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Old June 16, 2013, 07:56 AM   #26
OldMarksman
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We can agree that "can I shoot" is not a question that one should ever ask. Also, for armed citizens, answers such as "if ____, you can shoot", or "you are 'authorized' to shoot if..." are always very poor ones no matter what the question might have been.

However, we cannot responsibly just say "if you have to shoot to protect your life you shoot" and stop there.

How should the actor judge whether there is immediate necessity? We have to help with that answer.
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Old June 16, 2013, 08:01 AM   #27
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I find this a non issue. When faced with a situation that I honestly feel my life or my family's lives are in real danger, I will not have time to debate the issue. I will act. If lives are not endanger, I will not shoot.

The cops and lawyers will have some work to do to get to the bottom of the issue, but I will have a clear conscience.

As for the student who asks, "can I shoot when..." I always answer that the question if falacious. What students really want to know is "is it legal" Then I just read them the law. I also tell them they must live with themselves afterward knowing what they did. There should be no viable alternative.
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Old June 16, 2013, 09:45 AM   #28
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Quote:
There should be no viable alternative.
This.

Using deadly force should always be an absolute last resort. This is the reason "Stand Your Ground" laws make me a little queasy. In principle, I think they're a great idea, as they remove legal questions about whether retreating was feasible in a given situation. But I suspect that they make it too easy for some of the same people who ask "When can I shoot?" to forget (if they ever knew) that there is always a moral duty to retreat if it's possible to do so. (I'm speaking here about what happens outside the home -- castle doctrine is much less problematic for me.)
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Old June 16, 2013, 11:16 AM   #29
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Quote:
There should be no viable alternative.
Perhaps there's no better way to say it, but it seems seems that there is always someone who thinks that that means something like "no viable alternative to getting punched, because punches sometimes result in death".

And there may be those who do not realize that it also means that there is no viable alternative to shooting right now. What the threat may do later does not mean that there is no viable alternative.

Also, to expand upon Vanya's comments about the concept of standing one's ground, there are those who argue that they have the right to confront, to advance, and to challenge someone else, and that if things start to go badly afterwards at that point, then the lack of a viable alternative comes into play.

People who do not understand those things could be in for a very nasty and costly education at the wrong time.

So, while I think we all agree with the statement "there should be no viable alternative", we need to frame just what that means for those who are not well schooled in the fundamental principles of justified (that is, immediately necessary) self defense.
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Old June 25, 2013, 02:24 PM   #30
trkkshotbry
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So if I understand correctly, one would only shoot to defend their life or the life of another from a clear and imminent threat to that life. If you have time to debate the question you shouldn't shoot.
Luckily the act of brandishing your weapon and commanding the violet person to stop will either stop the attack or push it into clear and imminent danger territory.
As far as living with yourself afterwards; I've shot deer to feed my family and dogs to protect my chickens and slept just fine that night. I doubt stopping a human predator would change the equation very much. Sure every life is precious, but only to the one holding it and maybe their kin. If that life was a clear and present danger to myself or my family? I'd have trouble holding much regard for it.
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Old June 25, 2013, 03:02 PM   #31
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Quote:
...As far as living with yourself afterwards; I've shot deer to feed my family and dogs to protect my chickens and slept just fine that night. I doubt stopping a human predator would change the equation very much...
Wow. Just wow.


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Old June 25, 2013, 03:19 PM   #32
JED1177
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One more thing you need...

If you are remotely struggling with these questions, in addition to your new cc permit, gun, and vast array of accessories....I strongly suggest you invest in a MILLION DOLLAR LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY !

Clearly, you are going to need it.
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Old June 25, 2013, 06:09 PM   #33
hubris
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Giving pause

As I was reading the last five or so posts, I was also watching the coverage of today's happenings at the 'Zimmerman Trial' in Fla. Perhaps the trial, and the certain appeals to follow, will clarify what 'stand your ground' means in a court of law. My state has a strong 'castle' provision, but requires reasonable retreat outside the home.

