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Crossing the line

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

All too often we've heard the phrase "crossed the line," as in Byron Smith "crossed the line" in defense of his life. We all know what a line is, but let's be clear. A line is an extremely narrow, but clearly obvious mark.

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So what exactly is this "line" that he crossed? What is the narrow and precise point of action at which he should have stopped? Has any civics class taught how many bullets are "enough?" Has any legislature ever passed a law that says "x" many are OK, but "y" many is one too many?

The same is true of the phrase "went too far." This phrase is rationalized by simple thinkers into "when the threat was gone." But the Thanksgiving Day 2012 event was the fourth violent break-in and the sixth burglary. The threat was not that they would take away another $42,000 like Oct. 27, 2012, but that after a series of violent burglaries, the threat was to his freedom from fear and personal sanity. And at what point does law enforcement actually investigate a burglary? Is it at a $50,000 loss or maybe the sixth time in the series? Do hard-working citizens have to continue to take the abuse of criminals out of fear of "crossing the line?"

Anyone who says that Byron Smith "crossed the line" or "went too far" is living in some amplified sterile fantasyland.

Bill Anderson

Little Falls

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