A Righteous Shooting

Does anyone out there remember Kim du Toit and his blog?  I do, and I sure do miss him sometimes.

For those who don’t, Kim was an expatriate from South Africa who made and called the great state of Texas his home.  He was very pro-gun (and pro-gun responsibility) and very libertarian, sometimes past the point to where I could agree with him and his wife, but his blog and thoughts always made for interesting reading.

His blog has long since closed shop and been taken down.  It’s a shame he couldn’t archive and leave his stuff up, a lot of it made for some pretty interesting reading.  Particularly his Department of Righteous Shootings, where he compiled stories of ordinary citizens that were able to lawfully use their legally acquired firearms to defend themselves, their families, or innocent bystanders or neighbors.

Since Kim has retired from the blogging scene, I’ll go ahead and in his honor post my own Righteous Shooting which took place recently in the good state of Georgia.  Here is the link to the AJC news article that’ll give you most of the details.

Now after carefully reading that article, and perusing the photo of the perp who unfortunately survived to possibly be able to terrorize someone else someday, I’d like to know how someone could think there could’ve been a better outcome had that woman not had a gun, or been legally able to acquire one, to defend herself.

Loganville, GA is an area I’m actually quite familiar with, for I lived a good part of my childhood and later adult life in the general area, one county over.  Even though the woman had a Loganville address she actually lived out in a fairly rural area of Walton County, someplace where crime is fairly uncommon and usually isolated to certain areas, mostly where drugs are trafficked and/or manufactured away from the city or suburbs.  But a price for living out in the boonies was that an optimal response time for emergency services was at least 15-20 minutes, plenty of time for a criminal to rob and terrorize, if not murder, a family unable to defend themselves.  Judging from the physical description and photo of the perp, there was likely no way the woman could’ve effectively defended herself with a baseball bat or a knife without risking serious injury to herself.  Even if she had mace, pepper spray, bear spray, or even wasp spray she would’ve been at a severe disadvantage and there’s no guarantee that any of that would’ve stopped a large person, especially one amped on drugs or adrenaline.  Escape was not an option, for she was on the second floor of her house and the intruder blocked all exits (and I only recommend jumping out a second story window in a fire).  The only viable means of defense that would stop an intruder in his tracks, and that she was fortunate enough to have on hand and the presence of mind to use, was a gun.

Another testimony to the perp’s size and stamina was the fact he took five rounds of .38 through his neck and torso, yet not only is still alive, but actually managed to get up and drive a short distance from the scene, only to pass out from shock and blood loss.  If five .38′s couldn’t put him down immediately, would any lesser application of force done so?  Which also illustrates a good argument for using hollowpoints in a home defense handgun, but that’s a argument I’ll let people more qualified than I tackle.

And to those who may argue, “he was only a burglar, he just wanted their stuff, not to hurt them”.  Oh really?  Even if, being the devil’s advocate, we take it as a given that he went into that home with no intention of harming anyone, do we really expect the mother and her children to make the same assumption?  Or any other reasonable person?  True burglars generally do their work trying very hard not to get into an encounter or confrontation with anyone.  That means they generally target homes and businesses they know are unoccupied.  Any signs of life, and they generally move on and find someplace easier.  But this guy knew there was somebody home, and likely someone that would be physically no match for him.  He went so far as to confront them in their hiding place, only to discover too late that his calculation of the balance of power was off by a wide margin because of mama’s trusty old .38 revolver.  Without that gun, the absolute best that could’ve happened was him tying up mom and girls, ransacking the place, and leaving the occupants physically unharmed, but very traumatized.  Just as likely would’ve been him not wanting to leave any witnesses that could identify him.  Or possibly he may have succumbed to his baser instincts and resorted to rape.  Or anything.  But the fact that she was armed and knew how to use her gun meant that the odds had swung heavily in the direction of him not leaving the premises alive.  And even though he did live, the fact is that family is now safe and can teach their children that, yes, there is evil and bad things in the world, but you can conquer them if you are prepared.

But the best part of this is that the state of Georgia is generally pretty friendly to gun owners and does have the Castle Doctrine as part of its self-defense laws.  Which means, barring any unreported or unforeseen circumstances in this case, that there will be no legal repercussions on the mother for what she did, criminal or civil.  She won’t have to spend a fortune on legal counsel explaining and defending her actions in a court of law.  At the most, there may be a look-over by the county DA just to make sure that the laws of self-defense were truly applicable and that the facts were what they appeared to be, and then let it go.  But what if she were in Illinois, or New York, or Massachusetts, or even Connecticut?  Given the circumstances she still would’ve likely met the standard of self defense in a criminal case, and no reasonable jury would’ve convicted her on the facts as they were, but she still may have had to fork out bucks for legal representation, and there would’ve been little to no protection from a civil lawsuit by the guy or his family.  Any lawsuits would still have likely been thrown out of court by a reasonable judge, but the fact remains that she would’ve been forced to pay huge sums of money for her defense.  And God help her if this took place in the UK or Australia, or any other country where guns are banned and the right to self defense is hardly recognized at all, she likely would’ve been imprisoned.

