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Old November 29, 2012, 03:20 PM   #26
dayman
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If you hear someone moving around in your house shouldn't your first reaction be to call the police - or even yell "get out I have a gun" at them - rather than setting up an ambush?

Personally I think this guy crossed the line well before his "finishing shot"
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Old November 29, 2012, 03:32 PM   #27
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I know the man was in his early 60's, but thats not that old nowadays. My point is, I think I could run off two unarmed teenagers with a Mini 14, without shooting them. Using deadly force should always be the last resort. Just because something is within the bounds of legality, doesn't always make the right, prudent, ethical or moral thing to do.

Some people seem to take delight in the fact he shot them, maybe not here on TFL, but in comments I've seen elsewhere on the net. I 100% guarantee it isn't winning our side any friends, or bringing undecideds to our cause.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:34 PM   #28
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Some folks actually believe the tough guy rhetoric they spew.

What a shame, we'll all feel the heat from this.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:59 PM   #29
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Stupid teenage tweekers meet Crazy Old Man. Everybody loses.

Shooting the boy was probably legally justified. Then it went downhill; he probably crossed the line long before he murdered the girl. I have no idea if he murdered the wounded boy too or not, I haven't followed it that close.

Quote:
If you hear someone moving around in your house shouldn't your first reaction be to call the police - or even yell "get out I have a gun" at them - rather than setting up an ambush?
Not really. For one thing, the police don't respond to non-emergencies around here, and I don't know if they'd consider a home break-in an emergency or not. Then how long will it take for them to get there? For another thing, there's one of him and two of them, and he may have been afraid of giving away his position, and/or he couldn't safely get to a phone.

Your first reaction is to survive, and we don't have anywhere near enough facts to judge how it started. It's pretty obvious how it ended, and that enough time passed he can't believably claim a "heat of the moment" thing where he didn't realize the threat was over.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:57 AM   #30
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Wow, what an idiot. How does one even think for a moment that you could pull a stunt like that and not be prosecuted? A coup de grace and waiting to call the cops "so you didn't disturb their holiday"? Bragging on his "good clean finishing shot"? Is this guy even in his right mind? You can't make this stuff up.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:09 AM   #31
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Unfortunately, as youo say, you can't make this up.

Its murder and in a big way.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:45 AM   #32
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I read a thread on this on The High Road, as well as a linked story on this. A poster there who goes by westhope posted the following Minnesota statute:

Quote:
Originally Posted by westhope
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.
While there may be some argument that the initial shooting was defensible, I think it's going to be a pretty weak one. I don't think there's any way that the "good clean finishing shot" clears the hurdles set forth above.

I will also say that the story told to investigators, as I understand it, leaves too many questions unanswered for the shooter to have much credibility with any jury. I'm not all up to speed on MN law (so someone correct me if I'm wrong), but my gut says this guy is going to have to take the stand if he wants to claim SD or defense of home. I can almost hear the prosecutor: "You expect the jury to believe that an 18-year-old girl came down a flight of stairs to investigate MULTIPLE GUNSHOTS, after she and her cousin had broken into the house?"*

*What I am unable to tell from the story that I've read is how much time passed between the initial shots and the man shooting the girl. Obviously, without that information, I can't really judge whether she was necessarily in a position to hear the first shots.

On the political side, I agree with several posters that if: (1) the facts in the story are correct; and (2) this guy successfully pulls off a defense of the home argument, then Castle Doctrine laws are in trouble.

My $0.02: I fully support Castle Doctrine and Stant Your Ground laws, but this goes way beyond that. Even if his story is true (& I have my doubts), he still went way beyond defending himself or his abode. The finishing shots were murder, plain and simple. I also suspect that there's a great deal more to the story than has surfaced. His story about not calling the police "because he didn't want to disturb their holiday" is hogwash. This sounds more like someone who spent a day or so trying to figure out what to do with the bodies. When he couldn't come up with a decent plan, he figured he'd just claim that they'd broken into the house.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:21 AM   #33
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Quote:
Using deadly force should always be the last resort. Just because something is within the bounds of legality, doesn't always make the right, prudent, ethical or moral thing to do.
+1

I had a similar discussion with my brother 2 weeks ago when he told me he was going to purchase a shotgun for HD purposes. I told him to check the state laws regarding self-defense, but more importantly, just because someone breaks into your house does not automatically mean you have the right to kill that person. I told him that you have to use your best judgement. Killing someone is one thing but having to live with that split second decision, right or wrong, for the rest of your life is another.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:46 AM   #34
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If we lose gun rights - it will because of incidents like these and not conspiratorial plots.

Two thing can drive legislation:

1. An emotional response overwhelming the positive use of firearms.
2. An availability cascade (meaning that all folks will remember are the negatives - esp. since the positives are not played up that much).

