If someone broke into the White House, stole some valuable items and were subsequently shot and killed by security guards, who would you blame for the death? Was it the guard’s fault because he exercised his duty and right to defend the White House? Or would you blame the person who was engaged in criminal activity by breaking into the White House to begin with?
Most people would automatically blame the criminal and not the guard. So why is anyone else’s home any different than the White House? Don’t homeowners have the right to use whatever force is necessary to protect their home and property?
According to one mother, that’s not so. She feels that if someone breaks into your home and robs you that you should not have the right to defend your property.
Why? Because it was her son who was the one who broke into the home and was shot and killed while trying to escape. What makes the case of her son any different than the person who breaks into the White House?
Now put yourself in the place of a woman in her 60s that lives alone in an upscale neighborhood in northern Sacramento. On April 20, she called police at 2:46am to report someone was trying to break into her home. When the police arrived, they discovered that a window screen had been cut and the back door was unlocked from the inside. The woman’s purse, keys and jewelry had been stolen. Police found fingerprints that belonged to one of the burglars.
At 1:46am on April 29th, the woman again called police to report another break in. The police found that a window screen had been removed and the window broken. However, the thieves didn’t have a chance to steal anything as they were either scared off when the woman screamed or when police were arriving a couple minutes later.
After the two break-ins in such a short time, the woman asked her older brother who is in his 70s to stay with her for a while.
At 12:18am on Sunday May 4, Sacramento police responded to another burglary call from the homeowner. When they arrived, they found that 16 year old Steven Crider and 14 year old Michael Sambrano were lying on the floor in the house. Both had been shot and paramedics pronounced them dead at the scene.
The police report is not saying whether it was the homeowner or her brother who opened fire on the two burglars, but the media says it was the homeowner’s brother who shot the intruders. Whoever it was, they shot and killed both teens. When the police ran the fingerprints of the two teens, one of them matched the prints taken from the prior burglary attempt on April 20th.
California law gives a homeowner the legal right to defend their property and themselves and local police have ruled the shootings a matter of self-defense. Judi Simmen, 64 is a neighbor of the homeowner who said the incident is changing the way she thinks about crime and home security. She told the local media:
“I think we’re all very cautious, but it’s a wake-up call. It made us change a couple of our security systems in the house to be more responsive. I’m not going to let it scare me – we’re going to get involved with the neighborhood watch.”
Lisa Sambrano, mother of the 16 year old told the local media:
“I just don’t understand why they were shot multiple times.”
Christina Sambrano, a younger sister added:
“They were on their way out the door, and I just think it was wrong that they were shot.”
Other residents in the neighborhood believe the teens got what they deserved for burglarizing homes in the area. Robert Robinson’s home was burglarized twice and he said:
“Justice was served.”
David Keck, another neighbor told the media:
“He was not an innocent bystander. I’m sorry the little boys or teenagers were killed, but if it’s my family, my family comes first.”
From the evidence, this wasn’t the first time these two teens had burglarized homes in the area. While Lisa Sambrano may be lamenting her son’s death and blaming the homeowners, it’s obvious that she’s not much of a parent. Her 14 year old son was running around at all hours of the night and she had no clue where or what he was doing. The same holds true with the parents of Steven Crider.
Sambrano’s sister said it was wrong to shoot her brother because he was leaving the house. She forgets that it was wrong for him to have broken into someone else’s home to begin with.
More homeowners need to be armed and ready to shoot if someone breaks into their home. It should send a warning to all would be burglars that once they cross someone else’s threshold, they are taking their lives into their own hands. I know that if someone broke into my house, they won’t find gold or silver, but I’ll be more than happy to share some lead with them.