Friday, December 15, 2006

The great equalizer

A good editorial below:

Unless you get upstate New York television stations on your satellite dish or surf TV stations' Web sites, you probably haven't heard about what happened to Raymond and Joyce Papin.

On Dec. 4, the couple had retired for the evening when they heard a noise in their house on the outskirts of Alexandria, a town of about 4,000 on the St. Lawrence River. Mr. Papin, 82, got up and found two masked men in camouflage clothing poking around his kitchen, according to WWTI-TV Channel 50. When the robbers demanded money, Mr. Papin smashed the smaller of the two in the face with a sugar bowl, and a struggle ensued.

Seconds later, Mrs. Papin, 74, entered the kitchen packing a shotgun and told the intruders to beat it. They obliged. The Papins were shaken by the incident, but uninjured. The criminals likewise were unharmed, but also went away empty-handed. The thugs figured the Papins would be easy marks because they are elderly and live on a farm a good distance from the village. What they didn't figure on was the shotgun.

Criminologists estimate at least 2 million crimes a year in America are thwarted in just this manner: armed citizens use guns to defend themselves and their property without ever firing a shot. Unfortunately, most media outlets don't consider this news, so almost all the incidents go unreported. But think how many more crimes could be averted if anti-gun politicians weren't so obsessed with making the job of criminals easier by disarming upright citizens.

Minnesota: Crazy ex-boyfriend shot: "A Wright County man broke into his ex-girlfriend's home in Rockford before dawn Wednesday and was shot to death by her new boyfriend, authorities said. The couple called Wright County deputies and reported the shooting about 3:30 a.m. When deputies arrived, Erik A. Richter, 35, of Watertown was dead in the home, according to a news release. He had been charged in November with making terroristic threats against the new boyfriend. Samantha E. Simons, 21, told police that she and her 30-year-old boyfriend were awakened when Richter forced his way into her home, said Lt. Todd Hoffman of the Wright County Sheriff's Office. The couple told authorities that Richter was shot in self-defense, Hoffman said. Deputies questioned the Rockford couple Wednesday but made no arrests. Hoffman said there was no struggle before the shooting in the 8800 block of Walnut Place, but he wouldn't say if Richter was armed. He said more details will be released Thursday when County Attorney Tom Kelly is expected to announce whether charges will be filed in the shooting. The young child of Richter and Simons was in the house when Richter broke in Wednesday, Hoffman said. The break-in violated conditions of Richter's release from jail on the terroristic threats charge."

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