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Colvin
January 31, 2012, 11:26 AM
The typical self defense scenario involves protecting you or your family. The common practice when it comes to defending others is that of you or your family's lives are not in danger, then you must call the cops.

But consider this. What if you could easily save someone that you don't know? Like if an armed aggressor is attempting to smash the windows of your neighbors. What if you had a clear shot and could easily defend them? Is that a strong enough situation to warrant an exception to the self defense principle?

You could easily say that such a threat is a threat not only to your neighbor but also yourself, but assume that you know it is no threat. Just wondering. Thanks.

Edit: perhaps I should be more clear. The point is that would you defend thy neighbor?

Bartholomew Roberts
January 31, 2012, 11:36 AM
Most states allow use of force and even deadly force to protect a third party; HOWEVER, there are serious practical problems with doing so. A couple of common ones are:

1. The person you are trying to "save" may not always appreciate it. Domestic violence between partners/relatives can often change into both beater and beatee attacking whoever intervenes.

2. You don't know the whole story of what is going on: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454222

In the above link, a man uses deadly force in defense of a third party and ends up killing an off-duty police officer - and one he was acquainted with even. Turns out that despite being present and in close proximity during the entire scenario, he didn't fully grasp what was going on.

This website also has an excellent discussion of the problems surrounding the question you are asking: http://corneredcat.com/Saving_the_Life_of_a_Stranger/

It is worth a read.

kraigwy
January 31, 2012, 11:57 AM
I don't think I'd want to use deadly force for the protection of property (excluding my own house) even if its justified.

We didn't come into this world with anything and we wont have anything when we leave. It's just stuff.

So unless someone is in danger, my revolver will stay in my pocket.

Brian Pfleuger
January 31, 2012, 12:09 PM
Too different issues. Someone smashing windows is completely unrelated to "self defense". Shooting them would not be an "exception", it would be unrelated. Legal or illegal, it is in no way related to "self defense".

You might intervene. You might yell over at the guy, go running to the neighbors house if they are or might be home, you might end up confronting the guy and end in a self defense shooting for one reason or another but shooting him for breaking windows in not "self defense".

Don H
January 31, 2012, 12:20 PM
One thing to keep in mind about general discussions of generalized scenarios such as this: An action that may clearly be legal in one state may clearly be illegal in another. There is no definitive answer.

Nitesites
January 31, 2012, 12:26 PM
Yell "Fire!!" Cause a distraction. Make noise. Get attention. Dial 911. Keep your distance if possible.

Colvin
January 31, 2012, 12:28 PM
Assume you believe that your neighbor is in danger- the scenario is unimportant.

Brian Pfleuger
January 31, 2012, 12:43 PM
Assume you believe that your neighbor is in danger- the scenario is unimportant.

Well, but that's different. The danger aspect is critical and broken windows probably don't meet the criteria.

Regardless, if the neighbor is in danger, it's not an "exception" to rules of self defense.

It is, in legal terms, not necessarily "self defense" anyway. It is " deadly physical force" and few, if any, laws in the USA make a particular distinction between using deadly physical force in defense of self versus others.

I have as much right to defend my neighbors life as I do my own. There might be (definately are) other legal complications that involve whether or not you really know what is happening or whether the "victim" might suddenly change their mind when you shoot their abusive husband... But those are separate questions.

MTT TL
January 31, 2012, 12:46 PM
The scenario is quite important. The laws are varied, specific at times and non-specific at others.

If you want to limit the scenario to "my neighbor is in danger of being killed; will I shoot to protect him?", the answer depends upon which neighbor it is. If your question is "Someone is breaking into my neighbors house, is that a good reason to shoot?" again it depends. Is it the crazy ex-husband coming back to in the ex-wife? or is it the local tweakers looking for a quick cash score while he is at work?

A separate question you posed is; would I shoot to protect a stranger and the answer is likely yes. But it depends. I am protecting a purse snatcher from being beat by the victim? I am thinking he will take what he has coming. Generalities are too general.

You can move the goal post all around the field in hoping to make a point or you could just tell us what you are thinking.

Details matter.

Slopemeno
January 31, 2012, 01:28 PM
Then be a good witness.

Patriot86
January 31, 2012, 01:38 PM
I agree with what has been said about the DV stuff, most of us know or probably have known someone who would get the #### beaten out of them, call the cops, then drop the charges only to go back to the abuser. That same person might testify AGAINST you after you shoot mr. scumbag.

Grant D
January 31, 2012, 02:11 PM
Pasadena Texas
Joe Horn to 911 operator: there's two burgalures in my neighbors house!
Operator: the police are on their way.
Joe Horn: theyr'e leaving with his property,I'm going to shoot them.
Operator: wait for the police.
Joe Horn: nope (shotgun racks) Boom, Boom, Two dead bad guys...no charges filed against him.
God Bless Texas!!

