Sometimes shooting the thief is not always the best option.
A reader sent us an email in response to the article we published about the armed citizen who held a man at gunpoint who was attempting to steal his vehicle. It’s a topic that comes with a never-ending debate; If you’re in a state where it’s legal to use lethal force in defense of property, should you?
In the story above, no shots were fired. But what if they had been? How would a Judge or jury look at the situation? What would your ultimate outcome be? Hefty fees? Jail time? Psychological issues after shooting someone?
Is it worth it over a vehicle? How about a lawnmower?
I live in Florida now. When I lived in SC we lived in a rural area and had a problem with thieves coming onto private property to steal what they could pawn. We met with the Oconee County Sheriff for tips on how to deter this issue.
One guy raised his hand and said “Can I shoot them if I catch them with my lawnmower trying to leave my property?”
The sheriff said there is an old law in SC that seems to indicate he could. (Going back to the days where theft could severely affect a family.) The sheriff then said, “But would you really want to live with that for the rest of your life? You would be arrested and go before a grand jury. You could expect your attorney fees to be around $10,000. So, was the lawnmower worth it? What if the grand jury said you should be held accountable?
You get my drift. As responsible gun owners and family providers we need to think this through NOW and not make decisions in anger. The vast majority of us would not want to take another life over a lawnmower and risk being taken from our family which would almost certainly be bad for our family we are trying to protect.
A firearm is a very big responsibility. I think situations through all the time when I am out and about to prepare for what can happen. What car to jump behind. Where to duck behind.
I think about the churchgoer at the Texas church who was taken out by the second shotgun blast by the bad guy. He froze and tried to draw. Cost him his life. Taught me something. The bad guy was taken out by Jack Wilson. (Now the second churchgoer who was shot may have decided to give his life to keep the shotgun off someone else. I don’t know. Either way he is a hero to me.)