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.
Something about having a gun in their hands make some people complete idiots. It’s an odd power dynamic. Compensation for something in their psychies and/or unhappy lives? Maybe. Probably. It isn’t everyone though. Just some. I own guns but I don’t want to shoot anything but a target or a can. Ever. I have a baseball bat as my defense.
The Republic of Stupidity
Not quite sure ‘pants-pissing coward’ is the appropriate description here…
Mebbe more like ‘opportunistic sociopath’?
But yer spot on w/ the ‘shameful’ part…
Doug posted an article by a guy a year or so ago that he and others mocked, but I thought the guy had an interesting observation: You think about the world differently when you become connected to your gun. You think it’s a more dangerous place, which justifies your owning and using the gun.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
I hope the fear filled idiot is traumatized by that memory for the rest of his life. He isn’t normal. and the widow is far more gracious than i could have been.
c u n d gulag
I guess he can call this “practice” – shooting an old white codger, just in case some real black man comes into the yard, or, God forbid, to the door someday.
While I’m an advocate of strict gun control, I’m all for handing out free pecker-extenders.
But that’s not how it goes down in da movies and da TVeeeeee! Gun-slinger is da HhheeeeeeMan HeeeeRo and gits the girl and da tickertape parade in the Hallmark ‘mercan town and the credits roll.
At Thanksgiving, which was a big get together with a bunch of people and different families, someone told the story of a guy ringing the doorbell trying to get in her house at 2 a.m. She called the police and they were there within minutes because they were already looking for the guy. He had been ringing a neighbor’s doorbell and banging on their door a few minutes before. He was drunk, disoriented and was convinced his family was inside.
She lives alone, so she also got her gun while waiting for the cops to arrive. She said she was not afraid to use it and would have if the police hadn’t arrived so quickly. Then a whole bunch of other people talked about their guns–when they got them, other reasons they’ve had for going and getting their guns (alarms malfunctioning, someone in the driveway, etc.) I don’t like guns and didn’t really enjoy finding out that I was amongst so many guns. Red state living, I guess.
I don’t think it is the whole country that is going crazy, but a significant minority definitely seems to be. I remember reading somewhere, I think it was in the New Yorker that the % of people who own guns has actually declined and is less than 30%. However the ones who do own guns own a lot more of them.
For men, possession of a gun in all settings tends to inspire a more confrontational attitude in all things.
Thus, the trembling, pansy-assed, screaming sissy who just has to go to the Starbucks while strapped is going to be more likely to be aggressive when interacting with fellow customers in line, the dweeb at the counter and anybody who might enter into some petty conflict with him.
Its why Johnny Cash sang about not taking your guns to town.
Likewise, in the home setting, the hysterical sissy response to thinking “danger” regarding every interaction at the door can make that pathetic example of a “man” (snort) lash out in a deadly manner (should he decide to take his dick extension outside from the relative safety of the locked space) to see what is going on. The opportunity for a tragic misperception exponentiates.
“”What a nation of pants-pissing cowards we’re becoming. It’s shameful.””
This is a nutshell is what has been happening since 9/11. The worst part is that Mr. Hendrix will be lauded by the gun lobby and other cowardly bullies for being a hero and protecting his loved ones.
From exactly what I am not sure.
And evidence is beginning to suggest that their families are becoming impoverished as a result.
There’s an arms race going on among white males of middle years, and the result is going to be that there are going to be X million durable weapons with Y billion rounds of ammunition washing around the country for the next century and a half.
So, Betty, in Floridah does Republican Party do door-to-door GOTV? Just wondering.
Listen that codger was committing a felony while trespassing on that poor homeowner’s property. He had a handful of other people’s mail, this responsible gun owner was confronting a proto-felon in the dark of night. He had to protect his spicy Wheat Thins.
I got nothin’. We are a nation of pants pissing cowards, some cuddle their guns, some give away their freedoms, some go Bitcoin-y/ Goldbuggy.
