Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good guys with guns

As you remember, I did mention those "good guys" for whom things go wrong with their loaded guns in my previous posts. I got the usual push back about it from my pro gun friends. There are numerous examples of good guys misusing guns. I get them every day.  But for your reading edification, here are just a few that have graced my e-mail/Twitter/Facebook accounts. First is this one from Alabama. A man with his loaded gun was walking from his truck into the house with it. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, he tripped and fell. The gun fired and injured him. When his wife and child tried to help out by picking up the gun, the child fired the gun and injured the mother. So 2 law abiding citizens injured by bullets from a legally owned gun.


This article from Arizona points to why we need gun dealers in states bordering Mexico should be required to report sales of long guns to federal authorities. The administration has proposed that gun dealers in selected states report sales of more than 3 long guns to the same individual in a week to the ATF. Of course, the NRA and those on the pro gun side are so afraid that their own gun rights will be affected that they have so far managed to stop this effort in its' tracks. Never mind that there is clear evidence, from the linked article, that law abiding citizens are purchasing hundreds of guns ( from legal and licensed firearms dealers) to traffic to the Mexican drug cartel where they are used to murder people in high numbers daily. I remind you again that these are law abiding citizens aiding and abetting the Mexican drug cartel. They aren't law abiding any more but were before they got caught straw purchasing for those who couldn't buy these guns on their own.


And let us not forget that permit to carry folks need permits for a reason. When no permits are requried to carry loaded guns in public, then how are we to stop those who should not have access to guns from also carrying "legally" in public? Wyoming just joined 3 other states in not requiring people who choose to carry to get a permit first. In this article, the NRA is giving all the usual talking points while, of course, totally ignoring the obvious fault with their logic. I'll say it again. What is to stop all of those illegal folks from also carrying in public? Sure sometimes they do and they cause a lot of crime and loss of life by so doing. But now, how is it possible to know who is legally carrying and who is not? How are police officers to know the difference? This is a ridiculous self fulfilling prophecy and an excuse to kill. 


If one(person A) sees what one presumes to be a "criminal"( person B)  in the streets with a gun and then one uses one's own gun to deal with a possible criminal in a crime, is it legal to shoot? What if this person is actually not a criminal but a law abiding citizen going about their life but pulls out a gun in "self defense"? Will person A know that person B is not a criminal? Will law enforcement, faced with making a decision about who is the original shooter, know the difference between person A and person B? Will person C come along and mistake person B for person A? You may remember that this scenario actually happened at the scene of the Tucson shootings. What if Joe Zamudio had actually shot the innocent man who had already helped to subdue Loughner? Imagine that scenario for a minute. What would law enforcement then have done? Would they have thought that Zamudio was Loughner's partner? I can imagine chaos ensuing here with other folks with their concealed guns getting into the fray. The gun guys only imagine that they would save the day in these situations. Their minds don't imagine the alternate possiblities.


Who cares about all of this since this law is needed because, according to the NRA in the article: "" The intent of this legislation is to give people the greatest possible freedom to choose the best method of carry for them, based on attire, gender, and/or physical attributes."" Pardon my skepticism. So, based on what I intend to wear on a given day, I should be allowed to carry a gun in public without a permit? A criminal then might decide to wear a trench coat on the day he decides to perpetrate a crime or a serious shooting, and easily conceal many types of guns under that coat. Did I miss something here? Didn't we just have this discussion after the shootings in Tucson? Even some on the pro gun side agreed that it was not a good idea for someone like Jared Loughner to be allowed to legally carry a gun without getting a permit first as is allowed in Vermont, Alaska and Arizona. And here we have the pro gun legislators in Wyoming wanting the very same thing to be legal? And the NRA is celebrating this? Sick, I say. This sort of logic is coming to a state near you. You can celebrate having people with no background checks carrying loaded guns around in our communities or not.


And further, I just love the logic of the NRA about extending the Castle Doctrine in Wyoming so that "law abiding citizens" can shoot to kill if they imagine a threat. Wyoming has the castle doctrine in place which already allows the homeowner to protect themselves and their property by shooting an intruder, given the circumstances, and be allowed to do so under the justifiable homicide provision.  In the linked article, "...the presumption that a criminal who forcibly enters or intrudes into your home or occupied vehicle is there to cause death or great bodily harm, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that person.  It would also provide that persons using force authorized by law shall not be prosecuted for using such force. It also prohibits criminals and their families from suing victims for injuring or killing the criminals who have attacked them. In short, it gives rights back to law-abiding people and forces judges and prosecutors to focus on protecting victims".  Say what? 


This sort of logic is flawed in so many ways. First, the presumption is that someone entering your home or car is always armed so you should be able to shoot to kill. Second, perhaps that person is your own child or relative who forgot a key and is trying to get in. Third, what about criminals shooting each other? Will they get off with murder as well? Fourth, this assumes that the person who is "breaking in" is there to do you bodily harm when in most cases, that is simply not true. Most home invasions happen when people are not home. Further, in most home invasions, what the invader wants is something you have of value- like maybe your guns. They are usually not breaking in to do you harm as the first resort. But when you draw a gun, violence can escalate. It may not but there is no guarantee that it won't and there is also no guarantee that it will work as the proponents say it will. There are too many ifs here to be certain that innocent people will not be shot to death for no reason. This is a solution looking for a problem.


Here is an example. We know of someone whose home was broken into by a drunk student who mistook his house for his own. (There are student rental homes in this neigborhood because it is close to the University). The home owner heard some noise and found this student passed out, drunk, on his couch. Rather than shooting this young man, who was mistaken, our friend showed him to the door. What would our friend be doing now had he shot and killed this young man who was intending no harm? Once , many years ago, we heard someone walk up the stairs in the middle of a very cold winter night and ring our doorbell. We went downstairs and turned on porch lights just in time to see said person walk around to the back of the house. When the lights went on the person walked, (not ran) down the driveway as my husband opened the door to ask if we could help or something was wrong. We never did discover who this person was but think it could have been a confused elderly neighbor or someone who was at the wrong house. What if we had shot this person? He/she did not appear to mean any harm to us and was perhaps scared off by our turning on the lights or calling out. 


Killing another human being is a terrible thing for the shooter, who often, in domestic cases or mass shootings, kill themselves. Some police officers leave their jobs after shooting and killing someone on the job because they cannot live with the thought that they have shot another human being. Just seeing the damage caused by bullets to another human being is sickening. Do the pro gun guys think about that or imagine that scenario? When looking at video of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, you can see brain tissue flying out of his head. When witnessing the scenes of mass shootings, there is often body tissue everywhere, along with the blood. I don't even want to think about the crime scene of my sister's shooting because I cannot imagine my loved one going through anything like that. The scene was described to me by the authorites. It made me sick and I cried and cried. 


So here we have a law, supported by the pro gun side, that will allow "law abiding citizens" to kill another human being who may not even be intending harm, and getting away with murder, essentially. I'm sorry folks. This is bad stuff. This has nothing whatsover to do with common sense on any level. What is this all about? Why do the pro gun guys think they have a right to kill anyone without being held responsible? We want to hold criminals and adjudicated mentally ill (or others who are deemed dangerous) responsible, but not law abiding citizens? That is the logic here and it happens every day on this blog. The pro gun folks are having a problem imagining that law abiding citizens can actually shoot someone. It must be only the criminals. But along come laws that will allow these very same law abiding gun owners to shoot and kill someone and they will not be held responsible? Come on everyone. There is no logic. This is insanity on so many levels and hypocrisy as far as the eye can see.

120 comments:

  1. "The gun guys only imagine that they would save the day in these situations. Their minds don't imagine the alternate possiblities."

    If you read the forums dedicated to defensive carry you would find a large number of threads and many more posts in which people imagine the alternate possibilities and spend a considerable amount of time analyzing them.

    Another article about the ATF helping smuggle guns and getting another federal agent killed: http://tucsoncitizen.com/view-from-baja-arizona/2011/03/01/another-federal-agent-killed-by-atf-walked-gun/

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  2. "Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, he tripped and fell. The gun fired and injured him. When his wife and child tried to help out by picking up the gun, the child fired the gun and injured the mother. So 2 law abiding citizens injured by bullets from a legally owned gun."

    They didn't follow the rules. The gun should have been in a proper holster. He must have pulled the trigger, shouldn't have had his finger on or near the trigger. And the child never should have dared to have touched the gun.

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  3. Yes, it's really too bad that all law abiding gun owners don't follow the rules. Sometimes lives are lost as a result.

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  4. "Second, perhaps that person is your own child or relative who forgot a key and is trying to get in."

    Rule 4 of gun safety

    Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

    If you shoot at shadows or noises, you've made a critical and possibly fatal error. If you mistakenly shoot someone who turns out to be a family member, it's entirely your fault for not following the rules.

    "The home owner heard some noise and found this student passed out, drunk, on his couch. Rather than shooting this young man, who was mistaken, our friend showed him to the door. What would our friend be doing now had he shot and killed this young man who was intending no harm? "

    Why on earth would you shoot someone who is asleep? They're not an imminent threat to anyone.

    "Once , many years ago, we heard someone walk up the stairs in the middle of a very cold winter night and ring our doorbell. We went downstairs and turned on porch lights just in time to see said person walk around to the back of the house. When the lights went on the person walked, (not ran) down the driveway as my husband opened the door to ask if we could help or something was wrong. We never did discover who this person was but think it could have been a confused elderly neighbor or someone who was at the wrong house. What if we had shot this person? He/she did not appear to mean any harm to us and was perhaps scared off by our turning on the lights or calling out. "

    Ringing your doorbell is not the same as forcible entry. Again, why would you shoot someone who was not being aggressive or actively forcing their way into your home? Just because you have the option of shooting someone doesn't mean you have to. You seem to believe that gun owners will take any opportunity at all to shoot at anyone who so much as steps onto their property without prior notice, regardless of what that person is actually doing at the moment.

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  5. "Yes, it's really too bad that all law abiding gun owners don't follow the rules. Sometimes lives are lost as a result."

    We've discussed this before...it because you want to get to 0, right? 0 people who break the law - 0 people who get injured by anything, ever...right?

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  6. All you have to do in these cases is to say that you felt threatened. That is the way it works in the states where it has passed. There are cases similar to those I described where someone felt threatened and shot. That is my point.

