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Old December 4, 2021, 08:12 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by stagpanther
So it's a "draw" and warrants no charges on anyone?
That will be decided by the grand jury. Since it's in Texas, my understanding is that it MUST go to a grand jury.
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Old December 4, 2021, 10:29 PM   #27
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To no one in particular and everyone in general.

To discuss this constructively, it's necessary to be clear how your assertions should be interpreted.

If you are commenting on the advisability or wisdom of a particular action then make it clear that's what you mean.

If you are commenting on the legality of a particular action then make it plain that's what you mean and provide the law that you believe applies.

I see people making comments about advisability or stupidity and others taking those comments as if they were meant to be comments about legality. That's just going to cause confusion.

There are lots of things that are LEGAL that are STUPID. There are also situations where the smart thing to do may be, strictly speaking, illegal. Trying to pretend that the two things are equivalent, or getting involved in a discussion like this one without understanding that fact is unwise.
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Old December 5, 2021, 06:54 AM   #28
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I quit hanging out on gun sites not long after the Zimmerman event. It was because after Z we talked about legal things, and stupid things, but the ethics were brushed aside. Prior to Z ethics were a big part of discussions about the use of deadly force.
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Old December 5, 2021, 07:32 AM   #29
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I'm not saying people shouldn't discuss ethics (or legality or stupidity), only that it needs to be made clear which one is being commented on.

"It was wrong." covers a lot of ground.

Something can be wrong because it's illegal, but could be smart and ethical.
Something could be wrong because it's stupid but still be legal and ethical.
Something could be wrong because it's unethical but still be legal and smart.

If one person is talking about it being wrong because it was stupid while another is focusing on legality, and yet another is focusing on whether or not it was ethical and none of them understand that there are actually three different topics being discussed then nothing productive is happening.
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Old December 5, 2021, 08:13 AM   #30
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I quit hanging out on gun sites not long after the Zimmerman event. It was because after Z we talked about legal things, and stupid things, but the ethics were brushed aside. Prior to Z ethics were a big part of discussions about the use of deadly force.
I don't know that I've ever had a discussion of use of deadly force that didn't involve legality. The shift you observe may be because a discussion of legality will arise where a matter that captures the public imagination draws a prosecution that appears politically motivated. If you are on your back with your assailant pounding your head into the ground or running from a rioting mob as you try to get to the police, scenarios less muddied than the one in the OP, what the law really is becomes an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfwusc
Both sides made a lot of bad decisions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
So it's a "draw" and warrants no charges on anyone?
I cannot read sfwusc's observation to reach the conclusion about which you ask. There's a series of german industrial safety videos that illustrate what not to do with a forklift. The incident here looks like one of those videos, illustrating exactly what isn't smart to do when having a post decree domestic dispute.

Several of the dead man's acts were imprudent, but he is beyond charges. I see the shooter's potential defense of self-defense as polluted by his return to the yard (arguably coming to a fight), the warning shot (indicating none of the conditions for self defense), and the chest bumping (an invitation to combat). The on video argument noting that he had told the dead man what to do before shooting just seconds after is an excited utterance indicating his frame of mind without any coaching.

