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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dec. 3, 2007, 3:58AM
Protesters square off on street where neighbor shot two burglars
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5346880.html

HOUSTON - Protesters critical of a homeowner who fatally shot two suspected burglars were confronted by hundreds of the man's supporters during a rally on the street where the killings occurred.

Yard signs declaring support for Joe Horn, 61, lined nearby streets Sunday in the Pasadena neighborhood where Miguel Antonio DeJesus, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30, were killed Nov. 14.

Horn's supporters parked motorcycles along the block Sunday and jeered protesters who called for Horn to be prosecuted. The supporters waved American flags and hoisted signs reading, "We love our neighbor for protecting our neighbors" and "Burglary is a risky business."

Police officers in riot gear monitored the activities, but no arrests were made.

Horn's attorney has said his client believed the two men had broken into his neighbor's home and that he shot them only when they came into his yard and threatened him.

But that description is partly at odds with Horn's call to 911 in which Horn threatens to kill the men despite the dispatcher's urging that Horn stay inside his house.

"I support our rights as Americans to protect ourselves and support our Second Amendment rights," said Aaron Morrow, 43, one of dozens of bikers who revved their engines each time activist Quanell X attempted to speak.

Quanell X has said that Horn, who is white, should be charged with murder for shooting DeJesus and Ortiz, who were black. After Sunday's counter-protest, he said he doesn't know if the shootings were racially motivated but said he "wouldn't be surprised."

The families of the shooting victims were present Sunday.

"Our position is that we do not condone their actions. We condemn their actions," Quanell X said. "But Horn acted as police officer, judge, jury and executioner all at the same time."

Michelle Howell, who lives down the street from Horn, said she was in disbelief that the event had taken on racial overtones.

"First of all, this is a quiet place, secondly we've got neighbors of all different races. This has nothing to do with race," she said.

Maritza Munoz marched with the members of the New Black Panther Nation.

"Yes, they broke into people's houses, but it wasn't his right to kill them. What he (Horn) did was criminal," she said.

Horn has not been charged in the case. Pasadena police spokesman Vance Mitchell said the department will turn over its case to the Harris County District Attorney's Office in seven to 10 days. From there it is expected to be presented to a grand jury.
 

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m24shooter said:
For those not familiar with the area Quanell X is a somewhat nefarious pot-stirrer to put it nicely.
Translation: Quanell X is a worthless piece of garbage who goes around poking his nose in others' business trying to make mountains out of molehills in a feeble and very futile attempt to be seen as a modern day MLK.
 

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soonerpgh said:
m24shooter said:
For those not familiar with the area Quanell X is a somewhat nefarious pot-stirrer to put it nicely.
Translation: Quanell X is a worthless piece of garbage who goes around poking his nose in others' business trying to make mountains out of molehills in a feeble and very futile attempt to be seen as a modern day MLK.
The whole Black Panther organization lead by Malik Zulu Shabazz , is the most racist organization in the county. They are a bunch of thugs who promote anti-semetic bigotry. Shabazz was the one yelling "Guilty, Guilty!" while demonstrating against the Duke Hockey players in Durham during the trial. What a pin-head!
 

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Yep, the panthers are bad news. Really bad news.

I understand why he pulled the trigger, I do, he he just chose the wrong way to do it and will likely end up making the rest of us look bad.
 

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Reverend Db said:
Yep, the panthers are bad news. Really bad news.

I understand why he pulled the trigger, I do, he he just chose the wrong way to do it and will likely end up making the rest of us look bad.
That happens, though. Just look at the previous two or three posts. There are many activists out there griping about one thing or another, and while I may not agree with them, they are exercising their rights and I respect that, as long as they are peaceful, and do not impose on others. There are a few, unfortunately, that make them all look bad and give them all a bad name (not that they don't deserve it anyway). I've said it before and I'll say it again: Some folks are alive only because it is illegal to kill them. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Reverend Db said:
........he just chose the wrong way to do it and will likely end up making the rest of us look bad.
Well, it finally happened - national coverage. I just saw a piece on CNN about the shhoting and included film of the rally in the neighborhood with lots of bikers, and pushing and shoving.

With the national news play it probably be long before the anti-gun crowd is yelling "See, I told you so!" Thank goodness he didn't use and AR or AK when he shot them. If fact, I am hoping it was a long barreled field gun.
 

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Austin12Gauge said:
With the national news play it probably be long before the anti-gun crowd is yelling "See, I told you so!"
I wouldn't worry too much about it. In fact, we should all hope that this is the case that the Brady bunch wants to turn into their poster case. Two dead burglars isn't going to produce a lot of sympathy for their cause, and if they really make an issue out of it they're going to look like idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Grizzlywinmag said:
Two dead burglars isn't going to produce a lot of sympathy for their cause, and if they really make an issue out of it they're going to look like idiots.
I didn't know the anti-gun crowd distinguished between good or bad shoots. And since they already look like idiots, that won't stop them from making an issue of it.

My point was that there is much greater anti-gun sentiment outside Texas than inside. Now that the national press, especially TV, has picked up on it, the shooting is much more exposed to the liberal elite.
 

