Patterico's Pontifications

6/30/2008

Grand Jury Refuses to Indict Joe Horn

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:08 pm

The Houston Chronicle reports:

A Harris County grand jury decided today that Joe Horn should not be charged with a crime for shooting two suspected burglars he confronted outside his neighbor’s home in Pasadena last fall.

Discuss.

482 Responses to “Grand Jury Refuses to Indict Joe Horn”

  1. Seriously, this is the kind of thing Barry wants to outlaw. Hello America.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  2. I’m split on this, and lacking sufficient data. Why was the neighbor unable to defend his/her own property? That is the question I would want answered before I voted on whether or not to indict.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  3. Another victory for the 2nd Amendment – it ain’t about hunting!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  4. DW…
    The neighbor wasn’t home, IIRC.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  5. Illegal immigrants from Colombia. One out of jail on a previous drug bust. Both shot in the back.

    Good aim.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  6. So, I am my brother’s keeper is still the law of the land, for now. Thank you good citizens of Harris County for your service, and to Mr. Horn for standing up to the tyranny of thugs. Clean and reload, sir!

    twolaneflash (6c1719)

  7. Drumwaster, they weren’t home, IIRC.

    I wouldn’t indict, but I’d buy old Joe a beer for taking out the trash. Memo to aspiring dirtbags: When a Texan is pointing a shotgun at you, you might want to do as you’re told. It will help keep your insides on the inside.

    Pablo (99243e)

  8. A wise decision knowing what I know about this case.

    For those who are too lazy to RTFA…

    Aside from the shooting itself, the national debate revolved around the fact that Ortiz and Torres were illegal immigrants from Colombia. Torres had been sent to prison for dealing cocaine and was deported in 1999.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  9. Given what we saw in earlier discussions of Texas statutes and the limited amount of facts we have seen, I don’t see how the grand jury was going to do otherwise.

    If Texas does not like the result, I’m sure they will change their statutes.

    In the meantime, I don’t see what else there is to say.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Drumwaster, they weren’t home, IIRC.

    If that’s the case, I’d hold out until after lunch (if it was catered), then vote to cut his ass loose with an Official Letter of Thanks and the Keys to the City.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  11. These 2 charmers were straddling the property line between houses. Horn’s attorney said his client regretted not staying inside as instructed by 911. Still gotta side with the high caliber solution.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  12. Some Houston Chronicle articles have a comment section and the comments for the Joe Horn article are overwhelmingly positive. Contrast that with last week’s Chicago Tribune editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment after the Heller decision. Of course, the Houston Chronicle editors may have more in common with the Tribune editors than with their own readers, but it’s still odd that two large American cities would be so different.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  13. Chicago needs to be its own little country. The leftist angle coming out of that region makes SF look like Bush country.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  14. from DRJ’s ChiTrib link:

    In doing so, they have curtailed the power of the legislatures and the city councils to protect their citizens.

    Yeah, as though DC and Chicago are examples of the citizenry being protected. Can these people not count? They seem to be able to do so, or at least pretend to, when the dead are in Iraq. But in their own cities, not so much.

    Pablo (99243e)

  15. In response to the Trib –

    The decision to keep the legislature & city council from banning a constitutional right is just that – forbidding infringement.

    The BoR is a pesky thing. It has things the ACLU like, such as the 1st Amendment, and things that the Democrat Party doesn’t like, such as the 2nd.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  16. I keep thinking that a cheasy-phone-cam that’s auto-recording when the safety’s off would do a world of good as stock equipment.

    Ten seconds of video would differentiate ‘fleeing’ from ‘charging the gun’ most of the time. (Not clear that it would in this case, the guy supposedly charged, then fled.)

    Such a requirement wouldn’t violate either the spirit or the letter of the 2nd. (IOW: Do it for police also. It becomes ‘the norm’ eventually.)

    Al (b624ac)

  17. I agree with the decision — don’t rob, and you’ll live.

    Richard Romano (3df804)

  18. I continue to think that Horn’s actions were wrong, though they may well be allowable under the Texas statute. We do not proscribe the death penalty for burglary, and here there was no risk of human life or limb to any innocents until Horn stepped outside of his home. He was a vigilante, nothing more.

    So they’re illegal immigrants, so what? They’re still human beings, and if you want to retain some shred of humanity, you shouldn’t be quite so quick to relish and celebrate their deaths.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  19. They’re still human beings

    Who had broken the law to get here, and were involved with breaking yet more laws.

    If criminals don’t know that the risk of carrying out a home invasion in Texas includes getting your ass shot off, then maybe they shouldn’t be committing those crimes.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  20. Actually, they’re ex-human beings. And Horn didn’t seek them out, they were robbing his neighbor.

    Again, when the Texan with a shotgun pointed at you tells you to stop, you probably ought to do it. Especially if you’re in the middle of a felony.

    Pablo (99243e)

  21. Pat #18 – We do not proscribe the death penalty for burglary

    Nor do we proscribe it for failing to signal in an automobile. But just try charging an officer as he approaches your car after pulling you over. You’ll most likely end up dead, or tased, if lucky.

    And after you’re dead, the officer will not be thrown in prison for applying the death penalty.

    The reason those two are dead is that they failed to recognize the gravity of their situation. The populace has no duty to remain in their homes cowering while people who commit crimes in their neighborhoods walk with state protection. The purposeful conflation of the difference between the treatment of an incarcerated felon and the treatment of someone caught in commission of a crime is utterly contemptible and dishonest.

    Human beings get killed all the time – those two would still be alive if they’d surrendered. Joe Horn was not going to torture them or beat them. He was going to hold them for the authorities. Their deaths are their own fault.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  22. Pat#18,Did you ever think they raised the average intelligence of the human race by a tiny fraction by
    attacking an armed man at close range?

    corwin (88c579)

  23. So they’re illegal immigrants, so what?

    So they’ve already shown no willingness to obey the law. That’s what.

    h2u (4a7c7f)

  24. So many have called Joe Horn a murderer or a vigilante. However, murder is the deliberate and unlawful taking of human life and by Texas law what Joe Horn did was legal. Similarly, a vigilante is one who takes the law into his/her own hands, but Joe Horn did not TAKE the law into his hands, the State of Texas PLACED it there by statute.

    One could certainly assert that what Joe Horn did was morally wrong by one’s own, personal moral code, but laws are supposed to represent such codes of the majority of voters while not being contrary to the US Constitution. Unless one can change the law, get the Supreme Court to declare the law unconstitutionable, or get the Constitution changed, such minority assertions can have no force. If folk did impose such force anyway, I believe that really would be vigilantism, if not anarchy.

    jim2 (c9cec3)

  25. My, what a blood-thirsty lot…

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  26. Good for Horn. Good for the grand jury. Good for justice. All in all, pretty damn good.

    Alan (0cf397)

  27. My, what a blood-thirsty lot…

    I’m just the guy who opens the envelope at the Darwin Awards.

    h2u (4a7c7f)

  28. Leftists finally found a “crime” they can be outraged about. The hundreds of thousands of crimes per year that citizens don’t make a stand against…they ain’t got much to say about those crimes, those real crimes, except when they express their support towards many of those perps.

    Soooo, that makes Ramos, Compean, Libby and Horn the total sum of “criminals” in the last 5 or so years who your liberals will publicly express their outrage about.

    j curtis (c84b9e)

  29. #28 Ouch.

    There are several here who will be taking this very personally…as they should. Good call on your part, though.

    Jay Curtis (8f6541)

  30. It’s not about left or right. It’s about sending a message to kids. Texas is basically saying: hey everybody, here, it’s ok to kill, burglary, trespassing, shop lifting, what the heck, just shoot them, it’s fine, kill a few petty thief and you’re a hero ! Great place to live !

    Alex (f364c3)

  31. One of my very favorite TV episodes ever was a Star Trek: Next Generation ep where the planet visited had but one punishment for ALL infractions: death. A most humane death, but death nonetheless. Jaywalking? See ya. Trespassing? Ashes to ashes.

    It was the most peaceful and lovely world you could imagine. Of course, the unemployment rate amongst locksmiths was 100%.

    There are times I wish we had a similar code here on earth. For now, I’ll take satisfaction that two dirt balls are taking their eternal celestial naps.

    Ed (6058ab)

  32. #30 ! Great place to live !
    Abso-fuckin-lutely!
    “Anything happen while we were on Vacation, Joe?”

    Ummm … Grass browned up, but came back with some watering. Azaleas looked a little pekid, so I fertilized. Oh, yeah, and about the fence …

    brian (cf7e46)

  33. Pat #25 – My, what a blood-thirsty lot…

    My, what a complete abandonment of discussion, and a complete refusal to attempt refutation of any relevant point. So easy to revert to emotionalism.

    Alex #30 – Yes, it’s for the children. I’m surprised you didn’t add jaywalking to your ridiculous list of capitol crimes. Apparently protecting your house and your neighbor’s house has absolutely nothing to do with making children feel safer. Home invasion robbery gone awry? Parents killed? Children? Who cares as long as our downtrodden “petty thieves” aren’t harmed.

    j curtis – nail on the head.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  34. The reason those two are dead is that they failed to recognize the gravity of their situation. The populace has no duty to remain in their homes cowering while people who commit crimes in their neighborhoods walk with state protection.

    The facts, as I understand them, indicate that this man went out with the intention of shooting them and gave the felons almost no time to comply with any demands he may have made.

    There is nothing wrong with making a citizen’s arrest. Mr. Horn could have left his yard, with his gun, and requested that the gentlemen remain where they were until the police arrived. You may shoot to defend yourself at that point, but, most likely, you would not be shooting people in the back.

    While you are entitled to use deadly force to defend yourself against invaders in your home, that does not apply outside the home. First of all, there is no duty to retreat inside your home; second, and more importantly, you may reasonably assume that any home invader is going to harm you. (IIRC, 30% of the burglaries that occur when occupants are present in the home results in physical harm to the occupants.) Neither of these justifications and rationales apply to Mr. Horn.

    I don’t think that Joe Horn ought to be tried for murder, but if he ended up plea-bargaining for probation and community service, I wouldn’t complain.

    PatHMV,

    I think the schadenfreude (sp?) over the fact that they are (illegal? may have missed that part) immigrants stems from the violent crime that accompanies communities of illegal immigrants. Off the top of my head, 2/3ds of gang members in LA are illegal aliens. 95% of outstanding arrest warrants for violent crimes in California are for those who are not here legally. Philosophically and statistically, illegal immigrants are different from their legal counterparts; even at that, we’ve been fortunate so far to not have Europe’s problem with immigration.

    It is easy to conflate the horrific violent crime rates of some (or a lot) of illegal immigrants with all illegal immigrants – or especially those who are happily in the middle of the commission of a crime.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  35. bridget,

    I think you have accurately stated the law in most states but not in Texas, which allows the use of deadly force in defense of self and property. NK explains the Texas property statute in this comment from an earlier thread.

    In addition, I suspect testimony by a police detective helped Horn avoid indictment. Here’s what was reported in the article linked in Patterico’s post:

    “Pasadena police have said a detective in plainclothes had parked in front of Horn’s house in response to the 911 call, and saw the two men before they crossed into Horn’s front yard. Police believe that neither Horn nor the burglars knew an officer was present.

    When Horn confronted the men in his yard, he raised his shotgun to his shoulder, police have said. However, the men ignored his order to freeze.

    Authorities have said one man ran toward Horn but had angled away toward the street when he was shot in the back just before reaching the curb.”

    I think the grand jurors decided Horn could have reasonably feared for his safety when the burglar ran toward him.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  36. Thanks, DRJ.

    Good thing I’m not taking the Texas bar. 😉

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  37. bridget #34 – I don’t think that Joe Horn ought to be tried for murder, but if he ended up plea-bargaining for probation and community service, I wouldn’t complain.

    I would. The slap on the wrist method of feigning punishment is engineered to propagate the PC BS which seeks to placate all that “justice” has been done. I note its use in various 3rd world countries in which wealthy or politically connected citizens commit atrocities and are “punished” by laughably light fines and/or probation.

    Look, either he did something that should be punished, or he didn’t. Let’s not mealy-mouth an “acceptable” solution that requires him to parade in some obscene charade that somehow makes it all right.

    Two people are dead. It is serious. The families of the dead deserve a ruling. Either their loved-ones were guilty of a crime and society sends the message that it will not be tolerated, as neighborhoods are dangerous places to pilfer, or the killer of their loved-ones is guilty and should be punished appropriately.

    I agree with DRJ in reference to the case specifics regarding the police officer’s direct witness and testimony. I don’t think he just went out to shoot them. I do think, however, that people should be able to protect their neighborhoods – which means that they cannot be imprisoned in their own houses.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  38. Burglars deserve to die. They’re parasites. Their existence has only negative value for society, so society is better off without them. That’s the only sense in which this is serious: It’s seriously good.

    Thank goodness some states have sane laws.

    Alan (0cf397)

  39. It is sad to see the Liberals here defending the right to steal, murder, and rape. They are with Obama in that you do not have a right to life, liberty, and your property. In the Liberals’ ill-logic, the state is everything. If the state can’t protect you, then you deserve what is taken from your because you got it illegally anyway.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  40. Shot two guys in the back? Yeah, he’s a real hero.

    Chance (98ad8c)

  41. Shot two repeat criminals in the act of committing a felony in the back?

    FTFY.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  42. “Shot two guys in the back? Yeah, he’s a real hero.”

    Chance – What level of crime does it have to advance to before you’re comfortable with the homeownwer using force to defending himelf? Burglary isn’t enough? Does there have to be an assault involved? How about rape as well?

    Could you please spell out a bright line test for us law and order types?

    daleyrocks (1cc55d)

  43. Shot two guys in the back? Yeah, he’s a real hero.

    Chance, you’re being ridiculous. Substitute “guys” with the actual circumstances and you get something closer to the truth. Drumwaster gets it:

    Shot two repeat criminals in the act of committing a felony in the back?

    And I’ll once again mention that both men were not granted permission to be in this country. I. Have. No. Sympathy.

    h2u (4a7c7f)

  44. Two illegal aliens breaking into a house got shot, whaa whaa.

    Screw them, and screw anyone else who breaks into the country and then breaks into houses.

    And God Bless Texas.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  45. Two people are dead. It is serious. The families of the dead deserve a ruling. Either their loved-ones were guilty of a crime and society sends the message that it will not be tolerated, as neighborhoods are dangerous places to pilfer, or the killer of their loved-ones is guilty and should be punished appropriately.

    First, you are conflating “not be tolerated” with “acceptable that they are dead for it.” We can very well manage to not tolerate a lot of crimes without having citizens mete out death for it.

    Second point: it’s really expensive to bring criminals to justice, and even more expensive to incarcerate (or kill) them. If there is no punishment whatsoever for killing people when not in any danger, we may very well get a situation in which the police fail to respond because they know that vigilante citizens will kill them. Quick, efficient, and even saves the police officers some effort.

    Punishments serve two forms: retribution and deterrents. Problem #1: you fail to see the deterrent value in a small punishment. It would ensure that people don’t go around looking to play cops and robbers. Problem #2: the punishment ought to be commensurate with the crime. You’re assuming that homicide cannot have an enormous range of punishment. IMHO, this (if in a state not Texas) could be treated like involuntary manslaughter – we understand why you did it, it did a social good, but we don’t want you doing it, so go forth and sin no more. Finally, a mild punishment has the effect of ensuring that the person will not do it again, because then he would be a repeat offender who would not be treated leniently.

    Finally, it’s pretty silly to care whether or not these guys were repeat felons, unless Joe Horn knew that they were repeat felons. We analyse according to the mental state of the person who committed the homicide, not according to all facts that were known later. (The flip side of this is that if the people were somehow not burglars – if, for example, the homeowner had sold them a TV on Craigslist and told them to pick it up whenever, and Horn misinterpreted the situation – we would not punish him for his mistake.)

    For the record, I’m not liberal, and I have zero sympathy for the actions of the dead burglars.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  46. A commenter over at AoS HQ found Texas Statute which, at first glance, appears to cover Joe Horn:

    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.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  47. The families “Deserve”? Now that just shows the liberal mind. These guys were illegal aliens, gang members, and were shot during a B & E. Their mug shots show two mean dudes. Their families should have to pay for all damages that occurred during the crime, and those family members that helped them stay in the US should be deported and/or imprisoned.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  48. That’s the kind of neighbor I want.

    rightwingprof (fbb932)

  49. Two less goblins to worry about.

    CTD (7054d2)

  50. Bridget #45,

    In case you want to practice criminal law. What punishment serves best is incapacitation. Whether in prison or dead, the criminal is not preying on society.

    Deterrence will get you mind-numbing statistics from both sides, and retribution even more mind-melting philosophical discussions.

    nk (11c9c1)

  51. God Bless Texas!

    headhunt23 (9e1243)

  52. I’m the emotional one, Apogee? I’m not the one drowning out any review of the facts and circumstances by pointing out facts that Mr. Horn did not actually know at the time, that they were illegal aliens. I’m not the one suggesting that illegal aliens forfeit their very right to life when they break the law and enter this country.

    You all go feel safer living on a street with Mr. Horn… until your cousin tells you you’re welcome to use his TV or stereo or what have you while he’s out of town, and the next Mr. Horn mistakes you for a burglar and kills you.

    I can understand the atheists on here placing no value whatsoever on human life, but all of you folks who complain about atheism taking over this country, you seriously might want to reflect on what religion teaches us about not relishing and glorifying the death of others, sinners or not.

    I suspect that Joe Horn himself is quite aware of the magnitude of what he did now, and would be appalled at how cavalierly some of you seem to be taking the idea of killing another human being, for any reason.

    Oh, and for those who seem to be suggesting I’m a liberal of any stripe, please. I support the death penalty (not just in theory but as practiced in this country today). I support the death penalty for child rapists, and indeed for adult rapists. I don’t believe in a duty to retreat, either in your own home or when somebody else starts a violent encounter with you. I don’t think I’m a liberal just because I believe that a person, seeing an unoccupied house owned by somebody else being burgled, knowing that the police were on their way, should leave the safety of their home, place THEMSELVES at much greater risk of death or harm, and KILL the suspected burglars.

    PatHMV (653160)

  53. I’m not the one suggesting that illegal aliens forfeit their very right to life when they break the law and enter this country.

    Neither is anyone here. We are suggesting that they forfeited their right to life when they deliberately decided to break into a home belonging to someone else. (Read the law, kindly copied at comment #46.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  54. Chance,
    From the article it looked like the 2 guys were running toward Horn and ‘angled’ away. To me, it didn’t seem like an in-the-back attack especially with the fact that he said freeze… a life-saving measure.

    I’m in support of Horn not b/c of their illegal status or even the repeat nature of their actions. It’s that he offered an option and they chose to follow the crime.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  55. I’m not the one suggesting that illegal aliens forfeit their very right to life when they break the law and enter this country.

    Not one person here suggested that. But if you have a history of committing crimes — and illegal immigration is a crime — then you get no sympathy from me if your next crime happens to be your last.

    You all go feel safer living on a street with Mr. Horn… until your cousin tells you you’re welcome to use his TV or stereo or what have you while he’s out of town, and the next Mr. Horn mistakes you for a burglar and kills you.

    LoL! You’ve gotta be kidding me. When do you go about crawling through windows in broad daylight in order to use a neighbor’s TV or stereo? Unbelievable…

    I don’t think I’m a liberal just because I believe that a person, seeing an unoccupied house owned by somebody else being burgled, knowing that the police were on their way, should leave the safety of their home, place THEMSELVES at much greater risk of death or harm, and KILL the suspected burglars.

    Liberal isn’t the right phrase. Willfully ignorant suits you better. Mr. Horn not only acted within Texas law, he showed true neighborly spirit by protecting property he had no material tie to. I would proudly live next door to Mr. Horn.

    He displayed true chutzpah.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  56. knowing that the police were on their way

    When I read this, I was reminded of a story I read recently on the Interwebs…

    Seems there was this homeowner who heard some guys breaking into his garage, and called 911.

    The dispatcher said that it would be about half an hour before the police could get there. The homeowner thanked her and hung up.

    Two or three minutes later, he called 911 again and said, “Remember those two guys breaking into my garage? You can take your time now, because I just shot them.”

    Not five minutes later, the cops showed up in force – three cars and a helicopter – catching the burglars in the act.

    As he was leading the handcuffed criminals away, one of the cops said to the homeowner, “I thought you said you shot them.”

    The homeowner replied, “I thought you said you couldn’t be here for at least half an hour.”

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  57. #45 – bridget. Thanks for the reply.

    I’m liberal in many regards, especially the view that the state does not grant me liberty, the right to pursue happiness, or to protect my life and property. It’s the citizens who enumerate what the state is able to do. What I am not is a leftist. The left wishes totalitarianism, and their disdain for freedom is proof of concept.

    I just find the thinking muddled on these issues. It’s as if people have been beaten down by the system for so long that they reflexively growl and snarl at anyone who dares to act without state sanction. Hate to break it to you, but you don’t need permission from your government to live. Good luck on your bar, but don’t let it poison your mind to the point where you play into the very leftist hands that you (and I) detest so much.

    On to your comments. According to h2u in #46, apparently Joe Horn was completely within his rights to fire on fleeing burglars. Your view that the authorities can successfully patrol everywhere they are needed, rendering citizen action unnecessary, is a fantasy at best, and a criminal enabler at worst.

    Citizens do not “mete out death” for criminal behavior. Joe Horn did not do so. An officer witnessed him instruct the criminals to freeze. At what point do the perps have any responsibility for their actions? You cannot have it both ways. Either you have accountability or you don’t. Joe Horn shoots a guy who is collecting a TV he bought online? Joe goes to prison. Accountability. If you restrict the Joe Horns, then you are protecting the criminal element. Criminals use your fair play arguments to make a living.

    On to your second point: we may very well get a situation in which the police fail to respond because they know that vigilante citizens will kill them. Are you really arguing that we should restrict the capacity for citizens to protect themselves and their property so that the state does not become lazy? How about keeping tabs on performance and firing any lazy cops? That might be a better method of ensuring compliance.

    As for your punishment arguments:
    you fail to see the deterrent value in a small punishment. There is no effective deterrent value in a small punishment to anyone who A) is a criminal or B) is facing a hostile situation that could get them killed.

    Jaywalking? Small punishment? Check. Neighborhood burglars? Possible home invasions? Escalation to lethal force? Bzzz. Nope. I’m going to err on the side of being alive every time, and you are in favor of punishing me for that.

    As for punishment commensurate with the crime, you said:
    we understand why you did it, it did a social good, but we don’t want you doing it
    Stop right there. Did you ever take the time to think why “we don’t want you doing it” when the statements “we understand why you did it” and the “it did a social good” would tend to seem contradictory? How about the authority of the state? Does that somehow play into these decisions?

