Updated: Dec 14, 2020
There is almost nothing in this world more sacred to people than the sanctity of their homes. I would know, we had our home broken in to while we were at Church when I was only 10 years old, and it was done by "friends" of mine who lived in the low income apartments behind my home and who had become jealous and angry at the things that we had that they didn't. That's not to castigate all people in low income housing, it's to simply present the fact of the story as they are.
I felt violated on so many levels I can't even begin to describe it. First, my home was no longer safe. Second, these were my "friends," how could they do something like this? Hadn't I been kind and giving enough to them? Wasn't my friendship enough? Third, why were these apartments allowed to be built here in an otherwise "nice" area of town? Why did they bring these problems to our doorstep?
I've dealt with these issues over the years, and now I have generally come to peace with them, but for over two decades they haunted me and shaped much of my political outlook on law enforcement and the second amendment. Well, that and my repeatedly having to work with the police during my time in social service work and realizing just how constantly slow they are because they're too busy writing traffic tickets to fund their departments, but that's another blog entirely.
So now, Representative Terry Meza has introduced Texas House Bill 196 for the current session, and if you're interested in reading it, you can do so HERE. I'll do you the courtesy of summing it up. It amends Sections 9.32(a) and (c) of the Texas Penal Code (the Castle Doctrine/Law) to force the home owner/defender to retreat from their home before engaging someone with a deadly weapon (that's a lot more broad of a term than just "gun").
Yeah, can't you see some defense lawyer going nuts on that one, "You could have climbed out your second story window and dropped to the ground, you would have lived, he only wanted your stuff." And therein lays the crux of the entire ridiculousness, you're simply supposed to surrender your "stuff," but it's so much more than that. You're supposed to surrender your safety, your home's sanctity, your own peace of mind, a part of who you are and your mental and emotional well being, AND whatever physical belongings they take. Yep, you're just supposed to run away and let it happen.
Now, the rallying cry is that there shouldn't be a "death penalty" for theft, however, this modern philosophy of moral relativism, which essentially says that taking your stuff isn't really that bad, doesn't take into effect the trauma and everything else inflicted, as well as the loss of the deterrent to breaking and entering. Alarm systems and dogs work, but even they aren't fool proof. The biggest deterrent to breaking and entering is the understanding that if someone is in there, you might get shot and end up dead. It makes people think twice about what they're doing, but let's dive just a little deeper than that shall we?
When we peel back the "niceties" that people attempt to wrap these ideas in, you come to an inescapable ugliness, in their minds, your rights to your own life, property, and lifestyle don't matter. They're perfectly fine with someone taking your things, after all, you have insurance (hopefully), and have the money to replace the things that your insurance doesn't cover. No, I'm not joking, nor am I kidding, they HONESTLY think and believe these things. The stuff of political horror fiction from the 1980s & 90s has become today's reality. The government who is supposed to protect you FROM THE CRIMINALS is now looking to PROTECT THE CRIMINALS FROM YOU!!!
I can't even fathom it, it's so mind spinningly insane to me. We used to laugh at the judge who awarded monetary damages to a thief who cut themselves on a kitchen knife in a home that he had broken into, but by the standards of this bill, that's coloring with a Crayola. This bill would literally FORCE you to run away or face assault and murder charges. Just imagine the police showing up at your home and instead of arresting the person who broke in and defiled your home, they arrest YOU for not running away.
Criminals in the process of committing a violent crime have accepted the consequences of that crime by its very commission, and if that results in their death, then that is what it is. I'm sorry for the loss of life, I wish it hadn't happened, but the fault is not with the person who defended their home, the fault is with the person who committed the crime. Any logical (and not emotive) standard would say, "But for your breaking into the home, you would not have been shot." To turn around and make the victim the perpetrator is injustice in its highest form.
And this from the party that talks about "victim shaming." The hypocrisy is so thick that it is utterly unbearable.
Now, do I think it will pass? No, not at this time, but how many other things have we said that about in the past and watched get justified over time into our "new normal." Loss of religious expression rights, gay marriage, public lewdness and even nudity, now even riots and the destruction of our cities without legal consequences? What is to make us believe that this isn't just the next frontier on that ever expanding push to remove ALL morality from society all together? I have no confidence left in society's ability to maintain moral and just laws, just look at our taxes, and then look at what they spend it on (abortion anyone?).
So here is what you can do:
Call everyone you can in the Texas legislature, and I don't care if you even live in Texas. Let them know clearly and without any reprove that such a bill is DOA with the people and that we'll vote out and campaign against ANYONE who votes for it.
Also, donate to your gun rights group of choice. The fact of that matter is that they are the only lobbying force left fighting back against this insanity. I wish I could tell you there was somewhere else to direct your funds, because I know many of you are leery about donating to the NRA (et al), but there literally isn't anyone out there who cares enough about THIS type of legislation to lobby against it except them.
I will never be a victim again. I may die in my home defending it, and I've prepared myself for that and have come to peace with it, but I will never retreat, even if all I have to defend it with are my bare hands. I won't be one of the 10% of victims who move out because they can't live with what happened, and I won't let my family be those people either.
My home is my castle, physical, mental, spiritual, and familial. And upon this hill, I am absolutely prepared to die.