More Wrong Than Wright: Sheriff Calls For Citizens To Arm Themselves And Mete Out Their Own Justice

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright surprised many this week in calling a press conference to discuss an assault on a woman in one of the city parks. Wright used the opportunity to repeatedly call on all of the citizens to arm themselves and expressed frustration that someone with a weapon did not come along and take care of Walter Lance, 46, rather than have him dealt with by the justice system. Wright began his news conference by saying, “Our form of justice is not making it. . . . Carry a concealed weapon. That’ll fix it.”

Wright is clearly someone who is not burdened by concerns over the implications of his statements. He is sworn to uphold the “our form of justice” and seems oblivious to the message that he is sending: that it is better to dispatch felons on the streets than would them to enter the legal system.

Calling Lance an “animal,” Wright repeatedly returned to the purpose of his appearance at the press conference: for citizens to to arm themselves and take care of such matters themselves. After noting that Lance has a long record going back decades, Wright added “And I’m aggravated.”

Saying that “this animal deserves to be out in our society,” Wright said that he knows “liberals” will object to his form of “chain-gang form of justice” but “let me inform you, your form of justice isn’t working either.”
He said Lance should not have had the right or opportunity to “violate a good, upstanding woman.” Of course, he is not advocating any form of justice. He sounds like he is advocating mob justice. He insisted “It’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk by. That would fix it.” So the system would be “fixed” by people shooting felons and circumventing the legal system? No one can seriously debate Lance is a man who is a danger to society and should be put away. Moreover, no one would question the right of citizens to stop a crime in progress if they have the ability. However, some citizens are likely to hear something more from these comments: a license, if not an invitation, to dispatch criminals in they have the opportunity to do so.

Wright even used the press conference to do a type of infomercial. Holding up a fanny pack, he announced “They make this right here where you can conceal a small pistol in them. They got one called The Judge that shoots a .45 or a .410 shell. You ain’t got to be accurate; you just have to get close.”

“You ain’t got to be accurate”? Just fan this baby and hope for the best? Now that is a reasonable police announcement. Yet, Wright made sure his citizens knew that “gun control” in his view “Is when you can get your barrel back on the target quick. That’s gun control.” He then stopped and said “I think I better stop before I get sanctioned.” Wow, that took a while.

This is not the first time that a public official pandered to the mob. However, it is rare for a law enforcement official to to encourage citizens to take justice into their own hands and not worry about accuracy. He is also reaffirming the view of some citizens that the legal system is their enemy and serves the interests of criminals. It is not just a reckless position it is a dangerous one for a law enforcement officer. It is also likely to be popular. He knows that he is not likely to be sanctioned but rather lionized by a public eager to hear “tough talk.” The question is whether he will be called to account with the first bystander wounded by inaccurate “gun control” or a shooting that is less of an intervention than an execution.

Source: WYFF as first seen on Reddit.

85 thoughts on “More Wrong Than Wright: Sheriff Calls For Citizens To Arm Themselves And Mete Out Their Own Justice

  1. If we can shoot American Citizens deemed Terrorists without a Trial….this is the next logical step…..right?

  2. The fact is that as Prof Turley pointed out that we DO have the right to intervene to prevent a crime like this. It IS too bad that some citizen who was armed did not happen to be passing by. We too often let our concern for due process get in the way of common sense.

    I do not know all the particulars of the situation, so it is hard to say what would have been a good course of action. I assume the crook was armed with some weapon, and that an armed citizen would NOT shoot while the crook and victims were in close proximity to each other. If the crook took off running, I would indeed shoot to kill him. I believe that I would be justified in doing so. The ideal thing would be to command the crook to get on the ground and hold him until the cops got there. Unfortunately, guns are NOT magic wands that make people do as you say, so shooting may be the only alternative.

    We make liberals look like fools if we worry more about the rights of the crooks than that of the victim. I am very much in favor of concealed weapons laws so that we can be as armed as the crooks. The police cannot be everywhere at all times.

    As the Bologna family found out, the city has NO obligation to ensure the safety of its citizens. That was the family who lost their husband, and two sone when an illegal immigrant gangbanger who had been sheltered by the city cops killed them in a road rage incident. They sued the city for having let the killer stay in the US and sheltered him from ICE. The case was thrown out of court because it was ruled the city had NO responsibility to ensure safety for that family.

  3. “If the crook took off running, I would indeed shoot to kill him. I believe that I would be justified in doing so. ”

    Arthur Randolph Erb: Conduct such as that will get you a murder one conviction in every state of the Union. Stop embarrassing yourself by displaying this level of stupidity in public.

    If the sheriff believes that the current justice system isn’t doing the job, he should resign immediately and become the vigilante he wants all the citizenry to be. Since he hasn’t, it would appear to the cynical observer that he’s grandstanding to cover up his department’s failures in this particular case.

  4. The fact is that I would NOT be prosecuted in Texas. Under penal code Sect 9.42 I would be justified completely since the crook was fleeing with the woman’s purse and later her car. I did not look up that rule on attempted rape, but my guess is that no grand jury would indict me for shooting him.

  5. Arthur,

    While I agree in general terms with your first point regarding concealed weapons I think that this “call to action” encourages reckless behavior and condones citizens interjecting themselves into volatile situations that the police should handle.

    The Bologna family incident is part of a recent and shameful trend of the Government as a whole acting more to protect itself rather than its citizens. This is part and parcel of the Obama administrations continuation of Bush policies to increase the authority of the Administrative branch and to prevent anyone in government from being held accountable for their failures or crimes, lies, or crimes.

  6. Maybe if the government was harsher on criminals, we would actually see a drop in criminal activity? With the prison system looking more and more like Sandals every year, it is almost no wonder the sheriff decided to say something like that…

  7. “With the prison system looking more and more like Sandals every year, it is almost no wonder the sheriff decided to say something like that…”

    Spoken like somebody who has never seen the inside of a prison or jail.

