Some days you hear a story so awful, you want to never read the news again. Of course, in my line of work, that is pretty much every day. Today's awful story comes out of Connecticut. A man who thought he was saving his sister from a masked intruder shot and killed the perp only to find out that the "intruder" was his own 15-year-old son.
Awful. A few other words come to mind: Guilt. Horror. Heartbreak. But even more, I wonder what good that personal gun did that father. I am sure all the comments on this will be about guns and how great they are and how people kill people and what was the teen doing in a mask anyhow? These things may all be "true." But the fact is, one grieving dad killed his son. If he hadn't had a personal gun, he wouldn't have killed his son. It seems pretty simple to me.
Obviously it's unclear why 15-year-old Tyler Giuliano was wearing a black ski mask and black clothing. It's also unclear why he lunged at his father with "a shiny weapon." Maybe it was a prank. Maybe he was sleepwalking. Maybe he was sneaking out of his own house (he lived next door). We just have no idea yet.
A man has every right to defend his home, but at what cost? I wonder what would have happened if Jeffrey Giuliano had a baseball bat instead? Maybe Tyler would have had time to speak. Maybe he would have said something before his dad swung. Maybe he would have beaten him, but he would still be alive. One has to wonder.
These kinds of discussions won't bring back this lost 15-year-old boy, but they may save other people. Sure, we could say the lesson is don't skulk around your aunt's bushes wearing a ski mask and impersonating a burglar even if it's unintentional. That's probably a good lesson for anyone. But did he deserve to DIE for that mistake? Hell no. And I am sure his grief-stricken father would agree.
It's an awful story and no one could blame the man for doing what he did -- after all, isn't shooting intruders the whole point of having a personal gun? One might question a country where people can own something that can cause such tragic mistakes.
It's just an awful, painful story. This poor father will never be the same.
Do you think guns should be allowed in homes?
Image via Svadilfari/Flickr