HB 196 Texas

Don’t let the novels I write fool you, I can match wits with the best of them.

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Recently a Facebook post announced that there is a new proposed bill HB 196. This bill would amend the Texas Castle Law. Some fear-mongers have modified the post to make it even scarier than it is. 

Even after looking at the original bill, I have a few thoughts.

Currently, the castle doctrine protects the homeowner by giving him or her legal defining rights to defend themselves and their property. 

HB 196 is designed to weaken the castle law.  The creator wrote that (nobody should die for stealing lawn ornaments.)

I agree that nobody should be killed for stealing, period, but it is their choice to steal or not to steal. Where do you draw the line?  Is it one garden gnome and one flamingo? How many flamingoes do we allow them to take before we defend our property?  

Let’s ask this another way. Why should I willingly be a victim?  Why should I choose to cower in a corner while some criminal ransacks my house or my family?  Why should I sit idly by while my cars or property is taken from me? Why should I run out the back door if someone breaks in the front door?

The truth is, his or her life is in my hands when they violate my domain, my castle. Just like the lady who died breaking into the capital, she screwed up and died. She was shot in the throat while entering a window.  An air force veteran was killed because she was with the wrong crowd.  She is the only one of the five that died that day because a weapon was drawn. She didn’t have one; it was the cop.

Nobody could make the argument that the cop was afraid for his life against an unarmed woman, could they? Sure they could; a reasonable defense attorney could make the case in a heartbeat. Just get the right jury and the right judge.

Why didn’t they kill Chewbacca? Why her? What was so special about this petite woman that she needed to be shot in the throat?  Was she the only one that he wasn’t afraid of?  We will never know.

This bill, HB 196, would weaken my rights in a court of law, making it harder to prove my intent.  “Why didn’t you run away?  How do we know you were terrified for your life? Did you pee yourself? Is a life worth a catalytic convertor of tires?

Was her life worth entering a window along with hundreds of others?

Why should the burden of proof be on the homeowner’s shoulders? 

There is a broken door, his fingerprints on the crowbar, and a dead body in my hallway. Case closed.

Not so fast…

The simple facts are; the police seldom prevent a burglary or rape or murder; they arrive in time to write it up while shaking their heads. It takes hours to investigate a crime scene, and they were ready for dinner. The cops come after the alarm has cycled, and the alarm company was unsuccessful at contacting the homeowner.  Three minutes after the door is broken down, the alarm company finally places a non-emergency call to the local police. A dispatcher will find the closest officer and ask them to drive by and check out why the alarm sounded.

Now, this is not like smokey and the bandit, where they are in hot pursuit.   No, no, they will receive the call and casually drive to the neighborhood in question, frequently joined by another unit just in case.

The criminal has done his or her dirty work and is long gone by the time the police arrive. 

Bright lights from the car-light up the door, and they see evidence of a forced entry.  They report this to dispatch, who now asked who is available to back up that unit.

They push the door open while the hinge’s creak is accompanied by the sounds of broken glass under their feet. Bloodstains on the floor; the putrid stench of a coppery odor of blood hangs heavy in the air as they trip over broken lamps, stuffed animals, and a dead dog. Their hearts race in the silence.   Slowly they search the house, listening for movement with their guns drawn.  A grey cat streaks by them, causing them to jump and almost shoot each other from the freight.  Flashlights peer through the darkness to find what is left from the carnage after some people did something.

Ever been to a murder scene?

MS 13 are not the kinds of people taking garden gnomes.  They enjoy killing for sport, and they are here. They do what they do for the sake of terror. Much like ISIS beheads people for effect, they cut people up most horrifically for the fear and terror engendered in the little people’s hearts.   And there are attorneys whose job it is to defend them.  Those who live in gated communities make laws that they might never have to worry about, as they have private duty security looking out for them.

Why not make it easier to defend the criminal?  Yes, let’s cripple the castle law. Let’s narrow the scope so it is easier to defend the bad guy and easier to convict the home owner. We could accuse them of being a racist of bigot because that always plays well with juries.

Those who perpetrate crime don’t worry if their gun is full auto or not.  They don’t fret about the large capacity of their clips, and they certainly don’t care if the weapon is registered to them or not.

But you, Mr and Mrs. homeowner, you need to dot every I and cross every T.  This is the same logic the Obama administration used in sending our boys into combat.  You can guard them, but you don’t get any bullets. Before you engage the enemy, you need to seek permission, and it could take a few days as we have to consult several committees in DC.

After we that we take several polls of likely voters to see if there is support for any action against a particular group. Hang on, we can usually get this done in just a few weeks.

Texas has suffered a rash of burglaries, home break-ins, and vandalized property.  While companies like Ring are enjoying profits from the sale of security devices, the folks who make and sell catalytic convertors are also having good sales.

The quality of the video from Ring is not where it needs to be. Higher res cameras need to be installed in these devices. Yes we can see if was a guy and he wore a cap but that is about it.

Why should we as a people entertain limiting our rights to defend our stuff or make it more difficult to prove our innocence in a court of law?   

There is an uptick in the theft of tires, wheels, and catalytic converters.  Those are not ten-dollar garden gnomes. Are they funding criminal activity with our stuff?  What do you think?

The creator of this Bill knows this, but sluffs it off as garden gnomes. She knows damned well they are stealing things like (tires, convertors or anything else that is not nailed down.)

If this bill passes the homeowner would have to sit idly by while their car is broken into while waiting for the cops to finish their dinner before responding to a 911 call. Wait, can you even call 911 if someone is breaking into your car?

If you look at the Next Door app, you would see that more and more citizens are victims of crime at an alarming rate.  This amendment would encourage more criminals. We have videos of porch pirates, cars vandalized and lawn mowers and other expensive items taken by a criminal. If her bill passes the homeowner would have less legal rights than the criminal.