  8. I agree with MASkeptic in that the call does sound like it encourages reckless conduct. Hopefully those who do get licensed to carry will be educated as to the rules on use of deadly force in that state and will act in a more prudent manner in accordance with the law.

    As for ignorance, it is hard to top Moar’s. I guess he forgot what happened in Houston with Joe Horn shooting and killing two illegals who had just burgalrized his neighbors home. The grand jury took no time at all to no bill since it was completely legal under our laws. In my posts on the subject, I also noted in my good Johnny Cochran imitation the rule, If the crook drops the loot, YOU cannot shoot. That is the law, try reading it for a change.

  9. The Moar You’re An Asshole,

    “Stop embarrassing yourself by displaying this level of stupidity in public.”

    Stop telling people they are embarrassing themselves. Stop telling people what to do. Stop calling people trolls.

    Just encourage dialog, so we can all learn.

  10. I’ve seen this movie, and read the book.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036244/

    Arthur,

    “I assume ….that an armed citizen would NOT shoot while the crook and victims were in close proximity to each other.”

    That’s a mighty big assumption.

    “We make liberals look like fools if we worry more about the rights of the crooks than that of the victim. ”

    Personally, I’m concerned about everybody’s rights. Call me crazy.

  11. Amazing how many times this little scene comes in handy. Compare this sentiment from the 1960s to the blood thirsty vigilantism of our current short pants fascists of today. Maybe those were the good ol’ days:

  12. Jeff’s Blog, you must never have visited a regional prison. I work in correctional settings a good part of the time, and have been in and around jails and prisons all over. I have yet to see one that looked like a resort, even if you squinted.

    They are dismal dangerous places where looking at somebody the wrong way can get you shanked.

  13. Jeff,

    “Maybe if the government was harsher on criminals, we would actually see a drop in criminal activity?”

    Crime has been dropping since the early 90s.

  14. Here’s an email I sent to Spartansburg Publlic Information Officer, Lt. Tony Ivey. I’ll update you if a reply is received:

    Dear Lt. Ivey:

    I was quite taken aback by Sheriff Wright’s recent comments about the pending case against Walter Lance. Various media reports have suggested the Sheriff said the following, “Our form of justice is not making it. . . . Carry a concealed weapon. That’ll fix it.” There was even a seeming call for mob action when the Sheriff mentioned, “It’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk by. That would fix it.” I have represented and continue to represent many in law enforcement and can assure you that this sentiment, if intended by the Sheriff, would be unwelcome and potentially dangerous to the thousands of good men and women involved in the dangerous work of enforcing our laws.
    As a person like yourself and Sheriff Wright who has solemly sworn to uphold the United States Constitution and our present “form of justice” even at times when we don’t necessarily agree with it, I was wondering it the Sheriff had issued any clarification of his comments. I would appreciate any information you could share. I am

    Mark M. Esposito, Esq.

  15. “….This is not the first time that a public official pandered to the mob. However, it is rare for a law enforcement official to to encourage citizens to take justice into their own hands and not worry about accuracy. He is also reaffirming the view of some citizens that the legal system is their enemy and serves the interests of criminals.”

    What if these words were written about the Oakland cops hammering the defenseless Occupy Oakland protestors the other day… In that case, public officials did not “pander to the mob,” the cops “took justice into their own hands” and did “not worry about accuracy (e.g., the projectile that hit the protestor in the head),” and they reaffirmed that the “legal system is their enemy and serves” the corporate interests of our society.

  16. wgward, I wish you were wrong. I am aware there are a great number of unthinking people who cannot seem to grasp the basics of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments. Which is unfortunate for the actual sentient and civilized beings who inhabit this country.

  17. Personally, I’m concerned about everybody’s rights. Call me crazy

    As am I, but the law is that you lose a lot of your rights when you commit a crime,especially a violent one. You lose your right to life if you have a weapon and attempt to use it on an innocent person or peace officer. You also lose your right to be free from warrantless searches if the officer is in hot pursuit. If you assault a person you lose your right to be free from violence and security. The victim has a LOT more rights than the perp too. They have the right to be violent and use deadly force in their own defense of life and property.

    It is absurd to state otherwise and to put the emphasis on denying a victim their rights in favor of the crook in the vain hope that the police will eventually catch the crook. The police cannot be everywhere and so it is up to US to take measures for our own defense, including deadly force.

    For my part, if I am confronted by such a situation, I will order a crook to surrender before shooting. I am NOT required to do so by the law, but just out of concern to give the crook a chance to go to trial. If they refuse, then it is their choice to take a chance that they can outrun or dodge my bullets. It would be a foolish crook to do that since I am a good shot.

  18. “As am I, but the law is that you lose a lot of your rights when you commit a crime,especially a violent one. ”

    No… you loose a lot of your rights when you’re convicted of committing a crime. It’s a pretty big distinction.

  19. No… you loose a lot of your rights when you’re convicted of committing a crime.

    That is funny! A cop is NOT going to wait until you are convicted before he shoots! If you think that they should wait, then we need to disarm the cops and let the crooks be the only ones who are armed. I don’t think most folks would agree with that idea.

  20. ‘No… you loose a lot of your rights when you’re convicted of committing a crime.”

    “That is funny! ”

    No. It’s not. It’s the law. It’s called substantive due process, a right that is being eroded every day by policies that allow indefinite detention without trial and the execution of citizens by executive order.

  21. wgward:

    “The Sheriff said out loud what a lot of us think in private.”

    ******************

    I wouldn’t call it thinking.

