Legalities of Self Defense


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wbond
January 17, 2006, 09:55 PM
To the Rambo(s) who say they'd shoot an attacker until they were down and then "continue shooting until they stopped twitching":

I've heard this said by different people. I'm a handgun owner and a handicapped person. I occasionally get targeted by criminals. So I am definately a supporter of hand guns rights and concealed weapon carry rights and the RESPONSIBLE use of those rights. I emphasize the word responsible.

Any self defense shooting is going to be reviewed by authorities. Do you want to go to prison?

I think that once the person (attacker) is no longer threatening you, you can't legally shoot them. Morally, I don't think you should. If you are still shooting them after they are on the ground and incapacitated, it would be difficult to convince a judge or jury that was self defense.

A prosecutor would say (rightly so) that it was self defense until the attacker went down, but after that you had no need or right to shoot him further because he was no longer an attacker. You were the attacker after the other man down. That's what they'd say, and they'd be right.

If they can then prove the final shots after attacker already down killed him, you are in for a world of trouble. Probably man slaughter at least. This if you can prove that it was self defense while the man was on his feet, which will be harder to prove since you kept shooting him after he was "down and twitching".

Kicking a person who is down is considered attempted murder in some states. i.e. - if you continue to shoot (or kick or whatever) the attacker after they are down and incapacitated or no longer attacking, then you have become the attacker. Legally you will be punished severely.

Do you want to go to prison? Do you want to kill a man or just get him to stop attacking you? What is your true goal? If you just want him to stop attacking you, then why keep shooting him after he's "down and twitching" ?

You have the right to use deadly force only as long as a "reasonable person" would believe you were threatened. Do you think a reasonable judge or juror will think you were still threatened by a man who is "down and twitching".

For your own good, and for the good of other gun owners' rights, and for society, don't think like Rambo. Rambo went to prison, even in the movie. Remember that.

Besides, not even Rambo was that ruthless as to kill an enemy who was already incapacitated. Rambo wasn't actually ruthless at all to those who were no longer a threat. That's just a movie, but I think you see my point.

My goal and the proper goal is to shoot only as long as I perceive I am threatened. An attacker who has collapsed is no longer a threat, but don't turn you back on them just the same. I would continue shooting as long as they are coming toward me or still have a weapon in their hand. If they drop their weapon AND stop moving forward or back away, or if they collapse, I'd stop shooting, but still keep my gun aimed at ready. Once I was sure they were no longer a threat I'd lower my gun and call 911. If you don't call 911, you can be prosecuted for murder if the man dies for lack of medical care, even if the shooting was self defense.

Think about these things in advance. Maybe consult your attorney. See what he says.

In any case, this is only a discussion. Thanks to everyone for participating. I just wanted to stimulate people to think about these issues, and in turn for you to stimulate my thoughts. Thanks again to everyone.

Thanks from wbond, the recoil sensitive guy (hand held together by 4 screws).

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wbond
January 17, 2006, 10:09 PM
I am very handicapped due to getting my neck broken and various other injuries that left me permanently physically disabled. Luckily I'm a computer programmer so I can still work.

The law (at least in WA State) recognizes disabled and senior citizens as "vulnerable adults". What does this mean to self defense?

Well for one thing, if a healthy non senior assaults me, it's an automatic felony assault, not a misdemeaner. This would get my attacker more than one year in the state pen. However, it would also injure me severely and cripple me more. So who's getting the worst of it?

Also, because I am not physically capable of fighting or running, I would be legally justified to use a handgun to defend myself against an unarmed attacker.

Also, WA has a law that says lethal force may be used to prevent a felony from occuring. This is a second authorization for me to use a handgun to protect myself against an unarmed attacker since it is a felony for them to attack me.

This means the law gives me a lot more latitude in the use of a handgun for self defense. However, I am determined not to abuse this. Also the law gives me more protection against assaults, robberies, etc.

My handicaps and disabilities are documented and I have a state issues card identifying me as disabled, which I could show to any officer.

However, the law has stricter restrictions on use of a handgun for self defense for able bodied people. i.e.- I doubt you are allowed to shoot an unarmed attacker, unless there are two of them or you have valid reason to believe they are armed.