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  7. Permits largely serve as a signaling mechanism for law enforcement, so if you pull someone over with a gun, you have an instant way to tell whether the person is prohibited or not. The more criminal records are computerized, and the more police have those records on command in their own vehicles, the less you need the permit as a signaling mechanism. If you pull someone over with a gun, or otherwise have a reason to stop someone who has a gun, you run them through and see if they are prohibited from carrying a firearm. If they are, you take them in and charge them.

    Pretty much the same way it works now. The permit is just a piece of paper/plastic saying you can pass a background check.

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  8. Pat- Isn't that the aim of most similar campaigns? to eradicate breast cancer? to make it less likely? If we "aim" high, we might get to some of our goals. Why not? I assume that is what most people involved in any kind of effort like this want. Why say we want only 20,000 gun deaths? why say we only want 200 people to quit smoking? why say we want to have only 25 fewer drunk drivers on the road?

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  9. You know, japete, if the parade of horribles you imagine was in fact a real concern, then given that there are 48 states with legal concealed carry, and 42 or so of those are "shall issue," we should be seeing that river of blood on the streets that the gun control folks keep telling us is coming.

    But it isn't there. It hasn't been there. Gun control advocates have predicted at every step toward our increasing liberalization of gun rights that we are going to see more killings, and more gun violence. And they've been wrong, every time.

    Every. Single. Time.

    In fact, every statistic tells us that violent crime is decreasing.

    So - why would your position have any credibility?

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  10. It's not enough to feel 'threatened', you need to reasonably believe that they pose an imminent threat to your life. Not that they looked at you funny, not that you don't like that someone stepped on your lawn. You need a reasonable belief that they are about seriously harm or kill you and that they are capable of doing so.

    Just because you felt afraid doesn't cut it. It is not a license to shoot first and ask questions later.

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  11. All you have to do in these cases is to say that you felt threatened.

    Where did you get your law degree, japete?

    That in fact is NOT the case. My state has this dreaded "castle doctrine," and shockingly, people are not getting killed willy-nilly.

    The standard for self-defense in fact has not substantially changed. All the law did is remove the requirement to retreat, and to make a legal presumption that a person FORCIBLY entering into your home (or vehicle) is doing so with the intent to do harm.

    The legal standards for the use of force in defense have not changed. It requires 1) a subjective belief that force is necessary AND 2) objective facts which would support that belief. A person FORCIBLY entering your home is what we call an "objective fact."

    Facts are funny things, huh? Try using them occasionally.

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  12. @japete "All you have to do in these cases is to say that you felt threatened. That is the way it works in the states where it has passed."

    That is false. "Felt threatened" is not the law - most places it's something like "reasonable belief" (determined by the judge/jury) that the intruder means harm, and it's not reasonable to believe that a sleeping kid means to do you harm.

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  13. "What is to stop all of those illegal folks from also carrying in public? Sure sometimes they do and they cause a lot of crime and loss of life by so doing. But now, how is it possible to know who is legally carrying and who is not? How are police officers to know the difference? This is a ridiculous self fulfilling prophecy and an excuse to kill. "

    Simple. If they are stopped by the police and a criminal record is discovered, then they are automatically not allowed to own or possess a weapon. An excuse to kill? Really? So you're saying that someone who carries concealed suddenly thinks to themselves "Great! Now I can finally kill someone!"

    I remain doubtful.

    "What if Joe Zamudio had actually shot the innocent man who had already helped to subdue Loughner?"

    We can go over what-ifs all day. But let me point out that a police officer could have made the same mistake. Zamudio had the same knowledge coming into the fray as a police officer would have. He knew that there had been a shooting, and he saw a person holding a gun. He chose not to shoot because he used the best weapon there is: his brain.

    "You can celebrate having people with no background checks carrying loaded guns around in our communities or not"

    Do you think all those gangbangers driving around shooting up the neighborhood have gone through background checks? Do you think that if they were arrested it wouldn't be obvious from their criminal records that they should not be in possession of a firearm? Do you think that if our prison system wasn't a revolving door they wouldn't be out in the first place to terrorize our streets?

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  14. " First, the presumption is that someone entering your home or car is always armed so you should be able to shoot to kill."

    Sounds good to me. If they have forcibly entered my home then I'm not going to take any chances. If its a question of you or me, is me, every time. No apologies. We aren't talking about shooting the UPS man on your porch. We are talking about your door being kicked in during the middle of the night. There isnt, and should not be, any need for the homeowners to be burdened with asking "You're not going to kill me, are you? You're not going to rape my wife and kidnap my children are you?" Oh, but, I'm being paranoid, right?

    "Second, perhaps that person is your own child or relative who forgot a key and is trying to get in"

    This is why you don't shoot at something you cannot see. Gun owners aren't as jumpy as you seem to make us out to be. When someone knocks on my door, I don't ready the AR15 and let loose the dogs.

    "Fourth, this assumes that the person who is "breaking in" is there to do you bodily harm when in most cases, that is simply not true."

    And you believe that we should take that chance? If you wish to, so be it. But I'm not going to take that risk.

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  15. "Most home invasions happen when people are not home."

    You know why that is, right? Because they fear getting shot! If I remember correctly, 13% of US burglaries occur while the occupant is at home. Compare this to over 50% of UK burglaries, where self defense is illegal - even with a knife or club.

    "The home owner heard some noise and found this student passed out, drunk, on his couch. ... What would our friend be doing now had he shot and killed this young man who was intending no harm?"

    It has always been my understanding that in a self defensive shooting you are allowed to fire until the threat is neutralized. Shooting a man lying on a couch is a very poor example because he obviously doesn't consitute a threat. If he had kicked in the door or had broken a window and was in the act of entering, thats a different story. You know what is an easier solution than making self defense illegal? Stop getting drunk and breaking into peoples' homes. Works for me.

    "What if we had shot this person? "

    You'd be in jail right now since it is illegal to shoot someone knocking on your door. I'll go out on a limb here and guess that this wouldn't consitute a "perceived threat" as defined under a castle doctrine law.

    Years ago, I broke down out in the country. It was approaching midnight, and my friend and I had to walk approximately a half mile to the nearest farmhouse to ask to use the phone. The homeowner had a pistol in his hand when he answered the door.

    I expected that. It wasn't pointed at us. I calmly and politely explained our situation and asked to use the phone. I kept my hands in sight. He handed out a cordless phone and we were on our way. It was his house and he had every right to be cautious of my presence. I didn't blame him in the least.

    "Some police officers leave their jobs after shooting and killing someone on the job because they cannot live with the thought that they have shot another human being"

    How do you think someone would feel if they did nothing to stop someone from killing their family? If you want to know what *I* wouldn't be able to live with, it'd be that. You may fight and loose, but still you fought. I know I'd give my life to save members of my family. Thankfully I have the tools necessary to defend them.

    "Just seeing the damage caused by bullets to another human being is sickening. Do the pro gun guys think about that or imagine that scenario? When looking at video of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, you can see brain tissue flying out of his head."

    Yep, *from experience* I can tell you that it isn't something you're going to forget. But once again, what is worse: to live with the carnage, or the knowledge that you did nothing to save your loved ones? For me the answer is clear. I know I can stand the carnage; thankfully I'll never know what it felt like to stand by like a coward and do nothing while loved ones were harmed.

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  16. First of all Joe Zamudio didn't almost shoot the wrong person. He never even drew his gun. In the first of many interviews, he said he almost shot the wrong person, but followed that immediately by saying that he saw that the slide was locked back.

    I think you'd be disappointed to find how many permit holders go out of their way to diffuse situations or to restrain people rather than shoot "because they felt threatened". I think you'd also be surprised to learn that police officers don't just run onto a scene and shoot anyone with a weapon. If the police had shown up they would have told Joe what to do and he would have done it. Simple as that.

    So rather than admit that a citizen with a concealed weapon ran across the street to help subdue a shooter and in the process exercised good judgement under extreme stress with no training, you would rather speculate about "what ifs".

    So you want to get the number of deaths as low as possible, right? Which solution will get you closer?

    1) Limit access to guns
    2) Limit the number of criminals

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  17. "This sort of logic is flawed in so many ways. First, the presumption is that someone entering your home or car is always armed so you should be able to shoot to kill."

    They don't have to be armed. A 250 lb felon vs. pretty much anyone else is a force disparity. Or would you condemn little old ladies to trying to slug it out with grown men?


    "Second, perhaps that person is your own child or relative who forgot a key and is trying to get in."

    That's why all of my guns have lights on them.


    "Third, what about criminals shooting each other? Will they get off with murder as well?"

    Who cares? If one broke into another's home and got shot in the process, then it's not murder.


    "Fourth, this assumes that the person who is "breaking in" is there to do you bodily harm when in most cases, that is simply not true. Most home invasions happen when people are not home."

    Do doctors assume a lesion on an xray might be cancer? Do police assume criminals intend to harm them? You seem to be far more concerned that the wrong people might get shot than you are concerned that an innocent person might get beaten to death with a hammer by a home invader.
    There are plenty of anecdotal examples of elderly victims who pose no threat to anyone being brutally beaten, raped, and/or killed. To NOT assume that a home invader might be violent is a Darwinian mistake.

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  18. But Sebastian- if you can carry without a permit that means you have not had a background check so how is anyone to know whether or not you could pass one and are a prohited person? NICS does not pick up that domestic abusers who were arrested on a week-end and whose spouse or partner filed for an OFP on Monday and on Tuesday, the judge ordered no guns for this person. How do we know that that person should be a prohibited person if those records aren't in the system and the person doesn't even have to pass a background check to carry a gun? If they buy their gun through an illegal source or at a gunshow- there is never a background check. That is my point here.

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  19. Well we just saw one permitless "law abiding" citizen shoot down 19 people in about 16 seconds- 6 of whom died. I would say blood ran in that parking lot. If we allow more of these people to walk around without a permit or background check, my scenario may be more likely than yours. I am erring on the side of caution and safety.

