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Old July 11, 2009, 11:09 PM   #26
bbqbob51
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Cuban, I con't know if you saw this particular piece but I think Dan Rather did a good job of showing all sides of this serious issue.
This is situation where it is not black and white, many factors play into each individual case. As my brother in law likes to says: "Behind every bullet is a lawyer." So I feel that when applying the Castle Doctrine you should show as much restraint as possible, which would probably rule out shooting someone in the back who has stolen a six pack of beer.
This is not because I have any real sympathy for the lowlife but I just do not want to hand over a $5000 retainer fee to an attorney and would assume that anyone else would also find that unpleasant.
BTW, did others that actually saw that show also feel it was fair to all sides?
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Old July 11, 2009, 11:22 PM   #27
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Well I don't agree with shooting someone over a 15.00 theft. Often times if a shoplifter is "caught" stealing just outside the door you can get them to come back and pay for the item they thought they "slipped out with".

But doing this has a risk that they are high on glue and are not thinking clearly and will stab you to death for the case of beer. So you take a pistol along with you, and when they do try to stab you to death over your case of beer you shoot them. Then the media comes in and say you chased them down and shot them for 15.00 in beer.

Oh and add to this that the thief could be underage and when caught drinking your stolen beer will blame you the shop owner for "giving them" beer and you go to jail for it.

Everything is more complicated in real life.
Castle doctrine never gives you the right to shoot whoever whenever, we all know this.
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Old July 12, 2009, 12:16 AM   #28
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What about a $150.00 bottle of "Patron"? that tequila is worth doing a smash and grab!
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Old July 12, 2009, 05:43 AM   #29
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It is easy to say that a possession is not worth taking a life and it has a humanitarian appeal. But the reason so many seem willing is that gut knowledge, though often not expressed in words, that you have many hours and effort spent in acquiring that possession. That simple possession may represent great effort, planning and sacrifice, even a satisfied longing on the victim's part.

If the situation were different, and an intruder were to take you prisoner and force labor from you for a day or a week or a month, then take the direct fruits of your labor, would that be different from strong armed robbery? Would it be different from theft by deception or burglary? Why is theft while wishing to avoid contact with the victim any different from direct confrontation in a threatening manner?

Is the simple theft of a material possession be more acceptable than the theft of the effort required to acquire that possession? It is easier for a goblin to "shop" for what he wants or can resell, than to take you prisoner and make you work for him, and given a choice, I'd prefer that, as a victim. But in the end, what's the difference?

And the "Is $xxx.xx worth it?" line is different for each of us. $150.00 may not get you excited, but it may be important to me. The offense exists regardless of the value of the theft.
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Old July 12, 2009, 07:13 AM   #30
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Bud

The difference is this. A snatch, grab, and run thief does not threaten my life. A kidnapper/slave holder does. Objects and possessions are just that. These can be replaced. Even possessions I can't replace such as some stuff from my grandpa from WWI I don't think I would chase someone down and shoot them.

I also don't hold any great trust in Dan Rather. But, with that said I was surprised at how well he kept the piece balanced between the two sides.
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Old July 12, 2009, 10:03 AM   #31
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I didn't catch the program. It sounds from comments here that it was surprisingly balanced, considering it was a Capt Dan piece.

I understand the difference between being held captive and having a simple possession stolen.

Did you understand the difference between having a simple possession stolen and having the effort and sacrifice made to acquire it stolen?
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Old July 12, 2009, 12:07 PM   #32
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Did you understand the difference between having a simple possession stolen and having the effort and sacrifice made to acquire it stolen?

So, if we follow that line of "reasoning" to it's logical conclusion; If you hit the lottery, or inherit your wealth, and buy possessions with it, and they are stolen, then they have little effort or sacrifice attached, and therefore are "fair game' ?
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Old July 12, 2009, 12:53 PM   #33
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That is a great illustration. I think I personally would place less value on those. And there you go ... it should naturally lead to wondering if any of those "things" are worth a life. Maybe just a butt-whipping! That still isn't a response to the question, though. What if you aren't the winner of a lottery and have not been the subject of a large inheritance? Your examples are worth consideration, but so are mine. And I asked first.

