Sunday, December 23, 2007

Joe Horn Is Murderer Vigilantes Are Not Functional Relative To Justice

Make no mistake, Joe Horn is a double first degree murder. He knew what he was going to do, He spelled out his plan to a member of law enforcement on tape, and he committed a crime. That is the logic of it. Plain and simple shooting somebody, who is not threatening your life, is unarmed and walking away from you causing their death, is murder.

If we are going to start letting people be their own cop, judge, and executioner, then we can save money and abolish the police. At the very least we can stop sending them to police academies. Anybody can roll up on a scene with a gun, make assumptions about what they are seeing, and start shooting the people they think are committing crimes. “Protecting their neighborhoods” is exactly the reason gangs will give for existing.

I can present thousands of situations where the Horn story line tweaked would have public opinion swayed 180 degrees. For example, what if the two guys breaking in were after goods originally stolen from them. I don’t know if any of you have dealt with the law in cases of petty theft. You could know who stole your stuff, where they live, and where the stuff is kept. However, if you have no solid proof to present to the police, they have no way to get a search warrant needed to get the stuff. If it is something like a stereo or a bike there might not be enough proof that it is yours even if they did. If you are willing to support murder over petty theft, certainly you couldn’t hold it against a couple of guys breaking into some thugs apartment to get his kids bike back. From Joe Horn’s vantage point, he didn’t know their purpose or intent. He had his own assumptions about what was going on in his head and he acted on them.

There are so many logical disconnect. How much value must be getting stolen in order to justify shooting? Can somebody who thinks their stockbroker is fraudulently steeling their money walk in and blow him away? Can a kid who has his lunch money stolen at school bring a gun to school and blow them away? What laws are worthy of private vigilantism? If you catch a guy drunk driving, buying and doing coke, skipping out on his military obligations can you blast them in the back with a shotgun? Can Wal-Mart start keeping armed guards at the doors to shoot shoplifters? Even if those shoplifters are 6 year old kids? If an officer was there, he would not have been allowed to shoot these men, but Joe horn is?

We have laws to punish people for activities that a detrimental threat to society. The level of punishment is set by the severity of the threat. We do not condone the death penalty for theft. (There are countries that they do. You might recognize them in the news as being the homeland of the Islamic fundamentalists. Places like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iran theft is an executable offense.) We have a Miranda rights law. And we pride ourselves on a justice system that gives people a chance to explain themselves before being sentenced for any crime. In the end I am less worried about a couple of guys who have a mental capacity that will lead them to break into an unoccupied house then I am about a guy who can shoot two humans in the back with a shotgun. Especially one that has the conniving consciousness to come back and report how he “had no choice”. Sorry Mr. Horn, you had your choice to stay in your house and defend yourself.

Many of the people who are supporting Mr. Horn would also identify themselves as “Christians”. Well God and Jesus were pretty clear on this one. One of the “Big Ten” is “Thy shall not kill.” Yet in Mathew 5:40 Jesus says if a man attempts to take your tunic offer him your cloak as well. In his most vindictive stage, god condoned no worse then “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” A life for some silverware and electronics seems to be outside the allowable margins.

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