An investigation is underway following the fatal shooting of a suspect caught breaking into a car parked at a property on 800 block of Marleen at 8 p.m. of Jan 6. Although no charges were filed, the case was referred to a grand jury to determine if the homeowner was justified in shooting the suspect under Texas’ Castle Doctrine.
The homeowner said that he heard something breaking in his car, forcing him to investigate. He confronted the burglar, who barricaded himself inside the car. The homeowner opened fire and injured the suspect, who tried to get away on foot before collapsing and succumbing to his injuries. No weapon was recovered at the scene.
The outcome of the case will depend on whether the suspect threatened the homeowner or had other weapons. The case will likely be long and complicated if the jury finds enough reasons to charge the homeowner. The process would also be financially devastating to the homeowner.
Meanwhile, Rep. Terry Meza’s filed a bill to revise Texas Castle Doctrine. Meza says that theft should not result in the death of the criminal and that Castle Doctrine “emboldens people to people to take justice into their own hands.”
Unfortunately, many burglaries also lead to the death of law-abiding homeowners. The bill would allow the use of deadly force only if the property owner “is unable to safely retreat.” If a criminal gets into your living room, it would be your responsibility to get out of his way.
In its current form, Texas Castle Doctrine is a powerful deterrent against potential burglaries because criminals are aware that property owners have the right to defend their property using deadly force. However, letting criminals safely get away with your property because you had an option to escape from them would only encourage them to commit such crimes.
On average, Americans use guns for defensive purposes somewhere between 60,000 to 2.5 million times annually. Even on the lower side, defensive use of firearms outweighs “gun violence,” which scores about 38,826 victims, including 23,437 suicide victims whose deaths do not fit the true definition of gun violence.
In fact, if you prevent the 2.5 million people from defending themselves using firearms, the number of gun violence victims would increase exponentially. This is because the 2.5 million gun owners are Americans who chose not to become victims and took charge of their own security.
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