Seriously, I think earlier generations may have viewed it differently and considered all property the same. Did they have lotteries say back in the eqrly 1900s, late 1800s?. 'Never thought of an inheritance as anything like a lottery hit. Since the chain of events are started with a violation committed against an individual by another individual, some would consider armed response a matter of principle.

So, on the other side of the argument, with a promise of no threat of harm, as long as you obey a command to sit still and issue no challenge, would you/could you sit and watch your house being emptied while you wait for the police to respond?
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Old July 12, 2009, 01:29 PM   #34
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Which is my point in my post.

Often times large details are left out in news reports. Did the story owner chase down and kill the thief to take back the stolen item? Or did they run out to make the person come back or get their plate number and get stuck in a situation where it was the option of kill or be killed.

Like if someone is ransacking your home. What do you do? I'm guessing that most of us will attempt to stop the person or people doing this until the police can arrive, but in doing so there is the chance that the thief will attempt to secure escape by harming the home owner. In that case force is justified.

Say I hear a noise downstairs, I have no real reason to thing its anything more then a animal tearing at the door. But like everyone else I also carry along whatever firearm is available. I get downstairs and flip on a light and guess what three guys are working at taking the TV out, I tell them to stop and stay still, one grabs a crowbar and starts coming at me.

Am I shooting for my tv or my life?

I would not have gone down stairs to meet a group of criminals in hopes of stopping them, I don't really like my TV that much either, heck I planed to replace it for all I care they can take it now and save me the effort. But odds are in that situation someone is going to be dead in a few mins maybe a couple of people.

Situations change quickly.
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Old July 12, 2009, 02:18 PM   #35
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There once was a time....

long, long ago, in a country that seems far, far away now.....
When shooting someone to protect your property was not only allowed, it was considered right and proper. The name of that country was the United States!

We hung horse thieves, and cattle rustlers. We shot bank robbers and bandits! And the general belief at the time was that if an innocent man got caught up in the wheels of justice and suffered as a result, that was the price of doing business, keeping the bad men in check. My how times (and attitudes) have changed!

Of course, there was no FDIC then, ther was no homeowners insurance then. IF someone took your money or your property, it was just plain gone!

Better we should all pay a portion of our wages to insurance companies, and have our property replaced by them if something should happen to it, than to defend it (and ourselves?) with a gun, right?
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Old July 12, 2009, 02:48 PM   #36
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So what if, hypothetically, I am lower middle class and someone is stealing my car. I don't have the money to insure my junker. If I lose that car I can not get to work. No work and I can't make my mortgage payment or rent payment. I can't buy groceries. I can't buy clothes for my kids to go to school in and not look like trash.

I drive a company vehicle that is well insured and if someone stole it I would not even be tempted to take a shot at them, but in the above circumstance I am not sure my reaction would be the same. Simplifying it out to "it is just property" is a little idealistic in my book. Maybe we should have nationalized other than collision coverage on our automobiles...
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We hung horse thieves
Exactly. Not b/c of the horses value, but b/c when you took a horse you were leaving that person unemployed in many cases.

Quote:
I'm guessing that most of us will attempt to stop the person or people doing this until the police can arrive, but in doing so there is the chance that the thief will attempt to secure escape by harming the home owner. In that case force is justified.
Not only am I not going to attempt to detain the person, i am going to try to give them an escape route. Even if I were to detain them and not get charged for anything or sued they still aren't going to jail for any appreciable time. I just want them out of my house and to make it very clear it is not a good house to come back to.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:07 PM   #37
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IF someone took your money or your property, it was just plain gone!
There was a lot more to it back then. If someone took your horse, it often meant a slow death because you were stranded many hundreds of miles from civilization in what could be considered "hostile" territory. If someone stole your cattle, it meant slow starvation because you didn't have enough food to last through the winter.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:25 PM   #38
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And the general belief at the time was that if an innocent man got caught up in the wheels of justice and suffered as a result, that was the price of doing business, keeping the bad men in check.
That was never the general belief in this country.

You think that the founders of this country insisted on trial by jury because they thought it more efficient?

You think that they insisted on one trial and one trial only for criminals (known as no double jeopardy) because they didn't care if a few innocent men got convicted when the state had multiple goes at them?

Sheesh.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:30 PM   #39
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It seems like some people are mixing up a lot of different self-defense concepts with the Castle Doctrine.