Given similar incidents like Martin, the new one in Florida with the kids and loud music vs the not found shotgun, guys pulling guns over punches in line on Black Friday and the like - the public will have in their mind the memories of irresponsible gun owners. Even though responsible far outweighs that. Folks remember the emotional vivid incident and overestimate its probability.

While the legal mandate for gun education is something we debate, I still think that if you are serious about SD you need to be educated on more than punching holes at the square range. Sure, some can't afford it, etc. But it's a good idea.
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:13 PM   #35
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Let me run this past you guys.

Given that prescriptions and drugs from other burglarized homes were found in the teens car; that's what they were obviously after. And they both went straight to his basement...

The home owner and his relatives claim his house had been broken into multiple times before (8-10), but he only reported one. The only one he did report had stolen prescriptions and a firearm. I'm guessing the only reason he reported the one is because a firearm registered to him was stolen.

Based on that, and the fact that he waited an entire day to call police, leads me to suspect he probably had a quantity of illegal plants in his basement he needed to clear before getting authorities involved.

I can't see any other reason for executions, or waiting to phone the police. Maybe I watch too much TV, but I think were missing a chunk of the story.
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:37 PM   #36
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Yep
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Old December 1, 2012, 01:16 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordy123
Let me run this past you guys.

Given that prescriptions and drugs from other burglarized homes were found in the teens car; that's what they were obviously after. And they both went straight to his basement...

The home owner and his relatives claim his house had been broken into multiple times before (8-10), but he only reported one. The only one he did report had stolen prescriptions and a firearm. I'm guessing the only reason he reported the one is because a firearm registered to him was stolen.

Based on that, and the fact that he waited an entire day to call police, leads me to suspect he probably had a quantity of illegal plants in his basement he needed to clear before getting authorities involved.
That certainly would 'splain lots.
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Old December 1, 2012, 01:35 PM   #38
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In my view, what started as legitimate self defense ended with a pair of executions, very similar to the Ersland case.

Murder is what I would call it.
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Old December 1, 2012, 01:45 PM   #39
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No one so far has raised an issue of diminished capacity. The man's actions and deeds would seem to be irrational. There does not seem to be any mention of having him examined by a psychiatrist to determine if he is responsible for his actions.
Sounds to me that there is at least a possibility, that he has "done gone round the bend"...something that a stroke, mild dementia, could do to any of us. If that be the case, the burglars were just unlucky to have chosen his house to burglarize.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:56 PM   #40
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Quote:
ok, reason for post: there are supporters and also attorneys in MN claiming(many not representing this man) that he has a huge chance to be cleared of all charges. This is amazing to me; I thought MN had some tough gun laws. Maybe it is just the particular castle doctrine law in that state you mentioned? Either way this guy would have faced a much slimmer chance of being arrested(forensics still could have hurt him and the results will when they come back) if he didn't say anything. It makes you wonder if he was drunk...one article claimed the young woman was laughing at him(this was his story to police) after his gun jammed. Well, this is after he fired a shot at her and her accomplice(the male) had been shot three times and deceased?!?! I am usually more defense attorney prone when it comes to legal arguments(I am not a lawyer, I just gravitate in that direction), but this case especially is upsetting and I give credit to the prosectuor for fighting this one even if it is a losing battle. The funny thing is: he stepped in it bigtime, but they only have a confession at this point. There are many things that can pop-up during the investigation that can indeed help clear this individual. This doesn't seem like a slamdunk case like it might after reading the article. I'll tell you what though; this guy better make sure he has a Good, Well-Paid attorney + I am surprised he has so much support. That might fade in the public eye. He over-stepped his bounds bigtime(in his words).
He's been charged with 2 counts of 2nd degree murder (it could easily have been one 2nd and one 1st) The murder charge for the girl is a slam dunk. The jury *may* show some leniency in the sentencing. But I doubt it.
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Old December 1, 2012, 06:55 PM   #41
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This man is not a responsible gun owner or man who was defending his life (except at the very start). He acted out cold-blooded murder when the threat was already neutralized.

It is in the interest of gun rights and of basic human morality to condemn what he did. If what we know so far is true, he should never leave a cell again.

That said, innocent until proven guilty.
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Old December 1, 2012, 08:25 PM   #42
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Quote:
This man is not a responsible gun owner or man who was defending his life (except at the very start). He acted out cold-blooded murder when the threat was already neutralized.

It is in the interest of gun rights and of basic human morality to condemn what he did. If what we know so far is true, he should never leave a cell again.

That said, innocent until proven guilty.
All of the information about what happened came right from the shooter/homeowner. If we are to believe everything he said, then we must believe that, as he stated, he had been burglarized from 8 to 10 times in the past. In that light, it would have been illogical for him to not eliminate the continuing threat of being burglarized an indefinite number of times in the future.
Aside from that, for you folks who have a bible based moral system, I do believe that it says something about if a thief digs under the wall of your house, it is not murder if you strike him dead. It does not say you have to stop shooting (or striking), him if the threat is incapacitated. Law is law, not morality.
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Old December 1, 2012, 08:39 PM   #43
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Trouble is, he's NOT to be believed. All we know for sure is that he executed the girl. Nothing before or after that is really known. Forensics can verify her execution. The rest could very well be the fantasy world of a psychopath.

