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Thread: Tough time for texas Burglars

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    Another older Gentleman defends property and self in Texas, just NW of Houston

    Mr. Southworth had to leave his sick bed to keep these scums from stealing all of his property. Hope he gets well soon.





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    Nov. 30, 2007, 12:58PM
    Man killed by Porter homeowner had theft record


    By RENEE C. LEE
    Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle




    A suspected thief who was shot and killed outside a Porter residence by the homeowner has a criminal history and was on probation for a theft conviction, Montgomery County authorities said today.

    Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Bucks added that the property owner, Gerald Lynn Southworth, had reported thefts from that address in the two days before the shooting and stayed overnight to guard his property.

    ''We don't see any criminal wrongdoing," Bucks said.

    The case will be referred to a Montgomery County grand jury, which is standard procedure in fatal shootings.

    Southworth was taken to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital on Thursday because of chest pains after the 1 p.m. shooting. He later left the hospital against doctors' orders, but is in stable condition, Bucks said today.

    Rodney Earl Shamlin, 36, died at an area hospital shortly after the shooting.

    Southworth called 911 on Thursday, saying he had shot a man in his yard in the 21000 block of West Hammond after he caught the man trying to steal from him, authorities said.

    Shamlin, who still lay in the yard when patrol officers arrived, died a short time later with a gunshot wound to the chest.

    Southworth said he fired once with his .44-caliber pistol after Shamlin raised an unknown object in his direction, the Sheriff's Office reported.

    Bucks said the object Shamlin was holding was a hand tool, but he declined to specify was kind of tool it was.

    Bucks said Southworth had filed a theft report on Tuesday and Wednesday. He said Southworth told officers that someone had stolen junk cars and car parts from the yard.

    Southworth, who recently moved from the property, stayed there Wednesday night to guard the property, Bucks said.

    renee.lee@chron.com




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    That's one less scumbag....don't mess with Texas.

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    Southworth said he fired once with his .44-caliber pistol after Shamlin raised an unknown object in his direction, the Sheriff's Office reported.
    Well, good to see that civilians are up to police standards for justified shoots. Hair brush, anyone?

    Can't see yet if it's self-defense or not. Was the burglar/robber coming at the older gentleman with a sharp instrument trying to attack? Or was he trying to put his hands in the air to surrender? I'd be led to believe that if he had a dangerous instrument in his hand, that would have been mentioned in the story... though I could be wrong. I hope I am.

    Given the scenario that's best for the older gentleman (morally and ethically), that the burglar/robber had a knife or such in his hand and lunged at the older gentleman, let's look at a better option: He could have gotten his gun ready, called 911, and told the dispatcher that the crime was in progress, and maybe mention that he feared for his safety. Then he could have stayed in his house, locked his doors, and stayed in a defensive position where he could observe what the burglar/robber was doing until the police got there. If the burglar/robber tried to get into the house, he could have shot him.

    One of these days, these very questionably "self-defense" shootings are going to result in an undeniably illegal shooting. Someone entirely innocent is going to get shot, and then things are going to get very bad in Texas. And perhaps in the rest of the country.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Southworth said he fired once with his .44-caliber pistol after Shamlin raised an unknown object in his direction, the Sheriff's Office reported.
    Well, good to see that civilians are up to police standards for justified shoots. Hair brush, anyone?

    Can't see yet if it's self-defense or not. Was the burglar/robber coming at the older gentleman with a sharp instrument trying to attack? Or was he trying to put his hands in the air to surrender? I'd be led to believe that if he had a dangerous instrument in his hand, that would have been mentioned in the story... though I could be wrong. I hope I am.

    Given the scenario that's best for the older gentleman (morally and ethically), that the burglar/robber had a knife or such in his hand and lunged at the older gentleman, let's look at a better option: He could have gotten his gun ready, called 911, and told the dispatcher that the crime was in progress, and maybe mention that he feared for his safety. Then he could have stayed in his house, locked his doors, and stayed in a defensive position where he could observe what the burglar/robber was doing until the police got there. If the burglar/robber tried to get into the house, he could have shot him.