    I find it interesting that scenarios are given time and again that illustrate the negatives of citizen action, such as your if the people were somehow not burglars – if, for example, the homeowner had sold them a TV on Craigslist example. What if the two had just burglarized another property, but had tied up, raped and murdered a young woman and were in the middle of a crime spree? Since both are possible, would it not be in the interests of society to hold both the criminals and Joe Horn accountable for their actions, instead of simply defaulting to the mode whereby the citizens are wards of the state?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  58. Thank you for your reply, but it’s pretty clear that you’re operating under some assumptions about me and my thinking that are simply untrue.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  59. Then please correct me. If you do, I’ll thank you for it. I’m not here to fight or put down, but to challenge thinking, my own as well as others.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  60. Aw, shucks. I forgot that Bridget is due to take the bar exam in California. Bridget, quit this blog right now, forget everything anyone has told you, and remember only what your professors and BAR-BRI said. You’ll have time to learn the real world after you get your license.

    nk (11c9c1)

  61. nk’s right, bridget. Remember that most everyone on the internet should be prefacing their comments with “IANAL.” Especially me. 😉

    h2u (81b7bd)

  62. I’m going to err on the side of being alive every time

    And the criminals are betting their lives and liberties on the hopes that they won’t be found by an armed home owner while committing their crimes. These two were, continued to present a threat to said armed citizen, and earned their just rewards.

    This issue has already been hashed out in the Texas Legislature, the laws were written to protect the law-abiding individual and punish the law-breakers.

    If these two did not want to risk their lives, they should have been working day labor construction or selling oranges on the side of the road, instead of committing felonies. And even though they were here illegally, they would not have had to get killed just for wanting a better life (the act of which which I also disagree with, but I’m shutting down the straw man argument offered above – I don’t mind how many people want to come to America; just sign the guest book on the way in the front door, rather than scrambling through a basement window).

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  63. Bridget,
    I agree that the fact about the police arriving bears some consideration. I think when these guys were straddling the line between Horn’s and the neighbor’s house they made the mistake of running toward him – and at a point when he said freeze.

    I don’t like illegal residents who get by with robbing or skirting the law. But certainly it’s not a means to justify killing. I guess the details of this case, with later clarifications of TX law, just made me side with Horn (and as always, it’s jmo).

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  64. Vermont Neighbor: Thanks for a reasonable reply. On the sum total of my earlier review of the facts, I disagree, but if you interpret the evidence as showing that Horn intended only to arrest them, and that they started running toward him when he said “freeze,” then your conclusion is a reasonable one, though I still think it was a mistake for him to leave. My personal opinion, having listened to that phone call he made to 911, is that he left his house fully intending to shoot them. But I agree reasonable people can differ at that point.

    My disagreement with your earlier posts and others in this thread are that they are obsessively focused on death and glorifying the death of these 2 human beings. Comments like “good aim!” suggest not just that Mr. Horn should not be held criminally liable in this circumstance, but that his actions are an ideal, something which others should emulate in similar circumstances.

    Death is final and irreversible. There’s no turning back from a mistake. People make mistakes all the time. Horn turned out to be right this time in his evaluation of what was happening. The next Horn may not. If we as a society ENCOURAGE such vigilanteism (and a 60 year old man, untrained in arresting people at gunpoint, leaving the safety of his house to stop burglars LEAVING the scene of a crime when police are on their way is vigilanteism), then the next Horn may well shoot an innocent person in an entirely mistaken understanding of the circumstances.

    As I said, in addition to being immoral, in my view (and please spare me the arguments about Texas law, I’m not arguing whether it was or was not justified by Texas’ law, just the wisdom and justice of the action independently of the law) Horn was monumentally STUPID in walking out the door. Suppose those burglars HAD been armed, and shot him first? Who would be the candidate for the Darwin Award then?

    PatHMV (653160)

  65. Suppose those burglars HAD been armed, and shot him first? Who would be the candidate for the Darwin Award then?

    The illegal immigrants who would then be charged with murder most foul.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  66. “This issue has already been hashed out in the Texas Legislature, the laws were written to protect the law-abiding individual and punish the law-breakers.”

    I watched the news this morning and from a desk in NY city, was informed that Texas is the only state where it has been legislated that a citizen can shoot first and think later. The clucking disapproval was not missed.

    That the criminals were fleeing, and one toward Joe Horn is established. Other than to do him harm or impede him in some way, what other reason would a fleeing burglar have to run toward a witness?

    Dana (a61bbb)

  67. PatHMV –

    Vigilanteism is the taking of the law into one’s own hands. The Texas law makes it quite clear that what Joe Horn did was in accordance with the law.

    You may feel it was immoral – it’s your right to make that subjective call. But it was not murder and it was not vigilanteism, as those are objectively defined terms and the Texas law rules both out.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  68. I’m not arguing whether it was or was not justified by Texas’ law, just the wisdom and justice of the action independently of the law) Horn was monumentally STUPID in walking out the door.

    No wonder the cops didn’t show up. That would be STUPID. The perps could have been armed.

    Pablo (99243e)

  69. I was once advised never to startle someone holding a shotgun.

    Empirically validated advice, I’d say.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  70. jim2… actually, the word “vigilante” is not used in any statute which I have ever seen, and thus has no absolute “legal” meaning. To the best of my knowledge, it has no well-defined connotation of being against the law. A vigilante is commonly described as “one who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one’s own hands.” That can be either legal or illegal, depending on the circumstances. A legal citizens arrest can still be termed an act of vigilanteism.

    And Pablo, please. Are you seriously comparing a team of trained law enforcement officers and an exciteable, can’t restrain himself, untrained 60 year old man with one gun and no back-up?

    You do what you want. Me, I’m staying in my house and calling the cops when I see a law being broken, unless it appears that someone is currently in danger of suffering violence at the hands of the criminal. Endangering yourself (and your loved ones, if you have any at home) by unlocking your door and initating a violent confrontation with criminals to protect a TV set is moronic. Horn is very lucky he didn’t get shot and killed himself.

    PatHMV (653160)

  71. Apogee,

    I do not think that we are wards of the state; rather, I think that the government’s function (sole function, IMHO) is to protect its citizens so that we can spend our time building skyscrapers and nuclear power plants, rather than being the ruled subjects of anyone who happens to be stronger than us and willing to exploit us.

    I fully believe that people can and should arm themselves, both for protection against a government gone bad and against rogue citizens.

    Somewhere, though, there is a line between personal remedies and ceding to the rule of law. Both of those things have the same goal of allowing us to live in a safe, civilised society. If you eliminate either one, however, you are left with either anarchy or a nanny state.

    Whether or not Joe Horn crossed the line from self-help that advances civilisation to vigilantism that threatens us (both as people and as citizens of a free state) is a matter of personal opinion. I will not say that those who think that Horn’s actions were legally, morally, and philosophically acceptable and good lack respect for human life, or would elevate ownership of a TV over the dignity of human life and the rule of law, or that they want to encourage anarchy and rule by gun. It is irksome when the reverse is said about me.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  72. PatHMV –

    You said:

    “A vigilante is commonly described as “one who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one’s own hands.” ”

    There is a clear and relevant difference between a vigilante and Joe Horn. The operable Texas law (quoted earlier in this thread) explicitly authorizes citizens such as Joe Horn to employ lethal force in the exact circumstances of this case: burglary and fleeing, etc.

    So, this is not a citizen taking an action reserved by statute for law enforcement officers but, rather, taking the precise action explicitly identified by law for the exact circumstances laid out in that same law.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  73. I’m not arguing over what Texas law does and does not allow, Jim, as I thought I made clear. I’m saying that the term “vigilante” has a broader meaning than what you said. One can be a vigilante without breaking the law under the common definition of the word.

    PatHMV (653160)

  74. We just likes to kill us some illegal immigrants. Right, Pat?

    Racists.

    JD (75f5c3)

  75. the streets are a little safer, and the gene pool a little cleaner. no great loss with either of them.

    the whiners here need a nice big dose of reality, and, until it takes effect, a mug of STFU.

    after all, when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away, even if they’re sitting out front in their car watching it all go down while they do nothing. what’s up with that?

    redc1c4 (5c9f54)

  76. Pat said:I’m not arguing over what Texas law does and does not allow, Jim, as I thought I made clear. I’m saying that the term “vigilante” has a broader meaning than what you said. One can be a vigilante without breaking the law under the common definition of the word.”

    in your usage, “vigilante” is a pejorative term,. and therefor “hate speech”. you should be ashamed of yourself.

    redc1c4 (5c9f54)

  77. …an exciteable

    Assumption.

    …can’t restrain himself

    Assumption.

    untrained

    Assumption.

    You’ve hit the trifecta, PatHMV! Congratulations.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  78. PatHMV –

    I apologize, if you think I am parsing this too fine, but let me try again:

    Vigilante = taking law into own hands

    Joe Horn = law explicitly PUT it into his hands

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  79. Me, I’m staying in my house and calling the cops when I see a law being broken

    I hate to be the one to shatter your illusions, but the police are under no legal requirement to respond if you call for help, nor liable for any damages you might suffer as a result of their lack of action. Just as an example, California’s Government Code, Sections 821, 845, and 846 states, in part: “Neither a public entity or a public employee [may be sued] for failure to provide adequate police protection or service, failure to prevent the commission of crimes and failure to apprehend criminals…”

    And in Warren v District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (1981), the DC Court of Appeals ruled that cops are not there to protect individuals, but society as a whole. You should read the details of that one…

    9-1-1 = Government-sponsored Dial-A-Prayer

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  80. Bridget – #71 I apologize if I described you as something you are not. I have not meant these comments as a personal attack. I do find, however, that addressing comments forces me to focus on why I believe what I do, not just what I believe.

    I completely agree with you that there is a fine line between citizen action and ceding to state authority. There are many unfortunate incidents all over this country that involve inebriated behavior which, if adjudicated by an impartial state, would end up avoiding bloodshed by impeding citizens’ hasty actions. That being said, I have also seen many an altercation broken up by a private citizen who impressed the other parties that a continuance along their current paths would end in neither prevailing.

    My beef with the discussion is more about what I see as incomplete adaptation of good ideas. For instance, your statement that the job of the state is to:
    protect its citizens so that we can spend our time building skyscrapers and nuclear power plants, rather than being the ruled subjects of anyone who happens to be stronger than us and willing to exploit us.
    It’s an accurate description – I just think that it’s incomplete, as (and correct me if I’m wrong) it seems to ascribe being ruled by vigilantes, as opposed to the more pressing problem (IMO) of being ruled by criminals who count on the restriction of citizens’ capabilities for self defense and regulation.

    You are a good and thoughtful person, which is apparent from your comments, and I don’t wish to offend. If I have, again, I apologize.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  81. PatHMV #64:

    I agree with you that we shouldn’t glorify death but Joe Horn hasn’t done that. He repeatedly said he regrets what happened. I also understand the frustration of people in this situation, including those of us who live in border states and understand some immigrants come here illegally to support themselves by stealing our property, and worse.

    I’m a Texan that values life and property. Texas has lots of land and not that many people inhabit some of it compared to other states. Nor do we have enough law enforcement officers to protect us all every minute. But we do have each other, and I’m glad I live in a state where I know my neighbors and I can and will protect ourselves and our property.

    I also trust you and your neighbors to pass laws that work best in your state, and it’s fine with me if your state makes other choices.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  82. Apogee,

    I also thought bridget’s opinions were worth exploring, and I agree with your comments.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  83. #64 PatHMV,

    Thanks, and I agree with some of your points. Sometimes it’s easy to split hairs and turn a decision over and over… at least on select topics such as this one. Some issues, I see facets of both sides. (Except the candidacy of Obama. I’ll listen, but already it’s too much evidence against this man as being a reasonable, experienced or worthy candidate.)

    My disagreement with your earlier posts and others in this thread are that they are obsessively focused on death and glorifying the death of these 2 human beings. Comments like “good aim!” suggest not just that Mr. Horn should not be held criminally liable in this circumstance, but that his actions are an ideal, something which others should emulate in similar circumstances.

    You made an excellent point here, one I actually thought about before I posted. So I take full responsibility. The snarky fast quip. Even though we’re on different sides of the Horn story, you raise valid points – – I also think “good aim” could be edited and tossed in the recycle bin!

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  84. DRJ wrote: Contrast that with last week’s Chicago Tribune editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment after the Heller decision.

    From the Trib rant:

    Repeal the 2nd Amendment? Yes, it’s an anachronism.

    We won’t repeal the amendment, but at least we can have that debate.

    Cool, Trib! That’s a GREAT idea!

    While we’re at “debating” the repeal of the Second Amendment, why don’t we have a debate about repealing the Twenty-First, re-authorizing the Eighteenth, which will cut down on DUI deaths? Or howzabout the Nineteenth, since a woman can’t get nominated to run the country anyway (thanks to you folks in Illinois)? Or — oooh! — the Thirteenth? We can debate THAT one, can’t we?

    L.N. Smithee (a0b21b)

  85. LN #84 – How come the Trib doesn’t want to debate repealing the 1st?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  86. “I’m a Texan that values life and property. Texas has lots of land and not that many people inhabit some of it compared to other states. Nor do we have enough law enforcement officers to protect us all every minute. But we do have each other, and I’m glad I live in a state where I know my neighbors and I can and will protect ourselves and our property.”

    Its ironic and frustrating that we who live in Cali, also a border state and where there is a far greater population that easily supports burglarly & crime with the sheer number of residences to break into, are so severely limited in the ability to be able to also protect ourselves and our property. Hats off to Texas where they are not afraid of being reasonable and giving citizens the benefit of the doubt.

    Apogee, so well said. Humility seems a lost art form. You’ve got it mastered.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  87. DRJ… I wasn’t suggesting that Joe Horn was glorifying these deaths. I specifically said in an earlier post that Horn probably takes those deaths far more seriously than any of the “good aim!” commenters on here. I am criticizing him not for glorifying the deaths, but for so cavalierly trotting out of his house to kill them in the first place. It is the commenters here that I am criticizing for glorifying and so clearly relishing the death of 2 more illegal alien criminal “ex-human beings”.

    And Texas is certainly free to pass what laws it pleases. This one, and the attitude displayed by many here (not all Texans, of course) makes me less inclined to want to travel to or live in Texas, because they seem rather trigger-happy. I do seriously worry that innocent people might easily get shot by a well-intentioned bystander who is far too quick to jump to conclusions about what is going on. Worse, I imagine living there and having a loved one break into my house at my instruction for some reason or other, only to be shot by the next Mr. Horn. It’s MY property, not his, and I should get to decide whether defending it is worth killing somebody, not him.

    PatHMV (653160)

  88. Hats off to Texas where they are not afraid of being reasonable and giving citizens the benefit of the doubt.

    Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  89. 87, Pat, Mr. Horn did not trot out cavilierly. You are making an assumption to assuage your liberal sensibilities. How do you and Horn not know whether or not these two criminals weren’t going to break in Horn’s home next??? YOU DON’T, and neither did Horn.

    I don’t care for your judgement here. Only a fool doesn’t freeze when someone is yelling in your face and pointing a gun, especially a shotgun at very short range.

    The criminals were wrong for the git-go, and you are wrong for in any way, shape or form excusing the criminals and condemning Horn.

    It is people like you who ruin the neighborhood. Criminals do not go where they are likely to suffer consequences for their behavior.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  90. Pat – Then you should take it upon yourself to lobby the Texas legislature to change their laws. Though you may wish to make those decisions, Texas appears to view it differently.

    JD (75f5c3)

  91. Thanks, Vermont. My opinion on these matters is strongly impacted by having witnessed the execution of a murdering rapist. I support the death penalty, and if anybody deserved it, he did. I truly believe he was a serial killer who we got lucky and nabbed after his first killing. But watching a death reminds one of its utter finality. It is a tragedy, even when the person being killed deserves it and we’re safer without him. I wouldn’t undo his execution, but I regret the need for it, and I am saddened by the loss of a human being, no matter how evil the things he’s done. I wish people weren’t quite so quick to wish for or relish the death of others, even if one believes the killing to have been legally permissible or morally appropriate.

    PatHMV (653160)

  92. PatHMV –

    “so cavalierly trotting out of his house to kill them”

    That is inaccurate and offensive.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  93. PCD… I never excused the criminals or suggested they bore no responsibility for their deaths. It’s actually possible for MORE THAN ONE PERSON to SHARE responsibility for an outcome, you know. And what I know about the case comes from listening to Mr. Horn himself on the 911 tape. They were walking AWAY from his house when he went outside. Might they have come back? Perhaps. My point about his fool-hardiness is that he would be FAR safer sitting in his house waiting to ambush them then leaving the house to engage in a gun battle in the open air.

    JD… Am I not free to speak my mind in a blog forum to try to convince my fellow citizens of what the law ought to be? Must I “lobby” the legislature or shut up? Where did I say I get to make those decisions, or wish to? I have consistently expressed my opinion on the subject. I’ve also consistently acknowledged that his actions may well have been within the permissible boundaries of Texas law, and acknowledged that I was debating based on morality, good sense, and what I think the law ought to be.

    Oh, and PCD… in my view, YOU’RE the angry, self-important, self-righteous, self-appointed enforcer who would ruin any neighborhood you lived in. Now, in reality, you’re probably a decent sort, helpful to neighbors needing a hand carrying groceries in, watchful of the children playing in the street, etc., so perhaps you’ll do me a favor and re-think your last insult. Are you seriously trying to suggest that a decision to remain in the safety of my own house and call the police instead of engaging in an armed confrontation with possibly armed, hardened criminals in the open air (where bullets might easily go astray and hit innocent people or property) makes ME the bad neighbor?

    PatHMV (653160)

  94. Jim… I disagree, based on listening to the 911 call. But I certainly can’t claim to know what was going on in his heart.

    PatHMV (653160)

  95. Pat #91 – I wish people weren’t quite so quick to wish for or relish the death of others, even if one believes the killing to have been legally permissible or morally appropriate.

    I agree with you. Killing is a serious occurrence. I do think, however, that a society can only progress when there is a certain amount of stability present to ensure that investments in time, energy, money and education can pay off for the betterment of all (as Bridget has previously implied). It is against this background that the differentiation between the Architect and the bomber becomes imperative.

    What I see in error in the solely humanistic viewpoint of equating positive and negative actors is the abandonment of the essence of what we call civilization. To be more specific, Joe Horn has not racked up hundreds or even dozens of deaths at his whim. He has acted in a very specific sphere regarding his location. The other actors, by contrast, have indeed racked up multiple instances of anti-social and illegal behavior in many different places, to the detriment of society. To not only equate Horn and the criminals, but to put the weight, if not the entirety, of responsibility on Joe Horn’s shoulders is, IMO, wrong simply because it fails to address the actions that are important to all of us in moving society toward betterment.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  96. Pat @ 93 – Did I suggest that you were not free to express your thoughts? Nope. Just because you express them does not mean everyone has to agree with them. Sorry if I was too short with you, but I was still a bit pissed about that bloodthirsty crap upthread.

    JD (75f5c3)

  97. Pat @ 91. That’s an experience that would shake anyone to the core.

    I’m open to considering any info re the death penalty. As a general opinion, I’m against it. Not in a pro-life way and not as an effort to extend the life of a Jeffrey Dahmer or a Scott Peterson or Gacy type. But I really question the death penalty in the event of innocents slipping through. Its use as a political tool concerns me too… a career booster or potential ladder for the ambitious. I guess I’d feel less sympathy seeing two illegal residents, one previously convicted, ignore a warning and charge a man with a gun, just to complete a robbery.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  98. …the more pressing problem (IMO) of being ruled by criminals who count on the restriction of citizens’ capabilities for self defense and regulation.

    Unless you live in Washington, D.C. or Europe, that’s not a problem.

    I also fail to see how that applies to the situation in which someone walks out of his house, declaring that he’s going to shoot someone. We all agree that gun owners ought to be responsible enough to know how to operate them, not shoot themselves, and teach the kids respect for the weapons. If you are going to take it upon yourself to perform a citizen’s arrest, you ought to likewise be aware of how to do that. People react very differently to stress. Some may run away from the gun (high on adrenaline or fear or crack); some may try to get the gun out of your hand, in the equivalent of a sucker punch, to avoid getting shot; some may actually freeze immediately.

    Personally, I’m more scared of imposing a requirement that we freeze, on pain of our lives, from gun-toting neighbours who leave the house with the intent to shoot us.

    I still want to know why Mr. Plainclothes Cop was watching this all go down. (I stand by my guess that he knew that if he shot one of the burglars in the process of getting them to stop, he would be investigated, but if Joe Horn on the phone (that 911 can patch in or relay to him) shot the guys, he would only have to make a statement.)

    I will never really believe that it’s acceptable to shoot someone who poses no threat to you (nor has harmed your family).

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  99. Except that I have not put the “weight” of responsibility on Joe Horn’s shoulders. Horn is the only one left alive whose actions must be judged. If we were apportioning responsibility as in a tort suit, I may well put it somewhere in the range fo 70 to 80% on the 2 dead men, and 20 to 30% on Horn. But the dead men are dead, and the issue which led to this discussion involves the criminal justice system, which has no jurisdiction over the dead. Faulting Horn for his actions in no way absolves the dead men of their responsibility, but their death has made discussion of their fault rather moot.

    As for moving society toward betterment, I agree that is a goal. To that end, I support the absolute right of a lawful occupant of a house to shoot and kill any person attempting to gain entry into the house without permission. I also support the absolute right of a person to use force, including deadly force, to prevent the theft of their property. I don’t believe in a duty to retreat from a violent encounter initiated by another (although I also think sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, depending on the circumstances). I also believe firmly in an individual-rights interpretation of the 2nd Amendment with actual teeth, so that we may bear arms and protect ourselves against those who would prey on us.

    But I don’t think we should go looking for trouble or initiate a violent encounter over somebody else’s property when we have no real way of knowing all the facts before we start shooting. And I think as a matter of morality, we should do all we reasonably can to avoid the need to kill somebody even in defense of our own right to life and property.

    And I continue to believe it is unwise and dangerous to leave your own, safe home to initiate a potentially violent encounter with criminals who may be armed. Horn’s odds of being carried by 6 increased greatly the second he opened his door. Fortunately, the odds were with him that day.

    PatHMV (653160)

  100. bridget #98 – Unless you live in Washington, D.C. or Europe, that’s not a problem.
    I live in California, and it’s a problem.

    Agreed as to what, exactly, Mr. Plainclothes Cop was doing watching all this go down. That, IMO, only strengthens my argument, however.

    Whatever the Legislature of any state says, there is a requirement that you freeze when someone holding a loaded shotgun points it at you and yells “Freeze!”. The requirement is a subsection of natural selection.

    What my point has been in addressing this issue with you is that, IMO, it seems contradictory to laud society’s ability to build skyscrapers and nuke plants on one hand, and on the other, misappropriate your fear at actors who take risks to append the actions of those threatening society’s progress.

    I guess I could just ask: Do you believe Joe Horn or the burglars to be more dangerous to the functioning of society? (Given that you don’t know the extent of either parties previous behaviors) If you believe both to be equally dangerous, please explain.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  101. Also, Apogee, the fact that Horn has not racked up scores of killings or other crimes in his life is one of the reasons I agree with Bridget that this is not “murder” but a much lesser form of homicide. We do that often in the law. We allow a much reduced sentence for those who are understandably so momentarily enraged (like they’ve just caught their spouse in an act of adultery) that we understand, but do not forgive, their rash actions, by calling it manslaughter instead of murder. Had the 2 dead criminals killed Horn instead of the other way around, I’d certainly be arguing in favor of the death penalty for them.

