A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stand Your Ground vs Lie In Wait

In Orange County, Florida the owner of a convenience store shot and killed a burglar Friday morning. Having been burglarized before, the owner was sleeping in the closed store overnight. At approximately 2:15 AM the snoozing owner was startled awake by glass shattering. "That woke me up one hundred percent," he recounted. The owner felt the immediate need to defend his life.

"I fired I think fourteen shots, and I, I was not very sure if I, if I shot him or not. And as soon as I finished all of my bullets, I think he really quickly jumped out of the window," stated the store owner as he described his spray and pray technique of life preservation.

The burglar was later found dead across the street. When asked if he regretted shooting the man and killing him, the store owner replied "No. Because this is the way it had to go down. His days were numbered, by the way. His days were numbered. If not me, he would have gotten somebody. If he had a weapon I would have gone down or he would have gone down."

Neighbors are supporting the store owner, but it is still uncertain whether charges will be filed.

This is yet another fine example of a person buying a gun and apparently never training or learning the law. Many gun owners hold a belief that a firearm is a magic talisman against crime, and they resort to their level of training in a crisis. They spray and pray. Guns do not prevent criminals from plying their trade like crosses affect vampires. Sound tactics and a plan prevents victimization.

While Florida is a "stand your ground" state, it is not a "lie in wait" state. The store owner freely admits he was sleeping in the store with a gun because he was burglarized before. Better, visible security may have been preferable. Two German Shepherd Dogs turned loose in the store when locking up for the night would have been just such a visible deterrent. The goal is not to change the burglar's life, but rather to make him choose an easier target elsewhere. The German Shepherd Dog is not a talisman against evil either, but unlike the firearm, a German Shepherd Dog comes ready with tactics to protect it's territory. A dog can lie in wait and escape with impunity when it protects it's territory. One can only hope a human will have the same ability in Florida.

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14 Comments:

Blogger GeorgeH said...

I don't believe florida requires you to be sleeping in your regular bed with the guns put away before you are allowed to shoot a burglar. If he enters your property as a thief, you can shoot him, home or business, day or night.

I would.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Sans Authoritas said...

Granted, shooting someone for merely breaking into a store is out of the question. But then, leaving two canines in a convenience store overnight? They're going to reek up the place and probably tear everything apart. Not to mention the liability of leaving attack dogs in itself. Would they be a visible/audible deterrent? Maybe. But maybe the criminal would be inside or have broken a window allowing an exit by that point.

A happy medium would be one of the fog/pepper spray security systems that are offered. Or, waiting until there was an identifiable and known threat before actually opening fire might have helped, too.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous RoughEdge said...

Nothing in the article leads me to believe his store did not have "visible security", which I take to be cameras, nice window stickers saying there is an alarm, etc.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

"Spray and Pray"...14 successive shots is exactly that. I don't condone "spray and pray" tactics, but neither do I condemn him for firing first and forgoing the "introductions" till later.

What he needs to do is shut the hell up. Interviewing with the press and saying things like "his number was up" can do him no good whatsoever. If you shoot, holster your weapon, call 9-1-1, then call an attorney and SHUT THE HELL UP!

I would consider "lie in wait" to be the same as "bait and hook" as in parking an unlocked Mercedes in the ghetto with the keys in the ignition and waiting under cover to shoot the person who tries to steal it. Standing sentry at your own home or business to protect your livelihood after being victimized, would not (in my humble opinion) constitute "lying in wait".

But when it comes to your "castle", the law does not provide a requirement to announce your presence or attempt to deter the unlawful entering before acting with force. Neither does it provide for the investment in security dogs, a significant liability in themselves and a property insurance nightmare.

This guy screwed up by not having a more significant level of training sufficient to be accurate and effective with his firearm. He couldn't have given consideration to the eventual terminal resting spot of the rounds he fired. He just emptied his gun and got lucky. Not exactly "disciplined", but, provided he didn't cause unintended harm to another besides the burglar, not exactly "illegal" either.

I do not weep for the dead thug but I do wish this asshole quit acting like he just got his first whitetail making the rest of us lawful gun owners look like renegade cowboys who can't wait to plug themselves a cat burglar.

Gun owners should bombard this dude with emails and flyers telling him to staple his lips shut!

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

The whole "lie in wait" or "bait and hook" concept is to me, immaterial. Doesn't matter if a Mercedes is left in the ghetto with keys in it or not, stealing it is still wrong. Same with breaking into a business or home...it's still wrong, no matter what. As for a "visible deterrent"...WTF? The criminal is still wrong, and frankly, I think he deserves what he gets. I wouldn't shoot a thief running out my door with a TV, but he knows damn well he is taking that chance with every break in. He is the responsible party, I am defending myself.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous dwight said...

he did us all a great favor. the world's a better place for his actions -- however poorly informed and prepared he was. few men have the huevos to do as he did -- alone at night in a lonely dark dangerous place. Only an owner would do this. Private property ownership is powerful force for good. Adam Smith is smiling.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key phrase in Florida is "I was in fear for my life."

The next sentence is "I'll discuss this with you right after my attorney gets here." Followed by extreme and prolonged silence, until the attorney does arrive.

Carry a gun and don't have an attorney? Get one. You'll need one sooner or later.

Crime in the Orlando are is starting to get out of hand (I live here). I think everyone better get used to these sort of stories because there are going to be more of them.

I would suggest, however, that he get a bigger gun and learn how to use it. Think of the carbon footprint those 14 rounds made!

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

He shoots like a lot of cops do. Plus, some self defense trainers teach to shoot until the threat ceases, which seems to coincide with the slide locking back on the first (or second!) empty mag.
Actually, considering his opponent beat feet, then expired fairly quickly shows he shoots better than the average cop.

9:08 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

In any case, I hope he's not prosecuted for defending his store, lie-in-wait or no.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Divemedic said...

The rest of the story is that he had ordered roll up shutters for the store, and was sleeping in the store until they could be installed.

The area of town where he was shot was one of the two worst areas of town for crime, an area called Pine Hills. We who live here refer to that area as "Crime Hills"

The other high crime area is called "Paramore" If there is a shooting in the Orlando area, it is almost surely in one of those two areas. Residents are rapidly becoming fed up, and are starting to take the law in their own hands. I think you will see more of this, as Orlando edges closer and closer to leading the nation as the murder capitol.

Last year, Orlando's murder rate saw a 188 percent increase, with 113 killings in Orange County. Robbery up 59%, aggravated assault with a firearm up 82%.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us remember in his defense first that he spoke under stress and fear of his life and second that his words might have been falsely reported.

Media is known to exaggerate such accounts as per their desires.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wont get into the "spray and pray" part. But what amazes me is the willingness of people who used deadly force to start chattering away to police, and the media.

Why dont people realize in most jurisdictions they have 72 hours to make a statement. First thing LEO's do when the use deadly force is shut the hey up and run to the police union attorney, who releases a statement three days later.

5 words everyone should memorize "I have nothing to say" Regardless of the threats that you might incur..arrest, etc for not making a statement. Then get a lawyer and let then do all the talking.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a video you should watch:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tOj6Qg5OC68

Self defense on the road. What do you think of this video?
-Dan

3:00 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Dan,
I think it's faked.

5:38 PM  

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