Granny Got Her Gun

The other day in my “Demagogue” post I let our vice president have it over his emotional tear fighting plea to pass his boss’s jobs bill using a worse then ,”Do it for the children” play, this was a ,”Pass this bill, or a criminal will rape, murder, steal your stuff” play. If only the real world was that simple. Sadly, the only real line of defense, no matter how many cops are on the streets, is your own ability to protect yourself. And when someone is breaking into your house in the dead of night and your safety is imperiled, forget the police/sheriffs/highway patrol/ FBI/ CIA, or even the TSA (not saying don’t call them, just don’t expect them to be there when you need them) what is going to pull your ass out of the grease and save your bacon is Smith&Wesson, Ruger, Glock, or Colt. Just ask Donna Hopper:

An elderly Northern California-woman woke early Friday morning to hear an intruder attempting to break into her home. CBS 12 reports that the 66-year-old Donna Hopper is still shaken after shooting the 37-year-old intruder dead:

Could you possibly find a sweeter looking woman, or a scarier looking burglar?

Redding is a rural town, not very big, mostly farmers and simple folk. I assume that Donna lives by herself, no mention of any one else in the house, and keeps a gun in the house for protection, the type of gun is not mentioned, but probably a hand gun of some kind.

The Searchlight reports that Theis had been released from jail the morning before the shooting took place.

Great, even more evidence that the state of California is going broke, can’t keep bad guys locked away, and can’t really protect the folks from being victims.

Reading through what happened, it sounds like every action she took was reasonable and prudent. But although she did nothing wrong, she still gets traumatized with being involved in someone’s death, not an easy thing to shake even if it was justified.

A few years ago on the other blog I used to write for we had some fun talking about Joe Horn. Texas has just passed a new more expanded version of the Castle doctrine, where people could use deadly force to protect their own property or to stop arson, burglary, robbery, theft or criminal mischief at night. Joe decided to test his new found freedoms, only it wasn’t his property he was protecting, it was his neighbor’s. Here is the 911 transcripts of how the whole thing went down.

Ultimately Joe was never charged.

I had a hard time justifying Joe’s actions. Clearly in his mind he thought he was justified in going outside and confronting the two guys and stopping the burglary that was in progress at his neighbor’s residence. Popular sentiment was with Joe, two dirtbags were dispatched and no innocents hurt, but to me, no property crime is worth taking a life, even a dirtbag’s life. Others might feel differently but (and I don’t live in Texas) I think this new law is just asking for trouble. Regardless of the fact that the law sanctioned the killing, I think the best way to go is to start off with minimal force, and escalate it as warranted, but in no way putting your life in danger. To ratchet things up, right out of the box straight to deadly force, I have a problem with that.

I’m sure that Europeans and other non Americans probably look askance at out gun culture, scratching their head at what all the fuss is about. Guns are part of our heritage, our frontier spirit, manifest destiny, and an integral part of our basic liberties. Right after the 1st Amendment, the basic right to own and bear arms is not far behind. “From my cold dead hands”, these are not empty words to many Americans.

So, any thoughts on Donna hopper, Joe Horn, the expanded Castle doctrine in Texas, or our affinity for things that go bang, all are grist for the mill.

Comments are closed.

  1. balthazar

    In the Joe Horn case its put out there all the time that “He shot them in the back”, Yet the coreners report does not say that. The only report about the “shot in the back” thing was the plaincloaths police officer stating that they perps “took fire from the rear”. In fact the perps ended up on Horns property. He told them not to move, they decided to run over his property, he shot them. Maybe they should have listened to the guy with the 12 gauge?

    The most fucked up part about the whole Horn incident is that his neighbors and friends chased off the NBPP when those violent fucks decided to “protest” that Horn wasnt indited. I’ll bet they didnt go on his property though!

    If only NJ had a decent castle defense law.

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  2. InaneGoldfish

    Great, even more evidence that the state of California is going broke, can’t keep bad guys locked away, and can’t really protect the folks from being victims.

    AB 109 just brings the low level felonies to do local time it doesn’t release them. Low level is a sentencing range of 16-2-3. Violent crimes are not low level felonies and they are sentenced under the standard guidelines. Additionally violent crimes are required to serve something like 85% of their sentence and are not eligible for 1/3 or 1/2 time credits. . that being said… CA is stil going broke, and stories like this are far more common than one might expect, especially in the more rural parts of the state [Redding is one of the larger cities in the northern valley and i think that’s why we are even hearing about it]. However, the fact that the elderly are fighting back is far less common. . My $0.02 is “i’m sorry that you had to take a life, but you had every right to do it, so don’t feel too terrible.” Normally taking a life over property is not ok with me; however, if I’m home and you break in all bets are off.

    If only NJ had a decent castle defense law

    in my very brief research on the subject, NJ does indeed have a castle doctrine the bill was “A198″… it offers a presumption of imminent peril if your home is forcibly entered, and removes the retreat requirement if you are outside of your home, it also provides for civil and crimininal immunity….

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  3. balthazar

    I don’t believe that A198 has passed. So the old castle doctrine still applies. That bill was proposed in 2010.

    Current NJ law requires you to flee at all costs before you can actually defend yourself.
    For instance, If your house has 2 stairways upstairs you are required to flee to the other stairway before defending yourself and your property. If you are outside you are expected to run. It doesn’t matter if the perp is 21 and your 50.

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  4. TxAg94

    I’ve always considered law enforcement to be a “reactive” thing, hence law “enforcement”. Otherwise they would be called “crime preventers”. Crime prevention benefits from law enforcement presence are purely a side effect. Sure, it can be a proactive side effect by having those responsible for responding on the streets and visible all the time. But the reality is their true purpose does not kick in until a law has been broken. All the hubbub about adding more police officers is great but will likely only result in a larger crowd of uniforms surrounding crime scenes.

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