Problem is these gun fetishists are always in fear for their life. The can’t walk outside without being afraid of someone coming to get them. They don’t need guns. They need courage.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Makes sense to me, though I think there’s a chicken-and-egg thing about that belief that the world’s a more dangerous place, as there is, IMHO, in the weird combination of fear and machismo that makes someone take their gun out on the front porch instead of (I agree with the widow), just staying inside like a normal person would.
(See also the Keyboard Kommandos who insisted that their sheer terror of “radical Islam” was actually the courage to face the world as it is.)
Reminded me of the great Uncle Tupelo song by the same name and these lines:
@kindness: Something about having a gun in their hands make some people complete idiots.
Perhaps. And what about the desire to have a gun in one’s hands? How do you read that?
(Serious question, not thinly veiled criticism. I know you’re a gun-owner.)
Why can’t these folks wait until the cop comes? Why can’t they wait until the person is breaking in to the house to pull out their weapon? If you go towards the person, preventing them from doing the thing you are defending yourself from (breaking in), you are no longer defending yourself.
I guess on the plus side, maybe this will start making more people concerned about the new laws. Sadly, the fact that black youth are getting gunned down at alarming rates doesn’t bother a lot of people. But an old white guy? Well, shit? Those are the folks who are demanding these laws in the first place. It’s not suppose to put them at risk.
I consider it unlikely that charges will be filed, for a reason that has nothing to do with the merits of the case.
The District Attorney whose office has jurisdiction over the matter is an elected official.
Villago Delenda Est
So many of our perceptions about reality are modeled on entertainment that is, once you experience the real deal, laughable.
How many accounts of shooting incidents include the “it sounded like firecrackers” testimony of various witnesses to the event?
@Gex: Doubt it. It was an old white guy with Alzheimers. That type of person is another “expendable” type, like all the black folks. It needs to be a middle-aged white guy who’s in need of help–car trouble or something–who gets gunned down by another middle-aged white guy. If that happens enough, then things might change.
There’s a particularly gruesome video on the internets of a Yemeni wedding in which some reveler is dancing around with his loaded AK-47 and somehow manages to fire it off in mid dance step, blowing away at least three attendees.
Just like this incident I am always reminded of that stupid gun worshipper slogan:
An armed society is a polite society.
So effing polite it kills people.
Villago Delenda Est
The NRA’s efforts on behalf of their paymasters in the Firearms and Ammunition industries are working precisely as planned.
Knight of Nothing
I heard about this story the other day on Charlie Pierce’s blog, and it still makes me sick. One of CP’s co-bloggers, LTC Bateman, penned an article describing a platform by which guns could be removed from society. Hoo-boy, that brought the gun-nuts out of the woodwork – 400 comments and counting.
Villago Delenda Est
If gunning down a bunch of elementary schoolchildren in their classroom doesn’t effect the change, nothing will.
We are so fucked.
An armed 34-year-old man blows away a senile 72-year-old. Really keeping us safe there, ya fucking coward. I hope it torments the guy for the rest of his miserable life.
@Gex: Or, more to the point, why don’t they TALK TO THE PERSON who is at the door, find out what they want, find out if there is something wrong or if they need help?
Thank you. That’s all the gun obsession is – courage through superior firepower.
@Violet: Didn’t a white guy shoot at the whitest of white guy saint rayugun?
ETA: if Mr. Franklin does decline to prosecute, it will be difficult to second-guess that decision. Only two people know what really happened; one of those is the defendant, and the other is unavailable to testify. The spousal communications privilege will limit the prosecution’s ability to get testimony from the defendant’s wife that might undercut his testimony about his own state of mind. It’s a tough case to make, and a DA who (if his campaign website is to be believed) prides himself on using taxpayer funds efficiently could easily justify not taking on a time-consuming and expensive case with a number of problems.
This is exactly how
Stand Your GroundKill with Impunity laws are designed to work.
Queue up Wayne LaPierre screaming that if the demented old man was packing, the two of them could have had a fair, even-handed shootout. “All people suffering from dementia should be armed! – call you Congressman!”
