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IN THE MATTER OF JOE HORN — No Comments

  1. Mas,

    Thanks for starting this blog. In a way, this might be the most significant service to those of us who own firearms, have CCW’s, etc., that you’ve ever done. In particular, the immediacy of your thoughts on the Horn case are very valuable. Like most of us with any familiarity at all to this case, I’ve heard a lot of rah-rahs about this, but I had doubts if what Horn did was really something I would want to do (although I’m cheering in private). I intend to forward your blogs to my shooting buddies.
    Again, thanks!
    Jeff

  2. Kudos on the blog. It’s nice to see a well thought out,coherent opinion regarding this case in contrast to the liberal media’s potrayal of Joe Horn simply as some bloodthirsty murderer who shot two defenseless men in the back. Mas,I think you could do wonders as a gun rights advocate to help promote reasonable,balanced & common sense commentary on gun rights if you had some air time on one of the major news networks.
    You’ve been sharing your diverse knowledge & level headed perspective with people already in the gun community through your magazines articles,books,DvD’s and teachings,but it would nice to show the uninformed masses that people who own firearms and are proponents of the second amendent and the right to self-defense are not all right wing extremist/fanatics like we are sometimes potrayed. I think the upcoming Presidential election is going to be a very pivotal point for our gun rights,so we gun owners can use all the positive press we can get.

  3. Help your neighbor, but probably not when she needs you most. Mr. Horn was aware of this and made a decision. So was the police officer who watched it unfold from the car. Issues of morality cannot be held hostage to distorted politics for much longer or we’ll lose what keeps us together. Pulling punches reduces the criminal’s risk for certain and can destroy the community’s ability to improve itself. When our best option is to call 911 to help our neighbor, we will have lost a lot. Mas, great blog. Thanks for highlighting this important issue of morality.

  4. Were I come from and unfortunately still live (Sweden), it is illegal to even own a gun for the purpose of self defense, and using one for such is very likely to result in getting prosecuted for manslaughter or murder.

    It is nice to see that there’s still some individual rights left on the other side of the pond.

  5. One other factor which probably weighed heavily in Mr. Horn’s favor was that there was a police officer on the scene in an unmarked car. He had arrived, and witnessed the confrontation between Mr. Horn and the two burglars from his car. He was concerned that Mr. Horn might mistake him for one of them, so stayed in the car until after the shots were fired.
    I imagine this officer’s testimony to the Grand Jury gave them an independent account of exactly what kind of threat Mr. Horn was facing in his own front yard, and supported Mr. Horn’s assertion that he was directly threatened by the burglars.
    Texas’ laws about protecting another’s property have been criticized in the press, but don’t necessarily come into play in this case: Mr. Horn was in his own yard and defended himself from a threat in his own yard.
    I have great respect for you, Mr. Ayoob, have been reading your words with great interest for many years. I am very glad to have this opportunity to interact with you more directly, and to help further the goals of preparing and training for armed self defense.
    ~Rick Berry
    Texas Certified CHL Instructor, Panola County

  6. I’ve followed this case on the news and on the web with interest.

    Mr. Horn made a decision that was, IMHO, foolish. He was lucky that the plainclothes officer was a witness, that’s probably what saved his bacon more than anything else.

    It’s been said that “every bullet you fire has a lawyer attatched to it,” and I believe that. I will go out of my way to avoid having to display or shoot my weapon, and I’m a LEO. Trust me, it’s not fun having your actions Monday Morning Quarterbacked after you use your weapon, and that’s when you do everything right.

    All the macho posturing I’ve seen over the net regarding this case makes me want to puke. It’s usually the wannabe mall ninjas that advocate shooting all their problems. Here’s a little tip for those of you that have the ability to learn: Look for ways to avoid a shooting, the times you have to shoot will come often enough.

    Thanks again Mas for this blog and for your work in educating people about what happens in a gunfight and the legal ramifications that happen too. Take care and stay safe.

    Biker

    PS: I would love to see this in Combat Handguns as an “in-depth” article, or in Backwoods Home Magazine.

  7. BikerRN: I understand that you think Mr. Horn’s actions were foolish. I think so too given the current reality of what you say about bullets and lawyers.

