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Damn Skippy

I love to see stories like this.

When a burly ex-convict forced his way into a posh Florida home last week, he had no idea what awaited him — a 25-year-old beauty queen with a pink .38-caliber handgun.

Meghan Brown, a former Florida pageant queen, shot and killed 42-year-old Albert Franklin Hill during a home invasion March 12 at the 2,732-square-foot house she shares with her fiance in Tierra Verde, Fla.

I like these stories because they illustrate clearly how important our right to bear arms is. Of course the reason we have that right isn’t because the founders thought it was important to be able to protect our homes and selves from each other. The reason we have this right is to protect ourselves and our property from government. That privilege allows us, by extension, to also defend ourselves from each other. It is perhaps the most primitive right we posses, in the sense that even before we could speak or anything else we count as a right, we obviously had the right to defend ourselves from other things.

These stories also underline the importance of the so called “castle doctrine”. This doctrine basically states that you have no duty to try and escape from an attacker, in any place that you can legally be, and may use any amount of force, up to and including deadly force to defend yourself and your property and anyone else. It’s important because in the example above, the woman didn’t know the intruders intentions. He could have been there to steal her TV and only that, sure. In that case maybe his life wasn’t a worthy price, but there is no way to know.

She could have been killed trying to escape from him or while waiting for the police. As much as proponents of the elimination of guns think that in a civilized society we can depend on the police to protect us, they cant materialize out of thin air the moment you call. Police can’t do much to prevent crime, they serve in a largely reactionary capacity. You call them to say someone is breaking into your house and they come over, in a few minutes, and shoot the brute for you if need be. What can happen in those few minutes is exactly the reason that its a good thing this woman was armed and did not wait for the cavalry. She made herself the cavalry and was able to protect herself and her property without first having to check in with the government or try and run away first.

A person without a gun is a victim looking for a crime as I see it. This guy might not have broken in if he knew the place was protected by Smith & Wesson security services. As it happens he is now dining with Hitler and the guy that invented that singing fish that hangs on the wall.

Addition: I just want to stress the point that he was shot with a pink gun. That’s fantastic. Certainly nothing he is going to want to mention to his buddies down in Dante’s inferno.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/03/22 at 22:45

    A person without a gun is a victim looking for a crime as I see it.

    I have no problem with our gun laws, I’m fine with rational law-abiding citizens owning guns. But I have no illusions as to think that they are some sort of panacea.

    I don’t own a gun. I have lived in a urban settings for over 20 years of my adult life. I have walked and biked most places I go for the last 12 years. I walk past the homeless shelters, past the housing projects, past the mental health agencies, through the “mean streets” of Louisville, KY, daytime and night.

    Beyond that, I attend a church that actively welcomes and loves our homeless and mentally ill friends, including some who are potentially dangerous. I and many of my friends work with or have worked with the mentally ill and others who have tended to be prone to violence.

    All of that and I have never come close to “needing” a gun. I’m no victim, although we all – armed or not – are, of course, potential victims. I have had a knife drawn on me once and been punched once, but I have never needed a gun to defend myself.

    Not that I’m criticizing those who feel they need one to make them feel safer – especially folk who might be more at-risk. I just think that the problem with guns is the potential for every problem having one answer.

    Generally speaking, a soft answer DOES turn away wrath, in my experience. If you are not looking for trouble, it doesn’t usually find you.

    I’m not saying this to build myself up. All of this is true of many in my community, including all my fearless church brothers and sisters. Have we had our encounters with violence? Yes, unfortunately we have. Do we feel the need for weapons to protect us? No, for the most part, no. Are we victims? Certainly not.

    Just another perspective.

  2. 2011/03/22 at 23:05

    You need to be able to articulate why you felt your life was in danger for it to be self defense. As for there only being one answer… Yes I support there only being one answer when someone feels their life is threatened. While I am quite adept at self defense without a firearm, I certainly remain armed whenever I can. It’s not simply a matter of me feeling safe, it’s a matter of having the power to counter many foes in the defense of others as well.

    I appreciate the fact that you don’t have a fear of an armed society. It’s typically a baseless fear. At least in this country.

  3. 2011/03/22 at 23:12

    “in the defense of others…”

    The one time I was punched was when I encountered a young fellow hitting his (I assume) girlfriend. He was surrounded by five of his buddies who were watching the assault. I walked up and politely but firmly told him he needed to quit, that what he was doing was wrong. He responded with some rash words (in the meantime, the girl took off to safety). I remained calm but firm, trying to de-escalate the situation.

    He eventually responded with one punch. I then turned to his friends (who may well have joined in with him, for all I knew) and told them that they needed to take their friend some place to calm down and they did.