Hiker 1
January 31, 2012, 02:29 PM
The standard for using deadly force to protect a neighbor should be the same as the standard you would use to protect yourself. Do you reasonably believe that the neighbor is in imminent danger of death of serious bodily injury, or however it is worded in your state?

There is not a lot of room for error in a scenario like this. If you're wrong, you will likely do time.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 31, 2012, 02:54 PM
That is not what happened with Joe Horn - don't post silly fantasies.

He managed to convince the authorities that he acted in self-defense and had a witness to back up his claim.

Frank Ettin
January 31, 2012, 03:40 PM
[1] Legally justified use of lethal force in defense of another is not vigilantism. But to be justified, such use of force is subject to the same standards as for defense of self.

[2] But if one does use lethal force in what he believes to be defense of another, he better be sure he knows what's going on and that his use of force is legally justified. A mistake can easily send him to jail.

[3] On the other hand, vigilantism is never acceptable.

And let's please keep this thread on track. These discussions tend to wander, and if this one does, it'll be shut down.

brickeyee
January 31, 2012, 03:56 PM
But if one does use lethal force in what he believes to be defense of another, he better be sure he knows what's going on and that his use of force is legally justified. A mistake can easily send him to jail.

And conditions the person being defended may have created can than attach to you in determining if the force is justified.

Be VERY careful.

If you neighbor runs into your house bloody from a brawl his use of lethal force may not be justified, and then your use of lethal force in his defense might not then be justified.

It really pays to understand both the statute law and the case (common) law for the jurisdiction you are in, and have at least a passing familiarity with local politics (it often drives prosecutors).

The Bloomfield Press guides to state gun laws are a decent start.

Anyone considering using a firearm for self defense should have at least looked at them for their state.

They are not painfully complicated, and have decent citations to applicable case law.

Skans
January 31, 2012, 04:16 PM
In the OP's scenario, I certainly wouldn't just start shooting. But, I would yell out and get the burglar's attention. If he fled, I'd call the cops. If he starts to become aggressive toward me, I'd defend myself.

FM12
January 31, 2012, 04:21 PM
Few states allow the use of deadly force in the protection of property crimes. Thin ice. I appreciate your thoughts tho!

Grant D
January 31, 2012, 04:48 PM
Glenn E Meyer
I have heard the 911 call... that's how it went down.
And yes he had a witness across the street, and hell to go through afterwards,also had to leave town for awhile.

markj
January 31, 2012, 04:51 PM
Like if an armed aggressor is attempting to smash the windows of your neighbors. What if you had a clear shot and could easily defend them?

Not gonna do it, wouldnt be prudent at this juncture.

Would go to jail here and lose the right to own a gun. I will call 911 then maybe turn 5 or 6 dogs loose....

Glenn E. Meyer
January 31, 2012, 05:18 PM
Grant , your post was a misrepresentation to state that the 911 call was how it went down. It was the witness that saved him. Your implication was that it was an easy shoot to take down the robbers was not correct.

Let's be real here.

God may bless Texas or not but the witness was the crucial factor from all accounts. It was not an open season on BGs as you implied.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 31, 2012, 06:23 PM
A common mistake on the Joe Horn shooting is that people get the impression it is OK to shoot to protect the property of a third person in Texas. The circumstances where you can legally do that in Texas are VERY limited and Joe Horn would likely have not been covered by that law.

Joe Horn's lawyer stated to the press and the grand jury that when Joe Horn confronted the men outside, they charged him and Joe Horn shot in defense OF HIMSELF, shooting one of the men in the back as he veered away at the last instant. This account was coorborated by a plainclothes officer who had arrived in response to Horn's 911 call and witnessed the entire shooting.

Horn was not real far away from having shot two men, one of them in the back, in a situation where deadly force in defense of property was not authorized and where there were no witnesses to support his version and forensic evidence was ambiguous. Throw in his 911 tape and he could have been in a world of trouble. Horn was very lucky. He was lucky he had a credible witness whose story matched his perfectly. He was lucky he had the attorney he did.

Scorch
January 31, 2012, 06:24 PM
Regardless of what may or may not have happened in TX, vigilantism and defense of life and limb are two very different things. Vigilantism is hunting down alleged criminals and punishing them, whether or not they are involved in or there is evidence of their involvement in the commission of a crime. It borders on terrorism, and is unacceptable in any civilized society under rule of law.

Defense of life or limb is different, you have the right to act in defense of others to prevent their death by persons or animals. Yes, I would take on a person trying to break into the neighbor's house if I knew for sure that they were home and their lives were potentially in danger. Otherwise the break-in is a burglary, and burglary is not punishable by death in our country.

I say watch fewer movies, be less scared of others, and be less judgemental in general. If you don't know exactly what is going on, don't intervene, and don't let your fantasies run away with you. And remember, you will be tried under the "reasonable man" rule (i.e. would a reasonable man have acted in this manner?).

