January 7, 2012

Why I Carry - Part II

The man pictured above is Micheal Henderson and he is dead at age 19.
"Why is he dead?" you may ask. The answer is simple. Hendersen, his brother Seneca and two of their friends were in the process of breaking into a North Carolina home where a 14 year old boy had armed himself with a loaded shotgun.

"I Got One More In The Chamber. I'm Going To Shoot Again"

After the shooting, Michael Hendersen and his accomplices fled the scene. Hendersen collapsed a short distance from the house where his body was discovered by police. Two more men, Seneca Hendersen and Andrew Terry, were captured and a third, Jatwaun Davis, is being sought. This happened a few weeks ago on December 29, 2011, two days before another defensive shooting incident where an 18 year old single mother, Sarah McKinley, shot and killed an intruder in Oklahoma.

McKinley's ordeal in Oklahoma got a lot of attention, but there was little or no mention of the North Carolina incident in the main stream media. So it perhaps is no surprise that I finally read this from a news source outside the USA - the UK Telegraph.
Investigators released a 911 call with the teen calmly describing how he shot the intruder.

In the call, the teen, says: 'I just shot the man. He came around the corner. I shot him. He broke the whole glass out (of the back door).'

He continues: 'I don't know how many it was (who broke in). Just one came around the corner. I got one more in the chamber. I'm going to shoot again,' the boy said.

'Do not, while I’m on the phone, do not fire that firearm, OK?' the dispatcher says?.
It is at this point in the conversation that I hang up because the dispatcher is an idiot.
'What if another one comes in the house, ma'am?' he asked.

'Let me know, OK, if you see anybody. I will let you know (when a deputy gets to the house),' the dispatcher responded
Excuse me Mr. Dispatcher?!? You're sitting on your ass in a comfortable chair sucking on a fresh cup of coffee in a secure building ten or twenty miles away and you're going to tell me when to shoot? I got a few words for you Mr. Dispatcher and I can't print them here.

It cannot be any clearer, when you have but a few seconds to make a life threatening decision, the police are only minutes away. And you have a clueless SOB on the line telling you when the police will be there. The best part of this? Neither the police nor the dispatcher can be held accountable if they screw up and you end up dead.

National crime statistics compiled by the FBI confirm that the police do not prevent most violent crime. In 2010, there were 14,748 murders, 367,832 robberies, and 84,767 rapes committed in the US. Not one of these crimes were prevented by the police or the courts. And for the most part it's not their fault. We have always had these crimes. But the responsibility for protection rests ultimately upon the citizen.

Let's see what the courts have to say.

Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1, 4 (D.C. 1981)
DC's highest court noted that because the police are only under a general duty to provide services to the public at large, a special relationship must exist between the police and the individual in question for the "duty" element of negligence to be satisfied. It held that no such special relationship existed so the case was properly dismissed by the lower court for failure to state a claim and the case never went to trial.
Ford v. Town of Grafion, 693 N.E.2d 1047
According to the court, when the police advised Catherine “to get a gun for protection,” that was a warning to her that the police were unable to assure her safety or protect her. Because she got no assurances of safety from the police, she had no legal right to rely on the police to protect her. Case dismissed.
And now for federal law...
Bowers v. Devito, 686F.2d 616 at 618 (7th Cir. 1982)
“... no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.”

I've been involved in law enforcement for almost forty years, twenty-four of them as a LEO. I spent seven of those years as an evidence technician, documenting murder, rape and mayhem that could have been prevented only by the proper use or display of sufficient force.

There are so many good men and women who wear the badge and do their best to serve and protect, but reality dictates that we are rarely there in time and it would be a lie if we promised to do so.

Your safety is in your own hands.
Best fill your hand with something other than a telephone.


Anonymous said...

The boy should have tried begging for mercy --- while he was firing.

IanH said...

This is why crime in rural areas is down. Most landowners have a fire arm ready to protect against predators.

Gorges Smythe said...

Generally speaking, police are just there to investigate AFTER THE FACT. (And to write money-making tickets whenever possible.)

Lori said...

I was raised with guns in my home, and I know have guns in my home. My neighbor has several guns in their home. I am a peaceful, loving Christian woman and I believe that when the citizens lose their rights to arm themselve in their own home, then all anarchy breaks loose. We are tired of criminals ruling our homes and streets! Once they cross the threshold of my home, they better beware! I can just hear my cousin about now, humming the tune...."Onward Christian Soldiers....." Hee hee

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Cross the threshold and you're mine.

sig94 said...

Nickie - Eteranl Heavenly, Merciful Father, this day I pray You for a firm grip, proper stance, smooth trigger squeeze and a good sight picture in Jesus Name, amen!

sig94 said...

IanH - there are government and university studies that indicate that firearms are used in a defensive posture over 1 milllion times a year by armed citizens to protect themselves. I'll post about that in a day or two.

sig94 said...