Also, what I say applies to WA. I don't know about other states.

Federal law would make it a civil rights felony for someone to attack me because I'm handicapped. This would apply in any state.

However, WA State law makes it a felony to attack me regardless of reason (i.e. - it does matter whether a biggot doesn't like me because I'm handicapped or just wants to rob me). The state doesn't care the reason. They say don't attack handicapped people for any reason because it's a felony. Of course most bullies and criminals are dumb!@#$% who don't know the law.

I'm determined to use my rights responsibly and not abuse them. I am occasionally targeted by bullies who think it's fun to verbally pick on a handicapped guy. As long as they stick to insults, I ignore them. If they stick to threats I pretend to ignore them, but I'm ready. None has attacked me yet, but I have been threatoned with attack for no reason other than I look handicapped. I find my new handgun very comforting. I've never pulled it out and hope I never will, but it provides a measure of security I've been without for a long time. The law would only protect me AFTER the fact, and that isn't protection for me, it's punishment for the criminal.

Note: Years ago I used to carry a .40 cal Glock before my physical problems made me to recoil sensitive for that. I carried it for years with a permit and never pulled it out.

For the rest of you (healthy adults who are not seniors), I know it's legal for you to use a handgun against multiple unarmed attackers. i.e. - if two unarmed guys try to gang up on you. The difference for me and other severely handicapped-disabled people is that we can do this with just one unarmed attacker. Senior citizens have the same self defense rights as the severely handicapped-disabled people. However, what is a senior? Probably 65 and over.

The above applies in WA State and federal law everywhere. I don't know the laws of other states. However, I believe most states have begun recognizing that handicapped and seniors have more latitude in gun self defense because they can't fight or run.

In any case, this is only a discussion. Thanks to everyone for participating. I just wanted to stimulate people to think about these issues, and in turn for you to stimulate my thoughts. Thanks again to everyone.

Thanks from wbond, the recoil sensitive guy (hand held together by 4 screws).

=====================================

P.S. - Don't worry, I have no plans to shoot anyone and wouldn't unless it was absolutely necessary. I carried a gun for 5 years in the past and never drew it, even when I had an intruder breaking into my apts. I could have legally shot that guy because he was breaking in and he verbally threatened me with violence, but I never drew my gun (though my hand was on it). I can't say that about some others who have posted. Read some of the other posts. Some aren't kidding about the concept of shooting 'em some more after they're already down and out of the fight.

Car Knocker
January 18, 2006, 12:09 AM
You made some pretty broad statements there, some of which, I believe, are incorrect.

If my armed, 110 pound daughter was attacked by an unarmed 260 pound man, she would certainly be justified in shooting him. It's called disparity of force. A small-statured man could reasonably make the same argument in that same situation. Same would apply to an average-size man if his attacker sceamed that he was a black belt in karate and was going to kill the attackee, as long as the attackee didn't have comparable skills (I seem to recall reading of a similar situation on one of the forums a few years ago, then again, it may have been something Ayoob wrote). Again, it's a matter of disparity of force.

The state laws that I've seen require a person to believe that he is in danger of death or severe injury before he can use deadly force. I don't believe I've ever read anything mandating the number of attackers that must be present before one can use deadly force.

Even as a handicapped person, you will have to convince someone, the DA or a jury, you were in grave peril or in fear of death if you ever have to shoot someone.

Standing Wolf
January 18, 2006, 12:32 AM
There can be a world of difference between an attacking criminal who's down and one who's no longer a threat.

If I ever need to clear leather, I'll shoot to stop, not kill—but I need to be completely sure the threat has been stopped.

I'm not sure your hectoring tone is going to be warmly received.

Ala Dan
January 18, 2006, 12:34 AM
I ain't touch'in this one, cuz it would take far too much time and bandwidth
for me too give all the details~!:uhoh: :D

Hkmp5sd
January 18, 2006, 01:02 AM
You will not find a single person on this board that states they will keep shooting "until they stop twitching."

