How Would You Handle A Home Intruder: With Lethal Force Or With Non-Lethal Ammo?

To kill or not to kill. That is the question. You may be perfectly within your legal and ethical rights to end the life of a home intruder, but is that what you want to do? That’s what you have to ask yourself, and I’d recommend that you do it before it happens, not afterward.

If I wake up to an uninvited person in my home at 3 in the morning, there is only one assumption that I can make: that he is there to rob me and very possibly to rape, kill or kidnap my wife and/or my children. If I assume anything less than that, I’m a fool.

So I already feel that I have the right to protect myself in any fashion that I choose, including shooting to kill if that’s the option that seems best in order to accomplish my goal of keeping my family members safe. By breaking into my home, this intruder has forfeited his rights to a friendly, sit-down chat; and if he ends up dying under my roof, well, better him than one of us who lives there.

But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment, because there are repercussions to everything that we do in life. If I end the life of a home intruder, there’s no bringing him back. Regardless of how he got in and what his intentions were, he’s gone forever.

What if I find out after the fact that I shot a mentally handicapped person who was too confused to know where he was and didn’t even have a weapon? Or what if he was an unarmed teenager who was trying to “prove himself” to his friends? I’m not saying that I would not be within my rights to use lethal force; I’m just saying that if I ever ended up regretting my decision to shoot the intruder dead, those regrets would go unresolved.

And, of course, there is also the possibility that I could harm my wife or one of my children if I use live ammo to try to kill a home intruder. One or more of my family members could be near the intruder when I shoot without me seeing them in the dark. Or what if one of my bullets passes through a wall and strikes my child or wife?

I strongly believe that I am within my rights to shoot and kill a home intruder. But that doesn’t mean that doing it is necessarily the right response for everyone. Another option for possibly taking down a home intruder without ending his life is non-lethal ammo. If you choose this route, here are five types you may want to consider:

  • Rubber bullets: They won’t penetrate the skin, but will leave serious welts that will require medical attention.
  • Wax bullets: These could penetrate the skin at close range or if they strike a sensitive body part.
  • Plastic bullets: These are used by police for riot control. They’re also used for target practice.
  • Electric bullets: These are metal or rubber bullets that release an electrical charge when they hit a target, much like a Taser or other shock weapon.
  • Bean bag rounds: These are designed to incapacitate the target and leave large welts, but not penetrate the skin.

The biggest concern that some people have with non-lethal ammo is that it might result in only slowing down some intruders — including particularly large men — and not stopping them. They say that non-lethal ammo could end up infuriating the home intruder and making the situation even worse for you and your family. And if you end up in a gun fight with a home intruder, it’s very likely that he will be using live ammo.

So, if you use live ammo to try to stop a home intruder, you’re within your rights to do so. But if you can’t bring yourself to do that for whatever reason, there are alternatives, including non-lethal ammo. Only you can make the decision that’s right for you and your family. The most important thing is to make this decision in advance and then be as prepared as possible should that nightmare situation ever present itself.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from a home intruder, check out my blog post on 40 homemade weapons you already own and join in the discussion.

–Frank Bates

Gun Grabbing Chicago Policies Not Helping As Homicides Rise

According to a crime-tracking blog, stripping residents’ 2nd Amendment rights isn’t doing much to get guns out of criminals’ hands in the Windy City.

Crime In Chicago tallies 510 shootings and 105 homicides through the first four months of 2013.

The blog provides daily updates on violent crime, and maintains data on crime in the city from previous years.

For 2012, the site reports 2,670 shootings in Chicago, an increase of 20 percent from the 2,217 shootings in 2011. Homicides in 2012 totaled 535, compared with 441 in 2011.

Mormon Bishop Ends Attack On Woman, Using His Samurai Sword

A weapon in a good guy’s hands — be it a gun or, maybe, something else — is far from dangerous.

For a woman who was being attacked Tuesday in front of a Salt Lake City home, a 29-inch samurai sword proved to be her salvation.