    PatHMV (653160)

  102. I guess I could just ask: Do you believe Joe Horn or the burglars to be more dangerous to the functioning of society? (Given that you don’t know the extent of either parties previous behaviors) If you believe both to be equally dangerous, please explain.

    That’s a ridiculous question. The fact that one bad person stopped two more bad people from doing bad things does not make the first person’s actions acceptable.

    More importantly, Joe Horn had no reason to know whether or not these guys were illegal immigrants with prior convictions and a string of violent crimes, or two dumb kids whose lives would be ended by his actions. I’ve never, EVER been a fan of hindsight logic, especially in the legal field, and I will not use it now. Your question requires me to do so.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  103. JD… no problem. I’m a bit pissed at all the people calling me a liberal, so we’re even, I guess. You had chimed, by the way, at the time I posted my blood-thirsty comment, so it wasn’t aimed at you. Indeed, it wasn’t aimed at everybody who thinks that Horn was appropriately not prosecuted. But it was aimed at those who appeared to me to be relishing these deaths.

    PatHMV (653160)

  104. you had NOT chimed in, is what I meant to say…

    PatHMV (653160)

  105. PatHMV-
    An armed society is a polite society.
    In the face of criminal action society has a continuum of response, the extremes being:
    1) The current modus of arrest, trial, appeal, appeal release and recidivism. (Hence repeat offenses and downward spiral of quality of life.)
    2) Each protecting his own with deadly force.
    If we rely on either extreme we suffer.
    In case 1) Is the situation we have in large gun controlled cities where criminals essentially roam free (With occasional forays into prison) and drain soceitys’ resources and decent citizens are cowaring in their own homes. Inexcusable no? That the criminal portion of society controls
    decent society. Of course.
    In case 2) We have people being gunned down for the barest of offenses. Also inexcusable.
    So our gray area is where we need to exist. Criminals MUST know, in their heart of Hearts that their is a REAL risk of injury when breaking the law. Each law-abiding citizen must know in his Heart of Hearts that the Law will weigh their actions in defense of rightfully held property.
    In this review all benefit of the doubt will morally and rightfully be held to the law abiding citizen.
    Well, that’s what happened in Texas. I think it’s a pretty darn good compromise to both extremes. I am sure you don’t. That’s fine. If you’re more comfortable to hide in the dark and let criminals have their way with your property, so be it. But, if I were you, I’d keep the viewpoint to myself and hope that your local thugs think you hold Joe Horn as a hero.

    paul from fl (4dd8c4)

  106. Pat #99 – Thanks for the response.

    Faulting Horn for his actions in no way absolves the dead men of their responsibility, but their death has made discussion of their fault rather moot.

    and

    I don’t think we should go looking for trouble or initiate a violent encounter over somebody else’s property when we have no real way of knowing all the facts before we start shooting.

    is where I believe we differ. The fact that the criminals are dead does not render their part in the action moot. Rather, to me their deaths are unimportant in assigning accountability. What is moot is their possible punishment.

    As for Joe Horn “looking for trouble”, again, I disagree. Had Horn been “patrolling” a poor neighborhood looking for “neer-do-wells”, the argument of vigilantism would be much stronger. You and I obviously differ in respect to what is invasive by criminals. I firmly believe that if citizens are to effectively have a 2nd amendment with “teeth”, then accountability must be addressed w/r/t criminal behavior and the citizens ability to thwart such activity. I’m not asking for Joe Horn to be able to shoot anyone he pleases, but the requirement that he ignore criminal behavior because it might be “dangerous”, IMO, effectively removes any and all “teeth” from the 2nd amendment.

    As for not having all the facts regarding a possible violent encounter – I would argue that it is impossible to have all the facts, and that is why accountability is important. People must understand that they will be held responsible for any actions that they take, and that applies to all parties.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  107. Bridget #102 – I’ve never, EVER been a fan of hindsight logic, especially in the legal field, and I will not use it now. Your question requires me to do so.
    My question requires you to give an opinion on whether neither, both, or either actor poses a greater threat to society through recidivism, knowing what you do about the facts of the case now, not what Joe Horn or the criminals could have known or not known. It does not ask you to predict the future.

    If you cannot make any judgment whatsoever regarding the merits or faults of an occurrence, and relate them to possible future behavior, how can you possibly have an opinion on this? Sorry, not to be too harsh, but I sense an Unbearable Lightness to your refusal which would contradict having an opinion.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  108. PatHMV,

    Like you, I don’t know what was in Joe Horn’s or the burglars’ hearts but I care more about what people do than how they feel. People who are willing to break into a residence in the middle of the day, take property, and run when someone tries to apprehend them are dangerous. Some are more dangerous than others but a willingness to break into someone’s home crosses a big line with me.

    I think the point you and Bridget have focused on is that life is and always should be more valuable than property. I agree in theory but that’s not always easy to implement in the real world. Does a home invader threaten only property or is he also a threat to life? The point is “What rules do the best job protecting the most lives?” To me, discouraging serious criminal activity (including property crimes) saves lives in the long run, especially innocent lives.

    If it helps, I think this was a good outcome for a more important reason than Horn was not indicted. Joe Horn was the subject of a 6+ month criminal investigation for which he had to retain counsel that undoubtedly cost him a lot of money. Horn, his family, his home and his neighborhood were subjected to protests and months of public scrutiny. According to his attorney, Horn’s health has deteriorated from the stress and he says he wishes he had never gone outside his house that day.

    So take heart because the lesson most people will learn from this case is the message you are preaching: ‘Stay inside and don’t get involved.’

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  109. DRJ… the thing is, these people were not invading an occupied home. As I recall (and my memory is not firm on this, so I am ready to be corrected), Horn said on the 911 tape that he knew the neighbors were not home. The home invasion itself was over by the time Horn acted. If he were concerned that people were in the house who might have been harmed, then he should have gone to help them right away, not when the burglars were leaving the house. After they’ve left the house and their arms are loaded with loot rather than firearms, they don’t appear to me to be an immediate threat to anybody else, particularly knowing, as Horn knew, that the police were just about to arrive.

    As for the question of what rules are best for protecting the most lives, I’ve yet to see anybody acknowledge in this thread the real risk of misjudgements being made by those acting in the excitement of witnessing what they think is a crime. My dad’s exercised “self-help” repossesion of property from people renting a house we owned to collect back rent. Horn probably would have shot him, because it would have looked to the world like he was burgling the place (not saying my dad was terribly wise in doing so, but he ought not be risking death from a neighbor who doesn’t actually know what may be going on).

    And while I am glad that the rigamarole and investigation Horn has had to endure will be some deterrent, I think “don’t get involved” is entirely too dismissive summary of my “preaching.” I support getting involved. Call the police. Take photos from the window. Get the license plate numbers. Call your neighbor on his cell phone to tell him what’s happening. I’m big on getting involved. I’m just not big on leaving a safe house and endangering your own and other people’s lives in order to shoot (or initiate a citizen’s arrest).

    Me, my number one priority is staying alive and not dying at the hands of criminals. I care about that far more than I do about some TV set or a radio. If staying alive means shooting somebody through the door as they’re trying to break in, I will. If that means shooting them in the back when they get distracted for a moment while in my house, I will. But that same instinct for survival tells me to stay in the place of safety. If I’m a coward because I won’t risk my life to save somebody else’s TV set, well, so be it.

    PatHMV (653160)

  110. Bridget,

    Every report I’ve read indicates the detective arrived at the scene shortly before the shootings. When he arrived, the detective (described in some reports as undercover and in others as off-duty, so he wasn’t in uniform) took a few moments to assess the situation and to get further information from a dispatcher, e.g., the response time for marked police units.

    Before any marked units arrived, the burglars and Horn exited the homes and the detective saw that Horn had a shotgun. The detective thought Horn might believe he was the getaway driver so he decided not to get out of his vehicle or intervene. The shootings happened shortly after the burglars and Horn exited the homes – in seconds, according to the reports I read.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  111. Apogee… of what point or benefit is judging the matter in hindsight, even if you cast it in hypothetical future terms? Joe Horn did not know whether these men had burgled before, he did not know if they were illegal aliens or not, he did not know anything about them other than seeing them climbing in and out of the window of the house next door. Those were the facts, the only facts, which he had available to him that day, and it is based on those facts by which me must evaluate his actions and determine if they were reasonable. His behavior would be neither more nor less morally wrong if the burglars were first time offenders or even if they were innocent people who had been given the permission of the property owner to do what they did. At the time of the action, we had no way of knowing the relative risks of recidivism. Moreover, the risk of recidivism depends in part on the reaction to those events themselves. If celebrated as a hero, Horn might be more likely to repeat his actions in the future, as would others like him. Contrarily, the fact that the 2 criminals are dead will certainly have some deterrent effect on future criminals, at least as far as those particular criminals and that neighborhood are concerned. We can’t predict the full reaction in either direction, so answering your question really wouldn’t help evaluate these circumstances and craft rules for future cases.

    PatHMV (653160)

  112. PatHMV, your comment seems to be discussing the question of whether others will emulate Horn.

    If Texas does not want that, it will amend its deadly force statutes. Otherwise, it won’t. The question of whether or not others will use deadly force in protection of property depends upon the applicable law – not media coverage of the Horn case.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  113. DRJ… wise move on the unmarked detective’s part, and that illustrates the danger posed by Horn to innocent people. What if some innocent Hispanic neighbor happened to be parked nearby, and panicked when he saw Horn with the gun and started speeding away? Would Horn have shot him, too? Plus, the fact that mere seconds elapsed before the shooting (which jibes with what I recall from the 911 tape) suggests strongly to me that once Horn walked out his door, those men were as good as dead, whether they froze or not. Was the man really turning to run toward Horn, or was he turning just to look to see who had said that? Horn didn’t wait to find out… and because he had left the safety of his own home, it would indeed have been too dangerous for him to wait to find out.

    PatHMV (653160)

  114. PatHMV,

    Everything you say is a powerful argument for making laws that prohibit the use of deadly force to protect property and that argument is convincing.

    Nonetheless, in Texas, we’ve decided that it is not the best rule to have if you want to limit the dangers crime poses to society. Obviously, we may be wrong but that’s the rule we think works best. You can keep arguing why you think it’s not a good rule but until you make an effort to see the other side of this issue, I think we’re done.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  115. SPQR… so you’re saying that people are influenced ONLY by the law and penalties imposed by law? They’re not influenced by the opinions of their neighbors? They’re not deterred by social approbation? Nobody will look at the coverage and think to themselves: “man, he didn’t get charged, but his life went to hell for 6 months and lots of people condemned him; I sure never want to go through something like that.”? We’re social creatures; we are heavily influenced by such things. The law is far from the only deterrent. Isn’t the argument of many in this thread that coverage of the fact that these 2 burglars were killed will deter other burglars?

    PatHMV (653160)

  116. Pat #109 – these people were not invading an occupied home. Apparently not this time they weren’t, but as I stated in #57, what if this were a part of a crime spree, and others had been and possibly would be harmed? I side with DRJ in that invading a home is crossing a big line. They can’t be sure someone isn’t there.

    As for your Father: would he have charged a shotgun wielding man who had yelled for him to freeze? You and I are probably similarly cowardly in that I would freeze right there. Again, I’ve repeatedly stated that Horn was taking a risk in apprehending these criminals, and that anyone doing so must be held accountable for that action. Shoot an innocent property owner repossessing goods – go to prison.

    Nowhere have I stated that the responsibility of apprehending criminals in the act resolves the citizen of any blame for their actions. What I’ve asserted is that the citizenry should not be penalized for apprehending criminals caught in the act. The idea that Horn had “no business” in the apprehension of actors in a criminal burglary of a property next door is to me ridiculous. It ignores the inherent risks criminals take in plying their illegal behavior and attempts to put the responsibility for avoidance strictly on the law-abiding citizen. It’s dangerous business, and everyone needs to know it.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  117. PatHMV, for the most part, no, the law [b]is[/b] the social approval of actions.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  118. PatHMV, I asked the question up in #66, regarding the criminals running toward Joe Horn. Other than to subdue him, why else would criminals run toward a witness holding a gun? And if they were just turning to see him, would they have not kept running toward the street and only turned their heads? If you were with a gun and in the frame of mind that we might assume Joe Horn to be in – would you assume anything oher than it was either you or them?

    IMO, the article seem to lack necessary specifics. And much of it would seem to be making a judgement call on intent – of the criminal (whose intent was already evidenced in the burglary)when turning toward Horn, and Horn when they saw him with the gun.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  119. DRJ, I’m confused. You say the argument I make is convincing, but then you say the alternative rule is the rule which you Texans think works best. I agree and always have that Texas is free to have this law. I have explained that this particular Texas law makes me less inclined to visit Texas as a tourist or a perspective resident. Which is fine, Texas may not want me. I don’t particularly believe in lobbying the legislature for a change like this; I’d much rather convince the citizens themselves to see it my way, not just round up enough votes from politicians.

    I do see the other side. I don’t deny that this rule will have a deterrent effect on potential burglars; it will. But I haven’t seen many people in this thread acknowledge the risk to innocent people posed by this rule, so I would have to say that it’s the folks arguing against me who aren’t making an effort to see my side.

    PatHMV (653160)

  120. Dana, I agree the article lacks necessary specifics. As I understand it, they were shot in the back, while in the act of turning towards Horn. That’s a far different thing than them running towards Horn. As for somebody hollering “freeze,” I don’t know what a normal average criminal would do, as I’m not one. If somebody hollered “Freeze” and nothing more at me, I’d probably start to turn around and see who said it and whether they were talking to me. Once I saw the shotgun, certainly I would freeze.

    But my larger point is that the killing was inevitable the moment Horn chose to leave the safety of his own house, which was NOT in danger at that moment, as the criminals were walking away from it. ANY twitch they made at that point, somebody in his state would interpret as “me or them” and lead to the shooting.

    PatHMV (653160)

  121. I just saw your #113, PatHMV. I can play the “What if?” game, too.

    What if there had been someone in the house after all? What if there had been an innocent person that the burglars mugged and killed as they left? What if the burglar was running toward Horn to attack him and he only turned away at the last moment when he realized Horn was going to shoot?

    Further, I agree we should commend the detective for his good judgment. He undoubtedly told his story to the prosecutors and testified before the grand jury. If the detective thought what happened was illegal, he would have arrested Horn and/or he would have testified that what Horn did was illegal. I’m sure that would have carried great weight with the prosecutor and the grand jury but it doesn’t look like that happened.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  122. Before any marked units arrived, the burglars and Horn exited the homes and the detective saw that Horn had a shotgun. The detective thought Horn might believe he was the getaway driver so he decided not to get out of his vehicle or intervene. The shootings happened shortly after the burglars and Horn exited the homes – in seconds, according to the reports I read.

    DRJ,

    Did you just make the best possible argument against Horn’s actions?

    The people who support what he did cite the long police response time, inability of law enforcement to act, etc. as a justification for self-help remedies. In actuality, according to what you just posted, the police were willing and able to act, but could not do so because of Mr. Horn’s actions. Yes, Texas law has made that law and balanced those harms, but that does little to support the underlying justification for such laws.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  123. My question requires you to give an opinion on whether neither, both, or either actor poses a greater threat to society through recidivism, knowing what you do about the facts of the case now, not what Joe Horn or the criminals could have known or not known. It does not ask you to predict the future.

    If you cannot make any judgment whatsoever regarding the merits or faults of an occurrence, and relate them to possible future behavior, how can you possibly have an opinion on this? Sorry, not to be too harsh, but I sense an Unbearable Lightness to your refusal which would contradict having an opinion.

    Apogee, that was harsh. Re-write and re-ask if you want an answer.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  124. Pat HMV #120,

    The linked report said the detective described one of the burglars as moving toward Horn.

    In addition, the autopsy reports (you can view them via a link at the Chronicle article) indicate both burglars were shot in the back. However, the Torres’ autopsy states he was shot in the left back entering 7-10″ from the midline and exiting 1-3″ from the midline. The Ramos-Compean expert testimony stated that, when a person is shot while running, it’s difficult to differentiate between a side/angled shot and a back shot. This sounds like a similar situation to me.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  125. Bridget,

    The detective arrived moments before everything happened at a time when the dispatcher was telling Horn that units were not there yet.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  126. Dumb question: how were they running (and a credible threat) if they had their arms full of crap? If they didn’t have their arms full of stuff, why shoot to ensure that your neighbour gets it back?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  127. DRJ,

    That’s utterly irrelevant to the fact that they were impeded by Horn’s actions.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  128. PatHMV #120- the killing was inevitable the moment Horn chose to leave the safety of his own house

    Again, the responsibility seems to be all Horn’s. One pathway away from this “inevitability” would have been for the criminals to surrender. How they get a pass on the responsibility for taking action to attack or escape is what I’m trying to examine in this thread. It’s as though the criminals, once caught, have no responsibility to comply with an order from a citizen armed with a shotgun. I disagree.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  129. Bridget, I think that the inherent justification of such laws is a society’s decision on how dangerous it intends the life of a burglar / thief to be. As human history goes, Texas is far from the extreme.

    I would not do as Horn did, nor would I advise others to do so ( I do on occasion teach self-defense law to CCW classes taught by a friend of mine ). That does not mean I have any sympathy for the burglars. I do not. They made their choices known to us when they decided to leave a parasitic criminal life.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  130. I googled “Joe Horn 911 transcript” and found this excerpt. If it is incomplete, please add or correct.

    Horn: He’s coming out the window right now, I gotta go, buddy. I’m sorry, but he’s coming out the window.
    Dispatcher: Don’t, don’t — don’t go out the door. Mr. Horn? Mr. Horn?
    Horn: They just stole something. I’m going after them, I’m sorry.
    Dispatcher: Don’t go outside.
    Horn: I ain’t letting them get away with this s–t. They stole something. They got a bag of something.
    Dispatcher: Don’t go outside the house.
    Horn: I’m doing this.
    Dispatcher: Mr. Horn, do not go outside the house.
    Horn: I’m sorry. This ain’t right, buddy.
    Dispatcher: You’re going to get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun, I don’t care what you think.
    Horn: You want to make a bet?
    Dispatcher: OK? Stay in the house.
    Horn: They’re getting away!
    Dispatcher: That’s all right. Property’s not worth killing someone over, OK?
    Horn: [curses]
    Dispatcher: Don’t go out the house. Don’t be shooting nobody. I know you’re pissed and you’re frustrated, but don’t do it.
    Horn: They got a bag of loot.
    Dispatcher: OK. How big is the bag … which way are they going?
    Horn: I’m going outside. I’ll find out.
    Dispatcher: I don’t want you going outside, Mr. Horn.
    Horn: Well, here it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking and I’m going.
    Dispatcher: Don’t go outside.
    Horn: [yelling] Move, you’re dead!

    [Sound of shots being fired]

    Bold is mine.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  131. Also, Apogee, the fact that Horn has not racked up scores of killings or other crimes in his life is one of the reasons I agree with Bridget that this is not “murder” but a much lesser form of homicide. We do that often in the law. We allow a much reduced sentence for those who are understandably so momentarily enraged (like they’ve just caught their spouse in an act of adultery) that we understand, but do not forgive, their rash actions, by calling it manslaughter instead of murder.

    Did you READ the statute in post 46?

    Has it yet to dawn on you that what the man did in no way was against the law?

    We now have a Grand Jury opinion to verify that.

    What more is it going to take?

    TomB (ce6566)

  132. SPQR,

    Yes, they are lowlife and scum. Nevertheless, they are still human – a point which a lot of people here seem to miss.

    Would you say the same of drug users? drug dealers? people who drive having had three glasses of wine with a 0.07 BAC?

    I find it fascinating that I’ve been accused of adhering to the letter of the law (upthread) and not thinking about what it means, and, a few hours later, being told that the law is a great thing that I ought to worship. Which will it be?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  133. PatHMV #119,

    Laws are typically the product of valid competing interests. In Texas, the legislators decided the best way to protect the most citizens was to empower people to use deadly force to protect themselves from serious crime, including some property crimes.

    In parts of the country where there is a high density of people, especially urban citizens who aren’t as familiar with guns, the citizens might prefer laws that don’t authorize the use of deadly force except threats to the person. IMO your arguments are more convincing in those areas (so I guess it’s not surprising the Chicago Tribune wants to abolish the Second Amendment), but that doesn’t make it the best rule for everyone. You don’t seem willing to see that.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  134. And Texas is certainly free to pass what laws it pleases. This one, and the attitude displayed by many here (not all Texans, of course) makes me less inclined to want to travel to or live in Texas, because they seem rather trigger-happy. I do seriously worry that innocent people might easily get shot by a well-intentioned bystander who is far too quick to jump to conclusions about what is going on. Worse, I imagine living there and having a loved one break into my house at my instruction for some reason or other, only to be shot by the next Mr. Horn.

    And since concealed carry has been law in Texas (and many other states) for many years, there should be oooodles of instaces of these things happening you can tell us about, no?

    TomB (ce6566)

  135. Bridget #123- Sorry. I’ll try to be less harsh. It seems to me that you wish to condemn Horn’s actions due to the possibility that he or others like him might repeat this behavior.

    Your #98 Personally, I’m more scared of imposing a requirement that we freeze, on pain of our lives, from gun-toting neighbours who leave the house with the intent to shoot us.

    along with –

    I will never really believe that it’s acceptable to shoot someone who poses no threat to you (nor has harmed your family)

    When I posed my question as to the relative dangers of each actor to society, your answer seemed to suggest that you would not give an opinion on the subject because “I’ve never, EVER been a fan of hindsight logic, especially in the legal field, and I will not use it now. Your question requires me to do so.”

    Am I mistaken, or is this contradictory?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  136. Bridget #127,

    No, it’s not. The Texas statute permits the use of deadly force in situations where the person reasonably believes the perpetrators are going to escape. The dispatcher told Horn the police were not there yet, so Horn reasonably believed the burglars would escape with the property.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  137. Bridget, as for too deferential to the law or not enough, I’ve no opinion on that.

    As for human, my sympathy cuts short for those who voluntarily cut themselves from lawabiding society.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  138. Bridget,

    I agree it’s always good to look at the facts and I want to reassure you that we did read the transcript as noted in earlier Patterico posts.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  139. Bridget #126,

    The initial Houston Chronicle report said “the men crawled back out the window carrying a bag.”

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  140. DRJ,

    Yes, Horn reasonably believed that. Yes, Texas law permits his actions in the circumstances. But, as laws are not perfect, I think it’s somewhat reasonable to mention the problems with them.

    I’ve cited the transcript above. The full audio is here.

    Please listen to 6:20 ownwards. At 6:50, Horn said, “Move, you’re dead.” There were two shots fired (6:52 and 6:54), then a pause, then another shot at 7:00.

    If the facts were different, I would agree that the Texas law would apply. Facts of this case being what they are, though, it’s pretty clear that this guy acted like someone with zero regard for human life. As PatHMV said, those men were as good as dead once he clicked his shotgun.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  141. Edit: “Horn reasonably believed that there were no police officers around.”

