Is it right to kill to protect mere property?
Most of us would agree that a human life is worth more than material goods. There are limits to what we can do to protect our physical possessions. Even the life of a thief is worth more than a hubcap or a lawn ornament.
However, as they say, the devil is in the details.
Democratic Texas rep. Terry Meza recently introduced a bill, HB 196, that would restrict the existing Castle Doctrine, which recognizes the right of people to defend their homes against intruders. Her defense of this restriction seems, at first glance to a casual reader, moderate and reasonable. Here is what she says (italics are mine):
My bill HB 196 and my position on the Texas Castle Doctrine has been misrepresented in the news as of late. It does not repeal the Castle Doctrine, and it does not restrict homeowners from using firearms in self-defense as applicable to current Texas stand your ground laws. What my bill would do if passed, would require a homeowner to exhaust the potential of safely retreating into their habitation before using deadly force in defense of themselves or their property. I filed this bill because the castle doctrine as it currently exists emboldens people to take justice into their own hands. While theft is obviously wrong, we have laws to address that. I don't believe that stealing someone's lawn ornament should be an offense punishable by death.
Meza was defending herself against false allegations that she had said some absurd things, such as that the home invader probably needs the items more than the homeowner does. There is no record of her having said anything like that.
Many people believed that false allegation, which appeared as a satirical joke. Given the era in which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has actually said absurd things such as that people who do not wish to work should still receive federal welfare handouts, it is understandable that it can be difficult to distinguish between reality and satire.
One wonders, however — what major social problem was Meza trying to remedy with HB 196? Has there been a problem with homeowners not retreating from home invaders? If so, who exactly was complaining about such things?
Did Meza consult with the victims of previous home invasions? Did she ask them what is it like to be in your sanctuary when, unexpectedly, you are confronted by an intruder? Was there time to retreat? Was there time to consider all the possible avenues of retreat? Was there time to exhaust them? How could you be sure whether the intruder was armed? Did you feel assured that the intruder was not going to rape or kill you or your loved ones? Do you think that the law should burden you with all these dangerous duties in order to safeguard the criminal?
My suspicion is that Terry Meza, were she ever to similarly face the reality of having to make split-second decisions of life and death, and if she had a weapon at hand, be it a gun or something else — were she the potential victim, would she hesitate one second to employ deadly force, if in that moment, it seemed necessary? Or would she go down the list of duties and considerations she is attempting to enjoin on Texas residents?
For her sake, and those of her family, I hope not.
Leftist legislators live in a world of theory and ideology and fail to make the distinction between those and the realities that the rest of us are stuck with.
My strong suspicion is that HB 196 will not be the end of it. Now that felons are being given the right to vote, perhaps Meza is one of those forward-looking politicians who see a category of future voters who will demand that she pass even more aggressive laws to protect criminals. What further protections for home invaders will be forthcoming from the left?
This bill should be shot dead at the doorway.