Many of the comments to this post missed the point. The question wasn’t about the legality or morality of engaging the thieves, nor was it about chest thumping bravado.

It was about the wisdom of going outside to confront armed felons when outnumbered three or more to one, and getting yourself shot in defending property that will cost you less than the cost of the ambulance ride you will take from even the most minor of gunshot wounds.

Part of life is being able to look at risks versus benefits and deciding if the juice is worth the squeeze. My family and I aren’t going to care that I made society better by three dead goblins if I spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, eating through a straw because I caught a bullet through the spine from the accomplice I didn’t know was on my flank in the dark.

Insurance will replace losses from car theft. It can’t replace you. Sometimes, the most tactically sound thing is not to walk into a fight that will cause you to lose more than you gain.

if we can’t learn that lesson, we will lose the fight for our nation by fighting one losing battle after another. The wise fighter only engages in fights he can win and avoids those with no clear path to victory.

Categories: Self Defense


McChuck · June 11, 2024 at 4:25 am

We massively outnumber the goblins. Even if we trade one for one, we still win.
This is a fight for civilization, not just for property.

    ModernDayJeremiah · June 11, 2024 at 12:07 pm

    Just watched this last night at Flix Brewhouse:

    “Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
    Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers,

    I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
    A day may come when the courage of men fails,
    when we forsake our friends
    and break all bonds of fellowship,
    but it is not this day.

    An hour of wolves and shattered shields,
    when the age of men comes crashing down,
    but it is not this day!
    This day we fight!!

    By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
    I bid you stand, Men of the West!!!

    Divemedic · June 11, 2024 at 12:54 pm

    I’m sure that your family will be thrilled to know that when they are wiping the drool from your chin.

      ModernDayJeremiah · June 12, 2024 at 10:49 am

      WTF Divemedic?

        Divemedic · June 12, 2024 at 5:07 pm

        As in, when you are a paraplegic from the bullet that hits your spine or head

      McChuck · June 13, 2024 at 4:37 am

      I already signed that check that reads “My life, my fortune, my sacred honor.” I’ve fought in three wars. I am willing to fight, kill, and die for civilization. I’m a soldier. You’re a medic. Completely different mindset.

      “Our betters” have told us for generations, “Pick your battles, this is not the hill to die on.” Well, we’re all out of hills, and our backs are to the sea.

        Divemedic · June 13, 2024 at 7:27 am

        So why aren’t you out there fighting already?
        Even in the unlikely event that you manage to kill all three of your armed felonious opponents without damaging any property or getting wounded yourself, what next? Did you fix society? What did you win? How did this particular shooting move the needle?

        The military teaches tactics. Don’t push a fight that costs too much. There are times that you avoid a particular battle because the cost is too great. I just don’t see how the upside of engaging in this particular shooting outweighs the downside.

Miguel GFZ · June 11, 2024 at 4:34 am

I have been saying it for ages: Never break perimeter. You do not know actually how many are visible and how many are hiding.
Short of the bad guys about to torch or shoot your place, let them do their crap and remain alive.

Elrod · June 11, 2024 at 5:09 am

Everything has a risk-to-reward ratio, from eating a third slice of pizza to accosting felons in one’s driveway. The challenge is controlling the affecting emotion and employing rationality. Some of us are better at that than others, and all of us suffer from it from time to time.

Michael · June 11, 2024 at 6:41 am

And this is going to increase and become more brazen-dangerous. Plenty of South American illegals to feed this problem. Plenty of homegrown getting more dangerous outside the streets of the cities also.

Divemedic, you’ve been south of the boarder? If so, I’m pretty sure you noticed how even the poor homeowner had serious concrete block homes and walls with various broken bottles-spikes, razor wire on top to protect their cars, chickens and lives.

It’s expensive but it is useful to harden themselves from the local gangs, snatch and grab thieves and such.

The typical American home has no bullet resistance. Even the bulk 36 grain HP 22 ammo will blow through exterior walls (let alone huge windows) and an interior wall and still be dangerous to humans. Let alone any centerfire pistol bullet.

