When the “Castle Doctrine” Goes Nuts

The tale of Joe Horn’s “no bill” (what we call “no true bill” in New York) didn’t catch my eye initially.  So a guy doesn’t get indicted?  That’s as interesting as dog bites man, right?  But this was a Texas case, and as usual, it’s about a state of law in the Sovereign Nation of Texas that will make a New Yorker’s head explode.  It did just that to Connecticut public defender, Gideon.

The “Castle Doctrine,” as it exists in civilized society, is that a homeowner can shoot to kill a person who unlawfully enters his home at night, but only if he cannot safely retreat.  For many, this was a brutal twist of the law, since there was no requirement that the shooter’s (or anyone else’s) life be imminently threatened before the taking of another’s life.  Instead, it was a “per se” rule, allowing the defense of a home, “a man’s castle,” by deadly force, subject only to the most limited of conditions.  Killing was a last resort, rather than the front line of home defense.

So it comes as no surprise that Texas has a similar rule, but one that takes it a few steps further down the road of reason until it reaches that most Texas-like of all defenses, “he needed killin’.”   Gideon explains the hornbook Texas Rule:

A person can use deadly force (as in this case) if he believes it is immediately necessary to terminate the trespass/burglary/robbery AND the property being taken cannot be recovered by any other means AND he has a reasonable belief that the third person asked him to protect the property. Actually, upon further reading of the statute, it seems that this last one is not a requirement. So, in Texas, you can kill someone you believe is robbing your neighbor without having the neighbor’s permission to protect his house. Don’t we all feel like men now

Ignore that last sentence.  It isn’t part of the rule.  This is Mark Bennett’s shorthand version of the Texas Rule:

In a Texas murder case, though, the focus is often not on the accused and his “legal right” to shoot the decedent, but instead on the decedent and whether he needed killing. Then the only question is whether the decedent was the right guy to do it.

You see, Horn’s house wasn’t being burglarized, but his neighbor’s.  The cops were on the way. Horn called it in and was on the phone with them when the idea to kill the burglars popped into his head, and he went out and shot the two burglars in the back as they were leaving.  Horn’s fear wasn’t that they were going to harm anyone, as the burglary was already over, but the two burglars (who, as Gideon notes, were hispanic) might get away.  We can’t have that.  Not in Texas.

So  Bennett patiently explains to Gideon why the Yankee just doesn’t get it:

But was Joe Horn right under the law? I don’t know. He apparently didn’t know that the cops were right there, and so he might reasonably have believed that the only way to protect his neighbor’s property without exposing himself to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury was to use deadly force. Even if he was wrong, though, there’s enough there for a grand jury to hang its hat on that it could justify a no-bill based on its answer to The Real Harris County Self-Defense Special Issues.

Did the complainant need killing?
Was the defendant the right guy to do it?

Don’t try this in New York.  Don’t try this in Connecticut.  And more importantly, don’t kill a person, no matter how much you think he needed killing, to protect property, yours or anyone else’s.  Even Mario Procaccino wouldn’t have gone that far.  It’s just plain sick.

91 thoughts on “When the “Castle Doctrine” Goes Nuts

  1. HA

    I should “retreat” if someone enters my home illegally?!?!?!!?!? NONSENSE! I do everything in my power to disable that person…and if it results in his death, then so be it. There is a simple way to avoid this problem, DON’T ROB OTHER PEOPLE’S HOMES!

  2. SHG

    They say that the use of three or more punctuation marks at the end of a sentence is a sign of serious psychosis.  Thank you for your comment.

  3. Bad Court Thingy

    Don’t Mess With Texas is more than just an anti-littering slogan down here.

    Really, I think Bennett has it right. Did complainant need killing and was the Defendant the right guy to do it. When the complainants are two illegals who had already been deported previously, well, I don’t know they thought they needed killing, but they probably decided they wouldn’t be missed.

  4. Simple Justice

    An Unholy Alliance

    Houston criminal defense lawyer Mark Bennett posts that our neighbors in the Sovereign Nation of Texas have come up with a brilliant idea to stop drunk driving this holiday weekend.

    A no-refusal weekend is a weekend in which local law enforcement, prosecutors, and (paragons of impartiality) judges team up to ensure that anyone who is arrested for DUI (actually “DWI” in Texas, but I’m surrendering to the usage more common nationwide) who refuses to blow in the breathalyzer (as drivers are entitled to and generally should refuse, despite the legal fiction of “implied consent”) is subjected to …

  5. John Logan

    No Texas Castle Doctrine in Jim Wells County. I shot the empty truck of five trespassers in my house in December 07. They called the sheriff and I was arrested and hauled off to jail. Deadly Conduct. The trespassers sued me for damage to truck using the old affirmative defense instead of the new civil immunity defense. I loose the case. There goes $1,500.00. I file an appeal. There goes another $1,500. The $1,800 damage to the truck now becomes $3,600.00. To fight the charge of Deadly Assault costs $3,500.00. We are up to $10,000.00 and I am still facing a fine and jail time. First time in my life I ever used force. I committed no crime and I asked the people to leave. Of course, this is Alice, where the Mayor steals dogs and it is a civil matter.

  6. Joel Rosenberg

    As I understand it, Joe Horn’s story is that he went out to make sure that he could confront the burglars and possibly identify them or hold them for the police (citizens arrest is lawful in many places, and actually very common*), and brought his shotgun with him to defend himself, if he had to. (I’m not sure I buy that story, mind you, but, then again, I’m a cynical guy, who doesn’t necessarily believe everything a potential defendant — or, for that matter, a cop who arrested a defendant — says.)

    His story — at least part of which appears to be substantiated by plainclothes cop witness who (wisely, IMHO) stayed in his car until the uniforms arrived — is that when he confronted them, they ran toward him.

    Both were apparently shot in Horn’s front yard; there’s at least some reason to believe that they were charging toward him when he made the decision to shoot them, only to turn about at the last moment.

    Wouldn’t have happened with me. When I had the robber in my own bedroom, some years ago, I didn’t consider chasing off after him, after I was sure that my wife and kid were behind me. (A wise decision; turned out that I passed up a chance to go up against a shotgun, armed only with a .22. I’d want Iron Man’s armor, and the scriptwriter on my side). And shooting somebody over somebody else’s property? Not a chance; I wouldn’t shoot somebody over my own property. (I’ve got a close friend who killed a man — lawfully; the robber was, at the moment, about to murder the woman who raised my friend — and hasn’t gone through a week without nightmares in more than two decades. I’m not interested in going through that over my own stuff, much less some neighbor’s.)

