By Anthony L. DeWitt
Almost immediately after the news broke that a 23-year-old resident shot and killed three armed intruders with an AR-15 killing all three, Twitter erupted in a firestorm of support … for the criminals.
While those of us who love the Second Amendment were posting messages like “good grouping,” on the left the response was that these three poor teenagers, obviously on a prank-ish endeavor, were shot down in cold blood by the same gun that was used in Newtown! Oh the horror!
In the liberal mindset these boys, armed with knives and brass knuckles, were not criminals, they were mere “trespassers.” And the anti-Christian left is always happy to trot out a line from the bible, “forgive us our trespasses,” in order to fuel any kind of vitriol against lawful gun owners using lawful guns to defend their lawful residence against unlawful attackers.
The reaction happened before any facts are known about the actual ages and races of the “victims” here. Sure enough, when we find out they were 16, 17, and 18 years old (and their portly den-mother getaway car driver was 21), the calls for an immediate flaying (with lemon juice applied liberally along the way) of the homeowner were magnified. These poor boys!
Yeah. The poor boys. The poor boys who broke into an occupied dwelling, during the day, with a knife and a pair of brass knuckles. What, is this the new aggressive Jehovah’s Witness? Were they Mormon Elders stopping by to reprise the Cross and the Switchblade (without music, of course)? Perhaps the knife was meant to facilitate trimming fingernails, and the brass knuckles were, in fact, just a new piece of punk-rock jewelry meant to make the wearer “look cool.”
Don Henley’s excellent song “Dirty Laundry” reminds us that the media wants to “get the widow on the set” because “we need dirty laundry.” And, true to form, the local media went right out and interviewed the grandfather. After admitting that the boys shouldn’t have been doing what they were doing (yeah, uh, thanks for that gramps!) he said that the fight between a knife and an AR-15 was not a fair fight.
Excuse me? Did he really just say that?
Yes, he did. Somehow the idea that this was an old-west shootout, or two kids stepping into the ring to duke it out, got transposed into the discussion of an active criminal enterprise. The idea that our homeowner should have dropped his weapon and pulled out a butcher knife and gone man to man with the knife-wielding criminal is mind-bogglingly stupid.
The entire purpose of having a firearm for self protection is to make something into an other-than-fair fight. The idea is that if someone is in your house, they’re not there collecting donations for Breast Cancer Research. If they have a weapon (and a knife is a weapon that, within 21 feet, is equally deadly as any firearm) they are not there to show you a good time.
The idea of a “fair fight” is a myth. There has never been a fair fight, because fairness would require that no one loses. Someone always loses in a fight. The idea that one should not make use of every advantage one has in a fight is like saying a pro boxer should tie one hand behind his back if attacked. Sure he has an advantage: that’s the whole point!
In fact, the good folks in the Oklahoma legislature pretty much thought this whole thing out for the public when it passed Ok. Stat. 1289.25 which provides in part:
A. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the citizens of the State of Oklahoma have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes or places of business.
B. A person or an owner, manager or employee of a business is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, occupied vehicle, or a place of business, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, occupied vehicle, or place of business; and
2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
Yep, that’s right, if you break into someone’s house, and you don’t belong there, then you place the homeowner in immediate peril and you can be shot. The law permits it and rules it justifiable use of force.
Of course, there will be those who say things like “this amounts to a shoot-on-sight order from the legislature. Well, take it up with the legislature. It understood that in a state as big as Oklahoma, where there might not be a sheriff coming for 30 or 40 minutes, sometimes the guy in the house is 911 himself.
He has to depend on himself, not on help from an LEO down the road. Moreover, it seems like a reasonable policy choice precisely because police officers rarely stop crimes, they investigate and arrest those who have committed them. That’s because they can’t be in 20 different places at once.
I will not criticize the grandfather too much. He’s hurting. He’s lost a family member. I understand the pain of that. It matters not whether he was engaged in a crime or not, the pain of losing a family member is real and hot, and you want to lash out at whatever it was that produced the result. I understand that anger. But more importantly, I understand that pain.
But what I do criticize is the way that this narrative about a “fair fight” works its way into the media narrative on the shooting as if to suggest that whenever someone breaks into your home we should arm them so you can have a shootout with them. The whole purpose of arming yourself is to ensure there is never a fair fight. I have a GLOCK 19 on my hip during the day, and a Kimber .45 on the nightstand at night.
The instant that anyone breaches my perimeter three things happen. First, my dogs start backing, second, my alarm goes off, and third, I find anyone who doesn’t belong in my house and offer them the chance to live another day while I call 911. While I hope they take me up on the offer, I am more than happy to discharge my duty to keep my family safe if they fail to.
Getting shot shouldn’t be a life choice; neither should burglary.