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  20. No that's not true, Pyrotech. In Minnesota the language for past proposed "Shoot First" bills was that if you "feel" threatened, you could shoot." The new Florida Shoot First law eliminates the duty to retreat and allows a person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in a public place to "stand his or her ground" and use deadly force if "he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." Thus, even if the shooter could have safely avoided the threat by walking away or seeking refuge elsewhere, the Shoot First law permits him to shoot the assailant and gives him immunity from criminal prosecution and civil suit if he does so." and also " Under the "Shoot First" law, as long as the shooter "is not engaged in unlawful activity" and is "attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be" the shooter has the right to use deadly force. Therefore, if a fistfight escalates to lethal violence, the shooter could receive immunity under the law even if he initiated the confrontation, as long as he "reasonably believed" that firing the gun was necessary to prevent a "forcible felony" or "great bodily harm" to himself." From this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/30/AR2005043000735.html-- I quote: " A retired police officer in St. Petersburg, writing in the St. Petersburg Times, described the legislature's bill as the "citizens' right to shoot others on the street if they feel threatened" and asked, "Are they nuts?" " and " Telling them that they need only feel threatened in a park or a hospital or a stadium or a domestic dispute to start pulling the trigger is tantamount to turning Florida into Dodge City." See http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/07/us/07shoot.html?_r=1&ei=5087%0A&en=30d77f6590ae4aa7&ex=1155096000&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin
    and http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2006-06-11/news/DEADLYFORCE11_1_new-law-self-defense-ground-law

    and http://www.endgunviolence.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B3D395028-C26F-49AF-A8D9-4BB9126C59E4%7D-----" As soon as someone opens the gate to enter another person’s yard, the person entering the yard would be “presumed to do so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving a life-threatening level of force,” and a homeowner could legally take that person’s life.
    2) In public places and in a car: The bill eliminates one’s responsibility to escape a dangerous situation if possible before resorting to taking a life." and then there is this one- " In Louisiana, where the “Castle Doctrine” has been in effect for many years, Yoshi Hattori, a Japanese high school exchange student, was shot to death in 1992. After accidentally going to the wrong address for a Halloween party, Hattori was shot in the back by the homeowner as he was leaving. The homeowner was charged, but under “Castle Doctrine” law, he was not convicted."

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  21. And you have a law degree then? Check out some of my examples above. Facts are funny and often show the deadly truth.

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  22. johnnysquire- see my post above.

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  23. Alcade- what about Jared Loughner? He was not a felon. And yet he could carry his loaded gun around- no background check required. Oh yes, he did go through a check when he bought from a FFL who was suspicious of him. But his name was not in the database as it should have been. Oh, I forgot- he could have gone to a gun show to get his gun with no background check . A permit to carry would have required him to get a background check no matter what. Now we need to get the names of folks like him in the data base so an application for a permit would have flagged him as prohibited, making it harder for him to get a gun in the first place. Those dang laws- they just get in the way of law abiding citizens.

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  24. You, Alcade, are not all gun owners. See my links. This is not a necessary law and will only lead to more deaths with no consequences to the shooter. It is not needed. You already have the Castle Doctrine. No this is the NRA looking for law abiding citizens to get away with murder. There really is no other reason for it.

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  25. japete -

    I am the 12:57 poster, and yes indeed, I have a law degree. Moreover, I practice criminal law, for a decade as a prosecutor, and now on the defense side. And your characterization of the Castle Doctrine is absolutely, legally wrong. Period.

    The magic word is "reasonably." It's not enough for one person to have a fear, that fear must be reasonable; in other words, there must be objective facts which would support said fear before the use of deadly force is justified. Note, an objective standard, not a subjective one.

    Sorry. No cigar. Nice try, though.

    You cite an anecdote, tragic, to be sure. But citing anecdotes proves - well, not much, other than anecdotes. As someone once pointed out, the plural of anecdote is NOT "data."

    Moreover, you've pointedly ignored the central point: that the predictions of "blood in the streets" ("tantamount to turning Florida into Dodge City!!") have been universally wrong in state after state after state; in fact, violent crime has steadily gone down even as gun ownership and legal concealed carry increased.

    You pointedly don't deny that reality either. What a surprise.


    Game, set, match. Please try again, though; it's been fun.

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  26. You ask alot of questions Joan that you wouldn't need to ask if you would only read the book, "In The Gravest Extreme", by Massad Ayoob. But you refuse to read the book, so I'll answer some your questions briefly. Sorry for the length, but you ask alot of questions!

    If one(person A) sees what one presumes to be a "criminal"( person B) in the streets with a gun and then one uses one's own gun to deal with a possible criminal in a crime, is it legal to shoot?

    Person B points gun at Person C. In Ayoob's book he instructs us not to get involved. Person B might actually be an undercover cop. Gun owners don't point guns at other people unless their lives are in jeopardy. In the above situation I (Person A) would take cover, call the police, and wait for the situation to play out. If Person B shoots Person C I will be ready to unholster my weapon and will do so only if Person B points the gun at me. Person B better identify themselves as a police officer or I will shoot back.

    I'm sorry Person C was killed, but Person C should have been carrying their own gun. I'm not a police officer and I'm not obligated to protect Person C.

    Will law enforcement, faced with making a decision about who is the original shooter, know the difference between person A and person B?

    Always put your gun away before the police arrive even if it means allowing the criminal to escape. This is especially true in Portland Oregon.

    What if Joe Zamudio had actually shot the innocent man who had already helped to subdue Loughner?

    He didn't. Maybe he read the book.

    The gun guys only imagine that they would save the day in these situations.

    No they don't. Most of us don't get involved unless our lives or the lives of a loved one are in jeopardy.

    Their minds don't imagine the alternate possibilities.

    Yes, we do. Often. Even when we're shopping for groceries. You really should read the book Joan.

    First, the presumption is that someone entering your home or car is always armed so you should be able to shoot to kill.

    No, the presumption is that a criminal who FORCIBLY enters is there to cause death or great bodily harm.

    Fourth, this assumes that the person who is "breaking in" is there to do you bodily harm when in most cases, that is simply not true...

    If they use FORCE, then I will assume that my life is threatened. Simple solution to the problem is to not use FORCE in the first place.

    The home owner heard some noise and found this student passed out, drunk, on his couch.

    Here we go back to the book again. Before using deadly force, there must be Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy. AOJ. Ability to cause harm to life or limb, like a weapon, strong man against old lady, etc. Opportunity to cause harm to life or limb. Big man with hands near old ladies throat. Knife exposed and within the Tueller distance (21 feet). Jeopardy. Person holding the knife said he wants to kill me and isn't my girlfriend cutting onions within the Tueller distance joking about how she's going to kill me for messing something up.

    AOJ. We all remember that. AOJ. AOJ. AOJ. Passed out student does not satisfy either of the three in AOJ. Result? Gun is not required.

    Once , many years ago, we heard someone walk up the stairs in the middle of a very cold winter night and ring our doorbell...

    AOJ? I don't see it. Do you?

    Do the pro gun guys think about that or imagine that scenario?

    Massad Ayoob teaches this. If one can't handle these thoughts then they shouldn't carry a gun. Obviously, you shouldn't carry a gun, but that doesn't mean I can't carry one.

    What's worse Joan, living with the memories of a loved one that was murdered by a gun or living with the memories of a loved one that was murdered when deep down in my heart I know, after replaying it in my head a thousand times, that I could have saved her with a gun?

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  27. 'Therefore, if a fistfight escalates to lethal violence, the shooter could receive immunity under the law even if he initiated the confrontation, as long as he "reasonably believed" that firing the gun was necessary to prevent a "forcible felony" or "great bodily harm" to himself."'

    Person A starts a fistfight with person B

    Person B starts beating person A with a bat beyond just self defense, to the point person A is now afraid for his life.

    Person A shoots person B

    Both person A and person B are asshats, but person A has the law on his side, as he should.

    So all the antigunners who say "real men fight with their fists" or some such crap are just as wrong as person A. The VAST majority of permit holders don't start fights, and the few that do won't have their permit or guns for long.

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  28. The 2010 Minnesota castle doctrine bill went farther than most - it created a presumption that deadly force would be permitted upon a person who forcibly or by stealth entered a home or vehicle.

    That still wouldn't excuse shooting someone asleep, nor permit use of lethal force if one "felt threatened" but the person hadn't entered by force or stealth.

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  29. Joan,

    This reply addresses Castle Doctrine.

    I know you've flat out refused to read anything we suggest before, but I really must suggest "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob. It outlines the "Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy" triad which is the cornerstone of English common law's self-defense tradition (although I will warn you -- the chapter on women and guns is badly dated).

    If you won't do that, then Cathy's site has a nice summary:
    http://www.corneredcat.com/Legal/AOJ.aspx

    All most "castle doctrine" laws do is allow the homeowner to assume the element "jeopardy." That is, it allows them to assume that an unauthorized intruder has ill intent.

    The defender must still verify:
    - Ability: Is there a reasonable belief that the intruder have the ability to cause death or severe bodily injury? Is there reasonable cause to believe that they are armed, that they outnumber the defender, that the intruder is a male and the defender is a female, etc?
    - Opportunity: Does the intruder have an opportunity to employ such force? A thug with a knife standing on the street outside your house can't catapult through a deadbolted door. A thug with a knife in your kitchen is a different story.
    - Reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury: Does the defender reasonably believe that the intruder, unless stopped, will inflict death or serious bodily injury?

    Castle Doctrine allows you to satisfy only one of the requirements in limited circumstances. It is not a "license to kill." I'm an adult male. A drunk, unarmed college student doesn't have the ability to cause serious bodily injury in most cases. I would not be justified in shooting him, even with Castle Doctrine in place.

    Right now, in Anchorage, we're actually dealing with a case study. A police officer shot a man who was wielding a realistic-looking air rifle in what appeared to be a threatening manner towards some people. The officer perceived that the apparent targets were in imminent danger of death, and perceived reasonable A/O/J, and fired on the suspect. Now the officer is getting sued. It just goes to show that even if a defender's actions are not criminal, there can still be substantial and life altering civil cases filed.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  30. Re Alaska Carry:

    People predicted blood in the streets up here, and it hasn't happened. Anchorage's murder rate is almost the same as any other American city of its size.

    The permit does a few things:
    - It allows the state to know who regularly carries concealed firearms. This may be helpful to a police officer who, say, pulls over someone with a CCW permit or responds to a domestic disturbance.

    The problem is that if someone is going to hurt a cop, the ones you need to worry about are the people who don't have CCWs. It has been demonstrated that the number of CCW permit holding people that commit violent crimes is TINY. In your own state, the average citizen is 14 times more likely to commit a violent crime than a permit holder. In theory, a rational police officer, if stopping someone with a CCW, should feel safer, not threatened. Many criminals don't have CCWs but do carry weapons, so the absence of a CCW in the system doesn't mean the suspect is unarmed.

    This is mitigated in Alaska as we're required to inform police that we're carrying upon contact.

