Green Room

Columnist to gun owners: Next time, just let your friendly neighborhood burglar in

posted at 4:48 pm on January 15, 2013 by

Is this satire, or can an English major at the University of Florida really be this clueless?  I’m … torn.  Dallin Kelson says the lesson of the woman who barricaded herself and her children in the attic and then shot an intruder five times when he approached them isn’t that a handgun provides effective self-defense, or that higher-capacity magazines actually have a purpose.  It’s that the problem started when the woman didn’t welcome the burglar in the first place:

There’s an important aspect of this story I need to draw attention to at this point because it perplexes the hell outta me: He didn’t mean to violently intrude upon this family.

The guy shows up knocking at the door, ostensibly to sell them some encyclopedias or crowbars or something.

No answer. So he rings the doorbell a bunch of times, and instead of answering the door or somehow asking him what he wants, they hide and call the cops!

Now that he’s satisfied that no one is home, he begins liberating the family’s belongings in the name of the proletariat. Like any good burglar, he’s thorough, working through every room in the house until he eventually reaches the attic.

He opens the door, and suddenly a relatively harmless cat burglary becomes a violent home invasion.

Those with a pro-gun stance paraded this story as an example of why passing gun control legislation would be worse for America than a gay marriage between President Barack Obama and Michael Moore held on the steps of the Capitol where both tuxedos are made entirely from marijuana and birth control pills.

Self-defense is a legitimate thing; there are certain human instincts that encourage self-preservation rather than lengthy reflection and discussion of motives.

Or as Lao Tzu so wisely wrote, “Shoot first, ask questions later.”

The problematic part of how this scenario played out is not what she did in the heat of that moment. I just want to know why she didn’t, you know, answer the door in the first place.

I’m guessing that this is satire, with the “in the name of the proletariat” reference and a couple of other clues.  The commenters at the Independent Florida Alligator are mostly convinced he’s serious.   Read the whole thing, and see if you can figure it out. If this is satire, then Kelson has a great career ahead of him in the writing business.  If he’s serious … he has a great career ahead of him in academia or Democratic Party politics.  But I repeat myself …

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Try to relax and enjoy it?

rogerb on January 15, 2013 at 4:50 PM

A twenty year old in a combat theater, with real experience outside the wire, merits attention paid. A twenty year old at the University of Florida most probably does not.

Next.

M240H on January 15, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Because she has an aversion to being raped?

Washington Nearsider on January 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Satire. All real lefties know not to use terms like proletariat in public.

phelps on January 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

liberals really do believe this though. well this is how they act when it comes to illegal immigration… just let ‘em all in…

Sachiko on January 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I’m … torn.

Wow, Ed. Your sarcasm detector must be on the blink today, too. (Saw a lot of it in another thread.) Maybe we need a recall on that brand?

GWB on January 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Is this satire, or can an English major at the University of Florida really be this clueless?

Here’s a hard-and-fast rule: if you can’t tell whether someone’s being satirical then they they are never, ever being satirical. Anyone can try to tell a joke and have it flop. But when someone fails at satire, that means he’s crossed that thin dividing line between TELLING a joke and BEING a joke.

In this particular case, that’s almost certainly not an accident. Right around ninty-nine percent of liberal arts students consider the incredibly asinine concept of “proletariat” roughly as humorus as any normal person considers a diagnosis of liver cancer.

logis on January 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM

He’s British right? Go read the essay Mark Steyn wrote in 2000 that is posted on Resist We Much’s website. Farmer shots burglar and get a life sentence for murder. That’s his basis.

DanMan on January 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Oh wait. I saw English major and went limey. As you were.

DanMan on January 15, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Oh wait. I saw English major and went limey. As you were.

DanMan on January 15, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Never go full limey.

Ed Morrissey on January 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I’m going with Satire.

44Magnum on January 15, 2013 at 5:37 PM

I can’t Ed. From a Welsh clan.

