Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Joe Horn Should Be Charged With A Serious Crime

Pasadena, Texas resident Joe Horn made the decision to go outside and shoot two people.

This took place on November 14 and has now become a national incident.

The two people he shot were two men robbing the house next to Mr. Horn’s home. 

Mr. Horn had been asked by a 911 dispatcher to stay inside and avoid violence. He was not in any physical danger inside his house.

Mr. Horn said right on the 911 tape that he was going to go outside and shoot the men. 

And that’s just what he did as the men left the home they were robbing. 

He made the decision to go outside and shoot.  The penalty for robbing a home is not death.

How is that not some kind of pre-meditated act of violence?

The case is very polarizing and debate on this issue is not always very illuminating. I’ve been reluctant to post about the matter.

Yet I think it is important that Mr. Horn be charged with some type of serious crime in this instance.  

Beyond the fact that Mr. Horn could have just as easily been killed himself or shot an innocent, we can’t have people killing over property when they had the option to avoid trouble.   

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December 12, 2007 - Posted by | Houston, Texas | , , , ,

27 Comments »

  1. Mr. Horn did gun owners everywhere a disservice by adding to the stereotype of trigger-happy vigilante nuts who fantasize about having an opportunity to kill someone. The folks who have been quick to defend this guy should choose their battles more carefully.

    Comment by Whosplayin | December 12, 2007

  2. I dont own a gun but if someone was robbing my neighbors house i would do what i could to stop them. my house has been robbed and until you are violated in the way you cant appreciate the frustration of the situation. When someone comes in and takes the pillow case off you 9 year old daughters pillow to shove your dvd player in you cant really speak on the subject personally only subjectively. i dont know all the facts in the case of the mr horn but if he killed in cold blood he should be charged if the burglers were armed or came at him in anyway where he felt threatened he should not be charged he should be thanked. this man from what i can tell was no charles bronson and this was his neighbors house that was getting burglarized. i love how the criminals become the victims cry me a river on that one.

    Comment by bill brady | December 12, 2007

  3. Bill—The penalty for robbery is not death and Mr. Horn had already done his civic duty by calling the police. He was not being menaced regardless of the provocation of the house next door being robbed. We don’t shoot people down on the street like Wyatt Earp days.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 12, 2007

  4. If a homeowner is home when a buglar comes in, then the penalty is indeed DEATH, its called the Castle Doctrine. I wouldn’t think twice about blowing someone away who broke into my house while I was there. If you break inton someone elses house, you risk getting gunned down.

    Comment by Mike | December 12, 2007

  5. You say death with a degree of zeal.

    Mr. Horn’s home was not being broken into.

    Thank you for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 12, 2007

  6. I’m not saying I would have done what Joe did, but if you decide to be a burglar, you risk getting shot by a homeowner or the police. Remember what those two ‘non violent’ burglars did to that family in Conn.? Its a shame they did not get hit with shotgun blasts before they raped and killed that poor doctors family.

    Comment by Mike | December 12, 2007

  7. You do incur risks when you decide to rob a home. You do risk being shot by the homeowner or the police. But the case here is Mr. Horn’s actions.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 12, 2007

  8. robbery is a risky business these teo young men in this country illegally found out the hard way

    Comment by please | December 12, 2007

  9. texas law says joe horn was correct, according to how I read it he can use deadly force to stop them even in persuit when the criminal is fleeing.

    9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON’S PROPERTY. A person
    is justified in using force or deadly force against another to
    protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if,
    under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the
    actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force
    or deadly force to protect his own land or property

    9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE’S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person
    in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is
    justified in using force against another when and to the degree the
    actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to
    prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful
    interference with the property.
    (b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible,
    movable property by another is justified in using force against the
    other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force
    is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the
    property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit
    after the dispossession

    Comment by joe | December 13, 2007

  10. The penelty for home invasion is death, and if more people were like joe there would be a whole lot less crime of all types. What joe did was not only legal, it was moral. The only inmoral ones were the thieves. I spit on their graves.

