This home owner had every right to be mad at these burglars, but let’s think about the wisdom in what he did to stop them. Do you think about the real costs of your actions?
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What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against burglars?
- One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “imminence,” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ). Imminence means the physical threat to you and your loved ones is happening RIGHT NOW, that it’s neither too late nor too early for you to defend yourself! The standard of imminence is seen as a triad of ability, opportunity, and jeopardy (also known as the AOJ triad, which is explained here: http://get-asp.com/pm3k in some detail).
- The “fleeing felon rule” generally applies to Law Enforcement Officers in the performance of their duties, and since 1985’s Tennessee vs. Garner decision the ability to use deadly force to apprehend a fleeing felon by LEO has been limited to cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that the fleeing felon is a continuing threat of serious physical harm to the officer or the public. However, how that law applies to non-LEO varies state by state. Make sure to know your local laws so that you know the limitations of shooting a fleeing felon or hitting one with your car, especially if you’re not a police officer.
- Our defensive strategy is always dictated by our mission. It’s worth remembering that the mission of military members (to overwhelm the enemy with force and drive them from the battlefield) is different than the mission of law enforcement officers (to protect and serve the public interest by subduing and arresting those suspected of crime) is different than the mission of armed private citizens (to protect their loved ones from harm by breaking contact effectively with violent criminals). Those varied missions will dictate what skills are needed and what tactics are employed! Our goals as self-defenders are not to enact justice or to punish evildoers, but to protect those we love.
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! You don’t want the first time you’ve thought of your response to a fleeing felony burglar to be when you encounter one!
- We must each decide what is worth protecting. Life is always worth protecting because it is of inestimable worth; as unique bearers of the image of God, people are the most valuable “thing” imaginable. Property is something else, though. With property we always have to balance the benefit against the risk to ourselves and our families. Even where it’s legally allowed, you should consider whether it’s wise or prudent to defend your property, because doing so puts you at risk and not just the bad guy.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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