Saturday, May 22, 2010


"A 67-year-old Yuba City woman was shot and killed by officers when she pointed a shotgun at them and refused to put it down, Yuba City police said Friday.

Victoria Helen Roger-Vasselin was pronounced dead late Thursday at her home at 764 Mariner Loop in an affluent neighborhood on the city's far south side.

An autopsy Friday showed she died of "multiple gunshot wounds," said Sutter County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Brenda Baker.

A neighbor reported hearing five or six shots.

Roger-Vasselin was the sister of the late Thomas E. Mathews, a Yuba County judge and district attorney who died in 2005.

"They shot her dead," Roger-Vasselin's distraught son, Christian Biscotti, said outside the house Friday morning.

...A U.S. Census worker "had been confronted by residents who pointed a firearm at the worker and said they would not answer any questions and closed the door," said police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey.

When two male officers arrived, 51-year-old Lionel Craig Patterson answered the door, armed with a handgun, police said. "As officers were dealing with the male, a female approached the door with a shotgun and ignored officers' orders to release the weapon. As the female advanced on officers, she continued to point the shotgun at officers in a threatening manner and the two officers fired their service weapons, hitting the female," the police report said."

Things are getting crazier and crazier all the time. Pray for the soul of this woman and for the two officers that were confronted with a potentially deadly threat and made the choice that they did.

I don't know what happened because I wasn't there. I tend to always give the cops the nod in these situations because of their training. That doesn't mean they always make the right decision but at least they have a rational basis for the decision they make; usually.

There is a really important lesson in this story; never, ever pick up a weapon unless you intend to use it. The reason is twofold: those you face will assume you plan to use it and thus are more likely to fire back at you and two, accidents happen. If you point a gun at someone and it discharges, for whatever reason, that person you just shot better have been worth the killing you may have just done.

I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and believe that very few restrictions ought to apply to gun ownership. You have a God given right to defend yourself and that right presupposes the means to enforce it. That being said, you also have a responsibility that comes with that right. You are responsible to understand your weapon and be able to operate it safely. You also have a responsibility to think, very hard and long about how and in what circumstances you intend to use that weapon. You can't wait until your life is in jeopardy and then try to make a decision in a split second.

And, if you find yourself in a situation that demands you raise your weapon in self defense, shoot the damned thing. Don't point it at someone and then try to reason with them. If it was worth raising the weapon it's worth pulling the trigger.

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