The duty to retreat is different from the Castle Doctrine, and not directly related. There was no common law duty to retreat, and many states have never had it. Even if places where there is a duty to retreat, that usually does not apply to the person's dwelling.

As I understand it, the Castle Doctrine basically does not allow prosecutors and juries to second-guess the use of deadly force in your own home. Under the common law, you could only use deadly force in self-defense when you reasonably believed that such force was necessary to protect yourself from the imminent use of unlawful lethal force by another person. That was the rule whether you were at home or at Wal-Mart. So if the jury could second guess you on any of those issues. For instance, if the burglar only had a bat, the jury could say that you were not threatened with deadly force. Or they could buy think that the burglar didn't want to hurt anybody, he just wanted to steal some bread and that you should have known that. Or that the burglar was retreating when you shot him, and therefore the threat was no longer imminent. The Castle Doctrine basically says that when someone breaks into your house, you can kill them. You don't have to prove that your use of force was reasonable, or that you were threatened with deadly force, or that what you did was necessary, or that the threat was imminent. No one is going to second guess you in your house.

Castle Doctrine laws usually have immunity from civil liability as well.

Relaxing the standards for self-defense in your car or at work may be good ideas, but they are really something else than the Castle Doctrine. Shooting a shoplifter in a convenience store is not an application of the Castle Doctrine. Texas lets you shoot people who are stealing your property at night; that is not the Castle Doctrine either. The media meme wants to portray all questionable self-defense shooting as resulting from the Castle Doctrine. We should resist this.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:48 PM   #40
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Better we should all pay a portion of our wages to insurance companies, and have our property replaced by them if something should happen to it, than to defend it (and ourselves?) with a gun, right?

Sorry, but that is two questions which you have "intertwined" One should have no bearing on the other.


"Property" insurance is just that, it is there to replace "things". A firearm serves only one purpose, "Living" insurance.


Quote:
Did you understand the difference between having a simple possession stolen and having the effort and sacrifice made to acquire it stolen?
I understand that one of those things is tangible, the other subjective.

How do you put a value on time ? By equating that time with your per-hour pay ? Fair enough. Then ponder this;

Which hours are of more "value" to you, the ones you are getting paid for, or the ones you are not ?

Which minutes reward you more, the ones spent making cash, or the ones you spend at your leisure?

While time is a finite "commodity" for us all, equating it with material possessions is not possible. At least not for me.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:54 PM   #41
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The Castle Doctrine basically says that when someone breaks into your house, you can kill them. You don't have to prove that your use of force was reasonable, or that you were threatened with deadly force, or that what you did was necessary, or that the threat was imminent. No one is going to second guess you in your house.

Wow, I ... Just Wow.

If you truly believe that this is what the Castle laws mean, and this is how they work, you really need to read a bit more on this subject, and consult a legal professional in your area, you might even consider putting him on retainer.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:59 PM   #42
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As I understand it, the Castle Doctrine basically does not allow prosecutors and juries to second-guess the use of deadly force in your own home. Under the common law, you could only use deadly force in self-defense when you reasonably believed that such force was necessary to protect yourself from the imminent use of unlawful lethal force by another person.
The "Castle Doctrine" legislation tends to vary from state to state depending on the laws of the individual state. For example, the notion that someone breaking into your home was enough to create a reasonable, immediate fear of death or serious injury predates the "Castle Doctrine" law in Texas.

Quote:
The Castle Doctrine basically says that when someone breaks into your house, you can kill them. You don't have to prove that your use of force was reasonable, or that you were threatened with deadly force, or that what you did was necessary, or that the threat was imminent. No one is going to second guess you in your house.
No law, including the various Castle Doctrine laws, does what you describe above. Most state laws create a rebuttable presumption that someone breaking into your house is enough to justify a reasonable fear of death or serious injury. It does not say that you can't be second guessed. All it says is that in the absence of other facts, we will presume that the act of breaking into your house alone was enough to justify a fear of death or serious injury (and therefore justify the use of lethal force in self-defense).

However, the presumption is rebuttable - meaning that a prosecutor can offer evidence to show that you were not in immediate, reasonable fear of death or serious injury if there is such evidence.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:59 PM   #43
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I personally never want to use any weapon on another human being. I will go to almost any extreme to avoid doing so. Unless I am defending imminent death to myself or another I will not do so.


