Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sat, Dec. 07

How would gun-haters have handled burglary?

To paraphrase the words of villain Dennis Hopper in the movie "Speed," you're in bed one morning and you hear noises downstairs in your home.

Then a stranger walks into your bedroom and raises his hand toward you when you challenge him. What do you do?

You should do exactly what Deputy County Attorney Gary Kidd did and not give him a chance to do you harm.

Kidd, who used to prosecute gang cases, has good reason to keep a gun in his home. He told officers he thought it was a gang reprisal attempt rather than a burglary when he heard the noises and a man entered his bedroom, so he opened fire with a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol the minute his unwanted visitor made what Kidd considered a threatening gesture.

At any rate, 20-year-old James Heath of Prescott is not too worse for wear after taking on a few extra grains of lead in his buttocks, upper arm and hand. He also will be carrying around at least one burglary charge until the courts adjudicate it.

He's lucky Kidd chose a rather anemic caliber for his home defense weapon. If Kidd had chosen a .38 Special or .45 ACP, with more power and better sights, the case might be closed.

Unlike what might happen to Kidd in Phoenix or Tucson, police say Kidd was within his rights to use his gun to defend his home.

The advocates of civilian disarmament and submission to criminals never seem to reply when these questions come up, but what do they think Kidd should have done without a gun, once three people who have broken into a home they think is empty find out that not only is the owner home but the potential witness against them also is a prosecutor?

The advocates of kinder, gentler treatment of criminals probably won't say what Kidd should have done, but if he hadn't done what he did do, he might not be alive today.

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