“Police Chief Mike Chitwood said he doesn’t encourage vigilante justice but said people have the right to protect themselves or their property. ’They’re fed up with everything,’ he said. ‘People have to do what they have to do.’”
That is the Chief’s take on this 64-year old, Daytona woman spotting a thief running through her yard, chasing him down, and holding him at gunpoint for arrest. ”Stop right there (expletive), or you’re going to be dead where you stand,” she is quoted as telling the thief.
The other story making the rounds is out of New York, the state of Bernard Goetz, where the gun owning, law-abiding, otherwise harmless citizen is not as respected as where Chief Chitwood lives. Bernadette Greenwald faces prosecution for confronting a young man outside her home, threatening him with her pistol, and firing a “warning shot” into the air.
I am not condoning the threat of deadly force to stop either a fleeing car thief, or a shady, harassing, maybe-up-to-worse ne’er-do-well. I am saying this. As the culture breaks down, law-abiding, peaceful people will—justifiably–be more fearful, and some will react out of that fear to protect themselves, and their loved ones. The scenario may not call for a gun, or for deadly force, and their tactics may be judged as poorly-thought-out or even unlawful. But, as Chief Chitwood put it: People are fed up, and they have to do what they have to do.
Better advise your kids that pranking the neighbors in an age of home invasion robbery, teen gang beatings, and drug-fogged violence may get you killed even if you are just ringing the doorbell and running.