No-Billed Joe Horn says, “I’m No Hero”

After learning as many of the facts of the case as I could back in November, I came to the conclusion that a no-bill from the grand jury concerning Joe Horn was the only result that would make sense under current law. Justice being what it is these days, it took 6 months to get here.

As with most things, the proof is in what his neighbors are saying, and they are pretty supportive. Of course, that might have more to do with the more recent killings in the area, rather than a specific desire to vindicate Joe Horn.

The broader picture was always my perspective. In order to protect against home invasion, it’s important that a property owner be confident that they will not be prosecuted if they use lethal force against intruders. Even to the point of shooting home invaders who simply walk across your property after breaking into somebody else’s house.

Horn, in his interview with the Houston Chronicle said;

“I would never advocate anyone doing what I did”

Yes. I would not bother calling 911 next time. Not if you are determined to use lethal force. Clearly that evidence can be used against you. In hindsight, it’s regrettable that the undercover police officer did not inform the 911 operator that he had arrived on the scene until after Horn had already exited the house to confront the burglars. Had Horn been assured that there were police on the scene, I’m quite certain he would have stayed in the house, and the two men would be serving time in prison instead of being dead today. But that’s not how it worked out, and reality is a bitch when it comes to 20/20 hindsight.

I called in to the Jeff Ward show myself (Dirty Harry was a cop, Jeff. Just FYI) when the subject of the no-bill came up Monday. Here’s the clip. (editor’s note: I’ll try to find that audio again. It got lost in the shuffle when the site moved. FWIW, there is no archive for most radio programming that I’ve ever discovered. This is a serious oversight. We are losing precious detailed information about the state of human thought in this age at a staggering rate. Our descendents will look back on this time and curse us for our blindness to the need to preserve records.)

I’ll freely admit to being wrong (or at least unable to verify the facts) concerning the neighbors and permission to protect their property. If I was away on vacation, I’d appreciate someone like Joe keeping an eye on the place.

A 911 operator is not an officer of the law. You are not required to follow their instructions (remember the strip search calls?) Nor do we want to be.

Mr. Horn was not informed of the officer’s presence in the area until after he had already fired the shots and was requesting assistance. The police are not required to protect you or your property; “protect and serve” is written on the vehicles, but they have no duty to protect you personally. Look it up. This is why the DC gun ban was overturned last week; the individual is ultimately responsible for protecting his or herself.

Finally, addressing the audio clip, Ed baited me several times trying to get me to go “Dirty Harry” and say killing someone over a property dispute is OK. His final scenario (the one before they cut me off. No hard feelings, it’s entertainment) was “what if you were a security guard patrolling the property of a convenience store, and happened across two men stealing beer and Cheetos from the store after it was closed.” I think it’s safe to say that shooting someone in that scenario isn’t problematic. It’s dark and you don’t know if the men are armed. You are armed, and they are criminals who have just destroyed property and are making off with their ill-gotten gains. I daresay that exact scenario has happened within the last 24 hours somewhere in the country. At most the last month.

One of the neighbors in Pasadena said it best. Hang up the phone. There wouldn’t have been a problem in that case.

Republic of Lakotah?


We as the freedom loving Lakotah People are the predecessor sovereign of Dakota Territory as evidenced by the Treaties with the United States Government, including, but not limited to, the Treaty of 1851 and the Treaty of 1868 at Fort Laramie.

Lakotah, formally and unilaterally withdraws from all agreements and treaties imposed by the United States Government on the Lakotah People.

Lakotah , and the population therein, have waited for at least 155 years for the United States of America to adhere to the provisions of the above referenced treaties. The continuing violations of these treaties’ terms have resulted in the near annihilation of our people physically, spiritually, and culturally. Lakotah rejects United States Termination By Appropriation policy from 1871 to the present.

The video presentation is also on YouTube,

Youtube video

I wonder what the response will be?

Protecting Property

I’ve been waiting to blog on this subject until Joe Horn gets no billed by a Harris county grand jury (and if there is any justice left in the system, that’s what will happen) but it seems that this isn’t going to happen for a while.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that someone who shoots intruders in the back because they are stealing his neighbors property is a hero; but I will say that if you don’t want to be shot and have the system look the other way, then you probably shouldn’t engage in burglary.

I only wish that other incidents like this one ended as well for the shooters. Specifically Cory Maye, who remains imprisoned for shooting a police officer during a no-knock raid on the wrong house, and recently John White, who shot a man in his front yard.

While I am not proud of Joe Horn, I am proud of the fact that I live in a state where property owners can defend their property with lethal force if necessary. Thank you Texas for that little bit of justice.

One more statement on the subject, just to be clear. For all the hand-wringers out there who decry the injustice of Joe Horns actions; every time you open your mouths, what the rest of us hear is:

“what if I’m so desperate I have to turn to a life of crime, and someone shoots me in the back?”

