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Someone told me not to own a gun because that's the police responsibility

Discussion in 'Legal' started by GuyWithQuestions, Aug 13, 2006.

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  1. GuyWithQuestions

    GuyWithQuestions Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    I don't own a handgun, but was going to get one for self-defense. Someone the other day told me not to because if I ever used one it would be illegal even if you're in your home and someone's breaking in past all the locks and has a knife and is coming for you.

    He said that lethal force is legal, but not guns, and that they're only legal for hunting and target practice on the range. I read the state's statue on use of deadly force in defense of person, to stop or prevent the immediate use of another's such lethal and unlawful force. He said that in the case that you use a gun in that situation, that's not legal because then you're taking over the police's responsibility and rights and that handguns are made for police. What would you tell him?

    I was thinking about Warren vs. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police and how police can only be held liable in defense of society as a whole, and not individuals (with some specific exceptions stated). I read in Wikipedia that it has often been accepted that law enforcement is responsible for public safety and the individual is responsible for personal safety.

    Does anyone know if the courts have actually ever ruled that individuals are responsible for personal safety (in addition to police not being responsible for it)? Because if that's the case, I could tell him about that and say that if I use a gun to protect myself from being murdered, I'm not taking over the role of protecting society as a whole, but protecting myself, and so I am not being a police impersonator. (As an alternative to telling him what I really think of his reasoning abilities)

    <Paragraphing added by Art>
  2. Liberal Gun Nut

    Liberal Gun Nut Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    There is no crime with using a gun for self-defense in any situation in which lethal force would be justified. There are, however, laws restricting possession of guns. You can't own a handgun at all in Chicago, and if you are in a prohibited class (felony conviction, etc) you can't own a handgun anywhere in the US.

    But assuming you're not in Chicago, and you're not prohibited, you can own a handgun and you could use it in self-defense if the situation would justify it. Someone breaking down your door in the night and coming at you with a knife would probably justify it (although every situation is unique).

    It sounds like you need to take the first step, which is taking a basic NRA safety course, where you will learn which questions to ask and what your next steps are.
  3. orangelo

    orangelo member

    Jun 19, 2006
    The government can not be sued for failing to protect you as an individual because they have no obligation to be your bodyguard. Look up Castle Rock v Gonzales too. It's very similar to Warren v DC.

    If the cops get there in time to save you, great. If not, that's just too bad. You can't sue them because they can't protect everyone at once.
  4. Cromlech

    Cromlech Member

    Feb 20, 2006
    England, U.K.
    I'm too slow to respond, others beat me to it! That person you talked to obviously does not know what he is talking about. Either he assumes that what he says is right, because "oh, it must be a crime to protect yourself with an evil . . . g-g-g-GUN!" :what: . . . LOL.


    He is deliberately misleading you. :cuss:
  5. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    I would say...RTFM

    Ask him who is responsible for your safety when someone is charging at you with a knife after you responsibly called 911 and await for someone to rescue you.

    I think you are putting way too much effort, detail, and thought into this.

    He can't even grasp the concept of self-defense and lethal use of force with a firearm or any other weapon, purpose or improvised. Use specific reasons and cases AFTER you convince him of this most basic and egregious outlook that he will be magically taken care of in the event of a violent encounter.

    Basically everything "he said" about "the facts" is plainly incorrect. His trying to mix his own personal opinions (who's responsibility it should be) into an argument backed by his poor idea of the law (aka his own imaginary laws) makes it even worse. I'd start with showing how lethal use of force for self-defense doesn't have a clause that excludes firearms.
  6. nico

    nico Member

    Dec 1, 2003
    Baltimore/Laurel, MD
    I agree with what has been said. This guy is so far off base that you'd be wasting your time trying to discuss something as complicated as caselaw. If he really believes what he's saying and isn't just trying to mislead you, start simple: ". . . so you're saying that if I legally own a gun and would be legally justified to use lethal force in a self defense situation, using a gun makes the act of self defense illegal??" Ask him to show you one piece of evidence that proves that you have to pick and choose what you use in a given self defense situation.