    All that said — and meant — let me pose a couple of not-entirely-rhetorical questions to you.

    1. My condolences. You’ve just been named God Emperor of Texas for the next ten minutes, and by virtue of your temporary status, you get to decide what punishment, if any, to mete out to Joe Horn. Your temporary godhood also confers very limited omniscience upon you, and you know that Horn’s story, as above, is accurate. What’s his sentence?

    2. Forgetting, for a moment, about what the law and proper behavior might be, what would you like burglars to fear that could happen to them? Me, I’d like for burglars in Minnesota to think that they’re very likely to get shot dead while burglarizing, and (in my optimistic moments) go into some more lawful line of work or (more commonly) move to some other state, where they believe that the pickings are easier.

    I hear Wisconsin is very nice this time of year.

    * At least around here, it is; a store owner or security guard holding a shoplifter for the cops is performing a citizens arrest.

  7. SHG

    That’s a very different set of facts than what my Texas friends tell me.  As for your hypos, I have to pass.  I only do “cases and controversies.”

  8. SHG

    This is a pretty good statement of facts from the Joe Horn saga:

    During a 911 call (listen here), Horn asked if he should intercede to prevent burglars from escaping. (Horn misidentified the burglars as black men.) The dispatcher assured Horn that officers were on their way, warned him to stay inside and reminded him that “Property’s not worth killing someone over, OK?” After Horn saw the men climbing out of the window, Horn said “I’m gonna kill ’em.” Horn told the dispatcher “here it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking and I’m going.” Horn is soon heard yelling “Move, you’re dead!” followed by gunshots. Horn shot both men in the back.

    Does this change things for you?

  9. Joel Rosenberg

    Yup. I’d want to know — or, at least, believe — either that that was wrong, or a lot or additional things were true in order to think that Horn shouldn’t have been prosecuted.

    As I doubt will be a surprise to you, I’m rather anti-burglar, but utterly opposed to folks decided to be, as they say, judge, jury and executioner.

  10. Anthony

    Why should I or anybody have a “duty to retreat” when our life is in danger?

    Castle Doctrine laws are also called “Stand Your Ground” laws. They provide no duty to retreat should you have to defend yourself, and they also give the assumption that the defending person is in the right. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Also, it would be great if CT were to pass a Castle Doctrine law.

    Why give criminals the benefit of the doubt? They chose a life of crime, why should they have an advantage over a guy who does an honest, hard day’s work?

  11. SHG

    The simple answer is that it’s better to avoid killing someone than not.  What’s the compulsion to kill someone, even if they are a bad guy? 

  12. Anomalous

    Hahahaha, wow. I could care less what someone from New York has to say about self-defense. Your city is infamous for the lack of rights to protect oneself. Your local government apparently thinks that the real solution to crime is to try and emulate London’s success (see: massive sarcasm) by implementing self-defense restrictions, firearm bans, mass surveillance on every street and sidewalk, and mechanized traffic control devices.

    To see you try to get up on some sort of omniscient morality soap box and tell people when and why they should be defending themselves brings the bile to the back of my neck.

    The particulars of the case in question are irrelevant to me. Two scumbags get gunned down on their way back to the freedom and anonymity of their underworld after burglarizing someone’s house, and you cry foul. A decorated Marine went to jail last year in my city for an honest case of self-defense which was expertly spun by the prosecutors, for shooting a man *while the perp was attempting to wrestle his own weapon away from him, AFTER threatening to return with his “homies” to kill his wife and daughter*. I don’t suppose THAT kind of crap bothers you in the slightest?

    It really makes me worry when I see blogs like this, because it reminds me that common sense really has enemies out there in the world. And I’m not just trying to say “It’s common sense that this guy should get off without even a close look at the situation.” What I mean by common sense is that no matter how sophisticated and intellectual you think of yourself as being, when you find yourself in a situation when the crap has hit the fan, and yours or someone else’s life or safety may be in danger, you may notice that you turn into a complete idiot. Not because you’re stupid or you’re a bad person, but because you’re pumped full of adrenaline, and you have mere seconds to make a lifetimes worth of very serious decisions. Never mind the myriad circumstances in which this event could occur; you could be caught sleeping (furthering your delirium on top of the massive and sudden adrenaline rush), you could be in a low-light situation, you could be intoxicated at home, your understanding of the situation could be hugely misinformed. Where your argument conflicts with common sense is that you assume that each and every person who becomes confronted with a situation like this has the where-with-all to engage in Confucian-meditation on the morality and repercussions of their decisions; which, by the way, (and don’t forget this) are almost ALWAYS made with the best intentions; even if the person making them may not “get it”, as far as YOU are concerned. Then again, no one appointed you as the morality police.

  13. SHG

    A lot of words from someone who could care less, but a very cute laugh at the outset.  You’ve provided a very thorough list of excuses for shooting people in the back under the heading of Texan common sense.  Thankfully, this is not “common” to most people elsewhere.

  14. Joel Rosenberg

    Some of what he’s saying, though — some of it — is actually accurate. Under stress, the blood flow in the brain changes, and, well, the expression “scared half out of your wits” isn’t just a figure of speech.

    Which is why it’s such a bad idea to go chasing off after people, when you don’t have to. Horn didn’t have to.

  15. SHG

    Of course it’s true, which is why one should avoid making the illogical leap to thinking it’s a good idea to shoot whenever the adrenaline is flowing.

  16. Joel Rosenberg

    Well, sure; if you find somebody to argue that it’s a good idea to shoot somebody whenever (or just because) you’re scared, it’s not going to be me. Coward that I am, I get scared a whole lot; haven’t ever shot anybody, and I’m more than happy to keep it that way*, if I can manage it.

    That said, what I am going to argue is that in cases where somebody is figuratively (or literally, for that matter) dragged into a scary situation, I’ll be tempted to cut him or her a fair amount of slack if he or she doesn’t get everything quite right.

    Which is why I initially cut Joe Horn a fair amount of slack; see http://blog.simplejustice.us/2008/07/02/when-the-castle-doctrine-goes-nuts.aspx#comment-1178985 . I still think that a decision to go out and perform a citizens arrest/ID the burglars is foolish, but I think it’s understandable, and that if things go pear-shaped, there’s all sorts of possibilities where the burglars could end up with holes from the wrong side without the shooter having done anything worse than initially trying to protect a neighbor’s property and being a bit too eager.