Grant D
January 31, 2012, 06:25 PM
It's never a easy shoot to take someones life.That isn't what I was implying.
The fact is you can protect your neighbors property in this state.
But his life will never be the same.

Derekc294
January 31, 2012, 06:32 PM
IMHO your not an officer of the law so call one. The problem is you will spend more in legal fees and possibly losing your permit when you, your family or property are not a direct threat. Call 911 & report the situation to authorities. Not saying close the blinds and look the other way I just wouldn't jeopardize my lively hood or permit.

KBP
January 31, 2012, 06:43 PM
A number of years ago, there was a man in New York City who used the subway and traveled around in places where he was very likely to be mugged. He shot several young men that tried to rob him. If I remember it right, he was convicted of vigilantism and murder because it was said he was putting himself in a position to be robbed and wanted to shoot these criminals! Many people thought this was not right for him to be convicted because he was defending his right to travel anywhere and defend himself! There is a fine line here on this issue and if you have ever been robbed at gunpoint or by someone with a knife, you are kidding yourself if you think you weren't in danger of losing your life! :eek:

BlackFeather
January 31, 2012, 06:44 PM
Well, being Buddhist I have no reason to try and kill someone for breaking into a house or stealing something/destruction of property. Objects mean little.

Life and Death on the other hand means a lot, and shooting someone for assaulting my neighbor seems a bit lopsided. Slopemeno brought up a good point, be a good witness. Skans brought up another, confronting the person, if their attention goes to you and you defend yourself, that seems fine. Being a "Hero" like Joe Horn is ridiculous in my eyes, he seems like he was after the chance to kill someone, for Burglary no less.

Not knowing a situation, physically interfering without first calling the police and trying to deescalate the situation is stupid. Making a citizens arrest is an option, but good luck.

Don H
January 31, 2012, 07:56 PM
A number of years ago, there was a man in New York City who used the subway and traveled around in places where he was very likely to be mugged. He shot several young men that tried to rob him. If I remember it right, he was convicted of vigilantism and murder because it was said he was putting himself in a position to be robbed and wanted to shoot these criminals! Many people thought this was not right for him to be convicted because he was defending his right to travel anywhere and defend himself! There is a fine line here on this issue and if you have ever been robbed at gunpoint or by someone with a knife, you are kidding yourself if you think you weren't in danger of losing your life!
If you're thinking of Bernard Goetz, he wounded 5 men who tried to rob him on the NYC subway and was eventually convicted of possession of an illegal firearm and served less than a year in jail.

Frank Ettin
January 31, 2012, 08:06 PM
...A number of years ago, there was a man in New York City who used the subway and traveled around in places where he was very likely to be mugged. He shot several young men that tried to rob him. If I remember it right, he was convicted of vigilantism and murder... [1] Care to provide a citation or reference?

[2] These sorts of "...there was a man...if I remember it right..." statements are worthless and a waste of time without some documentation.

[3] And as Don points out, if you're thinking of Bernie Goetz, who was called the "Subway Vigilante" in the press, you've got it all wrong.

shurshot
January 31, 2012, 08:30 PM
The story was covered pretty heavy by the National media at the time. If I recall, didn't Goetz shoot 4 men, one of them twice? I think he had a 5 shot S&W .38 and after shooting each MUGGER once, he turned to one and stated something to the effect of "You don't look too bad... here's another" BANG! I think at least one of them had a screwdriver and they WERE intent on hurting / robbing him. I think the crime rate DROP in NYC in the following weeks, prior to Police catching Goetz, as there was speculation of a DEATH WISH type of crime fighter roaming the streets? I could be wrong, as it was over 25 years ago.

Frank Ettin
January 31, 2012, 08:37 PM
If I recall, didn't Goetz ... I could be wrong, as it was over 25 years ago. There is no reason to risk being wrong about stuff like this. There are records, and information is preserved and available. If you'd just take the time to Google Bernard Goetz, you'd find a bunch of material, including an extensive Wikipedia article. A little research never hurt anyone.

In any case, Goetz is off topic. This thread is about coming to the defense of another person.

Let's get back on track.

Ruark
January 31, 2012, 09:35 PM
Yes, it depends on the state. If you're in Texas, look at Texas Penal Code 9.43.

And of course, as always, there are variables. Is there only one intruder? Is your neighbor HOME? Is your neighbor a couple of college girls? A combat vet with 38 loaded guns on the wall? A 90 year old lady living alone?

You would have to a little soul-searching in deciding what to do if it was a lone woman, elderly, etc. and you saw somebody breaking in a window. I would probably approach with a firm "get away from that window! NOW!" and my gun drawn and pointed, or ready to quick-draw and fire. Or maybe I would have a shotgun.

But again, as with so many of these hypothetical scenarios, it just depends.

