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Georgia man stands ground, result 72 yr old vet with Alzheimer's dead


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In the sad, sad story stack is this one from north Georgia. He stood his ground, he felt threatened and a disoriented, 72 year old former Air Force veteran, dressed lightly in the cold night, lost and walking two dogs, was shot four times because the man seemed to come toward him.

 

Yep, he was skeered, he was armed, he stood his ground and fired and saved his life and because he was skeered, he stood his ground and felt threatened, he will not be charged.

 

I will be a bit more fair the author of the article who called the victim the shooters neighbor. They weren't what I would call neighbors ... the vet with dementia lived two miles away.

 

A Georgia man is not expected to be charged after he shot and killed a neighbor who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Sheriff’s deputies in Walker County said 34-year-old Joe Hendrix believed his 72-year-old neighbor, Ronald Westbrook, was a prowler when he began repeatedly ringing the doorbell and jiggling the doorknob about 4 a.m. Wednesday.

 

The older man had wandered more than two miles from his Chickamauga home with his two dogs in freezing temperatures while lightly dressed, deputies said.

 

Hendrix was staying at the house with his fiancée, who called 911.

 

About 10 minutes into the call, and unbeknownst to the dispatcher, deputies Hendrix grabbed his .40-caliber gun and went outside to investigate.

 

Deputies said he saw Westbrook’s silhouette and spoke to him, but Hendrix told investigators the man did not respond and moved toward him.

 

Hendrix shot Westbrook four times, including once in the chest, killing the Air Force veteran.

 

Investigators said there’s no indication that Hendrix broke any laws, but the sheriff said he believed Westbrook’s death could have been avoided.

 

“I believe he should have stayed inside the home,” said Sheriff Steve Wilson, who said the dispatcher likely would have advised Hendrix to stay inside.

 

But he said the shooting appeared to be justified.

 

“There’s no doubt in our mind that Mr. Hendrix and his fiancée felt threatened this morning,” Wilson said.

 

But Wilson says in his opinion, if the dispatcher had known Hendrix was going to leave the home, they would have told him to stop.

 

“I believe he should have stayed inside the home,” Wilson said.

 

The sheriff, who knows Westbrook’s family, said the case was upsetting.

 

“We’re all saddened that this has happened, certainly saddened that Mr. Westbrook lost his life and was probably not aware of what was actually happening,” Wilson said.

 

Watch this video report posted online by WRCB-TV in Chattanooga.

 

http://www.wrcbtv.com/category/214449/video-landing-page?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9580387

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Unfortunately somebody didn't take sufficient precaution to prevent this Alzheimer's patient from wondering around on their own in the middle of the night, ending in tragedy.

FTR, I am conservative (as you know), and a complete supporter of second amendment right to bear arms. We also have guns in the house, and I support a homeowner's right to protect his and his family'

Anyone who attempts to open the door to my residence in the middle of the night will have my undivided attention and cause me along other reasonable people to enter a defensive mindset.

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Unfortunate. I would have probably stayed in the house if I had already called the cops. Main reason being I wouldn't want the cops to mistake me for the perp.

 

Most people that have ever been shot at would stay in the house I think.

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Sad story but many situations can't be judged only using hindsight. What the person reasonably believed at the time is the proper criteria.

 

I don't disagree. I will simply note that if the homeowner had another weapon besides a gun, we're not reading this story.

 

To me the question is not whether this 'incident' is a tragedy ... it obviously is ... but it is one that is related directly to the notion that folks need firearms for personal protection at home.

 

Now this equation would be absolutely in the affirmative if this were the only gun tragedy and two-thousand criminals were mowed down in the futile attempts to invade homes for rape and pillage. This tragedy would be justified if the good and bad were 1 accident to 2000 crimes avoided.

 

But what if the ratio of accidental shooting deaths/injuries to crimes thwarted were 2000 accidental deaths to one criminal stopped in his tracks.

 

Would it make sense to have a gun for protection if the odds of you or some other innocent dying from firearm violence were 2000 times more likely than the protection benefit? Obviously not and I don't think the ratio is anywhere near that figure.

 

But I get the sense from what I've read that the likelihood of being accidentally or intentionally injured/dying from being shot is significantly higher for gun owners than for those who don't own firearms. Fact is, the odds are so much better for the unarmed, that I wonder what level of increased risk would move others to decide to be unarmed.