  22. No. It’s not. It’s the law. It’s called substantive due process

    If a cop or a citizen has to use justified lethal force to stop a crime or apprehend a crook, due process becomes moot if they die Thus their rights beome void.. We allow for this in law by the way. I doubt that too many folks think that this is a bad thing, unless as I said, you think the cops and all other law abiding citizens should be disarmed. That will ensure that the crook survives if somehow he is captured, and then due process will take its course.

  23. Arthur Randolph Erb-

    “If the crook took off running, I would indeed shoot to kill him. I believe that I would be justified in doing so.”

    It might be legal in some states, but I don’t think you’d be justified in a moral sense. In my opinion, those of us who carry legally should do so to protect ourselves and others from immediate threats to life, not to mete out justice or stop property crime.

    “I am very much in favor of concealed weapons laws so that we can be as armed as the crooks.”

    Fortunately, that is largely a done deal. Only one state still bans all concealed carry, and less than ten are not “shall issue” or no permit required states.

    And that sheriff’s comment on the Judge handgun is another example of the myth that cops necessarily know anything about guns. The Judge is a gimmick that is terrible for concealed carry, and you most certainly have to aim it at any normal self defense range. I guess that given the rest of his speech it’s not a surprise.

  24. Somehow I feel the same way the sheriff feels. People that don’t feel that way?? I don’t know…maybe they just don’t know how to handle a firearm. If many carried concealed weapons, criminals would probably have a harder time mustering the courage to commit many of the crimes they do. Due process, do time, get out and do more crime. Hmm.

  25. boy, there are some real badasses here today. if your first thought was “if i had a gun i’d have” do yourself a favor and never carry a gun.

    because it gonna hurt like hell when a real bad person sticks it up your ass.

  26. ARE,

    “If a cop or a citizen has to use justified lethal force to stop a crime or apprehend a crook, due process becomes moot if they die Thus their rights beome void.. We allow for this in law by the way.”

    No kidding, genius. It’s called exigent circumstances. That doesn’t mean their rights are moot. It means that in the interests of immediate public safety lethal force was an appropriate and justifiable action and as such the user of lethal force should not be punished because of the circumstances. It’s not carte blanc to shoot people and/or violate their rights. It a recognition that you might have to kill some people to stop them from harming others.

    “I doubt that too many folks think that this is a bad thing, unless as I said, you think the cops and all other law abiding citizens should be disarmed.”

    Straw man argument. Arguing for substantive due process is not the equivalent of being against 2nd Amendment rights, but if you want me to make you look like a bigger macho fool than you already do, please pursue that line of argument, tough guy. When people try to put words in my mouth, they usually draw back a stump.

  27. This is not the first time that a public official pandered to the mob. ~article
    ————————————————————————–

    so I read this statement this morning and now I’m not sure who the mob is?

    By Occupy Philadelphia;

    “A conservative Texas judge stated it best on tv. The Occupy Movement, Tea Party and veterans are fighting for the same thing, but it will be our politicians, who have had a combined 2.04 billion increase in pay since 2008, that divide all of us.~Sean”

  28. It’s not carte blanc to shoot people and/or violate their rights.

    Too bad you don’t take your own advice as to straw arguments. I still have my hand by the way, and it is YOU who is trying to pose as the “tough’ guy. I even allowed that I would not shoot without a fair warning even though it is not required by law. The law also allows me in Texas to shoot a fleeing criminal in possession of stolen property, not just in protection of my or others life. This is NOT California where YOU have to leave if a burglar enters your home.

    I also know the limits of the law as I said when you lose the right to shoot if the crook drops the loot. It is entirely moral in most people eyes to shoot somebody stealing your property. Now you may not like that, but most folks disagree which is why the law is written as it is. When you get the majority to agree with your view, then change the law and I will be happy to comply.

    But please spare us your stupid outrage that somehow following the LAW violates a crooks rights.

  29. Arthur,

    Please spare us more macho posturing. Also, you should really learn what a straw man argument is if you’re going to accuse other of the tactic when you yourself are the sole offender to this point. “I know you are but what am I” doesn’t work if you’re older than eight.

    This: “It’s not carte blanc to shoot people and/or violate their rights.”

    Is what this is not: “That doesn’t mean their rights are moot. It means that in the interests of immediate public safety lethal force was an appropriate and justifiable action and as such the user of lethal force should not be punished because of the circumstances.”

    Contrast with: ““I doubt that too many folks think that this is a bad thing, unless as I said, you think the cops and all other law abiding citizens should be disarmed”

    Wherein you try to make my argument for me and falsely.

    The latter is a straw man argument, the former is specificity in terms and not attributed to you.

    You may know your way around a cockpit, but my specialty is logic. legal reasoning and argumentation, tough guy. Your kind of overheated, macho posturing about how bad you are with gun and how everyone should take the law into their own hands simply because they have the right to bear arms leads to trouble. The best way to avoid trouble is not to be there when it starts.

    Also, “I also know the limits of the law as I said when you lose the right to shoot if the crook drops the loot.”?

    Is bullshit.

    The Texas Castle Doctrine reads as follows:

    “SECTION 1. Section 9.01, Penal Code, is amended by adding Subdivisions (4) and (5) to read as follows:

    (4) “Habitation” has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01.

    (5) “Vehicle” has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01.

    SECTION 2. Section 9.31, Penal Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (e) and (f) to read as follows:

    (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor [he] reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor [himself] against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable ifthe actor:

    (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:

    (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

    (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

    (C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;

    (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

    (3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

    (e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.

    (f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

    SECTION 3. Section 9.32, Penal Code, is amended to read as follows:

    Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

    (1) if the actor [he] would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and

    (2) [if a reasonable person in the actor’s situation would not have retreated; and

    [(3)] when and to the degree the actor [he] reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

    (A) to protect the actor [himself] against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

    (B) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

    (b) The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

    (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

    (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

    (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

    (C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);

    (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

    (3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used [requirement imposed by Subsection (a)(2) does not apply to an actor who uses force against a person who is at the time of the use of force committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the actor].