On the other hand, simply because you are handicapped, the law isn't giving you more leeway in the use of deadly force. You must still be in fear of death or great bodily injury. OK, you cannot "run" away. Are there any other reasonable actions you can take before using deadly force? Just because you cannot run and the law considers a "attack" on you a felony doesn't open the door to automatic free-fire.

Double Naught Spy
January 18, 2006, 03:43 AM
To all the Rambos who say they'd shoot an attacker until they were down and then "continue shooting until they stopped twitching":


I have never heard this said by any instructor. In fact, I don't think I have ever heard it before. However, you seem to have an unnatural fixation on the concept.


I think that once the person (attacker) is no longer threatening you, you can't legally shoot them. Morally, I don't think you should.

I see you are not familiar with Texas law. You have your morals, I have mine. You won't be tried on morals.

If you are still shooting them after they are on the ground and incapacitated, it would be difficult to convince a judge or jury that was self defense.

Who determines whether or not the downed bad guy was medically incapacitated? How do you know he isn't down and playing 'possum, waiting for you to get close, suckering you in to check his condition? Just how do you make the medical determination that the guy was incapacitated if you are not a medical doctor who can make a supernatural diagnosis from a safe distance away from the bad guy?

A prosecutor would say (rightly so) that it was self defense until the attacker went down, but after that you had no need or right to shoot him further because he was no longer an attacker. You were the attacker after the other man down. That's what they'd say, and they'd be right.

This is not necessarily true, especially if you argue that you were still in fear for your life and did not believe the guy was incapacitated.


For your own good, and for the good of other gun owners' rights, and for society, don't think like Rambo. Rambo went to prison, even in the movie. Remember that.

How one thinks is one's own business. How I behave will be for my benefit and the benefit of family and friends.

Rambo was a fictional character who went to fictional jail for fictional reasons.

If you don't call 911, you can be prosecuted for murder if the man dies for lack of medical care, even if the shooting was self defense. Remember that. I'm not sure how fast I'd dial.

I know you don't have to call 911 to get medical aid for your attacker here in Texas, but I would be interested in knowing in just what specific states that mandate by law that you have to provide aid to your attacker.


Think about these things in advance. Maybe consult your attorney. See what he says.

You need to take your own advice. Based on your post, you don't seem terribly confident that you know your own local self defense laws and the of the ones you mention, they certainly do not apply across the board in all states.

pax
January 18, 2006, 04:14 AM
If my armed, 110 pound daughter was attacked by an unarmed 260 pound man, she would certainly be justified in shooting him. It's called disparity of force.
Yes, this part is true, but ...
A small-statured man could reasonably make the same argument in that same situation.
... this part isn't necessarily true.

The way the courts have generally interpreted disparity of force, any woman of whatever size is generally considered to be at risk of death or grave bodily harm from any healthy and determined man of whatever size. The disparity between them is not simply based upon their relative physical sizes, but also upon the fact that women generally have less muscle mass than men of the same size, and generally also have less stamina and fewer physical defense skills. Further (and perhaps of the most weight in the courts' eyes), the courts generally recognize that society expects women not to defend themselves physically, and thus even a large woman is perceived as being unable to defend herself against a smaller man due to her societal conditioning.

A small man attacked by a larger one is missing most of the above elements, and thus he may not be able to persuade the court that disparity of force was present.

On the other hand, simply because you are handicapped, the law isn't giving you more leeway in the use of deadly force. You must still be in fear of death or great bodily injury.
The specific WA law wbond referred to is actually quite clear, and a very good law IMO. If you know that you would be in danger of death or lasting harm from a single slap, then you may use lethal force to defend against the lethal threat to you even if it is "only" a slap. If the attacker doesn't know the risk he is putting you in, too bad for him; he shouldn't go around slapping people.

