A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Joe Horn Vindicated

Joe Horn, the Pasadena Texas neighbor who shotgunned two thieves while on the phone with 911 has been no-billed by a Grand Jury.

That's right. Horn killed two burglars who were stealing belongings from his neighbor's home, shooting each with a 12 gauge pump shotgun while the 911 operator told him to stay inside his home. Unless further compelling evidence emerges, which is not likely, Horn will not face a criminal trial.

Horn's Pasadena neighborhood is being patrolled by fleets of police officers this afternoon, due to the past protests organized by resident hate monger Quanell X.




Blogger Jess said...

I'm pretty sure it happened at like 2pm in the afternoon.

4:52 PM  
Blogger lbrasi said...

I really can't say that this is what being a proud gun owner is all about. In fact it sickens me to think that some moron can get away with murdering two people over property. There is no justification for what this guy did. Yeah, those two thieves deserved all that the criminal justice system has to offer, maybe even a butt kickin, but come on, even for Texas this is extreme. To my way of thinking, this is a sad day for gun ownership in this country.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

So, two thugs advance on and old man with a shotgun, he's supposed to do what exactly?

Hint, if you have a shotgun, and two thugs decide to come at you anyway, you shoot them, because they definitely mean to do you harm.

Clear case of self defense. Putting himself in that position may not be the wisest of choices, but once there, it was clearly justified.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Isaac PC said...

You can be sure those two won't victimize anyone else ever again, though. Maybe if this happened much more often, people would think twice about leading a life of crime. Break into my house, and I guarantee the story will read in a very similar fashion.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Less said...

"...even for Texas this is extreme"

Since the jury failed to indict, I guess it isn't.

That said, there are plenty of shootings where the bullet enters the back, and goes out the front or the side because the person is flinching or turning away. Bill Lewinsky (of Minnesota State U.) has done some research on wound entrance during the "targets" dynamic motion...

How Force Science Saved Two Cops from Murder. The animations are most revealing.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Mikee said...

Xavier's description of the event is not quite accurate. The event occurred in the afternoon, the apparent intent of Joe Horn was not to kill but to stop the felons, the felons were apparently (from public reports) not shot in their backs while retreating, and so on.

Ibrasi gets it more wrong than Xavier, however. There was no murder here, there was self-defense by an individual standing on his own property, self defense against two younger males who refused to surrender to the old man with the shotgun who caught them breaking into his neighbor's home.

The perpetrators could have lived by surrendering to the man with the shotgun, and faced the criminal justice system. They chose not to do so. All in all, this was a case of self-inflicted death through extreme failure of the perpetrators' victim selection processes (a phrase coined by Massad Ayoob, I think).

Cowering in one's home while thieves ransack the neighbor's home is one way to handle this type of situation. Then when the thieves or their friends return again, you can cower again, and again, and again, until it your turn to lose your property and perhaps your life. Such selflessness is perhaps admirable. I have read of a Zen master who gave a thief all he had, then later looking at the moon was sorry that he could not give the thief the ability to enjoy such a moon.

On the other hand, having been burglarized, fortunately while none of my family was home, I say stop the thieves. Give them a chance to learn the error of their ways, but if it takes longer than the time required to put their hands up and stop approaching the man with the shotgun, their chance ends rather quickly.

10:32 PM  
Blogger the pistolero said...

In fact it sickens me to think that some moron can get away with murdering two people over property.

I got ten boxes of Winchester White Box 230-grain .45ACP ball that says you wouldn't think it was "just property" if it was YOUR house they had been ransacking. Yep, it's property, all right...property that a man busted his tail for, for heaven only knows how long. And sure, it can be replaced...but the damage to the social contract caused by letting thugs like that get away with things like that in the long run is nigh well irreparable, I would think. Murdering two people over property? No offense, but that's just disgustingly simplistic.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Callahan said...

With the influx of illegals and Katrinians, we are virtulally under siege in the Houston area. I don't condone what Mr. Horn did, but I am not going to condemn him, either.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...


Mr. Horn confronted the choirboys from his porch. They tried to rush him. First one got shot in the side, the second in the back after he saw what happened to his co-critter. Witnessed by a plainclothes cop, no less. This is self defense in my book, especially as thug number 2 could just as easily have been seeking cover to return fire instead of fleeing.

The media, which is notably hostile to gun owners and the concept of self-defense, has tried to paint this as Mr. Horn just blasting away at the choirboys' backs as they were leaving the scene.

4:32 AM  
Anonymous Bob S. said...


Marko, the munchkin wrangler, has a great post up about this. It is something that I never thought about, property is equal to the time spent to acquire it.

How much time out of your life or mine would be equal to the approximately $2,000 those crooks stole from the neighbor? It's not just about property, it's about what it takes to get it.

Also, I would posit that Mr. Horn had an obligation to try to stop the crime and he fulfilled that.
How many times do we read about some crook with a long list of crimes; crimes that increased in violence and/or scale? Stopping crime when it is "just a property" crime may actually save lives down the line.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...

X, et al:

Ultimately, our comments here don't matter much in this case, as the grand jury has made its decision: Joe Horn did NOT commit a criminal act. Carry on.

Mike Harbour
Helena, Montana

9:19 AM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

Better outcome than I had expected. To be blunt, no pity on the thieves. Make the decision to cross the line of home invasion, pay the price. Not everyone is neutered yet.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was witnessed by a plainclothes cop setting in his car outside. The thieves should have stop and not moved to Mr Horns way The GJ did hear from this cop. All thieves should move to DC.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was witnessed by a plainclothes cop setting in his car outside. The thieves should have stop and not moved to Mr Horns way The GJ did hear from this cop. All thieves should move to DC.