    (c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.

    (d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

    SECTION 4. Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:

    Sec. 83.001. CIVIL IMMUNITY [AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE]. A [It is an affirmative defense to a civil action for damages for personal injury or death that the] defendant who uses force or[, at the time the cause of action arose, was justified in using] deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9 [Section 9.32], Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant’s [against a person who at the time of the] use of force or deadly force, as applicable [was committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the defendant].

    SECTION 5. (a) Sections 9.31 and 9.32, Penal Code, as amended by this Act, apply only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose. For the purposes of this subsection, an offense is committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date.

    (b) Section 83.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, as amended by this Act, applies only to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of this Act. An action that accrued before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the action accrued, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.” [emphasis added]

    It mentions nothing about using lethal force in the protection of private property and prohibits the use of the Castle Doctrine as an affirmative defense if the person shot was not breaking into your residence and/or an imminent danger to yourself and/or others, i.e. they were running away with the loot.

    So you try out your “carrying the loot” theory in practice and see how well that works out for you. The law will have you in jail for manslaughter is what will happen. You’re not required to flee before defending yourself or others as you might be in other jurisdiction, but you can’t shoot someone simply because they stole your stuff and are running away with it either. Tough guy.

  30. Wright is entitled to his opinion, but he probably should not be wearing a badge. A professional law enforcement officer would know how to take someone like Lance off the street.
    I do agree with Wright that people in South Carolina should carry a weapon for self-defense, because law enforcement officers in that state sure as hell
    can’t protect you. They don’t understand the mechanics of law enforcement.

  31. Oh yes, Bob. I do. However, the law and the willingness of those yahoos in Texas to uphold it when guns and white guys are involved are separate issues. :D

    Good to see you. I was just thinking about emailing you.

  32. § 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
    justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
    tangible, movable property:
    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the
    other under Section 9.41; and
    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
    deadly force is immediately necessary:
    (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of
    arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
    nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
    immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
    robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
    property; and
    (3) he reasonably believes that:
    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or
    recovered by any other means; or
    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to
    protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
    another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/9.42.00.html

    Looks like the Grand Jury in Joe Horn’s case accepted the ‘reasonable belief’ of a Texan.

  33. Gene,

    I had a relapse of pneumonia; turning the corner as of today (knock on wood).

    Will chat later via email–or respond to yours– whichever comes first.

  34. Well, Arthur, it looks like your dreams of being able to take someone’s life because they took your TV could become a reality without you going to jail.

    Congratulations.

    You and Texas deserve each other.

  35. Please spare us more macho posturing.

    Once again you fail logic since you are the one who postured saying my hand would be bitten off by you. All I have ever said is what I would do UNDER the law and note that I know how to use a gun well.

    You also failed to research Texas law that I cited and you are so far off that it is beyond belief since the Castle doctrine has NOTHING to do with the cases at hand. I have a hard time understanding why you spend so much time on that. Try going to penal code sect 9.42 which DOES cover this. Please spare us your so called expertise since you did not have the decency or even courtesy to read my posts before ranting on about your brillaince.

    I will let others judge for themselves how they should view my posts. I don’t have to brag, I simply state facts.

    The law will have you in jail for manslaughter is what will happen

    This is again beyond stupid since I cited the case of Joe Horn who DID shoot and kill two illegal immigrant burglars who were running away with the loot. He was no billed in short order since NO LAW was broken. He even went beyond what the law required by giving the crooks a chance to surrender. They refused and must have thought they were in California, and were shot and killed. Thanks for the cite though since it showed me that the crooks have no recourse in a civil suit. Good to know.

    The FACT is the we DO have the right to take the law in our own hands in too many cases to list. The use of the term has a perjorative conotation since it is applied to things such as the mother who shot and killed the child molester in court in CA. That is not taking the law into ones own hands since it is WAY outside of the law. It is a poor choice of words. By being armed and licensed we DO have the right to take action to enforce the law. It used to be the case before there were police in that the whole community was deemed to be competent to enforce the law. Since the cops cannot be everywhere at all times, it becomes our responsibility to help the police in enforcing the laws. Preferably the cops should do the heavy lifting in using firearms, but crooks are not so considerate as to wait until the cops are present before they commit their mayhem. Thus an armed citizen has to fill the gaps.

  36. The only thing I failed in Arthur was momentarily thinking Texas was a civilized place with civilized laws.

    I still bit off your hand for trying to put words in my mouth.

    I’ll do it again if you try again, Texas nitwit.

  37. Well, Arthur, it looks like your dreams of being able to take someone’s life because they took your TV could become a reality without you going to jail.

    I have no dream of shooting any person, It is again YOUR supposition that is the case. I see you have no problem with libel either and have little or no decency. I DO have a responsibility to my country and community. In fact, I am a precinct judge for the coming election because NO Republican in that precinct cared enough to do the job. It is only an election on amendments to the Texas Constitution to fill some gaps in funding. So as a Democrat, I am taking up their slack.

    As I said ealier, if you think that a crook should be allowed to get away with robbery, burglary, rape, etc with impunity, then we do have a big difference of opinion. Your solution is simply to let them get away and only have the cops try and catch the crooks. It is hard enough for them to do that in simple cases with more pressing business such as murders and the like. The effect is to let the crooks know that they are safe as long as there is not a cop around. With our laws in Texas, the crooks now have no idea who is armed and who is not, thus increasing their problem of how to get away with their crimes. It is GOOD that they should have more fear. It might disuade them from committing crimes to begin with.

  38. The only thing I failed in Arthur was momentarily thinking Texas was a civilized place with civilized laws.

    Well we are more civilized than Chicago where a black retired Marine Sgt shot and killed a white young man who let his dog take a crap on the guys lawn. The guy said what are you going to do shoot me? The Marine did just that and was no billed. Think what would happen if the races were reversed?