In wbond's specific case, if his previous injuries cause him to be fragile enough, the threshhold for being reasonably in fear of death or great bodily injury may be quite low. This is a separate issue from disparity of force, but may be quite linked to it. Bottom line is that here in Washington, someone who is so medically fragile that they are at risk of dying from a mere assault may legally use lethal force a lot sooner than someone who isn't fragile.

pax

Mad Chemist
January 18, 2006, 04:24 AM
Holy Toledo! Are you saying that Washington's laws actually make sense.:) :D :cool:

carebear
January 18, 2006, 04:53 AM
In most states there is no legal obligation to either provide aid oneself nor to call for professional assistance in any injury situation, some states do hold trained medical personnel to a higher standard but in no case is there a legal responsibility to place oneself at further risk from an assailant who may or may not be truly out of the fight. Cover from cover and call 911. When the cops are there to control the situation they can make the call that it is safe for the EMT's to render aid.

It is the right thing to do, to call 911 and mention to bring an ambulance with the cops; but it isn't a moral obligation nor is it wise on the victim's part to do anything themself.

wbond
January 19, 2006, 05:01 AM
Your post is very good. The handicapped person issue is part of the disparity of force issue. Likewise multiple attackers are an example of disparity of force. I do agree with you. You also raised instances where this applies that I'd forgotton. I read up on this stuff a long time ago, but forgot much of it. I do know that disparity of force certainly applies when once party is handicapped and the other not. WA State law does recognize this with regard to assaults on handicapped people or elderly, which is why that is a felony.

I really agree with most of what you said. You've expanded on what I said very well. I don't really think we are in disagreement. My statements were imcomplete however, and you filled that in pretty well.

I also think the post by Pax is very good. I'm going to reread it and think about it. No comments about it here now though.

I want to buy the Ayoob book. I borrowed it before and read it 12 years ago. I need to borrow it again and reread it. Maybe it's been updated. Also, I want to find a class in WA state law. OR has classes when applying for permit which I will do there too, but I want a class in WA state law.

From some of the things I've read from others, the Ayoob book and a class would be helpful to some others as well.

You made some pretty broad statements there, some of which, I believe, are incorrect.

If my armed, 110 pound daughter was attacked by an unarmed 260 pound man, she would certainly be justified in shooting him. It's called disparity of force. A small-statured man could reasonably make the same argument in that same situation. Same would apply to an average-size man if his attacker sceamed that he was a black belt in karate and was going to kill the attackee, as long as the attackee didn't have comparable skills (I seem to recall reading of a similar situation on one of the forums a few years ago, then again, it may have been something Ayoob wrote). Again, it's a matter of disparity of force.

The state laws that I've seen require a person to believe that he is in danger of death or severe injury before he can use deadly force. I don't believe I've ever read anything mandating the number of attackers that must be present before one can use deadly force.

Even as a handicapped person, you will have to convince someone, the DA or a jury, you were in grave peril or in fear of death if you ever have to shoot someone.

wbond
January 19, 2006, 05:17 AM
Courts often use the "reasonable person" test to determine what's reasonable in a given situation. What you as an individual think is reasonable also counts to a point (motive), but what the typical person would think is reasonable counts more to a court. At least in WA.

Now in Texas, I've heard you can shoot someone just for being on your property (say your yard). I don't know if that's true, but if it is, that doesn't seem reasonable to me. However, it might be legal in Texas. I don't think Texas law is representative of most of the USA. I think Texas is unusual. I really can't comment for sure on what the law is in Texas, nor what would be considered reasonable there.

However, I think if your former attacker is down and out of the fight, it's not necessary to keep shooting them (assuming they don't have a weapon in their hand).

Let's apply the "reasonable person" test. Would the average person consider it necessary to keep shooting an attacker who is no longer attacking, down, and no longer armed? What does the average forum member think about this? What is reasonable?

I never said you had to take the attackers pulse after they were down. Nor did I say you should do an up close and personal medical exam. I wouldn't do these things either.

You can call 911 from a distance and you should.

If you don't intend to call 911, then what is your intent? Do you intend to leave the attacker there to die (or already dead) and not report it at all? In a rural situation, you can't expect someone else to report it. In a city, you never know if someone else reported it. Since you legally need to report it anyway, what's the controversy about calling 911?

The goal should be to defend yourself to the extent NECESSARY. Full stop. There is nothing offensive about this concept.

