Yes, it is legal in many states to shoot to death someone who threatens not just your life, but your property as well. It’s called the Castle Law. Seems easy enough, right? Criminals’ rights have far exceeded those of victims for years. If it were up to me, we’d have some crazy medieval punishments that would no doubt deter illegal activity. I’m serious! Bring back the rack and lets strip some bamboo for whippin’ – no law is too unusual and too cruel if it’s effective. After all, we’re guaranteed the right to pursue happiness and if some impedes that right, they forfeit their right to participate in society. Duh!
And the Castle Law seems perfectly credible when taken into the context of assigning rights to potential victims over potential criminals. Sure, it goes without saying you should be able to defend yourself if someone threatens your personal wellbeing or that of someone else. What about the wellbeing of your property? Your Cadillac Escalade and great-grandma’s pearls or the HD Big Screen that convinces you of the presence of angels?
I don’t know. I’m having a hard time figuring out where I stand on the issue and here’s why:
On Saturday, two teenage boys wanted to get a closer look at party down the street. When they entered a neighbor’s yard to get closer look, the old man shot one of them. When they got back to their house, one of the boy’s mothers drove them to the hospital, but on their way there, a drunk driver hit them head on and killed the mother!!! Now, that is messed up!
In November of last year, authorities decided not to file charges against a man who shot and killed two men in Pasadena, TX who were robbing is neighbor’s house. He was on the phone with 911 and kept telling the dispatcher he would not let the men get away with it. Why didn’t he just shoot them in the legs? The authorities were on their way.
And us cowboys in Texas aren’t the only ones with this law. A lot of other states have these laws too and many people think if we all used deadly force, there would be less crime. I’m all for harsher punishments that are physical in nature and beating the crap out of criminals – I even want to commit vigilante justice on quite a common basis, but something is weird about deadly force being meted out by anyone for property crimes – why can’t people keep paint ball guns on hand instead of shot guns. Doesn’t pass the smell test… I’m going to have to think about this one some more…