    I can even buy a fib** turning into an awful reality.

    My problem with Joe Horn is that he announced that he was going to go out and be judge, jury, and executioner, and then apparently did just that.

    And while I’m a real big fan of self-defense, that isn’t it.
    * I’ve got friends who have — lawfully and IMHO properly, and all — killed people, and not one of them looks back on it as “a good time was had by all”. Or any.

    ** And when I go into the whole subject in my carry classes, I tell my students to lie if they confront an intruder in their home. “Get out of here or I’ll shoot.” The idea is that a: they’re safer if the guy’s gone than if he’s there, and b: holding somebody at gunpoint while waiting for the cops has some real serious failure modes, and c: they’re not under oath. The fact that that makes it less likely that the perp will be prosecuted is unfortunate, but …

  17. Anomalous

    When I first posted my comment, I was the slightest bit trepid about who I had bitten it off with. I thought perhaps the opponent was actually slightly intellectually equipped and I’d just happen to encounter them at a strange crossroads.

    So let me thank you for putting my mind at ease on that particular issue. I have no such worries now. Let us examine your counter-argument.

    Rather than attempting to directly refute my proposed ideas with sound evidence or even an intelligent theory, you simply lumped it all together and tossed it aside with the label “excuses for shooting someone in the back” on it. This, in my opinion, exposes your vast ignorance and blatant bias more than any vicious anecdote I could have leveled at you.

    I’ll also have you know that I am not from Texas nor have I any desire to reside there. Also, in regards to your aforementioned ignorance, it is ridiculous of you to imply that an individuals desire to defend themselves is locational or political in nature.

    Therefore, I’m cutting this argument short. In all honesty, having this discussion with you is beneath me. I see now that you’re unable to raise even a moderately effective counter-argument. I’m not going to waste my time on someone who thinks that others should see the world the way they do, but is unwilling to even make an effort to explain their argument.

    In the words of the venerable and inscrutable scholar, Willy Wonka: You get NOTHING. You LOSE. Good DAY, sir.

  18. SHG

    I see that you give yourself enormous credit.  Well, we try to be courteous here, which is why anyone bothered to note your comment at all.  But since you asked, the failure to provide a response at a commensurate length was because it was simply unworthy of any further discussion.  You bring no ideas to the table that haven’t been discussed many times over.  No one will bother to “refute” you because there’s is nothing new to refute.  Since you feel this is intellectually beneath you, something which your secondary efforts belie, you would be wise to go elsewhere and find people who think your thoughts are novel and fascinating.  You are unlikely to find any such admirers here.

  19. Shawn McManus

    I stumbled onto your site while looking for instances of home owners shooting burglars in their backs. While the Joe Horn case is not an example of the cases I’m trying to find, I would like to provide my two cents:

    The current Castle Doctrine in Texas wasn’t the law that “protected Joe Horn.” Those laws have been on the books in Texas long before the current Castle Doctrine.

    What the current laws provide are protection to homeowners who kill or injure burglars from civil suits that may have been brought but the burglars survivors.

    The comment from John Logan above this also shows some of the quirks of the current laws. He would have been well within his rights to kill any intruders in his house but was not when firing on their empty vehicle.

    Going back to Horn’s case though, under the current Texas law, he would not have been able to defend his own property is such a manner unless, as the undercover officer testified, the two burglars charged him.

    The lives of Ortiz and de Jesus, the two criminals Horn killed, were forfeit the second they went into the Horn’s neighbor’s house. Were I on the jury, the only way I would have found Horn in the wrong was had Ortiz and de Jesus immediately surrendered, laid “face down, palms up”, then Horn kill them.

    Much like when someone running from the police is guilty of damage caused by the police in pursuing him, I place the fault entirely with Ortiz and de Jesus. They are the ones resposible for their deaths, not Joe Horn.

    I’ll take Joel Rosenburg’s offer though:

    1.) No punishment for Joe Horn. We’ll pin a medal on him and then pray for his peace of mind as well as the families of Ortiz and de Jesus.

    2.) I would like for burglars to have every expectation that the crime they are about to commit will be the last thing they ever do.

    I live in Texas and it is because of laws like this and our mind set toward criminals in general that I live here. Given the general attitudes of defense and property rights elsewhere in the country I would not expect Horn to have received the same treatment. At the same time, I expect those who disagree with our treatment of cases like this to keep out of Texas politics. (Feel free to complain all you like whilst picking up the peices to your exploded heads.)

  20. SHG

    Exploding heads?  Don’t be silly.  No one would expect you to either be knowledgeable about the law or hold an opinion other than what you’ve espoused.  There’s nothing surprising about your 2 cents; it’s exactly what one would expect from you.

  21. Shawn McManus

    Aren’t you the one who mentioned that Texas law is enough to make a a New York lawyer’s head explode? Aren’t you a New York lawyer? I know that what many New Yorkers consider good law would make mine explode.

    I’m plenty knowledgeable of Texas gun and deadly force laws as well as that of military laws regarding rules of engagement.

    I’ll also be the first to admit that I know approximately squat about New York gun laws. I’ll hazard a guess and say that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t much care for them.

    In any event… I’m so sorry to be so predicatable. Perhaps next time I will have an opinion exciting and valuable.

  22. SHG

    Perhaps it would help if I explained a bit more.  We have numerous Texas lawyers who come here and help me out with Texas law issues, as well as numerous regular Texans (that’s one of the reasons I tweak Texas so much, because there are so many Texas readers).  I’m not suggesting that your thoughts aren’t worthwhile, but you’ve come to the post quite late in the game and we’ve heard it before.  Others, from Texas and elsewhere, agree with you.  Others don’t.  I don’t.  But that’s okay.

  23. Jim K

    My god!! First, I cant’ believe someone would do somehting that stupid, 2nd I can’t believe you think you committed no crime. Shooting an empty truck? Moron!
    Shoot the trespassers/intruders, not a friggen truck. It’s not Hollywood my friend.