Reading the post, Americans are becoming more paranoid as they feel that they cannot depend on the police to defend them.  Since Biden took over, the price and availability of ammo have changed dramatically.  Did he pull an Obama and place vast orders to create a shortage, or are people that paranoid?  

I don’t know about the average person but, I work hard for what I have.  The cost to replace a catalytic converter is anywhere from $1000 to $3000, depending upon the car. It takes a few minutes for the criminal to slide under your vehicle with a battery-operated saws-all and take a costly item from your vehicle.

Insurance may or may not cover it, and even if it does, there is a deductible and then the hassle of dealing with a wrecker, the police, the insurance company, and a rental company, and then the dealer, which all takes time. There is the stress of dealing with the fact that you were violated in some way.

Garden gnom, ok, I can live with that; what dollar amount do you place before you pull a gun and shoot the bastard?  While the community would be thrilled to have one less thief in the area, the lawyers would be delighted too.

Some lawyers are sympathetic to the thief. Why? Some might claim they are cut from the same cloth, but I digress.

If you want to create a new law,  create one that makes it harder for criminals to profit from the sale of used (stolen) catalytic converters.  I realize that would cut into the ease at which the criminal would benefit from his or her ill-gotten gain, and it would also cut into the profits of those who purchase such things, but that law would make sense.  That law would save the lives of the criminals who are stealing ‘garden gnomes.’  How?  If it were more difficult to sell what they steal, it seems that would make stealing such things less attractive.

I am confident that insurance companies would offer campaign funding for that kind of legislation.  

Japan did not invade the mainland in WWII because they knew every farmer had a gun.  True story. History is replete with useful information; try reading it.

While some might take literary license with what she is proposing, the hard facts are that when we look at a massive influx of illegal immigrants, our laws should not be made more favorable to the criminal. These folks already have a track record of not respecting our laws or Mexico’s, for that matter. Why would any American Law Maker seek to diminish the rights of Americans?  

This country is a country of laws.  We respect them, and everything works better.

Five years ago, then-Vice President Biden told rape victims to piss themselves.  That way, the rapist would not want to have sex with them. So, piss yourself and possibly dissuade the criminal.  At what point is it reasonable to defend yourself? 

This same person also said if someone is breaking into your house, open the back door and shoot a shotgun out the back door, that will frighten them away.  What is wrong with leveling the gun at the person confronting you in your own home? They can turn around and run or keep the projectiles and consider them a door prize.

At what point will an attorney who makes a living defending rapists and murderers and the like say, oh hell no? What is the line that you, as an attorney, will not cross?  Do you have one?

If you defend yourself, that person had a name and was once someone’s child.  Even if your defense of yourself were legally proper, some attorneys make money by chasing down any relatives and then taking the victim of the crime to a civil court.

In this court, they will do their best to play to the emotions of the jury.  The guy that raped you will be portrayed as god-fearing, good to his mamma, blah blah blah.  They will paint you, the victim, as a short skirt-wearing girl who sent out the wrong messages, so it was your fault. You knew what you were doing when you dared to wear a sleeveless blouse; it is all your fault that this man is now dead.

The jury’s pictures to consider will not be of a tattooed twenty-something but a child with their parents at a birthday party. There will be baby pictures and that of a sad mother who lost her child to some gun-crazed lunatic. This person dared to hang on to their guns and their bibles, putting stuff over the sanctity of life.  The dead person had a name, damnit!

They have no shame.  It is all about winning.

HRC defended a rapist who raped a 12-year-old girl and won.  She bragged about it to her peers. She convinced the rather feeble-minded jurors that the 12-year-old liked sex and knew what she was doing. She was proud of it. 

While there is wisdom in chasing them off, it is even wiser to be judged by 12 than carried by six. Just be prepared to defend yourself against another type of monster.  

“Were you terrified for your life?  How did you know this person intended you harm?  Did you see a weapon? Did he shoot at you?  Only once, how do you know that wasn’t just a warning shot or the gun didn’t miss fire? Why didn’t you run away?  Did you realize that he was using that money to feed his kids and his elderly mother? Now how is his family going to live?  Pfft ! 

If you have not ever sat in a court of law, do it.  OMG!   You will quickly realize just how screwed up the system is. Once you do this you will never vote for a politician that is seeking to limit your rights.

Percy Foreman was a friend of mine. Unfortunately, I know the way the system works. People like Percy would defend the indefensible and win more times than he lost. Winning was their reputation, it didn’t matter what the person did; it was all about twisting the law enough to get an acquittal.

 He once told me while looking me right in the eyes, ‘it is easier for me to get you off if I know you are guilty.’  Cold chills ran up my spine with that admission, and I lost much respect for not only him, but our entire legal system that day.

The day he died, the criminals lost a friend.  That is the sad truth.

No, the Castle Doctrine should be strengthened, not weakened.   A castle is a bastion of freedom for the occupants, and the law is already too mailable.   

Americans are witnessing higher amounts of crime.  There are efforts to defund the police and restrict what kinds of guns Americans can own. The innocent are under attack by the system that is supposed to be there for them. Why would we entertain any bill that would weaken our legal rights to defend ourselves or our property?

Any member of a governing body that puts forth an argument that restricts law-abiding citizens’ rights over those who don’t respect our laws, or our rights to protect ourselves or our property, should not be in office.  

Don’t mess with Texas, and don’t mess with Texans. We do cling to our bibles, our God, and our guns.

-Best

Author: AuthorTWScott

Author, Writer, Artist, Graphic Artist ... Over 32 published novels crossing many genres. www.authortwscott.com

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