    Comment by Davis | December 13, 2007

  11. Some of you folks sure do seem to get animated in defense of the idea of killing people over property.

    Mr. Horn made the call to kill two people when it could have easily been avoided.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 13, 2007

  12. The zeal is from all the bullshit in the world and the fact that criminals are made out to be victims. Its not about the property. when my house was robbed and I referenced my daughters pillow case i did not care about the pillow case. it was the fact that there was someone in my daughter bed that was not invited. if she had been home when this happened and the burglers made a mistake would she be alive? raped? what. people that break into homes of people are a danger. This is not a story about some kids stealing gum from the store. People are fed up with the joke of a justice system we have. It makes the cops bitter and the real victims hopeless. if joe horn broke the law he should be charged and the shit that got shot does not get a tear from me.

    Comment by Bill Brady | December 13, 2007

  13. Spoken like a true Liberal. These guys broke the law, invading a neighbors house endangering that family and could have very well went to the next house right there. It is time for theives to think again that residents won`t get involved. It`s called neighborhood watch where neighbors take care of each other rather than just walk down a sidewalk and ingoring someone injured because of fear.

    Comment by scott | December 14, 2007

  14. First, I support Mr. Horn’s decision. Yet another set of criminals were going to get away. It must have infuriated him. If I had the wherewithal I hope that I would have the courage to do the same, whether it was on behalf of my neighbor, my neighborhood or my own home. My children can’t walk to school, I can’t just run to the store, I need to pay a security company to ‘secure’ my home. I am done. Done with criminals ordering how I live my life and done limiting my liberty to live. Second, I resent the argument that it was “just property”. That “property” was either earned with labor and sweat, hours of service which were only paid after the appropriate (or not) tax was cut to the local, city, county, state and/or federal authority; or it was inherited with its own, special, tax. Each piece had its own memory, price and value, far exceeding the actual ticket price. Yes, just “property”, but it certainly didn’t belong to the criminals who had done nothing to earn the right to own except to thieve. What about Violation. No, not the fact that the criminals committed a violation (ooh, a slap, so sorry, sir). I’m talking about a real, visceral [characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect] reaction. Yes, I’ve been robbed, too. I couldn’t sleep in my home for months. I couldn’t sleep without a light on for years. And I couldn’t believe that no one, not one, heard . . .anything. Pathetic? Perhaps. Let me know how you dealt with a home invasion when it happened to you. At least we know that these particular intruders are never, ever, coming back. Finally, I have come to the hard realization that the police can’t be everywhere protecting everyone (gasp!). May a benevolent god hold them in the palm of his hand. I believe that what has happened in the American justice system to pervert their duty is a hard and bittering experience, stymieing their sworn duty at every turn. I wish that wasn’t true; but, I’m not a child anymore, nor do I cry to the sky, “it’s not fair.” America, wake up, give the overworked police their due, but take your lives, children, and; yes, property, into your own hand. Protect that which you own and love, watch over those who are close, decide who are your brothers and sisters in responsibility. God knows, you’ve already paid Caesar.

    Comment by Grace | December 14, 2007

  15. Mr. Horn made the call to kill two people when he had the choice not to do so and when nobody was in any danger of being harmed. That’s all I feel it comes down to in this case.

    Thanks for these last three comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 14, 2007

  16. I support Mr. Horn, maybe not how he did it… but in this day and age criminals have more rights than the common law abiding person, I understand people that say Mr. Horn’s home was not being broken into… but If we don’t protect our neighborhoods as well as our own homes then the criminals will take over. We see it every day on TV, and to throw in a race card because of skin color of the criminals doesn’t stop the fact of what they were doing. To twist it around that they were shot because of their skin color is pregest in itself. It is time for the criminals to twice about residents that won`t get involved. It`s called neighborhood watch where neighbors take care of each other rather than closing their blinds to problems outside for fear and ingoring someone injured, raped, or killed. And when did we defend criminals who is illegally found in out country, we need to send a message to the criminal element… we won’t be kicked around anymore.