    One of these days, these very questionably "self-defense" shootings are going to result in an undeniably illegal shooting. Someone entirely innocent is going to get shot, and then things are going to get very bad in Texas. And perhaps in the rest of the country.
    Imperialism - whats it matter if its a self-defense shooting or not? Its Texas...remember?

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    hamourkiller wrote:
    Another older Gentleman defends property and self in Texas, just NW of Houston

    Mr. Southworth had to leave his sick bed to keep these scums from stealing all of his property. Hope he gets well soon.
    I'm looking at the story again and a few things don't really add up. First of all, at no point in the story that you posted does it mention the shooter's age, or even mention that he was older. It also says nothing about a sick bed, or any disability of the shooter. Mr. Southworth doesn't even live there anymore, but decided to stay there this one day for the sole purpose of confronting the thief(s). The thief that he shot was taking "junk cars and car parts" from a vacant property.

    Folks, this isn't self-defense. It's hunting with a new twist. :?

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    bayboy42 wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Southworth said he fired once with his .44-caliber pistol after Shamlin raised an unknown object in his direction, the Sheriff's Office reported.
    Well, good to see that civilians are up to police standards for justified shoots. Hair brush, anyone?

    Can't see yet if it's self-defense or not. Was the burglar/robber coming at the older gentleman with a sharp instrument trying to attack? Or was he trying to put his hands in the air to surrender? I'd be led to believe that if he had a dangerous instrument in his hand, that would have been mentioned in the story... though I could be wrong. I hope I am.

    Given the scenario that's best for the older gentleman (morally and ethically), that the burglar/robber had a knife or such in his hand and lunged at the older gentleman, let's look at a better option: He could have gotten his gun ready, called 911, and told the dispatcher that the crime was in progress, and maybe mention that he feared for his safety. Then he could have stayed in his house, locked his doors, and stayed in a defensive position where he could observe what the burglar/robber was doing until the police got there. If the burglar/robber tried to get into the house, he could have shot him.

    One of these days, these very questionably "self-defense" shootings are going to result in an undeniably illegal shooting. Someone entirely innocent is going to get shot, and then things are going to get very bad in Texas. And perhaps in the rest of the country.
    Imperialism - whats it matter if its a self-defense shooting or not? Its Texas...remember?
    It matters from an ethical standpoint, for me. Property isn't worth human life. I know that pretty much shooting anyone is legal in Texas. I wasn't questioning the legality.

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    Apparently you have never felt the violation of having something stolen. I so wish you could use deadly force to protect property in TN.

    I have absolutely NO sympathy, concern or feel any sorrow over the exiting of Rodney Earl Shamlin from this world.I don't care if he raised a weapon, a hair brush or his empty hand...if Mr. Southworth reasonably feared for his life...then shoot. I think Mr. Southworth should be given a metal and shown as an example. He had a problem and he solved it.


    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    So he's supposed to wait until he has a bullet in his chest before taking action against someone utilizing an unknown object in a (assumed 'cause the article doesn't have too many details, so I may be proven wrong latter) threatening manner? Just wondering...

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Folks, this isn't self-defense. It's hunting with a new twist. :?
    My question to you would be, what would be your solution to persistent theft of your property? It says in the story that Mr Southworth reported the thefts, and from the sound of it, the police didn't intend to protect his property. I understand the whole "property is not worth life" argument, but I will use deadly force, or at least the threat of it, in defense of my property. I am sure that Mr. Southworth ordered the man to stop, and he felt threatened when the "unknown object" was raised toward him. What if it had been a handgun and Mr. Southworth had waited because he couldn't be completely sure. He would be dead at the hands of another murderer. I say good for Mr. Southworth and good for the state of Texas.