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  142. Today’s linked article states “They had taken about $2,000 in the burglary.” That could easily fit into one bag and therefore they would not be prevented from running.

    “As for human, my sympathy cuts short for those who voluntarily cut themselves from lawabiding society.”

    As does Texas law. I think its a mistake and offensive to think that those who support what Joe Horn did do so with a cavalier attitude. There seems to be an insinuation that those who believe Horn was justified in what he did, morally and legally, do not understand the brevity of life or regard its value as much as those who opposed what he did.

    The criminals were given opportunity, from beginning to end, to assume responsibility for their actions and to STOP their behavior. They chose not to and instead entered gambled big, knowing the possible outcome of committing said crime (and they themselves did have hindsight). It was a risk they freely took. The citizens of Texas should be able to prevent a potential heinous outcome in their own lives because of a criminals willingness to enter into said gamble. Why should they be left off the hook of responsibility while dragging into danger those who assume responsibility for their lives?

    Dana (a61bbb)

  143. PatHMV and Bridget,

    You both object to the use of deadly force to protect property, and I understand that position. It makes sense from a moral and safety standpoint but I’m not convinced it’s the best answer in the long run.

    When only the police can act against property crimes, it’s easier for people to commit those crimes. Conversely, when citizens and the system make it harder or more dangerous to commit crimes, it makes sense that some criminals will look for legal sources of income or simply go elsewhere to commit their crimes.

    Prevention, deterrence, and citizen compliance and involvement. We depend on these elements in America because there’s no way the police can do it all alone.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  144. “or simply go elsewhere to commit their crimes”… yep, right to So. California. Thanks Texas!

    Dana (a61bbb)

  145. Bridget #140,

    We’ve had lengthy prior discussions of this case and the transcript so I’m familiar with it.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  146. Bridget #140 – it’s pretty clear that this guy acted like someone with zero regard for human life.

    I respectfully disagree. This isn’t clear at all, given that the audio tape gives us no indication as to the positions of the actors in the confrontation. The average male can cover 15 yards in two seconds. With respect to the testimony of the plainclothes officer that the subjects charged Horn, that distance and the corresponding reaction are quite a bit in question.

    If, as you’ve stated, Horn is “someone with zero regard for human life”, one would expect there to have been a host of problems with his actions during his 60 years on earth. I have not heard of any. Have you?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  147. DRJ,

    I’m not trying to be snarky, but you misstated the contents of that transcript (in a pretty significant way, IMHO) in #35, which was then repeated almost a dozen other times throughout this thread.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  148. When only the police can act against property crimes, it’s easier for people to commit those crimes.

    Neither PatHMV nor I is arguing that.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  149. Apogee at 146,

    You could at least not misstate me when you’re quoted me in the same comment.

    “Acting like” and “having, consistently, all the time” are two very different things.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  150. Bridget,

    My comment #35 is a quote from the most recent Houston Chronicle article that summarizes the statements from the detective who was at the scene. If your mental picture of the events – based on hearing the audio and/or reading the transcript – is at odds with that, please direct your concerns to the detective and/or the reporter.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  151. DRJ,

    I thought you had more intellectual honesty than that.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  152. Bridget,

    You have made me very angry and I’m taking a time-out.

    DRJ (2ccf5c)

  153. No need. Good-bye.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  154. Bridget #151 – as to your unkind attack on DRJ – methinks thou doth protest too much. (yes, I know its not the exact quote)

    Apogee (366e8b)

  155. Bridget #140

    it’s pretty clear that this guy acted like someone with zero regard for human life.

    Except for that whole calling 9-11 and staying on the line with them begging for help thing….

    If he had “zero regard for human life”, why the hell did he call 9-11 int he first place. Anyone with that kind of disregard would have spotted the criminals, grabbed his gun, and started shooting.

    TomB (ce6566)

  156. DRJ,

    I thought you had more intellectual honesty than that.

    Comment by bridget — 7/1/2008 @ 4:59 pm

    That sucks, Bridget. Not weighing the same facts the same way and not agreeing with your conclusions does not make someone intellectually dishonest. You owe DRJ an apology.

    nk (11c9c1)

  157. #155 TomB – Good point.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  158. Thou shalt not kill….and thou shalt not steal. If thou steal, thou shalt be killed.
    I have no sympathy for people who refuse to take responsibilty for themselves and stop looking for the easy way out and free lunches. Reaping where they did not sow. I have no sympathies for thieves and burglars who prefer to wreak terror and havoc on others. I also hate cockroaches.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  159. In light of “that was harsh“… pot meet kettle.

    I said it up in #86, I’ll say it again – “Humility seems a lost art form…”

    Aside from that, thanks DRJ, PatHMV, Apogee for so much thoughtful discussion on the Joe Horn matter. I appreciate your deliberation and reasoning, no matter which side one takes.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  160. There are a multitude of laws but there is only one The Law. The Law, which could have sent Joe Horn to death row, determined that It will not. That’s it.

    nk (11c9c1)

  161. #151
    Bridget that was an unfair statement. DRJ does not deserve that. I dont care what anyone says about me on this blog (and they have said a lot of mean things), you can say all you want about Love2008, but dont touch my DRJ! She is off limits. if anyone hurts her i am gonna hurt somebody….

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  162. Dana – You’re welcome. Thoughtful discussion ala DRJ and yourself is why I’m here. Otherwise it’s just endlessly riding the subway and screaming to yourself.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  163. Apogee, it is just lovely to be included in the reasons you are here.

    For me, its a beautiful thing to be at the age where I no longer feel the need to prove myself to anyone, and clearly understand that being right is not as important as undersanding what I believe and why I believe it and respecting others who think differently. What a freedom to explore, consider, and be so willing to learn.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  164. Freedom. Exactly.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  165. Kinda scary. What if they were deaf or didn’t understand English and that’s why they didn’t freeze…

    TLove (4a03a6)

  166. TLove #165 – Interesting hypothetical, but again as Dana and I have pointed out, the responsibility for stopping an illegal act when caught by an armed citizen should reside with the perpetrator of the crime. At that point, the ball is in their court.

    If they weren’t committing an illegal act? Then Joe Horn should have a problem.

    I offer you a different hypothetical – you are in a foreign country, you are committing a criminal act, and someone shouts something to you that you don’t understand. You turn and see a gun pointed your way. Your reaction?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  167. Wouldn’t know unless I was in the moment. I’d rather have someone steal things from me than have a neighbor shooting into my yard. It’s not like they were attacking someone.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  168. I suppose I might run away and get shot in the back.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  169. Late to the party, but…

    IIRC, Joe Horn’s neighbors asked Joe to keep an eye on their property as they had been the victims of burglary prior to this incident. And the police had investigated the earlier theft but no arrests had been made.

    With this backstory, it is understandable that Joe Horn would be concerned that the same thing would happen in this instance while waiting for police to arrive.

    As to the plainclothes/off duty officer, he also might have been concerned about being misidentified by responding uniformed officers (not only Joe Horn). It is normal police procedure to wait for backup before confronting possibly armed suspects.

    navyvet (4c272e)

  170. It’s not like they were attacking someone.

    Running at an armed man, when he has said “freeze”, while in the act of committing a felony? And how is the man who sees a felon running at him after having warned him to stop supposed to react?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  171. I offer you a different hypothetical – you are in a foreign country, you are committing a criminal act, and someone shouts something to you that you don’t understand. You turn and see a gun pointed your way. Your reaction?
    Especially if this hypothetical foreign country happens to be Iraq or any middle eastern country where Americans and westerners are hated. Your reaction?

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  172. But heplaced himself in that situation. He confronted them. Plus, it says he was running at an angle. That’s how he got shot in the back. He had the gun. If he felt he was truly under attack he would have shot the guy in the face or chest, not his back.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  173. bridget,

    I have never known DRJ to be intellectually dishonest. I am fully familiar with the facts of the case and I don’t see how DRJ has misstated anything.

    However, you are also a level-headed commenter and you obviously perceived some discrepancy.

    I’d ask you to 1) review the materials and see if there is necessarily a discrepancy, and if you think there is, then 2) you’re of course welcome to point out what it is.

    However, I’d ask you to be charitable to DRJ and not assume any dishonesty on her part. She has shown over time that she is scrupulously honest.

    That’s not to say she’s never wrong, as I know she would admit. Just never intentionally so.

    Patterico (40765a)

  174. TLove #167,168 – Is there a possibility that you might surrender, since, after all, you are in the commission of a crime? Or is that possibility simply not an option?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  175. In his actions toward his neighbor and community, Joe Horn showed respect for human life. By now we’ve missed the early bird special, but I’ll chime in anyway.

    That’s utterly irrelevant to the fact that they were impeded by Horn’s actions.

    The detective and police know the law, so being impeded or otherwise aware of Horn’s movement is part of the debate. On the contrary, maybe Horn saved lives.

    Facts of this case being what they are, though, it’s pretty clear that this guy acted like someone with zero regard for human life. As PatHMV said, those men were as good as dead once he clicked his shotgun.

    They were not good as dead; they were told to freeze. Exiting the window with a bag of goods is also cause for concern, with hands free to shoot.

    Maybe Joe Horn saved lives.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  176. Especially if this hypothetical foreign country happens to be Iraq or any middle eastern country where Americans and westerners are hated.

    The “illegal war” meme, all over again.

    Sad, really. I had such high hopes for you.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  177. TLove #172 – But he placed himself in that situation. He confronted them.

    You seem to view the burglary of a house as a non-confrontational pastime.

    Again, for those late to the discussion, why is Joe Horn the only one responsible for the situation?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  178. Hell no I wouldn’t surrender to some person off the street. He isn’t an officer. This guy could be a someone trying mug or rob me.

    Even if we accept the idea that he felt he was under threat of serious bodily injury, what about the second man he also shot in the back?

    TLove (4a03a6)

  179. DRJ in no way, shape or form misstated the contents of that transcript, let alone in a pretty significant way in her comment #35.

    She is not the intellectually dishonest one here.

    Shad (570754)

  180. -a

    TLove (4a03a6)

  181. I think Joe Horn may have gone way above himself with this. He really put his life at risk. What if these men were members of a drug mafia or some gang? what if they had other members hiding somewhere with automatic weapons? What if these were hardened savages who kill for a living? Would he have acted as he did knowing this?

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  182. The law is clear.

    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.

    Any questions?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  183. love2008, what if they were ninjas?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  184. #176
    “Hope” Drumwaster? I thought such words are taboos on these threads. :) But thanks for playing.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  185. TLove #178 – This guy could be a someone trying mug or rob me.

    Hate to break it to you, but since you have a shotgun pointed at you, the trying part is significantly in the past. There have been approximately zero people who have outrun bullets or buckshot in recorded history.

    I find it interesting to see the repeated efforts by so many to imagine the plight of the perpetrators, to the point where there is a universally acknowledged resistance to any necessity on the perp’s part to comply with someone holding a weapon on them, even though it is acknowledged that they were caught in the commission of a crime.

    What is odd is the simultaneous condemnation of Joe Horn for protecting his neighbor’s property.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  186. § 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE’S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person
    in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is
    justified in using force against another when and to the degree the
    actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to
    prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful
    interference with the property.
    (b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible,
    movable property by another is justified in using force against the
    other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force
    is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the
    property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit
    after the dispossession and:
    (1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no
    claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or
    (2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using
    force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

    This wasn’t his own property.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  187. “Maybe Joe Horn saved lives.”

    Vermont Neighbor, this occurred to me in reading your statement – considering the burglars already had cocaine related convictions, been deported yet repeatedly disregarded the law, they very may well have at a future point in time during the course of committing another crime, taken a citizen’s life.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  188. #183
    SPQR, I did consider that possibility. 😉

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  189. I just don’t like the thought of someone shooting at my property unless there is an imminent threat of serious bodily injury. I’d rather have my stuff stolen.

    Had the perpetrators been n the act of breaking and entering and Horn wasn’t sure if anyone was home that could be hurt, then I’d be more apt to reconsider.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  190. ack…apologies for such a poorly worded sentence.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  191. TLove – Why the search for technicalities to convict Horn, and the simultaneous whitewash of responsibility of the thieves?

    I may be wrong, but I believe that when the neighbor asked Horn to look after the property, it was therefore legally equal to his own in regards to possession.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  192. This wasn’t his own property.

    Keep reading. Section 9.42 (the very next paragraph) says that people are entitled to use deadly force if they would qualify under that section. Roy was on his own property, even though outside.

    You also forget that he was preventing the escape of someone fleeing with property that was under his protection. (Remember, he had been asked by the neighbors – who had been robbed in the past – to protect their home. That puts the neighbor’s property under his direct and specific jurisdiction.)

    Keep trying.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  193. #187, if child molestors who have such a high recidivism rate can’t be given the death penalty, I don’t see how we can justify it in these drug related incidents.

    The fact is, he didn’t have all that info when he shot them. They could have been stupid teenagers.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  194. Dana #187 – But you must understand that hypothetical situations can only exist with regards to the accidental killing of innocents by law abiding gun owners.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  195. No, the requirements of both sections must be met – hence the “and.”

    TLove (4a03a6)

  196. TLove #186,

    This wasn’t his own property.

    That’s right. And his airplane was not being hijacked either.

    Why not go hunting where the ducks are.

    nk (11c9c1)

  197. You too, I think, Drumwaster.

    nk (11c9c1)

  198. They could have been stupid teenagers

    the point where they break into someone’s home and leave w/ that person’s possession they become criminals. i have never known a teenager so stupid they didnt know that this was a crime.

    chas (12a229)

  199. They could have been stupid teenagers.

    If confronted with a shotgun-bearing man who tells you to “freeze”, don’t move! Even stupid teenagers who might have been trying to carry out a prank would know better. Felons confronted with a citizen will do whatever it takes to escape, since they have already been caught in the middle of a felony, and will end up in jail.

    The threat was there, Roy tried to end it without violence, and they didn’t follow directions. The law says he did the legal thing.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  200. TLove #193 – There is a marked difference between executing someone who is already incarcerated and interceding to halt the commission of a crime.

    They could have been stupid teenagers.

    They could have been anything, but their actions were illegal, and to put them into a category that is granted immunity from interference in those illegal actions favors them over citizens like Horn who are simply at home and looking after his neighbor’s property.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  201. I am not saying that what they did was not wrong. I am saying that shooting someone is not a reasonable reaction to a theft.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  202. No, the requirements of both sections must be met – hence the “and.”

    Actually, there were three requirements. Roy met all three. It’s as simple as that.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  203. And I have never attempted to favor anyone over another. I have simply looked at the facts and questioned the extent of force used. That’s all.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  204. He was not in lawful possession of the land or tangible property.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  205. TLove and Drumwaster,

    The applicable Section is 9.43.

    nk (11c9c1)

  206. Well, I kept reading, and 9.43 applies. So I was wrong.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  207. I still don’t agree with it, but that is the law. I am glad I do not live in Texas.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  208. TLove #201 – I am saying that shooting someone is not a reasonable reaction to a theft.

    Then, for Horn, 60, against two thieves half his age, there can be no reasonable reaction. You have effectively relegated him to observer of crime. Note taker for the state for their later investigation. An investigation which, by the way, since property crime has skyrocketed due to the enforcement of laws against citizen interference, will most likely be relegated to the circular file.

    Again, I find it interesting that the age-old situation of:
    criminal commits crime
    criminal caught during crime
    criminal surrenders and is incarcerated
    has been re-worked to allow the criminal the choice to observe surrender or not, all while bringing the hammer down on law abiding citizens who dare to challenge the ultimate authority of our criminal brethren.

    For the criminal to choose to ignore surrender, there must be a corresponding rule change on the use of force. But you would weight the entire occurrence in favor of the criminal element.

    This is a recurring theme, and I still do not understand it.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  209. TLove #207 – I am glad I do not live in Texas.

    Planning a burglary?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  210. No, but like I said, I’d rather have my stuff stolen than have someone shooting into my yard.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  211. Walp, that ends it. Well done, nk.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  212. I still don’t agree with it, but that is the law. I am glad I do not live in Texas.

    and we Texans are glad you dont live here also.

    chas (12a229)

  213. TLove #210 – Are you assuming that you are home when your neighbor is firing in your direction? I wouldn’t like that either, nor would any sane person. That, however, is a different argument.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  214. You would learn a lot about life if you were around and actually listened to those who have opinions that differed from yours.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  215. #213, what if I was another neighbor down the street with children? It is not so far fetched that this man could have missed. Even seasoned hunters sometimes shoot their friends in the face.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  216. Clarification:

    I meant exactly what I said in 151 – no snark was intended. I’ve heard many people speak quite highly of DRJ; I’m hardly surprised, based on the things I had heard about her, that Love2008 is ready to (try) to beat me up. My comment was not designed to denigrate her, but rather to point out that she’s usually a thoughtful, reasonable person.

    To the extent that DRJ misinterpreted that, my apologies.

    I do, however, expect an apology from her (and others here) for her response in 150, and her 152 temper tantrum.

    Her first sentence was totally reasonable. It’s something we can work from to understand why we arrive at different places: we were starting from different sets of facts. Her second sentence, though, is unnecessary, counterproductive, and, yes, intellectually dishonest.

    I’m not to blame for the Houston Chronicle, nor for DRJ’s mistakes. I saw a factual dispute (among many others), ran around on google to find the most accurate source that I could, posted it, and, for my effort, was told to take it up with the Houston Chronicle.

    For those who are trying to follow, the relevant posts in the dispute are:
    35 (DRJ misstatement of the transcript, based on HC; mistake repeated numerous times throughout)
    130 (b – posts transcript)
    138 (DRJ stated that she’s familiar w/ transcript)
    140 (b – audio of 911, cites to critical points in it, says would agree with DRJ if facts different)
    145 (DRJ stated that she’s familiar w/ transcript)
    (note 138 & 140 were cross-posted, so 145 crossed-wires issue)
    147 (b – points out misstatement of 35 et al)
    150 (DRJ tells me to “take it up with the editors and/or writers of the Houston Chronicle.”)

    That’s not what I expected out of her.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  217. How else will burglars know that people dont like their stuff being pilfered if not for people like Joe Horn? Hey any way I can get big Joe to move into my neighborhood?

    h

    love2008 (1b037c)

  218. The police. I guess I just like cops and believe in them.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  219. If we’re talking about hypotheticals, what if you were alone in a house with your children and two men break in. Don’t you think that having a neighbor with a gun show up to protect you and everything you love, especially when calling 911 is not working?

    (The police are not there to protect you, TL. They are there to protect society.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  220. #216
    Hey Bridget, dont get me wrong. I am a lover not a fighter. 😉

    love2008 (1b037c)

  221. That is different. Like I said earlier, that is someone being in harm’s way. I said that my opinion would be different if they were home.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  222. I guess I just like cops and believe in them.

    Do you think that people have the right to defend themselves against the predators in our society? Or should they just lie down and wait to be victimized until the cops show up?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  223. I would rather have them leave with the stuff than have shots being fired on my street. The whole situation would be different if I believed that someone was under imminent threat of bodily injury. I would also reconsider my position if I really believed that he felt that he was under attack and in danger. I just question that since he shot them in the back.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  224. TLove #215 – This will get me flamed – But Cheney shot a lawyer in the face, even though he was his friend. What does that say about the billing? Just so you know, for many, that is not a great argument to bring up regarding inaccuracy in gunfire.

    Seriously, if you read my earlier statements, I state that Horn also has a responsibility for his actions. Misses, hits, it’s all covered. What I don’t agree with is what seems like a universal declaration that Horn’s actions were wrong. Again, from my #116 – The idea that Horn had “no business” in the apprehension of actors in a criminal burglary of a property next door is to me ridiculous. It ignores the inherent risks criminals take in plying their illegal behavior and attempts to put the responsibility for avoidance strictly on the law-abiding citizen. It’s dangerous business, and everyone needs to know it.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  225. I believe that people do have the right to defend themselves. But I also believe that the defense should be reasonable.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  226. But I also believe that the defense should be reasonable.

    A reasonable response would be to a reasonable act. But a felony is NOT a reasonable act.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  227. Putting my Cheney joke aside, people accidentally shoot themselves and miss targets all the time. I’ve been to the firing range a lot, and I’ve seen the disastrous aim people have. That scares me. I would have preferred this guy let the police handle it. I think it’s great that he tried to apprehend them and all, but I don’t think shooting them in their backs was necessary under the circumstances.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  228. I violent felony is different than a non-violent felony.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  229. I=A

    TLove (4a03a6)

  230. I violent felony is different than a non-violent felony.

    Breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony therein (burglary/robbery, I don’t know which word would be used in Texas courts) IS a violent act.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  231. 218 comments in, and nobody has yet explained why they think Horn wasn’t placing his life in grave risk by leaving his house to confront these vicious, better-dead “ex-human beings” criminals. Leaving aside all issues of law and morality, does nobody think it’s rather RISKY to do that? Maybe Horn has no dependents, nobody relying on him for their food and shelter, and could safely risk his life without regard.

    Gentlemen, go ask your wives what she would think if you went off to try to arrest possibly armed, violent burglars (you know, the kind so vicious they need to be killed on sight) in order to protect a neighbor’s TV set. Would they be happy with you if you risked the life of their husband and the father of their children (i.e., YOU) over a TV set?

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  232. Not if there is nobody home.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  233. and I’ve seen the disastrous aim people have.

    “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  234. Not if there is nobody home.

    How could the burglars know this before they broke in?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  235. Well, I suppose it could be. I just don’t think anyone was at risk of serious injury when he shot them. For some reason I can’t get past that.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  236. Would they be happy with you if you risked the life of their husband and the father of their children (i.e., YOU) over a TV set?

    My wife is a better shot than I am. (She used to date a judge, and got to train with the cops.) She’d be coming up behind him with the Taser in one hand and her pistol in the other.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  237. Has ANYBODY ever bothered to ask the property owners how they feel about this? Me, I would be absolutely devastated if Joe Horn had killed these two human beings in order to protect my TV set. I do not consent to any of my neighbors killing somebody over my property. It’s my property, I own it, do I not have that right?

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  238. 218 comments in, and nobody has yet explained why they think Horn wasn’t placing his life in grave risk by leaving his house

    235 posts in, and you have yet to explain why this is a bad thing. Taking a risk to stand on the right side of the law is an admirable act.

    h2u (4a7c7f)

  239. I just don’t think anyone was at risk of serious injury when he shot them.

    THEY were the ones at risk, the moment they charged him after being warned not to move by a man holding a weapon.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  240. Me, I would be absolutely devastated if Joe Horn had killed these two human beings in order to protect my TV set.

    Those neighbors had already been robbed once, and had asked Roy to watch their property. I think they would be happy.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  241. I feel like the risk of injury of him firing his gun at these guys and missing was not worth the stolen goods.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  242. Me, I would be absolutely devastated if Joe Horn had killed these two human beings in order to protect my TV set.

    I think you’re letting your emotions overpower your brain.

    h2u (4a7c7f)

  243. I do not consent to any of my neighbors killing somebody over my property. It’s my property, I own it, do I not have that right?