    - It provides a barrier to entry; permits cost money and training is expensive and time consuming. This reduces the number of people who CCW.
    This may be a bug or a feature depending on your point of view. Some systems, like "May Issue" permits, allow authorities to be very precise in denying permits to specific groups. Others impose costs which hedge out lower income people. That's what we're seeing in DC right now:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020706450.html

    The intent may not be to disarm poor people, but the effect is to do so.

    - It may require people to get training depending on the state before carrying legally in public.
    I'm not opposed to training req'ts. However, it seems that mandatory state training doesn't seem to substantially lower the number of accidental shootings, crime by permitees, or accidents. I don't know why that is, as normally education is a good strategy. It could be because mandatory training is aimed at "checking the square" and telling people where they can and can't carry rather than on actual substantive info like the A/O/J triad, proper holsters, and so on.

    I think that if done properly, with vouchers for lower income people to offset discriminatory side-effects, and a substantive curriculum, training isn't a terrible requirement.

    - It requires people to pass a background check before carrying legally in public.
    The problem here is that people who can't pass a background check still carry in public, and its hard to notice that they are carrying. Jared Laughner is a great example -- even though he was stopped by police the morning of the crime, they never knew he was carrying. Do you think that if AZ had required him to have a CCW permit he would have bothered to apply for one prior to his preplanned mass murder spree? I doubt it. Concealed carry is just that -- concealed. You argue all the time that police won't know who the good guys or bad guys are. Well, the problem is that you can't tell who is carrying anyways!

    As Sebastian points out, the primary benefit is in knowing who is prohibited. Today, most states have pushed records information out into the field with computerized systems. Alaska has had such a system named "APSIN" since 1984.

    There's just no blood in the streets. We were told that Shall Issue would be the end of the world. It wasn't. Now we're being told that Alaska Carry is the end of the world, even though three states have implemented it without trouble.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  31. Anon- I admit to the fact that there has not been blood in the streets- oh except for at Tucson and Pittsburgh and then again, Fort Hood. Hmm. But those are just anecdotes anyway so they don't count I guess. 15 all.

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  32. Migo- you're kidding, right? " I'm sorry Person C was killed, but Person C should have been carrying their own gun. I'm not a police officer and I'm not obligated to protect Person C." This is preposterous and pathetic. Nice try though.

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  33. Nope " "real men fight with their fists"" don't think I've ever said that one nor have I heard a gun control person say that, anon.

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  34. But Chris- the "Stand your ground Laws" go further than Castle Doctrine and are not needed. The case of the officer is interesting and does prove that people shoot when they perceive a threat. In this case, when someone has an air rilfle that looks real, it could be assumed to be a threat. On that I agree. We have a case in my city that is similar. I don't know how it is going to come out yet. Justifiable homicide by police could be considered differently than for the average citizen- or I submit that it can be. L.E. are often in life threatening positions in their daily lives and are understandably fearful when someone weilds a weapon. They face these situations on a daily basis and still sometimes make mistakes. Law abiding citizens would face a situation like that rarely and I would argue, do not need stand your ground laws in their defense.

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  35. But Sebastian- if you can carry without a permit that means you have not had a background check so how is anyone to know whether or not you could pass one and are a prohited person?

    Yeah, but whether I carry without a background check isn't really a problem. I can pass it. It's whether the armed robber,wife beater, etc who can't does, and in his case the law requiring a permit isn't going to be much of a deterrent anyway if he's carrying with criminal intent.

    You still have the same problems you mentioned with a permitting system. A requirement to carry a piece of paper isn't going to deter anyone from carrying a gun who has intent to use it criminally.

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  36. Agreed, Sebastian. But why would we not require background checks for permit to carry applicants?It is common sense and it may save lives. See jared Loughner.

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  37. Jared loughner was not a law abiding citizen. He was a mentally challenged drug abuser who had been arrested nine times for drug and behavior offenses BUT the localsherriff and Prosecutor FAILED to do their respective jobs.

    He was not admitted to the Army for repeated drug test failures. He was kicked out of school on behavior and threat charges.

    But you know this. It has been repeatedly presented to you except you choose to ignore the facts and call him a legal and law abiding citizen.

    The proposed law in MN does not give Carte Blanche to shoot people merely if you feel threatened. It simply says that if you are reasonably fearful of imminent great bodily harm or death, you have the right to respond with force.

    The law is not intended for fit and healthy thirty year old men who perhaps can run away. It's meant to cover all people in all circumstances. The elderly, a mother with her children, a husband protecting his family, a woman walking to her car after night shift. All people for whom running away is not an immediate possibility.

    Hoodlums do not generally attack people who have the physical ability to fight back. They intentionally single out the old, the weak and the infirm. That is who this law protects. If a womanis attacked with one kid in her arms and one still in the car seat, how can she run away? An elderly man pushing his wife in a wheel chair, does he push her into the hoodlum and run away?

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  38. P- Jared Loughner could legally buy a gun from an FFL because he was not on the list of prohibited purchasers. That is what this is all about. As to the rest of what you wrote- nonsense. Is there evidence that "hoodlums" only attack the weak and infirm? I'd like to see it.

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  39. Jared Loughner wouldn't have cared, I promise you. It's not common sense if it doesn't do anything. For every permit holder that commits a crime, there are a million others that didn't have permits, and likely never even considered it.

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  40. "Is there evidence that "hoodlums" only attack the weak and infirm? I'd like to see it."

    Yes. Interviews with violent criminals. They're not looking for a challenge, or a fight. They're looking for an easy payoff.


    Paste this into your browser and read the first paragraph.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=yb4Nkeks15AC&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=preferred+victims+crime&source=bl&ots=73FtEideYI&sig=v_B_0fw4tGuFERk-FpGadNNtiCI&hl=en&ei=FXxtTf-GKseBgAeivOmFBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&sqi=2&ved=0CEIQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=preferred%20victims%20crime&f=false

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  41. But why would we not require background checks for permit to carry applicants? It is common sense and it may save lives. See jared Loughner.

    We're not talking about not requiring a check for permit applicants. We're talking about whether the requirement that one has to possess a permit in order to carry really gets you anything. Jared Loughner would have pulled off his crime regardless of whether he needed to seek a permit first. That's the case of most people carrying a firearm with criminal intent.

    The main societal benefit, presumably, from prohibiting certain criminals from possessing firearms is an opportunity to catch them on a gun charge before they work their way up to murder, robbery, etc. If law enforcement has instant access to any individuals criminal history, they will be able to make that assertion with or without a permit. In other words, even if you drop the permit requirement, you still have the benefit of being able to lock up prohibited people from carrying guns around. You also still have the ability to pick up people who carry with criminal intent. In other words, you pull a gun off a burglar caught breaking into a store at night, you can charge him with the gun charge still.

    I should note that opportunity for law enforcement to intervene with someone carrying a firearm is pretty rare if that person is not carrying without criminal intent. I've carried for 9 years and only had to turn over my permit to law enforcement once on a traffic stop in Texas, and that's because I told him I had the gun, as Texas legally requires. Typically speaking, cops aren't going to pull a gun off someone unless they were committing some other crime at the time.

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  42. Since we're talking about what the law is regarding self defense, and when force is justifiable, (and since Joan is from Minnesota), here are Minnesota's standard jury instructions regarding claims of self defense.

    http://www.twincitiescarry.com/pub/CRIMJIG705-708.pdf

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  43. No Joan, I'm not kidding, but maybe I should have used different words. You like to imply that we who have guns are heroes waiting to use our guns to defend truth, justice, and the American way. You like to imply that we who have guns are waiting to shoot at anything that moves so that if all of us who have guns were in a room together and someone pulled out a gun, the whole room would just shoot itself to death in minutes.

    It isn't like that for most of us and if I saw the scenario described above, I would stay out of it, call the police, and let them handle it. I don't know anything about two people standing there with one pointing a gun at another and it's not my job to try to figure out "I'm a cop!", "No, I'm the cop!", "No, he's lying, I'm the cop!" The only exception would be if Person C was someone I knew and trusted and he or she was signaling me for help. I trust that my friends wouldn't allow me to get into a shoot-out with a cop or law-abiding citizen, so in that case the person holding the gun is a criminal and I will do whatever I can to defend my friend.

    What exactly do you find preposterous and pathetic about carefully evaluating a situation and not getting involved with a gun if I'm not certain of all the facts?

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  44. "Jared Loughner could legally buy a gun from an FFL because he was not on the list of prohibited purchasers. That is what this is all about"

    Why aren't you railing against the police/army/parents who failed to get him on the "list" of prohibited purchasers? I thought you were out to eliminate firearm-related deaths? That would have helped!!

    Nope, instead you blame an inanimate object.

    P.S. Castle Doctrine has nothing to do with Loughner!:)

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  45. You must be kidding. This is your evidence? Weak.

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  46. Sebastian- help me here. If no background check is required for someone to carry since no permit is requried, just how does Law Enforcement know who is legal and who is not?

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  47. Yes, jdege- this is current Minnesota law- seems quite sufficient to me.

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  48. Pat- apparently you have missed me talking about this.

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  49. Because police have instant or nearly instant access to the same crime computers that NICS uses to approve/deny permit applicants. In most circumstances you're going to be able to find a gun on someone it's going to be because you've already conducted a legal "stop," meaning you have reasonable suspicion a crime has been committed.

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  50. Justifiable homicide by police could be considered differently than for the average citizen- or I submit that it can be.

    Why?

    Officers have their weapon for the very same reason I have mine - to protect lives. Their rationales for using deadly force are the same: used when there is an imminent threat to life or serious bodily injury.

    The only time I can think of being different is when law enforcement might use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect who has demonstrated that he is a threat to the public if he escapes; i.e. the fleeing suspect who has already shot a person. In such a circumstance, I think a CC holder could morally use the same rationale to shoot to stop a fleeing attacker, but it would not be wise, nor would it be legal. Officers have a duty to protect the public; I as a CC holder do not. I can act only to protect imminent threat to myself or others.

    Of course, I should point out that while officers are hired to protect the public, they owe no legally enforcable DUTY to any particular member of the public. In other words if an officer, for whatever reason, fails to come to your aid when called and you are injured, you have no recourse against either any particular officer or the department.

    Nice, huh?

    When seconds count, the only person you can rely on in those moments is yourself. No one else. No matter how dutiful, no matter how brave, in those moments when your life or that of a loved one is on the line, the officer is not likely to be there. That's not his fault; it's just an unfortunate fact.

