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Old May 31, 2005, 03:50 PM   #1
MEDDAC19
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Can you use your weapon?

I know most every state allows the use of deadly force when protecting ones life. How far does this "right" extend? I will use my CCW when protecting myself, my home, and my family. What happens when you are invoved in situations beyond this? An example would be; you are in a grocery store and it is being robbed. As long as you are not directly involved and no lives are being taken, just stay out of the way or....? Well, how far do things have to go before you can draw your weapon and take action? The clerk has been shot at or shot, you still are left alone in the aisle of the store. Does the CCP now allow you to respond? Some say that since you are not in immediate danger it is unlawful to do anything. What would be your rights? It seems that an imminent threat can be hard to pin down. There are Good Samaritan laws to protect people when helping out others medically, isn't it a shame that you would have to let someone get shot so you were protected while administering firstaid, when you could have stopped things before they got that bad. Are there any GS laws to protect someone who uses a weapon?
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Old May 31, 2005, 04:12 PM   #2
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I'd have a hard time not getting involved if I was at a place being robbed...

If the conditions are right, I will take whatever action is possible.. now, if I'm held at gun point, I'm not going to argue...

But if someone is being hurt, I'll do whatever it takes to stop it, even if it means bodily harm, death, or legal issues.
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Old May 31, 2005, 04:50 PM   #3
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In washington State...

in washington state, if i understand the law correctly (i'm no lawyer or expert by any stretch) you may use your firearm legally to prevent the "commission of a felony" against yourself, anyone in your 'party', or one simply being commited in your 'presence'. ( dont recall the exact wording or the rcw applicable, but a quick google for the revised code of washington and a little looking should get you to it easily). That was how I took the law to be read, but again, i cant say how each jurisdiction would interpret it and if i was understanding it correctly in the first place. (damn legal mumbo-jumbo )
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Old May 31, 2005, 04:51 PM   #4
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A few points:
a) This issue is extremely state dependant; what is true in Texas is unlikely to be correct in Massachusetts (for example).
b) You mention ”home”; however, some/many states do not permit lethal force to be employed to protect PROPERTY. It may only be used when there is an immediate and grave danger to innocent life (including serious injury).
c) Finally, even within the same state, local officials (such as the chief law enforcement officer and the relevant state’s attorney) may react differently to identical situations, based upon their community's values and area politics. I would be winning to bet, for example, that the Atlanta police/prosecutor might adopt a very different view of the same action than would their counterparts in rural, southern Georgia.

My personal opinion (for whatever it’s worth) is deadly force should be utilized with great reluctance, only as a last resort, and specifically when there is no other alternative likely to preclude severe injury or death to innocent individuals.
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Old May 31, 2005, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
How far does this "right" extend?
Why is "right" in quotation marks? Is self-defense not a right?
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Old May 31, 2005, 04:53 PM   #6
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State law variations can really mess you up.
Here in NM it's perfectly legal to involve yourself.

Couple of things to consider:
#1 Are you sure who the BGs are?
#2 Are YOU up to the task?
#3 Are you physically capable of dealing with it.

For me, not getting involved would be almost a sin.
#1 I was raised to help my fellow man
#2 I have spent 27 years in the protect society mode,it is habit (maybe a bad one)
#3 Seeing people being victimized really gets in my craw.

I do not see how any human being can refuse to help his fellow man in time of danger. It is the highest possible level of moral behavior. We do not have a GS law here, but the local Rotary gave the last guy a prize.

I have been dealing with my state rep and senator drawing up a list of revisions and additions to our state CCW law that I think would be proper.
Thanks for the idea, It's going on the list.

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Old May 31, 2005, 06:01 PM   #7
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Also remember you are legally responsible for every bullet that comes out of your gun. In Texas that means that if you were to shoot the BG and if that bullet passes through him and hurts or kills and innoncent bystander you can and will be held accountable criminally. You will not be able to use that you were stopping a crime as a defense. Now this may have changed I am taking the renewal course Saturday, but thats the law to my understanding.

I have to agree with RWK, only as a last resort should you use deadly force. If you pull the trigger you best be ready to accept everything that comes with it including a civil suit. I have seen a lot of posts from people who say ahhh I will take whatever legal action comes with my involvement. Well thats all well and good till you get a judgement againts you for about 10 million dollars what you gonna do then? Don't get me wrong I believe in helping someone who needs help, what I am saying is you best be damn sure your in the right and even if you are, the DA is gonna do everything he can to make you look wrong, thats his job. Shooting someone is a whole lot different than paper targets and I don't care how much you practice. Talk is cheap. Just be ready for any and all consequences, there will be some.
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Old May 31, 2005, 06:20 PM   #8
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In Texas you are allowed to use deadly force in defense of yourself and others. If the clerk has been shot at or shot the BG has used deadly force.
So you would be justified in shooting the BG.

