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Old November 15, 2018, 04:48 PM   #87
Senior Member
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 5,456
I will try to rephrase the question, can a contact shot be justified, both legally, and ethically ?
We now have a question that can be answered without even a word of debate. Remove a single word from your question.

I will try to rephrase the question, can a contact shot be justified, both legally, and ethically ?
It has just been made absolutely clear. Can a shot (based entirely on the circumstances that lead to the person firing the gun) be proven to have been legally and morally justifiable?

Go to your state legal database, there will be one that has all of the laws and codes clearly written out exactly as they are on the books. Read and understand what those words say, and carefully determine what circumstances can justify use of lethal force. That is the only thing that should be admissible in an arrest and prosecution.

You can be taking a shower, hiding in a dumpster, hanging upside down from a trapeze, none of that is relevant to the single question: Were you or another in your vicinity in danger of death, grievous injury, or destruction of property of such value that your laws would allow for use of lethal force?

This is what will be in the laws that you read. It will list the conditions that justify lethal force, not the technique or method.

unless you find a specific line in your state laws that either explicitly or implicitly limits the manner of applying lethal force with a handgun, and it allows for lethal force in the situation that you were in when you fired, the laws of your state will have been followed, and you should not be at risk of prosecution.

Ethically? frankly, not my problem. You have to decide ethics for yourself. I know what is right and wrong, many don't. I can't teach ethics via internet. You are going to be in the situation and you can only work out what you choose to.

Ethical and legal aren't the same issues. If you have done something that a prosecutor deems 'unethical' during a self defense shooting, well, he may find that you broke laws and you will be prosecuted.

Is it ethical to shoot an attacker in the belly when he is in contact range? If you have a sure and absolute way of sparing the person from death or grievous harm and still accomplish what you need to, then ethically ( and in all probability legally) you will have done something unforgivable.

Put yourself in my situation. My 90 year old mother in law is as crazy as a frog on a skillet, and she has scissors in her hands all of the time. She doesn't like me too much. I carry a pistol everywhere, including when I am in her house.

Now, it is entirely conceivable that this looney bin washout might be angered beyond reason some day when I say something like "oh, boy, your roses are ugly." She may conceivably grab her big stabby scissors and poke me. I personally TRULY believe that she could cause me terrible physical harm or death if I can't defend myself. Now, is it really possible that she could put me in a situation in which I could not save my own life without killing her? NO.

If I can get her armed hand under control, she can't even try to bite me. she has no teeth and no strength in any other part of her body. If I chose at that point to shoot her to save my own life, sure, I could still use the scissors as an excuse, but it is an excuse, not justification.
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