting them multiple times and then finishing them off with a point-blank headshot. He's a pitiful excuse for a human. What's more, his house had been broken into several times in the past few years, and yet he apparently has done nothing to harden his house against further break-ins, other than to arm himself to the hilt -- no security system, no bars on windows, no dog, no good relationships with neighbors. He's a paranoid loner with a gun fetish and propensity for killing, with tragic results. Yes, the teens were troubled, and yes, they broke into his home, but they were unarmed and unwarned, and didn't deserve to die for their crime.

    There are many things he could have done to harden his home and dissuade the teens from breaking in in the first place. See here: http://newtrajectory.blogspot.com/2011/01/alternatives-to-gun-ownership-for-home.html

  3. As for the Florida shooter, Dunn, who killed the teen boy at the gas station, he is obviously guilty and knows it. He claims the boys threatened him verbally and with a shotgun, but no gun was found. He then fled the scene, even leaving the county, and didn't notify anyone about what happened; police had to track him down. He's making excuses for his paranoid, violent, lethal, and possibly racist behavior, and needs to be held responsible. Meanwhile, yet another family mourns.

    Luckily, unlike other "stand your ground" cases, it's not just the word of the shooter against a dead kid, but there were other teens in the car to testify against him.

  4. Syg makes sense for rightful cases of self defense outside the home. We are trying to get it passed here in Massachusetts for the reasons i stated above- to protect people from overzealous prosecution and from expensive civil litigation.

    We won't see the day where concealed carry is outlawed and you and i can both agree that those who abuse their rights.should be punished.

    1. LOL- good luck getting a SYG law passed in Massachusetts. Why bother? With all the problems with the laws in other states, why would any state that doesn't have it consider it? I believe the proof that these laws don't work is in the actual real people being killed.

  5. Joan, by and large they were getting killed anyway. No matter how you spin it towards the legal CCW crowd, the majority of gun violence is the result of inner city disputes over drugs. Legalize classes of drugs, work on the reasons for crime - as your president even said in the last debate, and guess what? a LO of these problems go away.

    Massachusetts may well get a SYG passed - given that LTC applications and approvals are up in a nearly unthinkable trend for such a liberal state, more will want to have the legal protection from civil litigation as discussed. Again, punish those who abuse the right, Im with you on that - most CCW holders will be there with you on that. Its when you refuse to accept that lawful self defense can happen in and outside the home, that we disagree.

    1. Apparently you have missed that I have repeatedly said that people have a right to self defense. We already have protections for justifiable self defense. We don't need SYG laws. More people are dying because of it. If you don't think Dunn was more emboldened to shoot into that car because he knew there was a SYG law, then you aren't living in the real world. If you don't think George Zimmerman didn't have that on his mind when he followed Trayvon Martin and got out of his car to deal with him, you are in denial. These laws are not going to make you gun rights enthusiasts look good. It's time for you all to take a second look and stop advocating for these laws. They are a bad idea.

  6. There are many problems with the "Get away with murder" laws.

    First off, they remove any fear of prosecution and we have blatant executions being performed by people who either know, or just believe, they will get away with murder: e.g., Joe Horn, George Zimmerman, Byron Smith, Michael Dunn, and so on.

    Secondly, they remove any civil penalty for those who act extra-legally.

    The problem is that the doctrine of self-defence has two components: fear of serious bodily injury or death and the use of reasonable force to stop that threat. "Get Away With Murder" laws allow for deadly force to be the first option even if that option is unreasonable.

    You can argue until you are blue in the face about self-defence, but if people are literally executing or murdering people without justification and claiming that they "were afraid", then you will see a serious backlash if there are absolutely no consequences.

    I can tell that you have not really thought through your proposition since you are unaware of what serious miscarriages of justice occur from these laws.

  7. One more study:

    In a review of the close to 200 Stand Your Ground cases heard in Florida courts since 2005, the Tampa Bay Times finds that most people who raise a Stand Your Ground defense have a criminal arrest record. Indeed, in more than 1/3rd of Florida Stand Your Ground defendants who killed someone have previously been arrested for threatening someone with a gun or illegally carrying a weapon. The law has been used to free gang members, drug dealers fighting with their clients, and perpetrators who shot their victim in the back.

    1. Laci,

      I believe I found the article you quoted.
      It has an extensive database of the cases they researched. It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the law in the upcoming legislative session. Many legislators have been quoted as wanting to change the law. A big factor that will possibly affect any changes could be a perception that it is having an effect on violent crime, which has dropped 23% since the law went into effect. Obviously there can be other factors affecting the drop in crime, but sometimes perception over rules fact.