    Let me be clear: that's not a criticism of law enforcement; they do a thankless job, and generally do it well and for little appreciation. Most line officers support legal CC; after all, CC holders are LEO's best allies. We're the known "good guys."

    We just understand reality.

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  51. Jared Loughner could legally buy a gun from an FFL because he was not on the list of prohibited purchasers. That is what this is all about...

    WHY wasn't he on that list? What law would you pass that would have kept the gun out of his hands? Maybe you can save the answer for a new article, because I'm certain your answer is going to get significant feedback.

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  52. "Pat- apparently you have missed me talking about this."

    Yet, you continue to use talking points regarding the incident that don't pay attention to that aspect.

    Where is your OUTRAGE at the parents, the army, the police?

    No, instead you demean the "gun guys" as standing in the way of justice. I see you on other blogs, and I see your comments.

    You're no more interested in dialog than your other anti-rights buddies. That's deceitful to say otherwise!

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  53. Perhaps I have not made myself clear enough. I am talking prevention. I am not meaning that law enforcement can look up someone's records once a stop is made. I am talking about stopping these folks from having guns in the first place. Running a background check would do that in most cases. I'm all about prevention here. Why wait until someone has committed a crime or is stopped for some other infringement? Keep them from getting the guns in the first place.

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  54. Total nonsense anon. Police officers are protecting the public safety. I don't want to rely on you to do that. They are not only there to defend themselves. What kind of nonsense is it to think you have the same function as a police officer? I understand reality too and I know for a fact that your job is not the same as a police officers.

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  55. How about making sure his name is reported to NICS. He would have to be considered dangerously mentally ill for that to occur and the University or University police would have to make that happen. I thought you guys were all about making sure "nut cases" don't have guns. Now that I suggest it, you object? Or what would you do differently? I haven't heard any solutions from you guys so far that make any sense.

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  56. Pat- that's an interesting statement. What other blogs do you see me on? I rarely comment on other blogs. You are making things up as you go along. Unlike you guys I am not perusing blogs and making constant comments. You guys are amazing. I wonder what else you have to do with yourselves if all you do is get yourselves on blogs and make comments many times a day that I either have to publish or not. Do you have any idea how few of you are commenting constantly on my blog? The fact that you have chosen to lie about me being on other blogs making it sound like I am doing this a lot says more about you than it does about me. Stick to the facts.

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  57. "Jared Loughner could legally buy a gun from an FFL because he was not on the list of prohibited purchasers."

    He wasn't on the list because local law enforcement didn't do their jobs. You don't magically appear on the list when you fit the criteria, someone has to put you on there. I can't believe you're still using him as an example, he's one of the worst possible choices. He only succeeded in buying a gun through legal channels because the law failed. Heck, his parents and any remaining friends failed him, I'm sure they knew someone was wrong with him.

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  58. Joan, at the very minimum I have seen you comment on Baldr's blog. I have also seen you commenting on HuffPo articles, generally ones written by your fellow travelers in the anti-rights movement.

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  59. "Yes, Pat- rare but true."

    Huh? I comment under my own name...not Anonymous. I was going to point out HuffPo, Baldr and MikeB...but someone else beat me too it.

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  60. "Is there any evidence that criminals seek out the weak and infirm."


    My goodness did you really post that?

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200812/marked-mayhem.

    More scholarly source data

    http://www.rutgerscps.org/rtm/StreetRobbery_InsightsBrief_5.pdf

    Criminals are predators. Just as the lion does not seek the healthiest and strongest prey to attack be aide the risk to reward equation is slanted in the wrong way. The criminal seeks to attack the weakest, the least able to defend themselves.

    It's been the history of the world, you don't pick a fight with Hercules.

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  61. Japete: “Justifiable homicide by police could be considered differently than for the average citizen- or I submit that it can be. L.E. are often in life threatening positions in their daily lives and are understandably fearful when someone weilds a weapon. They face these situations on a daily basis and still sometimes make mistakes. Law abiding citizens would face a situation like that rarely and I would argue, do not need stand your ground laws in their defense.”

    You can make the argument that it is more likely for an officer to be faced with a life threatening encounter than a citizen, but why does the citizen deserve less protection from prosecution? And that is just examining individuals. If you look at the collective body of LEOs vs. citizens, it is far more likely to affect citizens being that they grossly outnumber officers.

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  62. Oh Dear, Anonymous Attorney:

    With your experience, you should know that different states have different laws. Per the Connecticut General Assembly Law Report (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-r-0052.htm):

    We found 15 states that adopted a “castle doctrine” bill in the last two years. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota. A number of other states considered bills on this topic. In New Hampshire, the legislature passed a “castle doctrine” bill but the governor vetoed it.

    These “castle doctrine” bills contain a number of different provisions and the states vary in which provisions they adopted. Some of these expanded the circumstances where force could be used in self-defense without a duty to retreat, some adopted provisions on criminal or civil immunity for legally using force in self-defense, and some contained all of these provisions.


    The major point is that these laws have allowed for immunity from Criminal and Civil legal penalties.

    The fact that you make a blanket statement concerning the State of these laws makes me wonder about your veracity.
    See http://www.thecastledoctrine.com/

    Anyway, these laws are far too recent to make any judgement concerning their efficacy. Additionally, there are the stories such as the one of Joe Horn:
    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2008/07/02/when-the-castle-doctrine-goes-nuts.aspx

    See also:
    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/sebok/20050502.html

    I'm sorry but I am in agreement with the belief that The "Stand Your Ground" Laws say Property Is More Important than Life.

    You can call me anti-freedom and anti-rights, but that only demonstrates that we have differing opinions of what those terms mean.

    Any society that places property above life is not a civilised one.

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  63. Really Pat? Oh well. You are trying to get me to say that I write a lot of comments which, of course, would not be true. If I wrote as many comments on blogs as you do, it would be a full time job. Come on- stop it Pat. You are annoying.

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  64. "Any society that places property above life is not a civilised one. "

    I do believe it's about placing the rule of law above the life of the law breaker.

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  65. "Running a background check would do that in most cases."

    Running a background check has never prevented a single criminal from obtaining a firearm, and never will.

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  66. "Any society that places property above life is not a civilised one."

    It's not about property:

    "Crime is not only a complete disavowal of the social contract, but also a commandeering of the victim's person and liberty. If the individual's dignity lies in the fact that he is a moral agent engaging in actions of his own will, in free exchange with others, then crime always violates the victim's dignity. It is, in fact, an act of enslavement. Your wallet, your purse, or your car may not be worth your life, but your dignity is; and if it is not worth fighting for, it can hardly be said to exist."

    - Jeffrey Snyder

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  67. Sure it has jdege- about 2 million or so prohibited people, many of them felons, have been prevented from purchasing guns from FFLS since the Brady bill was passed. Indeed, they can still get guns by stealing them from gun owners or dealers, buying at gun shows without background checks, through straw purchasing or other illegal venues. But your statement is plain wrong.

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  68. Wow- jdege- pretty extreme. As I said before- you are an extremist.

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  69. Anyone can be a victim of a crime, P. The articles you provided gave good advice that I practice- especially while traveling. Interestingly enough, in neither article were guns mentioned as a way for the " weak and vulnerable" to protect themselves. The more practical advice was to watch where you are walking, don't be out in the dark in the wrong sections of cities, don't appear to be confused or look like a tourist, etc.

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  70. Without looking at the 64 comments already on this, I just have to respond to the post first, I can only wonder what in the world you are thinking Joan.

    How do concealed carry laws promote the criminal carry of firearms? Criminals already carry concealed loaded firearms with no background checks, how is a law making it legal for law abiding people to do so going to make more criminals carry? It's already illegal for the criminals to own the guns in the first place. Why must we assume that law abiding people are likely to one day break the law and misuse their firearm? If they intend to misuse a firearm, they are not likely to obey laws prohibiting them from carrying a gun in the first place.

    For the record, I actually support carry licenses. I think everyone should demonstrate proficiency and responsibility with a firearm before carrying one in public. Of course I also believe that said license should be inexpensive and easy to obtain for anyone who passes a background check and a safety& proficiency course, and it should be recognized in all 50 states, like a driver's license. I also believe that the 'wrong people' will illegally obtain and carry a gun regardless.

    And for the accidents that occur with guns, well that's why we have firearms safety and education, if you know the rules and follow them, accidents tend to happen far less. Too bad the NRA is refused by many, who would rather teach that firearms are evil and never to touch them, so that when someone does encounter the firearm, they have no idea how to handle it safely at all.

    Castle Doctrine doesn't say that you can shoot a stranger the second they approach your home or car, your interpretation of it is crazy. If somebody is trying to break down my door, or smash in my windows, I can be pretty sure it's not a family member trying to get in the house, by destroying it. Castle Doctrine says that if somebody forces their way into your house, you are allowed to assume they are there for ill intent. You don't shoot a person who walks into your house the second you see them, to think that is what the law promotes is crazy. If someone kicks down your door at 2 in the morning, I think it's pretty safe to assume that the kid next door didn't come home late, and decide to destroy the front door of his house to get in. The law doesn't say that you have to assume that an intruder is armed and intends to harm you, nor does it says that you must draw a firearm, or that you should shoot. It only says that you are allowed to, and that you cannot be held responsible for someone forcing their way into your home and getting shot because of it. Am I supposed to ask a home intruder what his intentions are? Should I assume a home intruder is just an ordinary person who made an honest mistake, accidentally breaking into my house? should I wait until myself or a family member has been harmed, before I can assume that a person who entered my house violently, actually wants to commit other violence?

    Nobody sane wants to shoot another person, it's a horrible thing, many gun owners don't even like to hunt. I feel bad if I accidentally crush a snail at the beach. But I can tell you with certainty, that as much as I'd hate to see some drunk idiot die in my house because he broke in and I shot him because he acted aggressive, I'd rather that, than refrain from shooting and see a family member hurt instead because I didn't stop the intruder. I don't know who the person breaking in is, but I think it's safe to assume that somebody trying to break into your house, is most likely not there to make friends. I think it's safe to assume that if you tell them to leave and they don't, that they are enough of a threat to put your family's safety well ahead of the intruder's well being.

    -DHS

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  71. DHS- in my state, the proposed "Shoot first" bill would allow someone to shoot someone if they "feel" threatened. It is similar in other states and has been used that way in some incidents of shootings using the stand your ground or shoot first self defense. I am not making it up. Also I'm glad you think people should be licensed while carrying.

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  72. "about 2 million or so prohibited people, many of them felons, have been prevented from purchasing guns from FFLS since the Brady bill was passed."