    I guess that Chicago cops and the legal system there thinks that Marines are the equivalent of Chicago police, so they saw no problem with the killing. Of course, you would defend the Marine too I suppose, yes?

  39. Decency? Keep trying to rationalize away that you think personal property is an appropriate reason to shoot someone.

    It says a lot that you’re for it and I’m appalled by it.

  40. “As I said ealier, if you think that a crook should be allowed to get away with robbery, burglary, rape, etc with impunity, then we do have a big difference of opinion. Your solution is simply to let them get away and only have the cops try and catch the crooks. It is hard enough for them to do that in simple cases with more pressing business such as murders and the like.”

    Straw man two.

    My solution is to let properly trained law enforcement handle the criminals instead of some hotheaded jackass with a gun.

  41. “I guess that Chicago cops and the legal system there thinks that Marines are the equivalent of Chicago police, so they saw no problem with the killing. Of course, you would defend the Marine too I suppose, yes?”

    Actually, no, I wouldn’t. That was a gross miscarriage of justice you described. The color of the Marine is irrelevant. He killed a man for misdemeanor trespassing. He should have been charged with manslaughter no matter his race.

  42. ARE and Gene. I have been reading the back and forth, and come to the conclusion that you both are talking past each other. Capt. Erb, you are out of your element in arguing law with Gene, who is a graduate of a Tier I law school. Just as he would be out of his element if trying to land a B-737. May I suggest ARE not practice law if Gene does not try to fly airplanes. Both of you are good guys who are not talking the same language.

  43. My solution is to let properly trained law enforcement handle the criminals instead of some hotheaded jackass with a gun.

    Unfortunately, most crimes are NOT solved and the property is NOT recovered. So your solution is to let them get away while the victim can do nothing. Sorry but that has no appeal for most Americans too.

    I see that you have proved yourself to be ignorant,ill mannered, a braggart and libelous, and a hot head too. I would be very much opposed to your having a gun. You are right that YOU should not have access to lethal weapons.

    For those who think that this is a redneck thing, I have to tell you that the Texas law of concealed carry was originated by a liberal. black Democrat State Sen. Wilson. Initially I had my doubts about it, but I was wrong since it has so far worked out OK with some stupid execeptions. I DO favor strict liability for those who are licensed and misuse or mishandle their guns.

    There was a fool in our area who managed to shoot a woman in a restaurant when he forgot about his gun in his coat. He let the coat drop to the floor, it went off, and shot the woman. Of course, lots of cops have done similar things too, but the solution is NOT to disarm the cops. I read about a firearms instructor for the police who discharged her weapon in her apartment and the bullet went out into another one.

    It says a lot that you’re for it and I’m appalled by it.

    You are putting the blame for the shooting on the wrong person. It is the CROOKS who think that taking your property is worth risking their lives. THEY are the ones who make that decision. As in Horn’s case, he gave them the chance to surrender, and THEY decided that the property was worth their lives. They guessed he would not shoot and that he was of similar mind as you. They guessed wrong. There are many crimes which get you shot and killed by cops, citizens and guards even though the penalty for the crime is not death. That is their decision. They are the ones who think that your property is worth their lives. Try to escape from prison as you climb the walls, you will be killed even though the penalty is not death for that crime. Think that shooting escaping prisoners is justified? I do. It is up to we the people to make the laws and help enforce them. Too bad you do not agree.

  44. Compare the rules of engagement in Texas to the MP Rules of engagement in Iraq:

    “You may use force, up to and including deadly force against hostile actors in self-defense; in defense of your unit, or other U.S. forces; [and] to prevent the theft, damage or destruction of firearms, ammunition, explosives or property designated by your commander as vital to national security. Protect other property with less than deadly force.”

  45. Hey Arthur,

    Before you start beating your chest, note well that the United States Military does not agree with your position.

  46. This discussion is unraveling, just like our dysfunctional political system, our politicized judicial system (=especially the Supreme Court), our disparate economic system, etc., etc. We have all become intellectually corrupt, just like our institutions: fertile grounds for a revolution. Let hope that OWS succeeds.

  47. Capt. Erb, you are out of your element in arguing law with Gene, who is a graduate of a Tier I law school.

    That bit of knowledge is scary. It does not speak well for him or his law school.

    Is bullshit

    Then we get a long cite from a statute that does NOT apply and then finally

    Well, Arthur, it looks like your dreams of being able to take someone’s life because they took your TV could become a reality without you going to jail

    That is not great lawyering. Sort of like crashing an airplane and saying it was a good landing because we walked away from it. Not too civil either and it smacks of a snob who has learned little other than abuse. As Clint Eastwood said in Space Cowboys to the MIT grad who was one of the astronauts. He pointed out he was an MIT grad, and Eastwood told him to get his money back.

  48. “My solution is to let properly trained law enforcement handle the criminals instead of some hotheaded jackass with a gun.

    Unfortunately, most crimes are NOT solved and the property is NOT recovered. So your solution is to let them get away while the victim can do nothing. Sorry but that has no appeal for most Americans too.”

    I’m so glad a thing is more important to you than a life.

    “I see that you have proved yourself to be ignorant,ill mannered, a braggart and libelous, and a hot head too.”

    I see that you’ve mistaken me for someone who cares what your personal opinion of me might be. And you’re the one getting mad here, Cap’n Colt. I too am allowed to have an opinion of you as a person (and every damn thing else in the world) and express it, although I haven’t. I have leveled no charges against you. If you think another person expressing their opinions constitutes libel, you’d be sorrily mistaken. If you don’t like my opinion that someone who thinks property is worth killing over is revolting? As revolting as someone who thinks stealing property is appropriate I might add? Too bad. Not everyone in the world is materialistic nor do they judge life to be less valuable than property even if that life belongs to a criminal.