      Defense attorneys are becoming quite imaginative in using the law to protect their clients because the law was apparently pretty vague as originally written.
      The number of fatalities has dropped in stand your ground cases since it's inception.
      I would encourage everyone to wander the article.

    2. "Wandering" the article will show that the SYG laws have had no effect on the drop in violent crime. Florida does come in as one of the 20 deadliest states for firearms deaths. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/01/11/20-deadliest-gun-states-from-mississippi-to-arizona.html

      You can "wander" through this article as well- http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/the-geography-of-gun-deaths/69354/

      And finally, try this article- http://www.theblaze.com/stories/study-guns-dont-kill-people-stand-your-ground-laws-do/

      "Cheng and Hoekstra also argue that strengthening concealed carry gun rights and Castle Doctrine laws has no “meaningful deterrence” on theft-related crimes. They said this surprised them."

      There are many articles written about the subject. As more states have adopted SYG laws, we may see more studies. It often takes years for the effect of these laws to make a difference one way or the other. As for me, as long as shootings like the recent one in Florida take place, I say that SYG laws are a terrible idea. There was no justification for that shooting. If we continue to see shootings like this, we have a huge problem.

  8. Japete,

    You need to straighten this man out. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/11/30/city-attorney-tells-san-bernardino-residents-to-lock-their-doors-load-their-guns-because-of-police-downsizing/

    California is the highest Brady ranked state in the US so naturally it is the safest. Even without police there could be no crime. Oh, maybe on the border with other states but surely not clear over in San Bernadino. As your blog states, you only need a phone and 911, not a gun. Jeez. This guy is way off kilter.

    Let us know how it goes.

    1. There's a pretty clear point here, Robin. Funding for law enforcement is key to public safety. When the federal government doesn't fund states adequately, states don't have money. When states don't have money, they don't fund local governments adequately. This is a nation wide problem. In general in most places violent crime rates are down. Read the articles posted in comments above.

    2. Joan, I really have to strenuously disagree with you on LE funding. I know, its a sacred cow on both sides, but Law Enforcement in most states, is already well funded, especially since the "war" on terrorism and the (un)PATRIOT act...oh and that laughable "war" on drugs.

      I think its deplorable that law enforcement always gets top tier funding, ahead of fire, ems, social services and schools. we have absolutely no focus on the community services, even here in MA, because the cops need extra men, extra gear, extra this, extra that. One smallish town near me even recieved an armored personnel carrier for "SWAT OPERATIONS" they've never had a need for before.

      We're paramilitarizing our police forces to a degree that makes me think 1984. All that does is create an environment where the police view the citizenry as second class and the people view the police as would be oppressors or revenue enhancers with guns. You push for more funding and why? Gun violence occurs largely among the uneducated or impovreshed -- why then are schools getting deep cuts in services and personnel and the police getting the biggest and baddest technology?

      The disproportionate funding of the police vs social services and education in this country is a major, albiet causally ignored factor in the violence debate. The police have their money - a lot of it. Meanwhile, No Child Left Behind remains an unfunded mandate that keeps our schools and children hopelessly disadvantaged.

      Educate the kids, feed the hungry and get the poor in from the cold - then you might see changes. Society in the US and indeed the world, is on the decline. As an atheist, I tend to thumb my nose at religious mores, but there is a lot to be said about the Catholic notions of love thy neighbor...the Beattitudes teach us that such things reaps rewards not just in the envisioned afterlife, but here on Earth.

      I'm returning to Boston to see my family today, Joan - you have yourself a great weekend.

    3. Show me proof that LE is well funded. I'm just not seeing it. Have a nice week-end.

  9. you're either ignoring it altogether or purposefully missing the point as to why I support some form of stand your ground and an enhanced castle statute - both of which are being fought for in MA and other states (now numbering 49) which allow concealed carry.

    - SYG has specific provisions that are needed to shield the defender from excessive prosecution - ie an attorney looking for some way to hook the shooter on a charge even after the shooting (or any taking of a life) was deemed justified.

    - Civil liability - once someone has been deemed to have acted lawfully, that has to be the END of the matter. The family of the criminal killed or injured while pursuing criminal activity, cannot be allowed to bring forth a suit against the person who acted lawfully.

    Castle does not cover this. SYG DOES.

    I am willing to concede that SYG needs to be modified or more tightly controlled to avoid abuse. YOU need to concede that those citizens who lawfully defend themselves should be afforded reasonable protections as outlined above.

