Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Burglary and warning shots

Yesterday (8 Nov 2010), at approximately 1 am, a couple of young men tried breaking into a home in a Salt Lake City suburb. One of the burglars was fatally shot.

In the aftermath, one head-in-the-sand citizen pondered, "I wonder why the homeowner couldn't have fired a warning shot first?" Hmmm. I wonder where the homeowner should have sent that warning shot. Into the sky, maybe -- to fall somewhere else in town? Perhaps, into the ground -- to ricochet into the neighbor's bedroom? Possibly, into a wall -- to pass through and into the church down the street?

It seems to me that Mr. Homeowner did indeed fire a warning shot. He warned all potential burglars that getting shot is a serious occupational hazard in free States such as Utah.

The surviving burglar, 18-year-old Derek Sego, seems to have learned from that warning shot and immediately abandoned burglary as a career.

So, how much warning do criminals really need? They know that crime is, um, against the law. They surely must know that the rest of us are tired of being their victims. They know that homeowners in free States are armed. So, here's your warning, punk: Commit a forcible felony, expect to suffer severe consequences.

The real tragedy in this story is that the homeowner will feel profound heartache for the rest of his life for having been placed in the position of needing to take a human life to protect himself and his family. No criminal has the right to do that to innocent people.

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