We have a new law in Wisconsin. I can now use deadly force against anyone who is unlawfully inside my residence, business or vehicle, whether the trespasser was armed or not. Deadly force means a force that causes you to be dead. It will be presumed that I had acted reasonably. I am protected. You die. All is cool.
I am not a gun guy. I’m a word guy. I’m probably not a very good word guy. Most of it comes out as profanity, just for shits and giggles – or to over emphasize my point. This law seems a little extreme to me. We already had the right to protect ourselves in those places. This seems like more of an ad to go out and buy a gun and some ammo.
One line in the article linked above is this: “Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has said he has not reviewed the particulars of the bill but that he supports the general concept.” What? You have not reviewed the particulars of a bill that has become law? A law. You are the Attorney General. How do you not review the particulars? What the hell is your job?
From my own personal history I can relate two stories.
A friend of mine lived south of the town in which I grew up. He lived with his family on a main highway on a span of road that was 11 miles between towns. In front of his house, out by the road was a ditch and then the sidewalk from the road to the house. On each side of the sidewalk was a brick or stone column. One night everyone in the house was awakened by shouting, pounding and yelling coming from the front of the house. This was a farm house… no neighbors around. When they came down to see what was going on some man had broken into their front door and was pretty animated about something. Seems he had gone off the road, into the ditch and then hit one of the columns out by the sidewalk. The car was smunched and someone else was out there hurt.
My friend’s family were all hunters. There were plenty of guns in the house. At no time did they ever consider blowing away the individual who broke through their door. They called an ambulance and the police at the request of the intruder.
Story #2. One New Year’s Eve we had a similar thing happen at our house when I lived in the country. Same thing… someone pounding on our outside door. Some drunk neighbor had put his car in the ditch down the road, walked to our house in the something below zero temperatures and started pounding until I went downstairs to see what was going on. He was already in the kitchen when I got there. Scared the shit out of me but I don’t ever recall the urge to do him in. Instead, I got dressed and drove him to his farm where we got another vehicle that would pull his car out of the ditch. Ok, I kind of felt like killing him a little after all of that but in the end I allowed him to live.
Here is the longer version of that story: The guy lived on a place a couple miles behind me. I knew there was a place back there somewhere, but I had never gone to check it out. So, this drunk dude puts the car in the ditch, comes to get me. I don’t know the guy, he does not know me. I would drive him home, we would get a tractor. I get dressed… which took a minute or two as it was one of those times when it was like 10 or 15 below with an even colder wind chill. We got into my 2 wheel drive – no weight in the back pickup and this drunk is going to navigate me to his place. It is like 2 in the morning. I drove down the road, made a right, passed his car in the ditch and proceeded up a long steep hill. These are snow packed gravel roads. We make another right onto something that is like a road. No tracks in the snow ahead of me, just an obvious space without trees where I can drive. This did not look good.
The lane was narrow and proceeded to become very curvy. I suppose it was about .75 miles to his farm. Suddenly after one of these curves, there were a bunch of buildings and a house. This was the place. We parked the truck. The plan was: go start up some tractor, drive that down to the ditched vehicle and then we’d bring both back to get my truck and I’d be out of there.
Oh. No. Not so fast, buddy.
Once we got out of the truck he said we needed to go check the house first as he had not been home in three days. Inside the house were two large chocolate labs. They had been in the house for those three days. Dog shit everywhere. House was pretty destroyed but I could not tell if it was due to the dogs or if that was just his style. He went to his kitchen… “I guess I should have turned off this coffee pot, now there’s a burnt slug in the bottom.” Yeah, no shit.
We went out to a barn. He peeled back the doors and started up a tractor. The tractor had a bucket on the front. I thought we were ready to go when he said “Hold on a second” and then went out in front of the tractor, picked up one of the dogs and placed it in the bucket. He came back and said “She likes to ride.” It was about then that the tractor died. It would never start again. Sorry, Dog… no ride for you.
Plan B. In some other building was an old Willys Jeep. My guess is that it was pre-1960. No roof. No heat. It did start. We would first have to put chains on the nearly bald tires. Since this guy was drunk, he was not able to function well enough to put the chains on. I did that. He was driving… another great idea. Back out to the curvy twisty turny lane. He was going faster than he should have been… I think this was in order to just keep the damn jeep running. Once we got through the curves and were almost to where we would start going downhill, he turned to me and said “Oh yeah!… One more thing – NO BRAKES!”
We somehow managed to stop before we ran out of road at the T intersection… backed up and pulled the car out of the ditch. I drove the car back. Once there, he had me come in one more time to say thanks. He walked over to some old wood burner that was stuffed full of newspapers, reached in and pulled out a bottle of Crown Royal. “Let’s finish this off!”
Uh, no… I’m good. Happy New Year. And with that, I was as they say “the fuck outta there.”
So… there are times when people breaking into your house are not there to swipe your stuff. For the record, if there ARE any cat kidnappers out there who are looking for a place to hit… come on over.
Here’s an old image from a much warmer day…