quidni pro quo

Random musings at random intervals. Erudition not guaranteed.

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Location: El Paso area, Texas, United States

I'm a 40-something Christian, conservative, pro-life, Constitutionalist, motorcycle-riding, pick-up truck driving, wife, mother, state employee, ham radio operator and part-time college student, enlisted in the Texas State Guard. Everything else is subject to revision without notice.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

For every action, there's an equal and opposite criticism...

One day last summer, my son was out hiking in the desert not too far from home when he had a face-to-face with an angry rattlesnake. Long story short, the rattlesnake lost the encounter, and my son had nothing worse than the aftereffects of a major adrenaline rush to deal with.

Now, this particular rattler wasn't a very large snake; in fact, it could be argued that, based on its size & number of segments on the rattle, it was probably not much more than the reptilian equivalent of a teenager. However, it still had venom, it was angry, and it probably looked (and sounded) a lot bigger than it really was when it was trying to wrap its fangs around my son's ankle. I could have gotten angry that my son had killed a "baby" - after all, that poor critter won't have a chance to finish growing up now. But my son had to make a choice, on the spot - it was either him or the rattlesnake, and the rattlesnake lost.

I first read about Bennie Hall and Quavale Finnell courtesy of The Badge Bunny.

Since then, I'd been wondering how this would play out in the court... Self-defense and justifiable shooting on the part of Mr. Hall, or an over-reaction and error in judgement leading to the death of "a good kid who'd just made some bad choices"? There were a number of people who felt that Mr. Hall was in the wrong for trying to prevent someone from stealing his vehicle, and then for defending himself when that someone tried to run him down. Read the links in the Badge Bunny's writeup, if you're curious.

(I think you can already tell what my own non-objective opinion was, based on the evidence available to the public at the time.... )

I was reading through the Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog when I found an update on this story. You can read the original article at WKRC 12 Cincinnati.

In brief, the prosecutor stated, "Mr. Hall has a right to protect himself with deadly force if his life is in danger or he is in danger of great bodily harm. Based on the totality of the evidence and circumstances, he was doing just that."

No charges will be filed against Bennie Hall.

Am I happy that Quavale Finnell lost his life? No. But he made his choices, and he took his chances. Just because he was "only a teenager" didn't mean he could get away with committing a crime that an adult would be prosecuted for. Actions have consequences. If you try to hurt someone, don't be surprised if they defend themselves.

Even if you're only a "teenage" rattlesnake.


Blogger Axinar said...

Yep ... I think this was the best decision for everyone involved.

I can't help but wonder though about the timing ...

A tax levy for a new jail recently was defeated and I keep wondering if this was a message from law enforcement basically saying, "Okay, gents, you're on your own ..."

11/19/2006 4:54 AM  
Blogger Glenn Bartley said...

Too bad your son killed that rattler, they are good critters in the sheme of things and most times when you see one - if you can kill it - you can more easily avoid its strike than killing it.

As for the 14 year old alleged car thief who allegedly tried to run down the armed car owner - good riddance is what is say, and amazingly good judgement on the part of the prosecutor in Ohio who is not bringing charges against Mr. Hall. It is about time folks start seeing that actions like those of Mr. Hall are not only justified, they should be the norm in such cases - self defense is a right and a responsibility.

All the best,
Glenn B

11/21/2006 7:45 AM  

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