You can’t blame the landlords for all your woes

The SE Texas Record Jun. 25, 2013, 12:44pm

Keep your head in a crisis. Don’t panic, but don’t be nonchalant either. Find the happy balance between freaking out and freezing up. 

Once the danger has passed, review everything in your mind: why it happened, how it could have been avoided or controlled, what you might do differently next time.

This is good advice for Houstonians like Shannon Jenkins who are inclined to blame others for their misfortunes.

Early one morning, a year ago, Jenkins awoke to the sound of someone kicking the front door of his apartment at The Fountains of Westchase. He said he opened the door to find out what the kicker wanted.

It was logical enough for Jenkins to assume that the kicker had the wrong apartment, or was in dire need of assistance, but to open his front door in the middle of the night to someone trying to kick it in? That was foolish.

He could have asked who the person was and what he wanted without opening the door. He could have called 911. He could have fired a warning shot if he had a weapon. There were a number of things he could have done, any one of which would have led to a better outcome, but the one thing he should not have done was open the door.

Jenkins did open the door and found himself “face to face with the barrel of a gun.”

He was shot at point-blank range, but had sense enough to raise his arm to protect his face and was fortunate to suffer no more than a shattered elbow.

Blaming the owners of his apartment building for inadequate security, Jenkins is suing them for nearly $1 million in damages.

What he should do is give thanks that he wasn’t more seriously injured or killed. The landlords are not responsible. Blaming them defies logic.

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