This BBC News article about William Crutchfield, a Georgian man who shot his postman in order to get sent to prison confuses me. I understand that Mr. Crutchfield has very large medical debts, and that he would prefer to be in prison than to be homeless, but the way he carried out his crime was just not rational.

He greeted the postman and collected his letters before lifting his pistol and shooting him seven times.

Seven times? Wouldn't once be enough? Even better (at least for the postman), couldn't Crutchfield have shot at the postman, not actually hitting and injuring him? As long as the judge thinks that you were trying to kill the postman, it is still attempted murder, right?

Some conservative readers are surely thinking that such situations could be avoided by allowing postal workers to carry weapons. Since this might have its own adverse consequences, and in general I think more guns on the street are a bad idea, I will suggest that a combination of gun control and universal healthcare would have prevented this tragedy.