In any case, this is only a discussion.

wbond
January 19, 2006, 05:24 AM
Holy Toledo! Are you saying that Washington's laws actually make sense.:) :D :cool:
Well, some WA laws make sense. Oregon's laws are better though because part of getting a concealed weapons permit is a class in what the state law is regarding concealed carry and self defense laws of the state.

I've just reapplied for my WA State permit. My old one expired while I was out of shooting for some years. Next I'm going to apply in OR. I think their class will be really interesting.

wbond
January 19, 2006, 05:43 AM
This is not necessarily true, especially if you argue that you were still in fear for your life and did not believe the guy was incapacitated.

How one thinks is one's own business. How I behave will be for my benefit and the benefit of family and friends.

I know you don't have to call 911 to get medical aid for your attacker here in Texas, but I would be interested in knowing in just what specific states that mandate by law that you have to provide aid to your attacker.

Why are you confrontational? It's not necessary. Even if we disagree, there's no need to get heated. We can disagree politely. I'd like to discuss some parts of your post, with all due respect:

How one thinks is often called "motive". That is the courts business, especially if you've just shot someone.

How other people think is the yard stick your thoughts will be judged against both by the lawyers applying the reasonable man tests, and also by a jury of your peers, if it goes to trial. Since your peers would be Texans, maybe you're thinking is OK in your state. However, I doubt it and I hope not (with all due respect). I'm all in favor of necessary self defense, but leaving a shot person and not calling 911 in a timely manner is wrong.

With regard to a law requiring you to call 911 after you've shot someone, I'm sure that is required anywhere, in any state, probably in any country. Do you really believe that any government is going to say it's OK to shoot someone and not report it in a timely manner? Would you shoot someone and not report it? I never said you had to do an up close medical exam. You can call from a safe distance.

Do you really think the authorities anywhere would say, "OK. You don't need to call us after you shoot someone."? I'm not trying to sound disrepectful here. I'm just making the point.

In OR and WA I have occasionally seen cases in the newspaper of not calling 911 being criminal. One just a year ago where the authorities were looking into prosecuting two people for "depraved indifference" for not calling 911 when they knew their roomate was sick, possibly dying, and needed medical attention. They could have called, but they never called. They ignored their roomate. The roomate died slowly and painfully. The last I saw of it in the papers, the OR authorities were working on charges of "depraved indifference" as a basis for manslaughter (3rd degree murder). That means serious charges for not calling 911 when they had a reason to believe someone was dying and they had opportunity to call and didn't. I think the 3rd element was that they had every reason to think that no one else would call since no one else knew about the sick person. These people didn't do anything to their roomate, except ignore her.

Now if you shot someone in self defense, but failed to call 911 and they died an hour later, that's depraved indifference for not calling. i.e. - if they died for lack of medical attention because you never called 911. If you don't call 911 at all, then failure to report it might be an additional crime. Since you did shoot the person, the depraved indifference might lead to other charges, like manslaughter or worse. Why not call 911 from a safe distance after the threat is over? Are you not going to report you shot someone?

I don't know about Texas, but I am certain WA and OR would not tolerate failure to call 911 after you shot someone. They don't even tolerate it when you had nothing to do with harming the person, but just ignored them while injured or dying.

No one expects you to personally render medical aid to your attacker. I never said that. I wouldn't do that either. However, you can call from a safe distance.

Anyway, enough said. I'm not attacking you personally, so please don't take it that way. It's just a discussion. Thanks.

wbond
January 19, 2006, 06:12 AM
There can be a world of difference between an attacking criminal who's down and one who's no longer a threat.

If I ever need to clear leather, I'll shoot to stop, not kill—but I need to be completely sure the threat has been stopped.

I'm not sure your hectoring tone is going to be warmly received.
You made a great post. I'm wanting people to think about these things. I am also thinking about them. If I'm hectoring, it's not intentional. Well maybe it was (a little) to get people's attention. Some talk so casually about killing someone. Hey, if its necessary that's one thing, but you've read the posts in various threads. Some people make your eyebrows go way up.

