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Old March 14, 2012, 02:45 AM   #101
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Join Date: December 11, 2011
Posts: 230
All this talk about Mas Ayoob making an incorrect cite is irrelevant you know. Even if he had gotten the citation entirely correct it would merely support Jammer Six's more relevant point that Mas cites cases that don't really mean what he claims them to mean.

For reference, Mas's article on this specific case:

Mas claimed that State vs Bias was an example of "Cases Where Handloads Caused Problems in Court". He is somewhat right, but it is not really relevant.

For one thing the case in question wasn't a case of Self Defense, it was someone claiming they tried to stop a suicide attempt and the person shot themselves anyway. That is not even close to the same thing and pretty much makes it irrelevant to a discussion of hand loads used in self defense. Self defense is an affirmative defense where you admit you fired the gun at the other person and are fully responsible for that action, but that you were justified in doing so for some legal reason, which is very different from this case.

Moving on to this case in particular, the ONLY way in which handloads caused problems in court was if he wouldn't have been indicted if he hadn't handloaded. If he would have been indicted anyway (it seems incredibly likely he would have) then the handloads no longer become relevant as all testimony about them ended up being a wash in all 4 trials. Also if we switch thing around and imagine what would have happened if Bias only had commercial loads in his house, then if it happened as he said then there would have been GSR on her, but that would not prove him guilty or innocent, and if he was guilty then the lack of GSR would have got him convicted of Murder in the first trial rather than Reckless Manslaughter in the fourth trial.

As a matter of fact from Bias's perspective there is an overall wash here. Handloading very slightly, but irrelevantly, increased his chance of being indicted, had no affect on all subsequent trials if he was innocent, and actually helped him a great deal if he was indeed guilty by giving him an excuse for the lack of GSR.

So this does not show handloading causing problems in court for the person loading them. It made the case a little more complex, but given that Bias was found guilty it seems very likely that his handloading actually lightened his sentence and was a net benefit for him.

I have nothing against Mas Ayoob. He has contributed a lot of good things to the firearms community and firearms issues. But I see Jammer Six's point being made in this case.

The reality is people like to come to conclusions and then try to make other facts support those conclusions, which I think is what has happened here. This happens all the time and it doesn't mean the person is bad or stupid, or anything like that. Indeed, such people are often admirable and worthy of praise for what they try to accomplish. It is just that while the persons conclusion may be correct, or at least mostly valid, that doesn't mean they are supportable.

Is it a good idea to handload defensive ammo? Honestly probably not. There are a host of minor issues that could cause in a courtroom or otherwise, and it just isn't worth it when you can purchase ammo for defensive use and then shoot handloads at all other times to save money. But can I support that with a legal citation? Like Mas, I can not, and so I don't try to make the point or push the issue. Also, even if I did have a case to support it I would not make the argument without thoroughly researching cases that support other conclusions. I am sure Bias was far from the only case involving handload ammo, and that in some of those other ones the handloading was deemed entirely irrelevant to the case.
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