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Bernie Goetz and Joe Horn

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by lloydkristmas, Jul 12, 2008.

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  1. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    Now I'm a youngster, and just stumbled across the story of New York's Bernie "The Subway Killer" Goetz, having never heard it before. It seems like that case was pretty divisive, with issues like racism, vigilantism, etc being brought up. Like the more recent Joe Horn case, Goetz pretty much avoided legal trouble, but was still the target of scorn (and praise) by lots of people. Seems like in both cases, the possibility of being in danger was enough to justify shooting. Sounds good enough for me.

    Any of you older guys remember the Goetz case? What do you think about it from a "High Road"/Self-Defense perspective? I'm bored, maybe this will spark an interesting discussion.


    In case anybody isnt familiar with the Goetz shooting(s) click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Goetz
     
  2. svtruth

    svtruth Member

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    I was reminded

    of the Goetz case by a thread on here about nerds being pro gun. Bernie was a computer consultant, IIRC.
     
  3. Just Jim

    Just Jim Member

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    I remember Goetz and the shooting. Seems it was on the NY subway where Goetz had been accosted too many times to let it keep on going. I believe he shot three BGs with an unregisterd gun, a big no no in NY.

    I have seen a story since the time of the shooting and they made a big deal about his financial condition. Too bad Goetz didn't use more gun, he could of saved the country from alot of crime.

    jj
     
  4. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Even though Goetz was aquitted on criminal charges, he still got sued in civil court for a bazilion dollars by one surviving thug who ended up in a wheel chair.

    The attitudes about individual liberty and property rights are vastly different in New York than in Texas. The right thing varies from place to place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  5. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    ^^According to a recent interview on Opie and Anthony, Goetz said he "hasnt paid a dime" to the guy who was paralyzed. This was in 2004.
     
  6. Just Jim

    Just Jim Member

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    Horn still will go through alot. The men he killed were Columbian ganster and revenge is a real possibility. Plus if those illegals have any living realitives they will go after Horn for cash. At least the BGs won't ever bother anyone again.

    jj
     
  7. Just Jim

    Just Jim Member

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    Back when he shot the guy the round was worth about a dime, all the money the BG deserves.

    jj
     
  8. csmkersh

    csmkersh Member

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    Like Joe Horn, Goetz mouth got him in deep kimshi. Unlike Joe Horn, there was nothing in NYS law to protect him from a civil suit. Horn was no-billed by a grand jury and under the provisions of Texas' castle law, he's going to be awfully hard to sue. Goetz, OTH, had no such protection and his comments were used against him.


     
  9. Just Jim

    Just Jim Member

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    I wonder if the families of the bad guys will go after Horn for a violation of the BGs civil right--a federal thing??

    jj
     
  10. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    I was unemployed for the couple of weeks Bernie spent in 'civil' court and got to watch it all on Court TV.

    Pretty interesting/disgusting the way the whole trial went down. The only badguy who sued was paralyzed by Bernies last shot and his 'you don't look so bad. Here, have another' statement really got a lot of play. (Note to self: If I shoot someone, don't talk while doing it!)

    Also, the fact that the other shoot-ees were ALL doing time for other armed robberies (maybe one was deceased...again, armed robbery) wasn't allowed into the preceedings. Only the poor paralyzed kid...who was going to be a doctor and wasn't doing anything but hanging around with his friends.....please.....
     
  11. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

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    Actually, I wondered the same thing. But as a non lawyer, I think that I recall those kinds of suits hinge on the denial of specific federal rights - like the right to vote.

    So the fact that neither of the guys he shot were citizens may make a difference.

    Can any laywers tell me whether or not I am totally off base on this?

    I thought I recalled someone telling me that the theory that allows such suits may even be based on the 1968 Voting Rights Act - that in essence you were being sued for depriving someone of the right to vote (by killing them, you deny them the right to vote).

    Mike
     
  12. csmkersh

    csmkersh Member

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    Both of the deceased were illegal aliens and not eligible to vote but the Ds are working on that.

     
  13. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    "You dont look so bad, have another"

    Sounds like something out of a Punisher film haha
     
  14. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Member

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    I haven't reviewed the Goetz case recently, but...

    It just seems to me that if his attitude was "I haven't shot you enough, let's see if I can get one last shot in, execution-style," then he damn well should be in jail.

    Hear me out. If I'm in a valid self-defense situation, I would certainly use my gun to defend myself, even if that meant shooting and possibly killing someone. But I'm going to do everything I can to avoid shooting in the first place.

    And once I shoot, if the threat is neutralized, then I'll stop shooting. If I have time to even utter the words "here, have another," then there's no threat that justifies shooting.

    Self-defense is a fundamental right, and I fully support it. Vigilante executions of criminals is not a right. If I cross that line, I should be punished, even if "they started it."