    So, what do we do? Continue to reinforce that victims simply call 911 and wait for the LEO? Or do we begin to reset the rules of engagement as a society and allow victims to exercise more choice? Can it be more backwards that we have “to go out of our way to avoid having to display or shoot” when the circumstances dictate action? Why is the burden so great on the lawful use of self defense?

    I have not been known to have a great ability to learn, but looking for ways to avoid shooting sounds good to me. But when one must display or shoot to help stop a serious crime, why should one be held to a standard that is so high as to jeopardize her entire life?

    Horn’s case is interesting. LEO sitting in the car watching and an armed citizen addressing the situation. You’re right, good thing that Horn had a good, capable, and passive witness.

    Great comments! But let’s begin to raise the bar and help improve our condition by reinforcing that good will be rewarded (and protected from catastrophe) and evil will be punished by members of the community.

  8. “BikerRN: I understand that you think Mr. Horn’s actions were foolish. I think so too given the current reality of what you say about bullets and lawyers.

    So, what do we do? Continue to reinforce that victims simply call 911 and wait for the LEO? Or do we begin to reset the rules of engagement as a society and allow victims to exercise more choice? Can it be more backwards that we have “to go out of our way to avoid having to display or shoot” when the circumstances dictate action? Why is the burden so great on the lawful use of self defense?

    I have not been known to have a great ability to learn, but looking for ways to avoid shooting sounds good to me. But when one must display or shoot to help stop a serious crime, why should one be held to a standard that is so high as to jeopardize her entire life?

    Horn’s case is interesting. LEO sitting in the car watching and an armed citizen addressing the situation. You’re right, good thing that Horn had a good, capable, and passive witness.

    Great comments! But let’s begin to raise the bar and help improve our condition by reinforcing that good will be rewarded (and protected from catastrophe) and evil will be punished by members of the community.”

    I’d like to see the bar raised too, but what constitutes a justified use of force and an unjustified one?

    Even if we were to raise the bar, so to speak, you would still have to prove that the use of force was justified, as Mr. Horn did. The taking of a human life is not a natural act, unless you are a sociopath. Let me give you a little scenario, according to your “raising of the bar.”

    I’m in a mall and see a man with a handgun shooting at someone I can’t see. Before I saw this man I heard five shots being fired. I draw my gun and order the man firing the gun to drop his weapon. The man, in a startle response, turns towards me with his gun in his hand. I shoot him twice with three bullet fired.

    Good shoot so far? You would think so, but it isn’t. The man shot, not in real life just in this scenario, was an off duty Police Officer. He was being fired upon by someone intent on committing a mass murder at a mall. Instead of fleeing for safety he chose to engage the killer. I, coming upon the scene was not aware of the whole situation and interviened when I shouldn’t have.

    Now, what do you propose be done here? This is real life and there aren’t any “Do-Overs” like in third grade Dodge Ball. That is why, IMHO, the bar is so high in a self defense case, as I feel it should be. Should I be given a “pass” because I made an honest mistake?

    Just some food for thought. Take care and stay safe.

    Biker

    Just to reinterate: This is only a “scenario” and in no way resembles any actions on my part in real life.

  9. Biker, unfortunate scenario for certain. Justification: you saw him shooting, he turned to you with the gun, you believed that your life was in great danger, and you fired on him to stop the mortal threat against you. IMHO, you acted properly and you did not make a mistake. In hindsight, given the totality of the cicumstances, you shot the good guy. But not by mistake.

    A terrible situation caused by a single criminal, intent on mass murder at the mall, which you will be forced to live with forever. At your home and not in prison, if we can begin to improve our lot on these matters. Thanks again.

  10. Though Mas only touched on it, the laws of Texas were very much on Mr. Horn’s side. Much has been made and mostly incorrectly so, about the castle doctrine and whether or not the criminals were shot in the back. In Texas one can shoot a fleeing burglar in the back, given certain conditions. The conditions under which Mr. Horn shot met those conditions.

    Many visit blogs a post their opinions, and well, we know about opinions, their like…

    What matters and what Mas has always done a good job of bringing forth are facts and how they relate to the law.

    It was interesting and sometimes comical to observe all the bloviating from mostly ignorant members of the media. From the start I predicted GJ no-bill.

  11. From the beginning I thought Mr. Horn was unwise and foolish–it was totally unnecessary for him to kill those men!