On the night between December 2nd and 3rd, Danish poker star Theo Jørgensen returned home from a casino after winning several thousand dollars. He then went to bed.
Unfortunately for him, rumors of his winnings had already spread to Danish criminal circles. On the same night, three robbers shot their way through his front door, dragged him out of bed, and robbed him at gunpoint. When he told them that he couldn’t open a wall safe in his apartment – it had been there since before he moved in and he didn’t have the key or know the combination – one of the robbers shot him three times in the leg before making off.
So far, so bad…
But this sad story has gotten me thinking…
What if Theo Jørgensen had pulled out a gun and shot his assailants? Or what if a neighbor had heard the commotion, drawn his gun and entered the apartment to save his neighbor?
Chances are that Mr. Jørgensen, or his neighbor, would have been charged with illegal firearms possession, murder or attempted murder, vigilantism, and God only knows what else! Such is the wisdom of what we not very aptly call the “justice system”.
Common “wisdom” is that if you are subjected to a home robbery, you should cooperate with the robbers, give them what they ask for, and then they will leave without hurting you.
Which is about as true as the old, pre-9/11/01, advice if your plane was hijacked: Cooperate with the hijackers, don’t talk back to them, don’t try to fight them.
As Mr. Jørgensens case shows, robbers may just shoot you if they suspect you aren’t giving them what they demand. In at least one earlier case in Denmark, a gang of home robbers beat an elderly man to death. His wife had to pretend she was dead or unconscious, or she would also have been killed.
If you are shot in the leg at short range, chances are you’ll never walk normally again. That is if you’re lucky. You may also bleed to death. Or “just” lose a leg.
Theo Jørgensen was lucky. He is expected to recover fully.
But he was also unlucky to live in a country where self-defense against armed hoodlums is a worse crime than being an armed hoodlum!
(And yes, I know – if three armed men broke into my home and I decided to fight them, I might get shot myself. But if they are going to shoot me anyway, I might as well get it over with, and hope to take one or two of the bastards with me!)