The PJ Tatler

A Heartening Story About Self-Defense

With all the talk about the Giffords shooting, and gun control rearing its ugly head, I needed something positive to clear my heavy heart.

The video shows that Raul Rivera is a working-class fellow, an immigrant, and pursuing the American Dream.

He bought a house in Houston to renovate. Recently, two men decided they’d use Mr. Rivera’s roofing materials, which lay in packages awaiting installation, instead of buying their own. A neighbor called Rivera, who rushed over and confronted them. He shot one of the burglars, who was caught in his van by the police, shingles inside.

Texas law has an interesting aspect, due to a history of cattle rustlers. Section 9.42 allows the use of deadly force “to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or…to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property.”

Simply put, you don’t need to be in a life-and-death confrontation to justify deadly force, if a burglary occurs at night. Mr. Rivera was within his rights to protect his property.

The other aspect is a “hello” to conservatives. We all heard about Obama exhorting Americans of Hispanic descent to punish their enemies. Mr. Rivera did that with aplomb.

However, pro- and anti-rights generally fall along party lines. Mr. Rivera demonstrated that many Americans of Hispanic descent support conservative values.

We can do more to welcome people like Mr. Rivera into our political world and encourage them to support the American values which brought him here in the first place.