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    "...if Mr. Southworth reasonably feared for his life...then shoot. I think Mr. Southworth should be given a metal and shown as an example..."

    I could not agree with you more, Fallguy.

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    Fallguy wrote:
    Apparently you have never felt the violation of having something stolen. I so wish you could use deadly force to protect property in TN.

    I have absolutely NO sympathy, concern or feel any sorrow over the exiting of Rodney Earl Shamlin from this world.I don't care if he raised a weapon, a hair brush or his empty hand...if Mr. Southworth reasonably feared for his life...then shoot. I think Mr. Southworth should be given a metal and shown as an example. He had a problem and he solved it.
    Is that objective? Or is that emotion? I certainly feel violated when I'm trying to cross the street in front of my office and I also get hit by someone who is driving 50mph through a 25mph residential zone while talking on a cell phone. But that doesn't mean I should be able to kill that person. Or should I? I have a problem, and I can solve it by shooting and killing the careless drivers. Maybe I could get a medal.

    That line of thinking doesn't work all the time.

    In my opinion: It is one thing to happen across a crime in progress and try to stop it. Even if the only different fact was that Mr. Southworth had been living in this house when the incident happened, I could understand his being justified in confronting the burglar and, if threatened, using deadly force. Fine. But he wasn't living there, and his sole purpose for being on that property at that time was to "catch" the burglar, as stated by "Southworth, who recently moved from the property, stayed there Wednesday night to guard the property, Bucks said." Not to mention that the "property" being stolen was "junk cars and car parts" arranged in a yard. Doesn't sound like he was too attached to it... And that it's understandable that someone who is walking along and doesn't have a white-collar office job who sees junk on a vacant piece of property may pick it up and take it. There is no evidence that the guy shot by Mr. Southworth was even the perpetrator of the previous two thefts.

    Maybe my problem is that I have too much empathy. I can place myself in a situation where, one day, I may have a teenager who is going for a hike and inadvertantly stumbles onto someone else's property, and I would prefer that he or she not just gunned down by someone who's "defending his property" because he or she had an "unknown object" in his hand. I can place myself walking into a restaurant with my family while OCing and getting killed by a patron who "felt threatened".

    I'll admit, Texas is no longer safe for burglars. But neither is it safe for anyone else.

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    Idid not want to flood the post with all of the original articles as it would have taken up even mre room. Just google "Porter Texas man shoots burglar" and you will get them all. (Original stories).

    You can even get the sob storie from the Dad of the dead man claiming his son wasnt stealing nothing.YADA,YADA,YADA!

    This is a logical result of the Castle Doctrine, shooting thieves as they ply their trade.

    The "Streets will run red with blood" cry are old hat. In every case here recently, burglars are dead, notinnocent youths out for a night of fun. Hardened street thugs sent straight to hell.

    Legal, moral shooting according to Texas law and ethics.

    This brings up another question, are we seeing an increase in such shootings? or are we just able to filter out other news with the internet? I look at some sites that keep a running story line of news articles about self defense shootings in the 50 states. Sure seems a bunch of them. Just wondering.

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    I admit it's emotion....I don't have much...I am single dad of 3 kids with nohelp from their mother. I have had several things stolen from me by the thugs around here because of my work schedule they know I am gone for long periods and will not return. But I should have addressed anything directly to you imperialism2024, I apologize for that.

    Also...to clarify, I'm not saying I would shoot someone the instant they set foot on my property or picked up something that belonged to me. I just wishI had the legal option to threaten the use of deadly force. Actually my hopes would be that the threat would cause them to tuck tale and run, never to return.

    Now if someone enters my house though...I am not waiting to see what they do next.