DanMan on January 15, 2013 at 5:55 PM

I went to UF and The Alligator has been a raving liberal rag forever.

The thing that makes this so disgustingly evil is that Gainesville student have been murdered in break-ins.

Daniel Harold Rolling (May 26, 1954 – October 25, 2006), also known as The Gainesville Ripper, was an American serial killer who murdered five students in Gainesville, Florida. Rolling later confessed to raping several of his victims, committing an additional 1989 triple homicide in Shreveport, Louisiana, and attempting to murder his father in May 1990. In total, Rolling confessed to killing eight people. He was executed by lethal injection in 2006.

INC on January 15, 2013 at 6:03 PM

No, it’s not satire. Too many disclaimers. He thinks the woman inadvertently outgeneraled Hannibal at Cannae, drawing the burglar into a diabolically clever death trap. Fiendish female hormones. They just can’t help themselves.

Seth Halpern on January 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Selling crowbars? This is satire.

John the Libertarian on January 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Either way, TV Tropes will be receiving another entry under the “Poe’s Law” trope before long, if the update hasn’t already been made.

M. Scott Eiland on January 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I think this guy’s serious.

The perp may have only had burglary on his mind, but burglaries often turn into rapes. And in any case, once you break into someone’s house, your life is forfeit. The homeowner must assume the worst intention, or she could be raped and killed.

Yesterday in a nice neighborhood in my city, a homeowner shot two guys who were in his driveway stealing his car. One died. It’s perfectly legal to do this in Texas, although my concealed carry instructor told us he personally is against killing anyone over property.

juliesa on January 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

The perp may have only had burglary on his mind, but burglaries often turn into rapes. And in any case, once you break into someone’s house, your life is forfeit. The homeowner must assume the worst intention, or she could be raped and killed.

juliesa on January 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Sure, but the obvious answer here (according to this libtard) is to just let the criminal do whatever they want. Imagine how much that would cut down on the crime rate. If you just go with it, then what might have been a robbery becomes simple charity or wealth redistribution, rape just becomes a bit of rough consensual sex, murder becomes voluntary euthanasia – no crimes committed. Imagine that – we would have ZERO crime rate!/!

dentarthurdent on January 15, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Not sure, but he sounds like a run-of-the-mill Labourite, who believes that there is no right to defend your property and even the right to self-defence is questionable. Back during the 2011 riots, sales of aluminum truncheons and baseball bats skyrocketed, with some items achieving sales 50,000% above normal. Amazon.co.uk was doing unbelievable sales on these types of items because people wanted to be able to defend themselves, which became increasingly necessary as the Metropolitan police were told to stand down.

What would you rather have in the middle of the night to defend your family against two home invaders: a gun or a Louisville Slugger, which – to the surprise of few, who know how the British governing class thinks – became the new “you don’t need that!” item during the August 2011 riots?

“This just crosses the line when it involves weapons. That just encourages the sense of fear – we want to reduce tension and fear in the area. People with baseball bats roaming the streets is not helpful. Don’t go on Amazon buying them!!!”

- Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, 11 August 2011

It’s that kind of insensitive, living-in-the-bubble asininity that roils the blood of so many. People were not buying truncheons for sport so that they could go out and take the heads off of some yobs. Most were inside their homes cowering or were scurrying from home to work or market with head and eyes facing downward, if they had to venture outside. There were business owners, too, that tried to protect their life’s work. Despite the taunts of the feral children and the occasional Trustafarian tag-along looking for a good time, these business owners were not “fatcats” and “the evil rich.” Most were working class immigrants, who were just trying to save their little plot of prosperity and, for that, the dolers believed they deserved to be destroyed and idiots like Stella Creasy thought that they should be defenceless. ” Just give way, my good man. The dole is always here. No need for self-sufficiency! How crass anyway!”

In the minds of many on the Left, property crimes are not real crimes and, at least in the UK, there isn’t much of a right to defend your property.