That’s because homeowner Kent Hendrix awoke to a commotion, went outside and saw the woman being mugged. His son had told him something bad was happening outside, so Hendrix grabbed his sword on the way out and approached the scene.

One look at the blade and its wielder, who also happens to be a Mormon bishop and a fourth-degree black belt, was enough to convince the alleged perpetrator to scram. Hendrix noticed the man appeared to have dropped a tube of Chapstick as he fled, so Hendrix snapped it up and yelled, “I’ve got your DNA and I’ve got your license plate [memorized] — you are so done!”

An hour later, suspect Grant Eggerston turned himself in. He was booked for robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.

Hat Tip: The Blaze

 

War Drums Sound For Conflict With Syria, Iran

As a handful of lawmakers urge American intervention in Syria over alleged usage of chemical weapons by the Bashar Assad regime, the possibility of more Mideast wars is looking likelier by the day.

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), based on unsubstantiated reports of chemical weapon use in Syria, called for the United States to “provide weapons to people in the resistance who we trust” as well as other forms of military support for Syrian rebels.

“Our intelligence community does assess, with varying degrees of confidence, that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically, the chemical agent sarin,” the White House said in a letter Thursday.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has riled war hawks in making remarks about another Mideast nation with tense U.S. relations: Iran.

“I don’t know if all of these efforts that we’re applying in dealing with Iran — one being the international economic sanctions — will in fact change their attitude about what we think is their objective, moving toward a nuclear weapon” Hagel told reporters in Southwest Asia. “I don’t know if what we’re doing will shift their thoughts or their approach.”

Google Reports Content Takedown Requests At A Record High

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (UPI) — Google says takedown requests by governments worldwide to remove content from its services have hit an all-time high.

Between July and December 2012, the search giant said, it received 2,285 government requests for the removal of content on its services, covering 24,179 separate pieces of content, a new record.

In the first half of 2012, Google received 1,811 requests to remove more than 18,000 pieces of content, CNET reported Thursday.

Part part of the company’s Transparency Report launched three years ago, Google’s latest release suggests attempts at political censorship are becoming an increasingly troublesome issue.

“In more places than ever, we’ve been asked by governments to remove political content that people post on our services,” Google stated. “In this particular time period, we received court orders in several countries to remove blog posts criticizing government officials or their associates.”

The requests showed a sharp increase in numbers from Brazil during municipal elections held last fall in that country, Google reported.  Russia also requested many more takedowns, jumping from just six in the first half of 2012 to 114 in the second half.

Google said its YouTube service was the target for 20 countries asking requesting removal of clips from the movie “Innocence of Muslims.”

Google scrutinizes all requests carefully to make sure they’re legal and comply with Google’s policies, the company’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, said in a blog post last year.

To be considered, a request typically must be made in writing, signed by an authorized official, and issued under an appropriate law, he wrote.

Study Of Bizarre Star System Confirms Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity

TORONTO (UPI) — Canadian astronomers say study of a bizarre binary star system show Einstein’s theory of relativity holds true even in the most extreme condition ever observed.

“The unusual pair of stars is quite interesting in its own right but we’ve learned it is also a unique laboratory for testing the limits of one of our most fundamental physical theories, general relativity,” University of Toronto astronomy Professor Marten van Kerkwijk, a member of an international research team, said.

The binary system studied is exceptional because of the unique characteristics of each star and their close proximity to each other, a Toronto release said Thursday.

One is a tiny but unusually heavy neutron star, one of the most massive confirmed to date, with gravity more than 300 billion times stronger than that on Earth.

It is orbited by a rather lightweight dwarf star that travels around the neutron star every two and a half hours, an unusually short period.

Astronomers say observation of the pair have detected a significant change in the orbital period of the binary of eight-millionths of a second per year.

Given the masses of the pulsar and the white dwarf, this turns out to match exactly what Einstein’s theory predicts should be happening.

Einstein’s general theory of relativity says gravity is a consequence of the curvature of space-time created by the presence of mass and energy, and as two stars orbit each other gravitational waves are emitted — wrinkles moving out in space-time.