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Austin12Gauge said:
Grizzlywinmag said:
Two dead burglars isn't going to produce a lot of sympathy for their cause, and if they really make an issue out of it they're going to look like idiots.
I didn't know the anti-gun crowd distinguished between good or bad shoots.
It's not about caring about good or bad shoots, it's all about what will change people's minds. As far as a case to carry a banner for, this would be a pretty poor selection on their part. Bad decisions for them = good for us.

And since they already look like idiots, that won't stop them from making an issue of it.
And I say let them. Two dead burglars doesn't generate a fraction of the sympathy as something like, oh, I dunno 32 dead college students. If you had the choice, on what story would you want to see CNN spend a lot of time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Grizzlywinmag said:
If you had the choice, on what story would you want to see CNN spend a lot of time?
You are ignoring the accumulation effect of all gun death stories. But on a relitive scale, you are right, this is much worse:

Omaha Mall Shooting Leaves Nine Dead
By OSKAR GARCIA, AP Posted: 2007-12-06 07:04:26

OMAHA, Neb. (Dec. 6) - A man opened fire with a rifle at a busy department store Wednesday, killing eight people in an attack that made holiday shoppers run screaming through a mall and barricade themselves in dressing rooms.

The young shooter, who left a note predicting, "Now I'll be famous," wounded five others, two critically, then took his own life.

Witnesses said the gunman sprayed fired down on shoppers from a third-floor balcony of the Von Maur store using what police said was an SKS assault rifle they found at the scene.

"My knees rocked. I didn't know what to do, so I just ran with everybody else," said Kevin Kleine, 29, who was shopping with her 4-year-old daughter at the Westroads Mall, in a prosperous neighborhood on the city's west side. She said she hid in a dressing room with four other shoppers and an employee.

Police found the first victim on the second floor, then several more near a customer service station on the third floor.

The shooter, identified by police as 19-year-old Robert A. Hawkins, was found dead on the third floor with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Omaha Police Chief Thomas Warren said the shooting appeared to be random. He would not release the victims' identities and gave no motive for the attack.

Hawkins was kicked out by his family about a year ago and moved in with a friend's family in a house in a middle-class neighborhood in Bellevue, a suburb wedged between Offutt Air Force Base and the Missouri River, said Debora Maruca-Kovac, who along with her husband took in Hawkins, a friend of her sons.

"When he first came in the house, he was introverted, a troubled young man who was like a lost pound puppy that nobody wanted," Maruca-Kovac told The Associated Press.

Maruca-Kovac said Hawkins was fired from his job at a McDonald's this week and had recently broken up with a girlfriend. She said he phoned her about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, telling her that he had left a note for her in his bedroom. She tried to get him to explain.

"He said, 'It's too late,'" and hung up, she told CNN.

She told the AP she called Hawkins' mother, went to the Maruca-Kovacs' house and retrieved the suicide note, in which Hawkins wrote that he was "sorry for everything," would not be a burden on his family anymore and, most ominously, "Now I'll be famous."

Maruca-Kovac said she took the note to authorities and went to her job as a nurse at the Nebraska Medical Center.

Hours later, Maruca-Kovac said, she saw victims being brought in.

Police received a 911 call from someone inside the mall, and shots could be heard in the background, Sgt. Teresa Negron said. By the time officers arrived six minutes later, the shooting was over, she said.

"We sent every available officer in the city of Omaha," Negron said.

The Omaha World-Herald reported that the gunman had a military-style haircut and a black backpack, and wore a camouflage vest.

"Everybody was scared, and we didn't know what was going on," said Belene Esaw-Kagbara, 31, a Von Maur employee. "We didn't know what to do. I was praying that God protect us."

Mickey Vickory, who worked at Von Maur's third-floor service department, said she heard shots at about 1:50 p.m.

She and her co-workers and customers went into a back closet behind the wrapping room to hide, then emerged about a half-hour later when police shouted to come out with their hands up. As police took them to another part of the mall for safety, they saw the victims.

"We saw the bodies and we saw the blood," she said.

Keith Fidler, another Von Maur employee, said he heard a burst of five to six shots followed by 15 to 20 more rounds. Fidler said he huddled in the corner of the men's clothing department with about a dozen other employees until police yelled to get out of the store.

Witness Shawn Vidlak said the shots sounded like a nail gun. At first he thought it was noise from construction work at the mall.

"People started screaming about gunshots," Vidlak said. "I grabbed my wife and kids we got out of there as fast as we could."

Shortly after the shooting, which came three weeks before Christmas, a group of shoppers came out of the building with their hands raised. Some were still holding shopping bags.

Police told people to park their cars at businesses across from the mall and to wait for their loved ones, then directed them to an Omaha hotel to await information.

Nebraska Medical Center spokeswoman Andrea McMaster said it had three victims from the mall shooting, including a 61-year-old man in critical condition with a bullet wound to his chest.

Three victims were brought Creighton University Medical Center; two died and the other was critically wounded, spokeswoman Lisa Stites said.