    You have that right. Feel free to post same in your front yard, so that your neighbors will know what your wishes are.

    Better update the homeowner’s policy while you’re at it.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  244. I’ve been to the firing range a lot, and I’ve seen the disastrous aim people have.

    i’m calling BS on that statement. i go to the bullettrap about 2 times a month and the only time i see a anyone w/ a “disastrous aim” is when they are being taught by someone there w/ them. very few people buy a gun and just let it sit. the majority of gun owners are proficient w/ their weapon. its not something someone buys on a whim and just lets it sit in a drawer.

    chas (12a229)

  245. 239, like I said, I just don’t feel that they were charging him. He shot them in the back. And, like I said, if after hearing his story I did believe that he felt he was in serious danger and it was some fluke that they both got shot in the back while charging him, then I’d reconsider. I don’t think I am being unreasonable.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  246. Well, Drumwaster, they might have known nobody was home because they cased the joint before robbing it. Not that such would excuse their conduct or anything like that. And, as I said earlier, if Horn had shot them to stop them on their way IN to the house, or gone over to the house thinking that somebody innocent might be in it and in need of protection, then I’d be singing his praises. But that’s not what he did. He waited until the ONLY thing at risk (before he stepped out his door) was property before he left to shoot them, waiting all of 2 seconds between saying something like “move and you’re dead” and pulling the trigger.

    And I hope you and your wife have no children who will be left as orphans if the bad guys manage to shoot y’all first. Shooting targets and shooting humans, I’m told, are two very different things.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  247. i sure hope i dont live close to Pat, i’d prefer a neighbor who wants to be involved and help out when bad things happen.

    chas (12a229)

  248. T Love,

    I feel like the risk of injury of him firing his gun at these guys and missing was not worth the stolen goods.

    That’s the beauty of a scattergun. It’s tough to miss. You could ask Harry Whittington.

    Pablo (99243e)

  249. “Freeze” means “stop moving”.

    They didn’t. Get over it. Feel happy for all of the future victims that will not be burgled now.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  250. if Horn had shot them to stop them on their way IN to the house…then I’d be singing his praises.

    you’d be bitching how he was blood thirsty red-neck and had no idea of what their intentions were and should have just called the cops, etc, etc

    chas (12a229)

  251. There is no need to call bullshit. I have no reason to bullshit. I admitted when I was wrong about something. I think that missing the human outline on the target is disastrous aim – as is missing the paper completely. I have seen that many many times.

    Plus, that is a paper target under ideal circumstances. In an excitable state, I don’t want someone firing off a gun in neighborhood over some property. I’d rather lose the property than risk the lives of innocent bystanders.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  252. And I hope you and your wife have no children who will be left as orphans if the bad guys manage to shoot y’all first.

    If I ever have a Texan…or anyone for that matter…pointing a shotgun at me and telling me to hold still, I’m gonna do it. Especially if I’m committing a felony at the time, because if I don’t and end up dead, he’s gonna walk.

    Pablo (99243e)

  253. #227
    TLove I feel you. But have you ever been in that kind of situation? It’s easy to just sit and say what would have been the right thing to do under the circumstances. We dont know exactly what Joe experienced at that moment. We dont know if his life was in danger. Do you know what its like to have smeone walk up to you and take away from you all you laboured for, simply because he has gun? They are merciless rodents that deserve to be put away. Save your compassion for those who have not been so lucky with such creeps. They got what was coming to them.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  254. By the way, DRJ, I wish you’d stop saying that I’m unwilling to see the other side. I do. I’ve stated what the other side is. On balance, I feel strongly that the Texas law is morally wrong as it operates in this circumstance. I think the risks of allowing deadly force to protect OTHER people’s property, particularly without the express consent of the property owner, is too great, whether in the city or the country (and I live in a pretty rural state myself, as you know). We have a difference of opinion. That’s ok, and it has nothing to do with either one of us not seeing the other side of the argument. You keep saying I make a convincing argument but then claim that I’m not seeing the other side. Obviously I’m not really all that convincing.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  255. That’s the beauty of a scattergun. It’s tough to miss.

    and less lethal the further away someone is. so anyone outside of 50-60 feet is usually okay depending on the shot and choke

    chas (12a229)

  256. I have seen that many many times.

    what shooting range? where is it?

    chas (12a229)

  257. Chas, as I said before, I would have a different opinion if he shot them on the way in.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  258. In LA next to Randy’s donuts. Stop trying to challenge my truthfulness. I don’t need to make things up to express my opinion.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  259. Well, Drumwaster, they might have known nobody was home because they cased the joint before robbing it.

    Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern cased all those houses pretty thoroughly in “Home Alone”. They were wrong, too.

    Even “casing the joint” does not eliminate the risk that someone is home. Maybe they’re upstairs napping. Or working in the basement wearing an iPod. There is no way for a burglar to know for certain, which is why the act itself has been defined as though it were true, so as to deter the felony to the greatest extent possible.

    Another (legal) reason that I have thought of is as follows (IANAL, YMMV):

    A death resulting in the commission of a non-violent felony or misdemeanor is purely accidental; thus, manslaughter. But a violent crime, being inherently more dangerous, already has the risk of death to innocent victims, by their very nature, and the deaths that might result would be murder, with a stronger penalty.

    There is simply no way for the putative burglars to KNOW, and so they have to assume that there is. They go into the home of another knowing that risk exists.

    Shooting targets and shooting humans, I’m told, are two very different things.

    That’s why military training is so helpful.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  260. Obviously I’m not really all that convincing.

    True dat, yo…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  261. #259 Drum, I agree that training is helpful. That’s why I’d prefer that cops shoot them, rather than the average citizen.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  262. Chas, as I said before, I would have a different opinion if he shot them on the way in.

    you are just all over the place! how could he have any idea what they were doing on the way in? of course the logical assumption is they are there to steal but you have stated you dont think its worth killing someone over theft. so why does it matter if its way in or way out? way out at least you know they did actually steal something.

    No, but like I said, I’d rather have my stuff stolen than have someone shooting into my yard.

    Comment by TLove — 7/1/2008 @ 6:45 pm

    chas (12a229)

  263. Chas, rather than trying, unsuccessfully, to attack me, why don’t you focus on the issue. Like I said a million times, if he got them on the way in, horn could have a reasonable belief that someone may be in danger. That changes the facts. Stop trying to assume what my opinion would be on hypotheticals. Try listening to what I am saying.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  264. That’s why I’d prefer that cops shoot them, rather than the average citizen.

    Even cops can miss.

    Anyone who owns a weapon bears the burden of learning how to operate it properly, just like they would if they owned a car. This includes enough practice to keep up to speed on reflexes and reactions.

    Anyone who thinks that the average citizen just buys a gun without ever learning to shoot it until the next door neighbor’s place is being broken into is being really insulting to their fellow citizens.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  265. i have read what you said. but you dont believe its worth killing someone over theft, so answer why way in or way out matters? and you ignored my statement that way in he has less idea of whether they are there to steal or maybe sent by owner to pick something up. consistency isnt your strong suit

    chas (12a229)

  266. chas… the claim by the Horn defenders is that burglary is a violent crime, and that house may have been occupied, and thus shooting the burglars is needed to protect life. But here, life was NOT in danger any longer (except for hypothetical crimes which might be committed in the future) until Horn left his house. At that moment, nobody was in immediate danger from the burglars. You can’t claim that Horn was killing to protect the neighbor’s life, because at that point, any harm done to the neighbors (had they been at home) was already done. In fact, if they had been home and been wounded by the burglar, Horn’s actions would have actually had the effect of delaying the arrival of help, because all the first responders would be focused on the armed old man and the 2 dead people in the street.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  267. Ahh, I didn’t say cops couldn’t miss. However, I think that there are a lot of people who do own guns that are not completely familiar with them, and who miss. I believe that cops are trained in these types of situations and have a better sense of the requisite force required – moreso than the average citizen.

    I feel like the risk of injury to others is not worth the stolen property.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  268. One point however seems to be lost in this debate and that is: Were the burglars armed? If so, what kind of weapon? A jack knife or a firearm? Were they armed?

    love2008 (1b037c)

  269. At that moment, nobody was in immediate danger from the burglars.

    If they had stopped when ordered to do so, they wouldn’t have been in any danger from the armed man in front of them.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  270. #266 our laws in texas allow for this type of action to protect property. if criminal activity were more dangerous less people would engage in it. if i were coming home and saw someone leaving my house w/ my property they would end up shot, you can give up your liberty and freedoms to criminals if you choose. i wont. im willing to bet your the type who is all up in arms over FISA and how its stealing your freedoms but when a real criminal does the same you’ll slink off to a corner and let him take what he wants.

    chas (12a229)

  271. You can’t claim that Horn was killing to protect the neighbor’s life

    But one can certainly claim that Horn was protecting his neighbor’s property. And he was within his legal rights to do so. So any feeling of wrong about this situation must be arising from your emotions and not common sense.

    That about does it.

    h2u (4a7c7f)

  272. Chas, I have never been inconsistent. Like I said, on the way IN Horn could have felt that there was a threat of bodily injury to the occupants. On the way OUT, there was not.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  273. Were they armed?

    Irrelevant. They were committing a violent felony, even if not a single hair had been mussed.

    I feel like the risk of injury to others is not worth the stolen property.

    Fair enough. Make sure you post it far and wide so that the cops won’t use force to defend you or your stuff (because the cops might hurt them, too). Or any neighbor who can actually stop the crimes before they begin.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  274. You don’t know what my opinion is on anything, other than what I have expressed already. You can assume all you want about me, but I am done with this discussion with you. I have listened and considered everyone’s point of view here, and have admitted when I was wrong about something. I am here to learn about people’s views, not discount them and judge based on their expressions.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  275. May I suggest an interesting link? The Philosophy of Liberty.

    (Not link-whoring, just offering bandwidth to share this.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  276. I’ve never seen that question answered, love2008. If they were armed, it further shows how dangerous and stupid it was for Horn to attempt to apprehend them without any back-up, 2 against 1. If they weren’t armed, it shows that they weren’t really all that dangerous at the moment.

    Drumwaster. 2 seconds. According to the report quoted by DRJ, the cop (whose sympathies may lie with Horn and thus shade his testimony, or they may not) said one of them turned around and started to run towards Horn. But the 911 recording shows that all of 2 seconds elapsed between a warning (which wasn’t “freeze”, I don’t think) and the firing of the gun. It seems to me more likely that he turned, saw the gun, and started then started running the OTHER way… if they actually started running at all. They may have simply turned because they didn’t understand the excited screaming of the man with the shotgun.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  277. Drum, you are bringing in protecting me again. I am not against using force to protect people who are at risk of harm. And like I said, I believe that there is reasonable force and unreasonable force. For example, you gave the example of your wife with the taser gun. If she incapacitated the thieves with the taser, I would be against her then killing them.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  278. #274 if your talking to me fine, i have exposed your inconsistency. you are an anti-gun troll that would attack Horn if he had shot them on the way in for not knowing why they were there, “why they could have been jehovah’s witness'”!!

    chas (12a229)

  279. I would be against her then killing them.

    Me, too, but if she had decided to use the pistol instead, I would not gainsay here instinctive decision.

    You are second-guessing someone without actually having been in his shoes, and all based on your “feelings”. Not the law, not the facts, but on how the result makes you feel.

    Forgive, but that is a pisspoor way to run a railroad.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  280. If they had stopped when ordered to do so, they wouldn’t have been in any danger from the armed man in front of them.

    You’ve mentioned this multiple times, Drumwaster, but all we can do is speculate. Also, why would the burglars necessarily know to trust the motives of a man pulling a shot gun on them? Furthermore, if their English was limited, “Move or you’re dead!” might have sounded more like “…you’re dead!” or simply “…!”

    In any case, these two were, as has has already been pointed out, shot in the back. In my estimation, it’d be mighty difficult to shoot someone in the back unless they’re facing away from you – ergo, not posing a physical threat to your safety.

    I suspect Horn killed them first and foremost because he didn’t want them to get away.

    Tom (8fca8e)

  281. They may have simply turned because they didn’t understand the excited screaming of the man with the shotgun.

    very possible, they were illegals and may have had a limited understanding of english. they also may have been used to stealing and walking away w/o being challenged. either one could have caused a confused reaction.

    chas (12a229)

  282. Like I said, if I had a chance to hear his side of the story and I believed that he thought he was at risk of harm, I may reconsider. But I am having a difficult time with the fact that he shot them in their backs.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  283. By the way, DRJ, regarding the decision of the Texas people in the legislature to adopt this law, let me point out this statement, by the legislator who AUTHORED the law in question:

    But the legislator who authored the “castle doctrine” bill told the Chronicle it was never intended to apply to a neighbor’s property, to prompt a “‘Law West of the Pecos’ mentality or action,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Wentworth. “You’re supposed to be able to defend your own home, your own family, in your house, your place of business or your motor vehicle.”

    So I’m not sure it’s all that clear how closely the legislature considered this scenario in adopting that law.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  284. a poster at hotair noted how you see stories of a woman dying in an emergency room w/ hospital staff ignoring her, a person collapses on a street and people just walk around w/o helping. the theme always being how people just wont pitch in and help. now this guy does and people think he should go to jail?? re-evaluate your priorities. stop giving so much deference to criminal scum who dont deserve to live. culling the herd of this element is a good thing.

    chas (12a229)

  285. I suspect Horn killed them first and foremost because he didn’t want them to get away.

    And, as has been pointed out, Texas Criminal Code 9.42 and 9.43 says he had that right.

    Furthermore, if their English was limited, “Move or you’re dead!” might have sounded more like “…you’re dead!” or simply “…!”

    And so they should get a pass because they were here illegally, and couldn’t be bothered to learn the language of their victims? What if it had been a cop? Should he have been allowed to rush towards the cop, perhaps to try and run around him while his partner is distracting him in another direction?

    I won’t second-guess the man who was there, especially when the law says he did nothing wrong.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  286. I don’t understand why the act of breaking and entering is repeatedly labeled here as stealing a TV. These situations often escalate out of control. (Drugs, nerves, ego, unexpected surprises.)

    I guess if I’m in Texas I’ll be happy knowing there are straight shooters who know the law and just might come to my aid. But that punk in the yard after my purse or car? Not so much.

    On a similar note, look at all the shootings now in fast food restaurants, boss’s offices and even family kitchens. Violence is not tidy and predictable.

    Expect the sane law-abiding person to help you much sooner than the stereo-stealing thug who has a chip, a high and a need for some meth money. These people are worthless. Shoot away, Texas.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  287. So I’m not sure it’s all that clear how closely the legislature considered this scenario in adopting that law.

    I suspect that the Grand Jury considered it in great detail when they no-billed Joe Horn.

    Pablo (99243e)

  288. Since Joe was such an expert gun shooter, couldnt he have shot them on their legs, hence demobilizing them till the cops arrived? Wouldnt that have been better that shooting them in their backs? Atleast that would really make TLove ma man happier. Right TLove? (And I am not mocking here. just trying to see it from the other side.)

    love2008 (1b037c)

  289. #286, but where does that end? Do you shoot someone who is breaking into a car? I’m not siding with criminals here, in fact I am very pro-police, pro-death penalty etc. But what would be the point of a justice system if everyone could just take the law into their own hands?

    TLove (4a03a6)

  290. PatHMV, that’s nonsense – the language is quite clear. If the legislator wants to pretend he did not understand the language of the bill he produced, he has no credibility.

    It certainly adds no credibility to your argument.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  291. (I’m female) I don’t believe I would be as critical if that were the case. However, it still leaves open that fear I have of him missing and endangering innocent people.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  292. love2008, shooting with the intent to wound someone is a very bad idea both in practice and in terms of legal consequences.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  293. TLove, I’ll have to refresh my memory of who did the study, but I recall a study that concluded that police had a higher rate of shooting bystanders than did citizens in self-defense or defense of other situations.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  294. Ah, but police would be more likely to be in public where there are more bystanders than someone shooting in self defense.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  295. Gentlemen, go ask your wives what she would think if you went off to try to arrest possibly armed, violent burglars (you know, the kind so vicious they need to be killed on sight) in order to protect a neighbor’s TV set. Would they be happy with you if you risked the life of their husband and the father of their children (i.e., YOU) over a TV set?

    Comment by PatHMV — 7/1/2008 @ 7:14 pm

    I *am* proud to be married to such a man.

    If Mr. Horn hadn’t shot, it’s likely the criminal would’ve taken the shotgun from him, and used it.

    love2008 –
    Leaving aside if Mr. Horn is an expert or not, you DO know that a shotgun isn’t a precision weapon, right?

    TLove-
    Many people keep guns in their cars. My aunt for one use to– she stopped that when someone DID break into her car and take it.
    As previously said, this isn’t taking the law into your own hands– this is following the law down to the letter.

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  296. It seems to me more likely that he turned, saw the gun, and then started running the OTHER way… if they actually started running at all.

    So they were running with stolen property. And Texas law says____________?

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  297. T Love,

    But what would be the point of a justice system if everyone could just take the law into their own hands?

    The justice system deals with what happened after the fact. It doesn’t prevent anything from happening. We The People have the right to do so.

    Pablo (99243e)

  298. That’s not true. Deterrence is an aspect of the criminal justice system.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  299. I think that Joe Horn has wanted to kill someone all his life, and he finally got the chance to do it legally. The reason that the 911 operator couldn’t talk Horn out of going out was that Horn saw his chance, and he wasn’t going to let anyone take it away. He clearly announced his intent to kill both men. He’s a murderer, plain and simple. He was in no danger, and seeing someone stealing household items is absolutely no reason to kill them. Material things are not worth human life.

    – San Antonio, Texas

    Robert Bugtel (ce29db)

  300. A couple of choice quotes from the 911 call:

    Dispatcher: “I mean, you know your neighbors [the owners of the house being burgled]?”
    Horn: “No, I really don’t know these neighbors. I know the neighors on the other side really well. I can assure you if it had been there house I’d have already done something, cause I know them really well.”

    Later:

    Horn: “I ain’t gonna let ’em get away with this [beep]. They stole something.”

    Later:

    Horn: “There it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking, and I’m going.”

    No more than 10 seconds elapse between the time the shotgun clicks and we hear the first shot. It’s barely 2 seconds between a not-quite-understandable “hold it, you’re dead” or “halt, you’re dead” and the first shot. Having listened closely to the very best evidence we have, the tape of Mr. Horn, I don’t think anybody can convince me he went outside with the intent merely to arrest those 2 men, to be perfectly honest. I think he left the house intending to kill them. But even if his subjective intent was to arrest them, and he really did form the intent to kill them in the 2 seconds between “hold it, you’re dead” and the first pair of shots, I still think he was fundamentally wrong to leave the safety of his own house, put himself in danger, and then claim self-defense. In the time frame heard on the tape, there’s just not enough time to analyze the existence of any new danger caused by their reaction to his “hold it, you’re dead.”

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  301. love2008 –
    Leaving aside if Mr. Horn is an expert or not, you DO know that a shotgun isn’t a precision weapon, right?

    Doesnt that give more legitimacy to TLove’s argument about hitting innocent by standers?

    love2008 (1b037c)

  302. Robert Bugtel, and you know this with which of your super powers?

    And is there a special reason you ignore Texas law?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  303. TLove – Deterrence is a theoretical aspect of the criminal justice system. There has not been any conclusive evidence that criminals are deterred by having previously been detained.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  304. PatHMV, the 911 tape alone is not sufficient evidence for you to reach that conclusion. Not without the generous helping of your bias.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  305. He’s a murderer, plain and simple.

    The law, the facts, and now the grand jury says otherwise. Glad to see that you feel more concern for the criminals (who will now no longer be able to prey on citizens of a nation they are in illegally) than the man who actually obeyed the law.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  306. Vermont, and I am not now, nor have I ever in this post argued the issue of what Texas law is. I have at EVERY opportunity conceded that his actions may well be allowable under Texas law.

    That said, kindly go read my earlier comment quoting the Republican author of the legislation on which Mr. Horn relies, saying that this isn’t what he intended by his bill.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  307. PatHMV, the quote from the legislator is meaningless. The language is quite clear.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  308. my bias? based on what, not knowing any of the parties, not having any personal interest in the case, relying entirely on the things Mr. Horn said and the manner in which he himself said them? That’s not “bias” SPQR, that’s called reaching a conclusion based on the evidence available.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  309. Pat #300 – he was fundamentally wrong to leave the safety of his own house, put himself in danger, and then claim self-defense.

    He did not need to claim self-defense, as it was legal for him to intervene in the progress of a burglary and to use force to prevent the burglars from absconding with stolen property.

    As for him being “wrong” to leave the safety of his house, why is there no corresponding anger at the burglars for leaving the safety of their neighborhoods and committing a violent felony? I believe that abdication of safety is far greater, and illegal to boot, than that of Mr. Horn, yet it doesn’t seem to bother you.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  310. PatHMV, the transcript does not contain evidence to support your “conclusion” but your bias does.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  311. #289,
    Texas decided what’s law and Joe Horn was not breaking the law. Just potentially saving lives, whether that day or in a future situation in another town.

    Guns & Ammo or one of those mags had a regular monthly feature describing how guns successfully stopped a thug or rapist. The ages and examples were all over the map. Reminded me of the places where a criminal might feel a little less brave, with the benefit of these laws in place.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  312. It is meaningless in terms of interpreting the legal meaning of the statute, I agree. You’ll notice I didn’t rely on it to say that notwithstanding clear language, the law shouldn’t apply because of what the legislator said. I cited the legislator to respond to DRJ’s point that Texas had consciously conducted some sort of political balancing of risks and consciously chosen this policy. And that point is contradicted by the fact that the very author of the bill says he didn’t intend this result and didn’t intend for the law to stretch this far.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  313. That’s not “bias” SPQR, that’s called reaching a conclusion based on the evidence available.

    Funny how you forgot “what the law says” in that masterful analysis of yours…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  314. PatHMV, no, the quote does not contradict DRJ’s point. The quote says that the single legislator claims not to have meant that. That’s a different thing altogether.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  315. Vermont Neighbor, you are thinking of the “Armed Citizen” column of the NRA’s publications. There is also a blog by Clayton Cramer that regularly assembles news items of self-defense firearm use.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  316. That’s not true. Deterrence is an aspect of the criminal justice system.

    I’m talking about real time, not theoretics. The police, by and large, do not directly protect you. They, and the courts, seek to protect you and potential future victims after someone has already been victimized.

    We have the right to do what the justice system cannot do – prevent our victimization.

    Pablo (99243e)

  317. the Republican author of the legislation on which Mr. Horn relies, saying that this isn’t what he intended by his bill.

    Isn’t it nice that we don’t have to rely on what the legislature “meant”, when we have such clear language as the following:

    Section 9.01

    (3) “Deadly force” means force that is intended or known by the actor to cause, or in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing, death or serious bodily injury.

    Section 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON’S PROPERTY.

    A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:
    (1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property
    ; or
    (2) the actor reasonably believes that:
    (A) the third person has requested his protection of the land or property;
    (B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person’s land or property; or
    (C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor’s spouse, parent,
    or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor’s care.