There wasn't a lot of wisdom on display in the video. That doesn't mean that the shooter won't be charged.
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Old December 5, 2021, 09:08 AM   #31
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We had riots in the major metropolitan area just north of me. I could have picked up my weapons, headed up north, got in the middle of the riots, maybe parking in a parking lot of a business being looted, with my Trump flag on my pick up truck, be all belligerent sitting on my tailgate and pray for confrontation. All of this would be completely legal. And yet, I would have initiated the events that followed. As responsible gun owners we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, we seem to have forgotten that.
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Old December 5, 2021, 10:52 AM   #32
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We had riots in the major metropolitan area just north of me. I could have picked up my weapons, headed up north, got in the middle of the riots, maybe parking in a parking lot of a business being looted, with my Trump flag on my pick up truck, be all belligerent sitting on my tailgate and pray for confrontation. All of this would be completely legal. And yet, I would have initiated the events that followed. As responsible gun owners we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, we seem to have forgotten that.
I agree with your sentiment--but this is different, because the event happened on the guy's home property and TX also has a particularly proactive stand your ground stance. I think they won't bring charges--I believe the Lubbock Co. LE has already indicated it's taking a "pass" on charges and handing off to another state or federal LE agency.
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Old December 5, 2021, 11:10 AM   #33
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I am really not trying to belabor a point. I just think our first thought should be did this gun owner do the right thing? In this case I think that answer is a resounding no. Now lest's talk about legal, stupid etc. I will shut up now about it, as long as I can. I just think this is the most important question we should ask our selves, then go from there.
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Old December 5, 2021, 11:52 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by mak2
We had riots in the major metropolitan area just north of me. I could have picked up my weapons, headed up north, got in the middle of the riots, maybe parking in a parking lot of a business being looted, with my Trump flag on my pick up truck, be all belligerent sitting on my tailgate and pray for confrontation. All of this would be completely legal. And yet, I would have initiated the events that followed. As responsible gun owners we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, we seem to have forgotten that.
That hypothetical relates to Kyle Rittenhouse, not to the Texas custody shooting.

That said, the decision you arrived at in your post is your decision. That doesn't make it the only right, correct, ethical decision. When you get into scenarios involving riots and destruction of large swaths of communities, you get into the area of situational ethics. They teach entire college-level courses on the topic of situational ethics. To look at it from another perspective, is it right, correct, and ethical if you have the means and the opportunity to prevent (or to help prevent) the destruction of large swaths of a community because you don't want to get involved?

Your scenario involved a community to the north of you. Maybe that's not your problem. What if the riots are happening in your own community? Now is it right, correct, and ethical for you to stay at home because you don't want to get involved, when the property and livelihoods of your friends and neighbors is going up in smoke?

I'm sure at this point Kyle Rittenhouse wishes with every atom of his being that he had not decided to go help defend Kenosha that night. But he made a decision -- he went. The ensuing events made that into an unwise decision, but that doesn't make it morally or ethically wrong. And a jury has found that they didn't think it was illegal, so where are we?

John KSa's point was not, I think, to espouse or to criticize anyone's point of view. All he suggested was to make clear what the grounds of your opinion are based on when expressing value judgments.
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Old December 5, 2021, 11:53 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mak2
We had riots in the major metropolitan area just north of me. I could have picked up my weapons, headed up north, got in the middle of the riots, maybe parking in a parking lot of a business being looted, with my Trump flag on my pick up truck, be all belligerent sitting on my tailgate and pray for confrontation.
Yes, you could. Being in the area of a riot is not the same as coming to a conflict you are having with a specific individual. You are entitled to be in a metro area, even if others are misbehaving. You are within your rights to drive a pick-up, have a Trump flag and sit on your tailgate. That will give no one a right to injure or kill you.

That's how it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mak2
And yet, I would have initiated the events that followed.
That's not correct. Being able to foresee that an event may arise is distinguishable from initiating an event. You might foresee that you could be mugged getting cash from an ATM, but you don't initiate the mugging if it happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mak2
As responsible gun owners we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, we seem to have forgotten that.
A standard higher than what? I'd resist a group identity of people who own arms as if they perceive a common interest. Gaige Grosskreutz was a gun owner. There is no "we" in this scenario.

Individuals should avoid being foolish, and act ethically and within the bounds of just laws at all times.

Quote:
Now lest's talk about legal, stupid etc. I will shut up now about it, as long as I can. I just think this is the most important question we should ask our selves, then go from there.
I see nothing wrong with discussing the moral, legal and practical aspects of the episode, but let's not suppose that the legal answer proceeds from the moral one.
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Old December 5, 2021, 12:00 PM   #36
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Quote:
Now lest's talk about legal, stupid etc. I will shut up now about it, as long as I can. I just think this is the most important question we should ask our selves, then go from there.
I see nothing wrong with discussing the moral, legal and practical aspects of the episode, but let's not suppose that the legal answer proceeds from the moral one.
But "legal" and "stupid" are two very different things. "... this is the most important question" is not a plural statement, it is a single statement. As John and others have commented, an act may be legal but stupid, and an act may be intelligent and logical but illegal.