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: There is a bit of cause and effect here, but the guy who wrote the article talked about how it changed how he thought. How much is it “If they let me have a gun, they’ll let anyone have one” or “wow, I didn’t know I could be threatened by that scrawny guy before, but sure looks menacing now”?
Doubt it. In the following story, the shooting victim never could remember any part of the incident due to the brain damage from the shooting; no charges were ever filed.
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Oh, I think pants-pissing coward is appropriate here. There’s a self-image these gun people have that I really would like to tear giant holes in. Namely, that it’s tough to fire a deadly weapon at random, unarmed people.
This also IMHO stems directly from a major peeve I have with the entertainment industry, namely their “every problem is a nail” mentality that has gun-toting heroes using their pistolas to do everything from open locked doors to flick switches from across a room. It seems that if we have a problem, we must shoot it. We know no other way to handle obstacles. Yet real life, which I think a lot of these people have an aversion to, will rapidly correct your apprehension that putting holes in everything you see doesn’t necessarily smooth your passage through an uncertain world.
Guns make people STUPID, period.
@Knight of Nothing: Thanks for that link to Bateman’s piece. I like his disarming plan. I didn’t even look at the comments, but I can imagine.
@Violet: For some middle-aged white guy who’s not a Senator? Nah, people’d shrug it off. Hell, there’s a decent chance they’d shrug it off it was a Senator. We shrugged it off when it was a bunch of elementary school kids, after all.
The People of the Gun are devoted to the Gun above anything else.
Villago Delenda Est
The last people we need to be armed are dementia-suffering Congressmen. They did enough damage already with the shutdown.
Well geez – how manly is that? How can he step out, holding his piece like a cop on teevee, peering this way and that?
I believe the article you’re referring to is this essay by Walter Kirn, “What Gun Owners Really Want,” published in The New Republic last January.
If so, yes, it was mercilessly mocked in a dpm post/thread, “Walter Needs a Shooter” here:
I am friends with several people who own a lot of guns. All but one are really scared of crime and home invasions. They are always in a state of fear. The one that is not always afraid is, no coincidence, the one who keeps his guns unloaded, locked up, and otherwise secured. His most valuable antique guns he keeps locked up in his Dad’s gun safe an hour’s drive away from his own home.
Bonus: the fearful ones all live in upper-middle class exburbs with non-existent violent crime rates. The one who is not afraid lives in a poor neighborhood with a higher than average crime rate and a visible drug problem. But he does live a couple doors down the street from the police station.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
I considered myself restrained when I did not ask Mr. Q’s sister to let me search her purse prior to admittance to our house when they visited for an early Thanksgiving. Apparently she feels the perverse need for a concealed carry permit. She or her husband are exactly the type to handle it on their own prior to the arrival of the officials.
I will not allow weapons in my home outside the possession of a professionally trained user. None of whom have ever felt the need to be armed in my residence. But in the spirit of family harmony, I did not require a search. I did however, explain to her college age son that we like to overlook the US history of genocide on this continent. And as such, Thanksgiving is not a “happy holiday” for many. He was unimpressed. When we are invited to visit them at their new place, I will have a tough time with MS and stay home. It will be happier for everyone, especially me.
Which is why we LOVE THE DRONEZ.
That – after much lobbying – got the Brady Bill.
This case has really bothered me, and I’ve commented on it at a couple of other blogs already.
The linked article suggests Mr. Westbrook was on the front porch of the killer’s house in a neighborhood of new homes. Do they not have working porch lights? Another article I read said the killer shot him when he could only see a silhouette. I thought one of the first rules about shooting was that you need to be able to see your target. And he couldn’t see the two dogs either?
If it comes down to, would a normal person feel threatened, I’d have to go with “no.” Or, are we going to start having a bunch of defensible homicides because when John shot and killed Mary he was defending her from the ghost of her abusive stepfather? Normal. I thought in this context that was supposed to mean “rational.”
Snarki, child of Loki
Hey, look on the *bright* side!
If the cops had arrived, there’s a significant chance that they guy would be tortured to death by electric shock (taser)!
Getting shot to death is grandmotherly kindness, by comparison.
Welcome to Georgia!