I've received a lot of really good advice in other threads from people about self defense issues, and some really blood thirsty advice too. Most people want to defend themselves to the extent necessary and be legal. A few seem to really want to kill someone, which is a different goal from defending oneself. For example, not calling 911 after shooting someone, even if they had previously attacked.

I call 'em like I see 'em.

It's good that people are discussing these issues. This stuff is important. More important than ballistics, gun models, etc. Also, I'm learning some good things from members too. I hope others are as well.

wbond
January 19, 2006, 06:24 AM
You will not find a single person on this board that states they will keep shooting "until they stop twitching."

On the other hand, simply because you are handicapped, the law isn't giving you more leeway in the use of deadly force. You must still be in fear of death or great bodily injury. OK, you cannot "run" away. Are there any other reasonable actions you can take before using deadly force? Just because you cannot run and the law considers a "attack" on you a felony doesn't open the door to automatic free-fire.
Actually I did get the "shoot 'em until they stop twitching" response in another thread about stopping power. I got several of that general tone. One used the exact words, "shoot 'em until they're down and then shoot 'em until they stop twitching". That's why the quotes. However, I later received a message that the person was only kidding. However, I didn't get that message until after I started this thread. A few similar messages from others were not kidding, as is the case with one post in this very thread.

Most of you don't say things like that. I'm talking a very small percentage.

However, it's good to talk about these things. Some of you are more moderate than I am and you have a moderating effect on my opinions. Thanks.

Some of you are far less moderate than I am. Hopefully some of the more moderate members will rub off on you too.

Don't worry, I have no plans to shoot anyone and wouldn't unless it was absolutely necessary. I carried a gun for 5 years in the past and never drew it, even when I had an intruder breaking into my apts. I could have legally shot that guy because he was breaking in and he verbally threatened me with violence, but I never drew my gun (though my hand was on it). I can't say that about some others who have posted. Read some of the other posts. Some aren't kidding about the concept of shooting 'em some more after they're already down and out of the fight.

In any case, this is only a discussion. Thanks to everyone for participating. I just wanted to stimulate people to think about these issues, and in turn for you to stimulate my thoughts. Thanks again to everyone.

strambo
January 19, 2006, 07:06 AM
Oregon's laws are better though because part of getting a concealed weapons permit is a class in what the state law is regarding concealed carry and self defense laws of the state.
Wbond, don't go to Oregon just for a CCW class. I've copied some of the OR law below, note no requirement for any training on the laws, just handgun safety. I'm an NRA instructor and just taught a Home Firearm Safety class last week. It meets the standard with no laws in the curriculum. Make sure you know exacly what is being taught before spending time and/or $$.

-From ORS 166.290

(f) Demonstrates competence with a handgun by any one of the following:

(A) Completion of any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife or a similar agency of another state if handgun safety was a component of the course;

(B) Completion of any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course if handgun safety was a component of the course;

(C) Completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by law enforcement, community college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or a law enforcement agency if handgun safety was a component of the course;

(D) Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, reserve law enforcement officers or any other law enforcement officers if handgun safety was a component of the course;

(E) Presents evidence of equivalent experience with a handgun through participation in organized shooting competition or military service;

Graystar
January 19, 2006, 08:28 AM
Why are you confrontational? It's not necessary. Even if we disagree, there's no need to get heated. We can disagree politely. I'd like to discuss some parts of your post, with all due respect:
Wbond, Double Naught Spy’s comments that you quoted were challenging...not confrontational. However, I feel that the very first line of your first post...

To all the Rambos who say they'd shoot an attacker until they were down and then "continue shooting until they stopped twitching":
is confrontational and disparaging. If I was attacked by someone with a gun then I would definitely continue shooting “until they stopped twitching” because all it takes is a twitch of his trigger finger to fire at me. To me, that’s just common sense. But it seems that you would characterize me as a “Rambo”, irresponsibly emptying my magazine at anything even remotely threatening. That is insulting.

