Defending Your Home? Be Smart And Be Safe

“Most gun control arguments miss the point. If all control boils fundamentally to force, how can one resist aggression without equal force? How can a truly “free” state exist if the individual citizen is enslaved to the forceful will of individual or organized aggressors? It cannot.”
― Tiffany Madison

“Disarming law-abiding citizens will not stop unlawful citizens from obtaining one.”
― Cliff Hannold

One of the more serious discussions I have with other preppers concerns the security of your home and property. The same questions come up time and again and unfortunately it is not an easy question to answer. The main question to me is do I need to protect what is mine, and the answer to that is without a doubt yes. When it comes to my house and my family in it, I will resort to every measure that I know of to keep them safe.

So, the question then becomes, Do I need to own a gun to protect my family? Again, I answer that with an unequivocal yes. Now remember, that is a decision that I made based on my personal life experiences and where I live. I can’t make a decision for you, but hopefully I will be able to point you in a direction that will enable you to make your own informed decision.

It is imperative that if you decide that you want to own a firearm to protect your life and liberty, you should search the internet to find out what the laws are in reference to how far you can legally go to protect you and your property. Many states, including mine (NYS), have what is referred to as a Castle Doctrine. I urge everyone out there who decides that protecting their home is important to become familiar with what their individual states say.

As strange as it may sound, if after reading the law, you don’t understand something, I would consult a lawyer for clarification. I am pretty sure that “I interpreted it this way” won’t hold up in any court and you don’t want to go to prison for ridding the world of some human excrement.

For example, “New York State also has a Castle Doctrine. The doctrine states that if a persons dwelling or occupied building is being invaded or burglarized, the occupant can use deadly force without a warning shot, calling 9-1-1, or a belief that the person is armed.” That sounds pretty straightforward, yes? It does, however, come with a caveat. NYS does not have a Stand Your Ground statute meaning that if someone is on your property you can shoot first and ask questions later. You have a legal duty to retreat if you can do so safely. Now if the person or persons then follows you into your home and you are under attack, as far as I am concerned, fire at will.

Once again, it is crucial that you consult the laws of the state that you live in to save yourself from any legal issues.

Here is a nice synopsis for those of us that live in NYS (NYC is a whole other topic):

NY’s Duty to Retreat and Castle Doctrine

New York State is also governed by a “duty to retreat.” This concept does not mean surrender; but rather, before you act in self-defense you must take reasonable actions to mitigate the risk of harm, which includes fleeing and calling the police. For example, you would have a duty to retreat if someone threatened violence while you dine in a public park. The duty to retreat is essentially the opposite of a “stand your ground law,” where you are not obligated to flee the scene if threatened. 

But retreat may not always be possible or required. If you are in your home, for example, there is no duty to retreat if an aggressor intrudes and threatens physical harm. This concept is guided by the “castle doctrine,” a clause that typically refers to defending yourself inside your property. It ties to the old adage that “one’s home is his or her castle,” and they should not have to abandon it amid a threat. The key difference between the castle doctrine and stand your ground, is that the former takes place in private settings, like homes or businesses. 

If an intruder entered your house and you used deadly force because you believed you were in danger, the castle doctrine may be applied after-the-fact, as part of your defense in court. It is not a license to kill and – taken a step further – does not “allow” you to harm anyone. For example: luring someone into your house, shooting them, and then claiming self-defense under the castle doctrine later will not exonerate you.

Tomorrow we will talk about the type of weapon you might want to consider having in your home.

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