I very much hope to never be a named party in a case cited to support or refute either doctrine.
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Old June 25, 2013, 07:05 PM   #34
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In these postings, there is rarely any discussion of a very important point - what went before. IMHO, that is going to be a critical issue in the Florida case. In the few seconds before the shots were fired, one man may well have feared for his life and fired in self-defense. But what happened before that? Was that man engaging in activity that appeared threatening to he other man? How was a man who appeared to be walking away minding his own business a threat to the life of the other? Why were police instructions to one man to "back off" ignored? When did the need for self defense occur?

All those questions enter into the case and, I am sure, will be brought out in court. (And overlay valid legal questions with racial controversy and threats to the community from outsiders, and the whole thing will likely be distorted to the point where "justice" will be a meaningless word.)

Nothing I have read or heard indicates that SYG was really involved. It was not a case of someone being attacked on the street and not fleeing. The shooter placed himself in that situation, and in such a way that he might well have been seen as a stalker, even a threat, to the other man.

A similar "what went before" situation occurs when there is a self-defense killing following a session of name-calling and threats. The courts will ask who started the argy-bargy that led to the killing, not just what happened in the last instant. If the killer did not initiate the confrontation and did everything reasonably possible to avoid it or to stop it, but was attacked by the "victim", it is one thing. But if the killer egged the victim on, deliberately trying to provoke an attack so he could kill the victim, it is quite another.

Jim
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Old June 25, 2013, 07:22 PM   #35
Jim243
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The question "Can I shoot" is yes if your physically able to. The real question is "Should I shoot" and if you have to ask yourself that question, the answer is no since you have other options, or you would not have been asking yourself that question in the first place. If you have no other option and "Have to shoot" the question never comes up.

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Last edited by Frank Ettin; June 25, 2013 at 07:30 PM. Reason: Delete off topic material
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Old June 25, 2013, 10:28 PM   #36
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Just a reminder: until the prosecution has rested its case, the Zimmerman trial is not open for discussion. Please don't continue on that path.
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Old June 28, 2013, 01:54 AM   #37
ChaperallCat
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according to real life examples in the latest gun rag, never remember what one, ill check. you do not have the right to shoot unless you are legally allowed to be in the area.

examples in the article

a man went to see a friend. the friends roommates boyfriend told him to leave so he did, as he was leaving the boyfriend and a group of people started attacking him, they had blunt objects and the boyfriend was trying to pull the man from the truck. the man shot the guy, went to jail for 35 years on basis that "being told to leave removed any legal standing he had to use floridas stand your ground law. as being told to leave removed any legal pretense he had under the law'
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Old June 28, 2013, 12:15 PM   #38
OldMarksman
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Quote:
Posted by Chaperallcat: you do not have the right to shoot unless you are legally allowed to be in the area.
The point of the thread is that "a right to shoot" is not something that is granted by the law.

There is a natural right of self preservation. Prerequisite to the use of force is immediate necessity.

Courts and legislatures have amplified the constructs within which a defender is presumed to have been faced with said necessity. For example, in some jurisdictions, the duty to retreat has been obviated for a defender who acts where he has a legal right to be. That does not give the defender a "right to shoot"--it simply eliminates the duty to retreat if shooing is otherwise necessary.

If the defender is not provided with the right to stand his or her ground, either because he or she does not have a legal right to be at the location in question or because he or she initiated the confrontation, h or she must retreat if it is safely possible to do so. If he then attempts to retreat but cannot do so, he or she still has a natural right of self-preservation.
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Old June 28, 2013, 12:47 PM   #39
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Quote:
a man went to see a friend. the friends roommates boyfriend told him to leave so he did, as he was leaving the boyfriend and a group of people started attacking him, they had blunt objects and the boyfriend was trying to pull the man from the truck. the man shot the guy, went to jail for 35 years on basis that "being told to leave removed any legal standing he had to use floridas stand your ground law. as being told to leave removed any legal pretense he had under the law'
That "example" from "some gun rag" is, um...a baloney sandwich.


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