You are advising us to discuss the most important question, while offering us two mutually exclusive questions to discuss.
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Old December 5, 2021, 12:05 PM   #37
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I do believe for me the first question I would ask myself if I ever found myself in such a situation is if I did the right thing. Then I would worry about the rest, I dont think I was trying to exclude anything. Sorry to interrupt the flow of the thread.
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Old December 5, 2021, 02:02 PM   #38
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Goes inside to get gun? That means it was not needed. Should have called the cops instead.
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Old December 5, 2021, 02:10 PM   #39
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Goes inside to get gun? That means it was not needed. Should have called the cops instead.
I just feel that argument is irrelevant. Was it illegal to go get it is the question . What is needed is subjective in this context. Does he have a right to have the firearm is the question ? After that it’s irrelevant when he gets the firearm unless he goes straight from retrieving to shooting which he did not .
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Old December 5, 2021, 02:17 PM   #40
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The only thing I see in common with this shooting and the Rittenhouse case is that the victim would most likely still be alive if he didn't try to disarm an armed attacker.
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Old December 5, 2021, 02:21 PM   #41
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I do believe for me the first question I would ask myself if I ever found myself in such a situation is if I did the right thing.
But, again ... the "right thing" from a legal perspective (which is more or less objective), or from a moral perspective (which is highly subjective), or from a perspective of "was that smart or dumb?"
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Old December 5, 2021, 02:35 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by mak2
I do believe for me the first question I would ask myself if I ever found myself in such a situation is if I did the right thing.
That's fine, but living the rest of your life outside the wall of a prison might depend on whether it looks as if you've done the "right" thing.

Morality is tremendously important, can be precise in the hands of any single person, and informs many aspects of the law as it is written and applied. However, the law can seem a very crude and socially informed instrument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
I just feel that argument is irrelevant. Was it illegal to go get it is the question . What is needed is subjective in this context. Does he have a right to have the firearm is the question ? After that it’s irrelevant when he gets the firearm unless he goes straight from retrieving to shooting which he did not .
The context of each act is relevant. It's not illegal to go inside to get a rifle because you are about to murder a squirrel.

If it's part of a string of events that indicate you killed someone while not being in fear of some imminent harm, then it will be relevant to peoples' conclusions about your motive.
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Old December 5, 2021, 03:55 PM   #43
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I'm sorry, but the heads of my pins are not sectioned off into areas where the angels can dance without co-mingling.

legal, moral, ethical, and "stupid" can and should be looked at separately, as general principles, but it is important to remember that in real world situations they are inextricably mixed together and how much of which applies and is the dominant factor can change from moment to moment due to the actions of all actors involved.
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Old December 5, 2021, 04:16 PM   #44
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....but it is important to remember that in real world situations they are inextricably mixed together...
They are mixed in terms of the fact that a situation can have all three at once, but they should not be mixed in terms of deciding one using the other.

And it is absolutely not true that they are "inextricably mixed". It is often very easy to separate them from each other.

One can not claim that something is stupid and therefore it is automatically unethical and/or illegal. The three concepts are not the same.

One can not claim that something is unethical and therefore it is automatically illegal and/or stupid. The three concepts are independent.

One can not claim that something is illegal and therefore it is automatically stupid and/or unethical. Those three concepts don't always align.

It's totally useless to discuss a topic like this productively if that isn't understood.

Shooting a game animal that has been badly injured in a car accident is generally illegal. But it is ethical. And if the animal is creating a dangerous situation, it could be very smart to kill it.