  24. CALI

    SHG, it is truely amazing to see how you badmouth Texas politics so much. Its weird to see though how New York has had the MOST corruption in politics than every other state combined, which is also why New York City is rated in the top ten places where deadly violence occurs. Im not from the most liberal state in the union, California, and if Texans want to have their gun laws, then so be it, I personally wouldnt want to live the rest of my life knowing I had shot someone, whether it be self-defense or not, but you have no right to say whats wrong and whats right, especially coming from the most screwed up state in the United States. Thanks.

  25. James

    It is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. Welcome to the real world, if someone is in your home and their intentions are not known you are better off not waiting until it is too late to find out. I am from New York and even I think your an idiot.

  26. SHG

    Not all New Yorkers are inherently right.  You’ve just proven the rule.  It would help if next time your thoughts bore a little closer on the facts.  They make a difference in the real world.

  27. Justin

    Interesting how you dodge the point completely. Anyone breaking into your home is endangering you, you have no way of knowing exactly how much. Nobody in their right mind would walk up to them with a questionnaire to determine if they intend only to grab the TV, or if they intend to rape and eviscerate your entire family. A homeowner has no responsibility to a person illegally endangering them by illegally entering their home, the person breaking in has a responsibility to not break in to begin with. The only responsibility left belongs to the homeowner to defend their life, family and property as is their right as a human being. They cannot be blamed after the fact, since it was not their wrongdoing that caused the action to be necessary in the first place.

    And don’t say you should always wait for the cops, because the worst atrocities happen to those who rely solely on the police for their defense, when more often than not police arrive too late to help anything, and VERY frequently do the wrong thing on arrival anyway. I wonder how the LaBiancas would have felt if they had a nice 12 gauge on hand when a bunch of sickos decided to break down their door and murder them simply because their insane living god figure told them to.

    People should protect themselves, and they have absolutely no responsibility to people who seek to harm them or other innocents.

    And get your facts straight, even the cop who watched the whole thing from beginning to end (how much responsibility is HIS, I wonder? Negligence? You bet! Consequences? For a cop? Nope.) stated that the criminals were moving towards this man’s front door when he warned and then shot them.

  28. SHG

    Consider the detail of the door.  Once through the door, someone is inside the house.  Moving toward the door but not yet there, not inside the house.  There’s no point to dodge.  Just fuzzy, missing, confused details that misinform your rant.

  29. Justin

    Fascinating when you have no grammatical errors to pounce on you simply move to misinformation. Consider the detail of the term “property.” These persons intruded on Tom Horn’s property, he had no obligation to find out what their intentions were. There was no reason for him to believe that these individuals walking TOWARDS HIS DOOR (already on his property), having just broken into his neighbors house, were going to do anything different with his home. All of the details are quite clear, as is very clear from my statement. I have read every word I could get of the police report, and the fact that a cop watched the whole thing and didn’t do anything is argument enough against the idea that he was wrong because the police were on their way. What you mistake for a rant is quite clearly a well worded and informed logical response to your unconstitutional pontificating. I am quite honestly insulted that you practice law, I’m sad to say it is quite characteristic of lawyers in this insidious town.

  30. SHG

    You don’t get to shoot people because they step on your property.  No matter how brilliant you think you are, you just don’t get to kill people for stepping on your property. You just don’t.

    You are under the misimpression that I am obliged to debate you. I don’t know who you are, have no particular respect for your rather bizarre self-image and have no desire to make it my job to persuade you to a reasonable understanding.  You are free to believe as you wish.  But not here.

  31. Sojourner

    Scott, you asked why this obsession with killing ….
    I think that is the key to the Texas castle doctrine – there are a lot of people in Texas who would love to be able to kill and get away with it (and, for some reason, have chosen a career other than law enforcement). You see this all the time in Texas – people are just foaming at the mouth for the chance to shoot someone. Texas has a lot of crime related to drug smuggling, but overall it’s an incredibly safe place to live – every Christmas, in all the major Texas cities, there’s a ‘crime wave’ because Christmas shoppers don’t lock their cars, which are full of purchases and … the items in the cars are stolen. Imagine feeling that safe. Is this a place where people are so endangered they must be granted the right to shoot whoever they think may threaten then?

    The logical outcome of the Joe Horn case is a bunch of psychos sitting in their house waiting with guns, just hoping for an opportunity to legally murder someone. It happened north of Houston recently. A seven year old boy was murdered by Gayle and Sheila Muhs, who claimed the boy’s dad had driven his off road vehicle onto their land, and was thus ‘trespassing.’ Turned out the land was public. The Muhs had signs in front of their house saying ‘trespassers will be shot.’ They called 911 immediately after shooting the child (and some adults, who survived) and told the dispatcher they shot someone who was trespassing – I think they thought they would get away with it. Fortunately, in this case, they probably will be charged with murder. Of course, the victim was a seven year old white child. If he had been a black teenager … who knows?

  32. SHG

    I’m familiar with the Muhs.  Darn good looking couple.

    While some of my Texan friends want to argue this point ad naseum, I’m not inclined to pursue it with them.  There is a serious disconnect between their belief in their right to pre-emptively kill people and my vision of sanity.  Arguing with insane people is a waste of time.

  33. Timothy

    ” And more importantly, don’t kill a person, no matter how much you think he needed killing, to protect property, yours or anyone else’s. Even Mario Procaccino wouldn’t have gone that far. It’s just plain sick.”

    You sound like a pussy when you say things like that.

    Anyone trying to steal the goods that I work hard for will get what they deserve: a complementary bullet between the eyes.

  34. SHG

    You sound like a pussy when you say things like that.

    To who?  You?  And why should that matter to anyone?  But since you raised the issue, do you think you are macho because you can shoot a gun at someone?  An old woman can shoot a gun.  Big deal.

  35. Jdog

    Young women, too.

    Me, I take a fairly nuanced view of things. I’d like somebody who is considering stealing my stuff to reconsider — preferably figure out a better way to handle their issues, but I’ll settle for them moving on down the road and stealing somebody else’s stuff — and if they think that they’d get shot doing that, that might motivate them. That’d be okay with me.

    Trouble is, if it doesn’t, I really don’t want to shoot them. Forgetting the possibility of becoming the new blond on the cell block — although I don’t — I know people who have (in situations a lot clearer than that) killed people, and not one of them looks back on it with a lot of (well, any) pleasure. Hard-hearted SOB that I am, I don’t have to think about what harm it would do to the thief or his family or loved ones; I just don’t want to go through my remaining days with his blood on my hands, for my own sake.