Nope if you hit a bystander in Texas you are still responsible, law has not changed.
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Old May 31, 2005, 06:28 PM   #9
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In colorado -- or at least so I'm told in CCW classes -- brandishing a deadly weapon is considered using lethal force. So if someone is brandishing a deadly weapon against you or someone else you can use lethal force against them.

In any state I'm going to use lethal force to protect my own life or a family member's life and then deal with the consequences.

But while I would take a risk to defend even a total stranger ... I would be a little more hesitant to weigh in hoping that the situation would be ended non-violently.

But if I really though someone were going to be hurt AND I was SURE I knew who the BGs were AND I thought I could do something about it without endangering innocents or myself or a family member -- then yeah, I'd take action there too.

A lot of "and's" there, but they're important ones.
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Old May 31, 2005, 06:32 PM   #10
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BTW -- for me, I'm only going to worry about criminal charges, which would be difficult to bring against someone using a weapon in clear self defense just about anywhere -- especially when it meets the standard I put in above.

In terms of civil suits ... while I would hate to have some scumbag take away my $$ and house and etc. and have to start over from bankruptcy (fortunately 401K is protected from such law suits) if I am in a situation where I have to shoot somebody than the stakes are much higher than $$ and I'm in a world of excrement irregardless of what happens in civil court.
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Old May 31, 2005, 06:41 PM   #11
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In Texas the threat of Deadly Force is the same as using Deadly Force.

so brandishing a weapon at someone is a threat of deadly force.
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Old June 1, 2005, 09:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Why is "right" in quotation marks? Is self-defense not a right?
The reason it was in quotes was because I was asking about the extention of your rights to use your weapon to prevent harm to someone else. I would have no problems using my weapon to save my children or wife but they are not exactly covered under the definition of self-defence. The same could be said about a clerk or someone on the street, they are clealy not yourself.
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Old June 1, 2005, 10:16 PM   #13
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Its called being a good citizen.

I'd rather rot in jail or be sued than have something on my concious for the rest of my life.
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Old June 1, 2005, 11:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Also remember you are legally responsible for every bullet that comes out of your gun. In Texas that means that if you were to shoot the BG and if that bullet passes through him and hurts or kills and innoncent bystander you can and will be held accountable criminally. You will not be able to use that you were stopping a crime as a defense. Now this may have changed I am taking the renewal course Saturday, but thats the law to my understanding
Whoa!! I live in Texas too. I just took my CHL class this past September and I was never told this. If a bullet passes through the Bad Guy and hits an innocent person you will be charged with a crime?!!!!

I know you personally don't change how the law reads, but That's absurd. If a policeman shot a badguy and it passed through and hit me, I wouldn't blame the policeman, I would blame the maggot that needed to be shot at. It's called an accident. They happen in life. Making the Good Guys suffer for an accident serves no purpose, in fact it gives them something extra to worry about in a desperate critical situation and impedes their ability to get the job done. These screwball liberal lawyers and judges are hurting the good guys in their efforts to create a perfect world.
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Old June 2, 2005, 06:40 AM   #15
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Doug,

With respect, I am compelled to disagree.

Someone (including a law enforcement officer) fires a shot that seriously injures me -- a complete innocent -- resulting in my being paralyzed, or loosing sight, or even being killed. My life -- and my family’s life -- is forever altered and I incur great additional expenses while loosing my ability to earn a reasonable income. I agree there is no sin, but there is liability. After all, the shooter did not have to take that shot. And civil -- probably not criminal -- legal accountability attaches because all of my costs and income loss are a direct result of someone else’s irresponsible action.

This is not only my view; it is also the fundamental precept in all tort law.
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Old June 2, 2005, 07:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Why is "right" in quotation marks? Is self-defense not a right?
As noted, the 'right' of self defense is isn't universal across the board and when you can use lethal force varies based on state law. For example, some states like Florida (assuming it hasn't changed) don't allow use of lethal force without retreating, lethal force not being okay so long as you have the ability to retreat and can retreat.

Doug, it is a shame that your CHL class was so lacking in giving you a proper understanding of the law. It is also a shame that you have not taken the time to review your CHL handbook in detail. If your CHL instructor did not cover your liability in a shooting, then your class was lacking and you need to contract DPS in Austin and report the shortcomings of your class and instructor. I respectfully suggest you go back and read 9.05 on page 46 in the CHL Handbook. In case you have lost your handbook or do not have a copy, it is available online at this address... http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/ls-16.pdf

You are most definitely responsible for every round you fire and just because you hit your intended target does NOT release you from any criminal or civil liability if that round continues beyond your target and hits an unintentional target, such as a person.

