Canadian man charged for firing on firebombers


PDA






FNMatt
February 7, 2011, 12:08 AM
Hello folks,

Hope I'm not rehashing this story, but here goes:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/20/man-faces-jail-after-protecting-home-from-masked-attackers/

Basically, this Canadian, Ian Thomson, is being charged after he fired his S&W at three men who were attacking his home with fire bombs. No shots hit assailants, but video shows man's property being struck several times. Mr. Thomson's house is clearly damaged in video and he claims one of his dogs was singed by flames. Canadian authorities charged the man with several offenses after he volunteered his security footage. Authorities stated they want to discourage "vigilantism." According to the man, flames left him but no choice to flee the house, in his underwear with his S&W, directly into his still armed assailants. What kind of country gives masked arsonists more consideration than a apparently innocent man? Hope this hasnt been posted here already...

If you enjoyed reading about "Canadian man charged for firing on firebombers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Hardtarget
February 7, 2011, 12:32 AM
If there was no reconsideration from the "legal" idiots ...I'd be packing up and leaving. Couldn't stay in that place and pay taxes to fund that kind of action against me. If they don't know the difference between defense and vigilantism...well there are just no words for that.

Mark

Joe in fla
February 7, 2011, 12:36 AM
Well what do you expect! It is CANADA after all. I was born there but there's a reason that I don't live there!

Shadow 7D
February 7, 2011, 02:07 AM
Wow. Wait thats right, there is no 'self defense' in canada...
Don't mind me, I'm still bitter that they took my issued Benchmade...They were VERY polite about it, but I'm still out my knife.

cleardiddion
February 7, 2011, 02:09 AM
If I remember right, in many states arson along with the likes of murder/kidnapping/and other grave offenses is something that is by law more than permissable by lethal force. After I read the article, I was afraid to facepalm because if I did I would rocketed myself to the moon.

noylj
February 7, 2011, 02:19 AM
In California, it is (or was) legal to shoot someone committing arson. The trick to the law was that if the object was already on fire, your couldn't shoot because the arson had already been committed.
Thus you have the tiny window between the lighter being struck and fire being set.

FNMatt
February 7, 2011, 02:47 AM
I'm not seeing anywhere that authorities are denying that arson on an occupied home is a dangerous/deadly force, but rather that it isn't legal to respond to lethal force in self-defense (self-defence for my northern friends). Watching the video, the men are carrying the flammable containers throughout, and their is little doubt in my mind that were still armed when he fired. To my understanding, Canada does not have any Castle doctrine, but this would seem to not apply as he was directly facing serious injury or death.

1911Tuner
February 7, 2011, 07:56 AM
As goes Great Britain, so goes Canada. Watch and see.

sidibear
February 7, 2011, 08:03 AM
@1911 Tuner, you must have read my thoughts. But here in the UK, if he had shouted at them he may well have been arrested for causing them trauma and distress !

merlinfire
February 7, 2011, 08:13 AM
When you no longer even have the right to defend yourself, I think its time to move. A sad state of affairs.

xcgates
February 7, 2011, 08:20 AM
My good Lord, I do hope Canada passes a Castle Doctrine law as mentioned in the article. This is as obvious as self-defense gets.

As in, they still had lit bottles in their hands when they were subject to Mr. S&W?

The one part I don't like is the lawyer saying the homeowner missed on purpose. I don't see that as a good defense (of course I'm not in that legal jurisdiction), but I hardly think missing a couple shots is unusual in that situation. Look at the hit ratio of cops.

Mp7
February 7, 2011, 08:22 AM
...holy...

anyone who has ever had a "Moli" explode close to him
knows this is deadly force.

This charge will be thrown out. But not dropping it before hand
shows little common sense ..... nasty stuff.

Ben86
February 7, 2011, 08:27 AM
Now that is some bass akward thinking. "Your honor, all the victims were doing was trying to burn the man's house down with him in it, they didn't deserve to get shot at." Really? Wow.

Colonel
February 7, 2011, 09:39 AM
Around here that would have been two dead firebombers.

FNMatt
February 7, 2011, 10:59 AM
...holy...

anyone who has ever had a "Moli" explode close to him
knows this is deadly force.

