Balance. That is the word I want you to remember as you read this story. If the past few years of news headlines involving people defending themselves in this overtly liberal society have taught us anything, it is that responsible citizens (ie Civilian Operators) must always seek a BALANCED RESPONSE to anything regarding self-defense, otherwise, they run the risk of spending a lifetime in prison, or worse, have a felony record and a tarnished reputation follow you around the rest of your life. This story is chocked full of WHAT NOT TO DO in regards to defending yourself and your home from a burglary, so pay attention. First, if you are not familiar with this story, read about what happened HERE.
The bottom line of this macabre tale has to do with a legal term called “Pre-Meditation”. (Initially Smith was charged with two counts of Pre-Meditated Second Degree Murder, a jury later found him guilty of Two Counts of First Degree Murder (with Pre-Meditation) and Two Counts of Second-Degree Murder ) what this basically means is that Smith “Pre-Meditated” or “Pre-Conceived” in his mind all of the events before they unfolded that fateful evening. For all intensive purposes, Smith set up an Ambush for these two teenage cousin burglars. He first moved his vehicle down the block to make it appear no one was home. He then went down into his basement, where, because of the design of the house (dual level) he knew the victims would eventually end up, and set up the ambush point or “kill box”. Armed with a Mini-14 .223 Rifle, a .22 caliber pistol, plenty of ammo, a lengthy novel, a comfortable sofa chair and some Red Bull’s and snacks, plus some sheet plastic layed out to protect his carpet from blood stains and to wrap the bodies up in, Smith settled in and waited like a patient hunter. When the victims presented themselves individually, he shot them both a total of NINE times. Oh, and to top all this off, he had a NEIGHBOR call the Police the NEXT DAY because he did not quote “Want to bother Law Enforcement on Thanksgiving”.
I looked around and found the un-edited version of this animated computer graphic, complete with the actual audio from a portable recorder Smith had set up on a bookshelf. At first, (before I heard it) I thought the reason Smith recorded this incident was for the obvious reason of evidence of his innocence, but as you will hear, this is anything but evidence of innocence, more like evidence of insanity.
A ridiculous point that some so called “legal analyst” have argued over since this incident occurred is that what made Smith’s actions “excessive” was not all the items previously described (REALLY!), but the fact that Smith delivered final “killing shots” to both victims with his pistol after they had initially been shot by the rifle. Two of these “finishing shots” was a close range head shot and a vicious under-the-chin shot. The analyst argue that Smith’s actions would have been justified under Minnesota’s Castle Law if he had only shot them with the rifle not had used the pistol! REALLY! I guess laying in wait to ambush somebody with a plastic sheet on the ground and having an audio recording of yourself that sounds more like Robert Deniro’s disturbed psychotic character Travis in Taxi Driver more than a responsible citizen defending his home and in fear for his life just does not give you enough evidence, huh? Laughable.
As if there is not enough “negatives” in this case, one factor that I noticed, and this is something I have talked a lot about on this blog, was Smith’s history. Smith was a retired State Department “Security” Employee. Now I worked for the government for a number of years and I can tell you that people who do this type of work are not boy scouts. Often the type of skill sets these people are en-powered with by good ole’ Uncle Sam are not exactly what you would call social skills! According to Smith’s brother, his particular job involved setting up security in foreign embassies; so Smith most likely had intelligence and counter-intelligence training coupled with some firearms training as well. All in all, Smith was not exactly a “lightweight” when it came to the subject of security, firearms and taking care of himself. Why is this important? To the general public, and to a juror, this shows that Smith should be held to a higher level of responsibility and should have had some semblance of rationale in dealing with a burglary in his home because of his past experience.
I would like to say that although Mr. Smith’s actions were obviously extreme and way out-of-bounds, there is no true innocent parties in this case. Despite the barbaric way these two teenagers were killed, at the end of the day, they were burglars; they did break into Smith’s house illegally (breaking a window to gain entry) with obvious ill intent once inside. Having said all of that, it is never permissible (or legal) for a citizen to pre-meditate a “self-defense encounter” or to try to entrap a criminal in the act (by ambush or any other means) so you can kill them and call it “self-defense”. At the end of the day, we are still a nation of LAWS; right or wrong, good or bad, whether you agree of disagree, as responsible citizens, we are ALL bound to KNOW and OBEY them.
In closing, as I have alluded in articles on this blog before, the day may come very soon, that we, as our colonial forefathers did over 200 years ago, have to become “outlaws” in the eyes of a corrupt political and legal system in order to survive and ensure the survival of democracy; but until that day does come, let our actions be seasoned with courage, honor and dignity in a country whose moral compass is obviously broken.
Stay Armed, Stay Responsible and Stay Dangerous.