What would you do if a confused man rang your doorbell and jiggled your front door handle at 4 AM? Would you conclude that, like Avon ladies, ruthless home invaders always warn potential victims by ringing the doorbell?
If you’re Joe Hendrix of Chickamauga, Georgia, you’d go outside to confront the menace and plug the old codger in the chest with your Glock:
He was 72. Alzheimer’s had erased much of his talent for music and flying airplanes.
No one is sure how, in the frigid hours before dawn last Wednesday in this small north Georgia community near the Tennessee border, Mr. Westbrook ended up nearly three miles from home with a handful of other people’s mail, jiggling Joe Hendrix’s doorknob.
Mr. Hendrix, 34, stepped onto his porch with a Glock pistol in his hand and his fiancée inside on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. He fired four shots. One hit Mr. Westbrook in the chest.
Second Amendment remedy! The cops aren’t sure whether Hendrix will be charged or not. That decision rests on how “reasonable” Hendrix’s actions are determined to be — whether or not he can legitimately claim he was in fear for his safety. Since he killed the only other participant in the encounter, Hendrix is now free to construct the narrative.
The sheriff, who knew the victim, did express regret that the shooter didn’t simply wait for the cops to get there. Deanne Westbrook said this of the man who killed her husband of more than 50 years:
“I understand the man who shot him is real upset, and I think he should be. He shot an innocent man. He should have stayed in the house like a normal person would.”
I’m afraid Mrs. Westbrook’s notions of what constitutes “normal” behavior are becoming antiquated in the new Stand Your Ground era. So now we can add an ailing veteran and musician to the NRA butcher’s bill. What a nation of pants-pissing cowards we’re becoming. It’s shameful.