    “I would be very much opposed to your having a gun. You are right that YOU should not have access to lethal weapons.”

    As for my 2nd Amendment rights? Too bad for you I already own guns. Guns that have never been fired at a person or in anger, nor would they ever be fired at a person except to save my own or another’s life. A TV simply isn’t worth killing for, but you are quite free to disagree.

    “It says a lot that you’re for it and I’m appalled by it.

    You are putting the blame for the shooting on the wrong person.”

    No, actually you are. The guy pulling the trigger is ALWAYS responsible for the life he takes ethically speaking. He will be legally too unless there are exigent circumstances.

    “It is up to we the people to make the laws and help enforce them.”

    Actually, no, it’s not up to us to enforce them directly. That’s what we have the judicial and executive functions for in government: to enforce and adjudicate the laws as created by the legislature.

    You should really stick to airplanes.

  49. Actually, the law is a complex subject and when Bob pointed out that Texas does indeed allow people to kill others in defense of property, I conceded the point.

    That I think it’s revolting is my right.

    That you have a problem with it is your problem.

  50. Actually, no, it’s not up to us to enforce them directly.

    Dear me. What did we do before there were police depts? Did the crooks get a pass, or did we call out the Army?

  51. I’m so glad a thing is more important to you than a life.

    It is NOT only a thing by the way. For some people it can be the difference between life and death if they steal something critical. It is also about preventing another person from becoming a victim since it is a rare crook who only does one crime. The person who attempted the rape and robbery of the woman who was just out walking her dog had a long history of such acts. Had he been at least shot while committing such a crime, he may have been detered from his course. It is obvious that the criminal justice system made NO impression on him. Maybe armed citizens will.

  52. My, what a sophisticated rebuttal.

    Before there were PD’s there were U.S. Marshals and local sheriffs and in the Old West, the Army did indeed perform some policing functions alongside this usually poorly resourced local sheriffs. The para-military structured PD’s didn’t come about until after the Civil War and it wasn’t until the 70’s that they started to militarize (an off shoot of the policies of LAPD Chief Gates). When people of the frontier took justice into their own hands? It was out of necessity rather than an appropriate legal duty. It was . . . wait for it . . . exigent circumstances. And just as often as not, they ended up dead for their efforts.

  53. “It is NOT only a thing by the way. For some people it can be the difference between life and death if they steal something critical.”

    That tactic is called moving the goal post, Mr. Straw Man.

    A person who is stealing a respirator from someone who needs it to live is placing their live in imminent danger and constitutes exigent circumstance. But most things? Are really just things.

  54. Just what did the local sheriffs do back east when there were no cops? Did they call upon the citizens and did they order them to turn out to assist him? In short, from what little I know the citizens were supposed to assit in law enforcement. What about this term hue and cry? What did that mean?

  55. “Just what did the local sheriffs do back east when there were no cops? Did they call upon the citizens and did they order them to turn out to assist him?”

    Yes, and they were deputized and supervised by the sheriffs – professional law enforcement.

    It was not their full time job nor were they professionals until the time local sheriffs starting hiring (and usually training) full-time deputies.

  56. This what happens when unsupervised and untrained citizens form a posse to enforce laws. It’s not “back East” but I think it makes the point:

    “San Antonio Express: Sunday Morning, June 2, 1918, Page 10

    Six Negroes Dead After Battle With Citizen’s Posse
    Entire Family Wiped Out as a Result of Resistance to Draft Call

    By Associated Press

    Huntsville, Tex., June 1-Sarah Cabiness, negress, and her sons, George, Pete, Cute, Tenola and Lena are dead and her daughter, Bess, is fatally wounded, as the result of a shooting affray in the Dodge neighborhood in this county this morning. George Cabiness was shot and killed on Thursday afternoon when he resisted offivers [sic] who had gone to his home to arrest him for pulling a gun on A.P.W. Allen. The killing of Cabiness aroused the members of his family to a point where they made up their minds to kill the entire Allen family, and on Friday Mose Allen was informed of the intention of the negrœs.

    About 10 o’clock last night one of the Cabiness negrœs carrying a double barrel shotgun approached Mr. Allen’s home, and upon failing to give an account of his presence and reason for carrying the gun, was shot and badly wounded. The other members of the Cabiness family were near and carried the wounded man to their home about two miles away.

    Shortly after daylight this morning a posse of citizens surrounded the Cabiness home and were met by the negrœs with a volley from six shotguns. The posse began firing into the negro house and soon it began burning. As the flames gained headway the mother began carrying the bodies of her four dead sons to the yard where she too met her death.

    The negrœs fired nearly 200 shots at the posse but none of the white men were injured. The Cabiness negrœs were among the most desperate in this county and the cause of the killing was the result of George Cabiness for refusing to register in the selective draft and failing to answer two calls sent him by the Walker County exemption board.

    Sheriff T.E. King and a number of deputies were on the scene early this morning and on his return to the city late today stated that the wounded Cabiness girl could not recover and that by her death the entire Cabiness family had been wiped out.

    The San Antonio Light, June 1, 1918, Page 5

    Six Negroes Slain For Alleged Plot to Wipe Out Family
    Wholesale Execution Sequel to Killing of Draft Evader at Dodge, Tex.

    Huntsville, Tex., June 1-As a sequel to the killing two days ago of George Cabiness, a negro draft resister, following threats the negro had made against Sheriff T.E. King and the King family, six more negrœs were shot to death today and their cabin burned near Dodge, ten miles from here.