    Better yet, show him articles about people who legally defended themselves with a gun and ask him to explain why they're still free.
  7. Jim March

    Jim March Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    SF Bay Area
  8. Odd Job
    • Contributing Member

    Odd Job Can probably X-ray it

    Jul 16, 2006
    London (ex SA)
    Tell your friend to never do a first aid course because that is the paramedics' responsibility.
  9. Shadan7

    Shadan7 Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Forgive me reposting something I wrote and posted a few weeks back, but it pretty much sums up my attitude to this way of "thinking"...



    Do you own a fire extinguisher? Why?​

    Do you own a fire extinguisher? Why? Are you expecting a fire? Or do you have some sort of left-over juvenile desire to play fireman, a private macho image of rushing into a burning building to save a child? Don’t you know that improperly used, a fire extinguisher can be dangerous to yourself and others? And there have been “studies” done that show people who own fire extinguishers are actually more careless with fire risks, thinking that they’ll always be able to resort to their fire extinguisher to solve the problem. Besides, firefighters are always right there when you need them, and can put out any fire for you, so there's no point in having your own fire extinguisher.

    How about an emergency first-aid kit? Do you have one of those? Why? Are you expecting to injure yourself? Or do you have some sort of left-over juvenile desire to play doctor, a private macho image of saving someone from bleeding to death with an improvised tourniquet? Don’t you know that improperly used, medical supplies and equipment can be dangerous to yourself and others? And there have been “studies” done that show people who own first-aid kits are actually more careless in general, thinking that they’ll always be able to resort to their medical supplies to repair any injury they sustain. Besides, Emergency Medical Technicians or doctors are always right there when you need them, and can instantly patch you up if you get injured, so there's no point in having your own first-aid kit.

    Are these responses to being prepared absurd? Yeah. But they are exactly the sorts of responses I get when people find out I have a permit for carrying a concealed weapon, and generally carry a pistol whenever and wherever I can legally do so. And my experience is not at all unusual - most gun owners encounter the same sort of reaction from non-gun owners. We’re asked if we’re expecting to have a shoot-out in the supermarket. We’re asked if we have some childish fantasy about playing cops & robbers. We’re told that if we want to play with guns and shoot people that we should join the military. We’re confronted with facts that guns are inherently dangerous to ourselves and others, and that “studies” have shown that owning a gun makes it more likely that we will behave in such a fashion as to need to resort to using one to get us out of a dangerous situation. And besides, there’s always a cop around when you need one, just to protect you, so there’s no need to have a weapon for self defense.

    Are there gun owners who think that carrying a weapon makes them invincible, and they therefore go around with a chip on their shoulder, putting themselves in dangerous situations thinking that they can always whip out their pistol and escape? Yeah, probably. But that is no more the typical mindset of a gun owner than is the notion that someone who owns a fire extinguisher is going to be careless with fire risks. Are guns inherently dangerous, and if used improperly present a threat to the owner and anyone else in the vicinity? Definitely. Which is why anyone who carries a weapon has a responsibility (usually mandated by law in the state which issued their concealed carry permit) to know how to safely handle and use a firearm, how to safely store it, and when it can be legally used in defense of self or another. And are there gun owners who think that they’re some kind of auxiliary police force, ready to jump in and right any criminal wrong they see being committed? Yup. In fact, a lot of people who legally carry a firearm do so precisely because there are situations where intervening could save the life of a loved one, a friend or even a stranger. But that doesn’t mean that they are wanna-be cops. Rather, they’re just trying to help contribute to their own safety and the safety of others. The police, firefighters and EMTs can’t be everywhere. We do have a responsibility to protect ourselves, to make prudent preparations in the event of an unexpected turn of events. That means having a fire extinguisher handy in case of a fire. It means having a first aid kit, and knowing some basic medical skills for dealing with an emergency. And for me it means having a gun available as a tool for self protection. Your level of comfort with how you are prepared for what situations may well be different, but that does not mean that my decision, and the decision of millions of other Americans, to legally and safely carry a concealed weapon is wrong or paranoid.

