Recently, a friend told me she was at home and had a man gunned down and die at her front door. The victim was a known troublemaker living n the neighborhood and he messed with the wrong person. The shooter was a good neighbor who defended himself and retaliated against the attacks from the troublemaker. The neighbor started shooting even as the victim ran away. The good neighbor was arrested and charged with felony murder for shooting the troublemaker.
The point is that crime may come to your door at any time, even without your involvement. You may not have done anything wrong. You may not be a target of robbery or violence. You may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Some lessons learned from this incident.
1. Know the law. The good neighbor was charged with murder after the troublemaker allegedly attacked the good neighbor. The good neighbor pulled out a gun and started shooting to stop the attack, and unfortunately even while the troublemaker was running away. The troublemaker was shot in the back and died. The shooter was charged because the troublemaker was no longer a threat while running away. Self defense was no longer an issue. The good neighbor cannot shoot the retreating troublemaker without legal consequences.
2. Control your emotions. In times of violence, threats, war, or emergency, a person does whatever is necessary to survive or remove the threat. That sometimes means shooting at the threat until the gun is empty. In some cases the rule of law is the last thing on the shooter's mind. Survival is primary. But surviving and going to jail is not a good outcome either.
Cooler heads must prevail if you don't want to suffer the legal consequences.
3. Preparation is the key. If you have a gun perhaps home defense training would be useful so you are aware of the law and the limits of your ability to defend yourself. Get training and know the law as it affects you as a gun owner.
4. Practice your defensive actions, so they are well rehearsed and automatic. A home attack is no time to think about legal consequences of your actions. You should have done that well before the attacks occurred.
5. Improve your home defense systems. Install security screen doors, window locks, or security cameras. Guard dogs could be great deterrent. These could be costly but what's your safety worth?