Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | 2:02 a.m.
The first round in your weapon should always be a blank. Why? Each person has a different stage at which he “fears for his life” and/or feels his life is in “imminent danger.” These disparities usually surface from differences in gender, age and health.
The laws on using deadly force do not take these aspects into consideration. Generally, for homeowners, juries will only justify the use of deadly force by when an individual is actively intruding, or has broken into your dwelling. Anything short of this will most likely cause the homeowner much grief in the judicial process.
In these “gray areas,” I recommend utilizing a blank round or what is commonly called a “popper.” Generally, the sound of a gunshot will scare the intruder away. By adopting this policy, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. If the warning shot is not effective, the next bullet should be a live round.
The author is a retired Nevada state peace officer and POST-certified academy instructor.