 

If it was 5 to 1 would you think differently about the risk of a gun in the home? Ten to one, twenty to one, 100 more innocent deaths - kids, family, neighbors - than criminal deaths from people having guns handy to protect themselves? When does the fear of a tragedy exceed that of the fear of protection? Would it take statistics of 1000:1 to sink in?

 

That's all I'm curious about and again, it is totally justified and an almost expected outcome when a gun is in the equation. I.e. the only way to avoid tragedies of this nature is for the gun to not be the goto device for personal protection.

 

pubby

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Sad story. The guy probably feels terrible, as he should, but there's no doubt he's covered under GA law....the man was trespassing and attempted to enter his home. I'm just curious why he couldn't have turned on the outdoor lights and, ya know, looked out the window to see what the hell was going on. Most burglars don't repeatedly ring the doorbell which should have tipped the homeowner off that this could have been someone needing emergency assistance. The authorities were called. I really don't understand why he went outside to kill (which is what he did, because there was no other reason to step foot outside with a gun).

 

 

mrnn

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After 10 minutes. Maybe the cops should have showed sooner and prevented this. Goes

to show you are on your own. I'll keep my gun, because it would probably take longer then that

for them to show up here.

After having to shoot a rabid coon in my yard and spending 3 hours trying to find someone

that cared I would never not have a gun.

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I don't disagree. I will simply note that if the homeowner had another weapon besides a gun, we're not reading this story.

 

To me the question is not whether this 'incident' is a tragedy ... it obviously is ... but it is one that is related directly to the notion that folks need firearms for personal protection at home.

 

Now this equation would be absolutely in the affirmative if this were the only gun tragedy and two-thousand criminals were mowed down in the futile attempts to invade homes for rape and pillage. This tragedy would be justified if the good and bad were 1 accident to 2000 crimes avoided.

 

But what if the ratio of accidental shooting deaths/injuries to crimes thwarted were 2000 accidental deaths to one criminal stopped in his tracks.

 

Would it make sense to have a gun for protection if the odds of you or some other innocent dying from firearm violence were 2000 times more likely than the protection benefit? Obviously not and I don't think the ratio is anywhere near that figure.

 

But I get the sense from what I've read that the likelihood of being accidentally or intentionally injured/dying from being shot is significantly higher for gun owners than for those who don't own firearms. Fact is, the odds are so much better for the unarmed, that I wonder what level of increased risk would move others to decide to be unarmed.

 

If it was 5 to 1 would you think differently about the risk of a gun in the home? Ten to one, twenty to one, 100 more innocent deaths - kids, family, neighbors - than criminal deaths from people having guns handy to protect themselves? When does the fear of a tragedy exceed that of the fear of protection? Would it take statistics of 1000:1 to sink in?

 

That's all I'm curious about and again, it is totally justified and an almost expected outcome when a gun is in the equation. I.e. the only way to avoid tragedies of this nature is for the gun to not be the goto device for personal protection.

 

pubby

 

So you are just going to use this situation for a gun control soap box. Yes, this was tragic. What is also tragic are the innocent people who die daily because they do not have the proper means to defend them self.

 

Bottom line, this homeowner was placed in fear and legally responded in self defense even though mitigating circumstances were later found showing it was all a big misunderstanding. Nothing about that makes the possession of the gun bad nor makes it a less worthy tool of self protection. It did the job it was designed to do, the circumstances are what is tragic.

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It's not going to get interesting until a woman gets shot when someone "stands their ground". As long as its men its not a problem.

Edited by Domestic Violency by Proxy
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Ah, more drivel from the leftist media.

 

Why is it when the Muslims kill a bunch of people, the media admonishes us not to judge Islam by the actions of a few, yet when an American kills someone with a gun, the media immediately demands we judge all gun owners by the actions of a few? 8)

 

Pubs, I've had 4 handguns in my house all day long. Not once have they jumped out of a drawer and shot somebody who was doing something stupid. Yet.

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FTR, I am conservative (as you know), and a complete supporter of second amendment right to bear arms. We also have guns in the house, and I support a homeowner's right to protect his and his family's lives.

