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His name is John White.  John White shot a man on his property.  His defense is that 5 people, 1 with a baseball bat, came to his house late at night to kill his son, made a move for his gun, and was shot in self defense.

His name is Joe Horn. His story is that two burglars were robbing his neighbor's home, that he had a right to carry a gun, and then the burglars came near his property, he shot them.

Follow the Chart Below to see the similarities and differences.  Something is going to piss you off.

Traits                 Joe Horn        John White

  1.  Skin Color                 White           Black

   ------of Shooter

  1.  Skin Color                 Black/Hispanic  White

   ------of person(s)shot

  1.  # of "thugs"               2 (both shot   5 (1 shot

   ------ present                    + killed)      + killed)

  1.  Were "thugs"               Clearly         Yes, had aluminum

   ------ armed?                     no       baseball bat.

  1.  Sobriey of                 sober           drunk

   -----"thugs"

  1.  Was threatened             No.             Yes.

   ------by "thugs"

  1.  Death threats              No.             Yes.

   -----made.

  1.  Warning given              No.             Yes.

   ------to "thugs?"

  1.  Racial epithets            No.             Yes.

   ------used.

  1.  Property "thugs"           Neighbor's      Homeowner's.

   ------were on.

  1.  Type of                    Suburban        Suburban/Exurban

  -----Neighborhood

  1. Gun fired in               Definitely      Apparently

   ----- self defense               Not             So.

  1.  Left Property             Yes             No

    -----To Shoot

  1.  Cops coming?               Yes.            Nowhere

                                              nearby.

  1.  Disobeyed a               Yes             No.

    -----police officer.

  1.  Time of day.              Afternoon       Late Night
  1.  Age of                    About 50        About 50

    -----Homeowner

  1.  Family Home               No.             Yes.

    ------ at time?

  1.  Attitude of               He's a          How dare  

    -----Right Wingers             hero.           he?

  1.  On Trial for              No.             Yes.

    ------Murder

  1.  Level of media            National        Local

    ------Attention

An intelligent argument can be made that neither White nor Horn should be charged with any crime.  (I lean toward this position personally.)

An intelligent argument can also be made that both men should be charged with crimes. (I disagree but could make a legal argument for the prosecutor in each case.)

However, look at the mitigating factors?  (time of day, location, whose property, threats, sobriety, safety factors, weapons, # of assailants, orders of police, etc...) They're not even in the same ballpark.

Yet you don't see CNN or Faux News broadcasting stories sympathetic to John White.  You don't see NBC, ABC, or CBS talking about John White's right to defend his wife and son.

The so called supporters of Daniel Cicciaro, the 17 year old shot by John White, are calling for White to be sentenced for manslaughter in a trial that is currently ongoing in Riverhead, NY.  The Cicciaros are being supported by racists and white supremist groups.  

But what if White was white and Cicciaro was black?  I doubt any of them would be supporting the Cicciaro family.  (Note - It is fair to point out that there are those who are also inconsistently supporting White and opposing Horn for reasons of racial prejudice and bigotry.)

I know Daniel Cicciaro's home town on Long Island quite well.  I grew up there.  Although there were many good people in my hometown, we had large numbers of racists, bigots, and KKK types who went around damaging property, committing assaults, etc... and were used to having their "youthful indiscretions" covered up for either by law enforcement (some of whom are bigots), high school sport coaches, and high school administrators.  My hometown area a few years ago had a couple's home burned down because they were an interracial couple and infamously had a local Republican legislative leader call the burning of a cross on school property "kid's stuff."  

Long Island is much more liberal today than it was 20 years ago but it still has a significant percentage of bigots and human trash disproportionately higher than the general American population.  Long Island also has a higher percentage of racists (less than half) than most areas in the South.

The Daniel Cicciaro's of the world are not used to the idea that somehow people will defend themselves if you try to bully them or threaten them.  They operate in a world of it's okay to beat people up or damage their property if you don't like their skin color, religion, nationality, or perceived sexual orientation.  It scares the crap out of them that their actions could have consequences.  It scares the crap out of them that there are people out there who are willing to apply the same rules to them that they want applied to others.

Cicciaro undeservedly paid for it with his life.  For that, the blame lies mostly with those who raised him poorly.    

The bottom line is that 5 racists showed up at John White's house late at night with a baseball bat with intent to harm if not kill members of the White family.  They blocked off street access, made death threats, used disgusting words like "N**ger," went on White's property, and came toward him.  Had John White taken his shotgun and killed all 5 of them under these circumstances, I as a juror would acquit him.

Originally posted to davefromqueens on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 04:50 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips and discussions (7+ / 0-)

    Keep this on topic.  Gun control is a tangental issue here.

    I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

    by davefromqueens on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 04:50:32 AM PST

    •  So Now, Burglary Should Be Punished By Murder? (0+ / 0-)
      •  the White case was not burglary (0+ / 0-)

        It was 5 racist punks who came with a baseball bat who made death threats.