Gorges - the problem is fairly simple if not all that apparent. We are too busy taking care of non-criminal BS to effectively fight crime. Plus, the courts let the perps out almost as soon as they're arrested and don't even mention juvies.

One person alone can engage in a crime spree that involves scores of victims.

sig94 said...

Lori - I was raised just the opposite. My dad hated guns. I don't know if it was because of WWII or what. My brother and I could not have anything that propelled another object other than our arms. We had to hide our slingshots.

Subvet said...

My wife was against owning firearms until she witnessed some guy walk up to our home and try opening the front door. Being the dutiful citizen, she called 911. The man found our door locked, walked away, came back 20 minutes later for a second try, walked away again, for good this time. Nobody ever showed up in response to the 911 call.

When we pulled the string on this, it turned out that the dispatcher had downgraded the call to one involving a "confused senior citizen" wandering our neighborhood. The justification? Well evidently my wife spoke in a level, even tone so the dispatcher didn't believe she might be witnessing a potential breakin.

My wife is an RN, she is T-R-A-I-N-E-D to keep her composure during crisis. DUH! When asked just how hysterical the wife should sound next time, the dispatcher, her supervisor and the local police chief had no answer.

Shortly after purchasing a .38 Police Special the wife went to the range for the first time in her life. The bullets that didn't hit the head of the silhouette target went into the crotch area.

When I commented that her shooting was pretty good for a novice, she replied, "I'll be protecting my family with this. I ain't gonna play."

911-when seconds count the police are just minutes away. That is if the dispatcher thinks it's worth the bother.

sig94 said...

Odie - and if they're not over the threshold ... drag 'em in. We had a case like that about 20 some odd years ago. A restaurant owner was suspected of dragging the dead burglar back inside the building. The jury refused to convict.

sig94 said...

Subvet - she's probably jerking the trigger a bit if she keeps hitting the crotch. Not that it ain't a proper target.

Depending on the size of the jurisdiction there are call takers and dispatchers in 911 centers. They switch back and forth these jobs as dispatching can be a very stressful experience in a busy jurisdiction. We had county dispatchers and city dispatchers in our 911 center and the county people wanted no part of the city dispatch. Some city dispatchers quit because they couldn't handle the pressure and would freeze up when cops were yelling over the air during shoot outs and chases.

I has one incident with a 911 caper where my Chief publically threatened to break down the doors and arrest everyone in the center. The people running these facilities can be real idiots.

Kid said...

Some friends who recently obtained carry permits said the police who conducted the training told them two things if they had to shoot to defend themselves:

- Say nothing more than "I felt my/our life was in danger".
- A lawyer is going to follow every bullet coming out of your gun that hits someone.

It really is nonsense isn't it? Who would think of calling 911 when hypothetically, an idiot approaches you and starts throwing punches? You're going to throw some back of hit the ground and hope he stops.
Yet, when someone approaches you with the obvious intention of using lethal force, you're supposed to call 911? Ah, no thank you.

And while I'm at it, if my home is being invaded, I sure don't want to waste time talking to someone at an 'alarm company' ("We're sending help right away" said the outsourced alarm support guy living in India), opposed to dialing 911 without delay.

Alarm systems are idiotic. If the perp ignores your alarm sign, he's going to ignore the bells and horns too.

sig94 said...

Kid - Good advice from those cops. There is something about the sound of a cartridge being jacked into a firing chamber that captures your attention. It is a very difficult sound to ignore and you do so at your own peril.

LL said...

When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

The Underground Pewster said...

I guess my 22 rifle is due for an upgrade.

Silverfiddle said...

Amen! If we indeed have a natural right to life, liberty and property (and we do. Our republic was founded upon these eternal truths), then a natural right to defend our life liberty and property naturally flows from them.

That dispatcher is an idiot and should be fired.

sig94 said...

LL - All too often true.

sig94 said...

Underground - nothing really wrong with a .22, just a little picky as to where you must place the shot.

sig94 said...

Silverfiddle - well said sir!

Andy said...

I've always contended that, if every sterecore-stained predator thought for a moment he might bump his head on the muzzle of a mossberg before launching into eternity, he's think twice about breaking into a home. Good on these two youths for defending themselves and their castles.

Andy said...

"...There are so many good men and women who wear the badge and do their best to serve and protect, but reality dictates that we are rarely there in time and it would be a lie if we promised to do so..."

Omnipresence can't be expected of even the most faithful peace officer.

Anonymous said...

Sig, Brother, I think and I come pretty close to thinking alike...I would have put the phone next to the barrel and let loose that last round...might have needed a new phone but the 911 operator would have had to have her inner ear replaced...and yes, they can do that now...I don't know if you read the story over at IOTW but I had this happen here a couple years ago...I'll call the police when its over....dumbfucks oughta stay outta other peoples houses!

American Infidel said...

Damn...American Infidel with that last post....

American Infidel said...

If your going to own a handgun, (shotguns and rifles work too, but its way messy) and I STRONGLY encourage it, learn the 'double-tap'...