Burglar with lengthy criminal record back behind bars after encounter with armed homeowner

Police Line / Police Tape" by Tony Webster is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

I don’t know how lucky Westley Williams is feeling these days, but whether he realizes it or not he should be counting his blessings. Yes, he’s facing serious charges after allegedly breaking into a Memphis home last week. Yes, he’s recovering from getting shot in a very unfortunate place thanks to the fact that the home in question was occupied by a couple who believe in their right to armed self-defense. But he’s still alive and breathing; a lucky break considering the circumstances.


The victim told police he and his girlfriend were in their bedroom when they heard someone break the rear window of the Fox Meadows house.

The man said he and his girlfriend were crouched in the corner of the bedroom with a gun when a man in a gray hoodie began to enter the room.

The victim said he told the man he had called police and not to come any closer. He said the burglar continued to move toward him, and he shot him because he feared for his life.

Police said they spotted a man in a gray hoodie two blocks away on Heritage with a single gunshot wound to the groin area.

Westley Williams, 29, was taken into custody and charged with aggravated burglary.

Williams was originally taken to the hospital, where he was listed in critical condition for a time, but has since recovered enough to be transported to the Shelby County Jail.

As it turns out, this may have been Williams’ first encounter with an armed citizen willing to protect themselves and their loved ones, but it’s not his first run-in with the law. According to court records, Williams has pled guilty to burglaries on multiple occasions, including an aggravated burglary charge that was reduced to attempted aggravated burglary in 2016, when he received a two-year prison sentence.


More recently Williams was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, but despite being found in the back of a vehicle that had been taken in a robbery with a firearm, a Memphis judge allowed him to go free on his own recognizance at his first court appearance in January.

I don’t know if this armed homeowner is represented in Nashville by any of the Memphis-area legislators who met with Joe Biden to talk up gun control earlier today, but I do know that those Democrats see the legally-armed citizen as more of a problem than the repeat offender or the criminal justice system that keeps rewarding his bad behavior by failing to deliver serious consequences. As far as their concerned the homeowner and any other would-be legal gun owner should be subjected to a host of requirements designed to chill the exercise of their Second Amendment rights; from a ban on commonly-owned rifles to costly insurance mandates.

Home invaders, carjackers, and gangbangers wouldn’t follow any of Pearson’s schemes even if the Republican majorities in Nashville saw fit to enact them into law. Instead it would be folks like the homeowner who would feel the impact. My guess is that this incident has prompted one or more of the armed citizen’s neighbors to take the step of purchasing a firearm for themselves, but Pearson would force them to fork out serious money for an insurance policy and sit on their hands for more than two weeks in some misguided attempt to prevent suicides or impulsive acts of violence involving a newly-purchased gun.


How many guns will be illegally obtained by Memphis criminals during that same 15-day period, do you suppose? And while the odds of any of those illegally possessed guns being used against someone still waiting to take possession of their own may be low, they’re not non-existent. Gun control advocates claim they have the right to “feel safe”, but if that’s the case that same argument also applies to the woman who lives across the street from this defensive gun use and now wants to feel secure in her own home.

Of course, there’s one big difference; the woman who wants to own a gun isn’t going to violate anyone’s fundamental civil rights by doing so, unlike the anti-gunners who won’t feel safe until the Second Amendment has been sliced and diced into a variety of misdemeanor and felony charges.

Thankfully the Tennessee Three have not been able to enact their anti-gun wish list into law, and the Memphis homeowner who protected his girlfriend and himself was able to do so without being subjected to a 15-day waiting period or storage law that could have put his gun out of reach and inaccessible when he needed it most. As for Mr. Williams, maybe narrowly surviving and living with the after effects of a groin shot will be the wakeup call that the criminal justice system in Memphis has failed to provide, despite multiple opportunities over the past few years.


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