As armed citizens, we all probably run through all kinds of scenarios. What would we do if X or Y happened? We train to use our weapons if we need to and sort of wargame situations, but most of us will likely never find ourselves in such a predicament.
For an armed citizen in Virginia, though, it did.
A Virginia homeowner heard a loud noise coming from his front door sometime before 10:00 PM one-night last month. Shortly after that, he heard someone trying to open a living room window. He then took up a gun and when outside, where he encountered a stranger on his porch.
It wasn’t reported specifically what happened on the porch, but the homeowner ultimately fired on the stranger, who was eventually airlifted to a hospital where it was reported that he is expected to survive.
Dale City police said the homeowner acted in self-defense and will not be charged.
I think that it’s possible that there are missing facts in this case. For the homeowner to be justified, he would have had to have been facing a deadly threat from the stranger, but there was no mention of any threat that the stranger posed to the homeowner.
I have to agree.
USA Carry writer Mark Ehlen goes on to point out how going outside of the home can weaken a self-defense claim, which is probably why it took as long as it did for a self-defense determination to be reached.
Oddly, this wasn’t the only self-defense shooting in Dale City, Virginia last month. A Dale City woman shot and killed a would-be attacker who approached her while walking her dog, and police say the suspect has been linked to at least five armed robberies of convenience stores in the area. Dale City has a population of around 72,000, which means two self-defense shootings in one month sounds unusual. The armed citizens don’t seem to be playing around in Dale City.
This one, too, took a while to determine as self-defense, despite what sounds like clearcut evidence, so who knows.
Regardless, if you need to see what’s going on outside your house, invest in a camera system that will let you look from within your home. Going toward the sound of noise may well land you on the wrong side of the criminal justice system, especially in jurisdictions where they take a dimmer view of armed citizens defending themselves.
Instead, call the police and wait for them…or for the bad guy to force entry into the home where self-defense becomes much less murky.
Ideally, the police get there first and you don’t have to do anything. If not, well, that’s part of what the Second Amendment is all about. It’s about defending ourselves from tyranny, including the tyranny of the thug.
We become armed citizens so we don’t have to, but that doesn’t mean you should go looking for trouble, either. Confronting someone on your property may seem to make sense, but understand that doing so could put you in a tough spot.
At least in this case, the armed citizen came out on top, both with the bad guy and the police investigation.