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It's OK to knife a burglar in the UK

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by dmc, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    While what Montresor says is correct (that there are incidents of people breaking into a home a beating the crap out of the occupants before robbing it), the vast majority of home burglaries occur when you aren't home. Burglars aren't idiots, and for the most part, they'd prefer not having the risk of breaking into a home, having the home owner wake up, and getting the drop on them. Afterall, you know your home a lot better than they do, especially in the dark, and where you can hide for an ambush.

    That said, since there is a far greater chance that you won't be home than you will be at the time of the burgary, it almost defeats the purpose of keeping a gun in the house for home protection. If you're on vacation a whole lot of good that gun sitting in your house will do you.

    I don't own a gun, but I do have a security system on the house. Upon entering the house it starts beeping. You have one minute to disarm it, or it automatically sends a message to the security company - and the alarm goes off full blast at that point. The beeping itself is pretty loud - there's no way you'd sleep through it. After minute is up the security company calls your house to see if you need assistance. If they don't get an answer they call police. If you pick up the phone you can give them your PIN, at which point they'll deactivate the alarm and they won't call police. If the burglar has entered your house, you're there, and they make you pick up the phone (in hopes that you'll tell the security company everything is fine and it's a false alarm) there's an alternate PIN you can give them that will cause them to shut the alarm off (to make the burglar THINK you told them it's OK, but that they'll still call the police and send them out immediately.
     
  2. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    If someone did break into your home, there's a good chance you wont wake up anyway, and even if you did, you would be drowsy. The best way to protect yourself and you family is to properly protect your home in the first place.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Not with an alarm system. I could see if you're in a really deep sleep you may not hear the fairly loud beeping of when the person first opens your door. (I tend to hear it, because it sounds a lot like an alarm clock, which I'm conditioned to respond to.) Of course, the would-be burglar would be so close to the alarm system that he'd definitely hear it and it might just scare him away. However, when the full alarm sounds one-minute later, you'd have to be practically deaf to not wake up.
     
  4. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Alarms are still a rareity, eventhough they are relatively inexpensive today.
     
  5. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I do have an alarm, and it's on when I'm sleeping. But by the time the alarm company or the police arrives, I might be dead or badly injured already.

    On Thursday I read this story in the national press: A robber broke into the home of a 79-year old woman while she was sitting in her living room - beat her on the head with a "blunt instrument" - proceeded to tie her up with tape and forced her to hand over her credit card and tell him where to find the valuables - then left her tied up and in pain. If a scumbag like that enters my home and I can in any way defend myself, I will. I have no wish to be his source of income, or his boxing bag if he's feeling a bit down because his wife burned the toast that morning.

    A year or two ago, an old man over in Jutland never had the chance to cooperate. The robbers started by beating up him and his wife. The wife survived by pretending to be dead while her husband was beaten to death with blunt instruments. I guess they just happened to overdo the initial "beat them up to show them we mean business" beating but the odds are just too bad for me.

    Edited to add this: I should probably add that I don't equate burglars with home robbers. A burglar enters a home he believes to be empty in order to steal. I don't believe the money is the primary, or at the very least not the only, motive for a home robber. He enters a home he knows to be occupied in order to mistreat the occupants. His motive is not just personal enrichment; it is cruelty, to make the occupants suffer and watch them cringe before him. The money is an added benefit. He could probably make the same "profit" with much less risk (as in, much shorter prison sentences, and much less risk of being recognized and caught) by burgling empty houses.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  6. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Guns are the great equalizer for women, elderly, and the vast majority of geeks. They are the only thing that enable them to have a chance against a teenage/twenties male with the intent to do them great harm.
     
  7. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    As I said, in these circumstances there isnt anything you can do, obviously the old couple had no time to react in much the same way you may have no time to react if robbers start beating the crap out of you while your still in bed, the best defence is to properly protect your home and prevent the robbers entering, they generally pick easy targets, open windows, single pane windows, rotten doors or frames, no security lighting, no alarm, no animals and no CCTV, properties which are hidden from view are also good targets. Sometimes robberies are not spur of the moment, they may have watched a property for some time, know who lives there and even have a layout of the property.