Going outside with a gun to defend your property is generally unwise because of the potential for really negative outcomes, but it is also usually legal and isn't necessarily unethical.

Going through a red light to escape a carjacking is not legal, but it can be a really smart action to take and it isn't unethical.

It's pretty easy to do something that is unethical without breaking the law or being stupid.

Trying to conflate the three concepts as if they automatically follow from each other is counterproductive. It doesn't lead to an improved understanding of the situation; in fact it actually confuses the issue.
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Old December 5, 2021, 04:26 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
I'm sorry, but the heads of my pins are not sectioned off into areas where the angels can dance without co-mingling.



legal, moral, ethical, and "stupid" can and should be looked at separately, as general principles, but it is important to remember that in real world situations they are inextricably mixed together and how much of which applies and is the dominant factor can change from moment to moment due to the actions of all actors involved.
Well said.

Myself, I think and concentrate more on what is morally right than what is legally right... I'll have to be able to live with any decision I make, period.

I take my decision to be armed very seriously, always have... I'm willing to walk away if that's a possibility, I'd much prefer to walk away than deal with all that comes after a shoot, legal or not.

I'm of the opinion that one should do EVERYTHING possible to avoid killing, even when one may have the legal right to do so, duty to retreat shouldn't be legally required, but it is always a moral requirement when it's an available option... only when I see no other option will the gun come out... but when the gun does come out, it'll come out in a way that will make Jeff Cooper proud.

In the case discussed here, there was NO ethical or sensible reason for him to go get that carbine....NONE.... and no law or anything else will change my mind on that.

Being that it was Texas, he was at his home, and the things the deceased said... I'm pretty sure the shooter will be cleared as far as the law is concerned... but had I done what he did, I know without a doubt I'd regret it terribly for the rest of my days.


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Old December 5, 2021, 04:35 PM   #46
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If it's part of a string of events that indicate you killed someone while not being in fear of some imminent harm
Respectfully I'm not sure you understand imminent . If the threat was imminent he wouldn't have time to get a weapon to defend him self . Your logic seems to indicate you must be under attack before going to get your firearm ? Remember Carruth is on his own property he can go get what ever he wants . What if he turns and grabs a shovel from 10" away and everything plays out the same after and Carruth hits him over the head instead of shooting ? Then there's the disparity of force to consider . Reed was a much bigger guy and Carruth would likely not do well in a "fair" fight as evidence of being thrown with ease from his porch. Carruth seeing the "intruder" refusing to leave when asked may have thought it might be wise to go retrieve a firearm in case the bigger man decided to escalate the situation when he asked him to leave the next time .

Lets ask this question , was it the brandishing that some feel was an escalation or going and getting the gun ? I ask because I go back to does it matter where he gets the gun from ? What if it was a hand gun and he pulled it from an IWB holster and everything then played out the same ??? Yes he retrieved the firearm but does it matter from where he retrieved it , Does distance matter ?

Quote:
Myself, I think and concentrate more on what is morally right than what is legally right... I'll have to be able to live with any decision I make, period.

I take my decision to be armed very seriously, always have... I'm willing to walk away if that's a possibility, I'd much prefer to walk away than deal with all that comes after a shoot, legal or not.

I'm of the opinion that one should do EVERYTHING possible to avoid killing, even when one may have the legal right to do so
I agree completely but that's all a philosophical question rather then a legal one it would seem and this is the Law sub-forum not the moral sub-forum or will he be able to sleep at night sub-forum

This reminds me of the Rittenhouse debate and so many clinging to the fact they believe he should have never been there , especially with a gun . None of that matters up until seconds before firing . What matters is what caused him to feel the need to fire . Reed absolutely had an opportunity to leave when Carruth came out of the house with a gun . He instead chose to rush Carruth and commit assault and battery on Carruth .