As DanMan mentioned, I put up a Mark Steyn essay today. Steyn makes reference to the case of Tony Martin, whom I’ve written about here and elsewhere. He received a life sentence for murder for defending his property and self. Later, an appellate court shot down his appeal on self-defence grounds, but did buy his argument that he suffered from a “borderline personality disorder” that manifested itself in a “phobia about people breaking into his home.” The murder conviction was reduced to a manslaughter conviction and his tariff was reduced from life to 5 years. He was released after serving 3 due to his good behaviour in prison. This all happened after Steyn wrote his essay. I wrote about Martin here.

Resist We Much on January 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Door-to-door crowbar salesman?

Come on. Satire. Poor satire, but satire.

BigAlSouth on January 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM

If this guy just wanted property, he would have left when he saw the mother & two boys. Instead, he chased them and they were able to get away and hide. Instead of just grabbing some stuff, he went looking for the terrified family. Seriously, this guy was not just a burglar.

Blake on January 15, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Look, a sturdy deterrent posture might have frightened the guy off in the first place, and that’s why the author is irritated. You hear arguments like that all the time re national defense. Of course this isn’t one of those Pentagon seminars, it’s a scared woman with young children and an instinctive, maternal urge to choose flight over fight unless absolutely unavoidable. A single man might act differently. Or not.

Seth Halpern on January 15, 2013 at 7:18 PM

I know an older fellow that likes to practice cutting rolled tatami mats in half with his katana. It might be interesting to see what he would do with a home invader.

Count to 10 on January 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

This isn’t satire. The kid’s just messing with the readers.

NorthernCross on January 15, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Not satire. He’s put some tongue-in-cheek comments about liberating things on behalf of the proletariat, in an attempt to charm the reader and encourage them to be a bit less critical of his nonsense. It’s a way for him to play Mr.Reasonable, and implicitly say – “You can trust me because I share your disdain for ridiculous arguments like ‘liberating to the proletariat’ as a euphemism for stealing. So I’m saying this as a fellow member of the Reasonable tribe, and thus my ensuing argument is not going to be insane.”

RINO in Name Only on January 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Rookie criminals can be a lot more dangerous than the career kind. Picture a panicked teenager freaking out that someone saw his face versus a hardened criminal that makes sure he remembers his ski mask and weighs a lethal injection against anything he might plan to do.

Inexperienced criminals scare me to DEATH.

Laura in Maryland on January 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM

This one is a hard read. I’m usually pretty good at picking up satire or parody, but there’s no complete tell here.

But it really seems like he believes he has a solid point in asking why she didn’t confront the intruder before holing up ready to shoot.

So I figure he’s probably a guy who thinks he’s pretty reasonable for being willing to concede that she has the right to self-defense if truly threatened, but thinks that confronting the intruder would have led to him looking for an easier target.

So basically, he’s blaming the gun for her “overreaction,” since she could hardly have known he was a hardened criminal when she refused to come to the door.

Of course, this requires jumping to the far-fetched conclusion that it’s unreasonable for a woman to assume the worst when a stranger tries to come in the door with a crowbar.

Now, I’d like to believe that any conclusion so far-fetched has to be a joke, but there’s just too much evidence the other way. After all, I can easily imagine Bill Maher making just such an argument.

tom on January 15, 2013 at 11:07 PM

This is line with the typical Left-leaning rhetoric about how our attackers are misunderstood. They’re not terrorists, rather they are oppressed people and we need to just dialogue with them. Burglars aren’t really bad people. They are misunderstood and will certainly flee when confronted. They aren’t on crack at the time of the crime, or high off of mary jane.

Don’t shoot. Just converse. All will be better. See? We don’t need guns. Heck…let’s go a step further and make sure that hardened criminals are released even earlier. I’m sure they’ll integrate back into society just fine as welfare recipients.

jediwebdude on January 16, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Satire or not, this is classic:

as Lao Tzu so wisely wrote, “Shoot first, ask questions later.”

