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L. Neil Smith's
Number 480, August 10, 2008

"And that's why we like guns."

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The Rage Against Self-Defense
by Sean Gangol
RGangol -+AT+- sbcglobal -+DOT+- net

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Recently in Houston Texas, a man named Joe Horn was found not guilty by a grand jury for the shooting deaths of two burglars. The incident happened back in November of 2007 when two men were in the process of a robbing a house across the street from Horn. The attempted robbery occurred during the day, while the neighbors were at work. When Horn realized what was going on he called 911. Even though he was advised by the operator not to go outside, he grabbed his shot gun and went outside to get a better look at the men.

On the 911 tape, you could hear Horn telling the two men not to move, followed by two shotgun blasts. Due to the fact that the wounds of the two men were in the back and that he ignored the advice of the operator, Horn was brought before a grand jury. Most of the facts were in Horn's favor. The bodies of the two perpetrators were found on Horn's property and the witnesses testified that they were running toward him. The new "Castle Doctrine", which states that a home owner doesn't have to flee before using deadly force, also aided in Horn's defense. After the grand jury ruled that Horn had acted in self-defense, it seemed like that was the end of the story. Unfortunately, people like Quanell X are trying the keep the controversy alive.

Not too long after Horn had killed the two burglars, X accused him of being a blood thirsty vigilante. After the grand jury had sided with Horn, X cried racism and declared the case to be a travesty of justice. In his quest to portray the two criminals as victims, X conveniently ignores the facts. One of them is that the two men were not girl scouts selling cookies. They were criminals with long rap sheets. X also likes to ignore the many eye witnesses (one of them being a police officer in plain clothes) that saw the two men charge Horn before he fired on them. X seems to have a hard time imagining how a sixty-two year old man could feel threaten by two thirty year old men, one of them armed with a crowbar.

X isn't the only one who feels this way. Congresswoman Shelia Jackson is doing her own investigation because she felt that the authorities were too lenient towards Joe Horn. This should come as no surprise, since Jackson has never been an advocate of self-defense. Her voting record indicates that she has never seen an anti-gun law that she didn't like.

The Castle Doctrine is something else that is being challenged by black leaders. This is reminiscent of the attitudes in England. It is difficult to forget the English farmer who was imprisoned for defending his property. After he shot the two burglars that invaded his farm, he was charged with first degree murder. Even more ludicrous, the burglar that survived the shootings was allowed to sue the farmer because his injury prevented him from working. The state also allowed the burglar to obtain welfare benefits.

I know that there are plenty of differences between the shootings in Texas and England, but there are still parallels. Like the farmer, there are those who would like to see Horn locked away. Luckily there is still a big difference between Texas law and the laws of England. The one thing that both England and the United States have in common is a court system that sometimes awards people for criminal behavior. People have been sued just for choosing to defend their castles instead of running away. Right now Quanell X is aiding the fiancé of one of the perpetrators in bringing a lawsuit against Joe Horn. It is amazing that we have courts in this country that believe that anyone should have legal recourse while committing illegal acts. If people like Quanell X and Shelia Jackson get their way, then criminals will have safer work environments in Texas, just like our English cousins.


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