Michael Tabman

A Gun, a Death, a Tragedy ~ Gun Ownership is Serious Business

In Crime and Security on September 30, 2012 at 10:33 am

A young man is dead.  A grieving father will never be the same.  The young man was shot by his father, who mistook him for a burglar.  One life is ended and one life is forever changed.

This incredibly sad story occurred the other night when Jeffrey Giuliano got a call from his sister who lived next door.  She thought someone was trying to break in to her house.  Giuliano grabbed his gun and confronted the suspect, who according to news reports, was clad in a mask and holding a knife.  Fearing for his life, Giuliano shot the intruder. Sadly, the intruder turned out to be Giuliano’s fifteen year old son, Tyler.

The circumstances surrounding Tyler’s dress and conduct sound suspicious.  The news account of the events indicates that Giuliano acted in self defense.  Yet, no justice was served. Both father and son have paid an extraordinary price.

We will never know exactly what Tyler was up to.  We will also never know what may have happened if Giuliano resisted the urge to act, and instead called the police.  I do not wish to place blame or cause Giuliano any more pain.  But, this tragedy should have a lesson.

For those who choose to own weapons, there may be times when you will have to act quickly and maybe save someone’s life. There is disagreement as to whether gun ownership increases the chances of an accidental death or homicide or reduces those chances.  My law enforcement experience points to civilians safely using guns in self defense as rarely occurring.  More often, when weapons are grabbed, accidents and unintentional consequences occur.  Despite your impressive scores at the gun range, and your confidence in your own ability to handle anything, please think about what you are about to do.

If you can, call the police.  Yes, the police sometimes make mistakes – they are only people.  But, they are people who are trained, have experience confronting danger and possess a presence of mind that you do not.  Life is dangerous enough.  Let’s play the odds to our advantage.

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  1. I only wish gun advocates on both sides of the issues treated it with Michael’s sense and sensitivity.

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