shutterstock_143064706__1383506835_142.196.156.251Betsy Cornele, a Florida mother of three, fired shots at a sex offender who was spotted peeping into her windows by a neighbor. What happened to calling the police? Florida’s Stand Your Ground law even freaks me out when it protects innocent victims.

Cornele raced outside sometime before 11:30 p.m. Oct. 20 after her neighbor, Pedro Camacho, screamed about a man in her back yard.

Camacho told police he saw a man on his neighbor’s covered porch looking through windows, an arrest report said. Cornele ran outside to see Harris running from her back yard.

She fired her gun, prompting the man to climb over a chain-link fence into the back yard of a vacant home. He fled on a bicycle on nearby Center Street.

Cornele isn’t scared to use her gun again if necessary, telling a television news station, “We’ll take matters into our own hands if we have to protect our kids.”

She and her children were safely inside the house. Why not call the cops? She brought her gun outside and fired warning shots into the ground to scare him away. Accidents happen all the time. Is it really a great idea to be firing shots that don’t need to be fired? At night? In the dark? Jesus, this state scares the shit out of me.

I think weapons give people a false sense of security. Why opt to run outside with a gun instead of calling police? It’s like watching a horror movie; What are you doing? Don’t go out there! Don’t … oh. She’s going out there. What if he also had a gun? Is it a better idea to run out of your house, away from your children and into harm’s way?

Of course I stand behind a mother’s right to protect her kids – but the whole situation is frightening. You’re a person, holding a dangerous weapon – one that could potentially harm others besides your intended target. I understand using one if there are no other options – but to run out of your house and shoot into the night? I don’t understand.

I am really glad her neighbor spotted the man and her and her kids are okay. The man, Bobby James Harris, is a repeat offender; “He was convicted of a lewd and lascivious act on a child younger than 16 in 1996, indecent exposure in 1995 and two charges of lewd and lascivious act on a child in 1991.” I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to be shot – I’m just saying we have law enforcement in place for a reason.

(photo: TrotzOlga/ Shutterstock)