    And how many of those 2 million were prosecuted? How many convicted? The number is less than 100.

    "Indeed, they can still get guns by stealing them from gun owners or dealers, buying at gun shows without background checks, through straw purchasing or other illegal venues."

    Exactly. They weren't prevented from obtaining a gun, they were simply inconvenienced for the moment.

    "But your statement is plain wrong."

    I don't think your average shooting victim cares much whether the guy who shot him failed his background check. The incontrovertible truth is that anyone who is willing to violate the law to obtain a gun will obtain a gun, regardless of background checks.

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  73. "in my state, the proposed "Shoot first" bill would allow someone to shoot someone if they "feel" threatened."

    No, it wouldn't.

    The test isn't that the shooter "felt" threatened, but that the shooter felt threatened and that the shooter's judgment as to the gravity of the peril was reasonable under the circumstances.

    But then, you knew that. You simply hoped that your audience didn't.

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  74. Okay, now that I went and read through everything, I think you misunderstood some replies.

    "Perhaps I have not made myself clear enough. I am talking prevention. I am not meaning that law enforcement can look up someone's records once a stop is made. I am talking about stopping these folks from having guns in the first place. Running a background check would do that in most cases. I'm all about prevention here. Why wait until someone has committed a crime or is stopped for some other infringement? Keep them from getting the guns in the first place."

    How are we to know that a person shouldn't have a gun if there is no crime or infringement to base the decision off of? Do we need to ask around to see if it's ok for person X to carry a gun? If person X is planning to commit a crime, but hasn't committed one yet, how is the background check going to read their mind? What if person X fails the background check, and then just goes to a guy they know who can get them an illegally possessed gun? If you pull over person X and they have a gun but couldn't pass the background check, what does that accomplish? If they did pass the background check and still intend to commit a crime with their gun, still nothing was accomplished. The background check is good for preventing criminals from obtaining new guns from gun shops, which is good, but it still doesn't keep them from buying guns illegally, or from committing crime.

    "Total nonsense anon. Police officers are protecting the public safety. I don't want to rely on you to do that. They are not only there to defend themselves. What kind of nonsense is it to think you have the same function as a police officer? I understand reality too and I know for a fact that your job is not the same as a police officers."

    You totally got it backwards here, he said it's the police's job to protect the general public, but they have no obligation to see to it that each and every individual is protected. That responsibility of personal protection lies with the individual, only you can be expected to be there for your own self defense. He clearly says it here: "Officers have a duty to protect the public; I as a CC holder do not. I can act only to protect imminent threat to myself or others."


    "How about making sure his name is reported to NICS. He would have to be considered dangerously mentally ill for that to occur and the University or University police would have to make that happen. I thought you guys were all about making sure "nut cases" don't have guns. Now that I suggest it, you object? Or what would you do differently? I haven't heard any solutions from you guys so far that make any sense"

    We have been saying this all along? If everyone had done their jobs, and he had been convicted for any one of the multiple drug offenses, then his name would likely have been in the NICS system. Having multiple drug offenses should be enough for a felony drug conviction to make sure his name was in the NICS system. The fact that his name was not in the NICS system is not a fault of guns, gun owners, the laws, or a lack of laws. It is because the people who should have convicted him after numerous drug offenses, and should have sent him to an institution for mental help, completely failed to do so. Loughner should have been in the NICS system as a prohibited person, he should have been in an institution. Instead he was allowed to roam free and go wherever his insanity led him. They may as well given him a bag of grenades and said go have fun, seeing as how his drug problem and mental condition should have been obvious by then.

    -DHS

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  75. As for the 'shoot first' bill, or Stand Your Ground bill now that I've read it (I also notice that it's called "Stand Your Ground", but gun control groups call it "shoot first ask later", sounds like fear mongering to me), my understanding is that it allows you to shoot first if you see the threat has the ability and opportunity to harm you, and appears ready to use that ability and opportunity. As in, you don't have to wait to be attacked, injured, or shot, before defending yourself.

    I am pretty sure that in a court of law, you could not say "well I felt threatened by the big guy with the red clothes who looked at me a few times in the store, so I shot him". That's not an acceptable "Stand Your Ground" defense. More like; "the big guy in the red clothes who kept looking at us in the store, was following us down the street even after we made several turns. When we got to our car, he kept heading straight for us without saying a word, and I saw him pull out a knife while looking directly at me. I felt very threatened by his actions and the knife, so I drew my gun and fired". That would be how "feeling threatened" works with a "Stand Your Ground" law, you don't need to be directly under attack, just feel that you are under imminent threat of attack.

    You seem to say that if a guy on the subway looks dangerous to me, the proposed law says I can just shoot him. It doesn't. It says that if the guy's actions are making me feel threatened for my safety, I don't have to wait for those actions to become him stabbing me before I can shoot, and that I do not have to attempt running away when it is clear that he intends to harm me.

    I would certainly wish to run away and avoid conflict, but it might not be practical. I can't run away while on board a train, I can't run away when in a car stuck in traffic, I can't run away when in the corner of a store, etc. In those situations, if I feel the threat is great enough that harm is imminent, then I can shoot before I am attacked. Often, just drawing the gun is enough to stop the attacker, but it's not a guarantee that the attacker will back down.

    -DHS

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  76. That was not the point in question.

    You specifically asked for evidemce that criminals attacked the weak and vulnerable. I provided two sources.

    Twisting the evidentiary posit does nothing if not weaken your argument


    Criminals target the least able to defend themselves. Proven.

    Castle doctrine bills provide those with the highest risk the legal Basis for self defense.

    Proven


    Your criticisms about castle doctrine bills.


    Disproven.



    Argue all you want. Evidence does not support your version of the truth

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  77. "DHS- in my state, the proposed "Shoot first" bill would allow someone to shoot someone if they "feel" threatened."

    Not just if anyone "feels" threatened, its the reasonable person standard again. The shooter will end up having to convince a jury that they ALL would have felt threatened in a similar circumstance.

    Not a simple thing to do, and not cheap to defend yourself against either.

    P.S. I'm not annoying, I'm just correcting a mis-statement you made earlier.

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  78. jdege- just because those who challenged their prohibited status were not prosecuted does not mean they were not prohibited purchasers. You certainly look at the world with the glass half empty while I have chosen the glass half full approach. It makes my life less fearful.

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  79. Sorry jdege- wrong again. http://www.modern-radio.com/board/t.php?id=35490

    I know what the bill says.

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  80. DHS- what is your proposal to change the situation?

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  81. Back at you P. I guess it's my "version" of the truth vs. your "version" of the truth.

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  82. Pat- you guys can try as you might to change what the intent of Shoot First laws are but you can't change the wording of the bills that allow people to shoot someone if they have a reason to believe they are threatened even if the reason is not enough in many cases to rationalize the taking of another's life when one should have retreated instead. There are plenty of cases showing what I am talking about. Next up- Pat will ask me to prove it by providing cases. At some point I will do that. I know that you sit around waiting for me to make a mistake so you can jump right in with your accusations of my errors. So just to stop the usual &&^%^ing match that you love so much Pat, I don't have time to provide those right now. Unlike you, I am not sitting around doing nothing but trolling through blogs. So relax- more later. Meanwhile go peruse someone else's blog. How many times a day do you need to comment on mine?

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  83. "I know what the bill says."

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0498.0.html&session=ls85

    If you'd read it ...

    "Subd. 2. Circumstances when authorized. The use of deadly force by an individual in self defense is authorized by this section when the act is undertaken: (1) to resist or prevent an offense or attempted offense by an assailant, which the individual reasonably believes constitutes an imminent threat that exposes the individual or another person to substantial or great bodily harm or death; or to resist or prevent the commission, in the individual's dwelling or occupied vehicle, of an offense or attempted offense that the individual reasonably believes is a felony."

    ... you'd have found that same proviso -- not "believes" but "reasonably believes".

    It used to be easier, to spread lies about proposed legislation. It's harder, now that anyone can look up the text of a bill in half a minute.

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  84. I really enjoyed the anonymous lawyer who explained how "objectively" fair the castle doctrine laws are. Like they were for old Tigh Croff.

    Big victory for the castle doctrine crowd.

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  85. "if they have a reason to believe"

    "reasonably believe" is a legal term of art. It does not mean "they have a reason to believe", it means their belief was reasonable under the circumstances - that it is a belief that would be shared by a "reasonable man" under the same circumstances.

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  86. What bill are you talking about Joan? The link you gave is for a radio station? Is this the bill you're referring to? If it is, then look at lines 1.19 and 1.20, and then look at lines 2.30, 2.31, 2.32. You will need to refer to this section of Minnesota law.

    In short, what you refer to "feeling threatened" must satisfy:

    Subd. 7a.Substantial bodily harm. "Substantial bodily harm" means bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily member.

    Subd. 8.Great bodily harm. "Great bodily harm" means bodily injury which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or other serious bodily harm.

    Your words are misleading Joan, but Minnesota law in this area is quite clear and available for all to read.

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  87. mikeb302000 said...

    I really enjoyed the anonymous lawyer who explained how "objectively" fair the castle doctrine laws are. Like they were for old Tigh Croff.

    Big victory for the castle doctrine crowd.


    Oh yeah! This means that I can chase down burglars and execute them in the street! That is, if I don't mind at least a two year prison sentence, three years of probation, never being allowed to own guns again, and losing my job as a result of it.

    Yeah, he got off scot free.


    http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/02/detroit_homeowner_tigh_croff_g.html

    But as required by the state, he sentenced Croff to a mandatory two-year prison term for using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

    Prosecutors originally charged Croff with second-degree murder, but Hathaway reduced the charge to manslaughter during an August trial that ended with a HUNG JURY*. After refusing a request from prosecutors to remove himself from the case, Hathaway presided over a second trail in January which ended with a conviction.

    *Seems like a jury of his peers sympathized.

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  88. I'm not sure a 2 year sentence is exactly sympathetic.

