Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sneak thieves . . .

. . . tried to burgle two houses about 125 meters up the street from us.

At one casa, they put out the night lights and broke the judas gate, but could not get inside. At the casa next door, they tried the same approach, but the occupants were at home and frightened them away.

We are concerned, but not overly so. These arseholes are are opportunists, not home invaders.

In addition to electronic countermeasures connected to the carabinieri, (which I will not describe here), we have other physical security.

I don't mind showing them, because they are common knowledge in Italy.

All our doors and windows have heavy-gauge steel shutters that have shot pins into the marble sills and concrete headers.

We also have bank vault-type deadbolts on all of the exterior doors, which are shot into solid steel frames.

It's a bit sad that folks in this part of Italy have to live in fortified housing, but that's the way it is, so we adapt.

What's even worse is that Italian - and most European - laws do not allow us to protect ourselves. We are allowed to use only "sufficient force" to stop a robbery, or even an assault. Play Whack-a-Mole with a burglar in Italy, and you're on your way to jail.

I differ with that theory. I believe that my house is my castle, and that anyone who breaks in intends to do me harm. I also believe that I have the right to use whatever force I deem necessary to rectifiy the situation.

My definition of "sufficent force" is 230 grains of copper-clad lead moving at 900 feet per second.