Firearms / Media / Personal Defense

An Alternative View on Home Depot Shooter by Sean Sorrentino

Reader, blogger, podcaster, and general provocateur Sean Sorrentino commented on my previous post concerning Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez, the armed citizen who was charged recently for shooting at a fleeing shoplifting suspect at a Detroit-area Home Depot.

home depot shooting

Sorrentino makes some very good points here, including that Duva-Rodriguez has only been CHARGED not convicted, and wondering why gun people are so quick to throw her “under the bus.”

Since not everyone looks at the comments, I am re-posting what he wrote here for everyone’s benefit:

Why is everyone so up in arms about this? People are acting like it’s the crime of the century. Does she even get a trial before she gets tossed under the bus? Do we gun owners actually believe that if we burn this woman at the stake, that gun haters will magically have a “come to John Moses Browning moment” and suddenly say “Oh, we were wrong about you gun owners and gun carriers. You aren’t total retard rednecks with tiny penises and Charles Bronson fantasies. You’re actually reasonable people just like us, who have simply come to a different conclusion about guns as personal defense items!” Get off it. They hate because that’s who they are. They won’t love gun owners because hating us is one of their defining characteristics.

Let the woman have a fair trial, unencumbered by thousands of gun owners screaming “NO TRUE SCOTSMAN!!!” and “BURN THE WITCH!”

The facts of the case as we know them are, 1. She shot her gun. 2. She hit her target. 3. No one got hurt in any way. That’s all we really know.

Things we don’t know. 1. Was she, or anyone else directly threatened by the fleeing felons? 2. Does Michigan’s “fleeing felon” law apply in her case? She used deadly force, but in a decidedly non-deadly fashion. She isn’t claiming to have been shooting at the tires. She actually hit the tire of the fleeing vehicle. It’s not a mere claim (should she claim to have been shooting at the tire) it’s an actual, provable fact.

This does not make her actions, as described by law enforcement, actions that others should emulate. She took a risk that I would have deemed unnecessary. But lacking all the information, I can’t pass judgement on her. More to the point, neither can anyone else. That’s why we have trials. And even taking all the information as true, putting her in the worst light possible, this is hardly the crime of the century. She’s only charged with a 93 day misdemeanor, which is basically the lowest class of misdemeanor in Michigan. This is equivalent to a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor in NC. Even if she is found guilty of it she’s going to get a fine, a strong admonishment never to repeat her actions, and maybe some community service.

Why are we spilling so many barrels of pixels over this incredibly minor (possible) offense? Are gun carrying citizens such a hated minority that our every transgression, no matter how tiny, warrants national news coverage?

Some very good legal and sociological observations here. I have to plead guilty to getting caught up in the media hype, even when trying to critically engage the media.

On the surface, it appears she did something wrong, but I am beginning to think that we’ll never know the whole story. Charged with a misdemeanor, I doubt there will be any trial or court proceedings to speak of. Perhaps she’ll do some interviews after it is adjudicated, though what we will learn from those is anyone’s guess.

7 thoughts on “An Alternative View on Home Depot Shooter by Sean Sorrentino

  1. Thank you for posting Sean D. Sorrentino’s comments because I had not read them until they appeared quoted here on your blog and I was really missing out! I appreciate the laugh-out-loud humor in Sean’s writing as well as the argument. But I do take issue with the they-hate-us-because-they-want-to-hate-us perspective. I’m sure some extremists do just hate guns and everything/everyone they associate with guns. But there are people like me who are not that extreme and are not sure how we feel about CC. When some of the extreme-in-their-own-way gun rights folks defend every firing of a gun when it’s done by a gun owner who legally bought and carried their gun, or fail to criticize someone for a illegal use of a firearm they own/carry legally, it can impact how those of us on the fence see the issue. For example, I’ll admit that was disappointed back when some gun rights advocates defended George Zimmerman’s use of his firearm and, during that same time period, did not rally behind Marissa Alexander’s use of her firearm.


    • “But there are people like me who are not that extreme and are not sure how we feel about CC”

      People like you are not the problem. If you spend some time in contact with the sort that I describe, I’m sure you would understand what I mean by “They hate because that’s who they are.” It’s worlds different than regular people who have their doubts. It’s not people like you that we have to fight with. It’s the ones who openly wish people like me dead.

      There are some very serious reasons why I supported George Zimmerman and do not support Marissa Alexander. George Zimmerman was provably getting his head bashed into the pavement by his attacker. This is the textbook definition of “reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.” Marissa Alexander left a confrontation, went into the garage, retrieved a firearm, re-entered the home, and shot at a person. She was not in “reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.” Any confrontation she was in ended when she withdrew. When she re-entered the house she started a new confrontation where she was clearly the aggressor.

      Be extremely careful when evaluating a potential self defense case based upon what the media tells you. Think about the last time the media reported on a subject you know very well. How poorly did they report on it? How many errors did they make? I can assure you that it’s about 10 times worse when it comes to lawful self defense. For instance, they repeatedly claimed that Zimmerman was basing his defense on “Stand Your Ground.” He was not. Zimmerman was flat on his back with his attacker on top of him and could not retreat even if he tried.

      Self Defense law is complicated and extremely context sensitive. What is perfectly lawful in one circumstance is first degree murder in another. If you have never received training in self defense law, can I recommend you do? It’s extremely enlightening. The law admits very little room for error on your part in a self defense situation. The tiniest error can turn a lawful self defense case into a life sentence.

      Check out my friend, attorney Andrew Branca. He teaches a very informative class called The Law of Self Defense. The class is about half a day long and focuses on the state law where the classes are taught. Since you took the time to respond to my comments, let me offer you a discount code that will save you 10% on the class. Use the code “Variety” at checkout. I think that David took the class at the same time I took it and can tell you how thorough it is.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s