@Snarki, child of Loki:
Wow. Tis a foul wind that blows no good, eh?
@Woodrowfan: Nearly all of my relatives are gun owners — my father has a vast arsenal, and if any piece of it should ever come to me, I’ll have it promptly destroyed no matter what its value. But they all consider me an irrational anti-gun nut, so that’s unlikely.
Anyhoo, most of these folks live out in the country, and hunting and protection from poisonous snakes are a thing, as are target shooting and general machismo. I wouldn’t call them fearful per se, but the gun culture is deeply ingrained.
The city / town / suburb dwellers I know who own guns ARE a fearful lot, and like you said, they live in areas where crime is practically nonexistent. I can see one of them accidentally shooting a confused old man or a drunk teenager and feeling guilty about it for the rest of their lives. They would deserve that and more.
One reason (aside from the NRA’s fat coffers) we’ll likely never have a sane approach to gun ownership in this country as that the urban and rural cultures are so different.
@Betty Cracker: My unafraid friend is from the country and likes target shooting, which he’s taught me to do. It’s fun. He’s also fairly left in his politics.
Just so. What’s particularly galling about these things — other than the wholesale slaughter of innocents, that is — is these jackasses’ swaggering inability to recognize that they are far, far less brave than the effete urban Democrats they love to mock. I’ve known rabbits who were more courageous than these people.
I actually have a couple of WWII assault rifles, in addition to some shotguns. I might go shooting once ever two or three years, but quit on hunting long ago – too boring, and I don’t really care for venison.
There is no rational reason for me to own assault rifles, and given a law change, I’d happily march them in for destruction. I bought them during my semi-wingnut period.
However, by way of an admission, I did buy my wife a pistol for Christmas. She’s expressed a desire to go shooting recently, and it is a fairly large and serious tool (.40 cal Sig E2022) which, if she wishes, she can take to work – they have had some interesting visitors during working hours, and she frequently likes to work late, alone, her business being located at a corner where there is a bus stop which serves a dodgy apartment complex.
I’m leaving that choice to her – if she’s comfortable with it, fine, if not, then it becomes her target pistol, stored safely, and hopefully never needed to deal with a recalcitrant raccoon or injured animal in our rural/exurban setting.
I don’t do pistols or concealed carry. No real need.
@Belafon: You think about the world differently when you become connected to your gun. You think it’s a more dangerous place, which justifies your owning and using the gun.
If you think at all, that is.
Mrs. Rodney Peairs, on the killing (by her husband) of Halloween reveler Yoshihiro Hattori, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October 17, 1992.
@Snarki, child of Loki: Headline: NRA accidentally develops cure for Alzheimers. Wayne LaPierre states, “I’ll be a proud day when I get to strap that Nobel Prize on my hood.”
Does anyone have any idea how many people are killed every year by strangers invading their homes? I bet the number is staggeringly low. But you just can’t get people to believe that NO ONE IS GOING TO BREAK IN AND KILL YOU.
If you really want to reduce your chances of dying by gunfire, get rid of your goddam gun.
@Cassidy: two tests on whether the fear was reasonable – subjective and objective. Subjective is pretty straight forward, was the person in fear for his life? Objective, is a bit tougher, would a reasonable person in similar circumstances fear for her life? The second one is the test for reasonableness.
President Obama making terrific speech on C-Span 1. Addressing economic and societal inequality.
@Botsplainer: Yea but isn’t a WWII ‘assault rifle’ just an M1 carbine? I don’t know that I’d call that an assault rifle.
@Burnspbesq: Minor point, and a legally important one: they’re not married yet. No spousal immunity applies, so she can be subpoenaed. I know that can vary by state law, but Georgia doesn’t seem like the type of place to allow cohabitation easily.
Knight of Nothing
@Betty Cracker: Sure thing! The comments are rather terrifying, but pretty much confirm your assertion above about pants-pissing cowardice. To gun-nuts, firearms are not tools for killing; they are talismans of freedom and security.
