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Old October 25, 2012, 11:48 PM   #36
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,745
Originally Posted by MLeake
...And I think laws should be changed to once again allow use of whatever force may be required to protect property...
Actually, the law has never permitted the use of lethal force to protect property. For the last 500 some years, the Common Law rule, upon which our law is based, has limited justified use of lethal force primarily to the protection of human life or defend against attempts to forcibly dispossess one of his property. Blackstone specifically said so in the 18th Century.

From the 1915 abridgment of Blackstone's 18th century Commentaries on the Common Law of England (page 289, emphasis added) --
Force may be used in self defense, in which "...if the party himself, or any of these his relations, be forcibly attacked in his person or property, it is lawful for him to repel force by force..." with the caveat that, " must be taken that the resistance does not exceed the bounds of mere defense and prevention, for then the defender would himself become an aggressor...

However, note that under what Blackstone refers to as reprisal, once property is taken, it may be recovered or retained only if, " be not in a riotous manner, or attended with a breach of the peace....." Blackstone notes, "...the public peace is a superior consideration to any one man's private property ; and as, if individuals were once allowed to use private force as a remedy for private injuries, all social justice must cease, the strong would give law to the weak, and every man would revert to a state of nature; for these reasons it is provided that this natural right of recaption shall never be exerted where such exertion must occasion strife and bodily contention, or endanger the peace of society...
"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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