Some people look to be looking for an excuse to justify smoking someone. I guess I'll never understand that.
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Old July 12, 2009, 04:06 PM   #44
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Some people look to be looking for an excuse to justify smoking someone. I guess I'll never understand that.

Look a couple of posts back at someones understanding of the "castle laws", Until lots of folks are better educated as to what they mean, how they are applied, and what the consequences of abusing them are, you will continue to see this attitude.
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Old July 12, 2009, 04:08 PM   #45
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Sorry, but that is two questions which you have "intertwined" One should have no bearing on the other.
I entirely disagree with this assertion. Insurance and right to defend property with lethal force are almost certainly intertwined in my mind. I am not talking about a TV. If someone steals your TV and you shoot them there is no moral excuse even if it is legal. I am talking about things that will affect your long ability to support yourself and family. If someone shoots an arsonist attempting to burn down their uninsured house , I have a hard time judging them. Same goes for a vehicle that takes them to work. I am not talking about someone who is rich and can easily replace these items, but the working poor who could be sent into a downward welfair spiral by the loss.

Maybe some of you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquid assets and are over insured so can't understand what I am saying, think about those who do not and the hardship a stolen car represents for them.
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Old July 12, 2009, 05:15 PM   #46
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OuTcAsT said:
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Wow, I ... Just Wow.

If you truly believe that this is what the Castle laws mean, and this is how they work, you really need to read a bit more on this subject, and consult a legal professional in your area, you might even consider putting him on retainer.
Thanks for your comment. You must have great insight on what "Castle laws mean" and "how they work." I would appreciate it if you could offer your explanation on both subjects. You obviously have knowledge about this issue, but all you offer in your post, I am sure inadvertently, is snide criticism. Thanks.

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Old July 12, 2009, 05:26 PM   #47
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Most state laws create a rebuttable presumption that someone breaking into your house is enough to justify a reasonable fear of death or serious injury. It does not say that you can't be second guessed. All it says is that in the absence of other facts, we will presume that the act of breaking into your house alone was enough to justify a fear of death or serious injury (and therefore justify the use of lethal force in self-defense).

However, the presumption is rebuttable - meaning that a prosecutor can offer evidence to show that you were not in immediate, reasonable fear of death or serious injury if there is such evidence.
That's the law in CA.

As a practical matter, it might be hard for a prosecutor to come up with such evidence, and it might be harder to persuade a jury to overcome the presumption, but it can be done.

The way some posters on TFL talk, the evidence might just come from the mouth of the homeowner!

By the way, there is a critical difference between shooting an intruder in your home and shooting someone outside the home just because he stole something of yours or is about to. Let's not conflate the two.
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Old July 12, 2009, 07:33 PM   #48
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I would appreciate it if you could offer your explanation on both subjects. You obviously have knowledge about this issue, but all you offer in your post, I am sure inadvertently, is snide criticism. Thanks.

Sir, It was not meant to be "snide" I can assure you. I realize you are new here, and perhaps new to firearms, and self defense laws. If this is not the case, then accept my apologies, but I know there is an influx of "new" gun owners, and I cringe at the thought that some folks just don't know.

Your interpretation of the castle laws is, at best, simplistic.
The laws are not meant to be a "I get to shoot and nobody gets to second-guess me" defense. It just does not work that way. When you shoot someone anywhere, whether it be inside your home, or outside, your actions will be second, third, and fourth guessed by LE, the DA, the media, etc. These laws, in no way, limit your culpability should the evidence prove that you were outside the law. Again, I suggest that you spend whatever monies you can to consult with a legal adviser in your area, he might well be able to help you understand your rights, and liabilities. I mean this in the most sincere way.
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Old July 12, 2009, 07:39 PM   #49
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right to defend property with lethal force
I am sorry, but this is where we likely will have to "agree to disagree" The right to defend "possessions" with lethal force does not agree with most State's laws, and my moral limits.
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Old July 12, 2009, 08:17 PM   #50
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Section E2 in enlightening. Looks like I can steal a Humvee, Buffalo or Cougar in a combat zone like Iraq without being shot...but a TV will get me wasted.

If Uncle Sam thinks killing and insurgent over a Humvee is not a good shoot then I'm thinking that the TV theory might not hold so much water...

http://usmilitary.about.com/library/...reg5210-56.htm
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