Knight of Nothing
@Betty Cracker: I really like his plan to disarm the country too, but I’d settle for universal background checks, national gun registry, and proper licensing and liability.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
QFT. And I nearly despair of ever getting a certain subset of Americans to understand that NO ONE IS GOING TO BREAK IN AND KILL YOU. The person who might kill you in your home with a gun lives there.
My carbine has two 30 round detachable magazines and its originally issued 15 round mag. Plus, it tosses out a larger round than the Bushmaster.
Its an assault rifle.
The better argument is on the Garand, and whether those 8 round clips of .30-06 count.
@Elizabelle: Wish I had time to watch it. Will have to catch the replay. I read somewhere this morning the president is going to make addressing income inequality the #1 priority for the rest of his term, which is exactly the right thing to do.
Why wait for a law change?
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
People who get a boner from the chance to murder someone under the pretense of self-defense are not ‘normal’ people.
I got into a bit of trouble over Thanksgiving when I told my big obese gun loving teabagging in-law that he’d be safer if instead of buying yet another gun, he should purchase and carry around a defibrillator. He’s got a much higher chance of having a heart attack than being attacked by someone with a gun in the safe, gated community he lives in.
@Gex: Why can’t these folks wait until the cop comes?
Because then they would miss out on the opportunity to shoot someone.
Because I’m a guy. If I perceive that something has monetary value even if I’m not using it, then I either sell it or keep it.
It is a quirk of mine. While I’m not actually a hoarder (I can and do get rid of things routinely, even when it bugs me to do so, as I’m capable of acknowledging that something doesn’t have residual pecuniary value), I can’t make myself disable something that can be sold.
@kindness: Eh, names, size, and caliber only matter a little. A Ruger 10/22 (22 lr) with a hi cap magazine and in the right hands is a weapon of mass destruction. You can put a synthetic stock on anything and put anything into a traditional rifle stick. Banning anything based on category is a losing battle.
Funny thing – I live in a high fire-prone neighborhood. If someone’s ringing my doorbell at 4:00 am, it’s likely to be neighbors or fire-fighters trying to save my life.
my father had alzheimers and more than once took off walking hoime (his childhood home 300 miles away) — he did things like climb a fence into someone’s yard and wandered about. luckily the people who found him always were kind — often they would take him in and get him a glass of water and some cookies while they called my mother (he had ID on him)
it breaks my heart to think some jackass would shoot a confused old man.
this guy was inside his locked home. he didn’t need to shoot this guy. one can imagine a case of this happening if someone broke into the home — even a confused old codger. but in this case, it is simply murder.
Something really similar happened to us. We were awakened by banging on the door, followed by entreaties to let the person in. This was late night/early morning. In Oakland, CA (insert stereotypes of Oakland here). And no, I didn’t shoot the man who banged on the door. After a couple minutes of panic, I calmed down when I realized that he wasn’t going to do anything worse than banging and yelling. So we called 911, and the cops came to take care of the problem. Apparently he was drunk/high, got into some sort of altercation (a bit of blood on his face and hands), and wanted to come in and be taken care of (not sure if he thought he knew us).
The way my little one gets into everything in the house, I wouldn’t even dream of having a gun around.
Knight of Nothing
I didn’t catch that piece of the story, but it makes me wonder whether there was a little bit of “I will impress my special lady by not being disrespected!” going through Hendrix’s head.
He shot a man in Chickamauga, just to watch him die.
Tone in DC
In 2004, I was driving back to DC from Charlottesville in the early evening. After two or three wrong turns near Culpeper, I got back to the proper route.
I would have hesitated then to knock on a stranger’s door, had I run out of gas, or the car had broken down.
No way would I try it these days. If these pants-wetters are ready to shoot some disoriented 70 year old, and not long ago, that 19 year old girl, I know they will pull the trigger on anyone.
@Cassidy: I have a 10/22. It’s my favorite plinking gun as I can hit anything I aim at with the scope on it. I even bought one of those 25 round clips for it back in the 80’s. I’ve never used that clip. It just sits there.
