Another story crosses the Hot Air desk this weekend which appears to invoke the Castle Doctrine, this one taking place in Arizona. A septuagenarian homeowner was awakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of someone entering his residence. When the subject turned out to be a stranger, rather than a family member, the homeowner took steps to secure the premises.
PHOENIX – Police say a Phoenix homeowner shot and killed an intruder Friday morning.
Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the shooting happened inside a home near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.
The suspect has been identified as 30-year-old William Thomas Mackey.
Thompson said officers responded to the home around 3:20 a.m. where the 77-year-old resident told them someone had burglarized his home the day before and that he was awakened on Friday by an intruder.
He said he realized the intruder was not a family member and got a shotgun. He told police he feared for his life and fired one shot at the suspect who was struck and fell to the ground.
The homeowner – who is not named in the story – doesn’t live in a safe neighborhood. Not only had he been robbed the night before, one of his neighbors interviewed for the story said she had been burglarized six times. It’s not hard to understand how someone in their seventies might seek to make sure they had the tools at their disposal to defend themselves and their property.
Following our story on Wednesday – which elicited a lot of comments from readers – I began wondering how many of these stories take place around the country without ever drawing any national media attention. (To be fair, this is a question raised by some of the commenters first.) It seems like every single time some maniac / bad guy pulls a gun and kills somebody, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the national media are all over the story, dwelling on it for days and embarking on long tirades of “the deeper meaning” of the event. This seems to fit into the media theme that guns are inherently bad, and if there were only less of them there would somehow be less bad guys, or at least the bad guys would be less effective. I suppose there is some hypothetical truth to that if guns had never been invented, but the entire planet is full of them.
But when a citizen uses a weapon to defend themselves, their family or property from a perpetrator you only find the story in the local media and it quickly disappears down the memory hole. One reader mentioned an effort some bloggers were undertaking to compile an archive of these types of stories, but I haven’t located it yet. It seems like useful information to have at hand when elected officials are debating more gun grabbing laws in Washington and around the states.
This story also highlights what appears to be another highly disturbing trend. The reports we’re reading seem to show a definite pattern of criminals intentionally targeting the elderly who either live in remote, rural areas or more dangerous neighborhoods with insufficient police protection and community involvement. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if gun ownership was increasing among senior citizens even faster than among younger adults. It’s something to dig into this year, so we’ll try to see what statistics are available. (Your input is welcome as always.)
In closing, here’s the video of the news story covering this case. The floor is open for discussion.