Saturday, October 26, 2013

OK: Thief Slanders Homeowner who Shot Car Burglar

This would be a fairly common "homeowner defends life and property" story, but it has a couple of interesting twists.

John Becker was watching TV, saw the dome light on his truck go on, and took his shotgun to investigate.  The car burglar refused to obey commands, kept coming at him, and reached into his pocket.

This is where it gets interesting.   As is common in deadly force situations, time seems to slow for John.  The phenomena is called tachypsychia.   In John's words, from,
"It happens fast, but to me its like things just slow-motioned," Becker said. "For some reason, something told me to lower my gun and shoot him in the leg. And he's lucky he's got that."
It is easy to criticise these decisions when you are in a comfortable chair without a deadly threat facing you.   I respect John's decision.   Maybe God was giving John a message.   In any case, the message is one of the  things that makes this case stand out.   What happens later is also interesting.

When the police arrive, they find a knife in the pocket that the criminal was reaching into, and John's personal effects on the criminal's person.  The police do not release John's name.   An article is published by a local station, and the comments show overwhelming support for John's actions.   This is a very common reaction.

But then, a commenter, Sasha Ayala, accuses John of being a felon and that he and his wife have warrants!

Then another commenter states that Sasha Ayala was caught stealing from  John, and has been charged with felonies five times and misdemeanors four times.   Sasha is told that she is living in "a glass house" and she should not throw rocks.    Sasha is asked if her employer knows that she is a convicted felon.

Now John comes on line.  He reveals that he tried to render aid after he shot the criminal, and says that he is glad that he did not kill him.    This sort of statement would have been common before 1940, but in today's litigious society, where the old media often excoriate people such as John, I do not recommend it.  Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.

The comments continue to be favourable to John, but many wish he had aimed higher.

A prime lesson form this incident is the observation that criminals lie.   They will lie to attempt to gain revenge on someone who stopped them from completing their criminal acts.   They will do this when the only thing to be gained is harm to the person who stopped them.

This is often difficult for ordinary people, who do not lie as a matter of course, to understand.   It is one of the reasons that Arizona passed its "Defensive Display" law, which makes it legal for people who carry guns to let people know that they are armed, without worrying about being charged with aggravated assault simply for stopping an attack.  This was documented in Arizona in one of the first cases where a concealed weapon permit holder defended himself by merely displaying his firearm.  He was accused of aggravated assault, and was walking into the courthouse for the trial, when his defence attorney was told of a 911 call that collaborated his story.  The charges against him were then dropped.

He had been put through months of uncertainty and legal maneuvering because of the lying, vengeful people that he had prevented from carrying out their attack on him.

Massad Ayoob noted decades ago, that a common story from muggers who were shot, was that the person who shot them demanded homosexual favors from  them, and when they pulled out a knife to defend themselves, their (falsely accused) attacker pulled a gun and shot them. 

Remember, criminals lie.   They do it reflexively, so expect it and prepare for it.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


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