I’m more concerned with hand guns than I am with rifles or shotguns. Something about being able to concealed carry creeps me out. I also see it in my friends who are teabaggers. Old college friends who I love dearly but wrapped the wrong conclusions around their brains to make them the nuts they are now. Still love ’em. But it is a personal defect when you live in a zero crime area and have a zero crime profession to still have a need to pack a piece. That’s just crazy. I can’t explain/justify it through fear so much as ego deficiencies.
@Botsplainer: Because you’re a guy? Ooookay. I just hope you keep your “assault rifles” very securely locked up so no one decides to steal them and murder a classroom full of children. I’m heartily sorry we live in a country where that is left to your sole discretion, but here we are.
@Betty Cracker: Well, yeah, so long as there’s still money to be made in the arms trade, best not to stop it. It’s a guy thing. /I’mnotsurewhat
makes ya wonder why the Wizard gave the Cowardly Lion a chintzy medal instead of a Glock. The only thing that can stop a bad witch is a good witch with a gun.
@Violet: I hope they all kill each other and leave the rest of us in peace.. no offense of course, but these sick people are a menace to civil society and I am becoming a proponent of repealing the second amendment as I get older. Also too, if you are really afraid of the boogey man coming to break into your home. GET A F____ DOG!!! They are much much more capable of alerting an owner to danger and a lot better for a person’s mental health.
Nothing will change the minds of the hardcore of U.S. gun owners on these issues. I thought for a second that maybe if some gorgeous blonde girl (the kind that can dominate as a missing person in foreign country story) got gunned down the way the black woman was killed in Dearborn, MI, but then I realized that even Connecticut didn’t change anything.
The only thing that will change it is, as Bateman said on Pierce’s blog, natural death. The hardcore leans towards older.
@artem1s: Well, really in the Wizard’s story all the lion would have to do is pee on the wicked witch’s leg. Granted, that takes significantly more composure than these bedwetters who kill sickly old men wandering their yard late at night, but still….
Cable locked through the receivers, empty magazines stored elsewhere and what little ammo I have left is stored in yet a third location.
They’re not going anywhere or going to be used by anyone except for such use as is engaged in by me or my wife, and that has to be very deliberate, involving three separate physical actions and locations in the house. Due to our woodsy location, the current anticipated use basically consists of putting injured feral animals out of their misery, and I don’t answer the door packing (nobody would approach our house at night anyway, even malefactors – our driveway and house are scary places in the woods).
Also, I sincerely hope that gal gets herself away from her fiance. He’s a walking advertisement for future wife beater/abuser.
Jesus. This guy’s an Iraq vet and still shot the man dead. Four rounds? I know we train our soldiers to make better firing decisions than that. What’s his fucking excuse?
Bastard needs to rot in hell, so there’d better be one.
@beth: You rock.
A buddy inherited his FIL’s pristine M1 and that thing’s a killing machine, by design and in fact. Made no less deadly because “better” killing machines have been invented since. A comparison to the Japanese bolt-action infantry rifle my pop brought home from the war is nearly comical (other than, I suspect, accuracy over distance).
Yeah, I basically want to marry that comment.
@Trollhattan: The fact that he is an Iraq war vet kind of got lost on me. Maybe he has PTSD – in which case he really, really should not have had guns in the house.
@beth: Heh. Mean, but to the point.
In general, in my opinion, everybody is too scared of crime and not scared enough of cars. Humans are terrible at evaluating risk. We go for the most dramatic narrative every time — but usually it’s dramatic because it doesn’t happen much.
@GregB: Polite and dead. Dead people are extremely polite!
I have had a habit of not locking the door to my very urban apartment. One afternoon, a very high/drunk fellow opened the door and walked into my apartment. My complex opened on to a side street that led to the gay bar district. There was a lot of foot traffic. This guy would not leave when requested and his tone turned belligerent.
I pulled down an antique ceremonial sword which was displayed on a nearby wall and leveled it at his chest and ordered him to get the fuck out. He retreated. I locked the door. There are many alternatives to pulling a trigger.
But then again, in the spirit of the NRA, we could just arm alzheimer’s patients. Don’t they have a right to self-defense?
Could it be 27%?
