A few years ago I was confronted by a young robber in my home who was attempting to steal my pain medications. I invited a young man into my home during a snowstorm to use my telephone and phone book. He claimed to be lost and at the time I didn't realize he had been to several of my neighbor's homes using the very same story attempting to gain entry into their homes. Unfortunately, I was the only imbecile stupid enough to let a complete stranger into the house.
The strapping 6' 0", 180 lb, 23-year-old young man didn't seem dangerous or "The criminal type" to me at the time and I didn't feel I was in the least bit of danger (in hindsight how stupid was I)? Almost as soon as he entered my living room I caught him out of the corner of my eye attempting to steal some pain medications from me! Three separate scuffles ensued until I was able to eventually retrieve my pain pills and shove him out of my house. Once outside the robber actually attempted to regain entry at which point I pulled a 44 cal. pistol from a nearby drawer, pressed it to the young man's forehead and cocked the gun! Anyone else would have run at this point (or reacted the way I would have in this same situation by soiling myself)... but not this guy! To my utter amazement he calmly said, "That doesn't scare me!" I remember thinking to myself, "Hey these guns are completely useless unless you are really going to shoot someone!" I did end up firing a warning shot right in front of his big toe before he finally drove off into the night.
When the police arrived I provided a complete account of my encounter with the unsuccessful robber. Both police officers said, "You know you should have shot him" and each policeman said to me, "Mr. Reeve you would have been completely within your rights to have shot him!" I recounted the story of my robber to many folks after it happened and I would say easily 99.9% of the people I spoke to said without hesitation, "You should have shot him, I would have!"
Unfortunately for my young robber, he revealed his first name to me during our encounter. He was picked up the next day and arrested for attempted robbery. I soon forgot about the entire incident until about eight weeks later when I received a phone call from a very nice woman who turned out to be the young man's mother. She explained to me that her son suffered from bipolar disorder and had been off his medications while drinking alcohol the evening he attempted to rob me. She went on to say that her son had been wrapped up in bed sheets by the other prisoners on several occasions over the last eight weeks in jail and beaten severely by some hard cases among his fellow prisoners. She asked me if I would help to get her son out of jail. After listening to the heartbroken mother who obviously loved her son very much, deciding that the young man had suffered enough, I asked for the charges to be dropped.
Page 2 of 2 - I have thought about that young man many times since that night and I have considered whether or not I should have shot him for his crime. Under Missouri's current "Castle" law, I could have killed him and I would have been completely justified in the eyes of the law. Knowing now that he suffered from a life-long mental illness and rethinking my actions, no, I should not have shot him. Fortunately for him I have been a martial artist for over 37 years and what he received from me that night was in essence a free karate lesson. Had he succeeded in robbing me all he would have taken was about thirty pain pills. If he had won the fight I would have probably received some scrapes, bruises or perhaps a broken bone. I ask myself, "Would ANY of that been worth taking some young man's life" and without a second thought the answer is unequivocally NO.
George Zimmerman took the life of a 17-year-old Trayvon Martin for no good reason nor justification whatsoever. Had George Zimmerman stayed in his car and stopped pursuing young Trayvon Martin as he was instructed to do by the authorities Trayvon Martin would still be alive today. George Zimmerman put himself and Trayvon into a deadly confrontation situation for no good reason other than Zimmerman's incorrect stereotype that a young black teenager wearing a hoodie must be a criminal up to no good. I say that the Stand Your Ground law of Florida was grossly misinterpreted/misused by Zimmerman and the jury which acquitted George in his recent trial. George Zimmerman should be the poster boy for why the Stand Your Ground law in Florida must be repealed and why Conceal Carry permits are dangerous or even deadly when granted to nuts like Zimmerman! The value of a human life is far more than some pain pills, some bruises or a coward's attempt to prove himself in an unfair fight with a 17-year-old unarmed kid who did absolutely nothing which deserved his untimely death!