Bartholomew Roberts
January 31, 2012, 10:20 PM
Sec.*9.41.**PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.
(b)**A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:
(1)**the actor reasonably believes the other ha
d no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or
(2)**the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


Sec.*9.42.**DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
(1)**if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
(2)**when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A)**to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B)**to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
(3)**he reasonably believes that:
(A)**the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B)**the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


Sec.*9.43.**PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON'S PROPERTY. A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:
(1)**the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or
(2)**the actor reasonably believes that:
(A)**the third person has requested his protection of the land or property;
(B)**he has a legal duty to protect the third person's land or property; or
(C)**the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care.

So if you live in Texas and want to shoot someone over your neighbor's property, you need to first at least meet the following conditions:

1. The neighbor must be in lawful possession of the property.
2. The property must be land or tangible, movable property.
3. You must reasonably believe that deadly force is immediately necessary to stop the interference with the property.
4. The other person has no claim of right to the property.
5. The crime being prevented is arson, burglarly, robbery, theft during nighttime or criminal mischief during nightime.
6. You must reasonably believe the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by other means OR using less force would expose you to substantial risk of death or serious injury.

When those conditions are met, THEN you just need to meet all the conditions in Sec. 9.43 and it is a good shoot.

Frank Ettin
January 31, 2012, 10:46 PM
Good post, Bart.

Some folks seem to think that Castle Doctrine laws are some kind of "get out of jail free" card. They are not.

Every Castle Doctrine, and every law permitting the use of force in self defense, includes a laundry list of conditions that need to be satisfied for their protections to apply. If there's any dispute about whether those conditions have been satisfied, you'll be in court.

Nitesites
January 31, 2012, 11:23 PM
But consider this. What if you could easily save someone that you don't know?
Just who are you saving? Unless you personally investigate, do you even know what the circumstances are? And to investigate, what would identify you as an individual with the authority to detain and question another individual at gunpoint?
Like if an armed aggressor is attempting to smash the windows of your neighbors. What if you had a clear shot and could easily defend them?
A very bad idea in my opinion. Plain-clothes cop could be chasing a hiding fugitive that holed-up in your neighbor's home?
Edit: perhaps I should be more clear. The point is that would you defend thy neighbor?
Shooting a stranger for attempting to break a window is not defending your neighbor.

JohnKSa
January 31, 2012, 11:29 PM
The fact is you can protect your neighbors property in this state.While it is true that one can use deadly force in defense of property in TX--under very limited circumstances, I might add--Horn's case is not an illustration of that fact.

Joe Horn's actions were justifed based on a claim of self defense--NOT defense of property. He was backed up in that claim by a police officer who witnessed the shooting.

Nnobby45
January 31, 2012, 11:48 PM
Edit: perhaps I should be more clear. The point is that would you defend thy neighbor?


That's better.

I don't know the answer to your specific question, but it bugs the crap out of me when people toss around the word "vigilante" without understanding it's meaning. It's become a news media jargonese term. Law abiding gun owners don't use it---at least not when it applies to lawful acts. Vigilantes are the ones who circumnavigate the law. And lawful intervention does not equate to vigilantiism.

Now that I feel better for getting that off my chest, I don't personally know how the law is written iin your state, but if you ask yourself the question: Is anyone's life in immediate danger, then maybe you could answer your own question.

And if you answer another question: Would it be prudent to get the police rolling ASAP, before I consider opening fire?, then that might help, also.

Believe it or not, there could be a valid reason for someone trying to open a window that you wouldn't be aware of watching through your rifle scope.

Maybe "The police are on the way, why are you trying to enter my neighbor's house through a window?" would help solve the problem and save an awful lot of headache.

Call the Cops. Then call your neighbor and let them know about the problem. Think "gun" last--it's still there as an option.

Nitesites
January 31, 2012, 11:55 PM
I can understand the idea though. This is a moral issue. You see something that sounds your internal alarm. It doesn't involve you personally per se but will you just stand by and to allow "this" to happen to "them".

Added : Get to know your neighbors. Talk to one another. Exchange #'s. You don't have to like one another.

federali
February 1, 2012, 07:17 AM
You opened with the term "vigilantism." Vigilantism is not self defense or the defense of another, it is the usurption of governmental power by investigating, capturing and punishing the responsible party without authorization to do so. This is mob justice such as the widespread lynchings of blacks in an earlier era.

In NYS, one may only use deadly force in a property oriented crime to prevent the arson of an occupied dwelling. Any use of deadly force to prevent a property crime such as burglary or auto theft (not carjacking) will land you in jail, wipe out your net worth and permenantly cost you the privilege or right to own firearms.

Our justice system is far from perfect. Some get away with murder while innocents are sometimes convicted in a legitimate self defense situation.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 1, 2012, 11:17 AM
Thanks, Bart, Fiddletown and John - that was my point, Grant.

Horn's case was not the way you portrayed it.

