Self defense is not a tragedy

What do you think of when you read something like this?

Schellman said Thursday’s shooting was the latest instance of a child using a gun with deadly consequences. He referenced last week’s deadly accident in which a 21-month-old toddler in another part of the county found a loaded handgun and shot himself. The child later died at a hospital.

“Children have access to guns all too often, and all too often they end in tragic circumstances,” Schellman said.

A tragedy is when innocent people are hurt or killed. I have no problem calling the case of the toddler accidently shooting themselves a tragedy. But the rest of story referenced above causes me to part ways with the portrayal of the story being of the same nature:

An 11-year-old St. Louis-area boy fatally shot a 16-year-old who entered his home during an alleged home invasion Thursday, police said.

Two people had approached the home twice before Thursday, and on the third attempt entered the house through the front door, police said. The 11-year-old who lives in the home shot the 16-year-old intruder in the head, St. Louis County police said in a statement.

Police said the 11-year-old and a 4-year-old girl who was also inside the home were not injured.

While I am saddened by the turn of events if the story is accurately described it was a justified shooting and the tragedy would be if the two children in the home had been injured or killed by the thugs invading their home. The invaders made extremely poor life choices and they are responsible for the outcome. The 11-year-old merely delivered the bullets that brought things to regrettable but satisfactory ending.

That NBC news and others are seeing this shooting as an instance of “children have access to guns all too often” there is no point in “having a discussion” with them. Self defense of innocent life is not a tragedy and when people claim it is there is something very wrong with their mental and/or moral health. They deserved to be mocked, ridiculed, and then ignored.

8 thoughts on “Self defense is not a tragedy

  1. “Schellman said Thursday’s shooting was the latest instance of a child using a gun with deadly consequences. He referenced last week’s deadly accident in which a 21-month-old toddler in another part of the county found a loaded handgun and shot himself.”

    Don’t send this person to the store for fruit; he can’t distinguish between apples and oranges.

  2. I think the self defense shooting is indeed a tragedy. One kid is dead and another one is going to have to live with having done that. I don’t know about y’all, but while I will defend myself, I’d rather not be put in the situation where I had to kill someone.

    On the other hand, comparing this incident with the incident with the toddler is indeed comparing apples and oranges. both are tragic, but the are not equivocal.

    • I don’t see the tragedy. The criminal is dead, the law abiding citizen is alive.
      As for psychological consequences, with proper education those should not be a major issue. (If the kid has been indoctrinated into the notion that killing is always bad, that would be different. I hope that isn’t the case here.)

    • Read the story linked to in the gawker story:

      Schellman said evidence indicated the shooting happened inside.

      More and better information may come out but for now I don’t see convincing evidence to change my conclusions.

  3. No.

    Both stories are tragedies.

    A child shoots himself.

    A child shoots another child.

    Both ‘incidents’ are tragic, for both the child alone with the gun and (when there is another person involved) for the ‘victim’ AND for the child who feels obliged to defend his home with a gun.

    We see firearms as a tool, and rightly so. But to put a child in the situation where he is OBLIGED to shoot someone … that is a life-changing moment. We don’t want to undermine the innocence of childhood.

    No, I’m not saying that the intruder should have been allowed to terrorize a child in his home. I’m saying that no child should find himself in the position where his choices are to be victimized, or to kill. I wouldn’t want to make that decision, and I’m a man who is the better part of a century older than either of the people involved in the shooting.

    We need to think about why this innocent found himself in the situation where there was nobody else to defend him.

  4. I wouldn’t put too much trust in neighborhood rumors. The neighbors who claim to know what happened are probably no more reliable than some of the “eye” witnesses in Ferguson, who were not there until after the the events had already played out.

    It does sound like a pretty odd neighborhood, where eleven and sixteen year old kids might be buying and selling cell phones, or breaking into each other’s houses in the middle of the day.

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