Chalk another one up for the elderly Good Guys (and Gals) With Guns today as a 73 year-old San Franciscan was His Own First Responder during a break-in last night.
Police and multiple media outlets are saying that the unnamed septuagenarian heard someone in his home just before midnight. He armed himself and walked downstairs to investigate.
He found an uninvited guest whom he promptly engaged with gunfire, wounding him in the knee, and then escorted the intruder out of his house.
It’s a simple story, repeated all around this country. One of which we’d much prefer to read about than “Innocent 70 Year-Old Succumbs to Wounds Received After Home Invasion”.
However, in the interest of training, let’s take a look at what he did well and what he may have done that was…not so well thought out.
1. He went downstairs. When your assailant is downstairs, going down to meet them is not the brightest of ideas. Your gun is not a talisman to ward off evil and, if you should chance to physically encounter you intruder, are you sufficiently skilled at hand-to-hand to ward them off far enough to bring your firearm to bear?
Generally, we recommend that you find a good spot to button up, call 9-1-1, and wait for your assailant to come to you. You then have the advantage of knowing the territory and having selected the area of conflict instead of having it occur randomly around your house.
2. He shot him in the knee. While this is every anti-gunner’s best case scenario for ‘If you REALLY have to defend yourself”, do any of us think that the gentleman in question actually aimed at the criminal’s knee?
We don’t. We find it highly likely that, due to San Francisco’s complete aversion to defending oneself and the general climate of “You don’t need a gun, the police will save you”. That the senior citizen/badass didn’t train nearly as often as he should have, resulting in anticipation of his shot and a knee-level entry/exit wound on his assailant.
Still, it was effective enough to leave his assailant unable to continue the assault and harmless enough that the gentleman was able to escort him out the door.
4. He escorted his assailant out the door. While awarding our hero full marks for badassery, class, and style, it’s generally not a good idea to touch your still-conscious-and-capable-of-harm burglar. If for no other reason, preserving the crime scene is a good thing.
5. Given that it’s California, having first shot his assailant and then moved him (or helped him move) out the door, what are the odds that our protagonist will soon be dealing with the California “Justice” System?
While his burglar will be charged, our Good Guy has not yet been charged with Self-Defense, Defense of Home, Injury to Your Assailant or whatever other uniquely Californian crimes are out there for using force in contravention of Progressive Principles.(#hyperbole)
California has a Castle Doctrine (California Penal Code 198.5), but it’s usually pushed aside by DAs in favor of scoring political points, because guns.