Going After the Bad Guys

By Ralph Hipp

We are noticing a pattern not only here in Topeka, but apparently around the country when it comes to law-abiding citizens being confronted by attackers.  The law abiders are fighting back.  And they're winning the fights.  Let me refresh you on some of these stories:

We know about Edward Bowens being shot and killed breaking down the door of an apartment at 12th and Polk.  Norman Hammond will not be charged in the shooting December 4th, with Chad Taylor saying Topekans have the right to defend their homes.  We have what may or may not be a similar case in the shooting death of 28-year old Ruehl Bridges of Topeka.  The tenant of the apartment, James Howard, said Bridges rang the doorbell and barged his way into the place at 514 SW Tyler.  Howard gave Bridges his wallet, the struggle moved to the bedroom, where Bridges "held him in the corner, and had him boxed in."

Grabbing his gun in his nightstand, Howard said he fired a shot that sent Ruehl Bridges to a Topeka hospital, where he later died.  No decision has been made on whether Howard will be charged, or if the Polk shooting has now set a precedent.

Everyone in the country had to have seen that amazing video of Clay Duke (pictured on this page) firing shots into the wall at the school board meeting in Panama City, Florida Tuesday afternoon.  The board members pleaded with Duke not to shoot them.  Security officer Mike Jones brought Duke down.  Duke took his own life with the handgun he'd brought in with him, demanding that someone help his wife get a job.  Many viewers on CNN may have also seen the side story with the video of board member Ginger Littleton.  She took about 30 seconds to decide she was going to use her hand-me-down purse to try to knock a gun out of the hands of the man threatening her colleagues.  Ginger was asked lots of questions about ""how in the world she did that without thinking Duke was going to blow her away!"  So Duke died, and none of the public servants were injured, even though they have to be startled and shaken about what was planned as a routine, slow moving meeting.

And I have to close with the tale I told on the news last night, of the 71 year old Wichita woman who told police she "beat down the guy who broke into her house.. with a frying pan."

25 year old Kevin Funderburk sports a large shiner in his mug shot.  He'd told the woman he was homeless and just needed a place to sleep for a while.  Inside the home with his pants pulled down, he pinned her down on her couch, he began beating the elderly woman.  Moving into the kitchen, he pinned her down by the stove.  That's when Funderburk was soundly bonked six times with the skillet belonging to the victim.  He's charged with attempted rape, burglary and damage to property in the attack just after 5:00 Saturday morning.

Americans are getting bolder in protecting themselves and their homes.  Are we getting too bold?  Could you fight off or kill someone trying to rape or attack you?  Someone trying to rob your home?  It's easy to say we could, but would it really happen if we were scared out of our minds by the bad guys?   We need to remember it could still be the last thing we ever do.     Ralph

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