The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #148617   Message #3463911
Posted By: Charmion
10-Jan-13 - 08:33 AM
Thread Name: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
Subject: RE: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
Hey, gnu:

The story from Welland concerns a man whose house was firebombed; he shot at several men who were throwing Molotov cocktails and had already set fire to his house and garage to drive them off so he could start fighting the fires. I think the judge's rationale was "appropriate use of force."

That story sounds outlandish, but something very like it happened to my family about 1962. It was Hallowe'en, which could get very drunk out in our eastern Ontario village back then, and in the shank of the evening the local youth decided it would be very amusing to build a huge bonfire in the middle of Main Street, which was a stretch of the highway from Ottawa to Prescott.

At first, kids with pickups brought stuff like bales of straw and old lumber. But they were building the pile right in front of our house, so they started wrenching the pickets off our fence and then somebody spotted our old boat upturned on two sawhorses in the garden. They were hauling the boat into the street when our Dad stepped out on the front stoop with a .303-calibre rifle and shouted at them to cease and desist.

There were no police in Manotick back then. The nearest law-enforcement office was an Ontario Provincial Police station 20 miles away in Osgoode, which also had the nearest fire station.

Dad shouted again, and raised the rifle under the porch light. Then he worked the bolt. Snickety-snack. The vandals started backing away, then began to run. In seconds, there was nothing but a heap of trash in the middle of Main Street.

We kids watched the whole thing from the bedroom window. I was eight years old and did not understand what was going on, but my elder brother did, and he was terrified.

Dad never told us if there was any ammunition in the five-round magazine, but I believe it was loaded; he would never have taken it out there if he wasn't prepared to use it.

That winter, our parents began planning to move the family to the city. Manotick was developing big-city problems, said Dad, but still had only country ways to deal with them. Driving off vandals with a rifle was not his idea of middle-class life.