    What does your masterful analysis tell you about the plain language?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  318. Drumwaster, you think maybe the Section’s heading is a clue here? I don’t know what the legislator PatHMV thinks he is quoting is actually intending to say but if the legislator thinks that a section headed “protection of third person’s property” was not about using deadly force to protect a third person’s property, I call bullshit on someone.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  319. PatHMV, just for the record this thread has been passionate and informative. And your posts are at the very top of the list. You could change my mind with a number of your statements. DRJ mentioned that you wrote some strong & convincing arguments. I’m a straight shooter, no foolin’! (just havin’ fun w/ you)

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  320. love2008 –
    Leaving aside if Mr. Horn is an expert or not, you DO know that a shotgun isn’t a precision weapon, right?
    Doesnt that give more legitimacy to TLove’s argument about hitting innocent by standers?

    Comment by love2008 — 7/1/2008 @ 8:35 pm

    So you DELIBERATELY tried to ask of the guy something you knew was physically unlikely?

    BTW– to answer your question: no, it does not. Shotguns are ALSO rather short range– part of why they’re preferred for home protection where the walls are thin.

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  321. Thanks SPQR.. My ex used to read those. He took all the reading material, but those stories had staying power.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  322. Thanks for the link, SPQR.

    Not to preach (gadz), but seeing a few of the powerful and direct news stories might illustrate to people what’s going on in various parts of the country.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  323. That sucks, Bridget. Not weighing the same facts the same way and not agreeing with your conclusions does not make someone intellectually dishonest. You owe DRJ an apology.

    Comment by nk — 7/1/2008 @ 5:15 pm

    nk – in light of what I wrote at 216, I’m surprised that you haven’t said your apologies to me. It is very, very clear that my issue with DRJ was never one of opinions, analyses, nor conclusions, but rather about her unintentional misrepresentation of the facts, which caused her, when it was pointed out, to get rather snitty with me.

    I shouldn’t be subject to, “please direct your concerns to the detective and/or the reporter” when kindly pointing out her (obviously good-faith, obviously unintentional) mistake. Nor should I be subject to saying that my response (rather than hers) “sucks.”

    Both of you owe me apologies.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  324. You know what it makes me think? It makes me think you’re a paid blogger! Stir up a hornet’s nest and everything. Especially since DRJ is gracious and even gave you a warm welcome just days ago. I dunnow what to think. . .

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  325. Bridget #324 – Demanding apologies rarely works. It is like a kidnapper demanding love from his or her prisoner. You may force one, but you’ll never know if it’s real.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  326. Anyone who has bothered to read DRJ’s Comment #35 knows exactly what she said, Bridget. I do. And I have no interest in any further discussions with a bitch-queen about it. You were wrong in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end. But you think it’s like flirting with Scott Jacobs and you can say anything you want. Save that attitude for Alan.

    nk (11c9c1)

  327. Anyone who has bothered to read DRJ’s Comment #35 knows exactly what she said, Bridget.

    Anyone who has bothered to read bridget’s comment #36 knows exactly what she said in response, nk.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  328. Thanks Vermont. It’s been a pleasure discussing the issue with you. Wish I could say the same for those who continue to cite the law to me, when I have consistently said I’m not arguing that what he did was in violation of Texas law. As for the Texas legislator who authored the bill, people need to take up their conversations with him. I just pointed to what he said, and NOT for the purpose of suggesting that what he said in an interview trumps the actual language of the statute (sheesh, how many times do I have to say that before you folks can understand the very simple words I’m using?).

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  329. ^ I know. I understood that. Well, the Rep’s quote is interesting – once again proving how many facets exist within a topic.

    As for the Texas legislator who authored the bill, people need to take up their conversations with him. I just pointed to what he said,

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  330. Thank you, Drumwaster #328,

    But let’s put the whole thing up:

    Thanks, DRJ.

    Good thing I’m not taking the Texas bar.

    Comment by bridget — 6/30/2008 @ 11:26 pm

    nk (11c9c1)

  331. But let’s put the whole thing up:

    Ummmmm, okaaaaaay.

    Why? You asserted that “everyone knows” what DRJ said, and I thought you might have missed the very next comment, made in response to what DRJ said, since your entire harangue seems to have been ignorant of that response.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  332. Thank you, Drumwaster.

    nk – I do apologise if anything I said sounded like I was angry or critical for DRJ’s posting of #35. If it has not been said already, or has been elided, let me say it again: I understand that DRJ did her best to get the most accurate statement of both the law and the situation in 35. She did a great job. It is not at all her fault that the HC messed up (or was so vague as to cause confusion) – an error which she understandably, in good faith, repeated.

    To be very clear, I found the audio of the 911 call online, which directly contradicts DRJ’s post 35. Horn did not say, “Freeze,” as DRJ stated. He said one of two things: “Move, you’re dead” or “Move, and you’re dead.” (The audio is difficult to distinguish at that point.) Two seconds elapsed before he shot. That was in 140.

    It would have taken ten seconds out of her life to listen to the audio (where I even marked for her) and compare with what she quoted. Instead, she used those ten seconds to tell me that she’s already aware of the facts, and, then, to take any discrepancies to the Houston Chronicle or the detective – to state that facts that contradict her are simply a product of my mental state. Not cool, not honest, not what anyone here expects of her.

    Alan thinks what he thinks of me, but it is based on three years (on and off) of going to school with me. He does hold my feet to the fire, for which I am grateful.

    Finally, if you are going to take issue with 151, then don’t call me a “bitch queen.” Or, if you’re going to call me a “bitch queen” here, then call me a “bitch queen” on the detainee thread, where I did the exact same thing – posted the primary source. Either way, be consistent.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  333. #289, I believe that the castle doctrine in Texas does apply to a car. I remember in California when it seemed that there was car jacking every day and often times with the death of the car’s driver. I seem to remember that after Texas applied the castle doctrine to a person’s car, that one person was shot and did not die, but that after that, car jacking went way down.

    Having been robbed, burglary is a violent act, it’s not just a TV being stolen. Horn was asked by his neighbors to look after their property and there had been a rash of robberies in the neighborhood. How was he to know that the robbers who had gone to his property weren’t going to rob him?

    Tanny O'Haley (54659c)

  334. nk – as time went on, based on my previous recollections of the audio (and the continued repetition of “freeze”), I noticed that one did not jive with the other. I did what every normal, sane blogger does – find the source, listen to it, read it, and then post for everyone’s erudition.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  335. Tanny, could you cite a source for the claim that Horn had been asked by these neighbors to look after their property? In the tape of the 911 call, which I quoted earlier, he say quite clearly that he really doesn’t know THESE neighbors (the ones whose house was being robbed) well at all, but that he does know the folks in another nearby house very well indeed, saying he would already have acted if it had been THEIR house he saw being robbed.

    I do agree that burglary is a violent act in general. But in this particular circumstance, there was no further immediate danger to anybody, and that was plainly obvious at the time, if Horn had only stayed in his house. If he believed the robbers were coming to his house next, the smart thing to do is stay in the house and shoot them through the door or the window when they start to break in. Much less chance of himself being injured by return gunfire, much less likely to hit innocent people that way.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  336. If the facts are that he said “Move, you’re dead” or “You move, you’re dead” or something along those lines, that sounds like an order to freeze.

    It would have taken ten seconds out of her life to listen to the audio (where I even marked for her) and compare with what she quoted. Instead, she used those ten seconds to tell me that she’s already aware of the facts, and, then, to take any discrepancies to the Houston Chronicle or the detective – to state that facts that contradict her are simply a product of my mental state. Not cool, not honest, not what anyone here expects of her.

    What I think you’re missing, bridget, is that we here are all plenty familiar with the facts. We have debated it on the site before. I have listened to that audio before. DRJ has listened to that audio before. You need to give us credit for knowing what we’re talking about, instead of acting as if you are the only person who has bothered to track down or listen to the audio. We have. We did months ago. We just don’t think it materially contradicts what DRJ said.

    And if I were she, I believe I would be plenty annoyed at your repeated suggestions of dishonesty. I say Horn told those guys to freeze. (Even if he didn’t use that exact word.) And a witness apparently has one of the burglars coming at him. Does the tape belie that? I think it supports it. He sounds scared and says he had no choice.

    Are you now going to call me dishonest too?

    This isn’t a situation where you’re the only one paying attention to the facts, and everyone else is ignoring them. We are plenty familiar with the facts. It’s just that not everyone agrees on how to interpret them. OK?

    Patterico (cb443b)

  337. And I have no interest in any further discussions with a bitch-queen about it.

    All right, nk, I know you’re being defensive of DRJ, but let’s try to resolve this in a more constructive manner.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  338. PatHMV has some good arguments.

    But my opinion is, he had the right to go outside, he had the right to be armed when he did it, and he didn’t necessarily intend to kill when he went out.

    The fact that they were shot in the back is not a good fact for him but not necessarily determinative depending on other facts. Testimony from a police officer could weigh heavily in his favor, as could some of the things he said and his demeanor at points in the tape.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  339. DRJ’s Comment #35 is in two parts.

    Part 1, DRJ links to an earlier post where I parse the language of Section 9.43. I presume that’s what Bridget thanked DRJ for in her Comment #36 and that’s to Bridget’s credit.

    Part 2, DRJ gives her opinion as to how the Grand Jury reached its decision. This is DRJ’s opening sentence:

    In addition, I suspect testimony by a police detective helped Horn avoid indictment.

    This is DRJ’s concluding sntence:

    I think the grand jurors decided Horn could have reasonably feared for his safety when the burglar ran toward him.

    If DRJ was doing more than suggesting how the Grand Jury might have viewed the case, I don’t see it. If somebody else does, please explain it to me.

    DRJ is a capable and experienced Texas attorney. She understands that more comes into play in a case than pure legal analysis from *objective* facts. Although from *cold* strictly legal point of view, Section 9.43 is dispositive, it could not have hurt Joe Horn with the Grand Jury to have any evidence, even contested evidence, which showed he might also have acted in self-defense and engendered sympathy for him.

    If that’s anything to attack DRJ for ….

    nk (11c9c1)

  340. 93, Pat, I will not take back a word I said. It is wimps like you who cower under their beds and demand that everyone else also cower under their beds make not only the neighborhood, but the country, if not the world more dangerous and unsafe.

    In my opinion, this thread is way too long, but I’ll offer one story from my past to prove Pat wrong.

    My neighborhood growing up had a lot of burglaries and such. My dad even had a dog stolen from the backyard that had a fence and a locked gate.

    One night, one of the neighbors wanted to see the new shotgun my brother bought for deer hunting. He asked if we had a shell for it. Dad handed him a 3″ blackpowder 00 buckshot shell. This neighbor proceeded to go outside and fire the gun over the garage towards the river and empty fields.

    At the same time, an off duty prison guard and another neighbor were surprising a window peeker at yet another neighbor’s house. Needless to say when the peeker heard “Freeze” followed by the shotgun blast, he booked in his Mustang burning tire tracks on two more different neighbor’s yards.

    We never had ANY crime in the neighborhood after that.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  341. PCD, I really fail to see how that story proves anything at all. One, I never said that Horn’s actions wouldn’t have a deterrent effect, so an anecdote about some other time that shooting a firearm in a neighborhood had a deterrent effect doesn’t undercut my point. Two, your story suggests that actually killing these two human beings was not terribly necessary for the deterrent effect. He could have just shot into the ground and, according to your story, the bad guys would have sped away and never come back again.

    Finally, my entry into this thread was not particularly to discuss whether Horn was or was not legally entitled to do what he did, but to express my extreme distaste for the absolute lack of respect for human life shown by many of the initial commenters, who not only decided not to condemn Horn but to celebrate him and hold up his actions in unnecessarily killing these 2 men over a “bag of loot.” Certainly the more thoughtful responders on this thread who have taken Horn’s side, such as DRJ and Patterico, are not blood-thirsty, but a great many of the rest of the folks here who commented early on are.

    Patterico… do you think it was terribly smart of him to go outside?

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  342. Pat,

    Again, nothing is going to penetrate YOUR cranium.

    You don’t respect Horn’s rights. You seek to have him punished worse than any murderer because Horn acted within a law you disagree with.

    Again, if you can’t change a law, MOVE ELSEWHERE, and ACCEPT that people DO have the right to defend themselves and their property and to defend their community.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  343. Patterico… do you think it was terribly smart of him to go outside?

    I’m not sure what you mean by “terribly smart.” You and I would probably agree with the 911 operator that it’s not worth risking your life over some property. But he clearly had the *right* to do everything he did, up until the point he shot. I think it’s important to recognize that, even if it’s not something we would necessariy do ourselves.

    Whether he had the right to shoot as well depends upon several factors. On balance, it doesn’t sound like the evidence is clear that he *didn’t* have the right to shoot. The cop’s testimony sounds like it may have been important to the grand jury’s decision.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  344. Patterico, I suspect you’re right regarding the importance of the cop’s testimony in the legal decision by the grand jury.

    I ask about the wisdom of it because I think part of the benefit of blogs and discussions like this is to allow us all to think through circumstances like this, which any of us could find ourselves in at any time these days, to plan ahead a bit about what we would do should the situation ever arise. Questioning whether Horn’s actions were smart or wise is, to me, a valuable component of that evaluation. I do agree entirely that that’s a separate evaluation from whether he was legally justified or not, just as whether he was legally justified or not is a separate question from whether he was morally justified or not.

    PatHMV (653160)

  345. First, lets not get all loose with the english language. Robbery isn’t violent when the house is empty.

    Second, who says “stuff” isn’t worth killing for? We risk our lives to earn money for “stuff”. I drive over a mountain every day to go to work. I may be taking a job where I have to go 1,600 feet deep in a mine several times a month, all so I can buy “stuff”. Why should I risk my life and my health for money, just to say that some scumbag’s life is more valuable than my “stuff”? But there is more than “stuff” to worry about. If we are a free people, then we have the right to protect our stuff. If we are a free and good people, we have the right to defend and protect our neighbors stuff, even if they don’t ask us to.

    You liberals who think that cowering behind the couch while calling 911 is the limit of your personal and social responsibility are parasites on the rest of us. Those of you who try to rationalize the difference between Joe’s sense of community and self worth and your own by calling him a bad person just show how cowardly you really are, that you would hang him because he shames you.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  346. Robbery isn’t violent when the house is empty.

    And since there is absolutely no way for the robber to know this beyond any reasonable doubt, the presumption must be that someone is home, or may arrive home during the commission of the act. That is why it is deemed a violent felony, even if the facts turn out that there wasn’t any specific person to assault.

    Wouldn’t that be like asserting that murder isn’t violent as long as the victim feels no pain?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  347. I’m less impressed by PatHMV’s arguments than Patterico because of PatHMV’s tendence to invent evidence for his arguments. Here is one example: “In the time frame heard on the tape, there’s just not enough time to analyze the existence of any new danger caused by their reaction to his “hold it, you’re dead.””

    That is just a ridiculous claim. In armed confrontations, two seconds is a very long time.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  348. What a bunch of mental masterbation. This is like when womyn claim “violence” when someone calls them a dumb b*tch. Violence is violence, we know what it is. By “we” I guess I mean non-liberals and non-lawyers.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  349. Violence is violence, we know what it is.

    And the legislature has defined certain acts to be violent, by their very nature, even when no actual violence occurs.

    A corner market is robbed by a man with a gun. No shots are fired, no one suffers so much as a scratch or a bruise. The robber was very polite, very apologetic, kept insisting that he meant no one any harm.

    By your standards, it wouldn’t be a violaent act, because no one got hurt.

    But armed robbery is defined, by its nature, as a violent act.

    So are home invasion robberies and breaking and entering, even if no one suffered so much as a shocked expression.

    There are legal theories involving these distinctions that perhaps I am not the one qualified to properly explain, but the facts remain what they are.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  350. SPQR, disagreeing on the interpretation of evidence is hardly the same as “inventing” it.

    PatHMV (653160)

  351. PatHMV, no in the quoted line you are inventing a factual claim that is simply false.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  352. 346, martin, BRAVO! I applaud you.

    I still think Pat will never get it. He thinks the criminal’s lives are worth more than their victims’ and potential victims. With Pat protesting that it is over just “stuff”, he begs the question of who gets to invalidate who’s rights. Empiracally, Pat is saying that Criminals have more rights than other people.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  353. What “factual claim” is false, SPQR? If you’re referring to whether 2 seconds is “a very long time” in violent encounters, that’s not a factual issue regarding what actually happened. That’s a matter of opinion and conjecture, not a “fact.” It is a fact that there were 2 seconds between his shouting and the first gun shot. Whether the burglars turned toward him or not, whether they started running toward him or not, those are factual issues, and not being there I take no particular position as to whether those did or did not happen; we can rely only on the tape, the forensic evidence, and the testimony of Mr. Horn and the police officer in the car. I’m not inventing any “facts,” just disputing your analysis and opinion of what constitutes “a long time.”

    I would point out, in that regard, that Horn felt safe enough to wait another 10 seconds before firing off the 3rd shot. Was the guy just standing there the whole 10 seconds? Was one of them knocked down by the first 2 shots, then got up and started for Horn again or what? Why did the first shots come so quickly after the “hold it, you’re dead” (or “move and you’re dead”), while he could take a full 10 seconds after the first 2 shots to evaluate the situation before firing the 3rd shot?

    PatHMV (653160)

  354. Bridget,

    I will respond to you now that I’ve calmed down. I think you jumped the gun when you decided intellectual dishonesty was the only explanation for what you apparently believe are discrepancies in the dispatcher transcript and the linked Houston Chronicle article. I think you compounded the problem by accusing me of dishonesty without specifically identifying what you thought the discrepancies were.

    Apparently your concern was the difference between the transcript in which Horn said, “Move, you’re dead” and the Houston Chronicle article that summarized this as Horn telling the burglars to freeze. You assert it was dishonest of me to use the Houston Chronicle article excerpt because it implied Horn said “Freeze” instead of “Move, you’re dead.” Neither I nor the article ever said Horn said “Freeze.” In addition, I indented the excerpt in my comment to make it clear it was taken from the Houston Chronicle article. That’s also why I said your concerns should be directed at the reporter, not me.

    I assume you read the transcript or listened to the audio and formed a different opinion of this case. I respect that. There was a wide range of opinion on this case among commenters when we discussed this case on December 4, 2007, December 5, 2007, and December 7, 2007. I can’t locate my comment but at that time I remember speculating whether the burglars understood Joe Horn when he said “Move, you’re dead.” If they spoke English, I even wondered whether they might have thought Joe Horn was telling them to move. Nevertheless, “Move, you’re dead” is an American saying that instructs someone to stop or freeze. I know that, the Houston Chronicle knows that, and I would imagine you know that. It’s also a fact that neither I nor the Houston Chronicle stated that Horn’s actually said, “Freeze.”

    As NK noted in comment 340, my point in comment 35 was to think about why the grand jury might have no-billed Joe Horn. I’m confident the grand jurors listened to the audio but it’s my guess that the grand jurors placed special emphasis on the testimony from the detective who witnessed the shooting. We each can create a mental picture of what happened after listening to the audio,but we don’t know for sure where the parties were standing or what they were doing. The detective could give the grand jurors that first-hand, neutral, experienced perspective.

    Finally, Bridget, I want to give you some advice although I doubt you are in the mood to accept it from me. In law school, the facts are usually plain and clear and the answers are relatively uncomplicated compared to the real world. When you start your legal career, you will find that people’s motivations and actions are much less clear and it doesn’t help to ascribe bad motives to people unless you know they are untrustworthy or there is no other explanation for their behavior or statements.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  355. Well, PCD, since I don’t believe anything like what you just said, I would suggest that you’re the one who doesn’t “get it.” You want to file me away in your mind in the “liberal idiot” category, despite the fact that I am neither. Can you not grasp that other law-abiding, law-and-order folks may just have a different opinion from you on the specific circumstances of this case?

    If this is about more than “stuff” then it is about the risk that these 2 particular criminals might hypothetically commit future crimes which would endanger other people. And THAT is vigilanteism, shooting somebody just because they’re a criminal and you think once a criminal, always a criminal. No, Horn is not allowed, even under Texas law, to shoot them to prevent them from committing some future crime tomorrow or next week. He is allowed, apparently, under Texas law to shoot them to protect “stuff,” even when no human being is currently at risk of bodily harm from them.

    PatHMV (653160)

  356. I just saw this gem from a sheep: “That’s why I’d prefer that cops shoot them, rather than the average citizen.”

    A) Liberals know that they are incapable of defending themselves, therefore they resent it when others show sterner stuff. When they say they fear the good guy missing and hitting innocent people, it is just a cop out for why they choose to hide quivering under the table rather than by stepping forward.

    B) Liberals, feeling generally incompetent, like to rely on “experts” to do all the heavy lifting. It is a good excuse again, to remain quivering in fear under the table. Cops around the country have demonstrated that police training is often crappy, and a cop with a gun is often not very reliable a shot. I would trust myself far more than an affirmative action DC donut raiding cop.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  357. Protecting oneself and protecting some cash are totally different. I believe in defending myself, and, if you had read this thread, you would know that.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  358. Since DRJ seems to have forgiven Bridget, I apologize to Bridget and to Patterico for calling Bridget a bitch-queen.

    I would also add to my last comment that I highly doubt the prosecutor redacted exculpatory material from either the plainclothesman’s report or from Joe Horn’s statements, in his presentation to the Grand Jury, and we can only speculate what weight the Grand Jury gave them.

    nk (16accd)

  359. From what I know of the case, I’m glad that Mr. Horn was no-billed. I do not think that a trial (whether or not he was convicted, and I don’t think he either should or would have been) would have advanced society.

    My memory (which may be faulty under stress) is that the only time I held armed people (I could see holstered guns) at gunpoint the first thing I said, quietly, was “Hands, gentlemen, do not move your hands. Why are you in my house?” Would I have shot them? I don’t know, and I’m glad I didn’t have to. We sorted the situation out by talking. Mr. Horn faced a different situation, and different laws.

    The legislator whining that what the law says is not what he meant … gimme a break. Hopefully he won’t be re-elected, just on the “He’s a fool and unsafe to have in power” argument.

    htom (412a17)

  360. Even if Horn was indicted, the defense would have fallen back on the time-treasured tongue-in-check argument that “He/They needed killin’. Joe Horn solved a number of problems: he got drug dealers off the street, permanently; sent a message to illegal aliens everywhere; reinforced the BoR and the 2nd Amendment; gave citizens everywhere confirmation that keeping a loaded weapon in their house is not only a privilege but in some instances a requisite for citizenry; and got off a few successful practice rounds.

    The fact is, Joe Horn personifies the frontier American that has been lost in politically correct society and left-wing hamstringing.

    More and more Americans are discovering that they do not need to be victims. 6 million citizens possess concealed carry permits. Home invasions, muggings, rapes, gang violence…. I will not discontinue my lifestyle because cities lack the funding or willingness to respond in a timely manner because criminals now have more rights than I do.

    Good for Joe Horn. Now…if he can only avoid the inevitable civil action on the part of his survivors. I wonder if the ACLU will defend him…lol.

