Similar cases in Massachusetts and Texas Shootings, Different Outcomes

By Dean WeingartenSan Antonio Break in Shooting 21 July 2016

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- On 16 July, a homeowner in Chicopee, Massachusetts was confronted with three men who were attempting to break into his house. It was an hour past noon, in broad daylight. He called the police to report the attempted break in. He tried to get them to leave,  but one persisted in pounding on the door.  When the would be intruder broke glass, he shot one shot through the door. That intruder died.  It turned out that the intruder was 15 years old and had been illegally drinking with his two friends. Afterwards, the surviving young men claimed they were “confused”.

The homeowner was charged with first degree murder.

In San Antonio, Texas, a remarkably similar circumstance happened on 21 July, at about 10 a.m. In this case a man is attempting to break into the house.  The homeowner is there with his wife.  They called the police to report the attempted break in.  The told the intruder to leave.  The intruder continued to pound on the door. The intruder broke the door handle. The homeowner shot through the door, and the intruder died. It sounds very similar.

An intruder, or in Massachusetts, three intruders, attempted to break into a house in broad daylight.  The homeowner called the police and demanded that the intruders leave.  They continued to pound on the door.  One broke glass, the other broke the door handle.  Both homeowners shot through the door, and one intruder in each case died. But Texas is not Massachusetts.  Instead of being charged with first degree murder, the homeowner was congratulated.  From mysanantonio.com:

Authorities arrived at the 9700 block of Autumn Dew around 10 a.m. after the homeowner and his wife, who is in her late 60s, called police to report that a man was attempting to break into their home.

SAPD spokesperson Douglas Greene said the elderly man pleaded with the attempted intruder to stop his efforts to get into the couple's home, but the man continued to force his way into the home, eventually breaking the door handle.

(snip)

Greene commended the elderly man on his response to the situation — first calling police, informing authorities he had a gun in his home and then making attempts to stave the would-be intruder's attempts to enter his home.

There are some differences.  in Massachusetts the three intruders were drunken teens.  We do not know the toxicology on the 42 year old intruder in Texas, but he was a big guy. Three drunken teens who break down your door are at least as much a potential threat as a 42 year old man.  In Massachusetts the homeowner was alone.  He is  42 years old.  In Texas the homeowner was 78, with his wife. He is reported to be a retired special forces colonel.

The difference is primarily one of law and culture.  The law in Texas protects homeowners rights to defense of self and home better than nearly all other states.  Massachusetts has weaker protections than nearly all other states.

In Texas, the Sheriff's office commended the homeowner.  In Massachusetts the DA charged him with first degree murder.

The population of the United States is highly mobile.  A person may find themselves moving from state to state with some frequency.  Study the law of self defense for the state that you are in.  While the laws change, changes in the laws of defense of self and property seldom occur more often than once a decade.

Access to the Internet has made this research fairly simple.  If you own a firearm, it is worth your time to spend the few minutes that it takes to know your local laws.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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    Wild BillTEXClark KentBob386Robert Thomas Recent comment authors
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    TEX
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    TEX

    @Bob386, you said you would what until the turd is in your house before you shoot ? Really ? Why ? That’s how Texas law was prior to 1993 when you literally had to drag the turd in the house if he was outside when shot. Stand your ground changed all that. No duty to retreat anyplace,not just your house. Texas law protects the lawabiding not the criminal.

    Robert Thomas
    Guest
    Robert Thomas

    Simple answer is don’t shoot through the door. Yes, Texas will shake your hand, other places, maybe…. Wait for the attacker to cross the threshold. If they are pounding on the door there is time to consider how to react. It also helps to know what the State will probably do to you.

    Bob386
    Guest
    Bob386

    True. Even in Texas, you can always get some government stooge with an eye on political office forcing this into the courts. The Zimmerman case is a prime example of where that happened. Personally, if I have to use deadly force, I want to make sure that there will be no doubt in the eye of a jurer that it was justified. This means that until that bad guy satisfies the big three — ability, opportunity, and jeopardy — I am not shooting. This means I would have waited until the bad guy made it through the door, for until… Read more »

    TEX
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    TEX

    @Robert,in Texas there is no need to wait until the turd crosses the threshold before shooting. Maybe you are talking about a different state.

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    Seems like the MA couple are retired, WHY do they continue to live in slavery? Too late now.. if they try and leave before this case is over they will be extradited and dragged back in chains. Which will merely prove they are in chains now. Anyone living in such a place should get out if at all possible.

    To the chap above suffering similarly in NJ, leave. The cost of living in most other states is far less than in NJ. I will not even voluntarily travel through that stinking state.. nor MA.

    John H
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    John H

    sounds like both of these guys must be democRATS, they both followed shot gun Joe Biden’s advice and shot through the door !!

    Pep
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    Pep

    I was told by the county district attorney here in Camden county New Jersey, if an intruder was to enter my home I would not be allowed to shoot him and that I was obligated to jump out of my window to avoid being hurt or killed by the intruder. I am almost 60 years old and live on the 3rd floor and when I told her that, she responded by saying, that didn’t matter. New Jersey is a “save the criminal” state and nothing else seems to matter here. I wish I could get out. Anyone in Texas need… Read more »

    Roger
    Guest
    Roger

    >>The population of the United States is highly mobile

    That means you can VOTE WITH YOUR FEET!

    But Texas is getting crowded and we sure as heck don’t need any more liberals

    Clark Kent
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    Clark Kent

    Crowded with ignorant dorks like Tex; no thanks. ‘If I owned Texas and Hell I would rent out Texas and live in Hell’ – General William Tecumseh Sherman.

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    Clark,stay in Boston or whatever part of that fu*cked up state you’re in loser ! Have you noticed nobody even really replies to you anymore loser ? You’re just a funny talking Yankee and a loser !

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    Tex: Have your mommy keep you away from her computer. This is an adult forum; YOU DON”T BELONG HERE.

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    Clark,hey coward. You still upset about that major lie I got you in ain’t ya ? You lying bi*tch saying you were a cop on the west coast ! You’re a coward and a punk. Coward Yankee loser !

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    Now Clark, what is a “dork”? Really it is just an empty word devoid of meaning. Just extra typing adding nothing to the discussion. I don’t believe that Sherman was ever in the Pines and Lakes region of Texas. One caveat, if you actually did ever come to Texas, and failed to keep your insults under control, even the women and pre-teenage boys would grab you by your stacking swivel and give you what they call down here What for” because Texas is a place where personal honor is still important.

    wake_Up_America
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    wake_Up_America

    The state of MA is ridiculous and can suck it! I feel very bad for that guy, he is in for a world of hurt. He should be given a medal for what he did. So many states in this once great nation are so ridiculous and want to allow the criminal to be protected and to He$$ with the victim…what is wrong with this picture??

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    @Rich in Mo,me either. But think what they have to spend in attorney fees to get out of a frivolous,criminal,malicious prosecution.

    Rich in Mo
    Guest
    Rich in Mo

    No jury that I ever sit on will convict anyone in those circumstances with murder.

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    Like I say all the time…..,.”TEXAS,LIKE A WHOLE OTHER COUNTRY” ! In Texas,we don’t get charged with 1’st degree murder for killing violent criminals breaking into your house !