So truthfully the only real negative outcome of this is that the guy lived.  I say that because of the remote possibility that he may come back for revenge someday.  A logical mind wouldn’t think that, but if he were dumb enough to rob an occupied house in a state where the gun laws favor the citizens, he might be capable of anything.  Or maybe he’ll rethink his life and career choices, and actually become a better person someday.  One can never tell.  Also, truthfully, the chances of legal repercussions are actually smaller if the person dies, so long as your claim to self-defense is legit.  I know that sounds heartless, but anyone who would break into a home they knew was occupied should put their lives at risk of forfeit, IMHO.

Let’s just all keep in mind that in a world like what the gun-grabbers imagine, this incident would’ve ended very differently.  There are those in high places that simply do not care about our rights, and believes that the rights of the state trump those of the individual.  These are the people we need to protect against, and make sure we elect enough people on our side to protect our rights and oppose those who try to take them away.

Too bad Kim wasn’t still out there blogging, I’d love to hear his take on this.

And for your additional blogging pleasure regarding self-defense and concealed carry, there’s a story I’d like to link to from blogger lottajoy, about a potential encounter that fortunately never took place, but she was well prepared for.  Good reading, and I strongly suggest we use this sweet little lady’s experience as an example for what any of us could encounter, but be properly prepared for.  And as one of my favorite book characters, Roland Deschain, may have said to her, “Hile, madam gunslinger.”

UPDATE: The mother’s twin children may have been sons instead of daughters.  I can’t find any verification of that, but other postings of this incident indicate that they were.  Not that such a minute detail changes a single thing about this whole incident, but I tend to be OCD about such stuff and do strive to keep my facts straight, no matter how insignificant.

13 thoughts on “A Righteous Shooting

  1. I remember Kim! My favorite piece was ‘The Pussification of the Western Male’. He always had intelligent, logical viewpoints on stuff and I do miss him.

    Couldn’t get to the link; first FF said it was dangerous, then when I approved it and clicked over, white screen. But I think you got the gist of it.

    “So truthfully the only real negative outcome of this is that the guy lived.”

    Revenge or he’ll sue the hell out of you. It’s happened. Hey, the poor guy was only there to lift a few things to pawn because his Mom’s terminal [not bloody likely]! Now he can’t walk and he’ll need compensation to make up for that.
    The fact that he was committing a crime doesn’t even figure into it.

    I loved it when Texas made it legal to shoot a no-good-nik on your property whether he was IN the house or not.

  2. That he found mom and kids in their hiding place suggests he had far more than robbery in mind.

    I keep hollow points in my own .38 revolver.

    This story makes me glad I don’t have a .22, but I’m baffled that five rounds of that .38 didn’t take this guy down. Scary stuff.

    • My take is that she was using ball or FMJ ammo, which is designed for penetration, not stopping. Hollowpoints flatten and lodge as they enter the body, causing massive shock and disruption of vital organs, thus the “stopping” effect. I seriously doubt he would’ve gotten up anytime after taking five of those.

  3. After living with Grau for this long, I know that a .38 isn’t as powerful as people seem to think. I’ve seen a squirrel take three .38 rounds and still live. Seriously.
    If you want to shoot a .38, get a .357 and use the .38 rounds which has the same diameter as the .357 mag ammo, but it’s shorter and has less ‘bark’ or recoil.
    And like Writersblock said, if you’re going to use a .38, use hollowpoints.

  4. 1) So YOU’RE the “David” posted at Pasc’s! Knew this sounded familiar.
    2) .38 +P is better than .38 my wife carries a .357 snub but shoots .38 for practice. I remember the day I loaded her with a .357 round during her training. Did she smile!
    3) Glad to hear what Rave said. I had a raccoon in the rafters of my garage. When I drove up to the door and it opened, I saw it run across my workbench and up tp some shelving. I called my wife to bring my pistol. She brought the .38 M&P of WW2 vintage my dad had given me. No +P.
    Shot after shot to that raccoon skull! It finally fell to the floor of the garage making horrible sounds and a fifth shot to the head point blank killed it.

  5. And yeah, I remember Kim and his blog and often think of it.
    I read a reference to him lately. I think he got published.
    Oddly, almost every time I brush my teeth I remember their trip to India and not being able to leave tap water running as they brushed their teeth since they brushed with bottled water.

    • My brother sometimes travels to India on business. He tells me that when he showers there he takes a swig of mouthwash and holds it in his mouth to keep any nasties from getting into his system. Myself, I’d likely just spongebath with bottled water.

      BTW just added you to my blogroll. Need a few more guy blogs to link to. ;)

  6. They hid in the attic crawl space and he went after them. This wasn’t going to be just a robbery, IMO.

    And if the guy lives and decides to sue? Well, he better be ready for the humiliation to follow.

  7. I read this and thought the same thing. You don’t follow someone in their crawl space without bad intentions.

    I was telling the guys at work this story. There are parts of it that crack me up. Like the husband telling her to shoot him if he comes through the door and to shoot him again. And the dispatcher saying, “She’s armed?” The whole scenario is horrifying, but funny in a very black humored way. Shoot him again!

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