    The negrœs, it is said, had plotted to avenge the shooting of Cabiness by murdering the King family, their plot being exposed by a seventh negro, who had ostensibly joined the conspirators. The wholesale execution occurred shortly after daylight this morning, the participants in the affair dispersing quietly immediately after. Reports thus far received here did not make it known whether the negrœs were killed in resisting sheriff’s deputies or whether they were attacked and killed by a mob.”

  57. Joe Horn was not cleared primarily on the basis that the burglars were escaping. His main defense was that he feared for his life. After attempting to get them to surrender, at least one ran in his direction.

    The controversy, even among many pro-gun people, is that Horn escalated the situation to stop burglars. Most of us understand on our own and are trained/advised that deescalation should always be attempted and that discharging our guns is the absolute last resort. By leaving his home to stop a burglary, he partially created the circumstances that led to the shooting. However, since he was charged by one of the suspects, he could argue that he was legitimately in fear for his life, so it didn’t matter that he did something stupid to put himself in that situation in the first place.

    By the letter of the law, the shooting was legal but IMO deplorable. Horn should have been a good witness from the safety of his home.

  58. “The controversy, even among many pro-gun people, is that Horn escalated the situation to stop burglars. Most of us understand on our own and are trained/advised that deescalation should always be attempted and that discharging our guns is the absolute last resort. By leaving his home to stop a burglary, he partially created the circumstances that led to the shooting . . . By the letter of the law, the shooting was legal but IMO deplorable. Horn should have been a good witness from the safety of his home.”

    Exactly.

  59. My state allows concealed carry – after a training course.

    Relative to a home, one cannot shoot an intruder unless one’s life is in danger. If I open my bedroom door and find an intruder, who doesn’t rush me or point at me, I should retreat and let him leave. I wonder how often someone shoots the intruder and claims he charged.

    Anyway, if I intervened in a purse-snatching, I would shoot the perpetrator only if he threatened me or the victim with a weapon. I would not shoot somebody running away – with or without the purse. I don’t think the penalty for running should exceed the penalty for the crime.

    I agree that the Judge is not good for concealed carry. The cylinder is as long as you’d expect a cylinder to be if it chambers .410 shotgun shells.

    (I’ve been robbed before, have captured the villains, have held them for the Police, and have posted the stories in other threads.)

  60. Not all is crazy in Texas……

    Official: Shots fired when census worker visited
    Worker uninjured; lawyer jailed on aggravated assault charge.

    Williamson County sheriff’s officials have charged an attorney with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, saying she fired five shots when a U.S. Census Bureau worker visited her home Saturday , court records show.

    Carolyn M. Barnes , 53 , could face up to 20 years if convicted of the second-degree felony. She was being held in the Williamson County Jail on Wednesday afternoon with bail set at $50,000 .

    http://www.statesman.com/news/local/official-shots-fired-when-census-worker-visited-685522.html

  61. Jason,I did not know you were on the grand jury so as to know what they went by. I am also at a loss to see how he could have de-escalated the situation since they were in the commission of the crime and police were notable by their absence. Horn also went above and beyond the law’s requirements by giving them the chance to surrender. He could have legally simply opened fire. Once again, it was the crooks who made the decision to NOT surrender and tried to keep the loot. Horn also shot one of the crooks who was doing nothing other than running away with the loot and was no threat to him.

    Most crimes do not carry the death penalty, so that makes the use of firearms almost unnecessary There are lots of crimes and situations in which cops can legally use deadly force to prevent the escape of the perpetrator, such as attempted murder, rape, escaping from prison or custody, etc..The idea that deadly force can only be used in death penalty crimes is absurd. Also I would shoot if the person was keeping the loot. If they dropped it, then it would be illegal to use deadly force and you would be right that in that case it would be shooting for simply running from the crime instead of continuing it.

    Another thing to consider is that if you hold to the idea that deadly force can only be used in death penalty cases, it will put the armored car business out of business. I guess the guards could de-escalate by simply giving the money to the crooks and just calling the cops and being good witnesses. Besides the money is insured and using deadly force to stop crooks from stealing just money is not fair or moral or safe and the crooks lives are far more important..

  62. I wonder if she went to a first tier law school, but one can only hope. At least another crooked lawyer will be in prison.

  63. Even trained law enforcement are wildly in inaccurate when using handguns in an attempt to stop violent crime. A citizen intervening runs as much a risk of getting himself or innocent bystanders killed as doing in the perpetrator or preventing the crime — crazy videos and “The Armed Citizen Notwithstanding.” When law enforcement shows up on one of these scenes they are immediately confronted with two or more armed persons and no idea who wears the white hat. It’s a recipe for disaster cooked by up by the reactionary, over-emotional sheriff, and cheered on by the macho gun-toting crowd for whom every situation can only be resolved by a smoking gun barrel.

  64. I am fully aware of the limitations of myself and weapons and the risks. I know that I am not Annie Oakley and need to be very judicious in using a firearm considering the situation. It is fairly easy for the cops to know who the good guys are since the good guy will be the one putting his weapon on the ground immediately when they show up and following their orders.

    I thought initially that the law would give rise to severe problems as you cited, but it has not turned out that way. So I have changed my opinion. As for reactionaries being the only ones in favor of such laws, you missed my post which pointed out that a liberal black State Sen is the one who originated the law. Sen Wilson is NOT a reactionary by the way. Nor are all the folks who carry.

  65. Arthur Randolph Erb
    “Jason,I did not know you were on the grand jury so as to know what they went by.”

    http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pasadena-news/article/Joe-Horn-cleared-by-grand-jury-in-Pasadena-1587004.php

    Horn’s attorney:
    “Joe was not some sort of wild cowboy, He was trying to help police. He was put in a situation where he didn’t have any choice.”

    I don’t think shooting burglars is a situation where he had no choice. From the same article: “Horn’s defense hinged on his assertion that he fired out of fear for his life, making the shooting justifiable under Texas law.”