This charge will be thrown out. But not dropping it before hand
shows little common sense ..... nasty stuff.

I agree that this guy will probably be ok, but given that there is video and audio of this obvious self defense scenario, there shouldn't even be charges. I can't imagine what this would be like if the details weren't as clear (i.e. no video camera, man attacked in street, not home). Seems like someone could easily get jailed in canada for self defense unless they have huge pile of evidence to PROVE they were only acting in self defense, and even then you get charged...

Ben86
February 7, 2011, 12:09 PM
Seems like someone could easily get jailed in canada for self defense unless they have huge pile of evidence to PROVE they were only acting in self defense, and even then you get charged...

Funny, even though the state has the burden of proof for the supposed offense. He shouldn't have to prove self defense, they should have to prove that he willfully attempted to murder the firebombers without just cause. I doubt they have that so they should drop it.

brickeyee
February 7, 2011, 12:38 PM
Funny, even though the state has the burden of proof for the supposed offense. He shouldn't have to prove self defense, they should have to prove that he willfully attempted to murder the firebombers without just cause.

Self defense is an affirmative defense.

The shooter admits to willfully shooting someone (at least assault and possibly homicide) and THEN must show they acted within the law.

You MUST prove you acted within the law.


The state only needs to prove you fired the gun at someone.

Ben86
February 7, 2011, 12:41 PM
Maybe I've got it backwards, but I thought that the burden of proved rested with the accuser.

Legionnaire
February 7, 2011, 12:51 PM
I read about this elsewhere. We can hope that the rediculousness of the situation will result in changed laws. This seems like the kind of "poster" case that could provide the necessary leverage.

pikid89
February 7, 2011, 01:03 PM
good god...if thats not a clean cut case of self defense in canada...what is???

razorback2003
February 7, 2011, 03:16 PM
Those folks had the ability and motive and were trying to maim/kill with FIREBOMBS! That is NUTS that this guy is being treated as a criminal for defending himself from death/bodily harm from FIREBOMBS. I would assume the charges will be dropped or he will be aquitted at trial if this goes to a jury trial but that is nuts for a prosecutor to even prosecute. What a LOSER of a prosecutor to waste time. The little firebombers should be prosecuted and be front page news, not this man who was protecting himself. What a backward place with screwed up prosecutors. At least this man is alive and that is what matters most. In many places in the States these firebombers could have been killed and a prosecutor wouldn't have wasted time with the shooter, just said justifiable homicide, case closed, no charges.

Ben86
February 7, 2011, 03:22 PM
Those folks had the ability and motive and were trying to maim/kill with FIREBOMBS!

I know right, if threat of being maimed/killed by burning to death do to forced application of ignited flammable liquid isn't cause for lethal force, what is?

Evergreen
February 8, 2011, 07:25 AM
In Canada, if you are caught carrying a gun with you and use it in self-defense in an urban environment, I am told you can be put in prison for murder. Basically, the government of Canada supports criminals as they help keep the peasantry scared and helpless. A weak and helpless population entitles the leaders to more power and authority over the masses. The setup works very well. Only the crooked autocratic politicians and the deviant criminal population will be able to carry firearms and use them in defense or to perpetrate crimes.

9mm+
February 8, 2011, 08:02 AM
In Canada, if you are caught carrying a gun with you and use it in self-defense in an urban environment, I am told you can be put in prison for murder. Basically, the government of Canada supports criminals as they help keep the peasantry scared and helpless. A weak and helpless population entitles the leaders to more power and authority over the masses. The setup works very well. Only the crooked autocratic politicians and the deviant criminal population will be able to carry firearms and use them in defense or to perpetrate crimes.

Yet, the Canadians look at Americans as barbaric for using guns in self defense. As 1911Tuner said, they can join the Brits in their anti-gun "enlightenment".

Colonel
February 8, 2011, 12:52 PM
Basically, the government of Canada supports criminals as they help keep the peasantry scared and helpless. A weak and helpless population entitles the leaders to more power and authority over the masses. The setup works very well. Only the crooked autocratic politicians and the deviant criminal population will be able to carry firearms and use them in defense or to perpetrate crimes.

It's a pretty good scam.

Kinda like in Egypt, where the authorities busted open the prisons and set all those criminals loose on the population ... and then all the cops disappeared.