 

HOWEVER, this story has just made me sick to my stomach. I really don't see how stand your ground would apply here. The guy didn't break down the door...he rang the doorbell and jiggled the doorknob. Then he didn't stop when the guy told him to out in the yard. I rather doubt the dementia dude was heading toward him at a dead run. And the idiot could have stayed in the house - the fiancee' was already on the phone with 911 and deputies were en route. How did he know it wasn't an injured person needing help? I'm sure he feels badly about it, but that doesn'[ bring back the 72yo guy, now does it? Damnation.

 

But there is another side to this story that Mark Davd brought up - dementia patients need to be monitored VERY VERY closely. My dad had non-Alzheimer's dementia off and on for several years before he walked on ahead. Let me tell you - dealing with that is a whole 'nother world. One morning my mother was reading while having her coffee before he got up. The alarm system went off, and she found him trying to climb out the window because he thought the house was sliding down the hill. Another time in an agitated state, he went around trying to open every window and door, including the windows on the second floor. We never left him alone, and left the alarm system on at all times. We also had the door chimes on so that when an exterior door opened, it would chime. And I have heard stories where people guarded zealously slipped away from the people watching them. It's like having a rambunctious, cantankerous toddler in an adult body that knows adult things (like how to drive a car, etc.).

 

This story just makes me incredibly sad. I have zero sympathy for the shooter. If he'd shot him sfter the guy had busted down his front door nad was walking toward him, ok. Out in the yard with deputies on the way? NO. NO, NO, NO.

 

:cray: :cray: :cray: :cray: :cray: :cray: :cray:

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The guy did what you thought was best at the time for his own protection and his fiance. If it had been an intruder then we could bear what's your story on how two people were killed by an intruder or armed intruder. He felt safer the gun and used it as he felt was the best way at the time. Better to have a firearm and not need it, than to need a firearm and not have it.

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Better to have a firearm and not need it, than to need a firearm and not have it.

 

 

I do completely agree with this. I am just of the opinion that if you are going to point a gun, you'd best be damned sure of what you are aiming to hit, because you cannot call that bullet back once it's left the gun.

 

IDK. I know I'm different because I consider life to be completely precious and to be protected/preserved, when at ALL possible. :sigh:

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The way I read pubby - when people do stupid things and get themselves shot because they made someone feel their life was at risk, it's the gun's fault.

 

Put a bat in the young fella's hands and you got an old man with Alzheimers with a broken rib.

 

 

So you are just going to use this situation for a gun control soap box. Yes, this was tragic. What is also tragic are the innocent people who die daily because they do not have the proper means to defend them self.

 

Bottom line, this homeowner was placed in fear and legally responded in self defense even though mitigating circumstances were later found showing it was all a big misunderstanding. Nothing about that makes the possession of the gun bad nor makes it a less worthy tool of self protection. It did the job it was designed to do, the circumstances are what is tragic.

 

Gun control ... no not really. If you chose to go outside but chose to leave the gun behind there is no tragedy. One can exercise the right to own a gun without using it for defense in a situation like this.

 

One could choose not to go out and confront the guy at all.

 

I think feelip's thought process is also not anti gun control. I.e. that you don't want to go outside with the cops coming because they may mistake you not only for the prowler but for being an armed prowler.

 

The issue is more how folks think about guns than me promoting some crazy federally mandated gun confiscation law.

 

See, what you don't realize is that I accept the second amendment and accept the fact that people can own guns for a variety of reasons ... but accepting that doesn't mean that I love a gun and want to hold it tight, stroke it and feel empowered by the damn thing.

 

The key decision that the guy up near Chattanooga made was that he went outside to confront the 'crazy man' because he felt safe because he had his gun. In that choice he made the leap from the gun as a defensive weapon to its use as a tool of offense. Of course under the stand your ground law change - before the body would have to fall into your house - there won't be charges. Under the old castle doctrine this flip from pure defense to the decision to go out and confront the person, would have been prosecutable. And this is a perfect reason why such charges might be justified.

 

pubby

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It did not become on offensive move, It was still a defensive move. The guy had reasonable believe to believe he was in danger at the time. He chose to act before it could have become a worse situation. If you feel you are in danger, you're not going to ask the person if they are a friend or foe.

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Of course under the stand your ground law change - before the body would have to fall into your house - there won't be charges. Under the old castle doctrine this flip from pure defense to the decision to go out and confront the person, would have been prosecutable. And this is a perfect reason why such charges might be justified.

 

Not true....GA never had a duty to retreat clause in its law....ever. All the GA SYG ground laws enacted in 2006 did was reinforce that there was no duty to retreat and add immunity for certain instances of self defense.

