As adults, we often think of teens as not being able to make good decisions. In truth, plenty of teenagers give us ample reason to think that. My own son, who is generally a pretty smart and upstanding kid, gives me plenty of reason to think such a thing. I can only imagine what kind of other reasons teens provide their parents as to their inability to make good choices.
But in California, one teen appears to have made a tough choice, and his mother may well be alive right now because of it.
A 16-year-old boy shot and killed his father in California on Saturday after, officials say, the 54-year-old man began violently choking his mother.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene in west Fresno County to find Javier Vera shot and killed by his son, who has not been identified.
Though the teen is being questioned, he is not under arrest and not facing any charges, as detectives believe the incident may qualify as self-defense.
He may have prevented his mother from getting seriously hurt or killed, authorities said. According to detectives, an argument turned violent and the father started choking his wife.
“The dad was drinking, and he’s been known to get more violent once he has alcohol in his system,” said Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. “Shortly thereafter their 16-year-old son approached them with a gun and ended up shooting the father and killing him.”
Investigators have the weapon and will be searching the home for more evidence.
However, it sounds like as clearcut a case of self-defense as you’re going to see. This is what Stand Your Ground laws were created to combat. This kid acted in what sure looks like a case of protecting the life of another human being — something almost anyone can agree is a justified use of force for anyone — and now he’s being investigated like a criminal.
If California had a Stand Your Ground law, this would probably all be over, but because they don’t, this young man has to deal with the trauma of not just killing his own father, but also being interrogated like a common crook. While I get that the police are doing their job, more or less, this is something for the legislatures to address.
It’s just too bad that partisanship will continue to prevent California from enacting common-sense reform such as passing a Stand Your Ground law that will protect people like this young man from being treated like criminals for saving the life of another.
If you don’t think what this young man is going through plays a factor in Californa gun owners’ minds, you’re wrong. I remember one Californian with a concealed carry permit commenting on a forum a while back that he wouldn’t intervene in a situation where another was being brutally assaulted out of fear that he’d be arrested and charged.
Now, we all called the guy a coward, and I stand by that, but let’s also face the facts that he did have a legitimate reason to be afraid.
That should never happen.
Here’s hoping this young man is soon free and cleared of all charges so he and his family can move on with their lives.