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Tommy: Why take the chance?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
April 30, 2019 - 11:08 am

We had yet another spirited discussion Tuesday morning on WWL First News with me, Tommy Tucker.  This time it was about defending your castle, standing your ground, fighting back.  At what point is discretion the better part of valor?  When do the risks outweigh the rewards? And is your primary responsibility to keep yourself out of trouble or protect anything you have and send a message to the bad guys?

Recently in New Orleans a man in the St. Roch neighborhood allegedly shot and killed one of two people who were allegedly trying to steal a generator from his shed. That’s a lot of allegedlys but why take the chance, right?  Anyway another person shot an intruder in the leg Sunday night in New Orleans East while thwarting an attempted burglary.  No determination has been made in either case as to which, either, or both, shootings were justified.  Meanwhile, the well-intentioned shooters wait to see if they’ll face charges.

If someone is breaking into my home or threatening my loved ones or me, I will not hesitate to use deadly force.  Legal or not legal has no consideration at that point.  I would be reacting to a situation that morally leaves me no choice.  I’m fairly certain that I would have the law on my side as well.  But when it comes to someone breaking into my car while it’s unoccupied or stealing a lawnmower out of my shed, I’ll have to channel the “special man” and “let ‘em have it.”  Here’s why.

The LAST thing in the world I want is to be thrust into the legal system.  At the point your destiny, fate and future are completely out of your control.  Perhaps it could be ruled a justifiable shooting.  That would be great. But what if it isn’t?  At that point you’re subject to either a district attorney or a grand jury deciding to indict and charge you. Keep in mind that decision isn’t made in a vacuum.  Politics, media and even what may have happened here or somewhere else could sway the decision in one way or the other. 

Grand juries can indict a ham sandwich, right? What if you happen to be the ham sandwich?  The best that could happen is you’re found not guilty.  Then you’re completely off the hook.  Except, that is, for the thousands you’ve racked up in legal fees.  But if you are found guilty, right or wrong, you’re looking at more jail time and even more legal fees. It would make that lawnmower or generator seem relatively unimportant and inexpensive at that point, at least to me.  Unless you think you took a stand against the criminals.  Two questions:  Did it really change the crime situation?  Would you have been willing to write a check for the same amount as legal fees to teach the thugs a lesson? I know I wouldn’t.

Perhaps no action is taken now, but the case remains open.  That means you could worry for the rest of your life that a different DA could take it upon themselves to prosecute.  Would you really want to live with that sword of Damocles always hanging over you? Not me.  I often wonder if even those who avoided prosecution in defense of property would be willing to do it the same way a second time or would they rather just let ‘em have it?

Here’s the deal.  What’s legal is not always right ,and what’s right is not always legal.  Like it or not that’s the reality. So if it’s not a threat to my loved ones or me, I’m not putting myself into that situation.  I’ll call the police, gun at the ready should the threat attempt to enter my house.   To head outside and force a confrontation puts me into the system and I lose control over what happens to me.  Some may think that makes me a coward; I think it makes me smart. After all, why take the chance, right?

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