Going back to Tom's point #3: "if you shoot an unarmed burgular in your home at night you will still wind up in prison." This is (mostly) false. Thanks to a great business law teacher I had who went off on a useful diversion one afternoon, I learned there is more or less a "home is your castle" doctrine, where homeowners are given SIGNIFICANT benefits of the doubt over attacking intruders in their houses. Why? For the simply reason stated earlier. At 3am, no one is asking to borrow a cup of sugar and there is almost no valid reason someone would be in your house other than to commit a crime. As a side note, however, and again care of my biz law prof - try not to shoot intruder in the back - adds to the paperwork. Yell something, have him face you, then shoot. Also, not to suggest anything here, but dead people can't sue, injurred ones can... NOTE - i do not necessarily personally support any of the above, but am simply passing along nuggets of wisdom as told to me. NOTE 2 - apparently I was long beaten in making a "People's Republic of Berkley" joke, but I never get tired of it, so I'll repeat it.