And interestingly enough, on something other than the laws that allow homeowners to defend themselves from attack.
The last mistake Dan Fredenberg made was getting killed in another man’s garage.
It was Sept. 22, and Mr. Fredenberg, 40, was upset. He strode up the driveway of a quiet subdivision here to confront Brice Harper, a 24-year-old romantically involved with Mr. Fredenberg’s young wife. But as he walked through Mr. Harper’s open garage door, Mr. Fredenberg was doing more than stepping uninvited onto someone else’s property. He was unwittingly walking onto a legal landscape reshaped by laws that have given homeowners new leeway to use force inside their own homes.
Proponents say the laws strengthen people’s right to defend their homes. To others, they are a license to kill.
That night, in a doorway at the back of his garage, Mr. Harper aimed a gun at the unarmed Mr. Fredenberg, fired and struck him three times. Mr. Fredenberg crumpled to the garage floor, a few feet from Mr. Harper. He was dead before morning.
Had Mr. Fredenberg been shot on the street or sidewalk, the legal outcome might have been different. But on Oct. 9, the Flathead County attorney decided not to prosecute, saying that Montana’s “castle doctrine” law, which maintains that a man’s home is his castle, protected Mr. Harper’s rights to vigorously defend himself there. The county attorney determined that Mr. Harper had the right to fetch his gun from his bedroom, confront Mr. Fredenberg in the garage and, fearing for his safety, shoot him.
So let’s summarize – angry, drunk estranged husband of homeowner’s girlfriend charges into the home spewing threats. Homeowner responds with a trio of shots that dispatch the intruder into the next life. Frankly, I’ve got no problem with that – especially with the homeowner knowing that the intruder had a history of domestic abuse against his estranged spouse. The prosecutor was right not to bring charges in this situation.
The New York Times, of course, disagrees – as does most of its liberal-leaning commenters. That isn’t a surprise, and would not even elicit my notice However, it is the responses of those liberal commenters that are illustrative of how shallow the “pro-woman” stance taken by your average liberal really is. What I read was a veritable War on Women from the Left!
Consider this comment, from commenter Jim Jones.
Is this what some people refer to as "freedom"? She has an affair, tells her husband, proceeds to take their young children to the home of this other man, in order to spend the day there, and finally asks this other man to drive her around the neighborhood, which ensures she is seen with the other man. The Victim returns home to find his wife & young children missing. The soon to be victim then goes looking for his family in one place he probably hoped they would not be. Upon the victim's arrival, the other man runs into his home, leaving the door open, so he can grab a gun and wait for the Vic to get within range.
The Vic was baited like a bear. What a bad law. So sad, so cold, so predictable. Someone else is sure to use similar tactics in order to legally take out an adversary.
Got that – it is all the woman’s fault. How dare she spend the day with a man not her husband? She even drove around in a car with him! Sounds like Mr. Jones would prefer the much more morally sound legal code of Saudi Arabia to guarantee that such immoral behavior is properly punished.
And then there’s Merlin.
As tragic as this case is, it's never a good idea to confront the man having an affair with your woman, not even on neutral ground, and worst of all in his territory. It's always the woman's fault, just as it is the man's fault when he cheats. The only time you are right to confront your woman's lover is in your own home or territory.
Got that – she’s “your woman”. Chattel. I saw any number of comments in which some liberal commenter argued that Fredenberg had every right to enter Harper’s home because Harper had “trespassed” upon Fredenberg’s “property” by having an affair with his wife. So much for the notion of “her body, her choice”! I wonder if such liberals would be taking the same position if a drunk guy who abused his wife had shown up in the garage of the local abortionist to punch him out (or worse) for aborting his child? I doubt it – they would be celebrating him and the NYT article would have presented the doctor as a hero.
The number of comments by liberals arguing that Harper –who according to Fredenberg’s estranged wife was not involved in a sexual relationship with her, only an emotional one – deserved to be assaulted because of that relationship was just astounding. All these folks showing up to argue that it was inappropriate to respond to the threat of assault with violence, and indeed arguing that the assailant had every right to commit assault. I wish someone had posted a comment asking if it would have been acceptable for Fredenberg to knock around Heather Fredenberg because of her relationship with Harper -- it would have been instructive to see how many would have recoiled at the notion that domestic violence against an estranged wife could be acceptable even as they condoned violence against the boyfriend.
And I won’t get into the number of mewling anti-gunners who called for the reinstitution of criminal laws against adultery after decades of liberal efforts to overturn laws regulating sexual morality. Don’t they realize that, having fought and won the sexual revolution, incidents like the one in the article are inevitable as men and women exercise the freedoms that sprung from it? There’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.
Oh, and as for all the comments arguing that Harper should have retreated from the garage to hide while awaiting the police instead of standing his ground in his own home, I’d like to offer this undeniably true observation about such a course of action.
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.