As others have pointed out, there are some misconceptions in your original statements. I’m guessing that the root if your misconceptions is a misunderstanding of the nature of self-defense. It is not law that allows one to defend himself. Self-defense is right, and the states have passed laws to recognize that right. The recent “Stand Your Ground” law passed in Florida (and now being considered in other states) is a perfect example of such law. That law eliminates a potentially life threatening burden that had been placed on those who find themselves being attacked. It also protects victims from liability suits brought on by the families of attackers. This law was passed in recognition of a person’s right to make whatever decision he feels is appropriate to defend himself.

Finally, I’d like to remind you of Bernhard Goetz. He shot 4 teens who were trying to rob him in a subway car in New York City. He fled the scene, never called 911, and tried to get rid of the gun. Even after all that, the jury found he had shot in self-defense. He DID go to jail for a year for having an illegal handgun, but that was a separate charge that would have stood even if there wasn’t a shooting.

Rockstar
January 19, 2006, 10:23 AM
I'm sorry that the threadstarter is handicapped; heck I'm sorry that anybody is handicapped. However, this seems to be a thread about nothing...volumes of words..."I think...blah, blah,blah..." based on a false premise. As has been pointed out in 1000 words or fewer, nobody on this board proposes excecuting somebody after they're no longer a threat.

Can you say, "Waste of bandwidth?" :rolleyes:

Thain
January 19, 2006, 10:33 AM
http://www.thetechlounge.com/forum/images/smilies/more_smilies/feedtroll.gif

tellner
January 19, 2006, 02:55 PM
It's not rocket science. If you believe you are in "immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger" you can take the actions you need to make yourself safe. Once the danger is past you can't keep shooting, stabbing or blivetting. The Walter Mitty's who salivate at the thought of shooting until there's nothing left but a lead-filled pile of goo will end up in jail if they can't give a darned good explanation as to exactly why they did it. On the other tentacle, if you have good reason to believe that you are still in danger, and this can include reasons like "He was still advancing, and he's so much bigger and stronger than me that I would get torn apart in a fist fight" and "I've got a spinal injury that won't let me run and makes knuckle tag problematic. He was still being aggressive after being shot" that's what the whole disparity of force thing is about.

wbond
January 19, 2006, 03:39 PM
I'd like to boil this down to a few questions and comments that address the controversial points and why I think they're important. These are life and death issues, so it's natural to get emotional (for me as well), but let's try to stick to a coldly rational discussion.

Most gun owners (probably 99%) are responsible, but the other 1% are highly suspect.

Most states' laws (that I know of) seem reasonable to me regarding self defense, but a few seem off the wall.

For example, CA is very anti-gun. A friend of mine lives there in the only County that issues concealed carry permits. He still is restricted to 3 guns on permit and other baloney the rest of us don't have to deal with. Some other states and cities don't allow handguns at all.

Others are very permissive.

TX and Louisiana, based on what I've seen in news and heard from residents, sound like you can shoot someone for just stepping on your property. For example, if a person rang your doorbell to ask for directions, you could shoot them for trespassing. Would you? Does it sound like I'm making up a fictional scenario? I'm not.

Look at the case of that Japanese foreign exchange student, which occurred in Louisiana. He was going to a party and got lost and accidentally got the address wrong. He went to the wrong house to ring the doorbell and was shot because he looked scary and didn't understand English. Every Japanese exchange student I've known (we had several stay at my parents house) looked like harmless bookworms. The kid who was shot was not armed, not dangerous, and just wanted directions.

A jury found the shooter not culpable because he "believed" he was threatened. Apparently in some states, what the shooter "believes" is more important than reality or what a reasonable person would believe. This actually does support what the Texas man said in his post about Texas law making his "beliefs" all important, whether those beliefs are realistic or not.

How many of the rest of us think it was reasonable to shoot an unarmed kid trying to ask for directions just because he was in someone's driveway and didn't understand English? Next time I'm in the South, I'm not knocking on any doors to ask for directions. I'm lily white and speak English, but I'd sure not be stepping off the sidewalk.

In OR and WA, and probably most states (at least in the North), it not only matters what the shooter thinks, but also what the average reasonable person would have thought under the same circumstances. And that will be tested in court.

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The Texas man said something to the effect that what he thinks is his business and his state law is what's important in his state. The first is not entirely true if you're shooting someone, but maybe Texas says it is. The first and second are true with regard to whether or not the shooter is prosecuted (in a given state).