TailGator
February 1, 2012, 12:06 PM
Sorry to be so late in this thread, but I've been busy lately.

Going through the posts somewhat quickly, I didn't see that anyone has mentioned legitimate reasons for breaking a window: being locked out, or going to the opposite side of a house from a fire to gain access for a rescue attempt.

This comes back to the same issue that often comes up in questioning whether a third party should intervene with gunfire: Do we always know exactly what is going on? If the answer is even a little bit no, we probably shouldn't do anything irreversible like letting fly with bullets.

Lee Lapin
February 1, 2012, 01:33 PM
Assume you believe that your neighbor is in danger- the scenario is unimportant.

"Assume" could well be the most dangerous word in the vocabulary of the armed citizen...

Grant D
February 1, 2012, 02:38 PM
I agree with all the posts on the matter of Joe Horn.
But there's nothing inaccurate in my first post, just the story in a nutshell.

Brian Pfleuger
February 1, 2012, 03:40 PM
In NYS, one may only use deadly force in a property oriented crime to prevent the arson of an occupied dwelling. Any use of deadly force to prevent a property crime such as burglary or auto theft (not carjacking) will land you in jail, wipe out your net worth and permenantly cost you the privilege or right to own firearms.

I'm sure it depends somewhat on the jurisdiction but by the letter of the law that's not really the case...

NY Penal Code:

35.20 Justification; use of physical force in defense of premises and in defense of a person in the course of burglary.
1. Any person may use physical force upon another person when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate what he or she reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission by such other person of a crime involving damage to premises. Such person may use any degree of physical force, other than deadly physical force, which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for such purpose, and may use deadly physical force if he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of arson.
2. A person in possession or control of any premises, or a person licensed or privileged to be thereon or therein, may use physical force upon another person when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate what he or she reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission by such other person of a criminal trespass upon such premises. Such person may use any degree of physical force, other than deadly physical force, which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for such purpose, and may use deadly physical force in order to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of arson, as prescribed in subdivision one, or in the course of a burglary or attempted burglary, as prescribed in subdivision three.
3. A person in possession or control of, or licensed or privileged to be in, a dwelling or an occupied building, who reasonably believes that another person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling or building, may use deadly physical force upon such other person when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of such burglary.

Frank Ettin
February 1, 2012, 04:16 PM
And remember. It's not just a matter of what the statutes say. It's also a matter of how they're applied by the courts.

Rachen
February 1, 2012, 05:16 PM
If an elderly person or a child or anyone who appears to be mentally/physically incapacitated is being attacked... Attackers are going down. Because these victims are apparently incapable of defending themselves or fflee from the scene, and even punches and kicks may be fatal to them, thus justifying the use of force upon any attackers/muggers preying upon them.

Fight between two people on the street of equal physical stature... Leave them alone, but call police if something dangerous is seen, such as combatants brandishing weapons.

aarondhgraham
February 1, 2012, 05:28 PM
I would have to do something,,,
Most likely I would simply dial 911 and make a lot of noise.

I do not have the Hero gene,,,
But I can't simply walk away either.

I did that once back in my wild and crazy youth,,,
I saw two GI's smacking a Korean "business girl" around,,,
The very next day I saw her again all bruised and battered to heck.

Let's just say I was profoundly ashamed of myself. :(

I don't want to be a sheepdog,,,
I don't think I would dive in shooting,,,
But I would be compelled to do something,,,
Even if all I could do was honk a horn and call 911.

There is an old quotation/statement/cliche that goes something like this:
All that is necessary for evil to triumph,,,
Is for good men to do nothing.

I may not do much,,,
But doing nothing (again) is not an option.

Aarond

.

Nitesites
February 1, 2012, 05:31 PM
If an elderly person or a child or anyone who appears to be mentally/physically incapacitated is being attacked...I would consider that to be a completely different bag of chips. That would be an immediate perceived threat to someone's life. Someone needs to dial 911, an order to stop the attack should be given. If that fails, physical interdiction equal to or greater than the attacker(s) would be absolutely necessary on my part.

Added : I feel ya Mr.Graham.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 1, 2012, 06:59 PM
Might remind folks that good ol' blood lust and suggesting illegal actions are not a path to follow here.

Nnobby45
February 1, 2012, 07:01 PM
I can understand the idea though. This is a moral issue. You see something that sounds your internal alarm. It doesn't involve you personally per se but will you just stand by and to allow "this" to happen to "them".

Moral issue, perhaps, but VERY much a legal issue, also.:cool:

Nitesites
February 1, 2012, 07:34 PM
You sort of took that out of context there...If you don't mind, read my preceding posts and you may get an idea of the intention. I don't disagree with your statement, just the idea of being misrepresented.

Onward Allusion
February 1, 2012, 07:55 PM
Edit: perhaps I should be more clear. The point is that would you defend thy neighbor?