    David D. Fihn, Sr. (912be7)

  361. From DRJ’s post:

    There was a wide range of opinion on this case among commenters when we discussed this case on December 4, 2007, December 5, 2007, and December 7, 2007.

    […] it doesn’t help to ascribe bad motives to people unless you know they are untrustworthy or there is no other explanation for their behavior or statements.

    Agreed. As far as spending 5 minutes to listen to someone’s pre-marked audio, it would’ve taken the same amount of time to scan this site for answers. It’s not good to jump up and point fingers when the answers are easily available in the archives. That’s what I call jumping the gun.

    What was more surprising is someone who would think that pros in the legal field wouldn’t review links and docs before posting a response. I would never accuse someone of that sloppiness, which is what happened to DRJ. In addition, she stated upthread that she was a Texas resident, which should’ve cleared up any assumption that she posted w/o full knowledge of the facts.

    At #350, Drumwaster nailed it.

    And the legislature has defined certain acts to be violent, by their very nature, even when no actual violence occurs.

    A corner market is robbed by a man with a gun. No shots are fired, no one suffers so much as a scratch or a bruise. The robber was very polite, very apologetic, kept insisting that he meant no one any harm.

    By your standards, it wouldn’t be a violaent act, because no one got hurt.

    But armed robbery is defined, by its nature, as a violent act.

    So are home invasion robberies and breaking and entering, even if no one suffered so much as a shocked expression.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  362. Mr. Fihn,

    In addition to a civil lawsuit, there is also the possibility that Joe Horn could face federal charges.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  363. Patterico,

    Is it actually a problem that I re-posted the transcript and the audio? What I seemed to be getting from DRJ, and now you, is that it was not even acceptable to post that in the first place.

    I’m new to this site, but not to the internet. If that is a rule or a custom on Patterico, please let me know. People who already knew exactly what was in there can ignore it; those who are familiar but forgot a few details can check it; and those who forgot or never saw it have it there for reference.

    If your mental picture of the events – based on hearing the audio and/or reading the transcript – is at odds with that, please direct your concerns to the detective and/or the reporter.

    For about the 10th time, this is what I have a problem with (along with the idea that my posting of the transcript was somehow wrong). Not the statute nor the interpretations thereof, as nk states; not her first sentence; but rather, the suggestion that the actual words are important only as a journalistic issue – despite the fact that the words were repeated in almost 10% of the posts above mine to support various points that were made. That is not how any debate – internet, real-life, or otherwise – has been run.

    It’s an issue with the quotation (in my world, “freeze” and “move” are antonyms), not my mental picture of the scene. If you think that Horn’s actions were legally and morally acceptable, then you will find the disparity to be immaterial. If you think that he was not out to effectuate a citizen’s arrest, but decided to declare open season on two criminals, then you’ll find the exact words to be both meaningful and fundamental to presenting your argument.

    And if I were she, I believe I would be plenty annoyed at your repeated suggestions of dishonesty. I say Horn told those guys to freeze. (Even if he didn’t use that exact word.)

    My “repeated” suggestions? I stated that I expected better out of her, and then the following things happened: she said I made her angry and left. nk told me that my response “sucks.” Love2008 threatened to beat me up. Apogee told me that I’m the dishonest one.

    Do you really expect me to not defend myself and to let the crickets chirp while people tell me I’m a crummy person?

    DRJ can email me, drop a quick note here that we’ll resolve this later and it’s our business alone, or, having gotten a cookie (which is what I did), respond to me so we can both figure out where the other is coming from.

    If you have the time or inclination, please let me know why I committed some grave sin by posting the 911 transcripts. I did pretty much the same thing on another thread – posted the Geneva Convention, even though I know we’re all familiar with it and have a good idea of what it says – and no one took it as a personal attack. I will always see these things as the foundation for a good, logical argument; too often, I’ve seen people who wing it, or go on memory, or take their best guess, and I don’t want to be one of those people.

    By the way… how many times has the Texas statute been posted on this thread? Texas statute = good, 911 transcript = bad? Gee, wonder why your new readers are confused?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  364. Sorry for the cross-post.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  365. 356, Pat, an old Irish saying says that if two people tell you that your drunk, sit down.

    Pat you are a liberal on this, and you are doing to Horn what you claim I’m doing to you.

    You prove that Horn thought was preventing FUTURE crimes by these two by shooting them. You can’t unless you have a mind reading machine that puts out recordings of one’s thoughts at a distance.

    You can be outraged all you want, but as you see here, people are telling you to go hide under your own bed as we reject your rantings.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  366. Well, no, PCD, many people here are NOT telling me to go hide under my own bed because they reject my “rantings.” Patterico for example, and DRJ have both said that I have made good arguments, though they reach a different conclusion. I respect that.

    The other explanation for you and your cohorts going on about my “rants” is that you’ve adopted a mob mentality in which you are so outraged at the ills of society that you no longer stop and listen to any rational debate on the topic. Our founding fathers themselves spoke out against the dangers of mob rule and the dangers of temporary majorities brought together by passion. A good deal of our Constitution is designed to deflect that. So forgive me if I don’t admit that I’m wrong just because a few people who seem to worship killing think I am the biggest danger to any neighborhood. I would never want to live on a street with a neighbor as trigger-happy as you. I wouldn’t want myself or my family killed by stray bullets because you started a gunfight over a “bag of loot.”

    PatHMV (653160)

  367. Posting the 911 transcript was an entree to imply that DRJ didn’t know the facts. Reading this site would’ve shown the previous conversations and dialogue. It’s incomplete research coupled with an accusatory response. Bad combination. (Also unprofessional, even for the smaller percentage of posters here not working in Law.)

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  368. Hey now… I thought we all liked Bridget…

    I’ve mostly ignored this thread… Should I have paid closer attention?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  369. 367, Pat, stop wetting your pants about stray bullets.

    Pat, you are the kind of person who would call the police to complain about Kitty Genovese’s cries for help while she was being attacked multiple times.

    FYI, this was a NYC case where Kitty was attacked several time by the same assailant with a pause between attacks. No one in the neighborhood even called 911. In my opinion, ALL the neighbors should have been indicted as participants.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  370. Don’t try to redefine my limited statement. Violence is aggressive physical action against another person. That is not possible when the house is empty. Now, if you want to expand “violent crime” to one where a person committing the crime is creating a situation where there could easily be violence, that that is probably a fair idea.

    Imagine someone telling you to back off or he is going to kick your butt. Is that violence, or a warning that violence will occur if you don’t submit? We have been busy redefining the english language for so long that pretty soon words will mean nothing and everything, all at once.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  371. TLove and PatHMV – You both have stated (in so many words) that your main issue with this incident is that A) Horn left his house to confront criminals and B) Horn shot people who were stealing property.

    OK. I understand your position. You are willing to sacrifice your possessions rather than inflict harm on someone stealing them.

    My problem with both of you is your dogged search to find Horn guilty of criminal conduct, by legal technicality or social condemnation. In other words, you seem to not be content to leave it at “I would not have done that”, and wish to punish Horn for doing something that you would not do.

    From my position, it is akin to me searching the good samaritan statutes for a reason to prosecute you for “hiding in your house” and not confronting the thieves.

    I take issue with both of you not because you would not have done what Horn did, but because you apparently believe you have knowledge that gives you the right to dictate to the rest of society what kind of behavior to undertake in response to criminality.

    I don’t believe you possess enough knowledge to dictate my behavior to me, especially since all criminal occurrences are different, and I find it worrisome that so much of your energy is spent trying to do so. Compounding that fact is what seems to me an equally dogged avoidance to hold the thieves accountable for the same issues that you examine Horn by:
    A) Leaving the safety of their neighborhoods to confront an unknown situation that is both illegal and dangerous.
    B) Failing to recognize that the situation had turned deadly and that they could be injured.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  372. All I will say now:

    I can’t locate my comment but at that time I remember speculating whether the burglars understood Joe Horn when he said “Move, you’re dead.”

    Ya know, DRJ, it would have rocked out loud if you had let me make that point instead of repeating that you’re familiar with the transcript.

    It would have also rocked out loud if you would at least recognise that what you copied from the HC was repeated about a dozen times between 35 and 130, in contexts that were not the grand jury’s no-bill.

    Finally, Bridget, I want to give you some advice although I doubt you are in the mood to accept it from me. In law school, the facts are usually plain and clear and the answers are relatively uncomplicated compared to the real world. When you start your legal career, you will find that people’s motivations and actions are much less clear and it doesn’t help to ascribe bad motives to people unless you know they are untrustworthy or there is no other explanation for their behavior or statements.

    Let me practise the second part right now. DRJ, you may not be aware, but the first part is quite inaccurate as it applies to me, and, additionally, comes off as terribly patronising – that you are seeking to gain the moral high ground by your age and work experience. If that was not your intention, please let me know. :)

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  373. # 369,

    In the toughest arguments DRJ is calm, respectful, informative and concise. An apology in her direction would definitely smooth past mistakes. At least to some readers, such as me.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  374. You can be outraged all you want, but as you see here, people are telling you to go hide under your own bed as we reject your rantings.

    I probably shouldn’t be getting involved in this, but, PCD, PatHMV is not ranting.

    He may be repeating himself, but that happens when you’re facing a group of people who, at various points in the discussion, make the same point as someone else made earlier.

    I hope that we can always live in a society in which we question the wisdom of our laws – and that may be any one law in general, or a law as applied to a specific instance. That’s not ranting; that’s moving towards a place where we can improve how our society functions.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  375. I have repeatedly stated that I would reconsider my position if I truly believed that Mr. horn felt he was in danger. I have never attempted to dictate to anyone what their actions should be. I have simply stated my feelings and reservations on the incident. I am frankly surprised that my questions and attempt to understand views that are not my own are being confronted with such contempt.

    If you would like to all sit in on this blog and agree with eachother, go right ahead.

    TLove (4a03a6)

  376. It doesn’t matter if the two dirtbags couldn’t understand the instructions. If I illegally went to Dubai, and broke into someones house, I would be asking for whatever I got. Holding the Dubai homowner, his neighbor, or the police accountable for my inability to speak Arabic makes no sense.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  377. In the toughest arguments DRJ is calm, respectful, informative and concise. An apology in her direction would definitely smooth past mistakes. At least to some readers, such as me.

    You have got to be kidding me. Someone can threaten to beat me up, and I’m the one that is a problem?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  378. bridget – Stop whining. You were wrong to jump all over DRJ about her intellectual honesty. You can complain all you want and make a variety of excuses, but it demonstrates a lack of maturity on your part. Do we need to append (MKDP) to your screen name?

    End it and move on.

    daleyrocks (1cc55d)

  379. While I’m not sure about shooting someone not stealing MY stuff while outside (though if I were to do it, a shotgun is the best option), my lack of surity doesn’t change that fact that I keep thinking “You know what? Good for Joe”.

    Tlove, some time back you asked “what if they were deaf or didn’t know english”?. I would have to say that, if you plan on commiting crimes, you might want to at least learn the phrases that would keep the cops (or home-owner) from puttin’ a cap in yo ass. :)

    Once was told that in NYC you only need to know three phrases in english to get by: “Hello”, “Goodbye” and “Fuck you”. :)

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  380. Since DRJ seems to have forgiven Bridget, I apologize to Bridget and to Patterico for calling Bridget a bitch-queen.

    Thank you, nk.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  381. As the victim, you have to be willing to accept the blame. 😉

    htom (412a17)

  382. God dmanit. People, calm down…

    I missed the comment where someone threatened to beat up Bridget, but if it happened that person should indeed be called to task for it.

    Bridget, I have to say that I personally think DRJ is unbelievably fair and honest, and that’s coming from a very cynical person.

    Now, I would like us all to sit down, take a deep breath, and think about the fact that *I* am being the calm voice of reason here…

    I’ll let the shock and horror of that fact sink in… :)

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  383. TLove – That’s not what I was saying. I have no desire for an echo chamber. I also have no desire for an argument (or discussion) that leads nowhere.

    Part of what I’ve learned in this thread is what I see as a disconnect in many people’s observations between the behavior of criminals and that of law abiding citizens, of which Joe Horn is one, regardless of anyone’s opinion of his actions.

    I would like to identify and discuss this disconnect, as I believe it one of the main problems with how our society deals with criminals.

    The problem is that every time I try to address it, I don’t get a response. That’s hardly an echo chamber.

    Now, TLove (or PatHMV), what do you say to the last couple of lines from my comment #372?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  384. Scott #383- I am sitting down.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  385. “Let me practise the second part right now. DRJ, you may not be aware, but the first part is quite inaccurate as it applies to me, and, additionally, comes off as terribly patronising – that you are seeking to gain the moral high ground by your age and work experience.”

    Bridget, it is quite possible that DRJ’s age and work experience have gained her something that you do not yet possess simply because you are young and without her experiences.

    Its ironic that you note DRJ seemins to have been patronising toward you and yet you, bridget, were patronizing with me in the comments section on Monday, and it would appear with intent. Yet you didn’t seem to lose a beat even when it was pointedly pointed it out to you.

    As I stated several times yesterday, humility is a seemingly lost art form. Its a worthy goal.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  386. dalyerocks,

    You can call me whatever you would like.

    bridget MKDP (e8e4c8)

  387. PCD, you continue to reveal your own unwillingness to actually read what I said. I have never said to always rely on the police in all circumstances. The Kitty Genovese case was indeed a tragedy, and is remarkably DIFFERENT from this case, because there, you see, a person was being harmed. In the current case, there was no person at risk of harm until Horn stepped out of his door. That’s the fundamental difference I’ve been talking about between “people” and “stuff.” I support the use of deadly force to prevent people from harm. I support the use of deadly force to prevent somebody from taking THEIR OWN stuff from them. I support the use of deadly force to prevent somebody from committing robbery (i.e., taking stuff directly from another person). I do not support the use of deadly force to prevent somebody from walking away with a “bag of loot” AFTER they have completed a burglary in which no person was endangered and when no person was currently facing any harm.

    Apogee… to the extent I’m trying to dictate your behavior, I’m trying to do the old fashioned way, by convincing my fellow citizens to support changes in the law to prohibit this sort of conduct. That’s my right, isn’t it? Petition the government for redress of grievances and all, isn’t it? Isn’t a primary purpose of government to determine how we all deal with criminal activity? You’re not an anarchist, are you?

    Moreover, YOU are the one asserting a right to shoot somebody stealing MY property without consulting me or asking my permission first.

    As for the dead criminals, the only respect and sympathy I’m asking for them is the basic level of respect and sympathy we should all have for any fellow human being. Yes, absolutely, they would still be alive had they not chosen to burgle. Yes, they might possibly still be alive if they had sufficient muscle control to immediately freeze when Horn shouted “Move and I’ll shoot” at them. Who knows whether they’d still be alive if they had never left Colombia. But you see, there’s no need to judge them, because Joe Horn already took it upon himself to do so. They’ve already been given the penultimate penalty for their crimes. We do not have the luxury of calm reflection to determine what punishment they should face, because Joe Horn decided that over the space of a 6 minute 42 second phone call and 2 seconds of “move and you’re dead.”

    PatHMV (653160)

  388. No, no… it was Love 2008, who’s generally sweet and kind and never mean. Also, she takes more than her fair share of hits around here for supporting the Dastardly One (not bridget; Obama).

    I missed the comment where someone threatened to beat up Bridget, but if it happened that person should indeed be called to task for it.

    Love2008 said that DRJ is great and that she’s her girl, would always protect her, etc. Nothing threatening. Now, Bridg’ with a frying pan when angry… that could be calamity.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  389. 388, Horn did not judge the illegals. God did that. Horn only punched their ticket to the afterlife.

    You, sir, are judging Horn applying your own morality, not the written law. That is the behaviour of liberal activist judges.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  390. Now, Bridg’ with a frying pan when angry… that could be calamity.

    I’m a red-headed fire sign. What the frick do you expect?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  391. bridget (MKDP) – What does your scorecard with DRJ read now? I assume you are keeping some kind of score because otherwise there would be no reason to continue trying to publicly rationalize or minimize blog comments that everybody can read and come to a judgement about themselves.

    There is an old Dale Carnegie aphorism worth considering – Nobody wins an argument.

    daleyrocks (1cc55d)

  392. No, PCD, if I insisted that my own morality should control the LEGAL punishment inflicted on Horn, then I would be acting like a legal activist judge. I don’t claim that in any way, shape or form, and never had… as I have made extremely clear and you have refused to bother reading. I have never once said that Mr. Horn should be imprisoned despite being not liable under Texas law. But not all immoral acts are illegal, nor is everything which is not forbidden required.

    I, like everybody else in this free country, am free to judge Mr. Horn morally, by my own moral understandings. And I am free to try to persuade others to share my moral understandings, and to try to enlist their support in choosing to enact those particular moral values into law. You are likewise free to try to persuade the legislature of Texas or your state to declare open season on shooting any person whom the shooter has reason to believe is a burglar and currently in possession of stolen property.

    PatHMV (653160)

  393. “As for the dead criminals, the only respect and sympathy I’m asking for them is the basic level of respect and sympathy we should all have for any fellow human being.”

    In your (flawed) opinion. You have to admit that your idea of basic respect is subjective. Who the hell told you that the lines that YOU draw are what the rest of us need to follow?

    Do you have a basic level of respect for the rapist in the recent SCOTUS case? How about for Pol Pot? Stalin?

    martin (0bd3dd)

  394. You, sir, are judging Horn applying your own morality, not the written law. That is the behaviour of liberal activist judges.

    PCD,

    I’ll try to explain this. PatHMV can tell me to shove off if I’m explaining it wrong.

    The grand jury no-billed Mr. Horn. If this is a good result, it will both comport with the law and be just. If someone sees the result as unjust, it is either a problem with the grand jury proceedings, the law as applied to Mr. Horn, or the law in general.

    For those who see the result as unjust and problematic, they will first discuss Horn’s actions (somehow bad, if he was no-billed) and then wisdom of the law as applied here.

    I hope we never live in a world in which people feel that it is wrong to criticise our laws. I don’t think that PatHMV is saying that the Texas law is totally bad, just that it ought to not function to allow open season on criminals.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  395. daleyrocks,

    I’m confused.

    I assume you are keeping some kind of score because otherwise there would be no reason to continue trying to publicly rationalize or minimize blog comments that everybody can read and come to a judgement about themselves.

    I thought that nk’s apology deserved a thank-you (ignoring it seems the internet version of a huff), and I thought that VT’s comment deserved a return quip, and, as Dana posted something very thoughtful, I’m working on a response to her.

    What’s the problem?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  396. bridget,

    I think Pat is missing the picture big and small. I don’t think anyone is declaring open season on any and all criminals, otherwise many politicians would be in bunkers protecting themselves from harm.

    Pat thinks that civilians have no right getting so involved as Mr. Horn did. I, on the other hand, think Mr. Horn did what every citizen ought to do, confront evil.

    I do think if the criminals had either frozen or flopped to the ground to await transport by the cops, Mr. Horn would not have fired once.

    Pat, in his hyperbole, thinks anyone with a gun “sprays and Prays”. This is another bone I have to pick with Pat, but at a later time.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  397. bridget – 364 and 373 remain as outstanding examples of unblemished victimhood.

    daleyrocks (1cc55d)

  398. Dana,

    Thank you for your response.

    It is poor form to drag in other comments on other threads, made to other people and under different circumstances. I wish you wouldn’t do it.

    As for life experience… I have always been open and willing to learn from other people. I refuse to qualify that as “older or more experienced” because I’ve learned a tremendous amount from people younger than myself – especially some of my students. (I’m a cynical bitch, so I need their perspective. 😉 ) As I said to David Petrano, who got upset at all of us anonymous types who use screen names or first names only, ideas ought to be measured by their own worth and merit, not by some characteristic of the speaker.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  399. #398

    And you’re starting to act like a douche, man. I know yuo’re better than this…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  400. 364 = response to Patterico.

    373 = response to DRJ.

    Those two individuals deserve responses. If they weren’t the responses you would have liked, I’m open to hearing your thoughts. (If you would like, I will read, consider, and think about what you say, but not respond – here or anytime hereafter.) Deal?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  401. A quick P.S. – Patterico has my email address. You can get it from him, if you would like to stop mucking up this thread.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  402. PatHMV #388 – to the extent I’m trying to dictate your behavior, I’m trying to do the old fashioned way, by convincing my fellow citizens to support changes in the law to prohibit this sort of conduct.

    This was actually what I was looking for from you. The admission that you wish to control others’ behavior. Behavior that is legal, according to statute. But that’s not enough for you – you need to change the statute to criminalize this, even though it affects you not one bit – an argument you use to condemn Horn for stepping out of his house – leaving the safety of his home when he was not under attack.

    It seems you and Horn aren’t so different after all. You both don’t want to let others do things that may not impact you directly, but that you don’t like.

    The difference is that Horn’s actions were legal, while the burglars’ were not.

    But legality doesn’t seem to matter much to you, unless you believe you can use the law to control behavior of which you don’t approve, while simultaneously ignoring behavior that is already illegal.

    Would Horn have shot two people that night if there hadn’t been a burglary? Is there any causality in this occurrence? Or is that too sticky a question, as admitting some causality would force you to recognize that unchecked criminal behavior leads to violence?

    Lets examine your statement that the only respect and sympathy I’m asking for them is the basic level of respect and sympathy we should all have for any fellow human being. That’s a lie, and you admit it later when you write there’s no need to judge them, because Joe Horn already took it upon himself to do so.

    What your asking is to completely dismiss their actions in regard to the occurrence. In doing so, you create a fantasy world in which Horn’s actions exist in a bubble, and are therefore outrageous. You must dismiss the actions of the burglars, otherwise Horn is put into perspective, and perspective demolishes your arguments of outrage. I keep pointing this out. You cannot have an opinion of Horn without applying the same logic to the criminals. If you do so, your arguments fail.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  403. Bridget #373,

    I’m sorry you believe I was patronizing you because that was not my point. I intended to help a fellow professional with advice I thought might be helpful, especially since it was offered in a specific situation that I believe illustrated the point I was trying to make. If I really wanted to patronize you or anyone, which I don’t, I would have tried to soothe your hurt feelings and treat you like a child in need of consolation or self-confidence.

    Furthermore, this is the second time you have ascribed a bad motive to one of my comments. Maybe I am all the bad things you think I am – intellectually dishonest and patronizing – or maybe I’m acting from other motives. You don’t know and you are too quick to jump to the conclusion that I’m acting from bad motives when there are other explanations. For instance, it’s also possible that I want to help a new attorney do the best she can, not only for her benefit but also because all lawyers benefit from competent practitioners.

    Finally, you seem upset that I didn’t recognize in my earlier comments the conflicts presented by the audio of Horn’s conversation with the dispatcher. It’s fine with me if you want to revisit that topic with others, although I’m not interested in discussing it further. This is an interesting case and reasonable people can disagree about what should happen here. But it’s not my responsibility to present the pros and cons of every issue in my comments. Like you, I’m here to talk about the things that interest me.

    Having said that, I would like to address one specific point you made that I think is very disquieting:

    It would have also rocked out loud if you would at least recognise that what you copied from the HC was repeated about a dozen times between 35 and 130, in contexts that were not the grand jury’s no-bill.

