Monday, February 08, 2016

FL Police Tip: Don't Shoot Just Because you see a Gun

Image courtesy of

The indoctrination of police against the Second Amendment needs to be reversed.  It is costing lives and treasure.  It was not always so. 

Under long standing precidents in American, and before that, English law, a person's home is their castle, which may be protected against intruders.  If a person may not use force to protect their home, they no longer really own it.

In a recent case in Florida, police went to the wrong house on a domestic call at 1 in the morning.  From
The man, who asked to not be identified, said he awoke to someone banging on the front door of his Belhaven Falls Drive home shortly before 1 a.m. When he asked who it was, he got no response.

Fearing a burglar was at the door, the homeowner grabbed a gun.

When he returned, he said he saw a bright light shining through the glass of his front door and he heard someone outside holler “gun.”

That’s when bullets started flying.
Fortunately, no one was hit, though extensive damage was done to the house, with bullet holes in the door, walls, furniture, and appliances.

Image courtesy of

It is prudent and reasonable to have a gun in your hand when answering the door to unexpected and unknown visitors, especially in the early morning hours before sunrise.  In this case, the homeowner says that he never fired a shot.

There is no excuse for police to shoot at a homeowner simply because they are armed when answering the door. 

It has happened before, with fatal results.

In 2011, Jose Guerra was shot and killed when police saw that he was armed s the were breaking into his home in Tucson, Arizona.  They recently settled for 3.4 million.  Guerra never fired at police, either.

Police are learning from the mistakes made in cases like that of Jose Guerra.  

In many departments, training has changed to move away from equating seeing a gun with the command to fire.

Police are being taught to use their lights and the public address system on their car to identify themselves before knocking on a door.  They are taught to differentiate between a man with a gun and a man threatening them with a gun.

Both officers in the Ocoee case are on admin leave while an investigation is accomplished.  The investigation is being done by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, not by the Ocoee Police Department.

Family handcuffed and removed from house while an police searched it and investigated.  They were allowed back in after 10 hours.

If the department and city are smart, they will immediately offer to pay for damages and apologise to the homeowners.  They were in the wrong place, and the homeowner was fully within his rights, even if he pointed his gun at the door.

In the United States, a person's home is still their castle.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Texas TopCat said...

I agree with the article. However, it really should go further in that police should not come at such a time unless there is some "emergency" that requires such a contact. It would have likely been much better for all concerned if the police had waited till 8:00 AM where the home owner could have identified the person knocking on the door and responded differently.
As many gun instructors tell you, no not answer such a knock but stand behind "cover" with a gun and yell thru the door to identify the unknown visitor.

CowboyDan said...

Dean, please check the name on the Tucson case. IF we're thinking of the same case, I believe the man's name was Guevara, not Guerra.

I tried to find a way to post this privately, as in an email or private message, but it wasn't easily found so I sent it this way.

I don't like to put people's shit on the street unless they deserve it. You don't. You've always been a straight shooter from what I've seen. You have the respect, I believe, of Mike Vanderboegh and Dave Codrea. That puts you in good company.

Please delete it my comment if you change your post or find me to be mistaken.

Have a great day.

Dan Frain

Artfldgr said...

the police are following the way the author of the gulag archepeligo described... late at night, cant be identified, neighbors who may help are asleep, etc.. and they are silent as they now think that not identifying themselves, and knocking once lightly and stormign in like crazies is the way to serve warrants. of course this negates the criminals chance to just say ok and give up, of which many do or would. not all of course. and i wont even dare to say most. but many would...

the point is time... they want it fast
they dont want to surround the place and wait...

the latter would be very safe...
the former is very dangerous for many reasons

so if safety was the goal, which would they choose?
but safety is not the goal, volume is...

FitzRandolph said...

It was a call to a domestic dispute. They did and should have responded no matter what time it was. To wait until 7 hours after, as suggested by Texas Topcat, would have been irresponsible. Domestic disputes can and do sometimes escalate into harm, even death, being done. Nor to mention that the dispute probably was disturbing the peace and was probably called in by a concerned neighbor (the article doesn't say). The mistake was in going to the wrong house, in not identifying themselves, and in shooting unnecessarily. Fortunately no one was hurt or killed.

FitzRandolph said...

You are both wrong. The man's name was Guerena according to the link.