In light of the list's recent discussions regarding illegal guns and 
deterrence of crimes, I thought people might find the following of interest.

David


"(Ronald) Dixon was upstairs, in bed, when he heard a noise in the hallway.

Half asleep, he opened his eyes and saw a man at the top of the stairs

heading toward the bedroom of Mr. Dixon's 2-year-old son, Kyle.  That was

enough for the father. He grabbed a 9-millimeter pistol that he kept in a

closet, walked toward the man and asked what he was doing there. This man,

Mr. Dixon said, ran at him, screaming. That's when he pulled the trigger. He

shot the intruder twice, wounding him seriously but not mortally.  Other

points are worth noting.


"Mr. Dixon, 27, is your basic straight arrow, a Navy veteran who works two

jobs as a computer specialist to provide for his girlfriend and their two

small children. The man accused of being the intruder, Ivan Thompson, 40, is

a career lowlife with a blocklong record of burglaries and other crimes. If

convicted this time, he could be hammering out license plates for years to

come.


"Case closed, you might think. But there is one more critical detail:


"Mr. Dixon's gun was illegal. He had no New York license for it. He also

lives in a borough whose district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, considers the

prosecution of illegal-gun charges a supreme virtue.  Mr. Hynes wants Mr.

Dixon to do jail time - not much, but at least some. If convicted of the

misdemeanor charge against him, Mr. Dixon could get as much as a year. Mr.

Hynes is offering a plea bargain that would involve four weekends, tops, on

Rikers Island.


"'Nobody,' the district attorney said, 'is going to get a bye' on a gun

charge. 'Everybody is going to do some time.  There have to be some

consequences. The Dixon case is a perfect example of what we're trying to

do. We're sympathetic. No question, he had the right to shoot the guy in his

house. But he had no right to have an illegal weapon.'"


- New York Times, 2/7/03

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