New law can't guarantee that calling a shooting self-defense makes it so


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Drizzt
July 31, 2005, 02:30 AM
(FL) New law can't guarantee that calling a shooting self-defense makes it so

After his adult son shot a man in the leg Wednesday and sheriff's investigators took his son to jail, James Loudon had many questions.

Some were about the details of the shooting, which he and his construction worker son say was self-defense. Loudon, a retiree from Chicago, didn't see the shooting but he thinks he knows most of those details now.

His remaining questions are mostly about a new Florida law. It was advertised as expanding the right to use firearms and deadly force when people think they are threatened with illegal violence.

Loudon hopes that law, lauded by the governor and backed by the National Rifle Association, will protect his son. He hopes the law, combined with witness accounts, will lead prosecutors to drop the aggravated battery charge listed in the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrest report.

But at the same time, he told me he also fears that the law might have encouraged his son to shoot when maybe he didn't really have to.

"I don't think he would have been quite as anxious to pull the gun" were it not for that law, Loudon told me.

His son -- James Victor Loudon, 36 has a concealed firearm permit. The father says his son was also well aware of the new law, which allows potential victims of violence to use deadly force if in fear in situations where state law previously required an attempt to retreat if possible.

That evening, the younger Loudon had gone to help his teenage stepdaughter change a tire. The man he shot was the same man his stepdaughter believed had slashed the tire.

Witnesses confirmed that the man, 19-year-old Andrew James Vavrik, was driving by and yelling obscenities while the tire change was going on. When Vavrik passed by again and then stopped nearby, the younger Loudon approached his car. According to Loudon's lawyer, he never got closer than 10 or 15 feet away, and intended only to urge Vavrik to stay around to talk to law officers who had already been called.

Vavrik later told investigators that Loudon first threatened to kill him and then, without provocation, shot through Vavrik's car door, hitting him in the leg. But Loudon's lawyer, Fred Mercurio, says Loudon made no threat and never showed his concealed handgun until Vavrik intentionally drove his car at him. Loudon got out of the way, drew his gun and fired, Mercurio says.

So Mercurio has hopes that charges will be dropped and that Vavrik could soon be the one charged.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050710/COLUMNIST36/507100447

Unfortunately, what it often comes down to is, even in a righteous shoot, count on the initial arrest....

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dasmi
July 31, 2005, 02:34 AM
"I don't think he would have been quite as anxious to pull the gun" were it not for that law, Loudon told me.
So he's saying his son WANTED to pull the trigger?
No one wants to have to shoot another person. If he does, then there's something wrong with him.

CTRL-ALT-DEL
July 31, 2005, 02:40 AM
Loudon got out of the way, drew his gun and fired, Mercurio says.

That was his problem, he retreated, he was out of the way so being ran over was not an issue at that point. You dont pull your gun, shoot afterwards, you do it when the threat is real.


This opinion is based on the information we have according to the article. I think the man messed up.

Cosmoline
July 31, 2005, 02:45 AM
The article is very poorly written, so poorly that it's difficult to tell who's saying what to whom. It appears the bulk of it is rank speculation on the part of someone who wasn't even present at the time.

Worthless.

Buck Snort
July 31, 2005, 02:46 AM
I agree with CTR-ALT-DEL. Either know the law or stop pack'n your Roscoe.

beerslurpy
July 31, 2005, 02:52 AM
FYI, the new law doesnt go into effect until October 1.

Remember that when the officer asks where you shot the guy and what he was doing at the time you shot him.

Double Naught Spy
July 31, 2005, 03:09 AM
Well, the article title is just plain stupid. Nowhere in the US is there any sort of law that guaranees calling a shootin self defense will make it be a self defense shooting. As noted, the new Florida law won't guarantee it either, and why would it? A law stating that if you called a shooting self defense would make it be a self defense shooting would bypass much of our legal system by making evidence and due process irrelevant.

The article title says the new law won't make calling a shooting self-defense makes it so. Of course not. That concept is not part of the law at all. You know, there are a lot of things that particular law does not cover, much more than what it does cover. In fact, it doesn't cover anything beyond what is stated within it.

