Sunday, October 5, 2014

When The Criminal Becomes The Victim

We live in interesting times. I just read a couple of articles about criminals being shot during the commission of crimes, one who was breaking into a house through the window and another who was holding a store clerk on his knees with a gun to his head, and the families of the criminals are blaming the people with the guns instead of the criminals.

In Dallas, Texas, an old man who had been robbed several times before heard someone breaking through a window. He got his gun and shot the man, who later died. In Texas the "Castle Doctrine" allows the use of deadly force if someone illegally enters your home and you feel your life is in danger.

Following his death, the criminal's family showed up at the old man's home asking why he didn't just warn the man that he was armed. "He could have used a warning,"the criminia's sister-in-law said. "He could have let him know that he did have a gun on his property and he would use it in self-defense."

I'm guessing the guy got the warning message from the click of the hammer - but it was just a little too late for him to cease and desist.

In Alabama recently a man was shopping in a Dollar Store and saw a masked gunman forcing a clerk to the front of the store. The man made the clerk get on his knees and put the gun to his head. The other customer, who was legally armed, drew he weapon and told the gunman not to move. The gunman turned toward the customer and the customer fired, wounding the man, who was taken by police to the hospital where he is under arrest.

The gunman's family told reporters that the Good Samaritan customer should have simply left the store without doing anything.

“If his (the customer) life was not in danger, if no one had a gun up to him, if no one pointed a gun at him – what gives him the right to think that it’s okay to just shoot someone?” said the relative. “You should have just left the store and went wherever you had to go in your car or whatever.”

It's exactly this type of thinking that is part of the problem in this country. Criminals who get caught (or shot) suddenly become the victims while people overlook the fact that the criminals were the ones who initiated the problem. If you or your family member are in the process of robbing someone (particularly armed robbery) and you get shot by the victim of the robbery or a Good Samaritan who witnesses you doing it, guess what? It's your own fault!

And in a story that's just as odd the other way - a Milwaukee maintenance man who was in the process of changing locks on an apartment door due to an eviction was confronted by three of the evictee's friends. An argument and altercation ensued wherein two of the friends grabbed and held the man while the third began striking him with a baseball bat. The maintenance man was able to pull his legally owned and licensed weapon and shoot two of them. They both later died. The third is in custody pending assault charges.

But that's not the end of this story. The article says the maintenance man is in police custody pending possible homicide charges for shooting two of his assailants. It was reported that the reason he is in custody is because he has no attorney and he does not want to make a statement to the police without one. An attorney interviewed (not attached to the case) said the man would probably be released as son as he makes an official statement since it was clearly self-defense (unless some other unknown facts indicate otherwise.) 

So if you're in Milwaukee and get attacked by bat wielding thugs, before you shoot them understand that saving your own life could get you arrested anyway - even if you're carrying legally and the shooting is justified. Welcome to America 2014...

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