    With regards to an intruder in your home and you are awake and alert, I dont think anyone has said not to defend youself if you have to, I have said to pick your fights, if you can, get everyone into one room and barricade the door until help arrives, chances are if they are pottering around downstairs and have made enough noise to wake you, they are also aware of this and may preempt your trip downstairs to deal with them. Dont do anythign stupid, by all means protect your family if they venture up towards your bedrooms, but dont wander downstairs and get youself gutted like a fish for the sake of a few easily replaceable gadgets.
     
  8. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Have a "good" chance, at least. Generally, I agree, but it certainly helps if the gun owner knows what s/he's doing with that weapon.

    Then again, I do presume the majority of gun owners will likely spend at least some time on the shooting range. It would be quite foolish to own a firearm and not spend a modicum of time training how to use it.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I've noted something similar in past threads on this topic. If someone enters your home with the knowledge that it is occupied, you've got a major problem. First of all, if they were only there to rob you, they could have easily shown up when you weren't there. Obviously, they are there not just for what you own but for you as well. They also, it would seem, have a plan on how to deal with you. The reason that scenario is much scarier is a weapon may not even help you - there's a good chance the intruder came armed as well, as he was expecting a confrontation.
     
  10. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Which is all the more reason to unload on their ass before they have a chance to do the same to you. If they are entering your home while you are there, there are not a mere burglar. OR if they are, they are freaking morons.
     
  11. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Im just picturing the scene from the police academy film where Tackleberry nearly shoots his father in the dark.
     
  12. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Hmm, I wonder how often the cops hear that - "I didn't mean to shoot my husband, officer! I heard scratching at the door, then steps and I thought it was a burglar! Yes, the damn pig was drunk as f..k again and stank of female perfume, but what does that have to do with anything?"
     
  13. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    There will always be circumstances that are outside the box. Wife shooting husband and claiming it was a burglar obviously requires investigation from the police. But complete stranger dressed in black and ski mask with weapon in one hand and my property in another is a completely different scenario.
     
  14. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Im not on about dodgy situations, Im on about that age old statistic that you are more likely to shoot a family member than you are an intruder.
     
  15. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    That is an extremely valid and cogent point -- you should make sure that an intruder is actually an intruder and not your son coming home for a surprise visit from college.

    Once they are known to be criminals, though, I say kill them. It's the only way you are ensured of justice these days. Otherwise, by the time it's all said and done, our liberal courts will have YOU up on charges of racism for not cheerfully giving away your money, jewelry, electronics, and children to the poor underprivileged <insert whatever "disadvantaged" group you want here> who was robbing you.
     
  16. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    so... what if they are armed? they see a shadow coming down the stairs and blow your head off?

    I mean, at the end of the day, you dont bring a knife to a possible gun fight
     
  17. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I would agree with the earlier comments made that the best thing to do is keep your house secure -- deadbolts, chains, locks on the windows, alarm systems, etc. It is my understanding that such precautions deter many opportunistic criminals.

    But a determined criminal can enter if he really is motivated to do so. If he does, then I believe homeowners have the right to defend themselves. They should do it intelligently, of course, but in terms of rights, I have no problem saying that the homeowner is totally within his rights to take the bastard down if it can be done safely. But even though it increases risk, I believe that some effort to make sure that it's really a criminal are in order. As Shoshino mentioned, family members can get shot by accident by a ramped up homeowner -- it's happened before.
     
  18. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Riight, because minorities are so underrepresented in jail, of course the courts shield them. I have to say, you are becoming inordinately bitter about it. Did you get slapped with a discrimination suit or something?
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I think most of those could be prevented if the homeowner wasn't over-zealous with his gun use. Look, you know how many members are in your family, and you should know how many of them are or are not in the house when you go to sleep. For most people, the list includes you, your significant other, and your kid(s) if you have any. At the very least, you should know which ones aren't there, and which ones have a key to let themselves in. Presuming you know that one or more members of your household is not home, when you hear the door open, you should definitely not be of the mindset "Shoot first, ask questions later."

    Unfortunately Shoshino is completely right. You are much more likely to be the victim of a accidental shooting if there is a gun in your house than you are to ever shoot someone who breaks in. That said, I think there is one statistic that is hard to track that offers some conterweight to the argument. You cannot possibly know how many crimes are prevented by having a gun in your house. That doesn't completely balance off the chance of an accidental shooting, but you cannot know how many failed robbies occur (or how many would-be criminal pick a different target) if you have a gun in your house.
     
  20. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    No one has slapped me with a suit. I just am very tired of the lack and common sense that our system shows on a regular basis.
     
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