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Old April 25, 2012, 11:12 AM   #76
Tom Servo
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And scissors cut paper. We're drifting a bit, folks.
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Old April 25, 2012, 11:28 AM   #77
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I think this article illustrates one of the ways that antis are exploiting the "Stand Your Ground" law attack:

http://www.contactmusic.com/news/sam...ership_1321613

The article is basically about how Samuel Jackson supports gun ownership and gun rights; but is upset about the law in the Martin/Zimmerman shooting. He says "Who are these people running around the community with guns, pretending to be cops, who have a right to shoot somebody because of this bulls**t law? What's untenable is that nobody put the guy who shot this kid in custody (immediately)."

Mr. Jackson apparently has the perception that a "Stand Your Ground" law allows you to run around pretending to be a cop or that it was the reason Zimmerman was not arrested. Neither of those issues have anything to do with Stand Your Ground laws; but antis are exploiting that confusion and implying that Stand Your Ground law was the reason that happened.

If nothing else, I think this thread provides a good discussion of what "Stand Your Ground" does and does not do. Now it is just a question of getting that information out there to people who are probably not either well-informed on the issue or even all that interested in it.
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Old April 25, 2012, 12:24 PM   #78
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There are also many members of the firearms community who seem to have unrealistic understandings of SYG. It's up to all of us to (1) more accurately understand the limits of what SYG is and does; and (2) explain those limitations when given the opportunity. We need to renounce chest thumping and bloodlust.
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Old April 25, 2012, 12:45 PM   #79
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Good point Frank, agreed.
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Old April 25, 2012, 01:47 PM   #80
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Bartholomew,

I am not going to discuss any particular case, but what Samuel L is saying truly relects the perception of many as what an SYG law, or perhaps a poorly written one, allows. Even the author of Florida's has come out and said that its SYG law isn't as broad as some believe. What the law actually says may not be as important as what it is perceived to say, especially should local law enforcement and prosecutors accept the perception as reality.

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Old April 25, 2012, 09:28 PM   #81
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confusing "stand your ground" with "castle doctrine." Castle doctrine applies IN your home - Aguila Blanca -
Well it's harder to keep things straight when even politicians get it confused - like the SC legislature.

They specifically wrote the words "Castle Doctrine" into their laws and then added provisions that had nothing to do with being in or protecting your home, vehicle or place of business.

I personally believe that the core idea of "Castle Doctrine" is that the presumption that the resident was in fear of grave bodily harm. In a confrontation in the street - there has to be a determination if the use of deadly force was justifed. The person has to show that they were in fear for their life or grave bidily harm etc etc... But in a home invasion, the resident doesn't have to show any of that. it's presumed. After something like the SC legislation is passed, it's hard for me to keep preaching that because they've applied the words "Castle Doctrine" to be any place where you have a right to be. I guess I can state my position with the caveat that SC was wrong to use Castle Doctrine in the context they did. Someone else could argue that once SC used those words and passed their law - they officially defined Castle Doctrine by codifying it and my opinion of it is well... just an opinion.

Illinois has a very decent law concerning these issues and thankfully they didn't use any verbiage like "Stand your ground", or anything like that. It's mostly flown under the radar and resisted those types of characterizations. It's just old fashioned justifiable homocide.

Beleive it or not, despite how well the law works for armed citizens, we routinely get someone who comes on the Illinois Carry forum and starts a thread on how Illinois needs a "Castle Doctrine" law or a "Stand Your Ground" law and the argument goes for 30 or 40 posts before it dies out. And this brings up another idea for me. Maybe there are some zealots or idealouges who are REALLY REALLY invested in the terms and unreasonably demand certain verbiage and maybe politicians give in and insert the popular verbiage to score points with those voters.
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Old April 27, 2012, 03:41 AM   #82
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Well, I recently moved from Massachusetts to Indian and let me tell you this, it's like I live in the USA here in Indiana when it comes to gun rights and ownership. IN Massachusetts even as a federal police officer 0083 under OPM, I was denied a CC permit because the police chief told me that's what "his boys" were for. If I or my family needed protection, call 911. The state of MA is very liberal and one of the most anti gun states anyone could live in. The fact that my duty weapon being the Sig P229 was Department issued, it also had to be turned in because my jurisdiction was Federal Exclusive or Federal Concurrent jurisdiction. In other words, the liberal politics of the state and my boss didn't want a department issued firearms being used outside of work to protect my life and being that my jurisdictional rights were limited, I could not present myself as a police officer unless I was on the proper jurisdiction. I know, most other LEOs who hear what I have to say can't believe such things but hey, I moved to Indiana, bought a home, [purchased several firearms that I was not allowed to purchase in MA because the companies were not allowed to sell in the state..... Boy, when I read things like Stand your Ground I just thank God for such a law at the same time I hope I never have to use the law for myself, my family period. .
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Old April 27, 2012, 11:23 PM   #83
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Any citizen, going about his or her lawful business in any place they have a right to be should be able to stand their ground against any criminal activity, period.
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Old April 28, 2012, 12:12 AM   #84
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Any citizen, going about his or her lawful business in any place they have a right to be should be able to stand their ground against any criminal activity, period.
Any criminal activity? Like loitering? Shoplifting? Do I get license to defend the Twinkies on aisle 4 to the gravest extreme?

