I spend some time on car forums to advance exposure to my own vintage vehicle enthusiast website. On Saturday, camaroforums.com posted a topic thread about a Michigan couple that shot a pair of young 16-year-old thieves as they attempted to steal scrap metal from the well-armed couple. The story sounded too outlandish to be true, but it sparked a serious gun debate on a car website. Apparently the homeowners baited the young thieves into the theft by painting two by fours with a metal colored paint and enticing the kids into a scrap metal theft.
The couple wounded the teenagers- but they were subsequently spared any legal entanglements apparently because of Michigan gun and property protection laws. The female shooter/ poster claimed that even relatives of the ventilated teenagers were ok with the shootings.
This story has a false ring to it, but it opens up an instant debate about the right to defend your property with lethal force. Results of such an action may vary from state to state in a legal sense, but it has an even bigger variance in the court of public opinion.
The mood on the forum was a mix of for and against the couple’s alleged actions; not unlike the gun debate in any public forum. But it seemed that the general mood on the car forum was not onside with the homeowners.
Personally, I thought that the story (true or false) was not defensible. The teenagers were not a couple of alley cats that ripped open a garbage bag. I agree with the right to defend property, but I believe that I would be more than willing to put my hands in the air when a gun is pointed at me. I am not faster than a speeding bullet and you don’t have to shoot me to stop me in my tracks.
Scrap metal theft is not a big enough hill to die on in life. Nor is it alright to shoot somebody over a baited theft. And, if the story is true (and that is a long shot-no pun intended), I would not brag about a very questionable shooting in a state with competent litigation lawyers. Those kids could end up with more than just scrap metal.