Over the weekend my lawyer father read some case law a cousin of ours had on the books. My relatives have done a great many things when testing the judicial system. However Harry Albion Diffendal has a case on record in Diffendal v. Commonwealth of Virginia.
To give you a background on these family members, they are the side of my grandmother’s family that never made it out of the Shannandoah Valley. Their ancestors were scouts for Robert E. Lee. They didn’t own slaves. That would involve money and some modicum of class. They were just red necks that didn’t want the U.S. of A. Most people are under the misconception that the Civil War was all about freeing the slaves. No, only a small sliver gave a damn about the slaves. My rels could have taken the blacks either way. There was a United States and they just didn’t want them Yankees in their business.
Anyway to make a long story short cousin Harry Albion (who happened to be a lawyer), probably brother to Cooter, was watching the property of his client, a man by the name of Smith, who was currently on vacay in Alaska. It seems cousin Harry Albion was probably a country lawyer and Smith may have been one of the few clients he had. Missing teeth and saving up his funds for his shot gun, Smith probably repaid my cousin Harry Albion twice removed with a weekend on his Hill Billy Palace while he was in Alaska getting Polar Bear hide.
A woman, who happened to be a cop, pulled up next to the property in her car. Harry Albion and his friend didn’t recognize the vehicle. Immediately they assumed this was an intruder and when you live in the backwoods everyone has a shotgun, therefore this indruder could have very well been armed and dangerous. Or at the very least, an even bigger and badder red neck with the stains of chewing tobacco on his teeth as the coffee colored saliva ran down his mouth. Even worse, if he was met with Lassie the Rapid Blood Hound this Hee Haw Reject could have been really dangerous and ready to kill. Even worse, it could have been a weed smoking hippie. Someone who should have been shot on merit alone in their eyes.
Fearing for their safety, they hid in the bushes with their rifles ready to attack. In between, in typical redneck fashion, there was hollering involved to make one’s presence known. Harry Albion emerged with his rifle and discovered the woman, there to check on an elderly neighbor, was a cop. They could tell by the clipboard on the dashboard of her car. Not exercising tact, Harry Albion informed the officer that there had been police twice on the property that week doing searches, both which he believed were illegal. Harry Albion then informed her that if a cop were to come again he would shoot first and ask questions later. As the conversation continued and Harry lowered his rifle as he got more comfortable. However, there was more hollering in between. Eventually the cops, were called, Harry Albion got arrested and all went to court.
Just when all hope was lost for cousin Harry Albion, he turned out to be the hero of the story.
In the end the ruling was that it was lawful for a person to have a weapon and use any force necessary if they truly believed their life was in danger. This case has been cited in several instances, one where a prisoner stabbed a guard with a shank because he believed his safety to be in danger as the guard was supposedly using excessive force. The prisoner got off and it was all because of my cousin, Harry Albion Diffendale. Harry Albion and his case have been cited numerous times not only in the state of Virginia but on the federal level as well citing a precident for self defense law everywhere.
My dad upon discovering this told us he had some case law on books. My sister informed him, “Dad, you were on the prosecution side. You weren’t the defendant.” While that seems like a good thing it is. It's even better because just as in life, in my family that is like encounting a UFO and a vampire in the same day, an utter rarity.
At the end of the day a great many things can be said about my rels in the Shannandoah. They are red neck mountain people who probably drink moonshine as they listen to country music. They are probably missing teeth in some vital places as well. Not to mention they probably support the Tea Party, and might even be marching with their local militia in a paranoia that the government will soon turn on them. Oh and some possibly even sport the mullet believing it is the best fashion trend next to jean overalls with no shirt and a beer belly.
However Harry Albion Diffendal was not a victim. He knew his rights and if anyone told him otherwise he fought them. So many people in this world don’t know their rights and don’t stick up for themselves because they are afraid to. As a result of my cousin Harry Albion, brother to Cooter, there is case law saying I can use whatever means necessary to protect myself if I feel that my life and safety are being threatened. Translated, they would probably disagree with my liberal leaning, dance music listening, gay friend having lifestyle in NYC as they wave their Confederate flags convinced someday the South will rise again.
However, we agree on one thing. There are plenty of evil people in this world willing to hurt a person for no reason. There are plenty of people in this world who will assume you are stupid and will manipulate you in any way that they can.
Why not know your rights and why be a victim? Why let them win?