Guns and Crime Control

By Rob Morse. May 2, 2024

A woman found a man who had broken into her home. She shot the intruder in order to protect herself. The intruder died at the scene. There are good reasons to have sympathy for both the attacker and the defender.

This homeowner heard glass breaking at five in the morning. She also heard another noise coming from her basement. It was dark outside. The homeowner armed herself. She opened the inside door that went down to her basement. There, she found a stranger inside her home. She shot him and then she called 911 for help. She remained at the scene and gave a statement to the police. The intruder broke into the home through a small ground-level window. The window was located in a narrow alleyway between two homes. The intruder died from his injuries.

Laws matter. The homeowner lived in Pennsylvania. Like many other states, Pennsylvania has castle doctrine laws. That means that an intruder is assumed to be engaged in criminal activity and the homeowner has a right to use force, including deadly force, to defend herself and other innocent parties. What she did was legal. It was not best practice.

I've written about hundreds of similar incidents. In some of those cases the intruder was armed. It is entirely understandable to want to find out what is happening in your home. We do not want to turn on the upstairs lights and then open the door to a dark basement. We're looking into a dark basement and form a clear silhouette as we stand in the doorway. That means the bad guy can see us and we can't see him as he hides in the dark. Walking down the stairs is like walking down a hallway in that we can't move out of the way or find a place to hide. Those situations are dangerous. They are also predictable and avoidable. .....


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