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Menlo Park: Armed man confronts resident

Original post made on Aug 9, 2013

A man armed with a shotgun climbed through a window and confronted a resident in Menlo Park on Thursday afternoon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 9, 2013, 1:01 PM

Comments (20)

Posted by Peter, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm

I'm sure that gun was bought and registered through the proper channels. Great job, gun control!


Posted by Davis, a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Soon, it will be illegal for that or any resident to counter the criminal with their own firearm. Every armed criminal can't wait for the day their victims will be stripped of the right and ability to equally defend themselves.


Posted by Willows parent, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

yeah, too bad the resident didn't have gun. Then there could have been a cool old west style shootout. Over a cell phone.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Thank you, Willows parent. It's not impossible to change this shoot-out mentality and all that it represents, but it would be a lot of uphill work.


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Yes, just like the wild west. Everyone shooting each other.


Posted by Another Willows Parent, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm

You all are missing the point - if the bad guy was pretty sure he'd face a weapon held by a determined owner, he (the bad guy) would go looking for an easier target. And if there were lots of armed owners, the bad guy would have that many more reasons to rethink his plan.

An armed populace IS a deterrent to crime. And if you prefer to not own a weapon, that's fine, but please don't try and stop the rest of us.

And I'm not some crazy right wing nut - I am pretty middle of the road politically.


Posted by John, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

"Over a cell phone." Well, this time it was a cell phone. Next time, it might have been your daughter, your wife or someone else you care about. If we can't defend our homes against armed intrusion, we are nothing but sheep, waiting quietly for our demise.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 13, 2013 at 11:17 am

The scenario of an "armed populace" is not a desirable social goal.

There is this notion, perhaps derived from this unexamined fealty to Adam Smith's invisible hand, that living with the unintended consequences of individual freedom is the be all and end all of life on this planet, and that we should all get used to it.

There are social mores that enrich and support the common good. Avoiding violence, taking steps to reduce support for violence and violent images, is a worthy one, in my opinion.

What I'm talking about are conscious and visible and publicly argued assertions of what makes a safe and sane society. That we see violence and violent images everywhere we turn is sad, to put it succinctly. It should be unacceptable. We should be saying "Enough!" and not "Lets all get guns and go about our days as an armed populace."

We do not have to continue down this path.


Posted by 2nd Amendment, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:11 am

Joe,

You are living in a non-existent Utopian world. There are bad people out there who are laughing at you and good people who are shaking their heads at your naivete.

Switzerland has the highest percentage of armed households in the world. At the age of 18 each male is given an assault rifle which is kept in the home. Coincidentally Switzerland has a crime rate that is the envy of the world.

"The Swiss pointed out that for centuries, no European power has dared aggress against Switzerland, a nation in arms. An armed citizenry in Alpine terrain has never been very inviting. If Switzerland were to be invaded, the invaders would face assault rifles in the hands of skilled shooters -- the Swiss citizenry."

As said in the following video "The key to freedom is the ability to be able to defend yourself... and the tools for that are guns."

Web Link

When was the last time you heard of an armed intruder going inside a Swiss home? I rest my case.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 14, 2013 at 10:55 am

The United States that I grew up in as a baby boomer had -- or appeared to have -- an abhorrence of violence. Maybe what our society has become was latent, given the violent history of this country.

There were very serious issues to contend with then and still, including racism, patriarchy and heedless environmental degradation, but violence and the acceptance of violence in video games and movies as a way to resolve an argument was definitely not what it is today.

We had this sentiment then, we can have it again.

Violence sells. What I'm talking about it undermining the ethic that has taken hold that violence, including violence toward other human beings, is an acceptable part of being human.

As for using the 2nd amendment to prop up widespread ownership of handguns and assault-style weapons, I don't buy it. The 2nd amendment was written for its time and place. The phrasing makes that very clear. It is not written for the society and the choices of weapons that are out there today. There are methods for dealing with abuse by others, including violence. They're called courts of law.


Posted by Rob, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Japan has a much lower homicide rate than Switzerland, and guns are outright banned across the nation. Correlation does not imply causation, "2nd Amendment". Switzerland's low crime rate may be due to gun ownership but I don't think you can conclude that nor can you conclude that an armed society is the only path to crime reduction.


Posted by Free to be me, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

If you had a gun, and wanted to invade a home, which would you pick? The home with guns, or the home without guns?
Which bank would you rob? The bank with armed security, or the bank with no security?
Which jail would you break out of? The one with armed guards, or the one without?

