In my state, we have a wonderful “Castle Doctrine” law. Intruders can and are often shot on sight. But my biggest doctrine in life is prevention.
I’m no stranger to self defense. I’ve been shooting guns since I was 8 and have taken a variety of martial arts for almost as long. When kids join it’s because the parents want them to. When an adult joins martial arts, it’s because something terrible happened and they never want it to happen again. One girl was so horribly abused by her former husband she, and her two kids suffered PTSD.
Being an active member of self defense community puts one in a unique position of near constant interaction with members of law enforcement. They join the gyms to keep up with their training, be part of the community and retain some humanity. They tell stories, and some can be horrifying, worse than anything you’d see on Netflix’s “American Horror” series.
One thing that is rarely talked about after shooting a home invader is the aftermath. Sure people talk tough “they break in I shoot em” but there’s no thought of what happens next. Truth of the matter is, right or wrong, you lose. Life is not like a Hollywood movie where someone dies they magically vanish. There are real and serious consequences to defending yourself.
For one, blood gets everywhere. For anyone who’s ever had a nose bleed or serious cut can attest to this. I’ve gotten some serious cuts that made the bathroom look like a movie crime scene. Just image 1 or more unnatural holes in a person laying dead on your kitchen floor. You’d be mopping that crap up for months. The blood would be under all the floor boards and just seeping into everything.
Then there’s the police investigation. Even if you were 100% in the right, you’ll be talking to them for days, or even weeks. You’re entire life is turned upside down because someone else’s poor life choices. There’s usually a massive amount of paperwork and forms to fill out. Make sure your testimony is accurate and consistent. Sure there are details you will forget and suddenly remember 4 testimonies later, but these natural inaccuracies can make you out to be a liar or making stuff up, even though you’re being as honest as possible.
Then come the lawsuits. Our society doesn’t exactly support the good guy. They support the thug, the career criminal who’s “an upstanding citizen” despite their many pages of criminal activity to say otherwise. Thanks to our wonderful legal system allowing anyone to sue for any reason whatsoever, the family can and most likely will sue in civil court. Since their relative couldn’t steal it from you, they’ll most likely try to sue it from you. Here is where both parties actually lose. Lawyers are the winners and could tie you both up in court for years until you have to sell everything anyway to afford the legal fees. In the end, you have nothing they can sue you for. Chances are they too have nothing. The lawyers won’t tell you this because they’re winning.
Then there is the all powerful media. Depending on if you win the high profile case lottery, Your worst possible picture will be tossed up on every news site and social media post. The thug, his baby picture from 30 years ago will be shown, not his modern day crack addled, skinny unkempt picture. So you’ll be bullied by armchair vigilantes for years, or even decades. (Zimmerman is a bad example because he’s an asshole and went looking for someone to shoot).
Depending on your nationality and that of the criminal, you may be used to further the media fabricated race war.
So I do lock my doors when I am home. Not because I’m afraid of the criminal. I do it to protect them and myself from the rest of the world. Whether you survive the encounter or not, it’s a lose-lose scenario. Even if I go on living, people are horrible beings and they’d go off misguided vigilante crusades against the home defense person.