How should you respond if some thug breaks in your home in the dead of night, intent on either robbing you or doing harm to your family?
Should you call the police? Grab a gun and defend yourself? Run away screaming and hope for the best? Always check your local laws, as this is not legal advice of any sort, but a Florida sheriff has a different opinion than the typical “retreat and call the police” line you hear nowadays.
In his view, you shouldn’t do that. Rather, if armed, you should lock and load and then blow the offender away. In the words of the absolute Chad of a sheriff:
“If someone breaks unto your house you are more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County. We prefer that you do, actually.”
And that wasn’t all. He even offered to help them improve their aim, presumably so they could kill the intruder and save taxpayers the cost of dealing with the criminal, saying:
“You’re not in trouble. Come see us. We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday. If you take that you’ll shoot a lot better and hopefully you’ll save taxpayers money.”
Watch him say that here.
As context, the sheriff’s comment came after, as the Toronto Sun reports, “a 32-year-old man was caught by police after allegedly trying to break into homes near Pensacola, Fla. He was fired at by someone in a house at one point, but the shot missed.”
That missed show was what provoked the comment about homeowners improving their aim to save taxpayers money.
But that wasn’t all! After he was criticized for telling homeowners to “shoot the redcoats,” as it were, he went on Fox and refused to back down from his position that burglars should be dealt with with lead, saying:
“If somebody breaks in your house in Santa Rosa County, and you shoot and kill ’em, the chances of them reoffending after that are zero—and we like those odds. In Santa Rosa County, if you break into a house, you roll the dice.”
Wow! Watch that here
Now that’s a cop I can get behind! He sure knows how to deal with the crime problem ravaging America and knows how to stop criminals from committing further predations on the citizenry.
Predictably, of course, the left went absolutely berserk about the idea of shooting criminals that would slit their throats for $5 if given the opportunity to do so and get away with it. NPR, for example, published a pearl-clutching article titled “Lawyers say sheriff’s remark about shooting home intruders was ‘wildly irresponsible‘”. In that article, the author says:
Johnson’s advice is legally accurate, several criminal defense attorneys told NPR. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law lets people use deadly force to prevent a forcible felony — including home invasion. And the intruder doesn’t need to have a weapon. “There is no requirement that they be armed before someone can exercise their right to defend their property,” said Fort Lauderdale attorney Jason Blank, who chairs the Florida Bar’s Criminal Law Section.
But the attorneys were aghast at how brazen Johnson was in seeming to delight in potentially needless death. “I cannot agree with the Sheriff that it is ever preferred to shoot someone,” Blank said by email.
“It’s wildly irresponsible, because it essentially encourages people to use deadly force without giving it more consideration,” said Jude Faccidomo, president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL). “There’s often times that somebody is not an imminent threat to you.”
Faccidomo says it was “reckless” for Johnson to make such a proclamation — and to cite the benefit to the taxpayers in “shooting first and asking questions later.”
And it’s not the reasonable Florida homeowners that Faccidomo worries will Johnson’s advice. It’s the “mythical ‘Florida Man’ — who is not known for his common sense,” Faccidomo said. “Sheriff Johnson just turned Santa Rosa into the Wild West. Maybe one less Sheriff’s salary is a better way to save the taxpayers money.“
Spare us, please. His advise is legal and his point is solid: not only can dead men tell no tales, but they can’t reoffend either. Plus, the Wild West was way cooler than late-stage capitalism is.