    Please take me at my word, I too have been disgusted by many of the cases you discuss and as someone whose seen a LOT of death in his career, I'm more than interested in reducing access to the wrong types of gun owners and to making sure the innocent are protected.

    Think of it like healthcare - in theory, its a good law, but in time, its going to be modified to patch up some of the legislative mistakes contained in the bill. SYG can be mended ass well. You cite the Miami cases where former criminals and gang members are getting away with murder -- well, one more reason to make fun of FL - how on god's green earth are gang members with criminal records even exempted under SYG? The mere fact that they're holding a gun is a felony - SYG shouldn't even come into play! The gentleman shooting up a car load of kids because of their music - come on, why is FL even allowing SYG to be considered? My point is this, judicial refinement will go a long way in correcting those issues.

    As I've said before, concealed carry and gun ownership (which I know you've said you don't want to take away) is not going anywhere - the trend even in my home, liberal enclave of Massachussetts, is seeing huge upticks in LTC-A applications (license to carry, unrestricted, class A) and firearm purchases.

    I'm actually learning now how to give classes so people qualify and the biggest focus is on safety and legality -- I've taken several more classes on what it means to use force as a civilian - I think this should be required of all who seek to strap a weapon to their hip. Id even take this a step further, a break from the NRA mantra - I'd like to have the ability as an instructor, to weed out the non-hackers and maniacs as I see them through a reporting process.

    See, some of us are reasonable. Some of us share some of your interests. Not all of the "gun guys" are coldblooded murderers.

    1. Not ignoring- I disagree with you, that's all. That should not be considered to be ignoring. We have a difference of opinion on the necessity of the law. On a moral and philosophical basis, I'm against people being shot. Any measure that will increase the chances is something I would oppose. The SYG laws, even with the reasons you give, are not necessary. Please provide me with cases where people who have shot someone in justifiable self defense have been wronged. As far as I know they are very few and when compared to the number of cases of people being shot and then the shooter using SYG as a defense are becoming more frequent. The problem with your reasonable approach and saying the laws need to be tweaked is that the gun rights advocates will be against it. They will fight any measure to change the laws. How can you get support for changing the laws? I'd love to know. My side can't get it. Your side won't.

  10. "Call 9-1-1 immediately, and then retreat for safety,"

    Actually almost all experts who train armed self defense in the home encourage this. And the police routinely call for help when things turn violent. Though some might not have that option. For example, I'll be happy to hole up in my room and wait for police with my gun IF I can get all of my kids in that room. Until I can, I have to hold between the threat and them until that happens. In my case that puts me about 15 feet from the front door.
    Tazers are an option for citizens to use for defense. Though in some ways they are treated just like a firearm in Minnesota. For example, if you cant legally possess a firearm, you cant legally posess a tazer either. There are also physical limitations in the effectiveness of tazers. And as was mentioned earlier, there is the occasional death with them also.
    If someone can develop a device that can reliably stop assailants without injury, I'd be happy to consider changing my choice of weapons. However, even law enforcement recognize some of the tazer's limitations and use it as a supplimental weapon to their firearm.
    The Blaze article was interesting especially considering the source. Though from my reading it all boiled down to thins:

    "Their explanation? Instead of thinking twice about invading a home that is protected by a Castle Doctrine, illogical criminals instead may choose to arm themselves as well, turning a routine burglary into a potential shooting death."

    It sort of sounds like I shouldnt use a firearm to defend my family until the police arrive because it makes the criminals mad. Illegal entry into an occupied home to take property isnt really a burglary, and it isnt naughtiness. The "burglars" have accepted that they are willing to risk an encounter with the homeowner, and according to the article you supplied, arm themselves for such an encounter in states with castle doctorine such as Minnesota.
    The killings in Little Falls, by the accused's own admission isnt a self defense case, or even a castle doctorine case. So it isnt really germain to a discussion of self defense in the home.

    1. But Mr. Smith, though he said a lot of really scary things, was assumingly under the belief that he could shoot these kids in self defense. There are plenty of people on the gun blogs and even his own friends who believe that as well. It is germain. People believe they can shoot people in self defense no matter what. I don't. Maybe you don't. But there are plenty on your side of the issue who do. That is a problem for your side of the issue. Especially after all of teh shootings of late.

  11. Joan, i hope it never happens but if my family is threatened by a burglar- gun, knife, bat- my pitbull- no matter what, im willing to fight for their safety. If someone breaks into my home, a dangerous encounter is what they signed up for.

    1. That's your world. I will call 911.