    Your analogy of the person driving down the street is flawed in that it is public property. Even if the person driving fast and on the phone is reckless, he has a right to be on that street. However NO ONE has a right to be on my property without my permission. The BG in this case knew it wasn't his property and he knew the items he attempted to take weren't his. Really it doesn't matter if he committed to previous two or not.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Fallguy wrote:
    I admit it's emotion....I don't have much...I am single dad of 3 kids with nohelp from their mother. I have had several things stolen from me by the thugs around here because of my work schedule they know I am gone for long periods and will not return. But I should have addressed anything directly to you imperialism2024, I apologize for that.

    Also...to clarify, I'm not saying I would shoot someone the instant they set foot on my property or picked up something that belonged to me. I just wishI had the legal option to threaten the use of deadly force. Actually my hopes would be that the threat would cause them to tuck tale and run, never to return.

    Now if someone enters my house though...I am not waiting to see what they do next.

    Your analogy of the person driving down the street is flawed in that it is public property. Even if the person driving fast and on the phone is reckless, he has a right to be on that street. However NO ONE has a right to be on my property without my permission. The BG in this case knew it wasn't his property and he knew the items he attempted to take weren't his. Really it doesn't matter if he committed to previous two or not.
    Re: the first three paragraphs, fair enough. I'm not saying that stealing isn't wrong, or that it isn't frustrating for the property owner. But stealing alone isn't worth shooting someone over.

    I also question Mr. Southworth's decision to be there in the first place. He put himself in a potentially dangerous situation with the express purpose of trying to catch the criminal. Lo and behold, when he found himself face-to-face with a criminal, he was forced to shoot. Did he have every right to be there? Yes. Did he have every right to be there with such an intended purpose? I don't think so. Like I've said, if he was living there at the time, fine, it's at least mildly justifiable. Or if the thief was attempting to steal something a little more valuble (and that looks less like abandoned property) than "junk cars and car parts" scattered in a yard. But he went so far out of his way to do this shooting, there's very little chance that there can be a new set of additional details that will cause me to not think of him as guilty of a criminal act.



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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Fallguy wrote:
    I admit it's emotion....I don't have much...I am single dad of 3 kids with nohelp from their mother. I have had several things stolen from me by the thugs around here because of my work schedule they know I am gone for long periods and will not return. But I should have addressed anything directly to you imperialism2024, I apologize for that.

    Also...to clarify, I'm not saying I would shoot someone the instant they set foot on my property or picked up something that belonged to me. I just wishI had the legal option to threaten the use of deadly force. Actually my hopes would be that the threat would cause them to tuck tale and run, never to return.

    Now if someone enters my house though...I am not waiting to see what they do next.

    Your analogy of the person driving down the street is flawed in that it is public property. Even if the person driving fast and on the phone is reckless, he has a right to be on that street. However NO ONE has a right to be on my property without my permission. The BG in this case knew it wasn't his property and he knew the items he attempted to take weren't his. Really it doesn't matter if he committed to previous two or not.
    Re: the first three paragraphs, fair enough. I'm not saying that stealing isn't wrong, or that it isn't frustrating for the property owner. But stealing alone isn't worth shooting someone over.

    I also question Mr. Southworth's decision to be there in the first place. He put himself in a potentially dangerous situation with the express purpose of trying to catch the criminal. Lo and behold, when he found himself face-to-face with a criminal, he was forced to shoot. Did he have every right to be there? Yes. Did he have every right to be there with such an intended purpose? I don't think so. Like I've said, if he was living there at the time, fine, it's at least mildly justifiable. Or if the thief was attempting to steal something a little more valuble (and that looks less like abandoned property) than "junk cars and car parts" scattered in a yard. But he went so far out of his way to do this shooting, there's very little chance that there can be a new set of additional details that will cause me to not think of him as guilty of a criminal act.

    While you might not consider the property valuable, you have no idea how valuable it may be to the owner. I beleive that people should be able to defend their property. If your living paycheck to paycheck and a thief steals your car, how are you suppossed to work and provide for your family??

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    Fallguy wrote:
    Apparently you have never felt the violation of having something stolen. I so wish you could use deadly force to protect property in TN.