LiquidTension
July 31, 2005, 03:40 AM
I'd really like to see some more info on this before developing an opinion. Sounds like the shooter didn't need to shoot, but more details are needed.

c_yeager
July 31, 2005, 06:27 AM
If you have time to think about the law then you really arent in a position where you need to shoot someone.

benEzra
July 31, 2005, 09:14 AM
If fingers are going to be pointed, it should be at the reporters and media outlets who reported that the law allows you to shoot someone anytime you feel threatened, rather than the actual law which doesn't do anything of the sort.

Marshall
July 31, 2005, 11:02 AM
My 15 year old son could write better. Like many have said, there's more to the story as there is in most cases.

On what is written, I tend to see the following scenario likely. The shooter was pissed off at this guy to begin with, the tire slasher started antagonizing him. The shooter, knowing he's armed, approaches the guy, words are exchanged, the guy figures he better get out of Dodge and takes off, (maybe toward the shooter, maybe not) so the shooter fires a shot at him.

Who knows? I hate this kind of report. It makes CCW look bad. If the guy did actually abuse his CCW, I hope get what he deserves. Every time there is a happening like this the anti's have more ammo to use. This stuff hurts us. I hope it turns out to be a good shoot but I don't think we'll hear that, at least by the above report.

Hawkmoon
July 31, 2005, 02:46 PM
In fact, it doesn't cover anything beyond what is stated within it.
What a novel concept! :evil:

Now, if we could get prosecutors across the country to only charge people with things that are included within the laws they (the prosecutors) are citing, we'd cut down the court backlog tremendously.

Byron Quick
July 31, 2005, 03:01 PM
That was his problem, he retreated, he was out of the way so being ran over was not an issue at that point. You dont pull your gun, shoot afterwards, you do it when the threat is real.

CTRL-ALT-DLT,

You might wish to think some more about your position here. If I am trying to run over you with a car and you evade me...believe me, my friend, the threat remains VERY real. The danger is clear and present. If I were to try to kill someone and fail on the first attempt then my reaction would be to engage in the second attempt. Immediately. Basically, while you're standing there congratulating yourself about evading the threat; I'll be lining up for the next run and trying to do so in a mannner that doesn't leave you an option of evasion.

If you have not gotten out of range and out of sight of your attacker then you have not successfully disengaged nor stopped the threat. All you have accomplished is foiling the first attempt and perhaps, delaying the second attempt. How many attempts are you going to give your assailant? Even if you're super trooper; he might get lucky and it won't take but once.

Personally, I don't have to worry about evasion and retreat. Due to physical disabilities, I can do neither with any reliable hope of success. Therefore, I shall not try. If I cannot avoid the situation; then I'm going for slide lock as I try to reach my truck rifle.

I've got a word of advice for the 'victim' in this situation: Girls who make you angry have fathers and brothers. It will be a much safer world for you if you do not behave in a manner which brings angry fathers and brothers into range. The young man committed a capital crime, i.e, terminal stupidity. He's inordinately fortunate to be alive.

JohnKSa
July 31, 2005, 04:39 PM
That was his problem, he retreated, he was out of the way so being ran over was not an issue at that point. You dont pull your gun, shoot afterwards, you do it when the threat is real.I'm not so sure. Say a person empties a gun at you but fails to hit you with any of the shots. At this instant in time, you are in no danger of being shot because your attacker has an empty firearm. So, do you have to let them reload their firearm before you can respond?

If a person demonstrates intent and ability to commit severe injury and then attempts to do so but fails, you don't have to wait for them to try again before you respond as long as you reasonably believe that they are still actively engaged in trying to harm you. At that point the assailant bears the responsibility for appearing harmless if he wants to remain unshot, IMO.

The details in this case are still a bit fuzzy, so I'm responding more to the general idea as opposed to trying to justify or condemn the participants in this particular situation.

CTRL-ALT-DEL
July 31, 2005, 04:58 PM
Byron:

You might wish to think some more about your position here. If I am trying to run over you with a car and you evade me...believe me, my friend, the threat remains VERY real. The danger is clear and present.


I understand your point, very well. All I was trying to convey, with the limited info we have from the article, is he retreated, then shot. I think, if th is article is right, this man is in some trouble. You are right, the threat is still there, but once you retreat, like he did, the threat is not imminent. But, by no means let your guard down, and be prepared to defend yourself if the threat returns. I agree with other posters, I said as much in my first post, there is not enough information in the article to deduce what really happened. Personally, if I evaded someone trying to run me over, I would not fire at them after they passed, in the event they turn around and have another go, well, its time to click the saftey and drop the hammer. Our opinions on this is moot, a jury will have to be convinced that he acted in Self Defense, I can see that going either way in the world today.