Let's bear in mind that there are many out there who'd love to equate Stand Your Ground laws with vigilantism, and let's tailor our statements appropriately. We are, after all, describing matters of life and death.
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Old April 28, 2012, 06:07 AM   #85
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Do the criminals have more rights than than the victims ?

A case in point 4 or 5 men beating the h__l out of one guy, were they going to beta him to death or cripple him for life ? He used his only means to defend himself, a knife and he is in trouble for stabbing one of the assailants because he brought a knife to a fist fight ? Was this right, what was he supposed to do just let them continue beating him ? How can a person retreat when there are 4 or 5 guys beating him senseless ?

What about the guy in the Walmart parking lot who drew his gun when he seen a man with a knife going after another man, his wife and a child ? He was called a hero for keeping the man with the knife from stabbing those people, he got the man with the knife to lay on the ground until the police arrived. What if the hadn't laid down and surrendered and the guy with the gun shot him, would he still be called a hero or would he be charged ? Would he be a good samaritan saving those people from being stabbed or would a prosecutor charge him because he stuck his nose in where it didn't belong, after all the man with a knife was not coming after him ? His life was not in danger, he stepped in to protect another man and his wife and child.
I apologize if I got off topic, I just felt I had to say what I had to say.

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Old April 28, 2012, 09:04 AM   #86
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Do the criminals have more rights than than the victims ?
Theoretically they don’t, but in the operate sense they do.
One of the things that's has happened is that our society has decided to protect the "victim", rather than the person operating within their rights. Also, the "victim’ is usually defined as the one that got the worst end of the stick ... Mix in the idea that violence is inherently wrong, and the hairball is complete. So, the criminal becomes the victim when you win the confrontation, and criminals become over-represented as victims.

At one time, stepping in to help someone else out didn’t make you a hero. You were just doing your civic duty: what you had the right to do and was expected of you, if you had the means. Now, if there’s the slightest chance that helping someone out will lead to violence, it’s a civil and criminal liability.
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Old April 28, 2012, 10:18 AM   #87
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SYG recognizes that the use of deadly force is not inherently wrong. I like that.
It gives more work to the cops and prosecutors because they have to find reasonable cause to arrest ... beyond the obvious injured (or dead) person at the scene. Believing in a right to self-defense, I really don’t see that as a bad thing either.
Without SYG, the cops can (and often do) arrest and ask questions later. That really bugs me.
To me, presumption of innocence is a really big deal, partly because I’ve been a suspect a couple of times. When your only comfort is that you know you didn’t do it, and they have to prove that you did; each step in the process becomes precious, and that process begins when they’re looking for a way to arrest you. Thankfully, the times I was a suspect, they figured out who really did it.

In some ways SYG helps the cops do their job correctly and efficiently. The investigation is still done, the same standards are used to decide whether the shooting was justified in the instant the shot was fired. It just gets rid of the second guessing of whether or not the defender could have run away or do something else to avoid the situation. It’s a dangerous thing to second guess someone else’s split second decision, whether they’re a regular guy or a cop. Most people will do their own second guessing after using deadly force; in far more detail than any prosecutor and including whether they can still call themselves a good person. An arrest based solely on the use of deadly force, just seems like "piling on".

Thankfully, the times I was a suspect, they figured out who really did it before I got arrested. Either the threats of arrest were empty or I was lucky. Either way, I’ll take it and be happy, but I don’t want it to happen again to me or anyone else.

