I've Got a Shotgun, and I'll Shoot!

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“I’VE GOT A SHOTGUN, AND I’LL SHOOT”
By Marla Santos

Take responsibility for your own defense. Your life depends on it. It bears repeating: Refuse to be a victim!

Violent crime has dropped in the last two years while property crimes rose, according to recently released FBI statistics. Victims of burglary suffered an estimated $4.5 billion in property losses and burglaries of residential properties made up 74% of the total reported. Larceny-thefts accounted for the largest percentage, (69.6%) of property crimes. 

Your home is your safe haven. It’s where you go to read, relax, sleep and have sex. Imagine a home invader forcing his way into your home and startling you at 2:00 a.m. out of a deep sleep. You don’t know whether he’s there to steal your valuables, rape you, or worse. To make matters worse, he might be armed with a knife or a gun. Are you prepared for such an encounter? Do you have a plan? Protecting yourself and your loved ones in your home is one of the most important things you might have to do, and you should be prepared! 

A study titled “Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force” determined: “Victim resistance with guns is associated with lower rates of both victim injury and crime completion for robberies and assaults than any other victim action, including nonresistance.”

It might be time to consider getting a gun for protection. If you are already an owner, it’s time to brush-up on the laws of your state, to understand your rights if you are forced to use your gun in self-defense. Having to use your weapon is only a last resort. If the intruder is not armed, you might not even have to pull the trigger, instead loudly saying: “I have a gun, and I’ll shoot.” 

Today most states have some kind of Castle Doctrine Law, but it’s important to know the law in your own state. States like Texas have stronger laws that allow people to protect their homes by using force—including lethal force—when an intruder has unlawfully entered their property, or is attempting to commit a crime such as rape, murder, or robbery. They do not require a citizen to retreat before using force against the invader. The state of Florida has an even stronger Castle Doctrine, stating that the home being protected can be mobile, immobile and can be as temporary as a tent. States that have strong Castle Doctrine laws include: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. 

Other states give their citizens little or no leeway in protecting their homes. A state like California only allows their citizens to protect their homes with lethal force if they feel that they or another person are in physical danger, but does not include theft. New York does not allow deadly force when you know you can avoid an intruder by retreating. Other states with limited or no Castle law include: Idaho, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Virginia, Vermont, along with Washington, D.C. 

The Today Show recently interviewed Wallace Zeins, a former NYPD detective, who told the audience to keep a can of wasp spray in the bedroom to use as an improvised chemical weapon against a violent intruder, suggesting that when there’s an intruder, you should abandon your home as soon as possible. If you get captured, his advice was to comply with the attacker’s every wish, and to never lie to them. Zeins never mentioned that firearms were a viable option. There is strong evidence that gun use is the most effective means to defend oneself from criminal attack.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY?

“I’ve got a shotgun and I’ve called the Police.”

Home invasions, when the home is occupied, are called “Hot invasions,” as opposed to an invasion of an unoccupied home.

The perfect defense firearm is the shotgun. It makes a lot of noise, and will leave a baseball-size wound. The Benelli M4 Tactical shotgun, originally designed for the U.S. Marine Corps, is a semi-automatic and is reliable for safety, function and performance. The KSG Kel-Tec shotgun (pictured) is as compact as legally possible with a 26.1” overall length and an 18.5” cylinder bore barrel, weighing 6.9 lbs. If you choose another model, make sure it’s a 12 gauge with an 18” barrel.

The AR-15 is another option. It’s a lightweight rifle with low recoil. A light, laser, or red dot scope for nighttime is a great addition to identify your target. A code word for family members is good to have, especially if you have teenagers coming in late at night. If you’re a resident of these six states: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland and Connecticut, there are regulations on the AR-15, either by restriction of certain features or outright bans on certain models. 

Handguns are the choice of many. Consider the Kimber 45 ACP for its quality, dependability and accuracy. LAPD’s SWAT tested five major 1911 brands and chose Kimber.

