Decision Making Games

Hello everyone,

As a new member I’ve enjoyed the learning process and running through scenarios to figure out in advance what the best decision might be. So here’s a scenario my wife and I were discussing. We’d love some input here!

State: California
Scenario : What if the front door was left unlocked during the day (a mistake by whomever last went through it) and a stranger walks into the house, someone who looks si aggressive (not some nice person who is looking for a cup of coffee).

If they don’t respond to verbal commands to leave, and continue to advance into the house, is lethal force justified? (They do not appear to have anything in their hands but it is unknown whether they have anything else on them such as a knife)

A) They are trespassing and have been told to leave.
B) There is a disparity of force should they attempt to head upstairs where there are minors in the house, or even others who would not be in a physical condition to fight off an attacker.
C) They are probably within a few steps from any object that could become a bludgeoning tool.

So assuming you had a firearm on you, and CA being both a SYG state and the Castle Doctrine being considered, can lethal force be justified before determining whether they were in possession of a weapon?

My suggestion here would be to have a non lethal tool available such as pepper spray first, however, what advice do you tell your spouse regarding lethal force? The last thing you want is a choice resulting in a criminal charge by your spouse who’s looking to defend themselves/family members.

I look forward to the thoughts here! Thanks everyone.

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I would say follow your instincts. If you feel your life is in immediate danger, lethal force is justified. If you feel that it’s a mental health issue or something of that nature & just trying to communicate is not working, call 911 & only use deadly Force as a total last resort. I have an axe handle by my recliner & two cans of pepper spray. One by my recliner & one by the front door that I grab when I ride my bicycle (packs of dogs in our neighborhood). I would only consider using any of these if the individual had no weapon and became aggressive.

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No, the last thing you want is maniac getting to one of your loved ones, and you having to live with that knowing you could prevent it but stopped yourself.
The criminal charge is a concern too, I don’t dismiss it. However, I feel that any analysis and doubts after the highlighted portion is not productive.

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Thanks for the replies you guys. Every bit helps fill in the foundational gaps. Of course it’s all situational based on what you sense. Any other thoughts or legal stances on this are welcome.

A possible solution to your problem.

Do you fear for your life or the life of another or that you will or someone near you will sustain great bodily harm?
Depending upon how you answer this, will answer your question.


Thanks Fizbin, that was about as straight forward as it gets. Much appreciated.

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