There can’t be any doubt that the dead men were robbing the neighbors house; there also isn’t any basis for the claims that you must follow the directions of a 911 operator. Joe Horn was responsible for protecting the neighbor’s property, because he had explicitly agreed to do so. That he chose to use lethal force is completely within reason, and within his rights, given the situation. So, if you still just can’t bear to think about criminals being dealt with harshly, then all I can do is repeat the important point written above. Don’t want to get shot? Don’t engage in burglary. It’s a simple solution.

Link to the 911 call on YouTube. You might want to check out the videos of the demonstrations. Given the delinquent behavior exhibited, I’m not surprised that the Pasadena city council banned demonstrations.

Found this article on the subject in the Dallas Morning News:

…But then another friend of mine told me that every occupation has an occupational hazard. A fireman can die in a fire. A coal miner can die in a mining accident. And a burglar can die in someone’s garage in the dark of night.

Dallas News – For gun owners, added protection – January 20, 2008

I can’t say it plainer than that.

Immigration Officials Detaining, Deporting American Citizens

The guy featured in the article is actually irrelevant to the story. This is the story:

An unpublished study by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, in 2006 identified 125 people in immigration detention centers across the nation who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims.
Vera initially focused on six facilities where most of the cases surfaced. The organization later broadened its analysis to 12 sites and plans to track the outcome of all cases involving citizens.
Nina Siulc, the lead researcher, said she thinks that many more American citizens probably are being erroneously detained or deported every year because her assessment looked at only a small number of those in custody. Each year, about 280,000 people are held on immigration violations at 15 federal detention centers and more than 400 state and local contract facilities nationwide.

Mcclatchy via the Wayback Machine

I’ve often wondered how many Chicanos or Hispanics who are deported each year are actually American citizens. Who carries identification papers around with them every where they go? I don’t. If you just happen to have brown skin, and you’re out without ID, do you have to worry about getting picked up? What a pain in the ass.

I doubt the 125 number even includes those types of cases, and probably only considers the numbers of white people who don’t happen to have the right documentation to back up their claims of citizenship when immigration comes sniffing around during an arrest. People like me.

Perhaps I should start worrying about getting arrested; but then I always did want to visit the homeland. Not that Britain is much better, but at least the scenery is different.

What to do When Pulled Over

That’s the question that’s answered in the CATO Daily Podcast episode Free Riding featuring Timothy Lynch.

If you just want the information (especially since he’s not offering legal advice) it’s probably simpler to just go to this link to the ACLU and get their wallet card that covers the basics; such as:


1. Upon request, show them your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search. It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a sob story involving someone consenting to a search when they just knew their vehicle was clean. The answer should always be “I’m sorry, but I do not consent to a search”.

If you want to go beyond “police encounters 101” then you might want to check out the video at Flex Your Rights called Busted. I haven’t seen it myself, but the blurb on the website sounds interesting.

Inalienable Rights Defined

(Originally posted here)

I had a request the other day to elaborate on how I would define inalienable rights without including god as the architect. This is a summation of what I’ve posted before on the subject.

Simply put, You exist. You exist as a individual, capable of sustaining your own life. The requirements for you life to continue can be conceptualized into ‘rights’ that you possess as a living, thinking being. You have the right to continue in your life, since you are capable of sustaining it barring intervention by others. This right is secured by the rational capacity of the individual, linked to the corporeal existence/free will of the individual, which manifests as actions in ‘self defense’.

Your ‘right to life’ leads to corollary rights. Existence is measured in time, and time (spent wisely) yields game/crops/shelter or ‘property’. You have a right to (justly acquired) property because your continued existence (your ‘right to life’) depends on being able to dispose of your property (the manifestation of productive life) as you see fit. Following this type of chain, you can produce several ‘rights’ that a person should reasonably expect to be ‘allowed’ to exercise. Liberty is the corollary right that ‘allowing’ falls under, since there would be no question of the free exercise of your rights if you did not have others with equal rights to contend with.

Since we all equally exist, we should all have ‘equal’ rights. The rights are inseparable because they stem from what we are. A prisoner has rights. Not because we ‘allow’ them; but because his free will enables them. The fact that there are prison breaks is merely proof that the prisoners maintain their rights *in spite of* the full force of gov’t and the people being intent on denying them the exercise of same. The unjustified killing of a person is therefore a destruction of a value equal to your own, and should be dealt with harshly by those who value the rights they possess.

That’s about as far as I’ve taken it. Much more to be written…

Mea culpa review, 2017. I haven’t updated the page recently, but if you go to Emergent Principles of Human Nature you will discover that my mental obsession with this topic has produced some fruit. Fruit of questionable value probably, but something at least.