    “I am also at a loss to see how he could have de-escalated the situation since they were in the commission of the crime and police were notable by their absence.”

    I didn’t say he failed to deescalate; once he escalated it by leaving his home and trying to stop them, deescalation probably wasn’t possible. Point being, he turned a routine burglary into a double shooting. This is apparently a philosophical disagreement. I don’t think property is worth killing over. You do.

    Also, a police detective was present, which means that had Horn chose not to leave his house, the burglars likely would have been caught. Even if they hadn’t, far worse things happen in the world than two idiots getting away with some property.

    “Horn also went above and beyond the law’s requirements by giving them the chance to surrender.”

    Again, philosophical difference. He shouldn’t have left his house in the first place.

    “He could have legally simply opened fire.”

    It was mighty big of him to not summarily execute two people for the destroyer of society, burglary..

    “Once again, it was the crooks who made the decision to NOT surrender and tried to keep the loot. Horn also shot one of the crooks who was doing nothing other than running away with the loot and was no threat to him.”

    If you watch the video of him reenacting the incident only hours after it happened, you’d see that he, assuming he was being truthful and I think he was, didn’t shoot to keep them from getting away. The first one charged him, he fired, and he then caught the second one in his peripheral vision and shot him instantly, because he was afraid he was about to die, not because they were escaping.

    “The idea that deadly force can only be used in death penalty crimes is absurd.”

    I agree.

    “Also I would shoot if the person was keeping the loot.”

    You might be legally cleared, but IMO, it would be a disgusting thing to do.

    “Another thing to consider is that if you hold to the idea that deadly force can only be used in death penalty cases, it will put the armored car business out of business. I guess the guards could de-escalate by simply giving the money to the crooks and just calling the cops and being good witnesses.”

    So I guess that was addressed to me. See above.

    mespo727272-
    “Even trained law enforcement are wildly in inaccurate when using handguns in an attempt to stop violent crime.”

    This is true. It’s also true that in many law enforcement agencies, cops barely touch their guns, often just enough to make their yearly qualification. One of the reasons that used police guns are such a great bargain is that they usually have only superficial holster wear. They typically haven’t been fired much.

    “A citizen intervening runs as much a risk of getting himself or innocent bystanders killed as doing in the perpetrator or preventing the crime — crazy videos and “The Armed Citizen Notwithstanding.”

    If this risk was real, you should be able to easily find many such examples. Accessible concealed carry has been the law in most of the country for about 20 years. I can present links to scores of successful self defense shootings (and I didn’t even get them from The Armed Citizen!). In the years that I’ve paid attention to such things, I’ve found one incident of an innocent being struck during a defensive shooting, and even then, it was ruled an accident and the shooter wasn’t charged. If you know of large numbers of innocent people being shot by CCWs, I’d appreciate seeing the stories.

  66. I think that you should take the comments of the DA as to what the grand jury ruled on. He said that under Texas law deadly force is justified in stopping property crimes under certain circumstances. The self defense did NOT figure into his presentation I would guess. Since the DA was there, I think that is the definitive statement. His lawyers take is irrelevant since he was NOT there.

    I agree that you have a different opinion and if you think you have the votes and support of the people of your state, you can make such things illegal. I think that in many states this is the rule, but not in Texas and many others too. Texas is not alone by any means in this law. In fact the law is way too loose in some of those states, and I think Texas has it about right.

    If you read the article you would know that the crooks were getting away with about $2000 worth of property. Now for most of the folks on this blog, it may not seem like a lot, but for the majority of people that is a severe hit. The crooks know the law and if they choose to commit crimes like this, they also have to accept the risk that they may be shot and possibly killed.

    As for the instance of the case at hand, it is obvious that the criminal justice system made NO impression on the crook since he has a long rap sheet. The question is how do we deal with such folks who continue their criminal careers. At least if he had been shot, he might have been killed or cured of his bad habits.

  67. “It is fairly easy for the cops to know who the good guys are since the good guy will be the one putting his weapon on the ground immediately when they show up and following their orders.”

    Is abject submission to authority your only criteria for who is a “good” person?

  68. ARE sez: “I wonder if she went to a first tier law school, but one can only hope. At least another crooked lawyer will be in prison.”

    ************************************

    After considerable search, I found a reference connecting her to a smallish law school in Texas. If that is true, then it is a tier 4 or 5 school. i could not find confirmation but also did not exhaust all the possibilities of Dr. Google. I just interviewed 13 sheriff’s deputies and am too worn out to pursue it further.

    As for her being crooked, I do not read the complaint against Carolyn M. Barnes as charging her with being crooked. Not mentally stable certainly and remarkably poor self control, yes. But that is not “crooked” in the usual sense of the term. She is not charged with any kind of fraud or other such illegal act.

  69. I’m not a lawyer but do have a MBA from a top tier school. Reading many of these comments concerns me greatly. Law abiding citizens should have the right to be armed.

    While I do want the police and justice organizations to work – and they do most of the time – the police cannot be present to prevent crimes. There just aren’t enough of them. I figure 300,000,000 people in the US and 500,000 law enforcement officers. Assuming three working shifts that means that there are approximately 1,800 Citizens per officer at any given time. When you add to that violent criminals being paroled every month with 50% of them that end up back in jail, budget cuts for police and prisons, and the lingering recession you have a recipe for more violent crimes against law abiding citizens.

    If you don’t allow law abiding citizens to own weapons to protect themselves essentially they become victims used to identify criminals for arrest. Is that what you really want?

  70. It really boils down to this..do you choose to be a helpless victim, hope you survive an assault on you, hope the cops catch the perp, hope the courts convict him, hope the criminal is then not let back out on the streets to attack someone else OR do you choose NOT to be a victim, carry a firearm legally and HOPE you never have to use it. Doesn’t seem like a difficult choice to me.

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