Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Shoot First Laws"

I was clicking around over at Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and came across an article titled "Shoot First Laws". Apparently the author was embarrassed to write it, because it's not attributed to anyone.
From the article:
"Shoot First laws expand the right to use deadly force in self-defense beyond the home and eliminate a person's duty to retreat..."

My first question is, how far should someone have to retreat? Suppose you are accosted on the street and run, and the thug chases you, how far should you run? Do you run until you drop dead of a heart attack? Do you run until you're out of breath and can no longer defend yourself? Do you run (whew, I'm getting tired just typing run) until the thug catches you? The answer is non of the above. An individual has an obligation to conform himself to the law, not to retreat from the lawless.

Furthermore, the law provides immunity from both criminal prosecution and civil litigation to those using deadly force in the manner described.

This is the way it should be. Why should a law abiding citizen be put through the legal systems because he defended himself. Why should a law abiding citizen have to defend himself twice, once from a violent criminal and second to a jury.

...the Shoot First statute is a naked assault on the rule of law, because it divests (deprives) police and the courts of the power to settle disputes, substituting a bystander or crime victim's judgment for trial by jury and the presumption of innocence.
Apparently the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is only interested in stopping gun violence and not all violence. This leads the average person to believe the the CSGV has an ulterior motive. It seems that the CSGV would prefer a woman be raped than to use a firearm to protect herself and certainly, the CSGV must realize that the presumption of innocence is a legal principle that requires the government to prove the guilt of a criminal defendant and relieves the defendant of any burden to prove his or her innocence. If a person truly was innocent prior to trial, what right would the government have to hold an accused in jail prior to a trial?

Another question I have, why should a woman allow herself to be raped, instead of using deadly force to protect herself, and wait for the judicial system to work? According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, police have an average clearance rate of 47.43% for violent crime. Keep in mind, too, that a clearance it not a conviction, it's only an arrest.

Stories of Americans being shot needlessly—and legally—now regularly appear in newspapers across the country.

I have to agree with this statement. It is needless. If the violent criminals would only stop committing crimes, they would stop getting shot.

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