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Old October 25, 2012, 02:55 PM   #11
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,753
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
Oh, so you don't have legal problems after a 'good shoot'? How many times have we heard that.

Maybe Frank can explain the nuances. I could offer an outraged opinion worth nothing as I don't have the expertise....
Not much to say with the minimal information available. But a civil action like this is basically a variation on the disagreement about whether or not it was a "good shoot." You might think it was a good shoot, and you might be right. But yours is not the final say. If the DA disagrees, you'll be charged and tried for a crime. If the guy you shot disagrees, you'll have to fight it out in civil court.

California, as well as a number of States, has no immunity law. Even in States with immunity laws, it's always possible to litigate whether the threshold conditions for protection have been satisfied.

And even immunity laws protect one only in the case of justified use of force in self defense. The wrinkle is that the use of force in self defense is necessarily an intentional act. This lawsuit, as most of this type, appears to allege negligence.

I doubt this will get anywhere, but a risk of litigation is part of life in the modern world.

Originally Posted by Stressfire
It just shows the illegitimacy of our legal system...
Our legal system of necessity involves some compromises and tradeoffs.

The civil legal system exists to provide a peaceable way of resolving disputes. If procedures make it too difficult to sue, some meritorious claims will be foreclosed. If it's too easy to sue, there will be bogus and worthless claims that will need to be dealt with. Our system does offer a variety of ways to deal with merit-less claims at early stages.

As with anything that involves a balancing of interests, folks will disagree about where the balance point should be. Anyone who feels strongly enough that the current balance point is in the wrong place can get politically active and try to push for legislative change.

Originally Posted by Stressfire
...How does one "negligently" shoot someone that they intended to shoot?

Negligence implies an act due to carelessness
Negligence is more complex than simple carelessness. But in any event, whether the shooting was negligent or intentional is probably at the core of the dispute.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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