    That seems to be a pretty common attitude, in practice — although there are people, like this Timothy dweeb, who at least want to pretend that they have other ones, and like coming off like a psycho who wouldn’t be bothered at all over shooting, say, a fifteen-year-old kid who was trying to steal a bottle of pop off’n his back porch.


  36. SHG

    Yeah, but he probably thinks young women shooting guns are hot.  Old women, that’s an insult. But then, not being a gun guy, what do I know.

  37. Jdog

    Fortunately for me, SWMBO has been aware that I’m an out-of-the-closet heterosexual for some decades.

    Orthogonally: the same photographer, Oleg Volk, is going to be shooting me and my family later this month. With a camera, as I understand it.

  38. James Brown

    Police initially identified the dead men in Horn’s yard as 38-year-old Miguel Antonio DeJesus and Diego Ortiz, 30, both of Houston of Afro Latino descent. However, DeJesus was actually an alias of Hernando Riascos Torres, 38. They were carrying a sack with more than $2,000 cash and jewelry taken from the home. Both were convicted criminals from Colombia who had entered the country illegally, and were members of an organized burglary ring in Houston. Police found a Puerto Rican identification card on Ortiz while Torres had three identification cards from Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, and had been previously sent to prison for dealing cocaine and was deported in 1999. Clearly they knew what the risks were when the entered that home as they were professional criminals.

    Under Texas law, nine out of 12 members of the grand jury would have to vote in favor of indicting Horn in order to have him charged with a crime. After listening to evidence and testimony for two weeks, they decided to acquit Horn. The decision was based on the fact that the law allows for the use of deadly force to protect yourself and Horn felt threatened by the burglars. There was a police officer on the scene that corroborated Mr. Horn’s version of events.

    These were hardened criminals commting a crime in broad daylight that responded aggresively when confronted. Horn did not shoot them until they were on his property. He felt threatened by their actions and the policeman/witness agreed this was a reasonable assumption. Once they were in his yard and determined that they had confronted the wrong victim, they may have mafe an attempt to flee. Raising their hands and screaming “I surrender” would have been a better move. Texas law allows residents to use deadly force to protect themselves if it’s reasonable to believe they could otherwise be killed. It also allows for the use of deadly force to protect their neighbor’s property.

    911 operators do not determine the law in Texas and have no authority to tell anyone what to do. If you don’t like the laws in Texas, don’t come to Texas, don’t move to Texas, don’t read about Texas in the news, and don’t use our energy or eat our beef. More importantly, don’t come here expecting to rape, kill, steal, or anything else and expect to get away with it.

  39. TexasHarry

    [Edited to remove first three paragraphs consisting of exact same language as used in above post. Looks like we’ve got puppets on the attack today.]

    Some folks apparently believe that we are morally obligated to live as helpless victims in the midst or criminals (who apparently have numerous rights and special privileges) and that only the government is qualified to protect us, if they happen to arrive in time. Most of us here in Texas believe that evil triumphs when good men do nothing, and that every person has a right to protect themselves and their property. This attitude is part of our culture. Due to the immense size of Texas and the numerous risks faced by early Texans, we developed an ethos of self-reliance that is apparently less prevalent in some of the more “civilized” parts of the country. If you don’t like it, please stay in New York and don’t try to force your illogical version of morality on us.

  40. Hmmm

    People choose law enforcement careers in order to “kill and get away with it”?

    It seems that you live in some parallel dimension version of Texas from me: “…people…who would love to be able to kill and get away with it” and “…foaming at the mouth for the chance to shoot someone”. I’ve lived here for 40 years and never met any of these people. Do you work in an insane asylum or a prison?

    The logical outcome of the Joe Horn case is a bunch of psychos sitting in their house waiting with guns, just hoping for an opportunity to legally murder someone.
    As many people noted at the time it was signed into law, Changes and Additions to Sections 9.01; 9.31; 9.32; and 83.001 of the Texas Penal Code, also known as the “Castle Doctrine”, did little to change existing Texas Law.

    Did Mr. Horn act stupidly? Yes. Would I have indicted him? Was it criminal stupidity? I don’t know-I wasn’t on the grand jury.

    Some of our western counties, mostly desert and plains, are larger than some states. They are lightly populated. They have the same number of law enforcement personnel per capita as the smaller counties in central and east Texas do. The nearest law enforcement may be 40 or 50 miles away. Presuming the officers are driving down little country roads at 100 mph or so, they could take 20 to 30 minutes to get to the scene of a crime. A lot can happen in 20 minutes. And once they are on the scene, they may have an area the size of Connecticut to search for the criminals.

    As for the Muhs-es, I expect, given the information I know, they will be found guilty of murder. Crazy murderous people don’t get any special leniency here. While our defense of property laws give owners a lot of room, they still presume the property owner will act sanely. The trespasser has to be given a reasonable, understandable and conspicuous warning whether visual or audible. The Muhs’ sloppy hand painted sign might not be legible or even visible from the road. But the sign is moot because their 7 year old victim wasn’t trespassing.

  41. Mike

    One in the bank for ya brother! It IS what it is! Here in Texas, we take care of our own. It’s part of our heritage that so many have a problem with being that they would be too yellow to act at the “moment of truth” but they sure can talk. It’s like this and I’m sure that you will agree with me that “When seconds count? The cops are just minutes away.” “A gun in the hand beats a cop on the phone.” “911 is govt. sponsored dial a prayer.” Most important thing is this…..cops are REACTIVE and not PROACTIVE.

  42. SHG

    I bet every red-blooded Texan with a third grade education, a pickup and a shotgun thinks you are brilliant. 

  43. Matt

    It’s not ‘compulsion’, it’s your DUTY to defend yourself and your family.

    I would even go so far as to say that if you’re not willing to take the life of someone who poses a threat to your family, you don’t really love them.

    Criminals don’t get rights when they’ve come onto your property. Period. You’ll understand when someone holds you at gunpoint in your own home. But of course, by then, it will be much too late.

  44. Matt

    Your arrogance makes it impossible to have a conversation with you. If you truly think your life is safe in the hands of cops, then I pitty you.

  45. Matt

    I guess being a pompous asshole with ‘ESQ’ on the end of your name makes you a supreme arbiter of morality… like God or something.

    I’m glad I live in Texas… where I can defend myself, my belongings and my family without the government’s permission.

    However, if I want to become a career criminal, New York is apparently where I need to move. I’d get more rights than my victims.