    I have absolutely NO sympathy, concern or feel any sorrow over the exiting of Rodney Earl Shamlin from this world.I don't care if he raised a weapon, a hair brush or his empty hand...if Mr. Southworth reasonably feared for his life...then shoot. I think Mr. Southworth should be given a metal and shown as an example. He had a problem and he solved it.

    I agree, I think that Mr Southworth did the public a favor by taking another criminal off the street and saved the taxpayers a trial. Stealing is serious business. I am the sole source of income for my family and only have one car. Thetheft of money or my car would result in me not being able to pay my bills, loss of income, possibly loss of our apartment. Basically it could ruin our lives. Theft used to be a capital offense in this country and I think it still should be. :XI was evicted from an apartment becauseour neighborbroke into our apartment and stole our rent money. Unfortunatly we couldn't prove it. I say again theft is a very serious thing and I am sick people ofpretending its not.

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    "junk cars and car parts", people. This is trash that happened to be on someone's vacant property.

    I am still inviting anyone to tell me what property value is worth human life. Apparently a youth stealing a 5-cent piece of candy is not worth killing (I think...). What property is worth killing over? Or is it to be left to the discretion of the property owner the decision of who lives and who dies for theft?




    I think that we should start killing speeders and do the public a favor by taking another criminal off the street and save the taxpayers a trial. Speeding is serious business. I am the sole source of income for myself and only have one life. The loss of my health or my life would result in me not being able to pay my bills, loss of income, possibly loss of my house. Basically it could ruin my life. Speeding used to be a capital offense in this country and I think it still should be. :XI was evicted from an apartment becauseour neighbor sped down the road. Unfortunatly I couldn't prove it. I say again speeding is a very serious thing and I am sick people ofpretending its not.

    See, I can do it too! :celebrate




    Longwatch, can we have a new forum called "True Tales of Property Defense and Criminal Elimination"?

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    Whatever dude, I'm not taking the bait.

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    Massltca, this is what you said:

    massltca wrote:
    Fallguy wrote:
    Apparently you have never felt the violation of having something stolen. I so wish you could use deadly force to protect property in TN.

    I have absolutely NO sympathy, concern or feel any sorrow over the exiting of Rodney Earl Shamlin from this world.I don't care if he raised a weapon, a hair brush or his empty hand...if Mr. Southworth reasonably feared for his life...then shoot. I think Mr. Southworth should be given a metal and shown as an example. He had a problem and he solved it.

    I agree, I think that Mr Southworth did the public a favor by taking another criminal off the street and saved the taxpayers a trial. Stealing is serious business. I am the sole source of income for my family and only have one car. Thetheft of money or my car would result in me not being able to pay my bills, loss of income, possibly loss of our apartment. Basically it could ruin our lives. Theft used to be a capital offense in this country and I think it still should be. :XI was evicted from an apartment becauseour neighborbroke into our apartment and stole our rent money. Unfortunatly we couldn't prove it. I say again theft is a very serious thing and I am sick people ofpretending its not.
    I'm asking you to clarify what you posted. You state that theft should be a capital offense, and that citizens should be able to administer this capital punishment. Now, theft refers to any instance of one person taking anything from the owner. I'm making the assumption that you are not suggesting that citizens be shooting every instance of theft, no matter how minor. I may be wrong, and in your ideal world, I would be able to shoot your child for stealing a piece of candy from my store. But I'm assuming you have some line drawn for where lethal force is justified. Maybe if the property is worth more than $50? $100? $500? $1000? $10,000? How about theft of heirlooms?

    So far, I summarize your post as "Citizens should be allowed to shoot and kill a yet to be defined set of thieves, because I'm angry". You don't give much more clarification than that.

    You call it baiting. I call it: asking you to finish your previous statement.



    Why does this matter to me and the thread? Because vigilante justice in a society that values revenge and punishment above all else is no justice at all.