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  89. Yup Migo- that's it. From the bill language: " a) A person who enters or attempts to enter by force or by
    2.28stealth the dwelling or occupied vehicle of another person is presumed to do so with the
    2.29intent to commit an unlawful act involving a life-threatening level of force.
    2.30(b) An individual using deadly force is presumed to possess a reasonable belief
    2.31that there exists an imminent threat of substantial or great bodily harm or death to the
    2.32individual or another person, if the individual knows or has reason to know that:
    2.33(1) the person against whom the defensive action is being taken is entering or
    2.34attempting to enter by force or by stealth, or has entered by force or by stealth and remains
    2.35within, the dwelling or occupied vehicle of the individual or other person;"

    By this language, anyone who is "entering your car or home or the curtilage by stealth or force" or for that matter, in a public place-is presumed to be doing so with the intent to harm you. The onus then is on the person who may actually be killed by the person who presumes them to be doing harm, armed or unarmed, to show they did not intend bodily harm by their actions. If the person is killed, there is no one to say what their intention was and the person who shot or killed the person believeing that they intend harm, can just say they presumed the person to want to do harm. That was inartfully worded but the person who was defending themself may or may not have been actually threatened. That doesn't matter with this sort of wording. The home owner or person with a gun in a public place is presumed to be correct in their assessment of the situation and doesn't have to be held responsilbe. I will offer more about cases that have occurred elsewhere in a future post. My take on this is that all you have to do is "believe" the person will do harm to you and you can shoot. There is not a duty to retreat as there is currently in the Castle Doctrine provision. This ups the ante and allows gun carrying folks in public and home owners to act first before adequately assessing the situation. It is not necessary given current law. Frankly, I don't know why gun owners want this at all. It may put them in a position of using force when it is not needed and allow someone to shoot another human being. This is not to be taken lightly. I obviously differ with you guys on the interpretation of these provisions and my position is supported by most in law enforcement and many others who do not think this is necessary at all.

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  90. apete said...

    I'm not sure a 2 year sentence is exactly sympathetic.
    March 2, 2011 10:35 AM


    You're missing the point, Joan. The prosecutor charged him with murder, but couldn't get a conviction. He then lowered it to manslaughter and held a new trial.

    What is extraordinary about the case is not that somehow castle doctrine allows you to chase after people and execute them in the street. Michigan castle doctrine applies only to inside the house (see Legal Update august 2002 41800_7 @ michigan.gov)

    What is telling is that a guy does something so incredibly wrong and yet half of the jury refuses to convict. That is how atrocious crime is in Detroit. And that's why laws and discussions about what to do in response to crime are important.

    For some people, crime and violence are more than just a remote hypothetical.

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  91. Joan,

    The onus then is on the person who may actually be killed by the person who presumes them to be doing harm, armed or unarmed, to show they did not intend bodily harm by their actions.

    As we discussed earlier -- the law only allows you to assume INTENT (or jeopardy). The defender still needs to demonstrate a reasonable belief that the intruder has the ability to inflict serious bodily injury or death, and opportunity to do so, and that an objectively reasonable person would be in fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury.

    It may also remove the duty to retreat within your own home.

    It is not a "shoot first" law, especially for the people you seem to fear most (young men with guns). Some individuals -- a female defender, a physically disabled defender, and so on -- may be able to automatically qualify for "ability" against any unarmed male assailant, but most grown, fit men will need to demonstrate an objectively reasonable belief that the intruder has the means and opportunity to inflict death or serious bodily injury.

    Cheers,
    Chris from AK

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  92. "Frankly, I don't know why gun owners want this at all. It may put them in a position of using force when it is not needed and allow someone to shoot another human being. This is not to be taken lightly."

    The (our) conventional wisdom has been this should deter the bad guys from criminal acts.

    I hope a world government never has to detonate another nuclear weapon, but you'll not find many owners of such weapons volunteering to give those up easily.

    Granted that's a slightly absurd comparison, but it's an appropriate analogy for having the means of force as a deterrent.

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  93. Mikeb -

    This is that "anonymous lawyer" you referred to earlier. I don't really need to respond, since previous posters (@ 10:30 & 10:36) have dissected and exposed your position for the disingenuousness it is, but I'd merely point out that the case you cite had nothing to do with "Castle Doctrine" at all. No one here is defending what he apparantly did, and no reading of "Castle Doctrine" would permit same.

    What the case demonstrates, frankly, is a jury's unwillingness to convict. Obviously, that jury saw the actual, you know, evidence, rather than the second and third hand accounts we have, so it is not reasonable for us to second-guess that jury without having that evidence available to us. I can tell you from experience before many juries: juries generally get it right.

    What this exchange, and this thread, demonstrates most is that the gun-control crowd has no compunction against being dishonest if it serves their goals. Apparantly Mikeb believes "the end justifying the means."

    Joan's position on "Castle Doctrine" has been taken apart and exposed as mistaken, repeatedly, citing the relevant legal provisions and principles ("reasonable" is indeed a term of art, with a specific legal meaning). Yet she prefers to cling to her chosen paranoid fantasy; i.e "My take on this is that all you have to do is "believe" the person will do harm to you and you can shoot".

    As has been demonstrated repeatedly, Joan, your "take" is wrong as a matter of law. Period.

    Given the case that apparantly facts don't matter, and both Joan and Mikeb have demonstrated that they don't, why would anyone accept on your good faith that all you seek is "reasonable" restrictions?

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  94. If it has no merit - why do you resort to calling it a "Shoot First" law, which it clearly is not.

    Catchy moniker for something you don't want the public to understand, otherwise they might support it.

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  95. "Alcade- what about Jared Loughner? He was not a felon. And yet he could carry his loaded gun around- no background check required."

    And yet as we all know Loughner would have passed a background check even for a concealed carry permit.

    But I'm curious, are you saying that you support background checks and mandatory training for concealed carry applicants?

    Because I live in Illinois, and right now we're trying to get a concealed carry law passed that not only requires background checks (a little redundant with our FOID cards) but also requires mandatory training.

    If you agree upon things as a condition to concealed carry, maybe you could do me a favor and get your organization to stop opposing the passage of the law? I sure would appreciate it!

    "No this is the NRA looking for law abiding citizens to get away with murder"

    Seriously? We NRA members want to get away with murder? I think this statement is a perfect example of the societal disconnect that has the NRA membership roster soaring over the Brady campaigns, and pro gun candidates trouncing anti gunners in the recent elections.

    But I suppose you could have called us a bunch of camo wearing, beer drinking, toothless, uneducated, hill jacks.

    So we are seeing improvement, at least.

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  96. "Wow- jdege- pretty extreme. As I said before- you are an extremist"

    I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!
    -Barry Goldwater

    If a love of freedom is extremism, then I am proud to wear your insult, madam!

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  97. I have no idea what happened in Detroit, but none of the laws that I've ever seen allow you to chase a criminal and then shoot him. The moment you chase someone, you become the aggressor, the criminal, the predator, and any consequences with a firearm will be your fault because you could have stopped the situation by simply stopping and not giving chase.

    I might give chase to guide the police to the suspect, but that's it. We can't start fights when we are armed even if the person we want to fight initiated the fight previously. All of this is in that book you don't want to read Joan.

    As for HF498, Section 609.02, Subd. 7a. and Subd. 8. must still be satisfied. The person defending themselves can't just shoot anyone that gets in their car or inside their home. In the absence of any weapons or overwhelming physical strength, the courts will demand evidence of force like a broken door, window, smashed car window, broken car lock, etc. that would indicate that the force used to gain entry could also have lead to substantial or great bodily harm. AOJ still applies.

    We can argue about this all day long, but the language of the law is clear, and a jury will send a home owner who shoots someone in their home to prison if AOJ wasn't present to allow Section 609.02, Subd. 7a. and Subd. 8. to be satisfied. That's why that section is referenced within HF498.

    And the reason I support laws like this is for lines 3.15 to 3.20. The better laws, like Wyoming's, also throw in protection from civil lawsuit. I shouldn't have to lose everything paying $100,000+ legal fees defending myself in criminal and civil court against someone who broke into my home with a weapon with the intent to rape my girlfriend. I shouldn't be arrested or sued for that.

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  98. Well let's see- what about the "Lawful Commerce in Arms" act- AKA- immunity from lawsuits for the gun industry?

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  99. Well- anon- I am not a lawyer but know many who are who disagree with your interpretation of the laws regarding Castle Doctrine. Who is right?? You claim, of course, that you are and we can only be wrong because we represent a different view. Maybe you are wrong because you represent a different view from mine.

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  100. If there are laws allowing people to carry concealed guns around in public, background checks must be done as well as training. I did not support the law that eventually passed in Minnesota and it has a lot wrong with it. At the least, however, it requires background checks and mandatory training.

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  101. "I did not support the law that eventually passed in Minnesota and it has a lot wrong with it."

    Actually, it does have a lot wrong with it - however, I doubt that your points and mine will be anywhere close to the same! :)

    Something else to put on the list along with the duplicate MN backgrounds, Castle Doctrine and everything else!

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  102. "Well let's see- what about the "Lawful Commerce in Arms" act- AKA- immunity from lawsuits for the gun industry?"

    Immunity only from lawsuits involving criminal misuse of their products by third parties.

    Personally, I'd have preferred a broader bill - widespread tort reform that included - among many other things - immunity to all manufacturers for criminal misuse of their products. But the Dems are too afraid of the Trial Lawyers to do that, so we only managed to fix things for guns.

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  103. "Well let's see- what about the "Lawful Commerce in Arms" act- AKA- immunity from lawsuits for the gun industry?"

    What about it? You mean how you can't sue the manufacturer for unlawful use of a product? That'd be like me being able to sue Chevy if someone ran me over with a Cavalier. You can still sue gun manufacturers for faulty products, like if I fired my Glock at the range and it blew up in my face. Using that gun to commit a crime is not a manufacturing defect.

    If you could do that, you'd open up any manufacturer of any product to criminal liability for whatever the users decide to do with their products, and no one could safely make anything anymore.

    I think it's obvious you'd just like to see gun manufacturers go bankrupt defending frivalous lawsuits and making settlements for actions they had no part in.

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  104. Let me try and give a couple of examples as to how this law is supposed to work.

    Example 1: Say early in the morning I hear the sound of wood breaking at my front door. I grab my cell phone and shotgun and stop at the top of the staircase, and call 911. The breaking sound continues until I see the lock broken out of my front door and a person enters my house holding a hammer. The bill says that I can assume that this person is in my house with ill intent because they forced entry. The fact that they broke into my house is evidence enough that they had ill intent, there is no other need to prove it. However, I still cannot shoot them, because I have no reason to believe that they are an imminent danger to my safety. Just having broken in isn't enough to get shot. Now if they are holding a hammer and a gun, then I have a reasonable belief that they are an imminent danger to my safety, and I am allowed to shoot them. If they have no gun, but come running up the stairs at me holding the hammer over their head ready to strike me with it, then I have reasonable belief that they are an imminent threat to my safety.