    Comment by Rick Prather | December 14, 2007

  17. I disagree with you assumption that Joe Horn should be charged with a crime. The scum bag illegals were committing a crime, if they weren’t committing a crime then I would agree that Joe should be charge with a crime, but that’s not the case.

    I live in NH we have illegals committing crimes all the time, the federal and state legal system doesn’t know what to do with them and most of the time the case or the charges just get dropped. So in the case where an illegal is caught speeding in NH the charged is dropped, if I get caught speeding, I pay a fine and my insurance goes up. Basically if you’re an illegal in this country none of our laws apply and you can do what ever you want.
    Given that our current legal system is ineffective for dealing with illegals, Joe Horn did this country a service, he brought justice to situation that needs to be fixed if our government is not willing to properly police our great country the we the people have the right to do so.

    Comment by ed smith | December 14, 2007

  18. Calling this a murder is nuts! If you, the reader, my neighbor, ever are invaded, and I see it, you can bet that I could only hope to be as brave as Joe was that terrible day. He didn’t ask for that. He didn’t want to do it. He developed courage to confront a terrible, violent situation that could have easily escalated. My views are that once you see a guy rape someone, lady is screaming on the ground, and you see the guy walking away, zipping up his pants, this crime is still in play. He has not been stopped, the public at large is in immediate danger, he could rape again soon without being caught, and next time kill the next victim.
    Look at this case. Guy sees people invading his neighbor’s house. God only knows what is going on inside, but he is civil, calls 911 and stays on 911. Where he went wrong is staying on the phone with them and not going on out and dealing with it. The crime was still in play, it was violent. It necessitated a violent, lethal force or a surrender to neutralize it into a criminal legal system. This happened before that.

    Comment by Bretticus | December 23, 2007

  19. Did not call it murder…Though it was a pre-meditated killing.

    Thnaks for the comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 23, 2007

  20. there was no one home and no physical people home and Bretticus is right that this was not their first and was not going to be thier last home invasion. what if a 15 yr old girl was home alone or a 84 yr old grandmother. as far as ed’s comments on scumbag illegals you are making it ok to kill illegals. what if they were white or black what term would have you called them? keep the racist remarks out and lets talk about the criminals that were commiting the crime. were the underage? was this the first time they commited a crime? regaurdless they had no business going into this home period.

    Comment by Bill Brady | December 23, 2007

  21. Horn may have been within his rights as a citizen in this country, but I wonder how he will answer to GOD (as one day we all will). That is one judge that already knows the truth. This man was in no immediate physical danger. According to the ‘Castle’ law that was posted on Sep 1, 2007., citizens due have a right to defend themseleves, or their property (including their neighbor’s). You don’t even have to take flight. If I was the prosecutor I would say Mr. Horn, this is true you don’t have to take flight but you donot have a right to put yourself in danger therby giving yourself the excuse that you have a right to defend yourself. He should be charged to the fullest extent of the law. How can we call ourselve’s Christians and hide behind one man’s moment in time? Listen to the complete 911 audio on youtube.

    Comment by Near Pasadena | December 30, 2007

  22. Near Pasadena—Thanks for the great comment. Mr. Horn made a choice to shoot and kill when he clearly had a reasonable option to do otherwise.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 31, 2007

  23. Horn may have been within his rights as a citizen in this country, but I wonder how he will answer to GOD (as one day we all will). That is one judge that already knows the truth. This man was in no immediate physical danger. According to the ‘Castle’ law that was posted on Sep 1, 2007., citizens due have a right to defend themseleves, or their property (including their neighbor’s). You don’t even have to take flight. If I was the prosecutor I would say Mr. Horn, this is true you don’t have to take flight but you donot have a right to put yourself in danger therby giving yourself the excuse that you have a right to defend yourself. He should be charged to the fullest extent of the law. How can we call ourselve’s Christians and hide behind one man’s moment in time? Listen to the complete 911 audio on youtube.

