Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Tale of Two Shootings

I was going to do this as a "FACE-OFF FRIDAY" topic, but since I usually don't give you my opinion on those - and I definitely have opinions here - let's do this as a regular blog post, shall we?



Here in the United States, we recently had two well publicized incidents where a property owner shot and killed people illegally trespassing on their property.

OKLAHOMA

The first one happened in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.  Long story short, three teenage boys broke into a home, which was occupied by the homeowner at the time.  The boys were there to burglarize the place, and of the three, two were armed (one with a knife, one with brass knuckles).  The homeowner killed all three burglars with an AR-15 rifle.  Later, the getaway driver - and accused "ringleader" of the burglary ring - was arrested and charged with murder.

News links and details here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/oklahoma-man-uses-ar-15-kill-three-teen-home-intruders-n739541

http://fox8.com/2017/03/30/oklahoma-911-caller-three-people-broke-into-my-house-i-shot-two/

In this case, the news is that the homeowner will not be charged with a crime.  The "big news" has been that a relative of one of the burglars is complaining that this was "not a fair fight". Read more about that here: Family member of teen burglary suspect killed in Wagoner County break-in speaks out

WASHINGTON

This happened in Mason County, Washington.  A man came home to his property, where there is a home and another building that is a business.  He found a naked man showering in his business building.  He left that building, went to his house, retrieved a firearm, and shot and killed the man in the shower at the business building.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/homeowner-arrested-fatally-shooting-intruder-found-shower-police/story?id=46536513

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/04/washington-state-man-arrested-after-killing-intruder-in-shower-police-say.html

The homeowner has been arrested and charged with murder.

So, here's my two cents on these cases, and I'm looking for your opinions, too.  Of course, all we have to go on are media reports, so important details may be missing from each incident.

In the Oklahoma case, I think the authorities did the right thing in not charging the homeowner with a crime.  The burglars were armed when entering the home, which suggests to me that they were planning for some trouble (especially the brass knuckles, which are illegal in most places here).  There were three of them to his one.  The grandfather's claim about a "fair fight" - as if the victim in this case had some sort of moral, ethical or legal duty to give the burglars a "fair chance" (risking his own life in the process, being severely outnumbered) is ridiculous.

In Washington, I think the authorities did the right thing in arresting the owner of the property and charging him with murder.  This is a very different situation.  First off, the intruder was not in the man's home, he was obviously not in any way armed, and was not threatening the owner of the property.  Second, the man had the time to leave the place where the bad guy was, safely, go to another nearby location, retrieve his firearm, re-enter the place where the intruder was, and shoot the man.  He could (and should) have left the building, went to his home, secured it, and called the police to deal with the intruder.

I'm interested in what you think about both of these situations.  Do you disagree with the actions of the authorities in either situation?  Why, or why not?