    Example 2: Suppose I'm sitting stopped in traffic and some teenager comes up to my car and starts yanking on the door handle. Then they start banging on the glass. They are attempting to gain entry into the car, so in the eyes of the law, they have ill intent. However, a kid beating his fists on the glass is not something that I can have reasonable belief to be a threat of imminent danger, it is against the law to shoot him. Now if the teenager swings a crowbar through the window, then I can shoot him because the crowbar can be used as a lethal weapon, I would have reasonable belief that he will hurt me with the crowbar.

    Example 3: Imagine that a young woman is home in her condo, and hears something by the back door. She goes to take a look and comes face to face with a man twice her size who appears drunk. She has no idea who he is or what he wants. She steps backwards and tells him that he is in the wrong house and to leave. It is reasonable to believe that a drunk guy could have mistaken her condo for his and simply accidentally, in his drunken stupor, entered the wrong one through the back door when he couldn't get in the front. She tells him to go but he isn't responding coherently and keeps walking towards her. At this point she may feel threatened for her safety, the man could easily pick her up with one hand, he could beat her, rape her, and kill her. She has no idea if the stranger is just completely wasted and only wants to go home, or if he's drunk and intends to rape her. She draws her handgun and tells the man to leave, but he keeps approaching her. What is she supposed to do? Wait and see whether or not he grabs her and smashes her to the ground? The law now protects her, it gives the homeowner the benefit of the doubt. If she shot the guy, and it turned out that he wasn't likely to attack her, it would be a terrible tragedy, but how was she to know? The law would protect her from unjust prosecution.

    That is how the proposed law works, it doesn't give someone permission to blow away a stranger just because they felt threatened, it just protects them. It removes the burden of proving ill intent, by establishing that unwelcome entry is evidence enough of ill intent.

    -DHS

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  105. Dear Readers, I am not going to get into a discussion about the Immunity Bill. I raised it as an example of clever wording to describe a bill. Please do not comment on it. Your comments will not be published.

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  106. "Dear Readers, I am not going to get into a discussion about the Immunity Bill. I raised it as an example of clever wording to describe a bill. Please do not comment on it. Your comments will not be published."

    I'm going to raise it - but not discuss it. Apparently its perfectly acceptable to come up with catchy descriptions that having NOTHING to do with the actual content of the legislation. Typical.

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  107. Dear readers- we have now sunk to a new low on my blog comments. Someone is commenting using the name of Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign. I am obviously publishing the comment due to the content and the rude and insulting language used. I will not, of course, publish any remarks sent by this sick person. I'm quite sure he is out on other blogs using Paul's name with his offensive remarks. This again, shows to what extremes some pro gun guys will go to resist anyone on my side, not to mention trying to intimidate us. If you agree with this person, don't bother commenting here? If you don't, I'd love to hear from you. Any defense of this person does the pro gun side no good at all. Is this what you want to be representing the side of gun rights? Disgusting and immature are 2 words that come to mind.

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  108. What I meant to say, above, was that I was NOT obviously publishing the offensive remarks sent under the name of Paul Helmke. There were actually several other very offensive remarks made at about the same time. It appears that some on the pro gun side get together and decide to bombard me with offensive remarks to see what I will do about it. It has not changed what I am doing and does not intimidate me if that is what they want to achieve. If they want to see themselves published, that will not happen. So I take these comments as very personal attacks on me. Again, disgusting and a futile effort to derail what people on my side are doing. This actually, makes us more determined than ever to continue what we are doing.

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  109. "If you don't, I'd love to hear from you. Any defense of this person does the pro gun side no good at all. Is this what you want to be representing the side of gun rights?"

    There really is no reason to get mean and hateful in comments.

    I prefer to stick to logic and the facts, as do most pro gunners.

    And it seems to be working for us.

    I'm sure it takes some think skin to be on your side of this issue. Trying to take away someone's civil rights is bound to bring forth backlash. I'm sure I'd get a lot of hateful comments as well if I set up a website dedicated to disenfranchising blacks.

    I hope you don't let mean people bother you. Try to have a nice day.

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  110. Alcade- you had me until you just had to go and say that it takes thick skin to be on my side of the issue. Of course, that is not true. Thick skin for what? putting up with you guys and your remarks is what thick skin is needed for. Since we are not taking away anyone's rights, the backlash is unnecessary. And to compare what I am doing to disenfranchising blacks is total nonsense and hyperbole.

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  111. The problem is that these laws say that human life is not important, and it is not as important as property. Additionally, they deny justice.

    There was the ancient custom of Wergild, which was found in Anglo-Saxon culture and is reputed to have commenced in Salic Law (sometime between 507 and 511 A.D.). Wergild was eventually replaced by Capital punishment. Additionally, the institution existed to prevent blood feuds. That means that "Dark Ages civilisations were far more Civilised in their treatment of this topic.

    The fact that anyone can advocate laws which could possibly preclude criminal or civil charges strongly points that US culture is far more barbaric than that of the Germanic Tribes of the Dark ages.

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  112. The laws are not about property, they are about this.

    Please look at the bills or laws one more time and see if you can find the words and phrases FORCE, SUBSTANTIAL BODILY HARM, and GREAT BODILY HARM. You might need to do a little cross referencing as indicated within the text, but they are in there. I can find those requirements. Why can't you?

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  113. "The fact that anyone can advocate laws which could possibly preclude criminal or civil charges strongly points that US culture is far more barbaric than that of the Germanic Tribes of the Dark ages."

    Or that scumbags who break into peoples' houses shouldn't be allowed to sue if they get shot over the matter and live.

    But, you go ahead and see it your way.

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  114. Dear Anonymous Lawyer, There's no dishonesty here. Accusing me of being disingenuous is bad enough but saying my remarks prove that we use dishonesty is a load of crap. What you're doing is one of the standard pro-gun tricks, accuse the other side of things they haven't done and make them defend themselves thereby diverting the whole discussion.

    You said the Detroit case had nothing to do with the castle doctrine. I beg to differ. If not literally and legally it had everything to do with the attitudes of fed-up homeowners with guns who slip accross the line separating home defense from aggressive vigilantism.

    There's really no need to call people names and accuse them of dishonesty when the whole thing boils down to our disagreeing. Those are bully tactics which probably serve you well in your chosen profession but around here they just make the discussion tedious.

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  115. Croff didn't shoot 53-year-old Herbert Silas in anybody's home, business, or vehicle so the castle doctrine has nothing to do with it.

    The castle doctrine applies to cases like this.

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  116. Laci-

    Let's take a look at your own country's values since you're criticizing ours.

    Did your country value the life of Tony Martin or Munir Hussain? If an elderly woman chased off a gang of criminals with a cap gun, that's okay right? Or would she be convicted of a crime?

    I find it tragically shortsighted to value the lives of criminals more than those of their victims, and your crime rate since 1954 proves that approach only makes things worse.


    But if you decide to try to incorporate Wergild into English law, I'll be awaiting anxiously to see how that works. Because this...

    "The standard weregeld for a freeman appears to have been 200 solidi (shillings) in the Migration period...The size of the weregild was largely conditional upon the social rank of the victim."

    ...sounds an awful lot like not only putting a price on a human life, but setting the price based on social status.

    So if you're suggesting that some strung out criminal who breaks into houses to feed a drug habit is going to be able to pay your family 10,000 pounds or whatever your system says you're worth, I'll suggest to you that your family will be waiting a long, long time.

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  117. Mikeb -

    Sounds like I struck a nerve. Perhaps the shoe fits. You said it yourself- Castle doctrine did not apply "literally and legally." Well Mike, this is a legal issue. There is a legal position. Law matters. Words have meanings.

    The problem, Mike, is to accept your position I would have to assume either that you are either 1) to be blunt, too ignorant to actually read the law, OR 2) willing to purposefully mislead. It's hard for me to reach any other conclusion. I know and you know the "Castle Doctrine" had nothing to do with the case you cited. Yet you assert so anyway, ignoring the fact that said defendant was charged with 2nd degree murder (and the jury hung).

    I know and you know there's no such thing as a "gunshow loophole," yet same continues to be asserted. It's a nice turn of phrase, but completely misleading - there are no "special rules" for gunshows.

    I know and you know that the Tiahrt Amendment does NOT prevent local law enforcement from doing gun traces, yet Bloomberg continues to peddle that lie. I know, I've personally seen the traces. The law specifically permits said traces for law enforcement investigations.

    I know and you know that fully automatic weapons are now, for all intents and purposes, banned unless you're filthy rich, yet BATF appointee Traver procalaims on TV they're the "weapon of choice" for Chicago gangs.

    I know and you know that "Castle Doctrine" isn't remotely about "shoot first." That's simply NOT what the law says. Yet that characterization is still pedalled, hoping to mislead by sowing fear among those who are not up on the legal details.

    Need I go on? I know, this is not all you. But this kind of mislabeling, misleading, ignorance and outright falsehood is unfortunately routine among the gun control community.

    We're not unreasonable folks in the liberty community. There are some who are indeed "out there," just as there are some in your community who would immediately, if they could, ban all firearms tomorrow. But for the most part, we're quite reasonable; arguing otherwise is simply another tactic of labeling the opposition. We simply disagree. At times we disagree with each other. We love life just as you do. We mourn for the innocent just as you do.

    But we'll not be lied to, an we'll not simply roll over and shut up as you chip away at fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. And we'll not be quiet while so many in the gun control camp simply don't tell the whole truth.

    The idea that calling someone out when they're dishonest is "bully" tactics is laughable. This is a blog. None of us here are in any position to "bully" anyone. Each of the positions above has been backed up with actual law (though not on this particular thread). For example, several posters on this thread have thoroughly dismantled the "shoot first" moniker for the fear-mongering label it is. Yet the label persists. I don't have a bit of a problem if we disagree over whether Castle Doctrine or "stand your ground" laws are sound policy; reasonable people can disagree on that. Let's just be honest about what it is, and what it isn't as we do so.

    So - what am I to conclude? Which is it, Mike, and I'll speak bluntly here, and apologize in advance if I step on anyone's toes: Are you a fool, or a liar?

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  118. Anon- though this is for MikeB, I must respond. Some of you bully me here every day. If you don't recognize it as such, that's your problem and even worse. I stand by the "shoot first" moniker. But I'll give you credit for attempting to apologize but then give only 2 choices- liar or fool.

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