So, shooting out the windows seems not a good idea to me. You intelligently brought up getting put into a wheelchair and eating through a straw over a catalytic converter. What about your family inside the home?

As long as insurance will replace it, it’s not a reason to get into a 2 way gunfight. Even one on one are you SURE there isn’t more in the shadows?

How long before we harden our homes like South America?

JBB · June 11, 2024 at 6:53 am

As angry as I would be to watch something like this happening in my driveway, I would never put myself in harms way over “stuff”. I live in Florida as well, and although it might be legal to use deadly force in a case like this, it’s not worth the risk. Unless you’re trying to break in my house I’m calling 911 a being a good witness. I’m a 74 year old man and that also factors into the equation. My son, being a retired Scout Sniper Marine would likely have a different opinion.

Salty the Sailor · June 11, 2024 at 7:30 am

The catch is they know you’re going to replace the stolen items on insurance, and chances are, they’re coming back to repeat the performance a few months later.

I used to work in the marine industry, and saw this all the time with boats kept on swing moorings.

This cat-and-mouse game would go on until the police eventually caught them in the act. This would lead to a quiet period of maybe 18 months before another team of scum started breaking into moored boats, and it started again. Some of the ocean crossing boats have morphine in their 1st aid kits – so you understand the attraction to the lowlife set.

So what’s the answer to the breadcrumbs? Here in Oz, our abo-smidge-inals absolutely hate dogs, they are utterly terrified of them. So if you can’t have a pair of German shepherds, IMHO, really the only solution is claim on insurance and MOVE.

Henry · June 11, 2024 at 8:21 am

And there’s always a secondary risk – in the event that you survive such an encounter you still are subject to the whims of the local police and prosecutor, some of whom may be biased against guns and self defense. Andrew Branca reminds us that should you go to trial, there’s always a 10% chance you’ll be convicted due to the unpredictability of juries (“noise in the system”). So you’ll be paying the cost of a pricey legal defense and run the risk of conviction for defending your property.

Univ of Saigon 68 · June 11, 2024 at 8:48 am

Off topic – Any updates on your Wage & Hour Division pay issue?

    Divemedic · June 11, 2024 at 9:07 am

    Not yet. Still laying groundwork.

BT · June 11, 2024 at 9:03 am

the first five minutes of legal fees for even a good shoot will be more than the stolen part

    Aesop · June 12, 2024 at 11:00 am

    True enough. But it’s only a small part of the story.

    Now factor in the cash value of knowing one or all of the Homies won’t ever be bothering you again.
    Let us know what that’s worth, and tell us how it adds up.

    Don’t show just half the ledger.
    That would be dishonest.

Barefoot Peckerwood · June 11, 2024 at 9:50 am

Reading these comments, it seems we will roll.over and show our bellies to the chimpstate person
At what point do they cross the red line and you fight back???
It’s all incrementally. So, no matter the price or how small shit is, sometimes it’s a hill to die on because what comes next is hell

    Divemedic · June 11, 2024 at 10:30 am

    It’s a tactical decision. Don’t fight a battle if the reward isn’t worth the cost. (See Pickett’s charge)

    That was drummed into my head as a firefighter- there is a point in every tactical decision where the reward isn’t worth the cost.
    Choosing to not engage in a firefight when outnumbered in an attempt to save a couple of hundred dollars worth of car parts isn’t worth the risks. Even if you “win” by killing two goblins and chasing off the third, but you get hit in the leg by a single bullet, you lost because that helicopter medevac that takes you to the trauma center will cost several times more than the catalytic converter that you saved, and the doesn’t account for fixing the bullet holes in the car, the house, and potentially your family.

    I am not going to save this society by getting shot while trying to save a catalytic converter. All of the chest thumping Internet badass talk isn’t going to feed my family while I am sucking my dinner through a straw.

    Additionally, leaving your house to engage someone outside will place you at risk of losing the protection of a self defense claim. Even if you win that case, this course of action will likely cost you hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million dollars. Sure, you can try bankruptcy, or you can just stay in the house and get called a pussy by Internet commandos for doing what is right by your family.

