I live in the South. I'm sure you already know that a few things come with living in the South. One is the prevalence of this:
Another is the belief that everyone should have one of these:
Not everyone in the South is pro-gun ownership, but plenty are. Many gun owners feel unsafe, so they buy guns to protect themselves.
Again, there are arguments for and against that. But what I've noticed on our community Facebook pages is that there are a large number of people who take it a step too far. The second there's a robbery, some Jesse James wannabe says, "They'd better not try to break into my house. They won't get out alive."
For that reason, the recent conviction of a Montana man caught my interest. Markus Kaarma was convicted and sentenced to 70 years for shooting an intruder in his garage. The intruder was this guy:
Foreign exchange student Diren Dede entered
Kaarma's open garage in search of beer. It was something teenagers in the area did, since some people store beer there. Only what Diren didn't realize was the home's occupants could see him on a makeshift video surveillance system they'd installed. These are the home's occupants (Kaarma and family):
There are several other factors that led to Kaarma's arrest and conviction, but the gist of it is that they were viewed as having set up a trap to capture intruders. Kaarma fired four shots, one of which demonstrated that Dede was walking away from him, not toward him as Kaarma had claimed.
Are there laws protecting residents who defend their homes? Yes. Montana has what is called a "castle doctrine," allowing residents to defend themselves against break-ins. The problem is, Kaarma told people he'd been waiting up night after night, waiting for an intruder to come along.
Circling back to the start of this blog, doesn't that make it a bad idea to state on a very public forum, "They'd better not try to break into my house. They won't get out alive?"
Do you think someone is justified in shooting an intruder who has broken into his garage?