The first time I heard of Joe Horn was a few minutes ago while I was watching the Campbell Brown program on CNN. She reported that a Texas grand jury had refused to indict Horn for the deaths of two burglars he shotgunned as they fled a neighbor's home. Read this story for more details, and to hear Horn's disturbing chat with a 911 dispatcher, but to sum up: Horn shot two fleeing criminals in the back as a self-appointed protector of someone else's property, in defiance of the dispatcher's instructions to stay inside, and with premeditation, as he told the dispatcher that he intended to kill the men -- and the grand jury set him free, and the right-wing media hails him as an American hero.
The CNN program had one of the right-wing media on a panel to discuss the Horn case. Lars Larson is an Idiot of the Week candidate if anyone considers one necessary. He had nothing but praise for Horn and nothing but dismissal for the protests of his fellow panelists. Repeatedly he told them that "we don't have to take instructions from the government" in this country because this isn't a "nanny state." Another panelist tried to correct Larson; we do so have to take instructions, he said -- they happen to be called laws.
One thing I didn't learn from the Houston Chronicle article is whether the burglars were armed. They were, apparently, illegal immigrants, but I hope (in vain, probably) that fact won't prejudice anyone in favor of their deaths. If it does, please bear this in mind: the Supreme Court has recently ruled that to kill someone for any offense less grave than killing another person is a punishment excessive to the point of unconstitutional cruelty. Disagree with that ruling as you might, but it's the settled law of the land. Joe Horn backshot two fleeing men in an obvious fit of rage and killed them without anything resembling due process. Texans may think they still live in the days when you hanged men for stealing cattle, and reactionaries around the country may long for those days to return, but I don't really see how this free state is more secure with people like Joe Horn keeping and bearing arms. The word for his kind of law is anarchy.