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Not true....GA never had a duty to retreat clause in its law....ever. All the GA SYG ground laws enacted in 2006 did was reinforce that there was no duty to retreat and add immunity for certain instances of self defense.

 

You are right.

 

"The trouble with liberals is that they know so many things that aren't true."------Ronald Wilson Reagan

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It seems this is happening more and more often. I believe it was just the other day a woman in Atlanta shot and killed her daughter thinking it was her abusive boyfriend returning home.

I understand "Stand Your Ground", but how does someone live with the fact they accidently took an innocent person's life.

Is this the same thing as causing an automobile accident that kills another person?

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Yeah, that's why the law reads that way. If you fear for your life and act to protect it, you have acted in a legal manner. You have not with malice forethought killed someone.

 

I think "stand your ground" used to be self defense until the PC (not Pcom and not Paulding County) crowd decided to rebrand it to something more intimidating. dry.gif

 

North Georgia mountains neighbors could easily live in the next community over.

In the sad, sad story stack is this one from north Georgia. He stood his ground, he felt threatened and a disoriented, 72 year old former Air Force veteran, dressed lightly in the cold night, lost and walking two dogs, was shot four times because the man seemed to come toward him.

 

Yep, he was skeered, he was armed, he stood his ground and fired and saved his life and because he was skeered, he stood his ground and felt threatened, he will not be charged.

 

I will be a bit more fair the author of the article who called the victim the shooters neighbor. They weren't what I would call neighbors ... the vet with dementia lived two miles away.

 

 

 

Killing innocent people by mistake has happened for years. I have distant family who killed her husband by accident, thinking he was breaking in the house. He was not supposed to be home (like he was supposed to be OUT of town), she was alone and heard someone. This happened probably in the 1890s.

It seems this is happening more and more often. I believe it was just the other day a woman in Atlanta shot and killed her daughter thinking it was her abusive boyfriend returning home.

I understand "Stand Your Ground", but how does someone live with the fact they accidently took an innocent person's life.

Is this the same thing as causing an automobile accident that kills another person?

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Now this equation would be absolutely in the affirmative if this were the only gun tragedy and two-thousand criminals were mowed down in the futile attempts to invade homes for rape and pillage. This tragedy would be justified if the good and bad were 1 accident to 2000 crimes avoided.

 

But what if the ratio of accidental shooting deaths/injuries to crimes thwarted were 2000 accidental deaths to one criminal stopped in his tracks.

 

Would it make sense to have a gun for protection if the odds of you or some other innocent dying from firearm violence were 2000 times more likely than the protection benefit? Obviously not and I don't think the ratio is anywhere near that figure.

 

"But what if... "

Why don't you use the facts, instead of "But what if.." ?

 

Firearms are used in illegal activities approximately 22 times per day, across the WHOLE country.

Firearms are used to legally defend or thwart crimes over 6800 times per day across the whole country.

 

 

But I get the sense from what I've read that the likelihood of being accidentally or intentionally injured/dying from being shot is significantly higher for gun owners than for those who don't own firearms.

 

Well no freaking duh!

Any knucklehead can figure out that out.

Guess what? People who drive automobiles are more likely to be involved in an automobile accident too! OMG, SHOCKING NEWS! :rolleyes:

 

If it was 5 to 1 would you think differently about the risk of a gun in the home? Ten to one, twenty to one, 100 more innocent deaths - kids, family, neighbors - than criminal deaths from people having guns handy to protect themselves? When does the fear of a tragedy exceed that of the fear of protection? Would it take statistics of 1000:1 to sink in?

 

It doesn't matter what the "What if" statistic is because it's more like 1:310

 

You can play what if's all you want, but the facts tell the story.

Just because it doesn't fit your agenda doesn't change the facts.

 

Sad story. The guy probably feels terrible, as he should, but there's no doubt he's covered under GA law....the man was trespassing and attempted to enter his home. I'm just curious why he couldn't have turned on the outdoor lights and, ya know, looked out the window to see what the hell was going on. Most burglars don't repeatedly ring the doorbell which should have tipped the homeowner off that this could have been someone needing emergency assistance. The authorities were called. I really don't understand why he went outside to kill (which is what he did, because there was no other reason to step foot outside with a gun).