    By the way, if someone is IN YOUR HOME, what’s the use of a judge and jury at that point?

  46. SHG

    Do people who think really scare you that much?  Are you happy to live out your life playing the macho fool?

  47. SHG

    If you want to have a conversation, get a working grasp of the facts first.  Maybe attributing a third grade education was too aggressive?

  48. SHG

    This case isn’t about defending yourself and your family, which is why this, as well as the rest of your comments, are absurd.  For crying out loud, if you want to play the macho fool, at least get your facts straight before you piss all over yourself.

  49. Hmmm

    Having thought about this for a couple of weeks since I first read this thread, and having reread section 9 of the Texas Penal Code, I think Mr. Horn is guilty.

    The Texas castle law does not allow you to shoot if you intentionally place yourself in jeopardy and then have to defend yourself. It does not allow you to shoot someone who is retreating if they pose no further harm.

    However, if Mr. Horn was attempting a citizen’s arrest and was suddenly confronted with a life-threatening situation, he was within his rights to kill. However if the men turned to flee, Mr. Horn had no right under law to escalate to deadly force in a citizen’s arrest situation.

    That said, there is some folksy Western common law floating around here in Texas. If a person is crossing an unlit street at night wearing black and gets killed by a car, it is unlikely anyone would be charged. If a person is crossing with the light in daylight at a crosswalk and a driver known to drive recklessly kills him, he would be charged with at least manslaughter. Both driver killed a pedestrian. One driver goes free and the other is jailed.

    Presumably before this night, Mr. Horn had been a law-abiding citizen who stayed away from trouble. On this night trouble came to him. After it was done, Mr. Horn was likely committed at least manslaughter. The burglary was over. The men were retreating. Mr. Horn ran out of his house and shot them.

    I have a permit to carry a gun. I hope I never have to use it. I have to be aware of what is allowed by the law. Reading the law after using lethal force is a good thing to do to help ease those long nights in the penitentiary. Don’t expect the grand jury to let you off if you use Mr. Horn’s tactics–he got lucky.

    But don’t misunderstand. I have some great-great-uncles who were no billed for killing five brothers in public. One of the five brothers got a little drunk and shot my great-great-grandfather who was only five years old at the time. He lived, obviously. After my uncles found out who shot my grandfather, they went looking for the shooter. They found him standing with his brothers. They killed them all. The judge at the grand jury said he understood why they killed the man who shot their little brother, but why did they shoot the others? Their defense: “Your Honor, you know that family. If we shot one of them they’d never give us any peace. We’d have to kill them all eventually anyway.” One of these uncles, a doctor, has a town in Texas named after him.

    There is still a sense in Texas that actions like Mr. Horn’s–when there was plenty of hard evidence to link the dead criminals with the crime scene—saved the state the price of a trial and ten years room and board for some career criminals.

    Mr. Horn acted impulsively and stupidly. He’s probably guilty of at least manslaughter. Had I been on the grand jury, I probably would have handed in a no bill of indictment too.

  50. Hmmm

    The castle law gives you the right to shoot people, not vehicles. Shooting trespassers is covered by the castle law, shooting vehicles is covered by other laws.

    It is nice that you chose to shoot something other than them, but the law doesn’t care about who is nicer. I hope you are found innocent. And if not, your friends and family still know your character.

    A yankee cop gives this advice: Don’t give a warning, “I’ve got a gun.” Don’t pull the gun for effect. Don’t fire a warning shot. If you are going to use a gun, USE the gun—don’t talk about it. If deadly force is not warranted, don’t even mention a gun. If deadly force is called for, then shoot to kill. (If they see the gun and surrender or retreat before you fire, you are not allowed by law to shoot.) Shooting to wound or warn will put you in jail. Shooting to wound or warn implies that deadly force was used, but was not necessary.

  51. Sparkz

    “And more importantly, don’t kill a person, no matter how much you think he needed killing, to protect property, yours or anyone else’s.”


    I have a very simple question for you. If you were sitting in your home and a couple of strangers broke in and you had a gun on or near you, would you use it to stop them? If so how? Would you just threaten them hoping that was good enough or would you actually shoot them? What if your family was with you in the home? Would you give them all your money and other valuable possessions and let them walk out?

    Let’s say they are very small in stature, unarmed and clearly not there to harm you or your family, would you still give them your stuff?

    What would you do if you were completely unarmed? Yell at them? Threaten to sue them? Talk to them? What? I’m very curious how you handle this situation.

    And yes, I fully understand this is different than the Horn case, I’m just trying to understand how anyone can make a blanket statement like “… don’t kill a person….. to protect property, yours or anyone else’s.”

    By the way, you know as well as I do that, in NY, if you shoot someone and don’t kill them you’re going to be sued to within an inch of your life and might even wind up in jail.


  52. SHG

    This was such a fascinating question the 50 other times it’s been discussed, especially when it was relevant to the post.  It’s not that fascinating the 51st time.

  53. E5

    I would recommend SCOTT H. GREENFIELD, ESQ., 51 yr old Jewboy stay out of Tejas. Could most likely qualify under the “needed killin” clause.

  54. Marina

    Perhaps the reason you seem so hostile towards Texas, one of the most hospitable states in the nation, is because where you were raised, manners are replaced with common (and seriosuly unoriginal) insults. Whether the Castle Doctrine is constitutional or not (refer to second amendment- rigt to bear arms), at least in Texas we aren’t Pricks. You should also note, Sir, the twenty other staes which allow the use of lethal force to protect one’s private property and well-being against criminal individuals (who knowingly endanger themselves when they defy United States law). To you, Mr. Greenfield, I suggest a year of residence in one of the crime-ridden cities of our country where you’ll be safely away from crime-prevention laws and the dangerously “uncivilized” and “uneducated” texans.

  55. Matt

    Attention criminals: if any of you guys are looking for a hospitable home to burglarize, I suggest Scott Greenfield Esq’s home. Don’t worry, he won’t defend himself with firearms. In fact you might even get a hand job and a box of chocolates. Btw, you’re a coward for blocking my IP address Greenfield. I guess it’s really easy to just censor people you don’t agree with.

  56. SHG

    While I hadn’t block you before, and certainly have plenty of comments from your fellow Texans who disagree with me, not to mention a few of your pearls of wisdom, you’ve now had more than enough opportunity to show the world how smart you are.  So now, you’re done. And no doubt, proud of all your fine hard thinking. Bye.