A rational actor would at least take this into consideration


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm

The choice that "Free to be me" lays out is a false dichotomy.

A burglary without violence is a crime against property. In the scale of things, how does losing one's property compare to the loss of someone's life because there were guns in the house, whether the life is that of the resident or the burglar?

What I object to and want to change is this notion that criminal acts are best addressed not by social pressure to change, but by hardening the targets, whether your home or yourself.

The logic of this goes on to define prisons as places of punishment rather than punishment and rehabilitation, criminals as irredeemable, and responsibility for the poor and desperate state of things for large segments of our society as not a problem that victims or potential victims need concern themselves with.


Posted by Ethan, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm

"If Switzerland were to be invaded, the invaders would face assault rifles in the hands of skilled shooters -- the Swiss citizenry."

In fact, because Switzerland has no standing army, those rifles are in the hands of a trained and highly regulated national militia. These soldiers are issued rifles to keep at home. However: "In October 2007, the Swiss Federal Council decided that the distribution of ammunition to soldiers shall stop and that all previously issued ammo shall be returned. By March 2011, more than 99% of the ammo has been received. Only special rapid deployment units and the military police still store ammunition at home today." --Wikipedia


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm

And meanwhile, just a short distance from where this story took place, a beloved community member was stabbed to death by her jealous partner, dying in her home, surrounded by thousands of people in her densely populated neighborhood. Last week, in nearby Sunnyvale, a man stabbed & strangled his wife to death, then was shot & killed by the SWAT team. While the men on this thread duke it out virtually about guns, women amongst us are suffering the effects of domestic violence. The virtual arguing is so much more harmless.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Hmmm:

I've got news for you, it isn't just women suffering from domestic violence. Men do too. The problem is that most male victims don't report it because they are worried about being seen as less than "masculine." In my experience in law enforcement I saw quite few men who had been attacked or abused by their female partners. Most of them didn't want to do anything about it and if a neighbor hadn't called the police, the victim wouldn't have.

Domestic violence knows no ethnic or socio-economic boundaries. It happens in all segments of society to both men and women.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Yes, I know. I've met some - one was a police officer. I went through domestic violence prevention training & a stint as an advocate at a center for sexual assault victims, as well as at a center for domestic violence prevention. In both, we dealt w/men & women. The Sunnyvale woman allegedly had been violent w/her husband at a prior time. However, the majority of domestic violence-related deaths happen to women, not men. That's why this virtual arguing is so much "healthier."


Posted by Free to be me, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Hi Joe,
We actually agree on your objections. Guns are not the best way to prevent crime in the long term. There should be room in our society for redemption and rehabilitation. We should actively pursue solutions along these lines. This would be an example to the world that we are a decent and civil society.
My examples are merely pointing out that during the moments in which a violent crime is being committed, the most important thing is to stop the criminal act, then we can talk about rehabilitation. By the way, when the police arrive at the scene of a violent crime knowing the criminal has a gun, do you think it a good idea they not be armed as well?


Posted by Another Willows Parent, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 14, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Joe / Free to be Me

Joe - I respect your well written responses - they are thoughtful. I also think that years ago, there were less issues that we have to contend with today (however I'm only 46, so I don't know for sure).

Free to be Me - I also respect your ability to respond in a non-personal fashion with your point of view.

If only both sides were so rational (on the gun ownership issue).

However, while I advocate gun ownership as a deterrent, I fully realize it is not a solution.

I believe the solution is simple - people need to take personal responsibility for their actions, accept the consequences of their actions, and learn respect for others. And this starts at home at a very early age - if parents would not cover for their children and make children responsible (age appropriate) for their actions, kids would learn how to be responsible, respectful adults. And therefore reduce the need of others to: own guns for protection, spend money on prisons, etc, etc, etc.

Too much of society says "I'm OK, you're wrong", and "More punishment, less intervention", and "I'm the victim". If we could solve this, we'd solve a lot of the side issues people argue about (like the two mentioned in this thread (guns and domestic violence).

Keep up the great discussion - we may get somewhere yet!


Posted by InMenlo2, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:44 am

to "Another Willows Parent" (and others),

You are so right. I'm sure many of you know of the very cool play houses on display at Stanford Shopping Center from time to time. I will never forget, my wife and I were admiring one and two boys (7 - 9 years old), standing by and looking too with one saying to the other, "Man, I want to rob this place." It was a real eye opening experience. My thoughts and feelings were of sorrow for that kid. What sort of environment is he growing up in if his first thought is, "I want to rob that place."?

Too bad.


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