April 11, 2008

Response to comments on Travis Castle.

I had a couple of readers leave comments on my orriginal post about Travis Castle and the break in of Stillman Valley. I left this comment on that post.

Penny: There is a wrong and a right side to the story. Travis and crew were wrong for breaking into the house. I'm sorry, they were. I don't care how anyone tries to sugar coat that fact. He ought to have known that it was illegal. Two wrongs don't make a right, but killing someone to defend life, limb or property is not wrong.

A Friend: I never said Travis pointed a gun at anyone, just that he had a gun. But to be honest gun or not if it had been my house and he was in there, you're damn right I would have shot him. And no, I would not have "aimed to maim". I'm ex-law enforcement and I'm sorry, I know that tactic more often than not doesn't work.

I have a son that is with in months of Travis' age. And you know what, I can keep him away from friends I don't want him hanging out with. I have also instilled in him a serious sense of right and wrong. I may have my issues with him, but to this point the only criminal activity he's been involved in was damage to my property.

Travis wasn't murdered. He was killed while committing a felony in self defense. God gave man a brain and free will. Whether or not Travis and his friends used the first is questionable, but they definitely used the second.

Maybe, just maybe in this society of pass the blame if people would wake up and take responsibility for their own actions our country would straighten things up. But no, we are a victim society. Every time someone does something wrong, or every time something bad happens to someone it's somebody else’s fault.

Travis made a decision. His decision was bad. As a result of that bad decision HE GOT HIMSELF KILLED. IE Travis killed himself. Don't blame anyone but Travis for the death. It's not being filled with hate, it's not being cold hearted, it's not being an asshole, it's just the way it is.

I thought my response, due to length, really demanded it's own post.

I know the family and friends are grieving. I feel for them and their loss. It is a tragedy, but this is something that Travis brought upon himself.

Also there is an update to the story in the Rockford Register Star.

"Moore drove Castle and the other two teens to what they thought was an unoccupied house in Stillman Valley to steal weapons, Ogle County Sheriff Gregory Beitel said Thursday.

Moore knew that there were firearms in the house; and Moore knew that the homeownder was hospitalized. He did not know that another person was staying overnight in the house, "Beitel said. Beitel said Moore was acquainted witht he family that owned the house. "


"Other items taken from the house were found in Castle's jean pockets."

The article also states that the firearm that Travis was holding came from the house and that none of the individuals involved brought a firearm with them.

Again, to me it doesn't matter. Travis being in the house itself was room for self-defense in my eyes. The fact he was holding a gun just makes it more of a legally viable defense if the state decides to charge the House guest, which at this point doesn't appear they are going to.

Posted by Contagion in Rants and Raves at April 11, 2008 07:53 AM | TrackBack

Wow Penny really does her head in the sand. I bet I can tell you her view of the GWOT, which political party she belongs to and who she voted for in primaries.

Kumbaya singing, hopey, changey, the US is to blame for all evils as well as guns fucking hippy.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 11, 2008 08:24 AM

QW, Penny doesn't have her head in the sand... she's got her heart in this mess. It's got to be rough reading this stuff about a family member.

Penny really is one of the good ones.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at April 11, 2008 10:24 AM

T1G is someone using your ID?

Have you actually read her comment?

My thoughts are if you can dish it out better be prepared to receive the same in return.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 11, 2008 11:10 AM

Nobody's swiped my ID. At least not here. And yes, I did read her comment. I didn't see anything that mentioned anything about being a "Kumbaya singing, hopey, changey, the US is to blame for all evils as well as guns fucking hippy."

What I did see was someone who had a nephew die, and then gets to read the comments of those who know nothing about Travis or any of the others. You've got to admit, some of them look pretty damn hateful. I can't blame her for being upset. Travis may have done wrong, but for fu$k's sake, his corpse doesn't need to be dragged through a gauntlet of derision and humiliation as his family is forced to look on in silence.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at April 11, 2008 11:33 AM

T1G, I don't see in any of the posts or comments here anyone humiliating the boy.

People are just stating facts.

And for Penny to come on here and tell us that we are godless, idiots, full of hatred, unloved and full of evil is just wrong.

She said we don't know either party so we have no right to side with either party. Well she does not know us. We read all the articles and made a judgement that the kid was in the complete wrong and the guy how shot him deserves no penalty yet Penny rages on us for our opinions.

If she is so full of sorrow why is she coming on sites spewing her opinions and condemming everyone? To me it looks like she was looking for a confrontation and then when she got what she was looking for it gave her an excuse to tell everyone how immoral everyone else is.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 11, 2008 11:50 AM

My bad, QW. "Hate filled" is not quite the correct term to use. My point in using it, though, was that some of them were pretty cold, and to an aunt who loved her nephew, and is hurting, they could very well seem hate filled.

