Sunday's Journal Sentinel featured the most compelling and so far - under-reported - aspect of the shooting death of West Bend resident, Bo Morrison on March 3rd. Homeowner, Adam Kind, knew police were nearby but chose to go to his bedroom closet and load his gun when he heard noises on his porch instead of calling back police to report the disturbance...something he had done earlier regarding the noisy party next door.
This was something we discussed earlier this week when the DA's report was made public. The DA concluded the events that night were justifiable and no charges would be brought against Kind. In fact, the DA's report overly emphasized the reasonableness of Kind's actions without noting once no other version of the events could be available since Morrison was no longer alive to present it.
We don't doubt that Mr. Kind's actions fulfill the parameters of the "Castle Doctrine" law - at least from the perspective of law enforcement. We do however doubt the need for deadly force with police 300 yards from the residence.
Commentors here and on other websites have maintained that Kind's actions were legal. They of course miss the point. Were the actions of the homeowner necessary?
Was his decision to load a gun, investigate noises on his porch (noises he even said he thought were caused by the kids next door - not a deranged serial killer) that ultimately led to the shooting death of a young man - really required?
Perhaps he was he tired and angry and sick of the noise and disruption? If so, then Bo Morrison's foolish decision to wait out the police on Kind's porch was truly a capital offense with no need for a judge or jury.
Representative Chris Taylor issued a press release this week calling for the repeal of Van Wanggaard's Castle Doctrine law. We wholeheartedly agree. Anyone who takes another life must at a minimum be able to explain why - the Castle Doctrine relieves citizens from such scrutiny simply by the location crime took place - their home, driveway, yard or car. It allows no relief for the family of those killed to question the circumstances - and if they do - it puts the burden of damages upon them.
Those more sympathetic to Kind's actions have said repeatedly that he has to live with the consequences of the shooting. Good - he should. Loading a gun and firing it at another human being is a serious decision. Adam Kind should wake up every morning thinking about his choice to fire that gun - he should live with it, because to put it quite simply, Bo Morrison cannot.