While some of Kevin McCallister’s creative booby traps come up Home alone are very dangerous and potentially fatal, they do not appear to be outside the limits of the law. On Twitter, defense attorney Mike Buresh took a series of tweets to dig deep into the laws of the film to see if what Kevin was doing was actually legal. As Home alone Buresh is set in Chicago and referred to Illinois law for his findings. Ultimately, he stated that the eight-year-old center-back is not breaking the law.
“The provision in Illinois law that allows the use of force to defend a home is pretty legal,” Buresh said. “Kevin’s initial actions, the heated doorknob on the front door and the flashlight in the back door, were a force likely to result in death or serious personal injury. However, these actions were permitted under Section 7-2 (a) (2) because he reasonably believed that his actions were [necessary] prevent the commission of a crime in the home, ie. Residential Burglary (Class 1 Crimes). “
The attorney added, “After these initial encounters, Harry and Marv expressed their express intention to inflict personal violence on Kevin, which would allow Kevin’s later actions under 7-2 (a) (1). At that point, Kevin’s actions were also permitted under 7-1 because his actions were necessary to prevent death or serious injury to himself or the commission of a violent crime (burglary). “
Buresh is also referring to what apparently sparked the debate, which was a recent tweet by Matt Topic on Twitter. In the tweet, Topic claims that Kevin is a “vigilante” after re-observing the original two Home alone Films on the grounds that he could have gone to the police instead of building booby traps and “therefore no valid self-defense claim”.
For his part, Buresh is not buying this argument. Instead, the attorney referred to the case of J.D.B. v. North Carolina, where the Supreme Court ruled that what is “reasonable” must be viewed through an adolescent’s lens, not through what is considered reasonable by an adult. As a young boy who genuinely believed that wanting not to have a family actually made them go away, Kevin’s actions are still justified, according to Buresh.
“Kevin’s belief that he made his family disappear and that he was solely responsible for protecting the home without police assistance should be viewed through the lens of a reasonable 8-year-old and is therefore reasonable. Merry Christmas you filthy animals,” writes Buresh.
While Kevin’s traps may kill the potential burglars in real life, it is hard to imagine a child getting arrested for defending their home. The Wet Bandits had made it clear to Kevin that they were no longer interested in taking valuables and catching him in person to do who-knows-what with him. If a can of paint on the face prevents child abduction at Christmas, we should all agree that it’s worth it. In any case, given the legalities outlined by Buresh, it seems clearer than ever that Kevin has not broken the law. This information comes from Mike Buresh on Twitter.