CZ-100
July 31, 2005, 05:00 PM
The NEW Florida law is not going to help him, It does not take affect untill 10/1/2005.

As Homer Simpson would say DOH!!!

carebear
July 31, 2005, 05:19 PM
I'd be inclined to agree with C-A-D.

If they aim a vehicle at you (it isn't unreasonable to assume intentionality when a bumper is pointed at you) and miss (you dodge, they swerve, whatever) once you aren't in front of or behind the car anymore it is of no more threat than a tree.

The gun analogy doesn't really hold, as an attacker who stands his ground is still in the fight and still armed and can reload or go to a BUG in a moment. In a practical sense, it takes a bit more effort to realign a car for another run.

So, instead of opening up on the side of the vehicle, you move to cover IF YOU CAN (assuming no physical impediment, but that's the sort of detail that modifies EVERY SD encounter so it isn't particular to the car example).

If they keep on truckin' away, then you can call the police and accuse the guy of trying to run you over. If he goes by and stops and reverses or turns around for a second run then, yeah, you have his prior attempt as justification he's coming for round two. Hopefully you're behind cover and can put one in his teeth.

If he was just trying to scare you and he's actually keeps going away, you are in the same quandry as the armed mugger who turns and runs after you draw. Can you shoot him in the back? Is he "going for cover to reattack" or is he fleeing like a bunny?

I think I'd rather, given a modicum of time to get to safety (behind something big he can't drive through) not shoot what could just be a potentially fleeing idiot.

JohnKSa
July 31, 2005, 05:35 PM
So, instead of opening up on the side of the vehicle, you move to cover IF YOU CAN (assuming no physical impediment, but that's the sort of detail that modifies EVERY SD encounter so it isn't particular to the car example). Shooting through a windshield with typical self-defense loads is problematic, and even killing the driver doesn't give you instant safety. Plus, if the car is moving fast, there's not much time to shoot. If they try to kill you and miss, and you let them line up again for a second try, it could very well be a fatal mistake. Also, it takes something pretty substantial to constitute "cover" against a vehicle, and we don't know if anything like that was available at the scene. Even getting behind the disabled car with the flat wouldn't guarantee your safety from a high-speed impact.

Also worth noting that his step-daughter may have also been on the scene. If so, the man had to also consider that just because he was out of immediate danger didn't mean his daughter was.

If a guy tried to run me over with a vehicle, I'd be HIGHLY disinclined to let him have a second try.

MarkDido
July 31, 2005, 05:36 PM
Some were about the details of the shooting, which he and his construction worker son say was self-defense. Loudon, a retiree from Chicago, didn't see the shooting but he thinks he knows most of those details now.


Lord, why do you let all the nut-job Northerners move down here?!

Kamicosmos
July 31, 2005, 05:41 PM
I find this part confusing:

threatened with illegal violence.

Can someone point me to an example of legal violence between two strangers on the street?

:rolleyes:

carebear
July 31, 2005, 05:45 PM
John,

Perhaps I should add the constant (because it only makes sense) yet unspoken (because it only makes sense) codicil "if the situation permits...." to my sig line.

:D

I just have a hard time justifying to myself that every time a punk squeals off with a near-brushback I should just unload into his side window vice continuing moving out of harm's way. And yeah, standing right up next to a parked car isn't "proof" against a ram attempt (I'd stay a ways back myself) but it gives you more time and space to figure out options, depending on the speed of the impact, which is dependant on how long of a run-up they take, which in turn gives you more time and space to figure out other options.

Old Guy
July 31, 2005, 06:09 PM
Lord, why do you let all the nut-job Northerners move down here?!

Any more statements like that and I will issue you a snow shovel and bus you out!

First and foremost, the only true piece of info; in a Newspaper is on the front page, the price!

The constant flowing dynamics of a physical confrontation are totally misread by experts after the fact, no chance for a Police Officer to do any kind of a job on the limited time he/she has to examine the "Crime scene?"