    Just got to quote this… I am sorry but if I see the same thing happen I would be outside wearing my body armor and guns in hand. My neighbors have kids and I’ll be damned if I am gonna let some criminal break into their house. I know they don’t have guns. Therefore as they are my friends it is my job to protect my neighbors. While I never want to take a life I will not hesitate to do so to protect myself and my friends. Who knows what the motive is simple burglary?? Rape?? who knows.. but they deserve to be dealt with if it means holding them at gunpoint until the cops show fine but if they make any sudden movements they are gonna be dropped just like I was trained in the military that will be 2 shots to the chest and 1 to the head.

    Comment by Jeremy | February 28, 2008

  24. First off, “illegal” isn’t a “racist” term, it’s a term of definition or classification of ones LEGAL status. By the way, the two men WERE black, so your “what if they were white or black” comment shows ignorance in the case at hand.

    Second, I hear a lot of “castle doctrine” this and “not in physical danger” that from the respective sides of the argument. Castle Doctrine laws have little/nothing to do with it. The law establishing his right to shoot to kill for theft have long-been established under Texas Penal Code. See below for the complete code. It does NOT require that anybody be in danger, only that the shooting stop the immenent escape of the criminals and the immediate recovery of the moveable property. I’d say it definitely did both. I see a lot of “FEELINGS” in the arguments agains Mr. Horn, and not a whole hell of a lot of knowledge or information regarding ANY “crime” he commited. Armchair-lawyers should at least ATTEMPT to be informed about the judgments you’re handing down.

    § 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE’S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person in
    lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is
    justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.
    (b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible,
    movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit
    after the dispossession and:
    (1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no
    claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or
    (2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using
    force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
    Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
    1994.

    § 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
    justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the
    other under Section 9.41; and
    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
    deadly force is immediately necessary:
    (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of
    arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
    immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
    robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
    (3) he reasonably believes that:
    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or
    recovered by any other means; or (notice that’s an “OR” not an “and”)
    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to
    protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
    another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
    Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
    1994.

    § 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON’S PROPERTY. A person
    is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property (and he would be as shown above) and:
    (1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful
    interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or (another “or” so he doesn’t have to prove anything beyond this point)
    (2) the actor reasonably believes that:
    (A) the third person has requested his protection
    of the land or property;
    (B) he has a legal duty to protect the third
    person’s land or property; or
    (C) the third person whose land or property he
    uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor’s spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor’s care.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
    Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
    1994.

    Comment by Jeff | March 17, 2008

  25. Don’t get me wrong those two men were wrong. If you listen to the tape he says it, I’m going to kill them. He knew the law had recently changed in Texas and he could not wait to use it. Premeditated after he shoots them in the back he comes back and speaks to the police officer and said he was afraid for his life. Again he used phases pertaining the law. If he had stayed in his home he would not have any safety concerns. Someone mentioned that this would stop people from burglarizing I think just the contrary. People whom may not used guns while committing the the act will now start carrying weapons.

    Comment by lenpay | July 3, 2008

  26. LISTEN, IF YOU DO HARM, EXPECT WHAT YOU GET, THIS IS TX, NOT SOME EASTERN CITY THAT HAS IT’S OWN PROBLEMS. YOU BREAK IN MY HOUSE, OR MY NEIGHBORS, YOU WILL BE SHOT. OK, HERES A QUESTION, IF THOSE PEOPLE RAPED YOUR DAUGHTER AFTER BREAKING IN, WHOULD YOU SHOOT THEM? SOMETHING TO PONDER ISN’T IT

    Comment by richard | July 22, 2008

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