By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- “A Texas sheriff said Thursday that he does not expect any charges will be filed against a man who opened fire on two heavily armed Oklahoma teenagers during an attempted home invasion on his ranch” this was the lead sentence in an Associated Press article. http://tiny.cc/np5juw
These two teenagers allegedly had stolen 17 firearms, over 2000 rounds of ammo and a pickup truck. Armed and wearing menacing looking camouflage clothing they tried to break into a country home. The homeowner called her husband who was not on the property and his returning caused the armed gunmen to retreat.
The problem was the teens did not quit the area. They started an armed assault on the home and the occupiers. The teen’s second mistake after entering a life of crime was that in their first and only gun battle they took on an armed citizen who fought back.
The sheriff implied that had the ranch family not been armed (my words—and prepared to use deadly force) there would have been a much different outcome. The column goes on to tell how the teens allegedly did bad things and then more bad things and it was sort of OK that the rancher is still alive even though he used his own guns to effect that end. This small article was buried on the bottom of page five in the very liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper.
My personal problem with this issue is the first sentence of the article. It implies that, well maybe this time society should overlook the fact a law abiding citizen used his 2nd Amendment Right to stay alive against evil. As an old cop and an Infantry trained officer I have spent a lot of time on shooting ranges, both training myself and involved in ensuring fellow policemen and Airmen were also receiving that needed deadly force training.
However being really good at shooting your issued firearm on a practice range does not necessarily equate to making that life saving correct decision in the real world of gunfights. More than one officer has been wounded or even killed because he hesitated to shoot even when he knew he was correct in his observation of the bad guy and had a clear shot not endangering anyone else. These professionals had years of training and they failed.
Imagine as a purely civilian with no formal military or law enforcement training, you have to make a split second, life or death decision to use deadly force to stay alive. Just prior to your violent crime situation you read the first line of this column in the original article. Could there be the seeds of doubt planted in your mind that perhaps the Texas rancher who returned fire really was guilty. He got lucky with the local small town law enforcement that just sort of looked the other way this time?
If this was Chicago or D.C. that rancher would be in jail. He would be alive but he would be in jail. You however live in the big liberal city where they run anti 2nd Amendment ads in the news all the time. Maybe you are not really the correct type of American who should be allowed to defend yourself. I guess at your funeral, at least your family can take comfort in the fact you did not stoop to the level of the perpetrator and return violence onto evil violence.
There is so much comfort, in being dead right.
Fear and failure to react in the most positive way affects people every day. Should I take this new job, should I go on a date with this new person, or should I send money to a Nigerian scammer who will use my cash to help smuggle stolen millions into the US with some of that money coming to me. None of these are going to get you killed. Put in jail perhaps, but not dead.
Being potentially scared and making the wrong decision in a violent situation even with my years of training concerns me. Failing to be prepared is not part of my personal equation. At least be prepared. Acquire the needed tools and get yourself trained. Tools and training will make the difference in how you react to violence.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
You may still run and hide in the face of violence but if evil kicks in the door of the room you are hiding in, you are much better prepared to make that life saving (your life) decision to oppose, engage and stop the evil.
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret. , is a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. Now retired, these days he enjoys camping, traveling, volunteering with the Girl Scouts and writing. firstname.lastname@example.org