We all know that there are areas of the country that have been hit harder by tough economic times than some other parts of the country. Times like this often find people from harder hit areas moving to better areas in order to find work and support their families - they follow the money. For instance, people in Detroit where unemployment is well into double digit percentages might move to Texas where the recession is less of an issue. Unfortunately, the criminal element also tends to move from hard hit areas - they follow the money.
Here's a warning to the criminal element planning to move to Texas - Don't Do It. Don't move to Texas. In Texas you're very likely to find yourself on the wrong end of a law-abiding citizen's gun. Since it appears you know how to read (you're reading this) you should read the following stories which appeared in Texas news this year:
The Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas, 03/29/09
Around 6:15 p.m. two armed criminals attempted to rob a cell phone store in Harris County, Texas. When the robbers demanded money from the store owner, the owner drew his handgun, causing the robbers to flee. The store owner chased the men to the parking lot in an attempt to get a description of their vehicle. Before reaching the car, one of the criminals turned and pointed a gun at the store owner. The owner fired at the criminal, striking him. The wounded criminal attempted to run across the street but was hit by a car and died.
The Star Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas 03/04/09
Around 1 a.m. 57 year-old Robert Earl Bardwell illegally entered a home in Weatherford, Texas and began assaulting the homeowner’s 34 year-old son. After ordering Bardwell to leave, the 66 year-old homeowner fired a shot into the ceiling in an attempt to end the assault. When Bardwell refused to leave or cease his attack, the homeowner fired at Bardwell, killing him. The homeowner was not arrested during the incident.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler, Texas 02/03/09
Around 9 p.m., a burglar broke into the Tyler, Texas apartment of a 31 year-old woman and her children. The woman rushed her children into her bedroom, grabbed a phone and her gun and called the police. As the woman was on the phone with a dispatcher, the burglar attempted to break down the bedroom door. The woman fired her handgun through the door, causing the criminal to flee. When police arrived, they interviewed a person at the scene who tipped them off to the location of the criminal, who was suffering from a bullet wound to the jaw. Police noted that within the past 30 days there had been five burglaries within the apartment complex. Tyler Police Public Information Officer Don Martin made it known that it was unlikely the woman would face any charges and went on to say, “You have the right to protect yourself and your family.”
NBCDFW, Dallas, Texas 01/22/09
Around 11 a.m., Gabriel Flores broke in the empty Dallas, Texas home of 79 year-old Iva Willis. Soon afterwards, Iva’s son, Charles Bircher, came by the home and noticed that the door had been kicked in. As Bircher looked inside the home, Flores confronted him with a gun he had stolen in the home . Bircher, a right to carry permit holder, drew his gun and fired at Flores, striking him. Flores later died from his wounds at a local hospital. Bircher was unharmed during the incident and was relieved that he had his gun with him, stating “I feel good I had it with me… If I didn’t, he was going to kill me.” Police have not filed charges against Bircher.
Amarillo.com, Amarillo, Texas 01/08/09
Two armed men broke into a home in Amarillo, Texas around 8 a.m. The homeowner hearing the commotion and having been burglarized several times in the preceding months, retrieved his gun. The homeowner fired at the armed intruders, killing one and causing the other to flee. When the police arrived they discovered a second trail of blood, suggesting that the intruder who fled may have been struck during the incident. Local hospitals have been notified to be on the lookout for anyone with a gunshot wound. The police questioned the homeowner but released him shortly afterwards, with Potter-Randall Special Crimes Coordinator Lt. Gary Trupe stating, “We do at this time feel that they were justified in using the force that they used."
WOAI, San Antonio, Texas 01/07/09
An 18-year-old resident of San Antonio, Texas noticed two armed men approaching his family’s home. The resident retrieved his mother’s gun, while the armed criminals kicked in the front door. The resident fired at the armed criminals, striking both. One died at the scene, while the other was taken to a local hospital. The police have recovered the gun the deceased criminal used during the burglary.
The stories here are all true and are just a sample of incidents where Texans defended themselves, their loved ones, and their property - there are more examples but not enough space here. So, if you're a criminal from somewhere else, take some friendly advice and stay in the rat hole you're in. If you come to Texas the only thing you're likely to get is a free funeral with an unmarked grave.