    Anonymous · June 11, 2024 at 11:30 am

    > At what point do they cross the red line and you fight back???

    Never. You incorrectly believe there’s only one of you and nobody agrees with you, despite 10% writing in Ron Paul for President. Then you surrender continuously until you retreat into the boxcar. Hundreds of you can be on the train loading platform guarded by a dozen, and still you obey.

    The liberals are preferentially harming their supporters, who obey harmful policies more thoroughly, so the percentage of liberals vs. libertarians is shifting.

      Divemedic · June 11, 2024 at 11:49 am

      Hahaha. We have us an internet badass here, who thinks he can save society by losing a gunfight. Are those 10 percent who voted for Ron Paul at your house while you are getting shot?

      No, they aren’t. They will be on the Internet, watching video of you getting smoked and criticizing you because you weren’t carrying the same gun as they do.

      Refusing to enter a gunfight where you are outnumbered three to one as a tactical decision isn’t the same as climbing into a box car.

      Stop with the hyperbole. I thought my readers were smarter than that. Apparently I was wrong.

      Anonymous · June 12, 2024 at 12:52 am

      Are those 10 percent who voted for Ron Paul at your house while you are getting shot?

      How come the question is always framed as, one lone individual vs. millions of government employees? Is that the only arrangement physically possible? If only we had some sort of many-to-many lateral communication mechanism by which to resist divide-and-conquer.

      Refusing to enter a gunfight where you are outnumbered three to one as a tactical decision isn’t the same as climbing into a box car.

      Refusing today is tactical. Refusing yesterday is tactical. Refusing each day for decades while organizing no alternatives other than voting for the lesser evil is strategic. How did that happen? Here’s a similar result where an analysis should have stepped back and reconsidered rather than just doing more of the same and expecting different results. George Washington had a throat infection, and the treatment of the time was bloodletting. After they bled him, he got worse, so they concluded they needed to treat him harder. They pursued this trend of more treatment and worsening condition until he died from blood loss. The treatment failed not because of bad intent by his doctor, but because the doctor had a wildly incorrect understanding of how the system he was manipulating worked. How many were harmed before doctors decided bloodletting was not helpful?

      20 of 25 board positions of the national Libertarian party were taken over by Mises people, yet look at the presidential candidate the party picked. Does this observation support the conclusion that liberty can be produced by political parties? What observation would it take to reconsider if mainstream political methods were designed to produce only mainstream results? If you were an evil dictator, wouldn’t you have your government school teacher employees load the brains of intellectually defenseless children with false clues about your actual weaknesses? MLK produced freedom for his tribe, while Malcolm X did not. What strategy did MLK do right that Malcolm X did wrong?

        Divemedic · June 12, 2024 at 6:26 am

        So begin patrolling your hometown and start smoking criminals, if you feel like martyring yourself for the public good.

          Nones · June 13, 2024 at 6:54 am

          Charles Bronson… Deathwish?

Aesop · June 11, 2024 at 8:28 pm

1) One can write a poll question to get any outcome desired. This is called “push polling”, and it isn’t held in high esteem even by pollsters.

2) Car insurance replaces a catalytic converter, sure. Which can then be stolen again next week. So, do you stay inside the next time? The next 5 times? 500 times? Forever?
What happens to your car insurance premiums after the second claim?
Do you just leave a brand new catalytic converter at the curb as a sacrifice to our Criminal Overlords?
How often?

3) Car insurance doesn’t get you to work in the morning. It doesn’t pay you back half a day to screw around with them on the phone, or get a rental, or file the police report to verify a claim, nor recompense all the time you spent running around like a headless chicken, when all you wanted was to be left alone to get a decent night’s sleep.

4) Sitting inside teaches the lesson that crime pays.
So, perhaps one attempts to form a neighborhood watch?
(Because clearly, multiple exterior cameras did jack-all to prevent the crime.)
So now you’re risking getting killed for walking outside once in awhile, over literally nothing. And that’s hoping any of your neighbors give enough of a damn to return the favor. All for $0/hour, forever. Best wishes there.