 

 

mrnn

 

 

Actually, buglers will OFTEN ring the door bell several times.

Some of them have even been known to look up a name in the phone book, posted from a mailbox, and call the phone number to see if anyone answers.

This tells them in anyone is home... if there's no answer, it's likely an easy theft location.

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It did not become on offensive move, It was still a defensive move. The guy had reasonable believe to believe he was in danger at the time. He chose to act before it could have become a worse situation. If you feel you are in danger, you're not going to ask the person if they are a friend or foe.

 

We may have some confusion on the facts. I got that the guy was no longer on the porch and was no longer trying to gain entry. The man with the gun was in his house with his girl friend. The person defending the home then exited the home - went outside to investigate further - leaving his girlfriend alone and presumably vulnerable in the house (or safe in the house if you want to look at it that way.) Anyway, the guy who was frigging wandering around freezing his kahones off, happened to be confronted by the guy with the gun and, again, by the shooters word alone, didn't respond to his order and came toward him. What was the order? to put his hands up, fall the ground, dance, suck his root - and that is assuming an order was made - and when the old disoriented man, again at the word of the shooter, came at him, we know for certain is the guy shot him four times.

 

Now I'm not saying that the old man put his hands up and the guy shot him in cold blood anyway, but we do know only that the only person telling the story is the shooter.

 

That is what bothers most of us about these kinds of shootings, especially when we know that the person shot - the victim - had no culpable criminal intent.

 

One thing I know is that people who have guns have the idea lurking in their mind that sometime they may be in a situation in which they will have a choice to kill or not. this comes from what little firearms training I've had as the first thing said is before you pull a gun and point it at someone, you need to be prepared to kill that person.

 

I think it is a fair assumption that some people are more eager to have those kinds of confrontations than others. I think the laws as written provide too much encouragement to those so inclined.

 

pubby

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Of course under the stand your ground law change - before the body would have to fall into your house - there won't be charges.

Under the old castle doctrine this flip from pure defense to the decision to go out and confront the person, would have been prosecutable. And this is a perfect reason why such charges might be justified.

 

pubby

 

More uninformed drivel.

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No, you can kill someone with a bat but I'd doubt if that 72 year old man would have attacked so viciously that he'd have ended up being killed with a bat.

 

pubby

 

Well, this guy is only 67 years old... but tell me this guy doesn't possess the ability to attack you bad enough to warrant being beaten to the death with a bat?

 

...and before you start twisting what I'm saying around... I'm not talking about this situation in the video.

Simply that the man, if he wanted too, would be capable to beating you to a pulp.

 

I know several people over 70 that I wouldn't tangle with...

 

Video

Edited by NITR0
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I once had a door kicked in and a group of black men came running up the stairs. So glad I did not have a gun, it was a misunderstanding that being white and given the situation it would have been justified. In the end we had cook outs etc... and laughed about what happened.

Now this guy who could be dealing with a warm fuzzy feeling for getting a disoriented old man home safe has to deal with the fact that he unnecessarily killed a father, a son, a brother and so on.

Edited by bh67
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Do you ever ask yourself about the stories that never get printed like " woman defends herself from possible rape or attack with weapon" or "Grandma stops murdering cut throats in their tracks.". Make no mistake the story is sad but what about the other stories.

Edited by barrycdog
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Actually, buglers will OFTEN ring the door bell several times.

Some of them have even been known to look up a name in the phone book, posted from a mailbox, and call the phone number to see if anyone answers.

This tells them in anyone is home... if there's no answer, it's likely an easy theft location.

 

During the day, you're right. At 4 in the morning, no.

 

mrnn

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I carried for many years. You never forget for a moment that you have it until you put it away at night.

Why don't I carry now? My husband was a gun nut. Not only did he constantly think about guns he thought about why you have them, meaning self protection.

So every time you feel that weight, you think about feeling threatened. You think so often about the possibility of being harmed.

You also have to think about what circumstances you will uses it. Most people's tolerances are set before they ever feel threatened. People that carry tend to see threat in a lot of things, I know I did. Walking in parking garages, parking lots, going back getting things from the car in the dark. Even sounds outside at night put me on higher alert. I thought way too often about not being a victim. The trouble is I basically made myself a victim in my own mind. A perp would victimize me once, I did it all day every day.