5:23 PM  
Blogger lbrasi said...

Sometimes it's not what we can do, but rather what we should do. With time to ponder an appropriate response, and at the urging of a dispatcher to wait for the police, Horn decided to take matters into his own hands. Should we as responsible gun owners and citizens applaud the results of Horn's decision. Do we now advise our loved ones, friends and neighbors who may find themselves in the the same situation to follow Horns lead. I for one say that there is no amount property worth a life. I certainly don't want my neighbors outside shooting. Would some of you feel the same if a child had been killed instead of the two "advancing thugs" A willing eyewitness is good enough for me when it comes to my TV set. I feel that as responsible gun owners our mantra should be to shoot in defense of ones life or the life of another. Though as Mike H, wrote, the grand jury has made their decision. But who makes the moral decision?

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Kilgor said...

"I ain't going to let them get away with this. They stole something. They got a bag. I'm doing it.".

"Don't go out the house," the dispatcher cautions in a measured voice. "You're gonna get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun."

"Wanna make a bet? I'm gonna kill 'em."

"Stay in the house......"

"They, they're gettin' away!"

I'm from Texas and carry a firearm daily. If neccesary, I will take the life of anyone who I believe is threatening the life of another. Without hesitation.

However, what Mr. Horn did was premeditated murder. He knew his neighbors weren't home and thus weren't in danger. He said he was going to kill them before they ever posed a threat to him. He then left the safety of his home and did just what he said he was going to do.

I hate thieves and scumbags as much as anyone, but this isn't right.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Bob S. said...


"A willing eyewitness is good enough for me when it comes to my TV set."

If this is your belief, will you be willing to back it up? How about putting up signs on your property and on your car advertising that fact?

This will let the police and your neighbors know not to interfere with a crime in progress.
Of course, there is that whole issue with criminals targeting areas, assaulting witnesses and such. But you will be able to feel morally superior to everyone else.

You set up a straw man argument with the children. Mr. Horn witnessed two adults breaking into the house, not children. Not one person has said that he endangered anyone else, especially a child.

Each and every person has to make that moral decision, you've made yours already. Help your neighbors out to let them know you don't want their help. Also let them know you can't be counted on to defend them or their property.

I think that property is worth someone's life when they try to steal it. That person or persons decided to risk their lives there by valuing their life on the par with that property.

Have you considered the trajectory of a criminal career as a reason for Mr. Horn's actions? Very few criminals start off with rape, assault or murder. Most work their way up through petty crimes and property crimes. As they get away with more and more crimes, their crimes tend to become more brazen or violent.

If every citizen acted to make every crime dangerous, don't you think fewer people would choose a path? I think if more people acted with the resolve of Mr. Horn; the especially brazen or violent criminals wouldn't survive as long.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Less said...

Ibrasi -
I for one say that there is no amount property worth a life.

If that works for you, great.

Having lived under communism for a while, this doesn't fit so well with me... The ability to use tools and keep property is what separates us from the monkeys - further when any gov't rules that your property is subject to whims of the masses, you get the situation like Zimbabwae.

... the grand jury has made their decision. But who makes the moral decision?

The law isn't always about morality, and this incident is a good example of that.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Glenn Bartley said...

What sickens me is that people have morphed into spineless wimps who are afraid to do what needs to be done to protect their own lives, the lives of their loved ones, a stranger's life, and property. We as a nation have arrived at a point where we actually invite the scum into our homes to rape, rob, pillage and plunder.

Well, when I say we _ I do not include Mr. Horn, nor myself, nor many other gun owning Americans who are willing to do what is needed to stop the scourge of these dirtbag criminals.

He did it within the law, and for that I applaud him. I also applaud those who passed this legislation, and those who voted for them. We need more of it because with more of it we would have a more respectful society with less crime. Imagine a dirtbag being so afraid to rob you that he instead decides to put all the effort he would have to rob you into actually ging out and getting a productive job. Wouldn't that be nice for a change. I think so.

All the best,

5:30 PM  
Blogger lbrasi said...

These issues can generate a life of their own. I knew going in that this was going to be a touchy subject. I won't retreat from my opinion, as I'm sure those who responded will hold fast to theirs.

I guess we can only decide for ourselves the best course of action in any given situation. The courts, cops and grand juries certainly shouldn't be our go to morality gate keepers.

Personally, I pray everyday that I will have the strength when needed to make the right decision regarding the protection of my family, loved ones,... and neighbors.

Everything else I'll leave to Allstate.

Xavier, great blog!

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have obviously heard the 911tape, but you fail to acknowledge how many times Mr Horn says "I don't want to do this". His primary focus is not "I've got to get them" it is more "I have to stop this, this is wrong."

He only says he will kill them once, after the dispatcher backs him {verbally} in to a corner by placing the thought of being shot in Mr Horn's head. He then makes the choice between staying inside {and not being shot} and going outside and confronting the burglars.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want a prime exapmle of what happens when people are required to value a burglars lives over their possesions look at England.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you want a prime exapmle of what happens when people are required to value a burglars lives over their possesions look at England"

I'm not the same "Anonymous" quoted above, but I fear that England a roadmap of where we are also fast going.


If I had been told right after 9/11 that only a few years therafter a very significant percentage of the US population would consider electing someone like Obama as President, I would have laughed in their face.

4:58 PM  

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