You say that making the good guys suffer for an accident serves no purpose. I can assure you that if you accidently shoot me, I will not perceive you as a good guy and I will want you to suffer. You stop being a golden child good guy when you are negligent in your ability to limit your application of lethal force to only the intended target.

And yes, Doug, this most definitely should give you something else to worry about in a critical situation. In fact, this should have been covered in some detail in your CHL class and you should have come to understand this from reading your CHL handbook. Your right to self defense does not absolve you from criminal and civil liability when your actions violate the rights of a 3rd party in some manner. This applies beyond use of guns and has nothing to do with liberal lawyers. For example, say you are in fear for your life and are fleeing in your car from a threat. Granny Perkins is crossing the street when you come around the corner at high speed, runnng the light and run her down and kill her in the crosswalk when she had the light. Sure, you were working on self defense, but you violated Granny Perkins rght to life.
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Old June 2, 2005, 08:41 AM   #17
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And I liked Granny Perkins too, sigh.......
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Old June 2, 2005, 08:48 AM   #18
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Washington State is simple

RCW 9A.16.020

Use of force -- When lawful.

The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:

(1) Whenever necessarily used by a public officer in the performance of a legal duty, or a person assisting the officer and acting under the officer's direction;

(2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;

(3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;

(4) Whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person's presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public;

(5) Whenever used by a carrier of passengers or the carrier's authorized agent or servant, or other person assisting them at their request in expelling from a carriage, railway car, vessel, or other vehicle, a passenger who refuses to obey a lawful and reasonable regulation prescribed for the conduct of passengers, if such vehicle has first been stopped and the force used is not more than is necessary to expel the offender with reasonable regard to the offender's personal safety;

(6) Whenever used by any person to prevent a mentally ill, mentally incompetent, or mentally disabled person from committing an act dangerous to any person, or in enforcing necessary restraint for the protection or restoration to health of the person, during such period only as is necessary to obtain legal authority for the restraint or custody of the person.
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Old June 2, 2005, 10:01 AM   #19
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RWK, Double Naught Spy,

Both of you are speaking about negligence. Say we are in a mall full of people and some Bad Guy walks in with an AR-15 and starts stooting up the place. This whole even occurs in 5-10 seconds. I am 25-50 yards away sitting at a table in the food area and bullets are being sprayed all over and the "sprinkler" could spray in my direction at any moment. The longer he is standing the more people are going to die every second. I pull my .38 special BAM!!, (he stumbles and his rifle is still popping off shots). BAM!! BAM!! (he goes down) One of those bullets either misses the intended target or overpenetrates him and hits say Double Naught Spy as he was running behind the Bad guy or between us in all the confusion trying to get away. How am I negligent? The Bad Guy needed to be stopped right then and there, there is always a possiblity of overpenetration you can't do anything really about that unless you use Glazers or regular .38 specials which takes down your effectiveness in other areas (like shooting through windshields with Glazers is not effective or effectiveness of the cartridge pressure) and even then their is still a possiblity of overpenetration, there is always the possiblity of missing the badguy especially when he is moving around. There is always the possiblity that a person in a critical situation my run in between you and the bad guy right at the moment your hammer hits. Yes you are hurt, maybe even dead and your family is without you for the rest of their lives and that is sad indeed. BUT a dozen more people are saved because the bad guy is dead and is not shooting people anymore. As I see it. The Bad Guy is the one that caused all of this pain and suffering. Not me, not the other people in the mall, not the police, not you. The Bad guy is the cause and the one who is responsible. He is the one that caused those bullets from my gun to have to be fired. Yes you want to be careful and avoid hitting good guys but that is not always work out no matter how careful you are. And if you are too hesitant and careful then you and a lot more people are going to die.

Same thing with the Granny Perkins situation. The Bad Guy is the one that was chasing me and trying to kill me. He is the one who caused my having to flee for my life in a desperate situation which lead to the whole chase and Granny Perkin's unfortunate death.

Again, if Double Naught Spy or Granny Perkins situations were reversed with me, and I was the one injured or killed I still say the same thing. The Bad Guy should be at fault. The Good guy with the gun just did what he had to to stop the crazed criminal.

If I become paralyzed, then in that situation I should trust in a sovereign Almight God that my situation has been permitted to happen and I have to live with it just the same as if I had been struck by lightning. I should be thankful that the villian was stopped and nobody else was hurt. I should not blame the other guy with the gun or a policeman or whoever dropped the creep with the AR-15.

