Taking out residential firebombers?


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Guy B. Meredith
January 18, 2006, 11:13 PM
I could ask the California DOJ for the correct answer, but for some reason I am reluctant.

There was a news report that I am now unable to search out about two or three individuals tossing molotov cocktails at the residence of a citizen who had been reporting drug use in the neighborhood. The house was damaged, but I did not see the entire report and cannot find a follow up so don't know how extensive the damage was.

In any event the question is whether commiting homicide in stopping these type of individuals from attacking your home is justifiable.

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neoncowboy
January 18, 2006, 11:15 PM
I dunno about CA...but in Georgia we're authorized to use any force up to & including deadly force to prevent the commission of a forcible felony or to prevent grave bodily harm to ourselves or others.

Lobbing molotov cocktails at a house certainly looks to me like a forcible felony with the potential for grave bodily harm.

bang.

WT
January 18, 2006, 11:22 PM
In my state ......

If the house is occupied, yes.

If no one is at home, no.

AJ Dual
January 18, 2006, 11:39 PM
You could just shoot the bottle. (After the rag has been lit) :D

You wouldn't be shooting at the person at all.

Any "spectacular results" would be a bonus.

Guy B. Meredith
January 18, 2006, 11:47 PM
AJ Dual

I could definitely go for that. Instant karma.

Biker
January 19, 2006, 12:03 AM
In my state, likely yes.
Biker

taliv
January 19, 2006, 12:06 AM
isn't "homicide" always a crime and therefore never justifiable? if you shoot some knucklehead who's attacking you and they die, that's not "homicide" or "murder"

Hypnogator
January 19, 2006, 12:11 AM
isn't "homicide" always a crime and therefore never justifiable? if you shoot some knucklehead who's attacking you and they die, that's not "homicide" or "murder"
No. Homicide is the killing of one human being by another. It may be justifiable, excusable, accidental, or criminal (manslaughter, murder).

Trust me. I'm a retired criminal investigator.:D

taliv
January 19, 2006, 12:17 AM
yep, you're right. i stand corrected.

boofus
January 19, 2006, 01:46 AM
In Texas catching an arsonist in the act as exactly the same as catching a serial killer or rapist in the act. Arson, murder, rape, kidnapping are specifically listed crimes where deadly force can be legally used even if the shooter is not directly threatened. Open season.

Those enviro-terrorist arsonist whackos won't be burning SUV dealerships in TX any time soon, because the dealers can legally shoot them dead even if they only threaten his property.

But since you are in california odds are you will need to be set on fire and have 3rd degree burns over 89.96% of your body before you can legally take the trigger lock off your gun.

Flyboy
January 19, 2006, 01:52 AM
Here's one for the tilecrawlers among us: if arson isn't enough in and of itself to justify the use of force, is the fact of a drought relevent? Right now, all of Oklahoma is under a burn ban, and has been for a month or so. Hundreds have lost their homes, and two have died, as a result of wildfires.

If I were to see somebody lighting a Molotov (or otherwise attempting to start a fire) under those conditions, would it be different than somebody in, say, western Washington (quit stealing our rain, pax!) starting one?

beerslurpy
January 19, 2006, 01:56 AM
Gasoline bombs are deadly weapons and being trapped in a burning house is definitely the kind of assault that could lead to grievous bodily harm or death. If you beleive that someone is inside the house, you can blast the cocktail thrower. Preferably in such a way that he drops the cocktail at his feet and engulfs himself in flames.

geekWithA.45
January 19, 2006, 01:57 AM
A lot of jurisdictions explicitly state that lethal force may be used to stop an arsonist.

In others, the doctrine of stopping an imminent threat to life or limb might cover you.

{muses} I wonder how the imminent threat doctrine works with critical supplies, such as food, water, and air? For example, burning the barn full of food or a grain silo without humans in it might not be deemed an imminent threat, unless in a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario. Flipside, I'll imagine there's some jurisprudence from our agrarian past that addresses that issue. Any legal eagles with commentary on that?

gezzer
January 19, 2006, 02:15 AM
To stop an Arson is justifiable due to the inherent danger to the firefighters.

Manedwolf
January 19, 2006, 02:34 AM
I could ask the California DOJ for the correct answer, but for some reason I am reluctant.

There was a news report that I am now unable to search out about two or three individuals tossing molotov cocktails at the residence of a citizen who had been reporting drug use in the neighborhood. The house was damaged, but I did not see the entire report and cannot find a follow up so don't know how extensive the damage was.

In any event the question is whether commiting homicide in stopping these type of individuals from attacking your home is justifiable.

I would think any sane court would consider a bottle of flammable liquid with a burning rag stuck in it, about to be thrown at an occupied residence...to be a deadly weapon.

But there's a lot of insane courts.

Delmar
January 19, 2006, 02:49 AM
Yep-shoot the bottle. Nickname him zippo. He'll be easy to spot. First he will look like:what: then :fire:

Joejojoba111
January 19, 2006, 06:34 AM
Fire is the most dangerous situation to happen to occupied buildings, above terrorists or tornadoes or giant apes. Holding a molotov is much like pointing a gun at every occupant, using that device is akin to firing. Clearly the use of force in defence is justified. And even if the law said otherwise that wouldn't change a thing.

LAK
January 19, 2006, 06:42 AM
I do not know the State law in CA; in some states arson is a felony which can be prevented with deadly force.

But, personally, I would take this approach in any state; molotovs or firebombs by any other name represent a form of immediate deadly peril, and deadly force would be the response.

--------------------------------------
http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

tellner
January 19, 2006, 03:59 PM
If you really believe that you or an innocent will probably die unless you shoot, then you shoot. The chance of future prison against the certainty of immediate death isn't a difficult choice. If you're looking for an excuse to shoot you probably shouldn't. The question is, does the particular case of arson qualify?

Technosavant
January 19, 2006, 06:12 PM
MO law lists arson as one of a number of crimes in which deadly force is justifiable to prevent.

I would also think that a Molotov Cocktail or other incendiary device could be considered a lethal weapon. These perps have no respect for human life; you could make a case that if they see you, they will try to use them on you as well.

Either way, they are not just going to be starting fire, they are going to be taking it.

XD_fan
January 19, 2006, 07:59 PM
In WA your good to go. Workman's book on Washington Gun Owner's Rights and Responsiblities specifically mentions just this scenario.

Guy B. Meredith
January 19, 2006, 08:33 PM
Well, after the mention of Workman's book I put on my reading glasses, went to the California DOJ site and found the attached.

Basically, the rules are much broader even here in California than I thought. Robbery sometimes falls under the umbrella if there is fear of harm during the commission. Still no TX style chasing down felons, but more than I thought.

Firebombers in my area will be receiving 12 GA slugs and 00 buckshot depending on the range.

Guy B. Meredith
January 19, 2006, 08:37 PM
By the way, I did send a query to the Cal DOJ and received the reply that I would need to go to local authorities for a legal opinion.

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