  57. Greg

    I was robbed last year. If I could have stopped and killed the person / people who did it, I would have done so, with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. The harm done to me, my fiance, and her daughter by the break in, by the theft, by the recovery from the break in and theft, and by the fear created in my fiance and her daughter of further break ins and thefts was and is immense. And it was and is undeserved.

    If every person why tried to break in to a house or car was immediately shot to death, America would be a much better place. I am glad those two criminals are dead, and I am glad Tom horn wasn’t charged. I dont’ care about the color of anyone’s skin, what I care about is your actions, and how they harm the innocent.

    The only thing “nuts” here is you people siding with the criminals, rather than those stopping the criminals.

    Don’t want to get shot? Great. Don’t break into other people’s property.

  58. John R Wright

    First of all, I’m not anti-gun or anti-self defense. I served an honorable tour of duty in the Air Force (electronic warfare), and I earned a Ph.D. In chemistry afterward. I was a professor of chemistry for 31 years before retiring. In 2007 my grandson was shot to death, unarmed, out in Oklahoma, and that happened less than a week before his court date as a prosecution witness. The prosecutor that was going to use him as a witness in a drug trafficking-related murder case actually turned his killer loose (on the same day) and called his homicide one of “self defense!” The decision stretches credibility. It caused me to dig into the circumstances of his death and also into the larger issues of the castle doctrine. The more I learned, the more I believed it was a murder, and there are numerous other cases of questionable killings (not just the Joe Horn incident in the Houston TX area). Go ahead and say it even if it isn’t true: “here’s another anti-gunner.” But you’ll remember the warning when serious abuses of the castle laws are used to sack your Second Amendment rights. Criminals and unscrupulous people are already benefiting from the laws. Keep in mind that the most common excuses for outright murders are “I did it in self-defense” and “It was an accident.”

  59. Lyddz

    Can’t we conclude from the fact that he didn’t go to jail as proof that it IS within the law to shoot someone in the back? It happened…the guy got off…case closed. Therefore, it isn’t against the law to shoot someone in the back. It seems pretty simple to me.

  60. Lyddz

    This was a really interesting read. Bravo. But are you all talking about a moral issue or a legal one? It is obvious that shooting people in the back is legal (the guy got off) and it goes without saying that shooting someone that’s running away is wrong (only morally though, since the guy got off).

    When someone breaks the law, the law still protects them. Why should everyone else suffer (everyone being anyone who has suffered a burglary, car jacking, or home invasion, and all those people who will in the future) when the law has given them the ability to protect themselves? The law also protects us from the criminals trying to use the law to harm us. If a criminal breaks in and gets hurt (shot) on my property, they shouldn’t be able to sue me because I didn’t allow them on my property, which is why they had to break in. I also shouldn’t go to jail for defending myself and my family because the family of the criminal takes me to court. The criminal’s family shouldn’t have more legal rights than my family, or less. But my family should be protected from my incarceration since I didn’t break the law. Isn’t that what laws are supposed to be for, to protect us?

    If someone breaks into my home I should be able to protect myself. Since I don’t know their intentions, I will plan for the worst (my possible death and the deaths of my family). I am 5’4 (short and not intimidating), a woman (very little upper body strength), and don’t know karate. So the criminal will be introduced to my Moss, or my SKB, whichever one is close at hand. If that criminal is not fleeing (which means completely turned around so I don’t think they are reaching for a gun AND on their way to the nearest exit that does not lead them to my family members) by the time I’m ready to fire, then they will die, and I wont go to jail.

    Yay me! If anyone has a problem with the law, they can either change it, go to another country, or kill themselves (you might as well beat the home invasion guys to it).

  61. East Texan

    Why should a thief or burglar be allowed to get away, in Texas or anywhere else? They should be shot…

  62. A guy on the internet

    At the risk of sounding like I am attempting ad hominem, and I am, I feel compelled to point out a couple of things about your character. Now I know you’re an astoundingly arrogant prick, and you don’t care in the slightest about my compulsions nor anything I have to say that doesn’t immediately pander to your sentiments, but I just so happen to be on the internet at the moment, and I can say whatever the hell I want! Isn’t this beautiful!? Now we’ll get to that part later, but this is just a forewarning.

    [Ed. Note: No, you can’t say whatever the hell you want. Not in this comment or the other two comment that complete your manifesto that won’t appear.  Yes, I’m an astoundingly arrogant prick for not appreciating your brilliance. I can live with that.]

  63. Gordon

    Yes We the people decide guilt.
    under the Law. They are not entirely different things. It just you think your better than anyone, that you know better what is right and wrong. We the people. Yea the high school drop out working his ass off at a factory and the stay at home mom. We decide if one of us broke the law. you mr are one of us you get one vote if you would serve on a jury. but thats under you right? only we serve. So Yea we decide.
    Sometimes with tears and broken hearts.
    two men died, two of us killed by one of us. Why? they used force and did not care if they hurt someone and stepped over the line. We look at why on both side we talk and we see what if? and we do the best we can. One man step in front of them and he killed them.
    you think the law is all the rules you study and worship, it’s not it’s we the people. we are the law. in the jury room it’s us. We can forget the bull and look at someone life beyond a reasonable doubt. harsh but we try.
    I do not want talk to you
    You want to correct my words go a head you missed the point moms who raised us get to make the call and uncles and dads.
    us the family your not invired to the family chrismas party unless your swear not to hit on anyone wife.

  64. John Webster

    I am shocked at your replies to others in this thread. I am ashamed for you and your family. I live in NY and its because of people like you that others think so poorly of our state.

  65. justice4all

    I’m a female and I have been stalked, robbed and have had people trespass on my property and I will say this on the matter, if you TREAD ON ME OR MINE and will defend myself, my family and my property with deadly force and the only regret I would have was that the invader wouldn’t have a chance to ask God for forgiveness before they take their last breath.

  66. John R. Wright

    In mid November of 2011, in Calhan Colorado, there was a shooting that shows clearly that some people think the castle laws can be used to cover a murder. The case in question was apparently a love triangle. The girl phoned and sent text messages to the victim. “Come over,” she said, “Just walk through the door.” He did, and her boyfriend shot the man in the abdomen, killing him. Then the couple called 911 and reported a burglary… They got charged with first degree murder, with no bond allowed.

