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Old 10-08-2002, 09:14 PM   #1
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An Interesting Twist In The Whole "Gun Control" Issue

It has often been stated in these forums that a violent robber or other criminal is never defeated by an "ordinary citizen" type who happens to (legally) own a handgun. Yesterday, an incident occurred at a convenience store in Birmingham not far from where I grew up.

A newspaper delivery man was stocking a newspaper vending machine outside of the store when a wild burglar burst into the store jumping and screaming at the clerk and aiming a shotgun at his face. (NOTE: anyone can go to a sporting goods or department store and purchase a shotgun, which is primarily used for hunting). Well, the little ol' newspaper man had a handgun and went in and interrupted the would-be robber's attack. The delivery man shot the robber, then had to shoot him a few more times. The store clerk had been robbed 3 times in past years but was always armed as well and usually shot back

I feel that many people will say that the newspaper man should be "punished to the full extent of the law," although the police do not plan to file any charges. If the newspaper man had not been there or had he NOT been armed, would these same people want leniency for the robber if he had gone into the store, robbed the clerk, then killed the clerk?

Here's the article, from today's BIRMINGHAM NEWS:



Newspaper carrier shoots, kills robber


10/08/02

CAROL ROBINSON
News staff writer


A newspaper carrier killed a gun-wielding robber at a convenience store early Monday after the man burst into the store screaming wildly and pointing a shotgun at the clerk.

Sam Harper, 43, was filling the racks with Monday's edition of The Birmingham News when he saw the robber put on a wig and storm into the Chevron at 8730 First Ave. North.

Chaos erupted. When it was over, the robber was dead on the store floor and the clerk praised Harper for his bravery and fast finger.

"I think Sam saved my life, no doubt about it," said clerk Tom Burtnett. "I was looking down the barrel of a shotgun and a shotgun don't miss."

Police had not identified the dead man Monday. He is the fourth man in recent years shot trying to rob that Chevron. The clerk, Burtnett, shot the other three.

Harper said it was about 3:20 a.m. when he saw the gunman round the corner of the building.

"He went sailing in there with the shotgun," Harper said. "The guy was berserk. He was screaming his guts out."

Harper looked through the window and saw the store clerk cornered in the cashier cage, the shotgun inches away from Burtnett and aimed straight at him.

"The clerk was like a fish in a barrel and he (the robber) was stirring around in there with a shotgun," Harper said. "It was a terrible thing."

Harper, who has delivered newspapers for 22 years, grabbed his gun and went inside.

"I just reacted," he said. "It was total chaos and it was pretty terrifying."

He fired three shots at the gunman. The bullets hit their mark but didn't stop the robber, Harper and Burtnett said.

"He ran toward me and I shot him twice more," Harper said. "After five he fell down. But then he got up again."

The wounded robber crawled to the back of the store, still hollering and thrashing about, and then died, the witnesses said. His shotgun had dropped behind the store counter.

It didn't appear Monday there would be any charges filed.

After the shooting, Harper gave his statement to police, reluctantly accepted Burtnett's profuse gratitude, slept for a few hours and then got up to finish his route after sunrise.

Burtnett, a 53-year-old former police officer, reflected on the dangers of his job as a night store clerk. Almost every two years for the past six years he's been faced with a similar scenario. He shot one robber twice in the leg, another fatally in the chest and in June 2001 critically wounded another man, who is now in prison, when he tried to pull off a pre-dawn robbery at the store.

He said he would have shot this robber if Harper hadn't.

"Sam had the drop on me," Burtnett said.

It would make sense that the word on the street would be to find a safer place to rob, but Burtnett said that's not so.

"Crackheads don't care," he said. "Do you think they read the newspaper and watch television? No."
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Old 10-08-2002, 10:52 PM   #2
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Yeah whatever, punished to the full extent of the law.

Tell me why this newspaper guy is not guilty. He shot someone.

QED.
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Old 10-08-2002, 11:08 PM   #3
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Re: An Interesting Twist In The Whole "Gun Control" Issue

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Originally posted by U2Bama
He fired three shots at the gunman. The bullets hit their mark but didn't stop the robber, Harper and Burtnett said.

"He ran toward me and I shot him twice more," Harper said. "After five he fell down. But then he got up again."

The wounded robber crawled to the back of the store, still hollering and thrashing about, and then died, the witnesses said. His shotgun had dropped behind the store counter.

It didn't appear Monday there would be any charges filed.
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Old 10-08-2002, 11:50 PM   #4
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community service, Bama

let me pose this question to the people who say the newspaper guy is guilty of "murder," if someone broke into your house and was threatening your spouse or mother or sister or whoever with a shotgun pointed at their face, and you had the chance to bust in on him and "get him before he gets you," (ie, terminate him before he destroys your world), what would you do? would you ask him to drop his weapon? hope he doesn't turn around and blast you instead? maybe you would shoot him in the leg (you're a marksman remember and have pinpoint accuracy, especially when you are panicked and under extreme duress), maybe you just hide in the corner and call the police and hope they show up in time...

maybe this guy got carried away, maybe not, considering he was still coming at him, but either way, why so much sympathy for violent criminals who set out with the intent to put peoples' lives in danger, criminals with no regard for human life whatsoever? I'm not saying we need a million vigilantes running around, but unless your interpretation of "punishing someone to the fullest extent of the law" and mine are different, I'm missing something completely here

so what would you do, save an innocent person or hope a raving crackhead decides not to unload his shotgun?
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Old 10-09-2002, 01:15 AM   #5
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Wanderer if anyone broke into my house and threatened my loved ones, and I had a gun, I would sure as hell use it. I say that now anyway, never having been in that situation. Family and individual safety means so much. I know at least, I would likely get the gun and at minimum, threaten back. If it became me versus them, and just a question of who shoots first, I would like to be the one who shoots first. I would rather live with the guilt than watch a family member shot dead in cold blood.