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    Maybe Imperialism2024 will post his address and advertise the fact that he won't shoot thieves that are stealing his property, then he can sit back and enjoy his liberal way of thinking while they steal thousands of dollars worth of property and keep coming back for more.

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    Good for Mr Southworth. I am a firm believer in the Castle Doctrine and the Stand Your Ground law. I anxiously await the day we get both of them here in Virginia. Some on here ask what is a human life worth? My answer is it depends on the life. Some are worth more than others. In this case the thief was not a 5 year old stealing candy. He was a grown man, 36, and he knew what he was doing was wrong. I would expect he knewthe laws of the land, that he could be shot, and decided to roll the dice. Tough turds he crapped out. Good riddance. As for the speeding along in a car on the cell phone and coming at you. Guess what, the police frequently shoot peoplefor just this. A car can bea deadly weapon. Are you in fear of your life? If yes, you are justified in using leathal force to defend it. Maybe people will wake up and take notice of their actions when they discover that their own life may depend on what they do and how they act.

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    I'm saying that you should be able to defend your property if someone gets violent. Whatever is appropriate to the situation, pepper spray, fist or deadly force. If you catch someone stealing you property chances are he is going to get beligerent or violent. Some of these guys have long rap sheets and might try to kill you so they don't go back to prison. I think you should be able to use whatever force is necessary to maintain possession of your property.I am sick of this mentality of just giving them what they want, that teaches them to keep doing it. I am not going to give upmy possessions just because some degenerate wants them.

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    massltca wrote:
    I'm saying that you should be able to defend your property if someone gets violent. Whatever is appropriate to the situation, pepper spray, fist or deadly force. If you catch someone stealing you property chances are he is going to get beligerent or violent. I am sick of this mentality of just giving them what they want, that teaches them to keep doing it. I am not going to give upmy possessions just because some degenerate wants them.
    I didn't say that a person should just give in if a thief becomes violent. People (I'm not saying just you) like to put words in my mouth to make it seem like I'm against self-defense. When you said things along the lines of "Theft used to be a capital offense in this country and I think it still should be" and "I think that Mr Southworth did the public a favor by taking another criminal off the street and saved the taxpayers a trial", I was led to believe that you are taking a stance where you advocate that citizens start shooting a particular group of thieves. I'm glad that you've clarified.

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    RU98A wrote:
    Maybe Imperialism2024 will post his address and advertise the fact that he won't shoot thieves that are stealing his property, then he can sit back and enjoy his liberal way of thinking while they steal thousands of dollars worth of property and keep coming back for more.
    It's called target hardening. I take steps to make myself and my property difficult and/or undesirable to steal. I don't apologize for the fact that I'll reach for the door lock before I reach for a gun.

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    sccrref wrote:
    Good for Mr Southworth. I am a firm believer in the Castle Doctrine and the Stand Your Ground law. I anxiously await the day we get both of them here in Virginia. Some on here ask what is a human life worth? My answer is it depends on the life. Some are worth more than others. In this case the thief was not a 5 year old stealing candy. He was a grown man, 36, and he knew what he was doing was wrong. I would expect he knewthe laws of the land, that he could be shot, and decided to roll the dice. Tough turds he crapped out. Good riddance. As for the speeding along in a car on the cell phone and coming at you. Guess what, the police frequently shoot peoplefor just this. A car can bea deadly weapon. Are you in fear of your life? If yes, you are justified in using leathal force to defend it. Maybe people will wake up and take notice of their actions when they discover that their own life may depend on what they do and how they act.
    Who determines the value of a human life? Are citizens now supposed to be expected to 1) evaluate the value of the property being stolen, 2) evaluate the suspect's life value, and 3) weigh which one is higher and then let go or execute appropriately? Or do I have it wrong?

    I was going to write about the second doctrine, but I don't really know where to start. :shock:

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