A few years ago, I posted an article about a homeowner killing two burglars. I brought up some points, both good and bad, regarding the actions Mr. Smith took in self-defense. There were some heated comments and I remember receiving a bunch of nasty emails because some people didn’t appreciate the fact that I gave a nuanced opinion instead of picking a side in the pro-gun/anti-gun issue. We’re two years later now and Mr. Smith has been put on trial and has received his sentence:
Byron Smith has been found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. His sentence is life without parole.
Take some time to watch this video to listen to some of his testimony and audio evidence from the trial. You can also listen to more of the audio evidence here, starting around 4min. WARNING: NSFW, nor for children:
I’ll refer to both of these in a bit. First, I’d like to make a few points:
- It’s not about morality. I tried to explain this in my original article but noticed a lot of people didn’t get my point; I’m not arguing a moral point. I believe you definitely have a right to defend yourself in your own home. My article was about the specifics, about how Mr. Smith did that; the things he did both right and wrong. The same applies for this article.
- It’s about the law and its consequences. For decades now, I’ve been teaching self-defense and I’ve met tons of people who have a very skewed perspective on it. They think the self-defense laws give them a blanket permission to use violence in whatever way they want. My point in this article (and in most others here on my blog) is that this is bullshit. That’s not how society works, not for self-defense and neither for most other laws. It isn’t what you think that matters, it’s how the legal system sees it. If you willingly ignore this aspect, then you’re not all that bright…
That said, let’s take a look at the trial. [Read more…]