    I’m sure that the castle laws protect some who are forced to defend their lives against a hostile intruder, but these laws also enable psychopaths, trigger happy individuals and criminals. This kind of danger needs to be recognized.

    In 2007 my own grandson was shot to death in Oklahoma, and his homicide was described as one of “self-defense” even though it happened less than a week before his court date as a critical prosecution witness (he had witnessed a drug related murder). The prosecutor who was going to use him was the one who turned his killer loose! Weeks before he died he had told us that he was afraid that they (the drug traffickers) would view him as a snitch and kill him. He didn’t think he’d live long. Well, he didn’t! This moved me to do a lot of researching and investigating, and the outcome was a book, “Legalized Killing: The Darker Side of the Castle Laws.”

    I am a retired physical scientist, not a lawyer, but I’ve had close-up exposure to the problematic side of the castle laws. I also grew up with guns and hunting, and I still believe we need the Second Amendment. But the castle laws are poorly conceived. Looks like I was the first to take on their darker side in the form of a book. Wake up, people. There is a problem here.

    John R. Wright, Ph.D.
    a retired chemistry professor

  67. SHG

    As is unfortunately clear, in general and particularly in the comments here, is that a lot of people either lack the capacity or interest in thinking about the Castle Doctrine with any degree of nuance. It’s either for or against, and not an iota more of thought. It’s a terrible problem, and people will die for it. And the ones who are for it don’t seem to care, provided they aren’t the one doing the dying.

  68. John R. Wright

    You are correct to say that. It seems to me that those who favored the castle laws (both citizens and legislators) never pondered the range of motives that COULD be behind a so-called “homicide in self-defense.” Yes, sometimes innocent people get into a do or die situation, with no way out. I think they are justified to defend their lives with deadly force, if necessary. But there are other motives possible when self-defense laws are evoked, quite a range of motives in fact, which are truly criminal in nature.

    My grandson’s shooting death may have involved a lure similar to the Calhan incident, and while I can’t prove it without access to police resources, I sincerely believe that he was actually murdered. But even so, there will be no justice in his case, and it was a closed issue from day one. I thought there were laws against killing prosecution witnesses!

    Needless to say, I don’t have a high opinion of Oklahoma’s law enforcement and justice. I’m not sure if I believe in ANY justice system. One lawyer did tell me that there was no statute of limitations for murder, to wait and see, but I’ll be 73 in less than a month. What are my odds of living long enough to see justice? It will not happen; all I can do is warn others.

    I did pursue both sides of the the castle law issue in my book.

  69. Lyle

    There is no valid reason a property owner cannot defend his or her property through use of deadly force. A trespasser involved in the commission of a crime has given up their rights to any reasonable response by the property owner. To say that killing a human makes one sick, is quite contrary to the entire history of humankind. People die at the hands of other people every day in every nation on the planet. It might not be right, but it is not some aberration of the human psyche either. While those professing a desire for a more civilized status for humanity merely enable even greater atrocities to occur to ever larger numbers of their fellows. Laws enabling people to act in self defense deter crime and lower law enforcement costs while reducing the number of victims. Laws prohibiting self defense ensure crime and raise the number of overall victims. A home intruder is a target that will receive their first warning of wrong-doing as a large caliber round to the chest in my home. That might make me sick in your mind, but in reality, it makes me safe and secure from the real violent crimes that happen to our law abiding citizens daily. As for the article author’s viewpoints, I seek no debate. You are just wrong and I hope for your sake that you never have to learn why the hard way.
    Some people learn by reading;
    others by observation;
    the rest just have to piss on the electric fence. Good luck to you sir.

  70. SHG

     A trespasser involved in the commission of a crime has given up their rights to any reasonable response by the property owner.

    Well that explains everything. Thank you for your deep thoughts.

  71. William Brockman

    So, in theory, in NY or Connecticut, if burglars came in and demanded you stand aside, you’d be obliged to allow them to take all your stuff?

    Is that what happened in Cheshire?

    Yes, it happens in Texas, too. But you hear about more burglars who meet their doom, too.

    And if that is your definition of “civilized” I’m just as glad I live in Texas.

  72. BL1Y

    SHG, Reading through these comments makes me sad for the human race. Frankly, I’d rather lose my stuff than have any of these knuckle-draggers get to sit as judge, jury and executioner.

    This is basically like Faramir’s soldiers almost killing Gollum for trespassing on the sacred pool, while having absolutely no comprehension of how necessary he was to Frodo’s quest.

    If you’re eager to deal out death in judgement, you’re not wise enough to wield that responsibility.

  73. Both Sides

    Getting the last word (or only word in your case sometimes) must be very gratifying for you. Obviously, when you obtain information that is threatening to your cause, you choose to cease allowing any well versed and informed respondant the chance to continue. Save yourself some time, delete the portion of your page that allows feedback. just state your opinion and hope that it reaches those that only want one side. Just one question, do you do a thriving business?

  74. SHG

    It’s my place. I get to make all the decisions. That’s how it works. But I let people like you post comments so others can enjoy the diversity of views and how butthurt people who are too scared to use their real name when they whine about it.

    As for well versed and informed respondent, most haven’t bothered to read the facts and are busy arguing their generic fantasy that has nothing to do with this case or post. Not what I consider informed. If you want to address the facts of this case, then you can claim to be well versed and informed. Otherwise, you’re not.

  75. clarkcountycriminalcops

    Dr. Wright

    You tell us about the November, 2011 case where “a shooting shows clearly that some people think the castle laws can be used to cover a murder.” But in that case the suspects ruse was uncovered and they were charged

    Have you heard about the Henderson, NV case with Eric Little and his lover? Little shot and killed a man in the man’s own home, stating he acted in self-defense when the husband walked into his own bedroom where he found Little in bed with his wife.

    Nothing the two told police was able to be verified, with the majority of their statements proven to be outright lies. Yet neither was charged and the police investigation lasted less than a week.

    Why do you think things shook out so differently in Nevada? Well the Henderson Police Department is adamant that Little being a off-duty officer had nothing to do with it.

    You decide: [Ed. Note: Link deleted per rules.]

  76. gary

    Thank the good Lord that I live in Texas. Those who think that their families are not worth protecting to the point of death need to remain outside the borders of this great state

  77. Bryce

    Whatever happened to blaming the criminal for getting himself shot? I applaud the Castle Doctrine. Why should I have to flee my own home? That is ridiculous.

    Anxiously awaiting your snark…

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