Friday, December 14, 2007
"HEY JOE, WHERE YOU GOIN' WITH THAT GUN IN YOUR HAND?"
A month ago today, Joe Horn of the Houston, Texas area proved that he's a shitstain of a human being and badly needs a long stay in jail. Everybody who praises him as some kind of a hero proves only that they are painfully fucking stupid and not deserving of the same kind of rights normal adults enjoy.
Long story short, on November 14th, Horn noticed two less than honorable folks breaking into his neighbor's house. He called 911 and grew increasingly agitated when the cops didn't show up quickly enough to satisfy him, "quickly enough" meaning "at the speed of fucking light, riding the chariot of God." So Mr. Horn did something dispicable and wrong, He killed two human beings for no reason at all.
I understand the right to self-defence. As somebody who spent a year arresting people for a living, it was sort a job requirement. In most jurisdictions, that right entitles you to use what is called "reasonable force." "Reasonable" is rightly a pretty flexible word and can be interepreted by the circumstances. Basically, you don't get to get to blow somebody's head off because they accidentally bumped into you at the mall. There has to be some measure of imminent threat there.
I'm generally supportive of the right of the citizenry to protect themselves and their property with firearms. Having said that, I'm uncomfortable with the idea that you can kill another person over a TV, big screen or otherwise.
Texas recently enshrined something called the Castle Law. Under Castle, a homeowner is legally permitted to use deadly force to protect his home and its occupants and not be subject to prosecution. There are two seperate categories under the Castle doctrine: Duty-to-Retreat and Stand-Your-Ground.
Duty-to-Retreat basically compels a homeowner to move as far away from an intruder to move as far away as possibe from the intruder and announce your intent to use deadly force. Not only is that reasonable, it's goddamned smart. If it turns out that you're outgunned, it would be pretty nice if you had a chance of escaping. Also, I'm pretty old-fashioned and think that you shouldn't kill someone unless you really have to.
Stand-Your-Ground "expressly relieves the home's occupants of any duty to retreat or announce their intent to use deadly force before they can be legally justified in doing so to defend themselves." Essentially, you can start blasting, and if it turns out that the maid showed up early and you took the day off of work ... oh well. Shit happens. Consuella should've knocked louder before using that key.
Guess which version Texas has?
As I mentioned earlier, I'm supportive of the right to use deadly force in self-defence and the right to possess firearms. Both positions cause me immeasurable trouble in my native Canada where everybody is a friggin' pussy. However, with rights come responsibilities. For example, your right to self-defence is accompanied by a responsibility not to be a douchebag.
Make no mistake about it, teenagers, Joe Horn was a world-class, grade-A, fucking douchebag on November 14th. By listening to the 911 recording from that day, you recognize one of those idiots who has spent his entire life wanting to take someone else's, but not doing anything crazy like join the military or become a cop.
Not only that, Horn is an idiot who clearly doesn't understand the law that he thinks he has the right to enforce. He actually cited the Castle Law in an inbred and particluarly hillbilly way to the 911 operator in announcing his intention to "not let them get away with it."
First, it wasn't Horn's house that was being burgled, and the Castle Doctrine quite clearly makes that a necessity to use force. Castle makes no allowance for killing someone to protect a third party's property.
And while he might have been afraid that his home would be next, that doesn't excuse him. Just because I might break into your house on Tuesday doesn't give you the right to shoot me today. Pre-emption isn't a legal justification for anything unless 537 Floridians confuse Pat Buchanan with Al Gore and accidentally make you president.
Second, the burglars were exiting the neighbor's house when Joe Horn killed them. At that point, they were no longer a threat to anyone.
Third, since the burglars were both shot in the back, they weren't very much of a threat to Horn. Unless of course they were trick-shots in their rodeo days, which their complexions and national origin suggest they weren't.
Furthermore, if Horn was in imminent danger, its only because he put himself in it. Remember, a 911 operator - who are reasonably assumed to be versed in matters of law enforcement and public safety - spent six entire minutes telling him not to leave his fucking house. You don't get to jump off of the roof of your house and then sue gravity because you got a boo-boo, folks. I know that throws a huge wrench in the planned class-action suit of American People v. Gravity, but what can I tell you, I'm an asshole sometimes.
Just as Horn was proving his street-cred, an undercover cop pulled up to house in response to the 911 call. Here's what he would have seen: a guy with a shotgun standing over two very dead guys with awfully big holes in them. Who would the cop have seen as an imminent threat to his own safety?
I know that a lot of people out there want to put a cape on Joe Horn and treat him like he's some kind of super-hero. But a lot of people also want to make Ron Paul president of the United States. All that proves is that a lot of people are borderline retarded.
Has anyone actually considered that they're not paying taxes so that cops, prosecutors and judges can do nothing all day? They actually do have jobs to do, and more importantly, they're there so shitheads like Joe Horn can stay in their fucking houses. Professionals, as a general rule, have jobs to do.
I don't want to belabor the point, but I actually have arrested a few people. It's risky business. In the year that I did it, I met a girl who'd been stabbed in the stomach with a screwdriver, another one who had her shoulder slashed with a knife, a guy who had his cheek broken and another guy whose head would have been blown off it the gun hadn't jammed.
You know what the most important thing I learned from those people was? When to walk away. I wasn't about to get stabbed with a fucking screwdriver or get my fucking cheek broken for a goddamned 50 Cent CD or a pair of gym shoes. First sign of violence and I told them to have a nice day and enjoy their free shit.
But I was both paid and trained to do what I did. Joe Horn did for the sole reason that Joe Horn is an asshole. And if he's not indicted, convicted and sent to prison for a good long time, it'll send a message out there to yahoos with a murder fetish to start blasting.
And eventually, it won't be two Columbian skels who die. It'll be a friend, a neighbor, a cop, or just some innocent schmuck on somebody's lawn. It could be you.
Does anybody really trust a half-witted Dirty Harry-cum-Matlock like Joe Horn to enforce the law with a great big gun?
Joe Horn doesn't meet a single requirement of the Castle defence. However, he is perfectly qualified for a murder indictment. I know that this is going to break a lot of hearts, but if Horn isn't a murderer, who is?
Easy Listening Recommendation of the Day: Shoot to Thrill By: AC/DC From: Back in Black
Labels: I Fought The Law, I See Monsters