Friday, November 16, 2007

To Shoot, or Not to Shoot...

Bog Stage Seven::

Here is a hypothetical question for you:
You look out your window and see three men breaking into your neighbor's house. You call the police, but the crooks are getting away before the cops get there and you are outside in you front lawn and they cut across it. Do you shoot? Do you have the right to shoot the burglars?

Well this wasn't a hypothetical situation for a 61 year old Pasadena resident, Joe Horn. After he heard glass breaking and saw three men breaking into his neighbor's house, he called 911 and grabbed his gun. He told the dipatcher that he had a gun and he wanted to stop them. The dispatcher begged him to stay inside the house and to put the gun away, but it was too late. Horn said, "I'm not going to let them get away with it." He also said that he knew the laws had changed in this state and he has to right to use deadly force to protect himself. so, he went out on his front lawn and fired at least two shots and killed two of the three burglars.

The question is: Did he have the right to shoot the burglars? They did not break into HIS house, but they did get on his property.

I believe that he did have the right to shoot because they did get on his property and he already felt threatened because they broke into the house next door. But, he should have listened to the dispatcher and not go outside. He should have let the police handle it, but he did not want them to get away before the police got there. Horn did give the burglars a warning that he was going to shoot. He yelled, "Move... You're dead!" And well, I guess they moved.

Texas introduced a new law that took affect that allows a person to use deadly force to protect their own property to stop arson, burglary, robbery, theft or criminal mischief at night. Also, it allows them to use deadly force if their life feels threatened. I agree with this law. A person should have the right to protect themselves with whatever means necessary.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

High Schools: How Can We Make Them Safe?

Blog Stage 6::

In a blog titled "The Second Hand from Desiree," the author writes:

"This past Wednesday, a Stony Point High School student was arrested for carrying nine knifes to school. Although his intentions were proven pure, the question still arises.... What can be done in order to further protect out students? When conducting an internet search of 2007 School Stabbings, more than half a million articles appear. As I read through the different articles, it is apparent that youth violence is on the rise, especially within the schools' doors. As I have toured many High Schools in the local area, there are still many without metal detectors and many more without security guards in the huge parking lots or in the hallways during and between class hours. I, personally, believe that our school districts should be providing proper funding allocated specifically for the protection and security of the students. There should be metal detectors at each entry door to the school and there should be security guards circulating the hallways and parking lots. I also believe that there should be hot-line numbers where people could call and report suspicious activity or illegal carrying of dangerous objects to school authorities without having to give a name. Those hot-line numbers should be made easily assessable to all students. I also believe that school doors should be locked within five minutes after the bell rings for classes to start. During the day, all doors should remained locked from the outside, with the exception of the front entry doors located by the office. This would assist in preventing outsiders, with a motive to harm, from entering the building unnoticed. Another topic worth addressing is the ability and allowance of students to carry cell phones while on school premises. I believe there should be rules and boundaries around the use of cell phones at school. For instance, the student should not be allowed to text or call any person unless it is a justified emergency. There should be consequences and punishments established for students who choose to violate those rules. But, I believe that students should be able to carry cell phones with them in the case of emergencies. In this day in time, there have been many schools that have had terrorist or shootings, and the use of a cell phone could become essential in the protection of the students. Recently, I watched details of a tragic event unfold on the Today Show. A girl was at school when a deranged boy interrupted the class and decided to hold a few of the students hostage (including the girl), threatening to kill them if they did not meet his demands. The girl somehow managed to reach her cell phone and text her parents a simple "I love you both." The standoff between the student and the police lasted for several hours. The boy killed all of the female students. The girl's parents were thankful for their daughter's last words. I truly believe that there should be some more preventative actions in place in the school district, as well as rules and consequences when those establishments are abused."

I personally believe with almost everything she says. She makes great points about how to keep public schools safe. One thing that I do not think would work though, is locking the doors inbetween classes. The high school that I attended was split into different buildings so if a student had to go to another class, they had to walk outside.

I agree that there should be metal detectors, but I do not think that it would work very well in certain schools because there are numerous entrances and the public school system cannot afford to purchase 20 for each school. I also agree with the author that cell phones need ot be allowed; not to call and text during classes, but in case of emergencies. I believe that the administrators should allow the phones to be turned on, but be on silent. In an emergency, every second matters. When a cell phone is off and has to be turned on, it takes up to a minute. That could be the difference between life and death.

In the high school I attended, we had a local police officer on the campus most of the time, but when he wasn't there, anything could have happened. In most schools, they have lockdowns to search for drugs, alcohol, and weapons. I think these searches are justified and help keep students from bringing illegal things to a place that should be safe. But, what I think is rediculous is that people can get in trouble for having a couple black-cat firecrackers loose in their vehicle or even a couple loose bullets that fell out when they were hunting. Just because they have a couple loose bullets, I don't think that they should get in trouble. People acutally use their vehicles for more things than just driving to school and home. I do not think that a person should be punished for having loose bullets or minor firecrackers in their vehicle (as long as there is nothing else that could be used with the other items found to hurt someone).

I just wish that when a student goes to school, they could feel safe. Now days, there aren't many places people can feel safe, but schools should be a place where children can.