 

I have home defense, but I visualize myself protecting my pets from rabid wild animals more than anything. I know that my dogs are my best defense, they would wake me up and make someone think twice before entering the house. Most likely they would leave and go some place where It my be easier.

 

I know for a fact that I would have called the police and retreated as far as safely possible.

People with guns that think about protecting themselves by shooting and killing someone are going to do exactly what they have played over and over in their minds almost daily.

This is exactly why this old man is dead. We are going to see more and more of this as the scenario changes in the minds of folks and they play hero over and over in their heads.

 

Every time we see a story of someone victimized we think how good it would be if they had a gun, and not only saved themselves but others from being victimized.

There simply are no consequences serious enough to force gun owners to think it through.

They are like ticking time bombs that constantly feel threatening and as you can see it takes very little to set them off.

 

We see it all the time with cops that are trained to respond to the least little threat to shoot. I am not condemning them for it, I am just pointing out that you will react in a situation, the way you have rehearsed it in your mind.

 

We see again that another person would have remained where he was safest and not taken the risk had he not been armed. Not saying he should not arm his self or be prevented from it. It is simply what happens to some people when they arm themselves. I think stand your ground may need some modification or some training for licensing.

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I carried for many years. You never forget for a moment that you have it until you put it away at night.

Why don't I carry now? My husband was a gun nut. Not only did he constantly think about guns he thought about why you have them, meaning self protection.

So every time you feel that weight, you think about feeling threatened. You think so often about the possibility of being harmed.

You also have to think about what circumstances you will uses it. Most people's tolerances are set before they ever feel threatened. People that carry tend to see threat in a lot of things, I know I did. Walking in parking garages, parking lots, going back getting things from the car in the dark. Even sounds outside at night put me on higher alert. I thought way too often about not being a victim. The trouble is I basically made myself a victim in my own mind. A perp would victimize me once, I did it all day every day.

 

I have home defense, but I visualize myself protecting my pets from rabid wild animals more than anything. I know that my dogs are my best defense, they would wake me up and make someone think twice before entering the house. Most likely they would leave and go some place where It my be easier.

 

I know for a fact that I would have called the police and retreated as far as safely possible.

People with guns that think about protecting themselves by shooting and killing someone are going to do exactly what they have played over and over in their minds almost daily.

This is exactly why this old man is dead. We are going to see more and more of this as the scenario changes in the minds of folks and they play hero over and over in their heads.

 

Every time we see a story of someone victimized we think how good it would be if they had a gun, and not only saved themselves but others from being victimized.

There simply are no consequences serious enough to force gun owners to think it through.

They are like ticking time bombs that constantly feel threatening and as you can see it takes very little to set them off.

 

We see it all the time with cops that are trained to respond to the least little threat to shoot. I am not condemning them for it, I am just pointing out that you will react in a situation, the way you have rehearsed it in your mind.

 

We see again that another person would have remained where he was safest and not taken the risk had he not been armed. Not saying he should not arm his self or be prevented from it. It is simply what happens to some people when they arm themselves. I think stand your ground may need some modification or some training for licensing.

 

And when you factor suicides, accidental deaths, shootings like that here, you wonder what the gun culture's price in innocent life is. I don't know there are good statistics but I do know that in my life, accidental gunshots have cost me as many friends as war, and because of the mathematical rule regarding division by zero, infinitely more than were killed by a criminal with a gun.

 

Indeed, when you think about it, the perception of crime is greater than its actual rate of occurrence. In an article, based on research at Purdue, the Researchers rest their case - TV consumption predicts opinions about the criminal justice system.

Researchers rest their case: TV consumption predicts opinions about criminal justice system

 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - People who watch forensic and crime dramas on TV are more likely than non-viewers to have a distorted perception of America's criminal justice system, according to new research from Purdue University.

 

"These kinds of shows, such as 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,' 'Law & Order,' 'Cold Case' and 'The Closer,' are some of the most popular programs on television today, so it's important that we understand how they might influence people," says Glenn Sparks, a professor of communication who studies mass media effects. "We know they have inspired people to pursue careers in forensic science and law enforcement, but what are some of their other effects? We found that people who watch these shows regularly are more likely to overestimate the frequency of serious crimes, misperceive important facts about crime and misjudge the number of workers in the judicial system."

 

Sparks and Susan Huelsing Sarapin, a doctoral student in communication, conducted 103 surveys with jury-eligible adults about their crime-television show viewing and their perceptions of crime and the judicial system. Their research was presented earlier this month at the International Crime, Media, and Popular Culture Studies Conference: A Cross Disciplinary Exploration at Indiana State University.