  10. tegemu

    tegemu Member

    Nov 2, 2005
    Orange Park, Fla.
    The Supreme Court of the US has ruled that it is NOT the reponsibility of the Poalice to provide personal safety. Cops respond to already committed crime, not stop it.
  11. strambo

    strambo Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    My response probably would have been an automatic HA! HA!hahahahaah....oh....you were serious?:uhoh: :confused: :rolleyes:
  12. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 1, 2003
    SouthEast PA
    Assuming you're in any state in the USA,

    Yeah, the guy who told you that hasn't the slightest clue.

    Long story short:

    There are circumstances, which vary by state, wherein you may employ lethal force to preserve yourself from death or great bodily harm at the hands of another.

    If you fit into that category, the _means_ of employing that lethal force is entirely irrelevant to the act of defense itself. The tradition and commentary in the law is that "any means necessary" means exactly just that.

    That being said, _some_ jurisdictions may choose to bring charges for paperwork violations. New York City is famous for this sort of thing: "Yes, you were justified in shooting the home invader, but your handgun was not properly registered when you moved in from out of state according to our administrative requirements, and we therefore charge you with administrative violations."

    And search around this site for the many cases that highlight the fact that the police absolutely has no specific duty to protect YOU.
  13. Turkey Creek

    Turkey Creek Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    My advice is to not waste your time and energy dealing with any blissninny idiot- Some of the best advice I ever got was from my recently passed father-When I was a kid he told me "Son, those knots on your head will go away when you stop beating it against that wall"- This in response to me trying to solve an insolvable stiuation-
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    You need to start making friends with intelligent people.
  15. GoRon

    GoRon Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    west burbs of Chicago
  16. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    I own fire extinguishers - Bust Me.

    Mine do not have "Gubmint Locks" on them either - Bust Me Twice

    Bad enough some folks breath MY air - I really hate it when they use MY air to verbalize dumb stuff.
  17. ronto

    ronto Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    Smack Dab in the Middle of Nowhere.
    Buy a 12 Guage shotgun and load it with 00 buck and tell your friend it would not be a good idea to kick in your door in the middle of the night with a knife in hand yelling "I'm going to kill you". Maybe he will understand that.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  18. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    I heard that one from my aunt

    As I sat at my one uncle's home three or so years back, my aunt became all upset that I was purchasing pistols. As best I can remember, she retorted, "What do you need that for? Pistols are for police! You can't hunt with them!" I was showing them my Encore, in .270 Win, with a 2.5-7 scope, and my Contender in .22LR MATCH that used the same scope. :eek:

    Okay, now I'm wondering hoow many PDs carry scoped Encores and Contenders??? That was too funny. What was most funny was that she would not stop. She went on, and on, and on, and on, and...

    So, as I sit here with my many pistols, I simply think to myself :neener: , though, God bless her, I would never say it to her. Guess she just has different values. Projection sounds about right. She didn't value them, so neither should I. Maybe?

  19. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    UK and Texas
    I think your friends careless misuse of the first ammendment is more dangerous than you arming yourself in accordance to the second.

    You, in the singular, are not the government's responsibility or pet--but you are their meal ticket, so take care of yourself. :neener:
  20. Sam

    Sam Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Alamogordo, New Mexico
    Tell him the truth and to keep his yap shut next time till he knows something about the subject.

    Then take him to the range.:D

  21. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    I believe it's correct that there is a SCOTUS decision to the effect that the duty of the police is to protect the general peace of a community, but has no specific responsibillity to an individual.