There are certain powerful forces in this country that find it very beneficial to their interests to stoke the white low-education, low-income population into a state of heightened paranoia.
This, this, this. What have we spent on useless wars and security measures since the 9/11 attacks that killed around 3,000 people? A trillion dollars or so? Imagine how much public transit and infrastructure safety that could have purchased…
This local incident has fallen completely off the radar; the most recent article I can find is from October 31. Because the drunk shooter is also a DA, I suspect that’s how it will remain.
Because there’s nothing more polite than shooting a confused old man on your doorstep.
Heh. That should give anybody pause.
Baseball bats work nicely as well.
My loveable goofball GSD makes me feel far more safe than any of my guns (long guns for hunting). She is very socialized and friendly but I have no doubt if anyone messed with me she would tear them a new asshole.
@Betty Cracker: That’s a bit unfair and out of line.
@artem1s: Futurama beat you to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4venFPPzfs
Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?
Hey Joe, I said where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?
Alright. I’m goin down to shoot some old codger,
you know I caught him messin’ ’round with my door bell.
Sorry had to be done. Joe Hendrix?
@Cassidy: How so?
@Betty Cracker: For one, you asked a
Question and got an honest answer. Considering the kind of people that frequent this place, I think you owed him the benefit of a doubt. Secondly, while guns are the overall big problem, the real issue is the irresponsible ownership and hoarding of guns and the toxic pervasiveness of gun culture, again, something not found in your regular commenters.
@Misterpuff: Actually that is Jimi Hendrix doing a old Robert Johnson tune. No one knows that so you are forgiven.
Too many times in the south it seems like men want to escalate the problem as if it somehow proves manhood//manliness.
This is something that the shooter will have to live with and is likely going to spend the rest of his life justifying to himself (because if he didn’t he actually has to self reflect something many southern men would likely consider for sissies and come to the conclusion that he was a moron).
Even more sad- I bet he only feels a passing bit of regret -much like someone who gets gas and then feels better after taking an antacid.
Under the situation described, that’s certainly not a reasonable response to the perceived threat even without the benefit of hindsight.
Under a different scenario with a different intruder (an arsonist trying to burn the home down, for example, instead of a 72 year old Alzheimer’s sufferer), he could have been justified in his actions.
A gun is supposed to be your last line of defense, not an excuse to go seek out trouble.
IMHO what he should have done was just stay inside and let the cops come and handle it.
I have a lifetime Indiana LTCH, but the only time I regularly carried a gun was when I worked 3rd shift at a convenience store.
Of course this violated store policy but I didn’t really care if I got fired after shooting a robber who ordered me into the back room or the cooler.
Other than that, there was a time here if you had a permit you didn’t have to follow the old 7 day state waiting period.
As of this writing I don’t even own a single gun, though I wouldn’t mind buying a Smith K-frame revolver for target shooting and defense.
@Cassidy: I’m not sure what benefit of the doubt you think I owe him — are you saying I should have assumed that he stores his mass killing machines and high capacity mags safely because he answered my question and frequents this blog?
If so, I disagree; I don’t automatically assume that anyone who owns assault weapons would store them safely. Outside of a war zone, there’s no such thing as responsible assault weapon ownership in my book, but I’m relieved to hear Botsplainer takes measures to render the property he shouldn’t be allowed to own resistant to theft and catastrophic misuse.
this would never have happened if the 72-year-old dude with alzheimers was carrying a gun.
@Betty Cracker: Whatever. That’s a dipshit response, overly simplistic, and really just not well thought out. I expect that from mix or a ole, but really? I said it up thread, if you want to focus on what category a weapon falls in, you’ll lose every time. Especially when someone says that a WW2 rifle isn’t an assault rifle, but a battle rifle! Honestly, it’s really nothing more than pedantry, but being an asshole to everyone, including those who agree with you, is dumb. Don’t double down.
@Cassidy: Uhh. I said an M1 isn’t an assault rifle. Neither is my 10/22 even if I put the 25 round clip in it. Without getting technical ‘assault rifle’ has to have a pistol grip. The M1 doesn’t.
