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A Father Is Going to Jail

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 2dogs, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. 2dogs

    2dogs Well-Known Member


    A Father Is Going to Jail

    Paul Walfield
    Thursday, June 19, 2003

    It may not seem like a long time – after all, it will be for "just" three days.
    Be that as it may, Ronald Dixon is being taken away from his children, his home and his employment to be locked up because he acted reasonably, saving his children from a hardened criminal who had broken into his home.

    I wrote a story about Mr. Dixon’s state of affairs about six months ago in an article entitled "What Any Father Would Do." The article was about Ronald Dixon, who was awakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of an intruder in his house.

    Looking out from his bedroom doorway, Dixon saw a man enter his 2-year-old son’s bedroom. There was no time to call the police and wait for help. He needed to act, and he did.

    Dixon had legally purchased a handgun in Florida and was in the process of having it registered in New York, where he lived. He took the gun and confronted the burglar. When the felon lunged at him, Dixon shot the man twice, wounding him. The burglar was arrested and taken away by the police, and Ronald Dixon's family was safe.

    Then Ronald Dixon was arrested.

    His gun was not registered and Mr. Dixon needed to be punished for possessing an illegal handgun. It didn’t matter that his family was saved by that gun, or that anyone, anywhere would have done the same to protect their children. You see, the district attorney needed to set an example.

    But just what example was actually set by sending a father, a hard worker, a good man to jail? The same jail, Rikers Island, in which the man who broke into his house is also residing, a man who has a 14-page rap sheet and had been arrested 19 times by the police. How many times do you think he was let go without any jail time for actual crimes?

    Crime is high in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Ronald Dixon lives. Gangs use illegal weapons to murder, rob and terrorize neighborhoods. They are bad people who should be put in jail, and no one, not anyone reasonable anyway, would compare their actions with the actions of a father trying to protect his children from them.

    Moral equivalency under these circumstances is not just ridiculous, it is absurd. Yet that is what the DA in New York is saying. The people who defend against the animals who prey on human victims are no better than those criminals and need to spend time in jail.

    Why is it difficult to separate out a good man from the vile criminals that prey on the good? Why must a man who has held down three jobs so that his family could have a home and comfort be taken away because another man in New York is incapable of understanding the difference in actions between a criminal and a good man?

    The other night on Fox News, Dixon was being interviewed and when asked about his three-day jail sentence he said, "I can live with it." He went further and explained that it was because he was threatened with a far worse sentence if he didn't accept the plea bargain.

    The DA in New York threatened a good man with a long jail term and settled on three days and that was a "good deal."

    It was further pointed out that if Mr. Dixon had been in Texas when the incident occurred, he would probably have been awarded a Man of the Year trophy. So why is he instead going to jail? Is it that all reason and common sense go out the window when you are east of the Mississippi? That really isn't likely.

    Is there anyone who understands that the district attorney has discretion in these matters and still agrees with him? Is there anyone who doesn’t understand that sending a good man to jail for acting reasonably, protecting his family from the bad guys, is a very bad example to set?

    Even the most ardent liberals have to believe that when confronted with evil and the imminent injury to one's child, a father must be allowed to use any and all reasonable means to protect his family.

    Yet for one appalling district attorney in New York, seeing motive, seeing decency and seeing someone act with bravery and responsibility is so foreign a concept that it is indistinguishable from the acts of a criminal gang member.

    The DA has discretion. He could have simply not chosen to prosecute. The DA could have determined that by applying for the registration and hiring a firm to help with the paperwork, Mr. Dixon had substantially complied with the law. The DA had a lot of choices; sadly, he chose jail time for Mr. Dixon.

    As a society, we should be awarding our heroes for their brave deeds. We should be letting the children of Ronald Dixon – the children of all Americans – know that protecting children, protecting our homes, is a noble and necessary undertaking. That should be the example we set.

    Do parents have to now take into account the possibility of being ripped from their families and sent to jail because they protected their children from possibly horrible consequences, even if they acted reasonably? Do we now have to redefine what "reasonable" is depending upon how jaded the district attorney is in our town?

    The example set by the Brooklyn DA is a horrendous one. We all know that vigilantism and people making up the rules as they go along is not, as a tenet, a good thing. However, in some situations we all need to look at the totality of the circumstances before we make a judgment.

    There is an old saying about someone who plans on doing what is right and willingly accepts being judged by 12 rather than being carried to the grave by six.

    That may be a bit glib, but when actually acting reasonably, doing what anyone who loved their children would have done under the same circumstances, lands you in jail, it is time to re-evaluate certain aspects of our system of justice.
  2. dinosaur

    dinosaur Well-Known Member

    I wish they`d stop using the word vigilante. Dixon didn`t go out of his way to harm anyone.:banghead:
  3. seeker_two

    seeker_two Well-Known Member

    This particular New York DA is a scumbag. I hope he gets a chance to "empathize" w/ Dixon's plight someday... :fire:
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    A three-day sentence beats ten years, but it's still a travesty of American justice.
  5. erikm

    erikm Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I'll also say that accepting the 3 day was probably the best deal he could have gotten without a protracted, vicious, expensive and character-destroying tour of the legal system. I can see him looking at the latter option before taking the former.

    Here's hoping he gets spends it reading or playing cards with the guards with a safe locked cell (in that place, it's safer than unlocked) to stay in at night. If they really want to keep up the appearance keeping track of him, attach an ankle bracelet or a loud bell to him for the weekend.

