JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI — A burglar discovered just a few seconds too late that continuing his attempted burglary would be a bad idea when faced with an occupant armed with a shotgun.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, police have chosen not to charge the homeowner with any wrongdoing after he fired point blank into a burglar who refused to stop after he was confronted.
“I think it was a terrible decision made by the part of the deceased that cost him his life,” Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance said Wednesday.
The occupant did not appear interested in taking another man’s life but the Castle Doctrine laws in Mississippi are pretty clear. A person with every right to be somewhere (his home) has no duty to retreat from a threat.
The reality of his decision, though, apparently weighed heavily upon him.
“This individual was very distraught, very upset about the action that was taken,” Vance said at the time. “But it appears that the homeowner, the occupant, had no other choice than to take the action that he did.”
As much as we talk up or even lightly joke about criminals doing dumb things and paying the price for them, we have to acknowledge the real human element involved with any defensive gun use situation.
It’s not easy.
But, when faced with a situation where a person is actively trying to break into your home, business, or vehicle, you have a choice: defend yourself or hope the person breaking in will show some mercy.
That’s a bad bet.
This is why we strenuously push the role of training and practice with firearms. Not only does familiarity improve proficiency, it helps our mind and body cope with the realities of a life or death struggle. This is not a normal struggle and it’s not one most people ever anticipate being involved in. When it shows up, we have to face it. And concealed carriers and gun owners understand that risk.
Carry everywhere, stay accountable, and keep on being responsible gun owners.