    If I was a person living in fear of why my “life was in danger” and had a gun, a simple matter of de-escalating a situation could have turned out tragically.

    I don’t live in fear of an armed society. I do have my worries about a society that believes in the myth of redemptive violence and relies too heavily upon violence-as-solution.

  4. 2011/03/22 at 23:29

    I’ve stepped in and talked situations down without drawing my weapon as well. There is the fact that if one of those people had been armed or if they hadn’t ceased, or sought to escalate the situation themselves, I had the means to fight back effectively.

    That situation could have turned out tragically for you because you were not armed. The road goes both ways. You could have been severely beaten or worse.

    I’m not trying to say that you should arm yourself or that its always necessary but simply that the mere fact that a person is armed doesn’t lead to them shooting willy nilly at the slightest provocation. I’m not saying you said that either, I’m just saying.

  5. 2011/03/23 at 07:37

    I think there is a difference between willingly walking into a dangerous situation, and having one’s home invaded. The details on this case are pretty chilling:

    “Hill barged into the home at around 3 a.m. after Brown responded to a knock at the front door, according to a police report. He allegedly grabbed the 110-pound Brown around her nose and mouth and dragged her to an upstairs bedroom.”

    Had her fiance not been there to distract him, and she not had a firearm available, I shudder to think what would have happened to her. I know as a father and husband I feel a significant obligation to protect my family from these sort of invasions.

  6. 2011/03/23 at 08:28

    Admittedly, we all want to be able to protect our loved ones. No harm in that desire.

    I’m just saying that if we live a life fearful of that sort of incident [someone breaking into our home and attacking us], then we’re living in fear of an extremely rare, probably one in a thousand sort of instance. To take SOME precaution for the one-in-a-million danger is advisable. To spend an inordinate amount of time or worry on it is not, seems to me, and has the potential to create its own set of problems.

  7. 2011/03/23 at 08:29

    Where I said 1 in a million, I meant to say 1 in a 1,000. I don’t really know the odds of someone breaking into our home and assaulting us, but I would guess it’s pretty high, just maybe not as high as 1 in a million. I couldn’t find a stat for that.

  8. 2011/03/23 at 08:58

    ‘Home invasion’ is actually a hard statistic to quantify since it’s not one that is generally tracked, but I have seen insurance and security companies cite 1 in 5 homes will be invaded for one reason or another.

  9. 2011/03/23 at 09:20

    Consider the source.

  10. 2011/03/23 at 09:29

    I did. Which makes me figure the actual number is higher than 1 in a 1000, probably not as high as 1 in 5.

  11. 2011/03/23 at 10:24

    Still, its not right to characterize those people who decide to carry as ‘living in fear’. I certainly don’t.

    For violent crimes it was 429 per 100,000 people in 2009 and 716 burglaries for every 100,000.

    That’s from the FBI and UCP (Uniform Crime Report). Roughly the breaks down to 1 burglary that year for ever 139 people, not homes, making your risk of having your home broken into higher, much higher. While that’s not 1 in 5, it’s one hell of a lot higher than 1 in a 1,000. I would say statistically your home would probably get broken into once per lifetime, but we can’t know how that data breaks down per 1000 homes.

  12. 2011/03/23 at 11:06

    Still, each burglary is not an attempt to assault someone. Generally, burglars strive to break in when NO ONE is home. Thus, guns would do no good in stopping the burglary.

    The “living in fear” reference is only made to suggest that one can live, walk, raise a family even in “scary” urban neighborhoods and not have to worry about a gun. There are things to do for safety that do not require guns.

    So, I’m guessing the odds of someone living a safety-conscious life having a violent break-in and assault of the sort where some might think a gun COULD provide safety is likely closer to a million to one than it is 5-1.

    Just a hunch, but I’d say that’s an educated guess.

  13. 2011/03/23 at 11:09

    I said…

    where some might think a gun COULD provide safety

    I meant to say, “where some might think a gun COULD POSSIBLY provide safety,” since there are no guarantees of safety with a gun in the house. In fact, some might argue that in a community where there is a likelihood of gun ownership, that might increase the odds that any assailants might ALSO feel compelled to bring weaponry.

    The whole MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) idea, you know, where in order to feel safe, I have a gun, so my neighbor (or a possible assailant ALSO feels compelled to carry a gun…)

  14. 2011/03/23 at 11:17

    That’s why I gave the violent crime rate along with the burglary rate. I think your millions to one ratio is still far too high.

    Still its better to have a gun in a gun fight or even in a non-gun fight, I’d rather have an unfair advantage or at least be equal. Guns of course don’t promise safety anymore than those safety measures you refer to do. They can simply be another layer of it.

    I don’t think it would encourage possible assailants to bring firearms either, more likely it would encourage them to find a different neighborhood.

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