Messing with some ones sister where I come from is called terminal stupidity!!

gezzer
July 31, 2005, 06:32 PM
If he was a cop they would have said it was a good shoot. :banghead:

Coronach
July 31, 2005, 06:51 PM
Hardly.

And, I'll echo the previous sentiment: there is not enough info to decide. You know what? There never is enough information to decide present in a news article. So...why do we insist on trying to determine the propriety of a shoot based upon three paragraphs of heresay and conjecture by a journalist?

Just a thought.

Mike

JohnKSa
July 31, 2005, 07:36 PM
Perhaps rather than trying to dogmatically determine the legality of the situation it would be more productive to use the situation as a springboard for discussion.

carebear
July 31, 2005, 07:49 PM
That's crazy talk John. :evil:

JohnKSa
July 31, 2005, 07:58 PM
Sorry, something just came over me for a minute :o

I'm ok now--I think...

Coronach
July 31, 2005, 08:06 PM
:D

Standing Wolf
July 31, 2005, 11:13 PM
My 15 year old son could write better.

Good for your son. Unfortunately, I'd guess a great many of his contemporaries couldn't even read that "article." Many of them will grow up to be journalists, I'm afraid.

Marshall
July 31, 2005, 11:24 PM
I hear you.

I am also finding myself shocked at the things my kids are being taught today and how much more they learn at an earlier age than I did. We happen to have a great public school system in the town we are in. I realize, unfortunately, that is not the norm. We are fortunate.

The Real Hawkeye
July 31, 2005, 11:33 PM
Well, the article title is just plain stupid. Nowhere in the US is there any sort of law that guaranees calling a shootin self defense will make it be a self defense shooting.Exactly right. The law doesn't say that all you have to do is say it was self defense. Self defense is still an affirmative defense to the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or murder. The requirement that the circumstances placed you in reasonable fear of immanent severe bodily harm or death is still in the law. I believe, however, that the new law creates a legal presumption of this state of mind if you shot someone who was unlawfully in your home. It would then be the State's burden to prove otherwise, i.e., that you did not actually have a reasonable fear of immanent severe bodily harm, etc.. But this guy acted badly, and it is not a good self-defense case. He acted as though looking for an opportunity to use his weapon. He's screwed, and probably should be. The law doesn't make every individual a judge, jury and executioner.

TheEgg
August 1, 2005, 04:12 PM
It strikes me that the article is intended to dump on the new law, and facts were not important to the goal. And the writer is not talented enough to write a coherent article, biased or not.

In other words, business as usual for a "news" paper. :barf:

Rockstar
August 1, 2005, 04:24 PM
The "new law" has nothing to do with what happens inside one's home in FL; has to with the duty to retreat outside the home.

Maybe the kid screwed up; better to be hiring a lawyer than an undertaker.

artherd
August 2, 2005, 02:34 AM
But at the same time, he told me he also fears that the law might have encouraged his son to shoot when maybe he didn't really have to.

"I don't think he would have been quite as anxious to pull the gun" were it not for that law, Loudon told me.

His son -- James Victor Loudon, 36 has a concealed firearm permit. The father says his son was also well aware of the new law, which allows potential victims of violence to use deadly force if in fear in situations where state law previously required an attempt to retreat if possible.


JTFC, SHUT THE ???? UP DAD!!!

beerslurpy
August 2, 2005, 02:55 AM
The "new law" has nothing to do with what happens inside one's home in FL; has to with the duty to retreat outside the home.

Actually there are 2 parts, both of which take effect Oct 1.

1) is the bit you know about- "stand your ground"

2) is the "presumption of intent to harm" that is now assumed when someone enters your home without permission. You can basically shoot intruders with no questions asked.

DeseoUnTaco
August 2, 2005, 03:44 AM
Obviously we only have a poorly-written article to go on, but it sounds like the shooter should not have escalated to deadly force in that situation. He should have stayed back, gotten license plates, and let the cops arrest the miscreant. The article makes it sound like the shooter was fired at this guy because he was angry about the fact that this guy was slashing tires, harassing his sister, etc. These are not adequate reasons for a shooting.

c_yeager
August 3, 2005, 04:16 AM
Can someone point me to an example of legal violence between two strangers on the street?

ummmmm, how about *any* act of self-defense.

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