oe Horn of Pasadena, Texas, is a wanted man—wanted in almost every other neighborhood across the US. I suspect Horn would even be welcomed in liberal enclaves. Secretly, every liberal hopes to have a Joe Horn around when his possessions or the people he loves are threatened.
Mr. Horn is admired by many because he blew away two career criminals who'd burglarized his next-door neighbor's home. The two illegal aliens were slinking away from the scene of the crime, crowbar and loot in hand, when Horn stopped them dead in their tracks with his 12-gauge shotgun.
Hernando Riascos Torres, alias Miguel Antonio DeJesus, was one of the dangerous offenders Horn dispatched. An illegal alien from Colombia, he'd already "been deported to Colombia in 1999 after serving time for possession with intent to distribute cocaine," reported the Houston Chronicle.
Horn also hastened the descent into hell of one Diego Ortiz. Ortiz had also broken into the country before breaking and entering at the home adjacent to Horn's.
Very many Americans saw in Joe Horn a man who practiced the biblical injunction to "love thy neighbor as thyself":
"Joe, you did the right thing, you stood up against evil," wrote a Houston Chronicle reader. "If there is ever anything you need … I will write the first check."
"You didn't know if they hurt anybody, or if they were armed, and they were getting away," sympathized another correspondent. "I am sorry that you have been through this ordeal. If I saw you on the street, I would shake your hand. God Bless You. You Are A Hero!"
"Corps1775" added the following:
"Mr. Horn, what you did that dark November evening was the right action to take. I wish I had a neighbor of your caliber with your integrity and concern for others. You may have saved lives by your brave actions, maybe not that night, but during break-ins in the future. It's over now, so go relax as you should, considering you earned your retirement. God bless you."
But there were the detractors, who commented, quite correctly, that "all shots fired were in the back," and demanded to know whether Horn's actions did not amount to premeditated murder.
As the adage goes, hard cases make bad law. And Horn's is a hard case. Here's the Associated Press's account of how Horn reacted in the course of the conversation with the 911 operator:
"Uh, I've got a shotgun," he tells the dispatcher. "Uh, do you want me to stop them?" "Nope, don't do that," the dispatcher responded. "Ain't no property worth shooting somebody over, OK?"
Then, quite suddenly, when it appears the home invaders are getting away, and the cops are nowhere in sight, Horn becomes terribly agitated. It is as though a natural instinct to defend home and hearth overpowers him.
The AP's account confirms this:
"When the men crawled back out the window carrying a bag, Horn began to sound increasingly frantic.
"Well, here it goes, buddy," Horn said as a shell clicked into the chamber. "You hear the shotgun clicking, and I'm going."
A few seconds passed.
"Move," Horn can be heard saying on the tape. "You're dead."
Fire and cocking sounds follow in quick succession.
Horn in action was how men sounded and acted BE: Before Emasculation. One of those young, hip, effeminate men with a fussy falsetto would not have needed to be convinced of the wisdom of hunkering down. But not old Horn. There was no holding him back.
As for the 911 dispatcher's fatuous, "Ain't no property worth shooting somebody over": A man's home is not mere property—it is his castle; a safe haven for his most cherished belongings: his person and his beloved. Someone eager to violate another's inner sanctum will be more than willing to violate the occupant.
Among mindless media, a murder following a break-in is often minimized. A "robbery gone wrong" is how cherubic, CNN anchor Don Lemon
called the murder of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor.
But murder is an organic extension of the invasion of a home. (And breaking into a country signals quite reliably a willingness to break yet more of the invaded country's laws.)
The four thugs who forced their way into Sean Taylor's home and shot and killed him were not modern-day Jean Valjeans. Unlike Victor Hugo's protagonist in Les Misérables
, they did not plan on stealing a mere loaf of bread, sating their hunger, and sauntering away.
Confronted with a home invader, there's precious little a homeowner can do to divine the intentions of the intruder. Horn proceeded from that premise—and prevailed. And just in time for Independence Day, a Texas grand jury turned this hard case into good law. Horn will not be indicted.
This is a happy Independence Day for an authentic American hero.
©By ILANA MERCER
July 4, 2008