Fenris on January 16, 2013 at 3:59 AM

This is a hard one because he takes a hip, cynical sort of self-mocking tone with the article but I have to say that he actually sounds serious. This isn’t satire (70%), or is (30%), but rather poorly done. If it’s satire it seems to lack any point at all.

sharrukin on January 16, 2013 at 3:59 AM

Clearly satire, but here’s the part you could read in a genuine article:

Those with a pro-gun stance paraded this story as an example of why passing gun control legislation would be worse for America…

This is the famous, “If X didn’t exist, Y would have had to have invented him” formulation for dismissing facts while girding yourself from the accusation of avoiding them. I actually read once “If Stalin didn’t exist, reactionaries…”.

It’s right up there in league with other nonsense like “The exception that proves the rule”.

“Of course supporters of cross-factorization parade the cummutability property of multiplication as proof that for x = 2 : 5x^2 = 100. Unfortunately for their case, bunnies eat carrots.”

eh on January 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM

The biggest tell is the Michael Moore reference. Nobody on the left references Michael Moore anymore. Especially not in the current era wherein their entire narrative backbone is about “extremism” overtaking the mainstream of the GOP. Memories of Michael Moore being seated in the presidential box next to Carter at the 2004 DNC must be erased.

eh on January 16, 2013 at 7:07 AM

I don’t know, that just might be the way they think. Remember Ted Kennedy recommending people carry “mugger money” in response to people being shot when they could not produce enough money for the thugs robbing them.

WillieD on January 16, 2013 at 8:09 AM

The guy is mocking pro-gun activists. So while he’s spewing satire, it sure isn’t from the common sense point of view.

In the minds of many on the Left, property crimes are not real crimes and, at least in the UK, there isn’t much of a right to defend your property.

Resist We Much on January 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

I know a lot of people who think like this.
Evidently so does juliesa:

although my concealed carry instructor told us he personally is against killing anyone over property.

juliesa on January 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I have found that if people do not respect your basic right to your private property, then they will advance on new ideas of ‘disrespect’. Like having no respect for your person.
It starts with property.
Of course I can see why socialists do not think private property is worth defending bcs they think that it should be seized and confiscated for the betterment of society anyway.

Badger40 on January 16, 2013 at 8:11 AM

If he’s serious … he has a great career ahead of him in academia or Democratic Party politics. But I repeat myself …

Shame on you, Ed, for this rash generalization. There are plenty of us on the “inside” working to effect change, one course at a time. It feels a lot like infiltrating the enemy camp. Hmm, I wonder if I could be shot as a spy…

College Prof on January 16, 2013 at 8:31 AM

That this might not be sarcasm is distinctly possible.

A few years back I read a story (I can’t find it now) about a woman who was (or already had been) being prosecuted for killing a would-be rapist in (I think)one of the English-speaking countries that has real strict gun laws (England, Canada, or Australia).

The comment told to her by the authority on the case was that the presence of a gun allowed her do what society found utterly wrong in every case – a death sentence for a criminal act. What the authority found especially wrong was that … while she would likely have survived the rape, there was no chance that the would-be rapist survived her criminal act in shooting him.

This is the logic of Liberals.

babylonandon on January 16, 2013 at 8:48 AM

The poor guy was just following Barry’s redistributionist policies.

GarandFan on January 16, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Satire? It’s impossible to tell. The left is self-parodying. I’ve had plenty of arguments with leftists that said things so asinine that I was almost positive they were joking, and they weren’t.

Oh, and HotAir staff? You REALLY need to fix this problem where it says you’re logged in and lets you type a comment in, but after you you hit Submit Comment… it tells you you’re NOT logged in. Tends to happen if it’s been a long while since your last post. Maybe the cookie isn’t being read properly or something.

CanofSand on January 17, 2013 at 4:24 AM

Let me add to my bug fix request in the last comment: Please, and thank you. :)

CanofSand on January 17, 2013 at 4:25 AM