A Salinas, California homeowner is not being charged after shooting a home invader this week. Police have said he was within his right of using equal/opposite force, when he spotted 27 year old Ray Espino lurking in the bushes outside his house at 4am. Shortly thereafter he heard noises in his garage and investigated, gun in hand.
The homeowner ended up shooting Espino, and while Police say it seems he was within his rights under California law to do so, and that he was completely cooperative with detectives, the case has not yet been closed.
This is an example of two things-one, a homeowner protecting himself and his family with his firearm, and two-a homeowner doing the wrong thing in this situation.
If you read this blog, you know my feelings/thoughts on putting yourself into situations where you have no choice, but to use deadly force. If you haven’t read this blog before, it’s a simple rule. Its one you learned when you were a kid: He who turns and runs away, lives to fight another day! In other words, if you hear a ruckus in your garage, take a position of defense inside, after making sure the doors are locked-and call the cops. This is home defense 101 and this will save your life-maybe not in a literal sense, but in a figurative one.
This day in age, there are home invaders, murderers, and rapists suing those who arrest, beat, and/or shoot them in the course of self-defense. Our society has reached a point where felons, convicts behind bars, and sleaze who are awaiting trial are gumming up the civil courts with lawsuits against innocent citizens, police officers/departments, and those whose homes they invaded. There are cases pending in every major jurisdiction in this country that prove that statement. Don’t put yourself in that position.
If you’ve taken a home defense class, or even the CCW licensure classes for FL, UT, IL, or any other state that requires 16 hours of training, this very issue has been covered(if you haven’t taken these classes, do so, even if they aren’t required-you won’t regret it). It’s simple, and George Zimmerman would be the very first person to agree with me. Whether you are legally within your rights in the action, such as the homeowner in Salinas, CA, you are still wrong where your family’s well being is concerned. You shoot a guy who isn’t armed and who doesn’t pose an immediate threat of permanent disfigurement or death to you, you are going to get sued if you punch him full of holes. That is how our society works. So, avoid it.
Have a safe room in your home. Make it strategic, so that you have the advantage of surprise if someone approaches it. Make it a place that is easy to get your family into, should you hear noise downstairs, or in the living area of a ranch if it is one storey (generally the sleeping quarters are away from the living area). Make sure you can move your family there swiftly. Make sure you can see someone coming from all directions. Make sure there is a phone in there at all times. If you hear a noise like that, be dialing 911, while you move your family to the safe room. Then, when they are safe, if you fell it is safe to do so, lock the doors, unless the noises are coming from within the house. If they are, hunker down in place, with your family safe, and your firearm in hand.
These steps are simple, and will save your life, should this situation arise. You won’t get sued if your family is hunkered down, and your last resort was shooting someone who approached that room after you warned them you were home, and you had a firearm. And the way to guarantee you won’t win in court is equally as simple. Nowadays you can buy a DVR and 5 security cameras with audio for under $500. If you have the cameras strategically placed throughout the house so that any intruder walks through bright enough light for their facial features to be recorded, and so that your safe room entrance is covered, a shooting by you is on tape, with the audio of you warning an intruder will be your ticket to winning a civil case, as well as not buying a homicide beef.
In the end, simple planning is what makes any operation a success. Major companies spend billions on logistics plans. Military operators/warriors always have a plan. They have a “safe room” which is a firebase with a “wire”, wherein they can see everything outside that wire, just as you can from the door of your safe room. They do this, in the event of an intrusion by an “invader”. This type of practice has been in place for centuries.
While you are planning your safe room, and the myriad strategic logistical setups, also plan an escape route. Your safe room must have a window, with safe access to the ground below. If it is on the second floor, have a rope ladder that attaches to the window sill or that is bolted to the inner wall. They are also cheap, considering their use, and there are many different types available. This is your family. This is your life. Protect it, within the law, and within parameters that will ensure you’re sleeping in your own bed, in your own house. If you get sued, you will lose everything. If you are charged with manslaughter or worse, you will sleep in a cage, and it’s pretty hard to protect your family from inside a prison.
If you are in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, or Indiana and you want great training, a concealed carry license that is good in roughly half the country, then contact Red Dot Arms today. We'll train you so that you don't end up in this position, and so that your family has you at home, protecting them, for decades to come.