A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nashville Home Defense

John Lewis never thought an intruder would make as much noise as the criminal did breaking down his door. His home had been burglarized four times previously this year. This time, the intruder was armed with a pickax and a flashlight. Mr. Lewis held a .357 revolver. The U.S. Air Force veteran would not be victimized again. He pulled the hammer back.

John Lewis does not recall pulling the trigger. "The pistol went off," he said. "I had it cocked. It had a hair trigger and I touched it and it went off." Dissociation is a powerful thing after a traumatic event. The criminal, Jerry Watson was struck in the leg. Bleeding and disabled, but not incapacitated, he limped to the home next door. Responding police found him unconscious outside. Watson's rap sheet was thick, 26 criminal convictions from drugs to burglary.

69 year old John Lewis was forced to shoot an intruder in his home once before, twelve years ago. When asked whether he thought Jerry Watson learned a lesson, Lewis replied "I don't know. Maybe he did with me. I hope so. If he didn't I'll teach him again."

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Anonymous Grant Cunningham said...

The fellow had better not hope the perp is able to scare up a sharp lawyer (or that the local DA is an anti-gun crusader), because this is a textbook case of a "bad shoot" made worse by oral diarrhea.

He's admitted, in public, to a negligent discharge. If this case went to court,he wouldn't be able to use an affirmative defense ("I meant to shoot the assailant, and I had legal justification to do so".) Instead, he'd have to defend against charges of reckless endangerment (or whatever the local jurisdiction calls it) because he confessed to setting up a dangerous situation with a gun that he knew to be unsafe (the "hair trigger".)

This should serve as an object lesson: 1) Never cock a gun to show an assailant you "mean business." 2) Don't run your mouth in public after the fact. (This also demonstrates that guns with overly light triggers make very poor threat management tools.)

I wish him the best of luck, which I'm afraid he may sorely need.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Sad that he had to shoot, good that he did!

9:56 PM  
Blogger lee n. field said...

"'The pistol went off,' he said. 'I had it cocked. It had a hair trigger and I touched it and it went off.'"

Oh, man! STFU.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Right on target Grant. I did not want to extrapolate on these issues too much in the blog piece, but you are 100% correct.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Some lessons are hard to learn. Some people just can't avoid leaning the hard way.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grant Cunningham is very correct.

After an incident like this, it's somewhat like being involved in an auto accident. The very first thing to keep in mind is *never to admit fault.*

Same thing with using a weapon in self-defense. After you had to shoot the perp in defense, shut up! Do not say anything that can be used to incriminate you.

You would be right to act in self defense, but don't admit to anything that could make you a victim a second time through the legal system.


12:36 AM  

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