Um, depends on which neighbor. The one South of me, um... :D

Seriously though, me shooting a BG to "defend" my neighbor's property would not happen. To defend my neighbor from physical harm or death, yes.

Frank Ettin
February 1, 2012, 08:28 PM
I agree with all the posts on the matter of Joe Horn.
But there's nothing inaccurate in my first post, just the story in a nutshell. Often when we deal with these subjects "in a nutshell" is still wrong. A great deal is at stake and the details really do matter.

If an elderly person or a child or anyone who appears to be mentally/physically incapacitated is being attacked... What about a parent trying to restrain a child from running into a busy street? What about a caregiver trying to restrain an elderly person with dementia or some other impairment from injury himself? Are you absolutely sure that you would always be able to immediately recognize the difference?

Nitesites
February 1, 2012, 08:53 PM
What about a parent trying to restrain a child from running into a busy street? What about a caregiver trying to retrain an elderly person with dementia or some other impairment from injury himself? Are you absolutely sure that you would always be able to immediately recognize the difference?I imagine in some scenarios that I can think of, no. Not immediately. But in others, yes. You listed two good scenarios that should give all reason to pause for thought and witness events as they unfold. But if someone were to pass an elderly lady carrying her groceries on the sidewalk, and then witness her being physically attacked by a crackhead(?) all of a sudden, I don't believe you would mistake that.

Frank Ettin
February 1, 2012, 09:06 PM
...Are you absolutely sure that you would always be able to immediately recognize the difference?...I imagine in some scenarios that I can think of, no. Not immediately. But in others, yes....But that's pretty much the point. You need to be certain about what's actually going on. In some cases, you might be able to figure it out with a high degree of confidence. But in others, perhaps, not so much.

This takes us back to the basic truth that the details really do matter.

Nitesites
February 1, 2012, 09:12 PM
You are right of course. We must use our ability to reason. Think twice and even thrice before acting upon an impulse.

.22lr
February 2, 2012, 02:40 PM
Since my neighbors are not family members I would:

1) Herd my family into the basement.
2) Call the police and make sure they knew a life was at risk.

My reasoning:

1) My family is my highest duty.
2) I am not omniscient.
3) Why increase the likelyhood of bullets tearing through my neighborhood?

I have been called a coward and many other things, but my duty is to my wife and son. I just can't see how going willingly into a situation which has a high likelyhood of turning into a gunfight benefits my wife or son.

Bottom line: I will not use deadly force to defend non family members.

manta49
February 2, 2012, 02:55 PM
Why take the chance ring the police. It would be different if they where armed and coming trough your window.

BGutzman
February 2, 2012, 03:13 PM
Assumptions are where things go wrong..... If I see someone breaking into the neighbors then I call the cops and if possible try to let the BGs know they have been reported before they actually enter the house...

(the key is letting them know without presenting a target or endangering family members)

If the neighbors home then I can only hope and pray they are armed and aware of the self defense laws and the appropiate way to respond under the law... Im not running over and attempting and sort of anything because I cant be certain that the people who are breaking in arent actually family members who dont get home often and I dont recognize and are locked out.

I also dont know where anyone in the house is and cannot in anyway engage safely even if it meets all the legal requirements... it simply doesnt pass the common sense test...

The very wording of the question I think is poor.... were not out there seeking our own brand of justice... we simply want to live and be able to protect ourselves...

Colvin
February 2, 2012, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the replies, I'll definitely need to take more time to write these and clarify. The fact that I wrote that on my phone doesn't help. :D

You guys got my idea. Good debate.

Mr Dish
February 2, 2012, 09:03 PM
I firmly believe that if the BG is attempting to steal my property then HE, not me, has already put his own life up as collateral. But I don't think I would be justified in protecting my neighbors property if he is not there.

That being said, I do watch my neighbors property when they go to Florida each winter. If I am in the house at the time of the break in, then I would be defending myself. But if I look thru the woods and see a strange vehicle there I would call the police, then go thru the woods to see what is what.

Old Wanderer
February 3, 2012, 12:26 AM
Well you never quite know how all this will turn out.

Many years ago I was working in Columbia. On a Saturday afternoon I walked out into a parking lot, and found a man with one hand strangling a woman holding her against a car, his other hand had pretty much bashed her face in.

I was carrying. However a lot of those people only come up to my chin, so I grabbed him and started to see what I could break on his face. Every-time I hit him I asked him in Spanish if he liked it? Then BANG and a shot goes right by my head.....Who shot, the woman who's face was covered in blood laying on the ground.

"Leave my husband alone"

I spun him around to use as a shield and threw him on top of her.

So much for being to "good Samaritan"

Nitesites
February 3, 2012, 12:58 AM
Bystander Effect...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

Added : And Old Wanderer, no matter the outcome, their actions did not define you. Your actions did.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 3, 2012, 10:40 AM
In the video, Surviving Edged Weapons - IIRC - there was a clip where officers stop a man from abusing his wife. They have their backs to the wife. She then parts the head of one with a cleaver.