"Hey, the government might be corrupt and tyrannical ... but at least when they were in power we didn't have all these criminals tearing us to pieces ... gimme back Mubarak!"

rodregier
February 8, 2011, 01:12 PM
There is some hope that the laws on self defense and citizen's arrest in Canada may get some modest federal legislative clarification. There have been other recent cases that had a lot of "press" coverage. One in particular involved a shopkeeper taking a repeat shoplifter into custody and the shopkeeper being arrested, charged, tried and acquited.

The attitude of the police and crown prosecutors in several large jurisdictions in Canada is that if there is *any* doubt about the circumstances or application law is to lay charges and sort it out in court later. There is no Grand Jury system or equivalent in Canada, so a determination of a valid defense is pretty well up to the courts.

It's a pretty fair bet that if you actively defend yourself or property with anything more than open hands that you'll be arrested and charged in Canada. Whether you'll be convicted is another matter.

Self defense with firearms have been affirmed in Canadian caselaw, but not without a lot of time and money spent in court.

Performing a citizen's arrest in Canada in conjunction with self defense can potentially give you better protection for the inevitable court battle...

See this:

http://www.nfa.ca/node/179

lloveless
February 8, 2011, 11:14 PM
Needless to say I boycott Canada, because of their stupidity. I wanted to hunt there, but found it easier to hunt in Colorado, and Alaska.
ll

xcgates
February 8, 2011, 11:26 PM
@Rodregier: Good to know (about the no grand jury part), as this site tends to be very U.S.A. centric, and people (myself included) tend to make assumptions based on the laws and processes in their state or city, not to mention country.

That said, I, off-the-cufff, and IMHO, don't think the guy should have been charged. This reminds me of a case in my old hometown in NY (fairly affluent suburb) where a man (read: thug) was stabbed and later died when he assaulted and attempted to rob another man. The intended victim fought off the attacker, and in the process, killed the thug. The cops never even arrested the victim, nor did the DA charge him. Cases like that always give me hope for sanity in the legal realm of self-defense.

Good luck up there, and do stay warm! (Some of the best nordic skiing I ever did was up there... good times!:cool:)

::EDIT:: I still want to ride a motorcycle up to AK using the Alcan highway, as well as take a trip up that other, slightly less famous highway east of the Alcan, can't remember the name for the life of me...

IlikeSA
February 9, 2011, 12:14 AM
So if this guy then goes to them with a firebomb, or a big stick, or some other improvised weapon, and the original firebombers attack him, can they be jailed for assault? It would seem that the law would support vigilantism then. As long as your the attacker, you can get away with anything if the attacked resist you in a harmful manner.

DustyVermonter
February 9, 2011, 12:29 AM
I'm trying to think what I would do if as my wife, child and I are sleeping somebody started firebombing my home......(Headscratch). Well, I'm not entirely sure but I can almost gaurantee that an assault rifle would be obtained from my safe and I'd be going to see about getting the firebombers to stop firebombing. Hmmmmm....now that's a thinker

Zoogster
February 9, 2011, 12:55 AM
In California, it is (or was) legal to shoot someone committing arson. The trick to the law was that if the object was already on fire, your couldn't shoot because the arson had already been committed.
Thus you have the tiny window between the lighter being struck and fire being set.


Not exactly.
In this case it is also goes beyond arson and is continuous. You are seeing the fire and thinking arson which can justify lethal force in California on its own based on certain circumstances, but this goes beyond that:it is in fact both arson and attacking the home with a lethal weapon.
Legally it is similar to someone opening fire on the home with a gun, or throwing grenades at the house, or hosing it down with a flame thrower.

They also didn't just throw one, they walk around with multiple and light and throw them, and while still armed with even more fuel continue to walk around looking for additional targets.
On top of this they are wearing masks clearly intended to hide their identify while engaged in these violent criminal acts.

In California someone shooting both of these individuals would be entirely justified with even just some of these variables, never mind all of them combined.
With such clear video footage it is very unlikely it would even make it past a grand jury.