    Aaron
     
  15. jahwarrior

    jahwarrior Member

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    he wasn't acquitted; he served almost a year in jail, if my memory serves. i remember the case, and my parents and their friends talking about it. civil rights leaders were in an uproar, talking about those "poor black youths" as victims, but that wasn't the case with the majority of people; crime was at an all-time high during that decade, and people were sick of it. there were a couple of other self-defense cases around that time; goetz was big news because jesse jackson and al sharpton made it so.

    one case that comes to mind was a guy who killed a guy during a home invasion. he was home with his kids and pregnant wife, some guy broke in, and he shot him to death. he was found guilty of manslaughter 1, among other things, but he had his conviction overturned on appeal. what helped that was that the dead guy had a record that included armed robbery, attempted murder and rape.

    don't believe what you hear or read about goetz; to most new yorkers, black, white or other, he was a hero.
     
  16. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Do keep in mind though when he said that his revolver was empty and he fired no more shots.
    So he didn't fire a shot after saying that, but it was still influential.


    The criminal involved admitted they were planning to rob him.
    In fact when they ran across him they were busy traveling around with the tools to break into arcade machines and steal the coins, which is why they were on the subway.

    They would have attacked him, and at least one was armed with a screwdriver. He defended himself but got caught up in the moment.

    Goetz was in illegal possession of the firearm when he defended himself, which might have contributed to his willingness to go too far (if he had another round.)
    He was charged for that illegal possession.


    Joe Horn on the other hand was not defending himself (though arguably accounts could say he was from at least one of them.)
    He was not willing to let his neighbor's home be victimized and went out to stop the bad guys from escaping with his neighbors property, planning to shoot from the moment he left his home if you listen to the 911 call.
    Since he lives in Texas everything he did was legal, and whether it was self defense or not does not change that, so it was simply no billed.

    Very different situations.
     
  17. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    The biggest difference is that the perps (except for the vegetable) in the Goetz case went on to commit more felonies, including muggings, robbery, and rape/sodomy of a pregnant woman. In the Horn case, the perps are dead. So whether or not either case fits the legal, technical description of "self defense", the Horn incident turned out more....successfully.
     
  18. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    The difference between Goetz and Horn is Goetz was a criminal, but Horn was acting within the law and even supporting it.
    While self defense is a human right and with Goetz that is a mitigating circumstance for his breaking the law and his actions might even be understandable, with Joe Horn he was in the right legally and IMO morally. Horn fired in what he thought was self defense at that moment and he confronted them within the law with a lawfully possessed weapon.
     
  19. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    With all do respect ,I don't think you can say exactly how it will go down if it happens to you - a lot of adrenilin , and a lot of anger for being put in the situation may end up spewing a lot of stuff out of your mouth .

    Just saying until you face it - you can't completely judge it.
     
  20. HK G3

    HK G3 Member

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    The Goetz case sounds as if it was the inspiration for the film The Brave One
     
  21. macadore

    macadore Member

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    IIRC, Goetz was acquitted for the shooting but was convicted, and did time, for possessing a firearm. That always seemed bizarre to me. It was OK for him to shoot in self defense, but not OK to have a firearm with which to shoot.
     
  22. Old Grump

    Old Grump Member

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    Its been a long time

    So correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember Goetz traveled to California, checked into a hotel, used that as an address and bought the revolver as if he was a resident which he wasn't. Then he took his illegal gun and flew back to New York crossing several state lines with an illegal gun. Took it into New York and carried it unregistered. Self Defense is something he had a right to do but he deliberately skirted the law to arm himself and set himself up for exactly what happened. Thats why he got prosecuted. It also shows the weakness in New Yorks reasoning behind making it harder for civilians to get guns. If more people carried there wouldn't have had to be a Sub Way Vigilante because the gangs would have found easier prey somewhere else.
     
  23. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    I live in Texas so I fortunately dont have to worry about silly New York laws, but if I had been continually victimized by criminals like Goetz had, I probably would have gone to whatever lengths possible to arm and defend myself. Once again the old adage.....better to be judged by twelve than carried by six, I guess...
     
  24. Just Jim

    Just Jim Member

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    Ironic how Goetz stood up like a man against his attackers and people here say he just didn't do it right. He won and 4 bad guys lost yet still people condem him. Tells us alot about how bad society is. Men have been nuetered buy socialism.

    He may have had to go around the block to get his gun but he had the right to self defense by the constitution even if his rights where denied by NY. Thank God the Courts now say every man has a right to defend himself.

    jj
     
  25. HankB

    HankB Member

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    As I remember the Goetz case, the only reason they caught him is that he was mouthing off about how HE was the subway vigilante, and someone overheard him and called the cops; when he heard they were looking for him, he turned himself in. If he'd kept his pie hole shut, there's a good chance that the Subway Vigilante would, to this day, be unknown.

    The most odious part of the case is that when the DA decided to prosecute Goetz, he gave immunity to the guys who were going to rob him!
     
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