Friday, February 8, 2008

The 3,500 pound elephant

Houston is a city with a problem: there are over a million weapons on their streets. It seems that every house has one and many have two or three. Children are constantly exposed to the threat and every year thousands are injured needlessly and many die horribly either through murder or accidents. Worse, when people die they rarely die alone. Houston is a city covered in blood and the politicians refuse to do anything about it.

Just today a businessman was forced to defend his life from such a weapon when he says he caught a thief red-handed. The thief didn't like getting caught:

Suddenly, "the suspect puts (the truck) in drive and takes off in the direction of the business owner," Chandler said.

Fearing that the truck would run him over, the business owner fired his weapon multiple times, striking the suspect in his side, he said.

The man kept driving for about three blocks before succumbing to his wounds, Chandler said.

Yep. The weapon was a truck. The guy tried to flatten him like an armadillo in the exit lane off I-59 outside the Rockets arena during the playoffs. Not a nice thing to do.

Now, here's the part of the story that will really get you:

Under the so-called "Castle Doctrine," Texas law allows citizens to use deadly force to protect their property. The case will be referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office, where it will be reviewed by a grand jury, Chandler said.

Go ahead. Put up a big question mark over your head. I did.

It appears that the reporter thinks that the business owner only had the right to his pistol because he was on his property. The idea that he fired his pistol in self-defense when the bad guy was trying to run him over with a freakin' truck is just too alien to a reporter. She thinks he was using deadly force to protect his property. After all, the guy in the truck wasn't armed was he?

Of course he was! The muzzle energy of your typical 9mm is about 340 ft/lbs. Want to guess how much energy a 3,500 pound truck traveling at 35 mph carries behind it? Somewhere around 141,491 ft/lbs! A bullet will put a hole in you. A truck will make you into mush.

That doesn't seem to matter though. Apparently the only weapon the reporter could see was the pistol. She couldn't see the 3,500 pound elephant.