Last evening and this morning I came across a story unfolding out of Little Falls, Minnesota, the headline reading, “Little Falls teen shooting deaths called ‘cold-blooded’,” reported by Curt Brown of the Star Tribune here.
Upon hearing about and reading this, the first thing to rattle itself through my mind was a speech Al Carlson gave on the floor of the North Dakota legislature mid-February 2007, on behalf of a “Castle Bill.” State law enforcement officials opposed this bill that Al was supporting. And Dave Thompson of Prairie Public news reported on that story here.
Carlson, who is the sitting house majority leader of North Dakota, said in 2007 that if a person broke into his house, and I quote,
“I’d tell you what would happen in my house — I would shoot that intruder, and I would shoot him enough times that I knew he wasn’t going to do any danger to me and my family. He’d leak like a watering can when I was done with him.”
To be fair to Carlson, when asked to comment on the 2012 incident in Little Falls, Minnesota, Carlson said, “That was way excessive,” and “That was never the intention of the law.”
Still, Little Falls, Minnesota is left in November 2012 with two dead teenagers who were killed, literally execution style, after they got into mischief and broke into a home (or a couple homes). I read this, and can’t stop thinking of how a leading public official said what he did in 2007, and how he may have composed himself and his speech quite a bit better on the floor of my government (by the people, for the people, folks) back in my hometown of Bismarck in my home state of North Dakota.
We have strong reason and evidence to believe that we do not live in feudal times anymore. Carrying this logic forward, this means we also do not live in castles (or only a few of us do, but they were born into more money than you and I would know what to do with, so they don’t really count). Following this line of thought even further, this means we do not need Castle legislation, or public officials who make Quixotic speeches on the floor of our government. We live in the first decade of the 21st-century, which means we live in homes rather than castles. If you want to be Quixotic and chivalric, open the door for your wife. Do this instead of saying insane things on my government’s floor.
In considering the recent 2012 cold blooded murders in Little Falls, Minnesota, I am now bowing and shaking my head at Al, and his absurd remarks from 2007. Al, use better judgement with your words next time. Stop with the paranoia, please. It ends up spreading, and there’s a good chance it’ll drop into the ear of someone who is just looking for an excuse to do what they did in Little Falls, Minnesota. This is all just so sad.