I probably misread the whole thing, but I got the impression that she was disgusted with folks that know nothing of either party, sitting back and passing judgement... either way. She knows the homeowner, and I'm pretty sure she knows the house sitter. She's not condemned them.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at April 11, 2008 12:33 PM

I don't know any of the parties involved. What I do know is this: if someone broke into a place where I was staying, I would feel threatened. Period. Is this something difficult to comprehend? Hell, threatened is pretty mild - I'd be scared out of my socks.

It doesn't matter the age or the type of person or what they might be like in "real life" when not committing a felony. It's not like we're gonna have a chance to sit down to tea and chat a while. I'm going to have a few SECONDS in the dark when I'm scared spitless, to assess the situation that might end up getting me maimed or killed. There is no slo-mo to give us time to think of all the possibilities. People always seem to forget this - we don't live "on television" with scripts to make it all easy.

An intruder, having a gun in hand, negates every other physical characteristic - call it the great equalizer - just as dangerous in the hands of a young teen as in the hands of a hulking brute.

If in that case I have a gun handy, I'm going to pick it up in order to defend myself. If I see a person with a gun who does not belong in that house... I'm not going to wait until he or she shoots first. I'm not going to wonder - did he get the gun here or did he bring it? I'm not going to wonder if it's loaded or not - I will assume it is. I'm not going to wonder if he or she will shoot or not - I will assume they will.

I may shout a warning, but I want to be the one standing and unhurt when all is done. I know that makes me the veriest blood thirsty person on the face of the earth - but so it is. I also think it's a pretty clear and unemotional overview of what happens during a highly tense emotion packed confrontation.

In the end one person walked away another didn't. The person walking away incurs no blame. Age has nothing to do with this conclusion.

Posted by: Teresa at April 11, 2008 03:52 PM

The entire situation is unfortunate and its one that is going to effect both families into potentially the next generation. Its generation altering for a family... both families.

I have a son that is just one year younger. Its something you think you don't have to lecture your kids on, but really... I guess it is. You instill what you can, you do the best, but when they are on their own with their buddies, it is free will as you said, and you just hope that nobody gets a dumb idea that the group decides to act upon. Good people do stupid things. So I will add this to the list of potential crazy ideas to not follow with ones buddies.

Really what I will lecture on probably is the right to defend one's home... so he clearly understands that people can and will and should defend their homes.

Posted by: Bou at April 11, 2008 10:31 PM

I think that all of you are being very unreasonable if it was your kid that had gotten shot you no damn well you would not want to believe that it was their fault you would love your kid and be very heartbroken. I didn't no travis but nieghther did any of you. I know a very good kid that started getting hung up in all this shit thats going on in this world and he didnt want to do the things he did but he had been threatened. How do you think the parents or family memebers feel reading your nasty comments. Have a heart he made a mistake and he payed for it with his life so drop it.

Posted by: Karly at April 14, 2008 07:07 AM

Thank you Karly, everybody on here just hears what they want to here and deletes anything saying that Travis was not a " thug" or "punk"

Travis was a good kid, and it is a horrible thing that he is gone, yea he made a bad decision and yes he did pay for it, he lost his life. BUt do these people have anything to say but talk bad abou ta KID they don't even know.

and i know people can state their own opinions, but when you don't know someone and you are judging them it makes it that much worse.

Breaks my heart to have to believe that so many people can talk about a young boy they didnt know. and when someone says no he wasn't a "punk" they just go on this "punk travis"

its hard on the family, not even that its on here becuase we choose to read this, but when people go places just becuase htey know that is where our family lies ot go just to talk about glad they are that he got shot, thats what hurts.

Posted by: Jacki at April 14, 2008 07:08 AM

I'm not sure where the "deletes comments" part comes from, as I rarely delete any comments that are not spam.

Travis may have been a good kid, but at some point he took a turn for the worse. Be it he made a really bad decision to commit a class X felony or he was hanging with kids that aren't so good. If the later is true, it still a bad decision.

I'm curious as to were the "He had been threatened" came from. I haven't seen anything that states he was coerced in any way from any of the others involved. Obviously Travis didn't say that. I'm not saying that isn't true, I just haven't seen anything that collaborates that statement.

Posted by: Contagion at April 14, 2008 07:16 AM

some of the boys besides the driver had told the family.

and i didnt mean that you were deleting the commments just in other places sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: jacki at April 19, 2008 09:45 AM