5) Crooks are notoriously lousy marksmen. They may not even be intending to shoot, just intimidate. Or, they may be stone cold killers, for a lousy catalytic converter. That’s an unknown variable.
But they may cut and run at the slightest startle or noise. That’s also an unknown.
But if I go out armed under those circumstances, I’m shooting. No warning. Their first clue will be lead flying inbound under careful and deliberate aim. Perhaps multiples of such. Hand to God, 100%. They’re already pointing weapons. No excuses. I don’t care if young Pedro or Devontelle was turning his life around, just accepted at Harvard, and working on a cure for cancer.

How many times, and at how many parties, I elect to shoot after the first volley is open to circumstances.That’s dice they have to roll.
Any one (or more) that I get won’t be back for a long time, if ever. Another certainty.
The others may elect to go down too, or run, and maybe get caught later. Another dice roll for the Away team.

If the answer is always, at all times, just to hopefully cower (and let’s not pussyfoot, that’s what it is) rather than risk anything untoward, by all means, let’s stop dicking around:
Leave our keys in the car, and leave it unlocked.
Take the front door off when we leave the house.
Carry our wallet in our outstretched palm walking down the street.
If always, at all times, avoiding all risk is the chiefest good in life.
If it’s not, we shall consider other options.

6) When they come into the house, then what? Hunker in place, and let them have the TV?

7) What about the kids’ bedrooms?

8) What about one’s spouse?

“Just stuff” is rarely “just stuff”, because you never have any idea how far a violent criminal is going to push things. And that’s the party whose good faith and sticking to role you’re depending upon.

This is how muggings turn into rapes and murders, over and over.

If one is Amish, be the pacifist your culture demands.
I’m not.
No chest-thumping bravado there.
But if someone decides me and mine are an easy mark, I’m going to disabuse them of that assessment, as violently as possible, the first chance I get, and the lesson is going to stick.

I’m not telling anyone else what to do, nor that my choice is the only solution, but I already made my decision long since, and I won’t be changing it now, no matter how attractive one wants to paint the rewards of bending over and taking it, nor how harshly they want to paint the potential of personal harm, or its seriousness.
I’m weighing that against the certainty that one or more problem children will be nominated for a Darwin Award, and to me, that juice is worth the squeeze.
You do you.

Reasonable men can weigh unknown variables, and come to different conclusions.
You should probably accept that this is what happened with your earlier post.
If there was only one correct solution, you wouldn’t have needed to post it at all, would you?

I’ve been the guy coming out the front door with a loaded shotgun. In broad daylight.
Guy it was pointed at could have been armed.
Didn’t matter to me. Weighed and decided.
I could have stayed safe and sound inside, and let L.A.’s Laziest Thugs take 35 minutes to arrive on scene, and never even get out of the patrol car when they finally showed up (which was exactly what they did).
I could have hoped next time it wasn’t my wife he was on top of, and let some unknown neighbor’s sister take her chances.
Didn’t wait, because I have to live with me.

He was one twitch and 3 pounds of trigger pressure from talking to Jesus face-to-face that moment, and fortunately for all parties, two 12 ga barrels 15′ away pointed at his face induced in him an overwhelming desire to unass the entire zip code at the speed of running feet.
Game over.

If he’d been waving a gun or knife around before I went outside, I’d probably just have blown his damned head off through the front window, called it even, and dealt with the aftermath.

Would have done it if it was just stealing the tire off my car.
Would have done it if it was three guys.
Three guys waving guns? Two of them are getting smoked before I get outside the door.
Surprise! Now who still wants to play Citizens and Robbers?

Times have changed since then, but my inclination and answer hasn’t.
That one incident made for a trouble-free existence for the next 5 years at that address.
The world can go to hell if it likes, but if someone mistakes my front yard for their criminal playground, I’m their Huckleberry. All they have to do is say when.