By Wednesday evening, police were using a bomb robot to access a Jeep Cherokee left in the mall parking lot. Authorities believe the vehicle belonged to Hawkins. Officers had seen some wires under some clothing, but no bomb was found.

Authorities were searching both women's homes late Wednesday.

President Bush was in Omaha on Wednesday for a fundraiser, but left about an hour before the shooting.

"Having just visited with so many members of the community in Omaha today, the president is confident that they will pull together to comfort one another," White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

The Von Maur store is part of a 22-store Midwestern chain. The sprawling, three-level mall has more than 135 stores and restaurants. It gets 14.5 million visitors every year, according to its Web site.

It was the second mass shooting at a mall this year. In February, nine people were shot, five of them fatally, at Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City. The gunman, 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic, was shot and killed by police.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Posted last evening at Houston Chronicle web site:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/met ... 49444.html

Dec. 5, 2007, 7:14PM

In Horn case, self-defense isn't so clear
By LISA FALKENBERG

There seems to be some confusion here. Joe Horn is not a hero.

The Pasadena homeowner certainly had a chance to be a hero, but he gave up that opportunity as soon as he allowed fear, adrenaline, suburban angst, Old West entitlement or all of the aforementioned to overwhelm his ability to think rationally and consider the consequences of his actions.

Let's imagine, for a moment, that the whole ordeal had turned out differently, that after the 61-year-old computer consultant called 911 to report a burglary next door on that November afternoon, he had followed the dispatcher's advice and stayed safely inside his house.

He still could have provided descriptions of the bad guys and let police know which way they were fleeing. He could have stood guard, loaded shotgun in hand, just in case the burglars preyed on his house next.

The headlines could have portrayed him as vigilant rather than vigilante: "Homeowner helps nab burglars," or "Hometown hero praised for being good neighbor."

Ignored pleadings

Most importantly, Miguel Antonio DeJesus, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30, both of Houston, would still be alive.
But Horn didn't stay inside. He ignored the dispatcher's pleadings, grabbed his shotgun and charged out the front door to confront DeJesus and Ortiz, after uttering damning statements like "I'm not going to let them get away with it," and "I'm gonna kill them."

Horn's attorney and longtime friend Tom Lambright argues that his client acted in self-defense, that he thought he saw the alleged burglars lunging at him. Really? If the bad guys were armed only with a crowbar - the only weapon Horn mentions in the 911 call - would they really be lunging at a large man wielding a 12-gauge shotgun?

It will be up to a Harris County grand jury to decide whether Horn's actions were criminal.

Although a Texas law allows citizens to use deadly force to protect neighbors' property, some experts say the statute only applies to nighttime incidents.

Race muddies issue

Meanwhile, Horn has had to flee to an undisclosed location to escape the media attention. And Quanell X and cohorts are staging protests outside his house in an attempt to brand him a racist. Horn's supporters, some armed with a fleet of revving motorcycles, staged a dueling demonstration over the weekend.

I agree with the Horn supporters on one point: the race debate only muddies the issue. There's no reason to believe his actions were racially motivated.

But I am confounded by the rah-rah zeal with which some armchair vigilantes have celebrated Horn's actions. Some readers' comments on the Houston Chronicle Web site suggest the burglars "deserved what they got." Last time I checked, the penalty for burglary didn't include death.

At the demonstration, hundreds had signed the back of signs that seemed to suggest getting trigger-happy with a shotgun is as Texan as bluebonnets or the Lone Star flag.

"We're just citizens standing up for another citizen who chose to protect himself," said one demonstrator.
On some level, I understand the urge of residents overwhelmed and frustrated with crime to hold up Horn as a hero. He's the guy who fought back.

But Horn's isn't a clear case of self-defense. If it were, his name would be as unfamiliar to you as Gerald Lynn Southworth.

Southworth, a 60-year-old Porter property owner, also used his gun to fatally shoot someone he suspected of stealing. But Southworth's story a few days ago didn't grab national headlines. It was buried on Page B3 of this paper. Why? Because it appeared Southworth really was defending his own property.

Contrasting shootings

Southworth had reported thefts from his address two days before and had stayed overnight to guard his property. The suspect was still lying on Southworth's lawn when authorities arrived.

Still, these two men have something in common. When it was all over, neither seemed proud of what he'd done.

Horn was "devastated" and in need of a sedative after the shooting, Lambright said. A statement Horn issued said the killings would "weigh heavily on me for the rest of my life. My thoughts go out to the loved ones of the deceased."

Southworth had to be taken to the hospital because of chest pains after the shooting.

"I am sorry as hell," Southworth told KTRK (Channel 13). "I just wished there had been another way to resolve this."

In Horn's case, there was a better way. He just refused to take it.

[email protected]
 

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Lisa Falkenberg is not reporting the news in your link. She is providing her own commentary and opinion. It may or may not be any more valuable, insightful or factual than some other well informed citizen's opinion who may have a different agenda or bias than she has. I doubt you'll find a weapon of any kind around her residence.
 
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