I have an aunt that wasn’t so lucky. She was arrested when she shot her ex- husband. She had a restraining order. He had threatened to kill her in front of witnesses. Anyway, she heard him drive up one night, made sure the door was locked and called 911.
The 911 call was recorded and you could hear everything that was going on from beginning to end : Him shouting that he was going to kill her, her saying the police were coming and begging him to leave, the sound of the door broken through, her running through the house, locking doors and moving furniture, her begging the cops to get there, the bedroom door literally torn in half, him climbing over the dresser that she had barricaded the door, and him making threats to kill her all the while. Finally there was one "bang", silence for awhile, and then crying.

It happened on a Friday afternoon. One of the cops apologized for arresting her while he was doing it. He said he had to because she’d shot the gun. There was only one judge to be found and he set bond. The judge wanted to get away as soon as he could for the weekend and made it clear that he wouldn’t stay any longer than he was obligated to. She called my mother and a race against time started ... to get 5.000 bucks in cash and get it to the court before the judge left. We made it in time, but just barely. The judge didn’t seem too happy, but that’s another story. Had we not gotten there in time, she would have spent the weekend in jail among the criminals. That jail was not set up for good separation of inmates, either.

Some would say that a weekend in jail is a small price to pay, that paying the bond was not as big deal, and the two don’t constitute punishment. Considering her emotional condition, financial state, and the fact that she had never been arrested before (much less jailed), I think it would have crossed the line of torture.
That was before we had SYG here. Maybe today, things would be different.

BTW, he was OK. When the cops got there he was unconscious. Knocked out by a .25 auto that didn’t penetrate the skull... 4 stitches on entry, 4 on exit, then sent to a mental hospital for evaluation. He didn’t spend a day in jail.
In court, a few weeks later, the charges against her were thrown out.
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Old April 28, 2012, 10:29 AM   #88
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Your trapped like a rat with no retreat. Your life is in danger of being killed...Stand Your Ground.
Or it may be the last ground you standing on.
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Old April 28, 2012, 09:14 PM   #89
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At one time, stepping in to help someone else out didn’t make you a hero. You were just doing your civic duty: what you had the right to do and was expected of you, if you had the means.
Yep. Years ago, I took a CPR class, and at the end, we were told that the technique was only to be used if there was absolutely no other option. Well, duh.

The reason for that statement was what got me, though. People have been sued for inflicting minor injury to someone while administering CPR. In one case cited, the plaintiff won because her lawyer argued that the guy performing the CPR wasn't licensed to be practicing medicine, and that he should have waited for the professionals to arrive.

So, yes, the prospect of criminal and/or civil liability has changed many of the decisions we make. I don't know if that'll change any time within our lives, but it's something we have to live with.

The same idea goes with using lethal force. Law or not, if I shoot the wrong person, if I shoot for the wrong reason, or if my shot should strike an uninvolved bystander, I'm in serious hot water.
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Old April 29, 2012, 01:08 AM   #90
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That is one of the problems I see with the Florida SYG law. It provides that

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A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force
Take Tom Servo's example of having civil liability should an errant shot hit a bystander. I don't know if it is what the Florida Legislature intended, but my take on it is that the innocent bystander wouldn't have a case because of the immunity statute.

If the statute had been properly drafted it might have read something like:

Quote:
A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force on a person imminently threatening death or serioul bodily injury.
That can be improved on but I think you get the idea. The innocent struck by an errant bullet should be allowed to state a case. This is especially true if the person seeking to claim immunity was reckless and not simply negligent.

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Old April 29, 2012, 01:31 AM   #91
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I'm sure it's not at all a popular law with ambulance chasers...
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Old April 29, 2012, 04:21 AM   #92
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I'm sure it's not at all a popular law with ambulance chasers...
What would you say if a little girl's arm had to be amputated after she was shot down while playing in her yard. Suppose the neighbor chose to empty a clip of armor pearcing 7.65mm in the direction of a burglar without any consideration for where any misses would go? To make it worse, what if her father was laid off and had neither the money nor the health coverage to cover her hospital bills and prosthetics. Are there no work houses!
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Old April 29, 2012, 02:57 PM   #93
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Again, from the perspective of the trial attorney.

Would it be preferable that the homeowner allow harm to his family, in order to negate any chance that a stray round might injure an innocent?

Because no matter how much we train, there's a possibility things will happen that we do not intend.

