January 16, 2005

Posterity Forgot The Wrong People

mASSBACKWARDS (who I thought I blogrolled a while back but apperently I'm just now getting around to it) has a post on a very disturbing situation in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Man, wife & child are waiting on a friend. A knock comes at the door. The wife opens the door to find two masked men with guns barging their way in. Man sees wife being held at gunpoint. Masked man starts retreating with wife in his grasp. Man charges masked man, wrestles gun away & shoots masked man in the stomach.

What happens? The friggin cops arrest the man & steal his gun! The charges? His papers weren't in order & he defended his family.

The man in question, one Sean E. Roisten had let his FOID lapse about 5 months ago. He faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm & assault with a deadly weapon. To top it all off the reporter Erin Smith listed his address in the story.

Let me cut off something right now: the article says that Mr. Roisten shot the masked man as he was fleeing & after he had been disarmed. Do not tell me he acted unjustifiably. His family was threatened by the actions of the masked men. The masked men were not above using deadly force as exemplified by their implied threats of it (i.e. pointing a firearm at Mrs. Roisten). Now I'm all for a speedy & fair trial & innocence should e presumed until guilt is proven. But Mr. Roisten was there as it happened. From his perspective these men were guilty of threatening the lives & well being of him & his family. That threat did not cease when the one masked man was disarmed, nor did it cease when both masked men headed for the door. The threat will only cease when both men are dead.

Now the threat was diminished when the one masked man was disarmed & it'll be diminished as long as the masked men do not come in contact with Mr. Roisten or his family. But they showed a deliberate willingness to use force against Mr. Roisten &/or his family. When they lost their advantage they ran. That does not mean they will not seek to gain advantage again or that their motives will be pure from here on out because they were bested in a confrontation.

It's like a man cheating on his wife (or vice versa): if a man wants to cheat on his wife but keeps striking out is he really being faithful? In the same light a man who is not a threat to your family because you can best him is still a potential threat.

In any event Massachusetts law probably severely curtails what I & I'd imagine most of you feel should be justifiable self defense. Legally Mr. Roisten may have committed a crime by shooting an unarmed intruder even though moments before he had threatened his family & was still in Mr. Roisten's house when he was shot.

But stealing his gun & charging him with unlawful possession? For defending his home? In Massachusetts unlawful possession is a felony. If convicted Mr. Roisten would never legally possess a firearm in the united States. I'd assume the assault with a deadly weapon is a felony as well.

Technically Mr. Roisten may have violated the law. Given the circumstances (as we know of them at the moment) I think we can all agree that he does not deserve a felony conviction. Here is some contact info for what I gather to be the appropriate parties:

Captain William Evans is the head of Boston Police Department's District 14. He can be reached at (617)343-4260

The commissioner of the Boston P.D. is Kathleen M. O'Toole. The number for the Boston P.D. is (617)343-4200 & there's also a public feedback form. The Boston Police Department's Office of Media Relations can be reached at (617)343-4520

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino can be reached at (617)635-4500 or via e-mail at Mayor@ci.boston.ma.us There's also a Mayor's on-line constituent services page which is an online form (requiring address) to file complaints of a non-emergency nature with the mayor's office.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney can be reached at (617) 725-4005 or via this web page.

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly can be reached at (617) 727-2200.

As usual inform them of your displeasure at this turn of events & ask they drop all charges & return the property they stole from Mr. Roisten; namely his pistol. & mention that until they correct such behavior there's little chance you'll ever grace Boston or Massachusetts for that matter with your tourist dollars.

I'd be remiss in not pointing out that almost 230 years ago (not that far from Brighton, Massachusetts) a shooting war started between the people of Massachusetts & their lawful government because a military force (acting in what we'd think of today as a police role) tried to confiscate arms. Do you really think that any of those men at Lexington Green or Concord North Bridge would have thought it permissible because they didn't have the proper papers or they used a firearm to repel a boarder in their own home? Did Samuel Adams risk his life for this? Or would he hope fervently that posterity forget that these people running Massachusetts today are his ancestors?

Also check out Geek With A .45's commentary on the subject

Posted by Publicola at January 16, 2005 12:58 AM
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