The Texas man also said something to the effect that morals don't matter and only state law matters. Well, morals do matter. I won't even go into why with regard to right and wrong. However, I will point out that a shooting that is immoral or clearly unnecessary often results in more federal anti-gun laws.
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What about the rest of us? Whenever a high profile shooting occurs, it has an impact on the nation that translates into federal guns laws. The anti-gun establishment is always looking for a pretext. Why give it to them?

Each case of federal gun restrictions was precipitated by an unnecessary or illegal shooting. Many of those were illegal shootings like murders, but some (like the Japanese kid) were ruled legal but unnecessary (i.e. - a excused mistake).

Regardless of what Texas, Louisiana, or any other state says is legal; the results come back to us federally in federal gun laws.

The assassinations of Kennedys, MLK, and attempted assassination of Reagan all resulted in strong federal gun restrictions. Murders and assassinations aside, just plain old unnecessary shootings are the bread and butter of the anti-gun establishment and the foundation of gun restrictive laws. That Japanese kid is but one of many examples.

With regard to trigger happiness, this only causes unnecessary deaths, but also causes more gun laws.

The anti-gun establishment doesn't try to do something reasonable like get a law passed saying you can't shoot an unarmed person just asking for directions. Oh, no. The anti-gun people instead try to get all guns banned. If they can't do that, they then aim to ban the brand used, or ammo used.

Most gun owners are very responsible (99%), but a few are not. This also includes leaving guns unsecured around kids.

I'm sure responsible gun owners would respectfully disagree with any anti-gun person they had a conversation with. You should. Likewise, you should point out reason to the occasional gun owner who lacks it.

You're protecting your own interests to do so.

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P.S. - I was working part-time there, but now am back to full time. Due to my heavier work schedule and wanting some time at the shooting range, I won’t have time to read or post much. I’ll check back occasionally (maybe weekly or monthly). Thanks a lot.

You’ve all been great.

Thain
January 19, 2006, 04:59 PM
Um... I think you want this website. (http://www.handguncontrol.org/)

Car Knocker
January 19, 2006, 06:56 PM
wbond,

For example, CA is very anti-gun. A friend of mine lives there in the only County that issues concealed carry permits. He still is restricted to 3 guns on permit and other baloney the rest of us don't have to deal with. Some other states and cities don't allow handguns at all.


Your friend misinformed you. California has in excess of 45,000 concealed carry permits issued in multiple counties. There are 20+ counties that issue permits with minimal (for California) hassle. You may wish to visit the following website for more reliable information than your friend provided:

http://www.packing.org/state/california/

carebear
January 20, 2006, 05:53 AM
wbond,

The "Japanese kid" was shot by the nationally syndicated (kinda lefty) columnist Carl Rowan with an unregistered (and thus illegal) handgun in the Greater Washington DC area, not Louisiana.

As was noted, there are multiple counties in CA issuing CCW's.

Texas law does not allow for shooting people who just wander onto your property.

You may want to do some fact checking prior to pontificating at people who apparently know more than you do about the subject of self-defense and lethal force.

A good place to start might be to use the search function and actually read some threads on this very board.

tellner
January 20, 2006, 07:51 AM
wbond,

The "Japanese kid" was shot by the nationally syndicated (kinda lefty) columnist Carl Rowan with an unregistered (and thus illegal) handgun in the Greater Washington DC area, not Louisiana.

Two different cases. I remember the one wbond was talking about. It happened in Louisiana. The kid had left and returned and had a habit of rushing at people to scare them and taking pictures of their frightened faces. In fact, he had a camera in his hand at the time. The homeowner won in crimnal court butlost everything he owned in the civil lawsuit.

Rowan slid because they couldn't prove his gun wasn't grandfathered.

carebear
January 21, 2006, 05:31 PM
Thanks Tellner,

I had forgotten that one, should have double-checked since wbond did mention LA.

I prefer my crow lightly singed. :o

As you pointed out (thank you), there was much more there than "a kid shot just for asking directions".

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