Sure, there are good reasons to do nothing. There always are.
That simply isn’t me.

wojtek · June 11, 2024 at 8:31 pm

The answer seems obvious – you need to extend your perimeter. In every European country I have seen, people can put a fence around their whole property. Having a fenced-in driveway is very common, and if your car does not fit in the garage, you keep it inside the fence. Why is that a problem in the US?

Burnt Toast · June 11, 2024 at 9:31 pm

I’d probably stumble out there thinking a raccoon was knocking over the trash if I heard a ruckus. Being night I’d hit the flood lights first (reminds me to add about eight more, best thing about LEDs is you can add a bunch to the old exterior lighting circuit before hitting 15/20 amps). The never-do-wells would probably leave once they are lit up by the lights. If they are there still covering the front door, I never use it and use a side or back door…. and would hustle back inside to breakout a longarm, cower (err, take cover), and call 911 because if the lights didn’t spook them they might be thinking of doubling down and trying to breach the house.

Now, if the succeed in stealing a catalytic converter I’d just replace it with a ‘test pipe’ and put a ‘spark plug anti-fowling adapter’ on the downstream sensor to fool the computer. No emissions checks here. Probably would not file an insurance claim.

Robert · June 12, 2024 at 1:32 am

I did not miss the point of your original post.

The risk of confronting criminals, armed or otherwise, almost always exceeds any possible benefits. And I agree with that assessment. Don’t do it.

Even if you have the drop on thieves, the law does not look kindly on you shooting them in most polities, for any reason, including “self-defense”. The law is in fact a bigger threat to you than the thieves are. And the thieves know this.

But this is a losing game, no matter how you play it. The criminals increase the frequency and then the violence of their crimes over time. And the police are not going to protect you. They exist only to enforce the orders of the rulers. The rulers are not concerned with your property or your personal safety.

At some point, people just snap and ignore risk/benefit assessments. We are not there yet (well, most of us), but we all are pushed consistently in that direction. The few who go over the line and blow away a criminal in the act are doing the rest of us a public service at the cost of their middle-class lives.

Perhaps we should honor their sacrifice.

Dan D. · June 12, 2024 at 11:34 am

This is a great post. It reminds me of a Jocko podcast from a few years ago where he was answering viewer questions. “A guy grabbed the a$$ of my wife last night in a cowboy bar. Is it ok to go total BJJ on him?” Jocko: “Is spending the night in jail – just for starters – good stewardship of your family? And why the he!! did you take your bride to crappy bar to begin with?”

Sometimes the meta answer is best.

    McChuck · June 13, 2024 at 4:53 am

    Is losing your wife because you refused to defend her worth it?

      Divemedic · June 13, 2024 at 7:31 am

      If you wife leaves you because some guy in a bar grabbed her ass, punching him won’t make her any less likely to leave you. The problem in that case isn’t the ass grabbing cowboy, it’s the wife who doesn’t love you.

Jester · June 13, 2024 at 6:46 pm

Now that my Army service is more than a decade in the rearview mirror I’m not going to go charge a pointless objective just because I can. I do get and think that if the situation warrents it sure go on and confront them. But just because many criminals might be bad shots does not mean they all are. And 3 of them flinging rounds around makes it a much higher chance they do hit you. Or other parts of your home or another family member though a wall or window. As was pointed out thats just the 3 you for sure see. Daylight may cause things to change but what do you do with any situation is a risk assessment. With this situation yes I’m calling the cops right away and telling them that I feel threatened and I will fire if they don’t get here. But unless they try to breech my door way I’m not going to go out in a situation that the odds are heavily stacked against me. And as others have pointed out, good luck depending on where in the country you are. Or your race. Even if you are legally justified in a shooting, even if the DA/Police back you up there’s a good chance that the community will go full outrage on you. They was just about to turn their lives around and go to church!!!!! I don’t think anyone here is advocating for surrender or rolling over particularly when spicy times come. But if you end up dead now what use are you in the future when there really is something worth fighting over?

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