As a result, the binary slowly loses energy, the stars move closer, and the orbital period shortens as predicted by Einstein.

The study of the extreme binary system provides “further confidence that Einstein’s theory is a good description of nature — even though we know it is not a complete one, given the unresolved inconsistencies with quantum mechanics,” van Kerkwijk said.

Whales Share Knowledge And Learn From Others Much As Humans Do

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (UPI) — Humpback whales are able to learn from each other, passing on hunting techniques in much the same way humans share knowledge, British researchers say.

A study led by the University of St Andrews in Scotland found a new feeding technique, brought on by the need to find new prey, has spread to 40 per cent of a humpback whale population.

Humpback whales in the Atlantic Ocean off New England were forced to find new prey after stocks of herring, their preferred food, crashed in the early 1980s.

A new hunting technique — hitting the water with their tails to herd prey — has spread through the population by cultural transmission, a university release reported Thursday.

“Our study really shows how vital cultural transmission is in humpback populations — not only do they learn their famous songs from each other, they also learn feeding techniques that allow them to buffer the effects of changing ecology,” St. Andrews biologist Luke Rendell said.

Humpbacks around the world normally herd shoals of prey by blowing bubbles underwater to produce ‘bubble nets,” but the new technique, dubbed “lobtail feeding,” involves the whales hitting the water with their tails before diving to produce the bubble nets.

The innovation is specific to a particular prey — sand lance — because its use is concentrated around Atlantic spawning grounds where the sand lance can reach high abundance, the researchers said.

The findings strengthen the case that cetaceans — whales and dolphins — have evolved sophisticated cultural capacities, the researchers said.

Social Norms Not Just Human

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (UPI) — Adopting the behavior of others when on their home territory is not just a human attribute, British scientists say, but has been observed in non-human primates.

The findings could help explain the evolution of human desire to seek out local knowledge — “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” — when visiting a new place or culture.

Researchers at the University of St Andrews observing wild vervet monkeys in South Africa said they found adult males migrating to new groups conformed quickly to the social norms of their new neighbors whether it made sense to them or not.

“At first sight their willingness to conform to local norms may seem a rather mindless response — but after all, it’s how we humans often behave when we visit different cultures,” researcher Andrew Whiten said. “It may make sense in nature, where the knowledge of the locals is often the best guide to what are the optimal behaviors in their environment, so copying them may actually make a lot of sense.

“Our findings suggest that a willingness to conform to what all those around you are doing when you visit a different culture is a disposition shared with other primates,” Whiten said.

Leading primate experts have hailed the study as rare experimental proof of “cultural transmission” in wild primates.

Earth’s Core Hotter Than Thought, Hot As Sun’s Surface

PARIS (UPI) — New measurements suggest the Earth’s inner core is far hotter than previously thought, at 10,8000 degrees F as hot as the sun’s surface, French scientists say.

The Earth’s core is solid, a crystalline form of iron, but the temperature at which that crystal can form has long been debated.

New experiments used X-rays to measure tiny samples of iron at extraordinary pressures in laboratories to analyze how the iron crystals form and melt.

The first such measurements in the early 1990s of iron’s “melting curves” — from which the temperature of Earth’s core can be estimated — suggested a core temperature of about 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists at the French research agency CEA used the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the source of some of the world’s most intense X-rays, to re-analyze the measurements.

“It was just the beginning of these kinds of measurements so they made a first estimate … to constrain the temperature inside the Earth,” CEA researcher Agnes Dewaele said of the earlier experiments.

“Other people made other measurements and calculations with computers and nothing was in agreement. It was not good for our field that we didn’t agree with each other,” she told BBC News.

“We have to give answers to geophysicists, seismologists, geodynamicists — they need some data to feed their computer models.”

The researchers’ new experiments yielded an estimated core temperature of about 10,800 degrees F, give or take 1,000 degrees, or about the same as the temperature of the sun’s surface.

More importantly, Dewaele said, “now everything agrees.”