I don't disagree that Carruth could/should have handled it better and I don't think any of the escalation was necessary but that does not mean what Carruth did was illegal "in Texas"
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Old December 5, 2021, 04:40 PM   #47
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Since we've brought up Rittenhouse... his was as good as any shoot could ever be...legally... and I'm darn happy he was acquitted, I truly am... but I do say he went looking for it, which may be legal, but not smart and not right, unless he had loved ones in the area he was "protecting".

Honestly, I think he may have held off longer than I would have before firing though.... he went there for his own reasons, but I think once it started happening he didn't really want to be doing it.

Likely a good kid, just made a really bad decision.

I don't see that in the video this thread is about though... guy shot twice, laying face down on the patio, and no one there checks to see what his condition is... instead they're still arguing and posturing.

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Old December 5, 2021, 04:43 PM   #48
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Respectfully I'm not sure you understand imminent . If the threat was imminent he would have time to get a weapon to defend him self . Your logic seems to indicate you must be under attack before going to get your firearm ? Remember Carruth is on his own property he can go get what ever he wants . What if he turns and grabs a shovel from 10" away and everything plays out the same after and Carruth hits him over the head instead of shooting ? Then there's the disparity of force to consider . Reed was a much bigger guy and Carruth would likely not do well in a "fair" fight as evidence of being thrown with ease from his porch. Carruth seeing the "intruder" refusing to leave when asked may have thought it might be wise to go retrieve a firearm in case the bigger man decided to escalate the situation when he asked him to leave the next time .



Lets ask this question , was it the brandishing that some feel was an escalation or going and getting the gun ? I ask because I go back to does it matter where he gets the gun from ? What if it was a hand gun and he pulled it from an IWB holster and everything then played out the same ??? Yes he retrieved the firearm but does it matter from where he retrieved it , Does distance matter ?







I agree completely but that's all a philosophical question rather then a legal one it would seem and this is the Law sub-forum not the moral sub-forum or will he be able to sleep at night sub-forum
Letter of the law vs spirit of the law....it's a valid discussion... and a VERY old one, likely been discussed (debated) for centuries.

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Old December 5, 2021, 05:58 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Metal god
Quote:
If it's part of a string of events that indicate you killed someone while not being in fear of some imminent harm
Respectfully I'm not sure you understand imminent . If the threat was imminent he wouldn't have time to get a weapon to defend him self . Your logic seems to indicate you must be under attack before going to get your firearm ? Remember Carruth is on his own property he can go get what ever he wants .
You brought up the point that "If the threat was imminent he wouldn't have time to get a weapon to defend him self." I respectfully submit (and the attorneys around here can and should correct me if I have this wrong) that the fact Carruth was at home, on his own porch (which is part of the "curtilage" attaching to his home), the usual parameters regarding use of deadly force that generally apply only when you are in fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury are either modified or set aside.

This now gets into a legal theory known as the "castle doctrine," some version of which I think most states have incorporated into their laws. This is what says, even in states that don't otherwise have a "stand your ground" law, that you don't have to retreat if you are defending your own home. Either by written law or by case law precedent, the castle doctrine usually includes not only the interior of the home but also the "curtilage," which Merriam-Webster on-line defines as "a piece of ground (such as a yard or courtyard) within the fence surrounding a house." The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "The area considered legally part of a house or dwelling by virtue of its enclosure by a fence or habitual use in domestic activities."

So, in this case, all the activity that culminated in the shooting took place in the front yard of the house, which would be within the realm of the "curtilage." Back in post #15 I provided a link to the Texas law on use of deadly force, and I quoted from the law:

Quote:
(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.
Carruth obviously had a right to be at his own home, and he had asked Read to leave. Read did not leave when asked to, so he was trespassing. Read was also larger than Carruth, by several inches and several pounds == inequity of force. We haven't heard (or at least I haven't heard) what all transpired before Carruth went inside th get the gun, but it seems fair to suppose that Read threatened Carruth, with enough credibility that Carruth believed he needed a gun to protect himself and his house.

