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RICH IN THOUGHT Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword
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Soap box time where I get to get atop and sound off about a few things.

When society is asking more questions of those that defend themselves instead of blaming the actual criminals, I have to wonder where this world is headed.

Lately, I’m seeing more and more incidents where people are questioning the acts of innocent civilians more than the criminals and their illegal actions.

Last week a few items crossed my desk via various news sources that got my dander up.

Earlier this month in Sacramento, two teenagers forcibly broke into the home of an elderly resident and were shot dead in what police have ruled self-defense.

Burglars terrorized this home twice before as this Arcade Avenue area is no stranger to crime.

Yet after the incident, family and friends of the dead home invaders say they didn’t deserve to get killed. They were young “boys” (16 and 17) who had their whole lives ahead of them and were only “misguided.”

Yeah, right…and they would always help someone in need, made everybody laugh, fed stray animals, were turning their life around, and all those other lines usually spewed out.

Here’s a question for those inquisitive family and friends; Riddle me this: why didn’t you raise a boy that knows right from wrong and why didn’t you raise a boy that didn’t commit felonies like burglary and most likely many others?

Here’s another one reported last week from a South Carolina news channel.

A suspect and his accomplice ski-mask up and walk into a Waffle House waving guns, then start to rob the place. One suspect gets shot dead by a legal gun-carrying member of the public who happened to be eating inside, which causes the other bad guy to beat feet out of there. He’s later caught by the police.

So what happens now?

Of course no responsibility is accepted by the family of the departed, who they described as “…always sharp, always goofy, loved to dance. He was a respectable boy,” (See, told ya) didn’t deserve to get shot and they are planning legal action against our hero.

Newsflash: Respectable kids don’t use guns and masks to rob people.

I’m not proposing vigilantism or the Wild West with guns here. No one deserves to die, but everyone deserves a safe society, and those who lawfully act to preserve and defend it deserve support and respect.

An incident from up the road from here, in Manteca, still has me scratching my head on why the city paid out millions to the family of a guy justifiably shot by the police.

In 2011, a 35-year-old parolee and gang member, wanted for felony assault, is stopped by police.

He comes out of his car with an 8-inch knife and the officer orders him several times to drop the knife, which are ignored.

The officer even warns him, “Drop the knife now, hands up. Ernie, don’t you move or I’ll shoot you.”

Despite the commands, the bad guy ignores what’s going on, moves toward the cop and is shot multiple times.

How do we know all this – including what was said? Because it’s all caught on the dash cam of the patrol car for all to see.

The subsequent autopsy shows amphetamines and methamphetamine in the guy’s system, the DA clears the officer after a thorough investigation, and the City of Manteca rolls over and shells out $2.2 million to the family who claims the whole incident, police report, autopsy, and DA investigation is a collusion and cover up of details of “a murder.”

That’s right. Despite everything done right, despite overwhelming evidence, DESPITE IT ALL ON VIDEO, the city still paid out on what the director of risk management said “(because) …all jury trials involve a level of uncertainty.”

Way to back your guys out there.

Before we start judging these individuals that keep us safe by taking action, how about asking this:

Where would we all be if the suspect/individual/person-who was-turning-his-life-around-and-made-everyone-in-the-neighborhood-smile-when-he-was-helping-them, had followed the lawful directions or wasn’t engaged in the criminal activity in the first place?

Let’s focus on what set the domino effect in motion rather than what stopped it.

Unfortunately, it seems that there will always be those among society who are inclined towards criminality and those towards defending their conduct and in turn result to criticizing the actions of the good people armed against them as a result.


Richard Paloma is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.