Quote:
Law is law, not morality.
A key part of morality is following laws that do not contradict moral principles. A law to not kill someone under these circumstances most certainly does NOT contradict any moral principles. Therefore, it is a law that morality dictates should be followed.
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Old December 1, 2012, 08:44 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
All of the information about what happened came right from the shooter/homeowner. If we are to believe everything he said, then we must believe that, as he stated, he had been burglarized from 8 to 10 times in the past. In that light, it would have been illogical for him to not eliminate the continuing threat of being burglarized an indefinite number of times in the future.
Aside from that, for you folks who have a bible based moral system, I do believe that it says something about if a thief digs under the wall of your house, it is not murder if you strike him dead. It does not say you have to stop shooting (or striking), him if the threat is incapacitated. Law is law, not morality.
Eliminating the threat of future property crime by killing a human being is not recognized as legally justifiable in any jurisdiction in the U.S. that I am aware of. Defending your life, yes. Defending your home during an active threat, yes. Executing an unarmed, injured person, no matter how reprehensible their past conduct? No.

I don't base my beliefs on a biblical text in this case but the long, storied, jurisprudentially dense history of self defense and defense of the home law. The principles and laws at work do not support in any way what he did. Wherever even slightly reasonable the law prizes human life over all.
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:51 PM   #45
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Both here and on The High Road, I've seen posts which refer to the shooter's mental state and his culpability. In one (& I don't recall if it was here or THR), someone said that he might "get off" because of mental disease or defect. One of the oft-overlooked aspects of "not guilty by reason of insanity" is that (at least in Arkansas) one who is found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect does not just pack up and head home. He gets packed up and sent over to the State Hospital.
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:13 AM   #46
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Insanity defenses are usually not successful, anyway. Depending on your state:

1. You have to show that you didn't know right from wrong and not be aware of the consequences of your actions - most states.

2. May have an added factor - your action can't be the product of mental
illness. Emotional impulse of the moment doesn't qualify as a mental illness. It might be a mitigating factor for a lesser sentence - maybe.

3. There are jurisdictions where you can be found mentally ill and guilty. Thus, you go to the hospital to get cured and then to prison.

My non-attorney reading of legal texts on self-defense indicates for our legal history and traditions, killing someone after they are not an active threat is legally and morally unacceptable.

PS - Idaho is eliminating the insanity defense and SCOTUS won't touch it.
http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/...n/?ref=opinion
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:48 AM   #47
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He over stepped his bounds when "The Threat of Bodily Harm was stopped. Executing them after they were not a threat is something over the line!
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:59 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEM
Given similar incidents like Martin, the new one in Florida with the kids and loud music vs the not found shotgun, guys pulling guns over punches in line on Black Friday and the like - the public will have in their mind the memories of irresponsible gun owners. Even though responsible far outweighs that. Folks remember the emotional vivid incident and overestimate its probability.
I almost started a thread about the loud music incident, but thought it might become too contentious. Though the point I was going to make in it, fits well in this thread too.

When one of our own fellow firearms owners crosses the line, we have to condemn it. I'm not suggesting not giving someone a fair trail, or rushing to judgment in any way. What I am suggesting, is that we should not circle the wagons around bad behavior, ever.

In the Gravest Extreme, is the title of Massad Ayoob's excellent 1980 book, on the role of firearms in personal protection. I remember ordering it in 1980, after he talked about it in his Guns & Ammo column, or I saw an add in the same publication, I can't exactly remember.

In the Gravest Extreme, catchy and descriptive. Thats when firearms should be used, when there is no other way to save your own, or someone else's life, or prevent the same, from great bodily harm. Not when you are in a fit of rage at some teenagers, no matter what they look like, or who they are.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:07 PM   #49
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Most seem to be in agreement that it was a execution. The guy should go to jail for the rest of his life.

Incidents like this will be jumped on by anti-gun groups and won't help the pro-gun lobby.
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Old December 4, 2012, 07:04 PM   #50
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He is a nut. Who says stuff like that? Think what you want, but keep your mouth shut. Initially and allegedly a victim, but his actions and statements changed the outcome for sure.

One thing that keeps wearing at me is why did that girl feel she needed to go down those stairs. Didn't hear the gunshots? She was with her accomplis while breaking in or so we are led to believe. How can you not hear a mini14 and a later a revolver going off? Did she think her partner fired the shots? There is no mention they were armed.

I am thinking there is much more to this story that we will never know because dead witnesses don't testify an an irrational person is left to tell the rest.
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