Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't Take Your Guns to Town

The subject over lunch with friends was how we would react if our home was invaded. Assume you have a gun (everybody in Oklahoma has a gun, usually several) and you're awakened by a noise, the crash of glass or the creak of a door. OMG. Someone's in our house! Calling 911 is always a good idea of course or hitting the panic button on your car alarm, but the for the sake of drama, let's pretend those options arn't there for you. Your spouse is frantically whispering, "Get the gun. Get the gun." So you do, but first you have to:
A: Get it out of the gun vault. What was than damn combination again?
B: Or if not in a vault, remember where you've hidden it. Under the mattress? In a drawer? Shit! Where did I put it?
C: Do A and B in the dark while your heart is beating like a jack hammer.

But you find it, jack a round in the chamber, and head down the hall when THERE HE IS, right there, ten feet in front of you. Oh Sweet Baby Jesus. What do I do now?

Now we're at the crux of the matter. Do you shoot? Can you shoot? Are you shaking so bad you couldn't hit the inside of a barn if you were standing in the middle of it? We've all heard stories of a highly trained police officer and a bad guy, having a shootout in a small room, and emptying their weapons without one single hit.  In addition, I don't think I'd be far off in guessing that 99% of us are not mentally prepared to shoot someone, to take a life. Granted, that decision would be a lot simpler if you or your family was believed to be in mortal danger and shooting was necessary to protect yourself or your loved ones, but what if it wasn't as clear cut as that?

Lets say you flip on the light and it's a kid, a teenager, no visible weapon, who thought the house was empty, and was looking for some dope money. Say he sees you, turns, and runs. Do you blow him away? As it was explained to me by an officer of the law, legally, it can get very sticky at this point. A court could decide that when the boy turned to run, he was no longer a threat, and by shooting him, you are now in deep doo-doo. But let's say the law decides it was a righteous shooting, you were justified in your action. You're home free. Hold on. There's the matter of the family of the recently deceased. In all likelihood, they are going to sue your ass in civil court and guess what? They might just win.

Then there's the matter of your own psyche, your mental health in the aftermath of taking a human life. How long would it be, if ever, that you could get a full night's sleep without dreaming of  the thunderous boom of the gun, seeing a man fall, and all that blood spreading over your carpet?

Let's go back for a moment on being mentally prepared. A recent event in Tulsa had a good Samaritan investigating an alarm in his neighbor's apartment. He had a gun with him but had the misfortune of meeting up with the intruder. The intruder took the man's gun away from him, shot him, and killed him. The good neighbor was murdered because he was not mentally prepared to use his weapon in the event of a common burglary. Simple as that.

Johnny Cash said it best:
Don't take your guns to town son.
Leave your guns at home Bill.
Don't take your guns to town.

1 comment:

  1. I think if they are in my house at night, they took a chance they should not have. But yeah. Dint shoot em in the back unless they are heading for a family members bedroom


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