The SureFire X400 Ultra WeaponLight emits a powerful white light and a bright red laser, for an extremely effective combination for self-defense and enough to overwhelm an aggressor’s dark-adapted vision.

GunVault gun safes set the standard for the industry. Their patented No-Eyes Keypad and Bio pad provide lightning-quick access, even in the dark. They carry a wide range of wall safes, pistol safes, and car safes. Remember: to secure firearms for anyone in the house under 18 years of age. The safety and wellbeing of both you and your family are too important to leave to chance. 

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, wanted to be first with the toughest gun-control laws in the nation. He decided to use the horror that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary to massively restrict the constitutional rights of New York citizens by passing the SAFE Act on January 14, 2013. On Saturday, January 19th, protesters by the thousands gathered in Albany, the state’s capital, to voice their opposition. It started a pushback that has been unprecedented. 52 of New York’s 62 counties passed resolutions in direct opposition of the NY SAFE Act. Dozens of organizations publically criticized the law and even some law enforcement officials publicly said they would not enforce the new law because of its unconstitutionality. 

While millions of people live in and around NYC, upstate New York is where gun ownership is extremely common and more than 581,000 N.Y. residents go deer hunting every year. Cuomo rushed the SAFE Act through, because he didn’t want opposition from upstate. 

In fact, Cuomo passed the NY SAFE Act so fast—he neglected to realize that it barred police officers from carrying their usual sidearm. If he hadn’t been in such a rush, he could have asked a gun owner or police officer, and consequently might not have been publicly embarrassed by the law being challenged. 

We can only hope that the federal court hearing the case against the NY SAFE Act will consider the Second Amendment with seriousness. For all of the rest of us, it’s a wake-up call to stay informed and exercise our rights at the ballot box in national, state and local elections. 

CALL 911, EVEN IF YOU DON’T SHOOT…

According to Kevin Michalowski, author of the book, “Guns for Personal Defense”: “If you felt the need to draw your gun, but then you didn’t need to fire, get on the phone to 911. After any use of your firearm, even if you just draw and watch the bad guy run away, you need to call 911. Being the first on the phone with police makes you the complainant and means the police arrive with the intent to help you.

Consider this: you could draw your gun and chase away your attacker, only to have him call police and describe you as pulling a gun on him! Think about it. It is best for you if you are the person to call police. Even if you don’t shoot, make a police report. Tell them to look for the guy who attacked you.

TIPS: TO AVOID INTRUDERS

WINDOWS: 22% of intruders enter through first floor windows. Change any plastic locks to metal locks and make sure they are locked. When buying new windows, ask about shatterproof glass and have a glass-break sensor on your alarm.
DOORS: 34% of intruders enter through the front door. To make your door 17 times stronger, buy and install a reinforced strike plate by the lock and replace the ¾ inch screws with 3” screws in the door.
LANDSCAPING: Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed in front of windows. Overgrown, they provide intruders cover and concealment from being seen by neighbors and people driving by in cars.
LIGHTS: A well-lit house is a deterrent. Install some outside lights.
GARAGE DOORS: Keep closed, even when you’re working in the yard.
ALARMS: An alarm system is a reliable deterrent. Have one installed and set it. Only 19% of people set their alarms. 53% of people admit they don’t because of their pets. 
FENCING: A fenced yard can be a good deterrent against intruders, and a security iron gate is an even better way to prevent unwanted entry into your property. 
DOGS: Having a dog serves as a warning not to enter your home. Intruders generally want to get in and out of your house without being disturbed, and the sound of a barking dog will deter most. 
SAFES: Keep important documents, expensive jewelry, cash, guns and other valuables in a quality safe.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Avoid posting vacation dates on Facebook, etc. Robbers can read!
LOOK LIKE SOMEONE’S AT HOME: Hold newspapers and mail and have a neighbor or friend keep an eye on things.

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