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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Friday, January 03, 2003
1:33 PM

This Washington Times editorial on "Maryland's handgun follies" is partly about the state's harmful law requiring internal locks on all handguns sold in the state, which could cripple the industry there while simultaneously making personal safety more difficult to achieve. But also note this tale in the editorial:

At around 2:30 p.m. last Sunday afternoon, an 82-year-old resident of Brooklyn Park, a Baltimore suburb, heard a noise coming from the front of his home. The elderly man, whose house had been broken into less than a week before, picked up a handgun and went to investigate. When the man got downstairs, he found that an intruder had entered his house through a side window.

The homeowner fired a single shot, which struck the intruder, who immediately fled the house. Anne Arundel County Police arrested Joseph Kelly, 41, roughly 100 yards from the scene of the break-in. He has been charged with felony burglary.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this case is that police and prosecutors in Anne Arundel County have not ruled out prosecuting the elderly homeowner. But it would be a travesty of justice if this 82-year-old man were to be prosecuted for shooting an intruder who broke into his home.

This is exactly the attitude that has turned the previously peaceable United Kingdom into a paradise for criminals. It's one thing for the state to be absent in the face of danger, as it was for this man in the dark of the night. It's another for government to be positively hostile toward citizens who do not wish to be assaulted.

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