@kindness: Both Betty and Botsplainer were calling it an assault rifle. I wasn’t referring to anything you said. :)
Its a distinction without a difference to be honest.
@kindness: Also, I can drop a 10/22 into a carbon stock with a pistol grip, collapsible stock, picatinny rails, etc. does that make it an assault rifle?
I’m more concerned with hand guns than I am with rifles or shotguns. Something about being able to concealed carry creeps me out.
It’s not just concealed carry. It’s carry at all.
The problem is that people who regularly carry around handguns start thinking the gun is part of them, and is something that could be used ‘normally’. Whereas rifles and shotguns…aren’t. They are specific things you pick up and carry around while doing a specific activity.
It’s the difference between switchblades and machetes. Machetes are just as dangerous as switchblades (probably more dangerous!), but there’s a reason we ban switchblades and not machetes.
You know, I’m a constitutional orginalist…I think words don’t change meaning, and hence I demand we read ‘arms’ to _only_ include what ‘arms’ meant back them. You have a _right_ to muzzle-loading rifles and shotguns, and derringer pistols, and that’s about it. (Feel free to argue the case for cannon ownership, though.)
While I’m not actually an originalist, I’m entirely serious about that as a _constitutional_ interpretation. I don’t think the government should necessarily _ban_ all other guns, but I think it has the power to ban any it wants of types that did not exist at that time. (Actually, I’m fairly certain the entire point of that amendment was to stop the _Federal_ government from banning _state_ militias from owning weapons, and has nothing at all to do with personal ownership, and also cannot possibly apply to _state_ law. But the whole ‘There was no such thing as semi-automatic weapons back them, hence the constitution cannot have an opinion about them’ is easier to argue.)
Chocolate Covered Cotton
My response to anyone who claims “an armed society is a polite society” is to point out how rude those fucking Japanese are compared to us Americans.
Presumably you know that you’re talking about someone who just recently wrote this:
And as for this:
@Botsplainer: Its why Johnny Cash sang about not taking your guns to town.
It’s why Marshals Wyatt and Virgil Earp confiscated the guns of the cowboys who came to town for carousing and gaming.
Jeebus. This happened to my family while my Dad was in Vietnam, I was about 12. Some guy, out of his mind high decided our house was his house. The dogs woke us up, Mom called the cops, they took the guy away. End of story.
Was it scary for my Mom? Yeah, for a few reasons. But she didn’t freak out and shoot the guy, he clearly wasn’t dangerous. And that’s the part I don’t get about any of these stories. No one paused to assess the situation.
As you said, would you think that someone rattling your doorknob and banging on the door or ringing the doorbell is a serial killer or out to hurt you? Me either. I get the psychological thing — every problem is a nail to someone with a hammer, but how does someone get to the point that murder is the solution to everything? Is this a warning of things to come when most of the population is ignorant, paranoid and armed?
There’s an interesting detail from the article that no one has yet noted. Dude is active in GOP politics:
Also, after murdering grandpa he yelled, “George Zimmerman, thou art avenged!”
Paul in KY
@Burnspbesq: If she is his girlfriend only, no spousal exemption.
If they get married real quick, that’ll tell you something about how they view the case.
Paul in KY
@kindness: M1 carbine can hold a 30 round mag & will do a whole lot of damage (I’m talking 1 bullet). It is a powerful little gun.
Paul in KY
@beth: Good one! True, also.
Paul in KY
@kindness: I don’t think any of them knew water would kill her, until Dorothy accidently spilled it on her.
Paul in KY
@Trollhattan: WW II Japanese infantry weapons (excepting a nice katana) were generally crap. I think now they are embarrassed by that fact.
Paul in KY
@kindness: I don’t think an ‘assault rifle’ has to have a pistol grip.
I think it has to be A) semi-automatic/automatic B) Fire a rifle cartridge C) Have detachable magazine.
For example: I would call an M-14 an assault rifle. A big whopping one, but an assualt rifle nevertheless.
Paul in KY
@Chocolate Covered Cotton: Oh, those Japanese are all armed by knowing karate ;-)