    Oh, and can someone please lock up that DA before he causes more damage to innocent people's lives? :banghead:

    ErikM :evil:
  6. CZ-100

    CZ-100 Well-Known Member

    If I was on the jury, There is NO way he would be convicted....
  7. TheEgg

    TheEgg Well-Known Member

    Nope --many of them do NOT believe that.
  8. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Well-Known Member

    It's hard to be a 'vigilante' in one's own home protecting one's family, yes?

    The DA deserves to have his home invaded while he's UNARMED and see if it changes his mind Then he should be flogged and removed from office and his law license revoked. He obviously has no concept of justice.:fire: :fire: :fire:

    The author of the article should be bitch-slapped for his exceedingly weak analogy of 'vigilantism'. :banghead:
  9. CZ-100

    CZ-100 Well-Known Member

  10. Combat-wombat

    Combat-wombat Well-Known Member

    :cuss: :cuss: :banghead:
  11. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    Yes, but ... (assuming you were in that jurisdiction)

    during the voire dire process I am sure that the DA would find a way to keep you (and I) off the jury.

    The idea is to reduce the jury down to a bunch of dimwits who will do exactly as the DA and judge tell them to do, as in:

    There is a law against X
    Mr D did X
    Therefore you must find him guilty

    That particular DA would not live long in MT
  12. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

    What he needed was a THR'er sittin' on the jury...

    I for one am still voting he gets the full sentence, and having the criminal serve it for him..

    Protect your loved ones, GO TO JAIL. Time for someone to start dumping tea into the bay...
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    The DA

    should be hung for treason, these creeps are offended
    by basic human freedom and would feel comfortable
    in saddam's or hitlers judicial system:barf:
  14. mussi

    mussi Well-Known Member

    Isn't that DA's last name Freisler, BTW?
  15. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    This guy is no more a vigilante than most police officers. Being a vigilante implies that the law has been taken into his own hands when in fact he acted within the law, mostly, to defend his family. The act of defending his family is not in question. What is in question is the illegal gun he used. The man was in violation of the law before the intruder came into his home. He apparently had been in violation of the law for quite some time before the event. Not only that, he can't even claim igorance of the law because he owned several guns and had applied for a permit for the gun in question. This guy absolutely knew he was breaking the law before the the intruder event happened.

    It is true, it does not matter that Dixon used the gun to save his family. The gun was illegal before saving the family and his acts simply brought the gun to the attention of law enforcement.

    The comment that had he been in Texas when the event happened probably would have made him made of the year is NOT true if Dixon was using an illegal weapon. Let's say he used a coach gun, side by side, with only 10" barrels and loaded the intruder with buckshot. He would face charges for the gun as it is illegal to have that short of a shotgun without proper credentials. Why is that so friggin' hard to understand?

    Sure enough, the guy is a hero, but also sure enough, he is a guy who was operating outside the law. That is not a difficult perspective to grasp.

    What would have happened had he not been successful with his illegal pistol? Should he have gone to jail since he wasn't a hero? What would have happened if his possession and use of the illegal pistol resulted in harm to a family member?

    Just like with the weird ideas that if you have a modified gun that the modification can be used against you in a self defense shooting, the idea that the guy was successful in defending his family changes nothing about the fact that he was in violation of the law before the incident ever took place. Win, lose, or draw with the intruder, none of that changes a thing about the status of having an illegal gun. The two events are separate.

    The really sad thing about Dixon was that he definitely already knew he was in violation of the law since he had applied for a permit and he owned other guns that were not illegal. Why he chose to use the gun he did is beyond comprehension. Had he not used an illegal gun, there would have been no problems.
  16. Al Norris

    Al Norris Well-Known Member

    Let me see if I have this worked out correctly.

    In another thread, a Brit was arrested not for defending himself, but because he used an unlawful weapon in that defense. The arguement that self defence is meaningless when the tools of self defence are forbidden was blasted time after time into agricolas face.

    Now here we have virtually the same thing and some are taking agricolas arguement virtually word for word... Oh, but wait a minute! The owning of the gun wasn't forbidden, it just had to be registered... But wait a minute! The man legally bought and possessed while a resident of Florida... But wait a minute! He moved to NYC, where the gun became immediate contraband. Because it wasn't registered. But the gentleman started the registration process. Did the police demand to hold the weapon for safe keeping while the registration was processed? Apparently not. So they must have thought it was ok for the owner to keep possession while the process was carried out, yes? But the gun was illegal, because it was not registered.

    We can circle around this as much as we want. Self defense is either an inate and inaleinable right, that is it exists outside of and before the laws, or it is a privilege that governemnt allows us...when it is convenient to allow us. The correlative right is that of defense of immediate family; neighbors; community; etc.

    If self defense is an inate right, then any and all tools that one might use to defend self and/or family are part and parcel of that right.

    To argue otherwise, is to take agricolas stance.

    In this case, the rule of competing harms must be brought into play. Or is this forbidden in NYC also?
  17. jimpeel

    jimpeel Well-Known Member

    Can you imagine this scenario?

    "Yes officer, they tied me up and raped my wife and daughter in front of me. They then beat me into unconciousness."

    "Too bad you didn't have a gun to defend your family."

    "I did, officer, but I just moved here from Florida and the paperwork hasn't come back from the New York authorities; so I couldn't employ the firearm for the defense of myself and my family because it is not yet registered."
  18. BOBE

    BOBE Well-Known Member

    Dixon could probably have used a ball bat to beat the man senseless and ended up being praised as a hero. But then mabye he didn't have a registered ball bat.:banghead: :cuss: That"s why I hate TV sitcoms. People watch them and believe it's o k to defend one's home with a ball bat. I repeat:banghead: :cuss:

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