BTW, one in six undercover officers report having had on duty cops point their guns at them on arrival at a scene. Some have been killed.

I recall in Portland where a good samaritan got the choke hold put on him and killed by arriving officers.

Nitesites
February 3, 2012, 11:38 AM
So don't help someone in their greatest time of need? Turn a blind eye? Is that what some of you are implying? What kind of world do you want to live in? Yes, sometimes people die while trying to do good things. Sometimes no good deed goes unpunished. An unfair twist of fate and simple matter of fact. But the world is a better place because of them and people like them. And sometimes, the GoodGuys win.

http://www.8newsnow.com/story/16568999/hero-recalls-how-he-helped-foil-sexual-assault-attempt

http://www.volunteertv.com/news/headlines/Police_Witnesses_step_up_to_save_woman_being_robbed_137688163.html?ref=163

http://www.woio.com/story/16304997/good-samaritans-save-carjacking-victim

Lord forbid if you actually have to stick your neck out there for someone else.

Frank Ettin
February 3, 2012, 11:49 AM
...So don't help someone in their greatest time of need? Turn a blind eye? Is that what some of you are implying?...No, that's not what folks are saying. Folks are saying that one needs to know what's going in order to know what the right thing to do is. (And one ought to have the skills to do what needs to be done in order to avoid making a bad situation worse.)

And what if you actually wouldn't be helping someone in the time of his greatest need, but would, instead, be helping a criminal commit a crime? Or what if trying to help someone who doesn't want, or need your help, leaves you dead and your family without you?

And calling the police and being a good witness (and maybe taking some photos) is not "turning a blind eye."

...sometimes, the GoodGuys win...And sometimes the guy who interposes himself in a situation he doesn't understand winds up not being the Good Guy.

Nitesites
February 3, 2012, 11:51 AM
And with all due respect Mr. Meyer And Fiddle, it doesn't change the fact that they were doing the right thing.

Frank Ettin
February 3, 2012, 11:54 AM
And with all due respect Mr. Meyer And Fiddle, it doesn't change the fact that they were doing the right thing. Just because those people reported in the links you posted did the right things doesn't mean that you will be doing the right thing when you jump into a situation you don't understand.

Nitesites
February 3, 2012, 12:02 PM
I won't yield in my beliefs but politely acquiesce further argument.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 3, 2012, 12:11 PM
I was giving evidence as to the possible risk factors. Intervening in a domestic conflict has the well known risk of the victim turning on you.

Morality does not say you should be ignorant of risk.

We all judge risk in making an intervention situation. That's well known.
We all judge whether the victim is worthy.

This is an area well studied and blanket statements that one must intervene to be moral is your choice but not supported by what people actually do.

A hypothetical. You see a man beating a young teenager. You intervene.
You see a mob of twenty five men going to string up a young teenager. They are all carrying M4s. Some are on lookout. Do you, Johnny J-Frame, charge in with your 5 rounds or call the cops.

Lots of the must intervene scenarios confounding the intervention necessity with a fight that you think you can prevail in easily. Single guy vs. woman. Thus you can be a hero.

If you are willing to take a very high risk of death to engage in a low probabilty successful action - then you might be the pure moral hero.

Two burglars and me with my AR from cover - Moral Hero.

Godzilla going to set fire to my neighbor's house - nah.

My last question - from a similar debate. I save your wife but get killed. Do you now step up and provide continuing financial support for my family to the best of your ability? That would seem a moral responsibility.

One member suggested when I asked this - that it was responsibility to have enough life insurance to support my wife after I get killed saving yours.

Or should the state support the family of a good samaritan after such an action on your tax dollars. Seems a better way to spend money than a moon base.

Thoughts?

It is true that folks have taken actions that guarantee their death to save their buddies or family in combat or disaster. Those are usually greater connections to those who you will save. Not my neighbor's TV.

Will you do it for all victims - probably not. To deny that you are influenced by such is not realistic.

gvw3
February 3, 2012, 12:36 PM
In Chicago you would lose your guns and go to jail. That's if the cops didn't shoot you 1st. The bad guy family would sue you and you would lose your house.

brickeyee
February 3, 2012, 01:44 PM
Intervening in a domestic conflict has the well known risk of the victim turning on you.

Numerous police departments have been sending at least two officers to DV calls for a while.

If it makes them nervous, it should make us even more nervous.

OldMarksman
February 3, 2012, 03:48 PM
Posted by Mr. Dish: I firmly believe that if the BG is attempting to steal my property then HE, not me, has already put his own life up as collateral.It would be a very good idea to consult a criminal attorney who practices in Michigan before acting on that belief.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 3, 2012, 04:29 PM
Not being a lawyer like Fiddletown but having read some of the theory on this matter, modern law suggest that law usually trumps property and the use of lethal force to protect property isn't looked on favorably in most Western cultures.