I would still be murdering someone though. Manslaughter, if you prefer. Self defence, whatever.

You people pay such an incredibly high price for these freedoms. And you are really no freer than others. We cannot own a gun without absolute proof of necessity here, and I can tell you now, we do not lack any freedom you claim you gain by owning firearms.
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Old 10-09-2002, 02:42 AM   #6
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Re: An Interesting Twist In The Whole "Gun Control" Issue

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
(NOTE: anyone can go to a sporting goods or department store and purchase a shotgun, which is primarily used for hunting)
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Old 10-09-2002, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Wanderer if anyone broke into my house and threatened my loved ones, and I had a gun, I would sure as hell use it. I say that now anyway, never having been in that situation. Family and individual safety means so much. I know at least, I would likely get the gun and at minimum, threaten back. If it became me versus them, and just a question of who shoots first, I would like to be the one who shoots first. I would rather live with the guilt than watch a family member shot dead in cold blood.

I would still be murdering someone though. Manslaughter, if you prefer. Self defence, whatever.

You seem to use the term "murder" for any case where a human causes another human to die. Correct? I, on the other hand, would not consider killing someone in self-defense to be "murder." The dictionary on my desk defines murder as "The unlawful killing of one human being by another, especially when premeditated." By that definition, this is definitely not murder, as it was not "unlawful." But regardless of what we call it, or how we define "murder", you are saying that this was a morally wrong act, right? What would you say would be a morally right response in this situatioin?
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Old 10-09-2002, 01:46 PM   #8
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What I don't understand is why ppl don't just shoot to injure...
There's no need for a lot of the defensive killings that happen within the police force in the states as well as in domestic situations as well I'm sure.

If you're going to shoot someone, go for their legs or something, no need to shoot them multiple times in the chest area.
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Old 10-09-2002, 02:26 PM   #9
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I always though that if I would find a robber in my house and:
- I wouldn't have a gun then he would threaten me, take away my valuables and leave me with some emotional scars
- I would draw a gun on him then he would probably try to get me first (with whatever weapon he has on him)

though option 1 doesn't sound like a picnic I wouldn't want to gamble my life on option 2
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:24 PM   #10
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I just find it hard to believe that a shot or two to the ankle or the arm wouldn't have had the effect of preventing the robbery. Were nearly a dozen shots, which ultimately killed the man, truly necessary? I believe in self-defense, but not in manslaughter.
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparkysgrrrl
What I don't understand is why ppl don't just shoot to injure...
There's no need for a lot of the defensive killings that happen within the police force in the states as well as in domestic situations as well I'm sure.

If you're going to shoot someone, go for their legs or something, no need to shoot them multiple times in the chest area.
Unlike a gun range, where you can calmly select your targets, the endorphin rush experienced during a robbery makes target selection difficult, if not impossible. My guess is that even those with significant handgun training could miss a person completely at short range in a surprise situation.

I doubt the newspaper guy had time to think "kneecap or chest", aim and fire.
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:41 PM   #12
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Re: An Interesting Twist In The Whole "Gun Control" Issue

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
It has often been stated in these forums that a violent robber or other criminal is never defeated by an "ordinary citizen" type [/B]
Statements which include "never" or "allways" are wrong most of the time ,-)

Off course you can find weirest examples pro and contra
(i personally saw an employe of a gas-station (who did not have even a knife) who got a robber (who had a gun) on the run.
Does that mean anything but he was lucky?

If you take a look at statistics overall i'd say that restrict gunlaws help to reduce murder. But of course even the strictest laws are no guarantee

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Old 10-09-2002, 06:02 PM   #13
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Re: An Interesting Twist In The Whole "Gun Control" Issue

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
NOTE: anyone can go to a sporting goods or department store and purchase a shotgun, which is primarily used for hunting. [/B]
Well is this not the best line in the whole post? Does this not strike fear into everyone. This is why Gun control should be implemented. If a crack head can buy a gun from a sports store then there is something wrong. We should be starting with stoping people getting guns not getting guns ourselves and kill the ones with guns. Does anyone see the violent circle?
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Old 10-09-2002, 07:00 PM   #14
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Re: Re: An Interesting Twist In The Whole "Gun Control" Issue

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Originally posted by bonoman


Well is this not the best line in the whole post? Does this not strike fear into everyone. This is why Gun control should be implemented. If a crack head can buy a gun from a sports store then there is something wrong. We should be starting with stoping people getting guns not getting guns ourselves and kill the ones with guns. Does anyone see the violent circle?
This is exactly how I feel about it. If fewer guns are made available, over time, there will be fewer guns in the hands of criminals. I do realize that if someone really wants to get his/her hands on a gun, they will find a way, but why do we have to make it so easy?

If the bad guys have little or no access to guns, the average citizen wouldn't need a gun for protection.

Yeah, I'm a dreamer but I hope that someday my kids and future grandkids won't have to deal with gun violence.
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Old 10-09-2002, 07:21 PM   #15
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Re: Re: Re: An Interesting Twist In The Whole "Gun Control" Issue

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Originally posted by Bono's American Wife
Yeah, I'm a dreamer but I hope that someday my kids and future grandkids won't have to deal with gun violence.
Dream big. Dream that people would value human life, to see others as created in God's image.
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