Yes you can do a lot of "what if's" or "he could have done ______" but I could respond with an equal number of "well if I had done that then ______". When someone is making a judgement call in a critical situation where someone else (namely the Bad Guy with the AR-15) is causing harm to you me or other people you just shouldn't be able to place blame for what happens at the feet of anybody but the Bad Guy with the AR-15.

Obviously there are negligent situations, like say if I see someone getting mugged at 100 yards away and I pull my gun and "spray" all six shots in the direction of the criminal and the mugging victim and the mugging victim is shot with the mugger taking off running then obviously that was a foolish move.
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Old June 2, 2005, 10:35 AM   #20
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"I know most every state allows the use of deadly force when protecting ones life."

Actually, most states do not allow the use of deadly force, they exceuse its use. Virginia is typical of many with self defence shootings classified into 'justifiable' and 'excusable', but it is all case law. The state has no statuate law that says were and when you may use deadly force.
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Old June 2, 2005, 12:21 PM   #21
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Doug, It is not only negligence alone . . .

Doug,

First, the scenario you outline is not the most typical “defending yourself against a deadly felon” situation. As I am sure you will agree, it would be more usual for the incident to take place other than in a crowded public place; but, the principles to be discussed are universally applicable.

Second, the jury -- in a civil suit -- will be the final evaluator of reasonableness and especially of responsibility. That then suggests that community values will come into play, with the local standards in (for example) Dallas likely being somewhat different than in Boston.

However, third, juries are VERY likely to find tort accountability when an innocent individual is seriously hurt or killed by ANYONE firing a weapon. Please note this even applies to local/state governments, who are found liable when a police officer injures an innocent, notwithstanding the fact that the officer does everything within the law. Incidentally, this precept applies to far more than shooting, also including such tragedies as traffic accidents (by school bus drivers or garbage truck operators, not just law enforcement).

While I can appreciate your beliefs focusing on a “larger good” (my term, but I trust accurately summarizing your concept), without civil/tort liability how will that innocent (and/or his family) receive, for example:
a) Lifetime medical treatment, if he is totally paralyzed due to the bullet striking his spine?
b) Lifetime living expenses, when the family’s main source of income is killed and there are several infants in the home?

Quote:
"If I become paralyzed, then in that situation I should trust in a sovereign Almight God that my situation has been permitted to happen and I have to live with it just the same as if I had been struck by lightning."
Lightning is clearly an act of God (and defined as such by the law). However, a bullet fired is a man’s act (also defined as such by the law), not an act of God. The shooter, after all, is not God; rather, he is a man who is capable of errors -- AND WHO MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THOSE ERRORS EVEN WHEN DONE WITH THE BEST MOTIVES.

The upshot is simple: when any individual fires a weapon -- regardless of how pure his motives -- he is responsible for the outcome. No one forces him to fire at that time, even if that might (you can never be truly certain) result in the criminal killing and/or seriously injuring other innocents. Those who are harmed by the shot may reasonably require compensation, and there is only one source for that recompense: the individual/institution (such as the police department/city government) that fired the round.
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Old June 2, 2005, 12:31 PM   #22
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http://www.michiganprosecutor.org/Define.htm
Quote:
SELF DEFENSE:
A legally-justified use of force to protect one's self, another person, or property against some injury attempted by another person ... the right to repel force with force ... the defendant
(i) must have honestly and reasonably believed that he had to use force for protection,
(ii) may use only the type and degree of force that seems necessary for protection at the time based on the circumstances known to him,
(iii) must not have acted wrongfully and brought on the assault (i.e., provoked the attack) ...
In Michigan, a Prosecutor has the burden of disproving a defendant's self-defense claim beyond a reasonable doubt.
Y'all got me curious, look what I found.... sounds simple, clear and reasonable to me!
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Old June 2, 2005, 12:38 PM   #23
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Sw40F . . .

However, while self-defense may preclude CRIMINAL prosecution, it does not prevent civil/tort liability; they are entirely different, within the law.
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Old June 2, 2005, 12:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWK
However, while self-defense may preclude CRIMINAL prosecution, it does not prevent civil/tort liability.
Yes, there is that second hammer... responsibility for one's actions!
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Old June 2, 2005, 02:03 PM   #25
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wow. Very surprising.... (MN)

609.065 Justifiable taking of life.

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.

*******

I found this very odd, as MN is a "flight not fight" state.
Threrefore, it seems case law would prevail over this law on the books.
Need to do some checking.

Might be a good relevant website to keep an eye on:
http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefe...g/blogger.html

After reading some of the articles...it seems the media decides not to report on the SUCCESSFUL USE OF SELF DEFENSE that happens everyday. There is an article on the website for almost everyday of the year! And sometimes multiple a day! Once again, we see that mainstream media (tv) is for the sheeple only.
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