Deadly Force- Can You Use It to Protect Your Neighbor

Would you consider this a crime?
"A so-called "castle doctrine" law recently passed in Texas allows people to use deadly force to protect their homes and property. However, a case in which a Houston-area man in his 70's killed two apparent burglars he observed breaking into his neighbor's house has raised new questions about how far that doctrine might extend.

The man called an emergency dispatcher when he first saw the alleged burglars, saying "I've got a shotgun, do you want me to stop them?"

"Nope, don't do that," replied the dispatcher. "Ain't no property worth shooting somebody over, ok? ... I've got officers coming out there. I don't want you to go outside that house."

"I understand that," the caller replied, "but I have a right to protect myself too, sir, and you understand that. And the laws have been changed in this country since September the 1st, and you know it and I know it."

After five minutes, the dispatcher was no longer able to restrain the caller, who stepped outside and shot both men, reporting, "Here it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking and I'm going. ... Boom, you're dead. ... I had no choice."

A grand jury will decide whether the man can be charged with a crime. He will probably be found to have acted legally if it is determined that the neighbor whose house was broken into had asked him to protect his property, but not otherwise."

20 comments:

Guilty Secret said...

Well I'm British so I would always consider shooting a person to be a crime.

Deadman said...

"Well I'm British so I would always consider shooting a person to be a crime."

Even if that person had initiated the use of deadly force against you?

And what does being British have to do with it?

Jack Steiner said...

GS,

Mark hit my questions. I am curious to hear your answer.

The Misanthrope said...

My understanding is that Britain does not have the liberal gun "laws" that the U.S. lives under thanks to the NRA. Those NRA gun monkeys will love this story. The neighbor deserves to be locked up, especially if he killed them.

Kol Ra'ash Gadol said...

Gun happy neighbor next door who shoots to kill intruders when he knows his neighbor isn't there. I think I'd move. I mean, thanks guy for watching out for my stuff, but I'd be more worried what happens if that turned out to be the friend I gave the key to to housesit that weekend...

Deadman said...

I'm fully aware that Britain does not allow private ownership of guns. But being British does not preclude agreement with that governmental policy.

As to "the liberal gun "laws" that the U.S. lives under", misanthrope, it's called a "Right", is guaranteed by the Second Amendmenmt of the Constitution, does not mean you have to have one if you choose not to, and is the reason we were able to throw the British out and the reason we don't have to worry about a military junta taking over, as happens in other countries.

Man I love this country. Makes me want to go out and buy another gun. Just because I can. And I just bought one last week.

Hmm, a .357 is looking mighty nice...

The Misanthrope said...

Poor England, I guess they are on the verge of being taken over because they don't have the "right" to bear arms.

The Second Amendment is such a poorly written statement that the Supreme Court is looking at it again, see if it is truly legal.

This right also allows every school kid today a reason to worry whether this is a day he/she is going to be shot, or why we have metal detectors in public schools, or why the accidental homicide rate is higher here than most any other "civilized" country, and gang killings are out of contgrol.

This is a wonderful right; when the general IQ is that of the 7th grade, but hell let them pry the gun from your cold dead hand first.

Jack Steiner said...

The neighbor deserves to be locked up, especially if he killed them.

I am still undecided about what to do about the neighbor. I appreciate neighbors watching out for each other, but I can't say that I am in complete agreement with his actions.

I think I'd move. I mean, thanks guy for watching out for my stuff, but I'd be more worried what happens if that turned out to be the friend I gave the key to to housesit that weekend...

Good point.

and the reason we don't have to worry about a military junta taking over, as happens in other countries.

Hi Mark,

I am not an advocate of removing guns from private citizens. But I do not believe for a moment that private gun ownership prevents the gov't from "taking over."

If it ever came down to it the military would crush any sort of "private" rebellion. It wouldn't even be close.

Deadman said...

Misanthrope:

Difference of opinion, but the fact is, it's my right to exercise, or not, and yours. i choose to exercise it responsibly, you choose not to.

That others do not act responsibly wrt gun ownrership doesn't mean I should lose the right.

Should we take your car because your neighbor chooses to drive drunk and kill a child? how absurd a notion that would be.

Jack - The fact that so many guns are held privately in this country is one of many checks and balances that ensure that we don't have a military takeover. If the entire military launched an allout offensive takeover, they would meet numerous heavy pockets of resistance. In my opinion, it would result in a war of attrition, Vietnam style, that would last years and years. Again, difference of opinion, hopefully neither of our theories will ever be tried out.

Jack Steiner said...

If the entire military launched an allout offensive takeover, they would meet numerous heavy pockets of resistance.

We still disagree. Too much firepower, too much organization. We don't have enough to truly compete with the military.

Deadman said...

Neither did the North Vietnamese.

Jack Steiner said...

Mark,

Different situation, but the US still did not bring its full weight to bear down upon the VC.

I don't disagree with the concept of owning a gun to protect yourself/family, but I can't buy into it being a real preventative measure against the gov't.

We live in a different age than Washington did. Fortunately it is highly unlikely that any of this will ever come to pass.

Deadman said...

I guess I shouldn't have said all out offensive.

But anyone who thinks there aren't groups in this country able to muster some serious firepower and act as a serious threat to a possible military takeover is seriously deluding himself. I'm not talking about Branch Davidian types. I am talking about people that I don't necessarily like but are most definitely armed, organized and too taken with the concept of personal freedom to give it up without a serious showdown.

Like I said, and you seem to concur, it's all academic anyway. My main bitch is with people who don't seem bothered by the fact that 6,000 kids die each year in auto accidents but get in a swivet when some irresponsible asshole lets his kid have access to a loaded gun or one nutcase offs a few students. Tragedies, but let's get some perspective wrt the bnumbers.

The Misanthrope said...

Mark, then like the former mayor of New York who is running for president said, let's make guns like cars and make sure everyone has a license and takes a test before they can own/use one.

Deadman said...

"let's make guns like cars and make sure everyone has a license and takes a test before they can own/use one."

I had to take a basic firearms safety course, Misanthrope, and get certified before I could buy one. What's the difference?

You think the gangsta piece of crap down the street who stole his gun is going to do that?

So why enact laws to limit gun ownership by those of us who abide by the law? I really don't understand why anti-gun people don't get such a simple concept. Probably because you don't WANT to get it.

The Misanthrope said...

Mark, I actually have two guns in the house. I'd rather now have them, but my father gave them to me recently. I don't have a problem with people having guns. I think they are too plentiful and not enough people handle them as well you as you might. I like target shooting for about all of 15 minutes before I get bored to death.

The Misanthrope said...

That is suppose to be "I'd rather not have them."

Deadman said...

I'll take them off your hands.

Hey, truce?

;o)>

The Misanthrope said...

Truce. Absolutely. Like Jack, I like a good debate, well maybe not as much as Jack does.

jon segalla said...

This is Jon from California.

Murder is one of the oldest crimes in this world, if you believe in the bible to be true, it dates backs to Cain and Abel. Murder is not going to be stopped or even slowed down in great numbers if you take the gun away. We as humans are very creative and industrious creaters and will use a ball point pen to kill someone if we have too.
As far as having everone tested or certified to own a gun, those are not the people we have to worry about. They make up the responsible part of society(in general) it is the "less desirables" in society that we have to worry about. If they don't have guns then they will use something else, try to defend yourself when someone is attacking you with a baseball bat or even just the ball. The answer does not lie in gun control, but in investing our time in our families. They are the central unit in society. They make up society, if everyone had a well cared for family with few needs we would have a better society. Of course there will always be exceptions to the rule. But if you want to change America start with your own family.

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