    You acknowledge that I excerpted from the “HC” – the Houston Chronicle. The excerpt came from the link provided in Patterico’s post. I’m sorry if you have a problem with that but it’s not my fault you disagree with how the article phrased this. You were and still are free to point out your concerns at any time, over and over if you like. Why is it my responsibility to police every comment for statements that don’t meet your standards of accuracy?

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  404. Bridget. Why on earth would you even remotely think I care what you think is in poor form or what your wishes are? Self-centeredness is most unbecoming. Almost as unbecoming as your arrogance.

    You have much to learn, more than you realize.

    Unfortunately, this will be lost on you, too.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  405. PCD, you continue to attribute positions to be based on your labeling me (quite falsely) as a “liberal.” I do NOT think that anyone with a gun “sprays and Prays.” I do think a great many people on this thread have shown a lack of awareness or respect for the real risks involved in initiating an armed confrontation with criminals. I do not actually believe that the loudmouths such as yourself are terribly representative of all gun owners, and despite my own evaluation of your mental state, I support and defend your constitutional right to carry a gun.

    martin… yes, I do. At least, as a Christian I try to. I certainly condemn the evil that those men have done. As a pragmatist, I think that people like them sometimes must be killed or otherwise stopped from inflicting their evil upon the rest of us. As I noted earlier, I support the death penalty. Please look up-thread for my description of the execution I witnessed. But there’s a big difference, in my opinion, between accepting that unpleasant task (such as executing a murderer) must be done and relishing and enjoying the death of any human being (through comments like “good aim!” and “no, they’re ex-human beings”). We are responsible for what happens on this earth, and I think we bear some responsibility for failing to find some better form of justice, some solution which does not involve killing others. I think we will all be judged on this, one day. I am a sufficiently sinful human that I value my own existence, and that of my family, highly enough that I would kill if needed, and I support capital punishment because society has a very human need for revenge, in addition to its deterrent effects. But I don’t think that will give me a free pass on judgment day, because I haven’t done all I can to help prevent these evil-doers from becoming such twisted criminals in the first place. Jesus commanded us to love each other as God loves us, totally and completely. He didn’t say just love those that love you, or love those that do you no harm. I can’t quite do this, but I try to recognize that I am supposed to.

    PatHMV (653160)

  406. Apogee.. a key difference between me and Horn. He imposed his view of what should be done at the point of gun, through unilateral violence, albeit in conscious reliance on his interpretation of the new law (which again shows to me an indication that he intended to use deadly force the moment he walked out his door). I wish to change the law. Do you have no laws you wish to change? Do you consider it wrong to try to change a law when flaws are spotted?

    Do you believe that legality and morality are identical, such that everything legal is moral, and everything illegal is immoral?

    PatHMV (653160)

  407. Bridget #401,

    I agree it’s best to let this matter drop, although I’m not trying to foreclose (or prompt) any response you might have to my subsequent comment.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  408. PatHMV,

    I haven’t kept up with all your comments because of my conversation with Bridget, but I believe I left our discussion without fully responding to you. FWIW, I think I do understand your moral concerns and, even though you never asked me directly, I would not have done what Joe Horn did.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  409. DRJ,

    Thank you for both comments. I now understand where you are coming from, and I apologise for the miscommunication.

    Through no fault of your own, this has not been a bridget-DRJ disagreement, but has turned into a clusterfuck. (Sorry for cursing.) I think we are talking past each other on some issues, but I cannot continue this misery of communicating with you via 10 other people. You have my email and my g-talk if you would like a discussion. Those are alternatives for you to anything that you would like to say without prompting a response – my offer to daleyrocks applies to you as well.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  410. Why on earth would you even remotely think I care what you think is in poor form or what your wishes are? Self-centeredness is most unbecoming.

    Someone skipped her pills this morning. That’s about as schizophrenic as it gets.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  411. Bridget,

    Thank you for your comment, and I’m glad we’ve resolved this.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  412. PatHMV #407,

    I agree it’s good to consider the legitimate moral concerns you’ve raised and I have no problem with efforts to change the law to address those concerns. But if you are arguing for changes in the law – that is, you want more than a discussion of morality – then I think you need to also consider issues like deterrence in deciding whether deadly force should be used to protect property.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  413. 407, Pat, you can’t honestly say you don’t think people “spray and pray” when you say you fear the stray bullets from someone, not a cop, shooting at a criminal.

    Also, cops are not all that accurate with their fire. I can recall several cop shootings where the number of rounds fired by the cops is much less than 50% of the rounds that strike the intended target. That includes after the cops reload and fire again.

    Also, Pat, you ARE a liberal.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  414. PatHMV #407 – Anyone trained to properly use a gun knows that merely pointing a gun is an intent to use deadly force. “Don’t point the weapon at anything that you don’t want to shoot” gets drilled into your head. One could argue from that standpoint that the mere possession of a gun is an intent to use deadly force, should the necessity arise.

    Using deadly force is not illegal pertaining to the occurrence with Horn. You would like it to be illegal. His violence was not, therefore, unilateral, but fully legitimate and with the acknowledgment of society.

    You are not different than Horn, as you will also impose your view at the point of a gun. The gun of the criminal, backed up by the gun of the state. Your solution offers no less gunplay, but only a restriction on who is allowed to engage.

    You ask if it’s wrong to try and change a law when flaws are spotted. I see no flaws in this statute, and you have pointed out none to me. The fact that two people died engaging in criminal behavior is not proof of a flaw. The law worked exactly as it should. You just don’t like the fact that Horn was able to shoot people when they didn’t heed his order to cease their criminal behavior. What bothers me is that the fact that two men were engaging in theft doesn’t seem to bother you at all. You address no risk to their actions, no responsibility for their deaths to them. They were not neighbors. They had to travel quite a distance and commit a crime for this to occur. Where is your outrage at that?

    As to your ‘morality’ question – of course legality and morality are not ‘equal’. I find, actually, that your disconnect regarding accountability for various parties in this occurrence to be somewhat immoral. I have challenged you again and again to apply the same responsibility to each actor in this scenario, and you have evaded that challenge.

    As an example: You have stated that you would be extremely distraught to learn that Horn had killed these men if they were stealing your property. You go as far as to accept some responsibility for their deaths (why else would you be distraught?), yet fail to apply any responsibility to them. I truly believe your reasoning is off, as you continually elevate the deceased above all others in this equation, when in reality, they bear most, if not all, of the accountability for this occurring.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  415. the number of rounds fired by the cops is much less than 50% of the rounds that strike the intended target

    I’m pretty sure I know what you meant, but can you rephrase so I don’t have to guess?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  416. bridget,

    Posting the transcript is a good thing.

    I don’t *know* where you got the idea I had suggested otherwise, but I can guess: when DRJ and I told you we are already familiar with the facts.

    However, I didn’t say that in order to criticize you for posting a transcript. I said it because you made a comment to the effect that it would have taken DRJ ten minutes to find the transcript.

    When I read that comment of yours, the message it conveyed to me was (I’ll paraphrase):

    I alone have bothered to learn the facts here, by finding the transcript, which proves DRJ misstated the facts. Then she showed intellectual dishonesty by refusing to acknowledge the facts shown by the transcript.

    If you will give DRJ and I credit for being informed and reasonable, you might see a different possibility: that we are familiar with the facts and transcript, but just disagree with you.

    DRJ never put the word “freeze” in quotes. Others did. It’s fine to point out that that word was not used. But you really need to be less casual about imputing any sort of dishonesty to commenters who are informed and reasonable. It’s an easy way to cause severe offense.

    Patterico (bdb3e1)

  417. 416, drumwaster, you are right. What I meant was: “the number of rounds fired by the cops that strike the intended target is much less than 50% of the rounds fired by the cops.”

    PCD (5c49b0)

  418. PatHMV, #354, now you are attempting to rewrite what you yourself wrote above. #354 is filled with more inventions.

    It remains that you based on your conclusions on claims – really your own inventions – that are simply false. In armed encounters, two seconds is enough time for quite a bit of things to happen. But you want to confirm your own bias, so you’ve concluded based on nothing that nothing could have happened in that time to justify shooting. Pure fantasy on your part and confirmation that your bias is the source of your conclusion, not an evaluation of the evidence we have on hand.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  419. the grand jury no-billed Joe Horn for the shooting of two dirt bags who burgled his neighbors’ house.

    Joe did a valuable service to society, let us celebrate…

    ROBERT RUDZKI (6ffa37)

  420. You’re an amusing girl, bridget. Good luck.

    Dana (a61bbb)

  421. Patterico,

    First, a quick nitpick:

    I said it because you made a comment to the effect that it would have taken DRJ ten minutes to find the transcript.

    I said it would have taken her ten seconds to listen to the audio and compare to the HC version, not ten minutes to find the transcript.

    I don’t *know* where you got the idea I had suggested otherwise, but I can guess: when DRJ and I told you we are already familiar with the facts.

    Yes. To be very specific (because, like all engineers and most lawyers, I’m totally anal-retentive), it was the 130/138/140/145 sequence that really confused me.

    DRJ never put the word “freeze” in quotes. Others did. It’s fine to point out that that word was not used.

    Subjectively, that is not the impression that I got (see immediately above). Thank you for your patience in straightening that out.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  422. 421 – something tells me that you wouldn’t want me responding to that the way you responded in 405.

    Stifles discussion, doesn’t it?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  423. Patterico has a search form on his sidebar. Just type in “Joe Horn” (without the quotation marks), look at the search results, and you will see that DRJ owns this story. Nobody here has paid as much attention to it as DRJ has or knows more about it.

    nk (16accd)

  424. For God’s sake Bridget…

    I like you, girl, but come on, are you TRYING to be a bitch today?

    Put down the books you’re studying, and go have a drink at a nearby bar, and then come back, ok? I really think you’re being far more hostile than you need to be here.

    I don’t say ANY of that to patronize or demean you Bridget, but as someone who enjoys your posting and is baffled by your complete change in behavior for this thread.

    I’ve talked to both DRJ and Patterico outside of this blog, and I’ve yet to hear DRJ say anything mean about ANYONE (she’s freakishly understanding and forgiving), and Patterico save’s his for the LAT and it’s staff ( :) )…

    Please, can’t we all just freaking drop this?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  425. Bridget – All I was looking for was an end to whatever was going on, like 410 and 412, with both sides accepting responsibility for getting signals crossed. DRJ has already made a conciliatory approach. IMHO, you were keeping the dispute going and playing the victim in the comments I referenced earlier when the cleanest thing to do was just end it.

    That’s all I was trying to say. I also agree with nk that DRJ owns this story.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  426. Scott,

    Thank you for telling me, straight-out, of how you think I’m acting.

    I can always work out my differences with one person. What I cannot do is stay happy and cheerful while other people run around calling me names and telling me that I’m arrogant, self-centred, wrong all the way through, etc. It is tiring, counterproductive, and it sucks to feel like your character is being slammed from all sides.

    I respect your opinion and understand what you are telling me. I would have a hell of a lot easier time following it, though, if you would tell Dana, nk, daleyrocks, Apogee – anyone who is NOT DRJ or Patterico – to get the fuck out of it and mind their own business.

    Thank you again for being kind. :) Sorry to rant at you.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  427. Sorry Bridget,

    When it comes to insulting DRJ it is definitely not a private fight with me. Patterico neither.

    And if you don’t like your enemies having friends who defend them when you attack them, then you get “the fuck out”, bitch.

    nk (16accd)

  428. Bridget #427 – This is an open forum. The only person who can dictate who I communicate with on it is Patterico. Period.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  429. Comment by bridget — 7/2/2008 @ 3:51 pm

    Sorry, everyone, for jumping in at this point (been lurking from breaks at work as this is an interesting thread but but don’t have time to both read and comment)…all due respect, isn’t the fact that the conversation is taking place on this thread make it not private, by definition?

    I dunno, I thought giving feedback if one member is perceived to be out of line (insulting another commenter’s honesty, for example) was within the bounds.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  430. Enough. This is too nice a group, including recent additions Bridget and TLove, to risk compromising it over a simple misunderstanding that has been resolved.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  431. no one you know,

    My comment 431 wasn’t about your comment 430. I didn’t see it until after I posted.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  432. I discussed this case extensively with PatHMV when it first came to our attention. I’ve seen nothing to change my initial take on it.

    A couple of notes. One, do NOT ask me to feel sorry for the dead burglars. They encountered a predictable occupational hazard. Two, Horn is Stupid, capital “S”. He should’ve stayed in his home with his shotgun for company until officers arrived, as the dispatcher told him to. Dumbass.

    IMHO that applies regardless of Texas law, and regardless of any moral judgement about Horn’s actions, which I am sure have marked him in ways he regrets.

    And Pat, I’m ROFLMAO at people so confidently callin’ you a libuhral. 😉

    Tully (c2f070)

  433. no one you know,

    My comment 431 wasn’t about your comment 430. I didn’t see it until after I posted.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/2/2008 @ 4:08 pm

    Did figure that you were talking about the thread in general, but thank you anyway for making it clear. :)

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  434. “I would have a hell of a lot easier time following it, though, if you would tell Dana, nk, daleyrocks, Apogee – anyone who is NOT DRJ or Patterico – to get the fuck out of it and mind their own business.”

    It’s all their fault!!!!!!!

    Stop yer whining. I thought this was over. I made three short comments and then stayed out of the thread for four hours in the hopes that you would come to your senses and work it out. You did and I was glad.

    Now you’re fucking whining again.

    Just let it go.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  435. Scott,

    Thank you for telling me, straight-out, of how you think I’m acting.

    I am nothing if not blunt… :)

    I’m glad you understand the spirit I said it though.

    And to the rest, give it a rest.

    I like DRJ as much as the rest of you, and I know why you would jump on someone who would speak poorly to her (Lord knows I do it too), but she has moved on, and so should the rest of you…

    I still like Bridget (though not as much as I once did – no more swooning, but that’s because she’s rejected me), so lets just get on wist mocking Levi and jharp, ok?

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  436. Daleyrocks, now YOU are acting like a bitch.

    Cut it out dude, seriously. I did single her out for my comment, and I SHOULD have directed it at several others.

    Her comment had a ring of truth to it.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  437. Change of pace: The Houston Chronicle has a link on its homepage (top left corner) to a police videotape “from the day of the double shootings [in which] the Pasadena retiree takes police through his home and yard and gives them a detailed account of his actions.”

    I haven’t watched it yet but it should be interesting. There is also this Chronicle interview with Joe Horn entitled “Joe Horn: ‘I would never advocate anyone doing what I did’.”

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  438. Joe Horn was interviewed by Diane Sawyer this morning. Her tone was disapproving and several times questioned hima as to why he went out and shot them after being instructed not to.

    It was very sad to watch this old guy who was obviously already in turmoil be further scolded by Ms. Sawyer. At the end of the interview however, he did state that he believed it would indeed be a deterrent but in no way did he feel good about it.

    DRJ, you mentioned federal charges. Would you please elaborate?

    Dana (a61bbb)

  439. ‘I would never advocate anyone doing what I did’

    I’m sure Alvin York sat back in his later days and thought “Was I really that foolish?”

    Doesn’t change the fact that he was a hero for doing what he did.

    I know for a fact there were things that I did instinctively that I would never have done if I had had a few minutes to think things over. I don’t regret any of those actions, but still…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  440. DRJ, you mentioned federal charges. Would you please elaborate?

    I, also, would appreciate further elaboration. What kind of charges, and filed against whom, exactly?

    (I’m dreading the thought of someone filing a “civil rights” violation against Mr. Horn, for daring to violate the civil rights of those two illegal aliens to break into people’s houses and steal things.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  441. #431 DRJ, aw thanks!!

    TLove (4a03a6)

  442. Scott – You needed to say what you said to bridget and you should have said it earlier. I thought it was done and up pops her comment to you with gratuitous shots at others on the blog.

    I disagree with your comment about acting like a bitch. She is obviously not done with this.

    I wonder if Alan can tell us if she always acts this way when she is embarrassed or loses an argument.

    I enjoy her as a commenter and think she is very bright and a welcome addition to the blog. The thin skin and blaming everybody but herself for what happens are a little tough to take from a supposed conservative.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  443. I’ve never handled a civil rights case so I may be way off-base, but the DOJ website states that anyone with first-hand knowledge of a potential violation can file a criminal civil rights complaint regarding:

    1. Hate crimes.
    2. Health care access interference.
    3. Involuntary servitude or migrant worker exploitation.
    4. Housing interference.
    5. Official misconduct.
    6. Religious interference or property damage.

    I don’t see how items 2-6 would apply but I can’t rule out that someone will file a complaint that this was a hate crime.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  444. I agree with DRJ. Let’s drop the attacks and move on dot org.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  445. daleyrocks – DROP IT.

    no one you know – DROP IT.

    Apogee – DROP IT.

    nk – DROP IT.

    DRJ – thank you.

    Patterico – thank you.

    Scott Jacobs – thank you. Thank you. Need another? Thank you.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  446. per #445. One huge problem with our legal system is that people can sue in civil court over deeds that really should be handled in criminal court. This cannot be a hate crime because there was no underlying crime, but that wouldn’t stop some sleazebag trial lawyer from suing, provided that he felt he could stack a jury with enough of the right type to convict.

    martin (0bd3dd)

  447. bridget –
    I’m not even involved and your last post makes my dander get up.

    A little bit of diplomacy might be good, you know?

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  448. Yeah, that’s hardly the most diplomatic way to handle it.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  449. From daleyrocks #444 (at 5:28pm – 2 hours ago.) I thought it was done and up pops her comment to you with gratuitous shots at others on the blog… She is obviously not done with this.

    Exactly.

    Bridget – I take no orders from you. You are the one keeping this alive – not anyone else. If you don’t wish people to respond, stop barking commands at them as though you are in charge.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  450. I have nothing against Bridget. Never had. Not ever.

    If she’s ok with DRJ and Patterico she’s ok with me.

    I’m shutting up.

    nk (16accd)

  451. Bridget – I take no orders from you. You are the one keeping this alive – not anyone else. If you don’t wish people to respond, stop barking commands at them as though you are in charge.

    This, bridget, is exactly the sort of response that you should have expected from your last comment. It is as inevitable as the rising of the sun. Can you not see that?

    Patterico (cb443b)

  452. Comment by Patterico — 7/2/2008 @ 5:57 pm

    No ‘attack’ intended from here, Patterico, as I hope was clear from my post. Am sorry bridget interpreted it that way; next time will think longer before speakin’ up.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  453. cross post; sorry.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  454. Don’t worry, I wasn’t saying everyone was attacking her. Some were, though.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  455. Foxflier – I know you are trying to be helfpul, but this isn’t like Rummikub, where adding another tile can help you get them all out of the rack and end the game.

    Patterico,

    That I did not. As for diplomacy – for the love of God, reading these comments (esp. after DRJ and I hugged and made up) makes me sick to my stomach. I’ve pulled consecutive all-nighters and felt better, physically, than I feel now.

    nk – danke schoen.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  456. This?

    I don’t think this is “dropping it”…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  457. 1. Cross-post.

    2. My comment to FF was meant to be a joke. I know I’m off and can’t communicate humour (or anything else) very well now, but please read as intended.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  458. I’m sorry, Scott Jacobs.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  459. … and Patterico. Sorry for the zillion posts; I should end my love affair with “tab-enter.”

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  460. God damnit. If I see another post about the bridget issue, I’m quitting this God Damn site…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  461. Did my g-talk invite go through?

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  462. bridget –
    Am I FF?

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  463. Bridget,

    I’m fortunate to have friends here who feel protective of me, and I feel the same about them. So I suggest you relax, forget about what happened, and get to know them every chance you can … and soon they will be there for you the way they were for me.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  464. FYI: I misspelled you as Foxflier – I’m sorry. Yes, I abbreviated FF later.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  465. (Small voice): you. I think. I grabbed your email from your blog link.

    I’m a gmail idiot… even though I use it every day. I’ll try again.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  466. God damnit. If I see another post about the bridget issue, I’m quitting this God Damn site…

    There’s gratitude for you. We’re trying to work out your boy-girl fights for you in advance and that’s what we get? I have nothing against Bridget and, in a different sense, it looks you won’t ever have either with your attitude. 😉

    nk (16accd)

  467. @ 449,

    I’m not even involved and your last post makes my dander get up.

    Foxfier, that comment didn’t even include her whackness spewed at Dana. Someone needs to lay off the Rockstar cans before class. Messes up the thinking the whole day.

    You’re an amusing girl, bridget. Good luck.

    Dana, she’ll need luck. And after the bar she’ll need a boss she can flirt with.

    At least the next time an attack is ready to launch, someone will plumb the archives first.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  468. nk – we’ve been over this. Alan can confirm. Just wave good, tasty chocolate under my nose, and I’m a goner. But, ya know, with the dollar down against the euro, such things could get more difficult in the future, so I see your point.

    merci.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  469. For the love of God….

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  470. #468
    Email the address… I actually forward off of that one so I don’t have to check it… :)

    However…

    #470
    And that’s the bell ending the round. Been nice posting here folks.

    Y’all take care…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  471. Scotty … sleep tight and y’all come back now ya hear ?

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  472. I emailed you and sent along my email via a post to your blog. :p

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  473. bridget –
    So long as I’m not “Foxy” before the second date, I’m usually alright.. ;^p

    I think you’re a decent person who means well, but…well, there have been an awful lot of folks who fake such, in the short time I’ve been here. So folks will be highly defensive.

    (BWT, the non-cap is still buggin’ me. *grin*)

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  474. So long as I’m not “Foxy” before the second date, I’m usually alright.. ;^p

    I’m not that kind of woman! :)

    As for the non-cap: I don’t like the look of my name with the caps on. (In fact, I don’t much like my name, but I’m stuck with it….)

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  475. Heh, I went through that phase–unlikely you’ll be cured as I was, though. (first, I found out my name meant WORTH of love; then I found out my namesake had run away from his family several times for his faith; amazing motivation)

    Foxfier (15ac79)

  476. Mine means “strong” or “resolute strength.” I like that part of it. :) There’s also a story behind my name, which I also like.

    bridget (e8e4c8)

  477. A highly respected US attorney (appointed as acting DA as Rosenthal had to resign) was impassioned that Joe Horn had the motive to kill and was not defending himself – had no intention of defending himself.

    The fact that the Harris county DA’s office impaneled a grand jury is important.

    The facts as unproven in court are Joe Horn said he was going to stop them or kill them

    They were shot in the back

    They were shot in the street

    One was crawling away when shot again

    They were unarmed

    The suspects did NOT charge Joe Horn

    Unless we believe that the staff of the very competant Harris County DA’s office are idiots and the US attorneys are all idiots for bringing this to a grand jury – then there is sufficient evidence of a crime

    EricPWJohnson (ea6050)

  478. 480, Harris County? Isn’t this the county with the very political Ronnie Earle who indicts anyone who differs from his far left Liberal Democrat Agenda?

    PCD (5c49b0)

  479. #480

    Your scenario was rejected by the jury. Since you weren’t on the jury and didn’t hear the evidence that was presented to them, your opinion matters not.

    Sound familiar?

    j curtis (c84b9e)


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