Having to use a firearm for self defense can undoubtedly be a traumatic experience. In fact, many people require counseling after such an event. However, as much as these survivors would like to put the shooting in the back of their mind, there are some unanticipated risks associated with using force to subdue an attacker, especially in the home.
Last week, a 14-year-old boy living with his grandparents outside of Charlotte, North Carolina made news when he used his grandfather’s handgun to fend off two determined intruders. One of the men, 18-year-old Isai Delcid, was killed at the scene. His older brother escaped, only to be caught by police.
Unfortunately, this harrowing experience has only been amplified by further violence towards the family. On Tuesday, shots were fired at the rear of the home. The family believes that this week’s incident is intended to be retaliation for last week’s failed break-in.
Many gun owners are aware that discussing a self defense shooting after the fact can be a very bad idea. Anytime lawyers and the legal system are involved, it is best to stay quiet unless instructed to speak about the experience. However, we may not often consider that the attorneys are not the only interested parties to the event. Details about the shooting might also encourage a dangerous response from similarly unsavory friends of the wounded or deceased criminal. Sometimes, even if we do stay quiet, it is not enough. The media, along with surviving perpetrators can eliminate privacy as an option following the event. This seems to have been the case in this week’s incident.
This is not to say that we should be unwilling to use lethal force to protect ourselves and our families. It is difficult to imagine a scenario where the mentioned break-in would have had a positive outcome without the boy’s actions. Instead, let this serve as a heads-up that these incidents often do not end after the good guys have fired their last round.
Let’s hope this family can set some of this stress aside and enjoy Christmas. The rest of us can learn a valuable lesson from their horrific experience.