Recently, a Richmond, Virginia man was arrested and charged with discharging a firearm in public after he fired a warning shot above the heads of two would-be burglars. He had come home one night, only to find two men attempting to break into his house. When the men saw him, they began fleeing on foot. However, he grabbed his shotgun out of his truck and fired two warning shots into the air above them as they were escaping. The two real criminals were never found, but the homeowner is now in serious trouble with the law. How fair is that? How can the police justify arresting this man when they have not arrested the two would-be burglars?
I understand the fact that the two assailants haven’t been found, but there is something morally wrong with prosecuting a homeowner for firing a warning shot while the men who prompted him to fire that shot are running free. I don’t think the homeowner should be facing any charges at all. All the charges should be saved for the men who tried to burglarize his home. When and if they are caught, they should face charges for attempted burglary as well as discharging a firearm in public. Yes, they should face all of those charges because the homeowner would never have fired the warning shot if they had not been trying to break into his home. They caused him to do it, so they, not him, should be prosecuted for it.