The presumption of castle doctrine laws is not the defense of property but the implied risk to folks when an intruder is present.

One can argue that some property threats can be threats to life but the link is usually remote except for constrained circumstances (like the TX law), stealing the last vial of insulin on a desert island or the like. However, most typical property losses don't outweigh the life of the perpetrator.

Your opinion may vary from this but that's not the common legal view. Fiddletown can certainly correct me if this is incorrect.

One also (psych hat), makes me ask is it the property or sense of territorial violation that wants you to use lethal force for property loss (assuming there isn't a personal threat)? That's in the discussions.

Frank Ettin
February 3, 2012, 04:41 PM
I agree with Glenn's assessment on the legal side of things.

Those laws that permit one to claim justification for the use of lethal force for the protection of property do so only subject to certain specific criteria being satisfied. And those criteria generally involve situations in which a high probability of risk to innocents may reasonably be expected.

JohnKSa
February 3, 2012, 10:51 PM
And with all due respect Mr. Meyer And Fiddle, it doesn't change the fact that they were doing the right thing.It does if they end up killing or injuring the wrong person because they intervened in a situation that they didn't understand.

The officers who killed the Good Samaritan with a choke hold certainly did the wrong thing even if their actions may be understandable and perhaps even legally justified.So don't help someone in their greatest time of need? Turn a blind eye?This is a false dichotomy/false dilemma (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/false-dilemma.html). In a false dilemma, the debater provides some outcomes or courses of action and makes it seem that they are the only choices when, in reality, there are other possible outcomes or courses of actions.

The choice is NOT between doing nothing/turning a blind eye versus intervening with deadly force. There is a virtually infinite continuum of responses between those two extremes.

Nitesites
February 3, 2012, 11:12 PM
This is a false dichotomy/false dilemma. In a false dilemma, the debater provides some outcomes or courses of action and makes it seem that they are the only choices when, in reality, there are other possible outcomes or courses of actions.If you were allowed an infinite amount of time to run every possibilty in step-by-step fashion. But can you assume you will be afforded the luxury of time? Lady or the Tiger.

Frank Ettin
February 3, 2012, 11:43 PM
f you were allowed an infinite amount of time to run every possibilty in step-by-step fashion. But can you assume you will be afforded the luxury of time?...Nonsense. You may not have much time, but that doesn't mean you automatically won't be able to exercise a modicum of good judgment. The fundamental error, that can doom one to failure, is the entrenched belief that the only appropriate response is to charge in to the rescue with guns blazing.

Nitesites
February 3, 2012, 11:48 PM
For one thing, I don't believe in "guns blazing". For you to say such is insulting and low brow.

MLeake
February 3, 2012, 11:51 PM
I have had one such experience, but I had no gun, and was only 20 at the time, so could not have had a permit in my state anyway.

But I ran to what I thought was a mugging in progress, on a downtown street.

It actually turned out to be a domestic assault between a homeless husband and wife.

Being in the middle of that was not fun... but if I saw a guy knocking a woman to the ground and kicking her like that again, I'd be right back in the middle.

It ain't a good feeling when the voice behind you says, "Don't hurt my husband!" Luckily, I didn't get stabbed.

She opted to leave with him, too.

Nitesites
February 3, 2012, 11:53 PM
Second, I don't recollect ever condoning such behavior. Especially using those words.

Frank Ettin
February 4, 2012, 12:09 AM
...For one thing, I don't believe in "guns blazing"...Then exactly what are talking about? You have accused the others in this thread of indifference (post 65):...So don't help someone in their greatest time of need? Turn a blind eye?...But not a single person in this thread has advocated anything like that. All have been discussing the importance of assessing what is happening and the range of responses that might be appropriate to the situation.

Do you agree with that or not? And if you don't agree, exactly what do you think people should do?

Nitesites
February 4, 2012, 12:33 AM
And yet again I acquiesce.

m&p45acp10+1
February 4, 2012, 09:23 AM
Be weary when interviening in a situation you do not know. When I was young it was very costly to one of my uncles.

We were at a Taco Bell late on a friday night in the drive thru. We saw the scene of a man who had grabbed a woman by the arm, and slammed her on the car. She was yelling for him to let her go. My uncle grabbed the shotgun off the window rack of the truck and went to help the lady.

Within a couple of seconds there was a parking lot full of police cars, and my uncle was at gun point. He was arrested, and charged with a slew of charges. Turns out the man was an undercover narcotics officer, and woman had made a sale to him. He was arresting her. It just took a bit for the back up to arrive.

All charges against my uncle were dropped. It still cost a whole lot of money for bail, and the attorney.

Oh and his shotgun was returned.

It could have turned out very badly, the respoinding officers showed a lot of restraint, or else the story would have been tragic.