Friday, November 4, 2011

Wisconsin CCW & Castle Doctrine, my story.

Time to take off my nerd hat and weigh in on all the hubbubb about the Wisconsin Castle Doctrine that has passed legislative houses and will soon be law.  This goes hand in hand with the new CCW law that just hit the books at the beginning of this month.  This is my first blog post about any social or political issue.  Here goes.

The recent changes to gun laws and self defense laws here in Wisconsin are long overdue.  For the first time this year, I am proud of Wisconsin lawmakers and the bipartisan efforts they put forth here in Wisconsin to give valuable rights back to the law abiding citizens in our state.

On the issues, REMEMBER THIS: Signs, laws, and rules are only for people who CHOOSE to follow them. Basically, the bad guy is, well, THE BAD GUY.  The game has changed, and the playing field has been leveled off.  48 other states already have CCW laws on the books, must be a bad thing, right?  I don't see a Wild West O.K. Corral type of scene popping up on our evening news anytime soon.  Hopefully, what we will see is a story about how for once, the GOOD GUY FINISHED FIRST.  That's my .02 on CCW....

The core of this blog post is about the Castle Doctrine and what it means to me.  Like most things, some people really don't care about an issue, law or a right until it affects them.  In this case, should a scenario play out, the outcome of that mentality could be grim.

Here's my story, every bit of it true.  It takes longer to tell this story than the time that actually elapsed. 

Years ago, an intruder entered my home, NAKED AS A JAY BIRD.  Unarmed, yet threatening.  This man was bigger than my 180 pound, 6,1" frame. He was disoriented and had bloody drool running down his face.

At the time, my former wife let out a blood curling scream and ran to my protection in the back bedroom. By the time I was able to react, this intruder was already deep into our home.  I am now the only thing standing between an immediate threat, my wife, and two children .  In seconds, I am holding the intruder at bay at the entrance way to our bedrooms and bathroom.  There is nowhere for them to go but out a window.

Here is my mindset: Is this a drug crazed lunatic, did he just kill someone?  If something happens to me, what happens to my wife and children?  Will my wife be raped and my children killed?  It's on, to the death.....

This is no BS people, this is really how it went down and what went through my mind.

I am now in an intense situation, yelling to my wife to grab our two children, take them into our bedroom and find some way to block the lock-less door. I am yelling at the intruder, my children are crying, my wife is in a full blown panic--the door is now closed. Everyone is terrified, including myself.  The incoherent intruder and I are now chest to chest, I am blocking him from entering the hallway.  I yell for my wife to locate my handgun, I have 911 on my cell phone, explaining the situation, still yelling for my gun...

Dispatch: "take whatever means necessary to protect yourself and your family"...I hang up......

I didn't need the concerned dispatcher to tell me that, I was already in protection mode.

STOP HERE for a moment, place yourself in this situation. WHAT would you do in this same scenario?

For whatever reason, the gun is not located, and I need to react NOW.  I immediately begin to shove and wrestle the large and naked intruder through our small home.  With every shove, I am sizing up the room and looking for a weapon.  Thankfully, the intruder is so out of it and doesn't even react to my shoving and yelling.  With my head about me and adrenaline pumping, I am able to get him to the front of the house and literally kick his naked ass right out the door.  I have my wife deadbolt and chain the door after the intruder and I exit to the front porch.  The intruder is now grabbing the door handle and slamming shoulder first into the door in an attempt to get BACK INTO THE HOUSE....I'm grabbing him and he easily shrugs me off....I can hear my family screaming from inside...I am yelling for them to exit the back door and run to a neighbor's house.... I exit the porch and grab a cast iron exhaust manifold that was in a car in my driveway.  Just as I get back on the porch,  and ready a healthy swing...the police arrive and take control of the intruder and the situation.

Before you read any further, live this situation in your mind and ask yourself again, what you would have done in my shoes, had the gun appeared moments earlier.

I press no charges and the kind officers spend some time with the children trying to put their minds at ease.  

No charges?  That's right, I let him slide.  Why you ask? The intruder turned out to be a neighbor that had an epileptic seizure in front of his home.  As his body super heated from the seizure, he stripped naked in my driveway and entered my home during the confusion of the seizure thinking it was his own.  Thankfully for everyone involved, no one was harmed or killed. After several months, our childrens' bedtime fears and questions like "is the naked man coming back?" went away.

Keep in mind my mindset and the situation BEFORE I mentioned this man was epileptic.  If it would have come down to it, had the gun appeared and the situation escalated, I may have shot this man in an attempt to incapacitate him before he took me down and harmed my family.  I would have dealt with the consequences of my actions later.  Again, my mindset was, me or him---no one is harming my family.  I had a respsonsibilty to react to the situation and defend those I love, in my CASTLE.  This may not have played out too well for me, after all, this wasn't a drug crazed lunatic at all, it was an epileptic. The Castle Doctrine wasn't law, and naked as the day he was born, this intruder wasn't armed. 

Prior to today, had the worse case scenario played out, I may very well still be in jail, and/or personally and financially ruined if the need arose for me to use deadly force in the protection of my family.  IN MY HOME, MY CASTLE none the less, in a place where the should never fear ANYTHING.  Worse yet, the way society is today, the media and my community may have turned this around. In light of the epilepsy details, the unarmed intruder may now be the victim,  and I may have been the criminal, guilty of only defending my family from harm.  This whole situation could have gone horribly wrong on so many levels.

The Castle Doctrine completely changes the hypotheticals in the previous paragraph.  In my mind, had the situation warranted, I had every reason use deadly force to neutralize a threat and protect my family from harm.  Thanks to the bipartisan effort of Wisconsin lawmakers, citizens of our state will be able to protect themselves and their loved ones--IN their CASTLE--without fear of becoming a criminal in the process.  I hope a situation never arises where you need to use deadly force to defend yourself or your family, but if it does, you now have the Castle Doctrine in your corner.  One law at a time, victims will no longer be criminals, and criminals will be just that, CRIMINALS. Hopefully, all of  this will result in less crime and less victims.

That's my .02, feel free to comment below.

Don't think anything can ever happen to you?  Follow the links below for some interesting crime statistics from the FBI.

FBI Violent Crime Statistics, 2010

FBI Property Crime Statistics, 2010

And that's how Bruce T does it.

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