Reading the title I expected some teens playing with them in a field or something and getting shot at for posing a threat. Not something so clearly and absolutely unquestionable.
The fact that the guy is facing any charges in this is bizarre.
They were throwing firebombs at his house and even ignited his home and wooden deck. His home was on fire, and the guys responsible were outside with yet more fuel preparing even more.
Clearly the man or some responders also put out the fire or his home would have likely burned down.


These attackers seemed in no hurry to leave either. Had the homeowner not engaged them with a firearm it is quite possible they would have killed him or maimed and disfigured him with fire when he was forced to leave his burning home.
He was fortunate to have firearms. The story may have been very different if he had been forced to exit his burning home to face these individuals without one.


Ontario (and especially Toronto metro) is the most anti-gun part of Canada.

Diggers
February 9, 2011, 04:37 AM
Yeah that is really beyond nuts. Just like Zoogster said, these guys just casually wandered around the house cussing and throwing firebombs at things. That is CRAZY! But not nearly as crazy as the home owner being charged for shooting at them. (by them? Whatever.)

What exactly is a person supposed to do in that situation, from the governments point of view?? Is there really no other option than being charged for a crime and then let the courts figure it out? Really? How is it that the individuals who make up the police and government can look at this video and think the home owner is a criminal??

England and its seems Canada (to a large degree) are living in a fantasy world where the government is there to take care of all problems; if a regular citizen tries to save their own skin by taking care of a problem on their own itís like an insult to the government and that citizen must be punished for it.

Its EFing CRAZY!!.

Evergreen
February 9, 2011, 07:08 AM
Perhaps in Canada you are better off taking screaming lessons than firearm lessons. It seems that a loud scream would be a more effective means of defense. After all, that is about the best option of defense you have according to the Canadian justice system. God forbid that you live way out in the middle of nowhere (Like this guy) and your screams go unanswered. :(

Deanimator
February 9, 2011, 10:13 AM
To make a very long story a lot shorter, back in '86 in Cleveland, a Black lady's home was firebombed, then surrounded by a mob of drunken Whites bombarding it with rocks, bottle and fireworks. She repeatedly called the police, who completely ignored the situation. She then called a friend who drove to her home, and finding it besieged by a mob, shotgunned the mob, saving the woman. The FRIEND was then arrested. When the friend's lawyer played the subpoenaed 911 tapes showing the cops laughing about the woman's plight, the friend was either acquitted or the charges dropped.

As you can see, in the United States, arson of an occupied dwelling is taken very seriously, even if you use deadly force to stop that arson being inflicted on somebody ELSE.

GambJoe
February 9, 2011, 11:13 AM
Plenty of guilt to go around. This sound like a prolonged ordeal between Thompson (killed chicken) and his neighbors (the arsonists). The arsonists can't be justified in doing what they did and they should be going to prison for a long time. No one was killed this time around.

He was right to defend his home but the courts are obligated to find out for the record what actually went on and are justified in trying to prevent this situation from getting worse.

Rarely does a shooting wind up with a pat on the back from law enforcement.

xcgates
February 9, 2011, 07:17 PM
GambJoe:courts are obligated to find out for the record what actually went on and are justified in trying to prevent this situation from getting worse.

Exactly, and since it has been mentioned that the Canadian legal system doesn't have a Grand Jury system, it would make sense that they default to bringing charges. I am not saying that the homeowner would not have been charged in the U.S.A., but here is another step before being charged.

Canada does not have that step, so it would seem to me that many people that would not be charged in the U.S.A. would be charged in Canada.

ThePunisher'sArmory
February 9, 2011, 07:38 PM
Like I've said before.......Beautiful country......But ugly and stupid laws!

Ben86
February 9, 2011, 07:44 PM
Like I've said before.......Beautiful country......But ugly and stupid laws!

Yeah, a little too European-like. Which I find kind of odd because they are somewhat of a frontier state. But, then again they were happy under British rule.

DJandDeid
February 9, 2011, 07:58 PM
Things are changing in Europe. We had a case in Ireland where an elderly farmer shot dead a poor criminal who had been threatening and harassing him for some time. He was charged and convicted of murder (well he did shoot him a few times, reloaded, shot him again and threw him over a wall!). The poor criminal had over 80 previous for assault and similar. There was absolute uproar at the conviction and the farmer was acquitted on appeal. Now the law has been amended so we no longer have to retreat when faced with an intruder (on the property, not just in your house) and can use proportionate force up to lethal in self defence.........can't get our hands on suitable guns though, but we live in hope!

onebigelf
February 9, 2011, 08:19 PM
Makes me happier to live in Florida all the time. Here I'd have killed all three graveyard dead and odd are somebody would have bought me a beer.

