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Old January 27, 2007, 06:54 PM   #51
tepin
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Anything can be used as a defense. What keeps you out of jail and your money in the bank is what counts. Sounds like we agree.
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Old February 3, 2007, 08:28 PM   #52
Group9
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"Just FYI, that's not really the case at all. Ignorance of the LAW is no defense, but ignorance of the FACTS is in fact a very good defense. Of course, you would still probably be liable for civil damages and lose your house."
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In most states, that is not necessarily the law. When you are defending yourself, your actions in using self defense only have to be reasonable under the circumstances, but you are not required to be correct in your assessment. In other words, if you reasonably believed someone was trying to kill you, but you turned out to be wrong, it would still be a legitimate use of self defense.

But, when it comes to defending someone elses life, in most states (but not all), a private citizen who uses deadly force in defense of someone else's life, must not only be reasonable in his assessment of this threat, but correct as well.

That is a huge difference, and mistake of fact is most certainly not a defense when using deadly force to protect a third party, in most jurisdictions.
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Old February 3, 2007, 10:15 PM   #53
Tokamak
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Beg to differ.

Quote:
In PA, it is legal to use lethal force in the stead of someone else who is legally justified in using lethal force to defend himself. So, if this would have happened in PA, you would be justified in using lethal force to defend the store owner.

If I was there, I have no idea what I would really do. However, assuming I would respond and try to stop the actions of the robber, I would probably draw down on the robber either once he drew on the cashier (assuming I saw him draw), or when he fired the first shot. At that point, depending on mannerisms, etc. I would draw on him and order him to drop his weapon no more than twice, at which point, upon the suspect's failure to stop his threatening actions, I would shoot to stop the threat. However, if it looks like the criminal is even more of an imminent threat than he would otherwise be, I would probably shoot to stop the threat. However, this is my .02.
I, too, live in PA - great pro gun state by the by. I agree with your assessment that you could use deadly force to protect another.

I hate to disagree with you, however, I would not warn him to drop his weapon but would rather shoot him without warning. Why should I give a warning to a person who has, by his actions, told everyone that he is willing to use deadly force? I have no idea if I would be in trouble for that, but that is what I would do.

I was only in one situation where I had to pull my weapon. In that case a guy was screaming and threating to kill a 17 year old girl like he was insane. I pulled my gun and warned him to stop moving towards the young lady - he was unarmed. (actually I found out later he had a knife in his pocket, but I did not know that)

If he had continued towards the person he was threating to kill I was fully prepared to shot him. If he had had a gun I would have just shot him. However, he (what an amazing thing in the face of his emminant demise ) regained his sanity and backed down.

So, I do agree with a warning in some cases, but not one where the guy is pulling a robbery with a gun. I am going to try and shoot him in the back. Preferably in the back of the head if I am close enough.
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Old February 3, 2007, 11:45 PM   #54
rmagill
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Tokamak,

It sounds like we pretty much agree, but come at our conclusion a bit differently. As you mentioned, if it looks like the suspect is going to use lethal force or is aggravated (not thinking clearly so a logical conversation would be impossible), I will probably not give him a warning. However, if the suspect looks like he is using a firearm simply to intimidate and has no intention of firing, I will try to warn him to drop his weapon, and thus not have to shoot him, all along trying to err on the side of safety.

The reason for the warning is because I have been in a situations where someone has threatened (as was quite capable of using) lethal force. However, from the mannerisms and the current situation, I believed that the threats were for intimidation purposes only and not a serious threat. I would not want to shoot someone for simply trying to intimidate someone else. However, if the situation looks like the suspect will actually use force, then I will do anything I can to prevent the unlawful use of force.

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Old February 4, 2007, 01:24 PM   #55
PzGren
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Wouldn't it be an irony, if you save the life of an avid antigunner and liberal and he would not even be grateful?
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Old February 5, 2007, 09:34 AM   #56
Blackwater OPS
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I like how some of you seem to think you will know what a persons intent is when holding a gun on someone, I really hope you don't have to figure out the hard way that you never will.
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