Is murdering someone always absolutely wrong? Yes is the easy answer. But, as with most things the details matter, a lot. And the degrees of wrongness vary.
If your answer is, "YES!" Consider the murder of Bin Laden and his family and friends. Was that murder? Absolutely! Was it wrong? Hell No!
If your answer is, "YES!" Consider the mother that smuggled a gun into a courtroom and shot the man who molested her son. Was that 1st degree murder? Absolutely! Was it wrong? Maybe, somewhat. Clearly she could have been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. But, if I remember correctly she got a slap on the wrist. As she should have.
Did the pharmacist murder the robber? Yes. But this doesn't rise to life in prison. Imagine the rage and helplessness he felt during previous robberies. I would imagine that he decided to himself something like, "I will not cower and beg for my life and the lives of my employees again!"
When it happened, he was ready and in the end he exacted revenge on the robber on the floor. Shooting a defenseless robber isn't as wrong as kicking in someone's door and killing and robbing someone.
I completely agree that he has to be punished, but life in prison is absurd.
I also understand that this is about the worst press imaginable for the law abiding gun comunity. But that doesn't change that it is wrong to treat a business owner who took fighting off a robbery way too far, like a serial killer.
Anyone who has ever experienced having a gun pointed at people they care about would be a little more sympathetic to a guy who turns the tables but then goes too far.
I like it, Catfishman. My thoughts are similar.
I'm not arguing that what the pharmacist did was illegal in the "eyes" of the law. But stop and think about what happened. The perp and friend came in waving a pistol in the pharmacist's face, which is a challenge to the death. They absolutely
did start the fight, and started it with deadly force
. The pharmacist ended it with deadly force. Just because he had to reload doesn't change the fact that a pistol was pointed in his face 45 seconds prior to that.
Had he ended it with the first shot alone, and he very likely did, all would be fine. Think about that. The perp would be just as dead. I see all this "it's the law" talk... this is less black and white than I think you all realize. Just because he seemed calm on the crappy surveillance video doesn't mean his body wasn't raging with adrenaline. I can guarantee you it was, there is no way around it.
Your body does that in fight or flight situations. You cannot
control it. A momentary lapse in judgement, due very likely to adrenaline, does not constitute first degree murder in my opinion and certainly does not deserve life in prison in my opinion. I can see most of you disagree.
Ersland did not finish a fight by emptying his firarm into the man on the floor.
The "fight" was over when the armed robber fled.
We know that because we can replay the video. You think the pharmacist knew that? He saw a pistol, and he took an available shot. Why put parentheses around fight? What else would you call what you saw on the video?
What the hell other reason is there to shoot somebody? We all know what bullets will do when they rip thru somebody's body. If you are shooting somebody, you are intentionally
trying to kill them. There is no arguing this.
As for drugs: he's a pharmacist, and addiction is a common occupational hazard in that profession. I wouldn't jump to conclusions based on that, but I do tend to turn a skeptical eye toward those who act irrationally & tell inconsistent stories about their lives.
Do you know how hard it is to steal drugs from the pharmacy you work in and get away with it? Of course you don't, you don't work in a pharmacy. Pharmacies inventory their controlled substances at least
once a year, and if some are missing they are accounted for or somebody is held responsible. This is enforced by the DEA. If you wouldn't jump to conclusions, then why go to the trouble to point that out?
And finally, I can't find the exact post but one person said something to the effect of
the pharmacist will be fine, he'll end up working behind the pharmacy counter in prison
The pharmacist will be a prisoner
, in prison. In order to work in any pharmacy, you have to be licensed by the state. In order to be licensed by the state, you have to not be a felon in prison. There is no flippin' way that pharmacist will be behind the pharmacy counter while he's in prison.
The problem about the case, and internet forums, is that there is the tendency to have knee-jerk reactions to what you see and argue vehemently on the subject. "It is illegal" is the clarion cry, but if you look at what happened, two guys (one armed) started a fight against a pharmacist they thought was unarmed and the pharmacist intentionally
killed one of them. I understand the pharmacist intentionally killed that guy. And I wouldn't give him life in prison, given the circumstances. You can call me a barbarian all day long if you want. But if you slam some scumbag that comes into your place of business or home un-announced, waving a pistol in your face, and you end the fight...you'll be glad I'm on the jury.