Blood Lust

If there were no guns in the house, a drunk 16 year old would have been taken home by the Sheriff’s Department. No one would be DEAD.

The quote above, by KathleenVS, is a response to ugly comments on the shooting death of Caleb A. Gordley, a sixteen year old Park View High School junior. Her comment isn’t a debate argument. It is a fact.

The facts of the tragedy are less clear. Donald West Wilder, a Sterling Volunteer Fire Company veteran allegedly fired a warning shot, and when Caleb passed him in the stairwell and walked down the hall, Wilder “discharged his firearm several times,” shooting him in the back. Was Mr. Wilder protecting other members of the household from a youth who was so inebriated that he didn’t notice a stranger shooting at him? Sheriff Chapman confirmed that Gordley had no criminal intent when entering the home.

In his March 20 “Dear Sterling American” newletter, Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio issued the following statement, emphasis mine:

“This is a very sad time for Sterling. I join everyone in Sterling in expressing my sadness and genuine prayers for all involved in this accident involving two Sterling neighbors”

Delgaudio quotes Gordley’s mother who, in strange synchrony, uses the same language.

“I just want you to know sir that I forgive you. I understand that this was an accident

An “accident” is “an unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally,” or “any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.” The antonyms of accident are “design,” and “intent.” I can’t see how, under the circumstances, anyone can claim an absence of “design,” or “intent” in the pro-gun, my home is my “castle” culture, or in Mr. Wilder’s actions.

Adding insult to the community, the rogue Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to quit the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments over the CoG’s endorsement of the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s 2013 legislative agenda. The BoS opposes the IACP’s firearms proposals.

I grew up watching old westerns. Back then, shooting a man in the back was a cowardly act subject to prosecution and shame. But today, there seems to be a concerted effort to turn Mr. West’s cowardly shooting behavior into both a heroic “right” and a tragic “accident.” The outcome of such redefinition is, as KathleenVS says, that someone “would be DEAD.”

That outcome is just fine, according to many (anonymous) commenters. These commenters are expressing a blood lust fantasy of killing another person. Do these murderous fantasies unmask the underlying motivations of apologists for gun violence?

dragonslayer225:  The house owner was smart to shoot, he had no idea if the kid was armed or not and he wasn’t gonna wait around and find out… Are you gonna sit around and have a good laugh at his “prank”? No, you would take desperate measures to protect your family and yourself. The fact of the matter is that this kid broke into a house and got his comeuppance.

The Shooter: I completely condone the shooters actions. If someone were to break into my house and I was fearing for the safety of my wife and kids, I would’ve done the exact same thing.

justme2: sad to say but the homeowner was right in what he did he was not an alleged intruder he was an intruder at 230 in the morning and he paid the ultimate price

hereandthere: The homeowner heard the break in. The guy was coming up the stairs. The homeowner had called 911 and left the line open. He fired a warning shot and told the person not to come any further. When that didn’t work, he shot him… You have one warning to get the f**** out of my house. If you come at me, you’re going to get shot. Bravo to that homeowner.

ashburnmommy: Sad sad sad. I feel horrible for both the family of the high school student and that of the homeowner. Although I wouldnt use harsh words like “he deserved” to get shot… I personally have a 2 year old son that I’m responsible for so if the same situation happened in my home, I would more than likely react the same.

average_joe: I pray every night that I never have to use my gun in self defense. At the same time you better bet your sweat bippy I would rather shoot someone else than have one of my loved ones harmed.
I am so tired of these people that break the law being pittied after they pay the consequences for their actions.

average_joe: My baseball bat would have made him a drooling vegetable.

BLKMGK: Tell us he was a good kid all you want but where were his “friends” when he got so drunk and stupid? Frankly I feel bad for the homeowner who now has a death on his hands. He did the right thing but I’m sure he will question his actions. He had no way to know what this intruder wanted and he had no way to know he wasn’t hopped up on way worse than alcohol either – he likely felt he had no choice. That he even fired a warning shot shows great restraint. It’s a terrible shame that a life was lost but we could all just as easily be crying for an entire family dead from a home invasion wishing there had been some defense in the home.


3 thoughts on “Blood Lust

  1. Gloria

    I hope Donald West Wilder sleeps well with his flipping gun at night, knowing that though he felt it right to use such force he killed an innocent beautiful child. Only he and God knows if it was excessive force. But we all know if the gun wasn’t in the house Caleb would still be alive. I really hope he has the balls to apologize to the family for HIS mistake that night.

  2. P'Ville resident

    Berry, you are a entitled to reflect on what you think you would do, but in the middle of the night, with adrenaline running, who is to say what anyone would do. The owner called 911 and Caleb continued to walk toward a room where a child was sleeping…….he did what he thought he had to do to protect his own family. You don’t know at that minute if it is your 16 yr old neighbor drunk out of their mind. I have three kids and it would be impossible to round them all up and park behind a door in one room under the circumstances that happened that night. I guess I am lucky that the master room is the first at the top of my stairs, but that isn’t always the case in every house.
    Trespassing is someone walking onto my deck or across my yard…..breaking and entering is breaking through my window at 2:30am and not stopping when I shoot a bullet past you. If we are not allowed to have the Castle Doctrine, then criminals will feed at ease breaking into any home at any time. The only thing that stops them most of the time is not knowing which house has a mean dog, or a meaner owner with a shot gun barrel pointed at their head when they try and break in a home. Cities where guns are illegal have the highest rates of death by gun…….because all the criminals clearly are NOT abiding the law and they know the only people with guns are the police.

  3. Elder Berry

    Do we yet know when or if the homeowner called 911? Yes, this is a terrible shame, but who had the best chance to avoid the death? Since when is trespassing a capital offense?

    If I was in my house at night and I heard someone, I’d lock the door of the room I was in and call 911. If I had a gun I’d sit there behind the locked door with the gun.

    I would not go out to seek the intruder. If I had kids I’d sit in the room the kids were in.

    This was not an accident and shooting someone who is unarmed in the back is not in my mind self-defense. If this went to trial, from what I know of the incident, the shooter would not want me on the jury.

    I think we are becoming a very ugly society that romanticizes guns and gun violence. There was a chance to avoid gun violence here in this case and the shooter made the wrong choice because he had a gun. That’s why the young man is dead. This is not a too bad so sad situation, this is a situation where there need to be consequences of some kind for the shooter. This was not self defense. This is why the Castle doctrine is wrong.

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