So, according to the law, Carruth was not required to retreat before using deadly force. The law doesn't say that, having retreated for the purpose of better arming himself, he couldn't return to his own front porch.

If you start that argument, where do you end it? If your wife wakes you up at 02:30 a.m. and says she's sure she heard someone in the living room, is it wrong for you to pick up your nightstand gun and go see who is in your living room? Fundamentally, how is using a gun to protect your home against an unknown intruder any different from using a gun to protect your home against a known intruder?
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Old December 5, 2021, 08:31 PM   #50
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Castle doctrine might be different there. In my state, I think it just means that one hasn't a duty to retreat within the home if met with a sufficiently serious imminent threat. The threat still needs to be present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuk
The context of each act is relevant. It's not illegal to go inside to get a rifle because you are about to murder a squirrel.

If it's part of a string of events that indicate you killed someone while not being in fear of some imminent harm, then it will be relevant to peoples' conclusions about your motive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
Respectfully I'm not sure you understand imminent . If the threat was imminent he wouldn't have time to get a weapon to defend him self . Your logic seems to indicate you must be under attack before going to get your firearm ?
No. My logic indicates that if your conduct doesn't indicate a perception of an imminent and grave threat, you will undermine a defense that requires an imminent and grave threat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
Remember Carruth is on his own property he can go get what ever he wants . What if he turns and grabs a shovel from 10" away and everything plays out the same after and Carruth hits him over the head instead of shooting ?
I don't believe anyone has suggested that Carruth is not free to travel his own property. If he had to leave the argument in the front yard, go inside, down the basement stairs, find a key for the closet where he keeps his garden tools, unlock it, go upstairs and back outside to resume the argument, that's a context that shows deliberation and planning to win an argument rather than defend against a threat that was imminent.

The context is the difference between the recent Wisconsin and Georgia verdicts even though each may feature a shooter in fear of his weapon being taken and used against him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
Then there's the disparity of force to consider . Reed was a much bigger guy and Carruth would likely not do well in a "fair" fight as evidence of being thrown with ease from his porch. Carruth seeing the "intruder" refusing to leave when asked may have thought it might be wise to go retrieve a firearm in case the bigger man decided to escalate the situation when he asked him to leave the next time .
That could be, but Carruth pollutes that narrative when he fires at Reed's feet. Where he re-enters a dispute as an aggressor, he may forfeit his right to employ deadly force.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal god
I ask because I go back to does it matter where he gets the gun from ? What if it was a hand gun and he pulled it from an IWB holster and everything then played out the same ??? Yes he retrieved the firearm but does it matter from where he retrieved it , Does distance matter ?
Yes. If he hopped into his car, drove downtown, filled out a yellow, bought the gun and some ammunition, loaded it, drove back and re-entered the fight, that would matter.

Now, what don't I know about these people? Almost everything. Maybe the big guy was a known psychopath. Maybe little guy had been badly beaten by him before. Maybe little guy picked up on something, a tell, that big guy was about to get viscously violent. The video shows us what happened, but only that, not the context that might have us seeing it differently.

As noted by several, there are lots of apparently bad decisions on that recording.

I can suggest a view of events that would likely end with Carruth being prosecuted in my state. Little guy (LG) doesn't like the disrespect big guy (BG) shows him by failing to leave. LG doesn't feel threatened but also doesn't want to lose the argument. LG has no way to win it on his own, so he goes inside for his rifle, sure this would secure a win. It doesn't have LG's desired effect. BG initiates a yelling and chest bumping contest, an invitation to mutual combat, and doesn't try to take LG's rifle until LG starts shooting. LG doesn't want to lose, especially in front of BG's ex-wife, so he meets the invitation with chest bumping and yelling, and eventually shooting. BG attempts to disarm LG at which point LG feels he is in way over his head and shoots BG.

BG hadn't done anything more threatening than yell about being rooked out of the court scheduled time with his child when LG presented his rifle as part of a dominance display.

Last edited by zukiphile; December 5, 2021 at 08:41 PM.
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