John

Davey Wavey
February 9, 2011, 11:56 PM
As much as IL sucks for self defense in public our laws seem generous when it comes to defending the life of yourself or others in your home and your home in general.

Arson, along with many others, is specifically listed as a felony that would justify the use of deadly force.

This is coming from my, average Joe, reading of our statutes.

Ben86
February 10, 2011, 03:13 PM
DJandDeid,

I hope won day logical people like yourself prevail and establish concrete gun rights for the citizens of your fine country. Perhaps you people just have to get organized and mad enough to scare the politicians into passing or amending laws in order to allow the liberal purchasing of firearms.

rodregier
February 15, 2011, 08:25 PM
Wonderful commentary on the case.

(Forum rules require I ask you to read the full article yourselves from the link).


Canadians have a right to defend themselves
By Karen Selick, For the Calgary Herald February 12, 2011


http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Canadians+have+right+defend+themselves/4272549/story.html


Karen Selick is an Ontario lawyer and litigation director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.

Jim K
February 15, 2011, 08:50 PM
A couple of years ago, my wife wanted to go to Canada. Reluctantly, I went. Apparently we fit some kind of profile (my wife is Hispanic). Crossing the border, we were stopped and detained for fifteen minutes by a screaming hysterical woman customs agent who kept asking over and over if there was a gun in the car. I kept saying there was not (there wasn't). She asked about the console. Then the glove box. Then under the seat. Then the trunk. She never actually searched the car, or asked us to get out. She never drew her gun, but kept her hand on it and kept fiddling with it like she really wanted to kill someone, anyone. Welcome to Canada.

I will never go back. Sorry, Canadian friends, but your country's officials are crazy.

Jim

xcgates
February 15, 2011, 09:26 PM
That is too bad, the worst border crossing I ever had was when I was crossing with a car load of sleepy buddies on the way back from a nordic ski training camp. It was sometime in the middle of the night, and man was the border agent bored! She kept asking questions (as in obviously bored, not probing, or else she was REALLY good at her job), and it wasn't until some other agent came over to harass her that she finally passed us.

Actually that would have been American officials, so I actually don't remember any Canadian border guards, so I guess I've had good luck. ( I made sure I never crossed with the one guy on our team that had a jacked-up citizenship history, and a name that triggered an interview inside facility every. single. time. It got old quick, but never went further.:confused::uhoh:)

Zoogster
February 15, 2011, 10:19 PM
A couple of years ago, my wife wanted to go to Canada. Reluctantly, I went. Apparently we fit some kind of profile (my wife is Hispanic). Crossing the border, we were stopped and detained for fifteen minutes by a screaming hysterical woman customs agent who kept asking over and over if there was a gun in the car. I kept saying there was not (there wasn't). She asked about the console. Then the glove box. Then under the seat. Then the trunk.

I know that the Canadian officials seem to have excessive abilities to access US databases, such as criminal info (people with a DUI can be denied entrance) and DMV type records.
It would seem a lot of information available in common US databases is accessible to them.

Considering that, and that some states have you on record as having a Concealed Carry license, it is possible such people would be more scrutinized.
Also, California has a database that registers all handguns which is available to LEO.
They can pull up a person's name and see if they have legal handguns.
It is part of the Automated Firearms System.

If you want to know every single gun they know about you as a regular citizen can fill out this:

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/AFSPrivateCitizen.pdf



Assuming you have purchased or transferred a lot of handguns Jim Keenan, I can certainly see such information available to Canadian officials causing them to treat you special.
If they pull up a large list of (handguns are "restricted" in Canada and not very common) firearms you are known to have owned, they may view you as exactly the type of person that are screening to find.
You may go from normal border crosser to "gun nut" that clearly likes guns so much they presume you have a gun stashed somewhere.

Art Eatman
February 15, 2011, 10:22 PM
Enough wandering...

If you enjoyed reading about "Canadian man charged for firing on firebombers" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!