    I KNOW there are several federal district court decisions along this line, and I believe the same of some state high-court decisions.

    The specific requirements for an individual to use deadly force in self defense will vary from state to state, but all states allow for it.

    GuyWithQuestions, I suggest you refer your friend to "Castle Doctrine" and the Georgia "Make My Day" law, as these have been nicknamed. Plenty of information via Google and Wikipedia.
  22. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Member

    Jul 17, 2005
    I was makeing my lattest handgun purchase when a woman and her son were in the sporting goods store, obviously her kid liked guns and she didn't and she gave me a dirty look over hearing my conversation about my 4th 1911 (as I was dryfireing & pointing at the wall). She gave me a scorn full look. I told her, "don't worry all my guns are broke". Which brought the question from the saleman, BROKE?, and I then replied "yeah, hand guns are dangerous and commit crimes, there's something wrong with mine".

    It couldn't have been any better of a day that day. Don't remember were I got that line from, but I've used it so many times. You have to be quick on your feet, when the time comes, just like you have to draw fast and fire COM when the time comes.

    I don't see why some people frown so much on handguns, I like the comedian this weekend that said, "heart desiese kills more people than guns do, so why not put a 10 day waiting period on Big Macs".

    When the anti's get smart with you, you have to be prepared to get smart back. Half the reason why I build my "Legally Permited" M4-gery in Cali was to put it out there that it wasn't a horrible weapon, hell I let people shoot it at the range if they ask and buy thier own ammo.

    My other favorite comment is; I'm slowly prepareing for the "American Holocaust" watch the news lattely, it's comeing, who's going to protect the everyday citizen? Not the Police. Look at what happened in New Orleans durring the Huricane, who protected the weak, no body.

    God made man, Sam Colt made them equal... that's an old line, but true, although, peace through superior fire power and the man on the highest ground has a better advantage, tactics will keep you alive too.

    I think America would be better off if we taught M16 & M9 training in elementry school, you gotta quall before you graduate ;) Love to see some anti-gun/gun-grabbing/tree hugging priss be told, "your kid can't graduate high school till he fires that rifle".

    LOL.... yeah I'm over the top tonight I know, sorry. But I didn't cuss and I didn't tell and bloody stories, Err
  23. HankB

    HankB Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    Central Texas
    GuyWithQuestions . . . is the "someone" a family member or a close friend?

    Family members you're generally stuck with, at least if they're close family, and not just an uncle or cousin or something. But you CAN choose your FRIENDS.

    Present the facts, and if the individual is still adamant in his beliefs, just drop it and do your own thing.

    Remember the old proverb: If you wrestle with a pig, all you get is dirty . . . and the pig, well, he enjoys it.
  24. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    Your friend/would-be-adviser has no clue.

    I'm not sure what state you live in, but it would be a simple matter to print out your state's gun laws and use-of-force regulations and show him.

    In NC, they're here:


    I'm sure your state has something similar.

    In a nutshell, here are the rules for when you can use ANY potentially lethal force in self-defense (quoting from Steve Johnson, Concealed Carry Handgun Training, North Carolina Justice Academy, 1995, pp. 3-4, but these are pretty much the same in any state).

    Note that all four conditions must generally be met in order for a shooting to be ruled justifiable, even if the intruder is in your house. BUT, if the above four conditions are met, the use of force IS justifiable, regardless of whether the defender uses a knife, a gun, a baseball bat, or a car to defend herself/himself.

    There are a few other conditions that may constitute justifiable self-defense, varying slightly by state (for example, here in NC, you are explicitly authorized to use potentially lethal force to stop an illegal forced entry into your home, on the assumption that whoever is kicking your door down isn't there to sell you a magazine subscription, and many states allow use of potentially lethal force to stop a "forcible felony" as defined by statute).
  25. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Feb 13, 2006
    In the land of make believe.
    Legal advice is like everything else...

    you get what you pay for.
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