 

"Many people die as a result of being murdered in these types of shows, and we found the heavy TV-crime viewers estimated two and a half times more real-world deaths due to murder than non-viewers," Sarapin says. "People's perceptions also were distorted in regards to a number of other serious crimes. Heavy TV-crime viewers consistently overestimated the frequency of crime in the real world."

 

Viewers of crime shows also misjudged the number of law enforcement officers and attorneys in the total work force. Lawyers and police officers each make up less than 1 percent of the work force, but those surveyed estimated it at more than 16 percent and 18 percent, respectively, Sarapin says.

 

The viewing of crime drama also can shape opinions about the world in general, Sparks says.

 

"This kind of television viewing can lead to 'mean world syndrome,' where people start to think about the world as a scary place," Sparks says. "Some people develop a fear of victimization, and this belief can affect their feelings of comfort and security."

 

The researchers plan to focus on how attitudes and beliefs formed by watching crime shows translate to actual proceedings in the courtroom.

 

"Conventional wisdom in law enforcement suggests that people tend to be acquitted by juries when there is not much physical evidence and are convicted more in trials that have such evidence," Sarapin says. "The reality is that few crimes have hard, scientific evidence such as ballistics, gunshot residue or DNA evidence. And some states even allow the juror screening process to include questions about their television viewing. There are more questions for us to ask regarding what kind of an effect this has on people, especially jurors."

 

This work was supported by Purdue's Department of Communication.

 

Did you get that ... heavy TV viewers overestimated the number of murder victims by 2.5 times! That kind of distortion builds the want-desire to own a gun.

 

And when you are in that class of people - heavy TV watchers - did you also know they think that the criminal justice system employes 16-18 percent of the people. That level of employment would be a police state and if you think that, you're going to naturally come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories about the police state.

 

Similar studies have shown a similarly strong disconnect in perception of the rate of crime and actual crime rates between those who depend on local TV news programs.

 

I just find the whole thing kind of irrational - the fear, the attitudes and response.

 

LPPT, you personal story in this regard rounds out the picture of exactly how the misperception of the world and the individual reaction to it by the gun toter is a perfect combination for tragedy. It is a wonder that there aren't more incidents like this.

 

pubby

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I carried for many years. You never forget for a moment that you have it until you put it away at night.

Why don't I carry now? My husband was a gun nut. Not only did he constantly think about guns he thought about why you have them, meaning self protection.

So every time you feel that weight, you think about feeling threatened. You think so often about the possibility of being harmed.

You also have to think about what circumstances you will uses it. Most people's tolerances are set before they ever feel threatened. People that carry tend to see threat in a lot of things, I know I did. Walking in parking garages, parking lots, going back getting things from the car in the dark. Even sounds outside at night put me on higher alert. I thought way too often about not being a victim. The trouble is I basically made myself a victim in my own mind. A perp would victimize me once, I did it all day every day.

 

I have home defense, but I visualize myself protecting my pets from rabid wild animals more than anything. I know that my dogs are my best defense, they would wake me up and make someone think twice before entering the house. Most likely they would leave and go some place where It my be easier.

 

I know for a fact that I would have called the police and retreated as far as safely possible.

People with guns that think about protecting themselves by shooting and killing someone are going to do exactly what they have played over and over in their minds almost daily.

This is exactly why this old man is dead. We are going to see more and more of this as the scenario changes in the minds of folks and they play hero over and over in their heads.

 

Every time we see a story of someone victimized we think how good it would be if they had a gun, and not only saved themselves but others from being victimized.

There simply are no consequences serious enough to force gun owners to think it through.

They are like ticking time bombs that constantly feel threatening and as you can see it takes very little to set them off.

 

We see it all the time with cops that are trained to respond to the least little threat to shoot. I am not condemning them for it, I am just pointing out that you will react in a situation, the way you have rehearsed it in your mind.

 

We see again that another person would have remained where he was safest and not taken the risk had he not been armed. Not saying he should not arm his self or be prevented from it. It is simply what happens to some people when they arm themselves. I think stand your ground may need some modification or some training for licensing.

 

 

 

^^^ This is what projection looks like.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

 

 

 

8)

Edited by mrshoward
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