Danes, CNN On the Run, Cuz Granny's Got a Gun

March 4th, 2008 1:10 PM

NewsBusters.org | photo by Kaare Sørensen/Avisen.dkIn rural parts of the country, it happens from time to time; a person appears uninvited on someone's property, and the landowner tells them that "elsewhere" is a better place to be. Typically these confrontations are benign in nature, even when on occasion either the property owner or the trespasser turns out to be armed.

Such was the case in Texas this past weekend when a Danish reporter wandered into the yard of an elderly Texas woman, and she shooed him off, a gun apparently in hand.

CNN's Ed Henry made quite a big deal out of the incident, promoting it as a near "international incident" writing in the lede that the Dane came "this close to getting shot."

He characterized the confrontation this way:

"I was just so occupied dictating my story that I didn't really see where I went," Svensson told me later. "I was just walking and talking."

What Svensson didn't realize was that he had stopped walking a couple hundred feet away, on the front lawn of an elderly woman. An elderly woman who looked through her window and didn't like that a strange man was standing outside her house. An elderly woman who had, um, a gun.

Next thing you know the woman is outside, no more than a few dozen feet from the journalist, demanding that he leave. "Suddenly she comes out and she says, 'Get off my property. You're trespassing,'" recalled Svensson.

Svensson was too preoccupied to notice the pistol, and was not aware that Texas law gives homeowners leeway on using a weapon when someone is trespassing on your property. All of us journalists across the street were too far away to see the pistol at first, until a Danish photographer with a telephoto lens announced to a bunch of us that there was indeed a weapon in the elderly woman's right hand.

Henry, of course, had no way of knowing if the journalist was actually in any danger, and he apparently was not. The citizen's interaction with the reporter seemed to have been limited to verbally warning the reporter off her property. She never raised the weapon or pointed it at the Danish journalist, and the one photo of the incident shows that the firearm was pointed at the ground. The journalist reported that he didn't even see a weapon when told to leave, according to Henry's own account.

And so it seems shocking to Henry that an elderly person has the right to be armed when confronting someone trespassing on their property, not knowing if the person wandering towards their door is a wayward Danish journalist, a petty thief, or someone with much darker intentions towards a seemingly frail victim.

That an elderly woman in a rural area warning off an intruder had the common sense to arm herself in case the intruder's intentions were something more than an innocent mistake never crossed his mind.

But, Henry, apparently, had the story he wanted. That being armed is a prudent decision for some in certain circumstances never crossed his mind.

Cross-posted at Confederate Yankee.

Photo at top right byKaare Sørensen/Avisen.dk was not including in the CY post.