I’m sure by now most of you know that Friday night my wife and I returned to our motorhome to find an armed burglar in the process of ransacking our home on wheels. If you happened to miss that, rather than go through the whole story here, you can read two Nick’s Blog entries about it, A Violent Encounter, and The Day After.
For those who have never come face to face with an armed criminal, especially in a lonely, dark parking lot, I can assure you it’s an experience well worth missing.
After a lot of second guessing myself about how I handled the situation, and a lot of input from readers, including several veteran police officers, I have come to the conclusion that I did okay for an old fat guy. Yes, I could have backed off, if we had more time, but we didn’t. The guy was coming right at us with a loaded 9mm pistol. There was no time to retreat, and he may well have shot us as we tried to escape. I did what I had to do, and I’d do it again if I were faced with the same circumstances.
Several people have told me that if they had been in my place, they would have pumped a couple of rounds into the thug once I had disarmed him and he was fleeing. That’s easy to say, but unless you have ever actually seen what happens when a bullet hits a human body, you have no idea just how horrific it is. Especially if you are the one who fired that bullet! It’s not like the movies. They don’t fall down nice and neat, and lay still until the director yells “Cut!” They bleed, they scream, they crap their pants, their bladders release, and they writhe in agony. And you remember it for the rest of your life.
And if you do have to shoot somebody, you can expect to spend a lot of time in legal and civil courtrooms for years to come. If the perpetrator dies, you may well face a manslaughter charge at the very least, and if he lives, an assault charge. Even if you are not charged criminally, or if you are and are exonerated, you can bet the scumbag or his family will bankrupt you trying to win a civil judgment.
When I got out of the Army, I said I never wanted to have to shoot anybody ever again, but I realize that we live in a dangerous world, and I have been prepared to do so if I had no other recourse.
That being said, as the old Texas saying goes, “some sons-of-bitches just need killing,” and if anybody ever fit that description, it was the creep we met up with the other night. At the very least, I wanted to grind his damned hand off in that door, and then beat him with the bloody stump, just to get my point across! There is another old saying that goes “Never fight with an old guy, because if he’s too old and too tired to fight, he’ll just kill you instead.”
Coming into my home and stealing the things Terry and I worked hard to acquire was bad enough. Trashing and vandalizing the place while they were at it really pissed me off. Pointing my own gun at me was embarrassing. But threatening my wife in the process enraged me. I’m usually a pretty mellow guy, but this time around I really wanted to kill somebody! I’m still glad it didn’t come to that.
Tags: 9mm pistol, armed burglar, armed criminal, Army, assault charge, bullet, civil courtrooms, manslaughter, motorhome, ransacking our home, self-defense, Texas, theft, vandalism, veteran police officers, violence