Telling a Texan to put down his guns in his own home when someone breaks into it is like telling a fish not to swim. It’s impossible for him to do.
Yet that’s exactly what Texas State Representative Terry Meza is attempting to do, as she’s introduced HB196 which would effectively prevent Texans from defending themselves in their own home until every other option has been exhausted.
Meza posted a GIF at the end of November assuring Texans that her bill doesn’t repeal that castle doctrine, just makes it so that the homeowner has to retreat as far as possible into the home before using deadly force with a firearm.
My bill HB 196 and my position on the Texas Castle Doctrine has been misrepresented in the news as of late.
It does not repeal the Castle Doctrine, and it does not restrict homeowners from using firearms in self-defense as applicable to current Texas stand your ground laws. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/CfDFJZedY0
— Terry Meza (@TerryforTexas) November 19, 2020
“What my bill would do if passed, would require a homeowner to exhaust the potential of safely retreating into their habitation before using deadly force in defense of themselves or their property,” said Meza in follow-up tweets.
“I filed this bill because the castle doctrine as it currently exists emboldens people to take justice into their own hands. While theft is obviously wrong, we have laws to address that,” she added. “I don’t believe that stealing someone’s lawn ornament should be an offense punishable by death.”
people to take justice into their own hands. While theft is obviously wrong, we have laws to address that. I don’t believe that stealing someone’s lawn ornament should be an offense punishable by death. 3/3
— Terry Meza (@TerryforTexas) November 19, 2020
I want to make something clear to Meza who I hope reads this. The rest of this article will be addressed to her.
I’m one of the residents in your district and as such, you work for me. As your boss, I want to correct you and give you some direction.
Firstly, you don’t seem to understand the point of the castle doctrine. When it comes to the home, there is no need to retreat. You’re already in your own territory, inside the would-be safety of the domicile. Entering into it uninvited and unwelcomed in order to perform malicious action of any kind does not require retreat of any kind on the part of the home owner. You’re already as far back as any Texan should go.
What’s more, your bill defeats the point of the castle doctrine which is to defend the home. They are inside the “castle” illegally. Attempting to force retreat is effectively saying that the castle is the intruder’s until such a time that he or she feels fit to leave it or the police arrive, which could be anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes. Ask any rape or assault victim. A lot can happen in 6 to 10 minutes.
What’s more, you don’t seem to have a grasp on how private property works. It’s private because it’s owned or rented by the resident. It doesn’t suddenly become the intruder’s territory because he wants to enter without invitation.
Secondly, and most importantly, I want to address your claim that Texans are taking justice into their own hands when it comes to dealing with intruders.
To be clear, the “justice” you are referring to IS in my hands. If someone breaks into my home, it’s my duty to not wait to find out if the burglar has any intention to harm me, my family, or even my pets. It is not my responsibility to retreat. I’m obligated to defend my home with deadly force in the event of a break-in. This is non-negotiable, and no law will prevent me or any Texan worthy of the label from doing this.
I’m not concerned about lawn ornaments either, but once someone breaks into my home, they have forfeited their life to me, no matter their intent. Even if they’re just there to steal my silverware or electronics, they have entered into my sacred ground where my family sleeps in order to maliciously handle my property. Things that I worked to obtain and enjoy having.
More importantly, I’m duty-bound to not wait to see if that’s the case. I’m not going to take the chance of investigating why they’re there. They may have a gun or a weapon to use against me when I inevitably come to put eyes on what’s happening in my own home. As any police officer will tell you, it takes almost no time to turn around and begin firing a gun. I might not get the chance to even retreat.
I’m not giving the burglar the advantage in my own home. I catch him inside my residence, he’s getting shot. Right there.
I already know what your response is. “Is silverware really worth taking a life over?”
I’m going to answer that question with a couple of questions of my own.
“Why are you asking me? Why aren’t you asking the intruder?”
The intruder is the one making the decision to risk their life for silverware. They are the ones entering with malicious intent. They are the ones making the choice. Meanwhile, I was minding my own business on my own property.
Representative Meza, I will not leave the safety of my home and those who reside in it up to intruders. I will not allow my home to be made vulnerable to the whims of thieves or worse.
I’m shocked that you would attempt to put Texans in such a vulnerable position. Your lack of concern for the well being of innocent people and their homes is more than disappointing. It’s flat out disgusting. Clearly, you do not understand or respect the sanctity of innocent life or private property.
Clearly, you don’t understand Texas or Texans and the things we value here.
Perhaps you’re in the wrong job.