Only a trial attorney would come up with the idea of going after the deep pockets, regardless of who created the situation. Only a trial attorney would think that's a good and reasonable idea. The same trial attorney would like to get a jury's emotions in an uproar, because the harmed innocent was a poor child.

That type of trial attorney doesn't want voters or legislators to realize that reckless endangerment etc isn't covered under most Stand Your Ground laws, because if they do, they'll back the laws, and that trial attorney will have to work harder to get his cut of the deep pockets.

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Old April 29, 2012, 04:49 PM   #94
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1. The analysis of why we help others is so simplistic. Of course, in the past we were all heroic. It's much more complicated.

Helping is nuanced by many factors.

2. Personal bickering is not the way we go.

Cease and decease or this is closed and the next nasty gets infracted.
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:02 PM   #95
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Glenn E. Myer,

Thank you for stopping me from letting my temper get the best of me.

Re the subtance of my point, I suggested that there my be merit in treating the merely negligent shooter differently from the grossly reckless finds it necessarry to resort to deadly force for the protecion of himself and others.

I believe that as one's degree of negligence becomes so reckless that it is considered to be in utter and complete conscious disregard of its natural and forseeable consequences that it is deemed willful and wanton. In such a case the homeowner may as well have intentionlly shot the little girl next door and I see no reason not to allow the innocent and horribly maimed child to take the shooter to court.

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Old April 29, 2012, 06:05 PM   #96
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Well, don’t want to get violated, but ... imo ..

Helping others within a reference frame of a society based upon law can be simple. If the law is reduced to regulating acts and methods, concepts like "helping others" can be reduced to mechanical descriptions. Personal motives can be made irrelevant except in establishing a likelihood that the person committed a particular act.

Why we help others is an altogether different question, brings in personal motives, and various theories of human behavior.

IMO, Law can be treated as an applied science, the engineering side of social psychology and philosophy.
Further, SYG can be shown as an example of law which doesn’t conflict with valid theories in either "science".
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:35 PM   #97
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Stand Your Ground laws don't protect the reckless or willfully negligent. Stand Your Ground laws put the onus on police and prosecutors to have evidence of actual criminal acts (not just the shooting of the injured/dead alleged malefactor), rather than allowing them to make an arrest based solely on the fact of the injured or dead alleged malefactor. SYG laws also remove the requirement to retreat, which protects from second guessing by police and prosecutors as to whether, under direct threat and high adrenaline, one should have attempted retreat instead of fighting back.

Arguments to the contrary are not based on statutory nor case law, but are emotional appeals - not unlike the majority of arguments from anti-gunners.

The protection from civil suit in Florida, Georgia, etc is based on the finding that the shooting was justifiable. That won't attach in the event that evidence indicates the shooter behaved recklessly or with willful negligence.

In other words, the whole argument is a straw man.

Last edited by Tom Servo; April 29, 2012 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Excised reference to deleted material
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:40 PM   #98
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Only a trial attorney would come up with the idea of going after the deep pockets, regardless of who created the situation. Only a trial attorney would think that's a good and reasonable idea.
I'm not a trail attorney, and I think it's reasonable. How else are the innocent to be made whole? We owe them more than an, "Oops… sorry 'bout that."
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:47 PM   #99
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First off, if we collectively agree that people should be made whole, but we also agree that it's not reasonable to hold a person liable who was trying to save his life or the lives of his family (assuming he wasn't reckless, etc), then we might want to find another means of making victims whole.

Such as, having the government set aside funds for victim's compensation and medical treatment.

Or such as starting charities that do the same. (Some friends and I started one such charity overseas, years back, to pay for a blood transfusion for one bombing victim, and reconstructive surgery for another.)

Or setting up websites to collect funds for medical treatment. Etc.

Personally, I've chosen not to pursue a case (involving real estate, not injury) in the recent past because in order to sue the party I held ethically responsible, I would have been forced to jointly sue a party I held to be ethically innocent. My lawyer agreed with me on the ethics of the situation, but told me I should not even bother to sue the actual malefactor in that case.

I try to maintain a certain ethical consistency about such things.
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:51 PM   #100
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Only a trial attorney would come up with the idea of going after the deep pockets, regardless of who created the situation. Only a trial attorney would think that's a good and reasonable idea.
The problem is that those creatures do exist, and that they can make things very miserable for folks.
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