There are few deterrents to home intruders quite as strong as the Second Amendment. The idea is simple: You have no idea who has a firearm next to their bed, ready to be used.
If you’re a criminal who believes you have a right to enter other people’s homes, you’re eventually going to come across someone who’s ready to protect that home with the Constitution and a Glock. That sort of thing doesn’t end well.
An unfortunate object lesson can be taken in the case of Charles Virgil Bowne, an alleged home invader in Wetumpka, Alabama, who died after clinging to life for several days.
Bowne took bullets in the head, shoulder, arm, and leg during an alleged home invasion.
“I got a young couple in their 20s; daddy, momma and a young child at home when daddy hears a commotion in the front of the house,” Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
“He arms himself with a 9 mm handgun and goes to investigate. He sees Mr. Bowne standing in the living room and Mr. Bowne tells him ‘Give me you [stuff].’ Mr. Bowne then makes a move like he’s going into his front pocket and the homeowner fires several times.”
The incident happened at 4:45 a.m. on Monday. Bowne, 39, was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Montgomery with life-threatening injuries. After holding on to life for several days, Bowne died on Wednesday, the Advertiser reported.
He was also the suspect in another home invasion that happened at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.
“This neighbor said he woke up to find Mr. Bowne standing over his bed,” Franklin said.
“Mr. Bowne drew back his fist several times while yelling ‘What’s up?’ at the man, making a motion like he was going to strike the man.
“Mr. Bowne was lucky he wasn’t shot Sunday morning.”
When he was shot on Monday, police said they found plenty of evidence this was a home invasion and not some sort of misunderstanding. (Although finding someone in your home, unannounced, at quarter-to-five in the morning generally isn’t the product of a misunderstanding.)
“There was evidence of forced entry into the home,” Franklin said. “We searched Mr. Bowne and didn’t find a weapon, but we did find a crack pipe tucked into his sock.”
Franklin told WSFA-TV in Montgomery that Bowne appeared to be under the influence, although it was unclear what substance he was using at the time.
Bowne had recently been released from an Indiana prison on charges of theft.
The sheriff said the homeowner recognized him as having lived in the area.
“We certainly won’t be pursuing any charges against the man,” Franklin said.
“This man was defending his home and his family. We still operate from the premise in Elmore County that a man’s home is his castle. The grand jury will review the case, but we don’t expect charges to be coming.”
After Bowne’s death, the Advertiser reported that Franklin said the case “will be presented to a future session of the grand jury for review, which is standard procedure in a case like this. But we won’t be pursuing any charges.”
Death is not to be celebrated except in the rarest of circumstances. That said, the case of Bowne is what happens when a deranged, inebriated man believes he can break into a family’s home and demand their possessions.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Second Amendment works.
Eventually, if you’re far gone enough that you find home invasion worth the risk, what’ll happen is that you’ll come face-to-face with an individual who believes in protecting his property, his family and his own safety — and who’s willing to secure that with a firearm.
Other people who might not be that far gone look at object lessons like Bowne and decide home invasion isn’t worth it. This didn’t just prevent one home invader from getting his hands on a family’s possessions. I’d posit it stopped more than a few other potential home invaders who don’t want to end up like Bowne.
This is just one of the things the Second Amendment is for. The more we erode it, the more we empower those who wish to do us harm.