        I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

        by davefromqueens on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 05:56:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You Said Neither Person, Should Be Charged! (0+ / 0-)

          And, the first half of the Diary was impossible for me to decipher.  So, please forgive me, if, I have misunderstood.  Thanks!

          •  i lean toward that position (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brouski

            First the White case is more clear cut.  Outside of illegal gun possession, White did nothing criminally wrong.  They came to his house with a weapon, made death threats, etc..

            The Horn case is different b/c the police told him to stay put, the burglars were not on his lawn, had no weapon, etc...

            Horn's argument would be that Texas allows homeowners to have guns on his property, that he had a right to go out on his property thinking that these 2 burglars might be coming to his home next, that he didn't know for sure if a weapon was in the bag, so he acted.  From a legal standpoint, I personally feel (not advice I don't give legal advice here)that it would be difficult to convict Horn of any crime.

            Do I think death is appropriate for burglars?  No.  But would I convict a homeowner who shot a burglar?  No.

            Bottom line, don't go to people's private homes with the intent to commit crimes.

            Also, I'd like to see burglary and robbery sentences lengthened when it involves a car or a home.

            I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

            by davefromqueens on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 06:07:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You And Lou Dobbs! And, It's Still Murder! (0+ / 0-)
            •  Even Under Sharia, They Just Cut Off A Hand! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blindyone

              Besides Texas, which state, condones Murder in response to Burglary?  What civilized Nation, condones Murder, in response to Burglary?

              •  That would be the nations where... (0+ / 0-)

                their citizens have the constitutional right to self-defense, in that they have the right to bear arms.

                •  Self defense of your neighbor's (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  leonard145b

                  dvd player when the cops are on the way?

                  "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

                  by blindyone on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 06:48:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I speak in generalities. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blindyone

                    Joe Horn sounds like a crazy coot that shot someone on someone else's property.

                  •  his case is tenuous (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blindyone

                    my main point of the diary was to show how one African American man is on trial for murder when every mitigating circumstance is in his favor while a white man is not charged with anything when every mitigating factor is against him.

                    Now I feel Joe Horn overreacted but under the law, it would be hard to convict him.

                    I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

                    by davefromqueens on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 07:00:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanks for your diary. (0+ / 0-)

                      I had heard a lot about the Horn case but nothing about the other one. I agree with you that I would use a gun to protect my family, or my house, if I had one. The 911 tape in the Horn situation is chilling. His eagerness to shoot is appalling. Suppose some unlucky Black person walked or drove by while he was acting as judge, jury and executioner? He probably would have shot him, too, assuming he was an accomplice. I hope that he is prosecuted in some way. This type of rash behavior shouldn't be encouraged.

                      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

                      by blindyone on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 07:16:37 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  look at the facts in the John white case closely (0+ / 0-)

                The 5 punks weren't there to steal a bracelet or ask John White if he wanted to buy Girl Scout cookies.

                They came with a baseball bat late at night, used their cars to block off a road, shouted racial epithets, made death threats, and then proceeded onto John White's lawn.  

                If I was in John White's shoes and I had a gun, I'd have blown all five of them away and not lost a moment's sleep over doing so.

                I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

                by davefromqueens on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 06:44:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Horn called 911 and they told him to stay in the (5+ / 0-)

    house.  He told them he was going to kill them. He had intent to kill someone who was not breaking into his house and I heard he shot them in the back. This man should be charged. The other case I have heard nothing about. That kind of makes your case doesn't it?

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 04:59:18 AM PST

  •  This does suck. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Owllwoman, watercarrier4diogenes

    Is anybody doing anything about it?  Thanks for diarying it.

    Big boss man..you ain't so big, just tall, that's all.-Written by Jimmy Reed. Belted Out by Koko Taylor.

    by TheFatLadySings on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 05:21:08 AM PST

  •  What I find scary is the growing idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b

    that if you carry a gun you suddenly become a law unto yourself.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 05:28:22 AM PST

  •  Self Defence (0+ / 0-)

    Horn had a right to shoot these guys.  If he is prosecuted, it will set a bad precedent.  If I see a woman being raped in my neighbors house, can I shoot the rapist?  A much more extreme case, but legally equally muddy.  Bottom line is, while thieves should not be executed, to equate Horn to a serial killer is extremely unfair.    

    I agree with the diarist on the difference in news coverage between the two cases.  However, I think we can all agree that if the shooter and the "victims" were of the same race, this would be local news.  FOX and CNN are just  

    •  Why are you muddying the waters (0+ / 0-)

      on this one? No woman was being raped. He knew his neighbors were away. They didn't even ask him to take care of their house for them. Bottom line, no matter how despicable these two thieves were, they shouldn't have been tried, convicted and executed by this guy. No one in this diary is calling him a serial killer. He would be dangerous to an ordinary citizen, or an undercover cop, if he thought that they might be involved in the burglary. His judgment was terrible. He should be ashamed of himself. I hope he is prosecuted for reckless endangerment if nothing else.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 09:32:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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