I've brought this up before, but not recently, so here goes: Arrested homeowner defends shooting at man she thought was a burglar "Arrested homeowner defends shooting at man she thought was a burglar POSTED 6:29 PM, DECEMBER 13, 2016, BY WEB STAFF KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. - A North Carolina woman has been arrested and charged after police say she shot a man who was running away from her home." So here is the deal. Generally speaking, and depending on jurisdiction, a person in the USA can defend themselves with a firearm from a person who breaks into their home. In many states, 'castle law' gives them the presumption that if a person breaks into their home illegally, it is presumed that the person is there to do them great bodily harm, and use of deadly force is not questioned. In other words, if someone busts into your house and you arm yourself and shoot them dead, depending on where you live, you will not be charged with a crime. Lots of caveats here. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. Different US states have different laws. Many countries other than the US have extremely different laws on gun ownership and self-defense using guns. Etc. However, in this case, the homeowner was arrested. And given the stated circumstances, this is understandable. It's the kind of thing I wish more gun owners paid attention to. But let's step through them. 1) NO WARNING SHOTS! If you read the story, the woman claims she fired 'warning shots' when she saw two men running away from her home at high speed after she confronted them. The trouble is, she managed to shoot one of them in the leg. Some warning shot! But let's say that she had not shot one of the presumed bad guys. Let's say she fired in the air and the bullet hit some innocent person. Not really a good scenario. You can't control where a bullet goes after you fire it, and you can't call it back again. So if you don't have a target that needs shooting, don't shoot. Warning shots are stupid, wrong, and generally a bad idea. 2) You don't often get to shoot people who have NOT BROKEN INTO your property yet. In this case, the woman heard a noise that she interpreted as someone pulling on the handle to her storage shed door. She went outside armed, confronted two men, and assumed they had been trying to break in. Well, I'd venture to guess that they might well have been doing so. However, the shed isn't her house, her life is not in danger if she doesn't go outside to confront them, and if you can't prove the men are breaking in, this whole shooting them thing becomes very dicey. 3) You generally also don't get to shoot people who are RUNNING AWAY from your property. Castle laws and similar laws regarding the use of deadly force are intended to protect law-abiding citizens from serious threats to their lives, and in some cases, their property, but they all hinge on the idea that a person has the right to defend themselves, even by using deadly force, if there is a legitimate threat that can be clearly seen or (castle law) assumed. A person breaking into your outdoor shed? Doesn't pose a threat to your life. Running away when you catch them? Definitely not posing a threat to your life. So bottom line is this. If you have to shoot someone, shoot them. Warning shots are stupid in the extreme. If someone is running away, they typically cannot pose a threat to you anymore. Don't shoot them. I understand that the woman in this story sees herself as being in the right. She is convinced the men she shot at were trying to break into her property. I get that. They probably were, in my opinion. But she did not have the right to shoot them based on that, nor did she have the right to fire a so-called 'warning shot', which in this case resulted in one of the fleeing presumed bad guys being hit. She's lucky she didn't kill him. She'd be up on manslaughter charges. If you are going to keep weapons and are prepared to use them, you are responsible for learning the laws of self-defense and use of deadly force in the location where you live. If you can't figure it out on your own, pay for an attorney to explain it to you. Those are your options. If you choose not to inform yourself of your legal rights and responsibilities, you are menace to yourself and all those around you.