On May 31, an editorial appeared, “Charges warranted in fatal shooting.” Sadly, on March 25, two bad decisions were made.
First, Brendon Kaluza-Graham willingly chose to enter a vehicle that he knew did not belong to him, therefore disrespecting Gail Gerlach’s rightful ownership of the vehicle and livelihood. Kaluza-Graham’s only priority was to steal the vehicle; he didn’t stop to think how it would affect the owner.
Second, Gerlach, in a reactive moment, chose to fire his weapon to stop Kaluza-Graham. Did Gerlach intend to kill Kaluza-Graham? I don’t believe so. In that moment of time, Gerlach had two options: call 911 and maybe the police would show up and eventually have his vehicle returned to him; or fire his weapon at Kaluza-Graham, who was already fleeing the scene.
In my opinion, Gerlach acted properly by defending his property. Just because you choose to defend your property doesn’t make you a gun-toting citizen or a vigilante.
Steve Tucker’s office stated Gerlach’s actions were of a vigilante nature, putting the public at risk. However, Tucker fails to list Kaluza-Graham as the instigator of this criminal event. Without Kaluza-Graham’s criminal actions, Gerlach would not have had to defend his property or take a person’s life.
It is sad to live in a community where the police cannot protect its citizens, and where prosecutors choose to file criminal charges against law-abiding citizens and let convicted criminals have a “get-out-of-jail-free” card.