In Canada we don't have very liberal laws on how to deal with a home invasion. As far as I know you can't kill somebody unless you know for sure they mean you harm - like in the dark I don't think you can fill their face full of buckshot unless you know they have a weapon. I think this is bulls*it, and if somebody was breaking into my house they'd be getting bullet after bullet into them (if I had a gun). Home invasions are totally unacceptable. I won't say they are as traumatic as rape, but they are more of a violation than many other crimes.
Well, I figure that if you castrate them, their hormones will be intensely lessened to almost null. That way, they just don't care like they used to anymore.
So we kick them in the balls, then lop them off.
But this is getting off the topic of breaking-and-entering.
I live all of two blocks from our new police station. If I fired a shot, the cops would probably be over to my house before I had a chance to call. That's kinda reassuring.
I'm pretty sure you must be on the defensive to use force...i.e. the guy must be grabbing for a weapon, ready to use it on you, or already use it on you before you can do something.
You are allowed to use reasonable force. So if the guy has a knife and you grab your Louisville Slugger and hit him a couple of times, that's OK. However, once he's down, you have to restrain from attacking any further. Basically, in any sort of physical fight, you have the right to defend yourself until you are capable of running away to a safe place.
I remember in grade 9, cops came to speak to our school about violence, and they told us that if we were ever attacked in a fight, we could fight back until an opportunity arose where we could safely get away. That translates practically, into get the other guy down, but don't hit him when he's down.
GL: If someone is standing in your hallway at 2 in the morning, then you're already on the defensive. I'd have to do research, but the mere presence of a burglar can be construed as intent to do harm. Obviously, if a witness says the guy was cowering on the ground begging for his life and a homeowner blew his head off, they'd probably indict the homeowner (did the right thing though, I'd say).
If someone attacks with any weapon, you have the right to kill them, plain and simple. The law does not require that you be an expert shot to shoot the knife out of their hand or that you make instantaneous threat assessments right after waking up while standing in a darkened hallway. If someone is my house (apartment actually), I'd fill them full of holes then stop to see what they were doing. Perhaps it might end tragically (someone enters the wrong apartment somehow), but I would rather that person endure the tragedy than my wife and I. Selfish, yes, but I have a strong sense of self-preservation and protectiveness.
Of course, that is the best thing in practical terms. That said, I can't really claim that I would have the self-retraint to "run away and call the cops" if somebody broke into my house and I managed to take a bat to break their leg until the cops came. The reason is I'd be constantly thinking that although I won the fight, if I'd lost I doubt they'd offer the same credit, and since they were in the wrong in the first place I'd be really hard pressed not to break some extra bones as a reminder to them when they are in the hospital.
Its like that movie conair, the guy was some military freak and kicked a few guy's asses severely or killed them or whatever. Perhaps he did use more force than was necessary to stop the threat but really its just their tough luck for screwing with the wrong guy.
In the UK, it seems that you have very few rights to protect your property.
Recently, in a high profile case, a farmer was convicted of murder, after shooting a burgler who was in the the process of stealing his property. This farmer had also been the victim of serial burgleries for a long period.
Further, many years ago, my house was burgled one night. My father went and chased the burgler with a stick. When the cops arrived they spent more time questioning my Dad, as if he was the guilty one, rather than asking about what was or wasn't taken.
On a more general note, it is also unacceptable to protect your property by means of broken glass topped walls, or barbed wire topped fences. People have been successfully convicted after the burgler went to the police after being injured by techniques such as these.
What you have to understand is when you are in this sort of confrontation you aren't in a position to be thinking clearly and logically. I mean picture this.. You are sound asleep in your bed. Its dark. You hear a noise in another room of your house and maybe the sounds a footsteps coming up the stairs. Unless you have already rehearsed this type of situation in your head about what you would do if you heard what ect.. you'd be scared sh1tless and shaking in pure panic. Chances are if you have a gun you're going to go for it right away and have that thing ready to fire as soon as something opens the door. Sure you're going to shout "get the f.u.ck out of here I have a gun, going to blow your head off ect ect..." You simply aren't in a position to evaluate all the details. Does he have a weapon, what kind of weapon, whats he dressed like, what does he want.
I've been broken in on twice in my life and what scares me most is that I didn't even know it until they had came and went. I woke up one morning and went downstairs. The first thing I noticed was a f.u.cking knife lying on the rug in my hallway leading up to the stairs. Next thing I felt was a draft needless to say I was f.u.cking freaked. Turns out they had used the large kitchen knife to cut through some wiring and steal my vcr, cd player, dvd ect... (bastards) I always think that if they wanted to, they could have gone right up the stairs and cut my throat without me even knowing. After that experience I'm a VERY light sleeper and do own a gun.
If someone breaks into your house and you shoot him it is considered self defense period. A word of warning however, if he manages to crawl or get outside, you should drag his butt back inside, so that you can substantiate the threat.
Our house was broken into back in the seventy's. We weren't home at the time. My Dad asked the cop, who did the investigation, what he could do if the robber came back. The cop said, "If the bastards in the house, shoot him. If he's trying to break in, shoot him and drag the body inside"
We've been broken into twice. Both times we weren't home. It's a sickening feeling to come home and find your house in a shambles and a bunch of your posessions gone.
The second time they ate their lunch at the kitchen counter and left the fixin's behind. The police said that is very typical behavior in break-ins.
After the first break-in, I told the cops I thought maybe I should get a gun. They said that if I'd had one, I wouldn't now. They would have taken it for sure.
These dirt bags don't want to work at a conventional job like the rest of us, they want to steal things that you have bought through your own labor. It's a thoroughly pissed-off and helpless feeling you have afterwards, I'll tell ya.
After all is said and done, then you get to fight with the insurance company. Then they raise your rates. This is after you finally convince the cops that it's not an inside job. They seperated my wife and myself and questioned us just like on TV. Then they compared notes to see if there were any discrepencies. Then the next day you get to talk to the detective. This guy asked me the same question at least ten different ways over the course of a week. I finally called him out on the carpet and told him I'd had enough of the bullsh*t!
They never found the bast*rds either.
I've got a three foot length of pipe under the bed. If they break in again while we're home, I'm going to use it!