Third Party & Independents Archives

December 08, 2005

Gun and Tax Insanity

Two very disturbing issues crossed my path this morning. Texas’s attempt to replicate Florida’s “Shoot First” laws and the Republican House’s tax legislation which says, ‘screw deficits, they don’t matter to us’.

"Shoot First": Let me say right up front, I own a shotgun, a .30 caliber rifle, a .22 pistol and a .357 magnum. I live in a rural area of Texas on five acres with no neighbors in shouting distance. Here, a 9/11 call could result in our County Sheriff responding to an emergency at our house in as long as 20 to 30 minutes later. I believe in peace, I believe killing is wrong even in self-defense. Self-defense killing is not, and should not, be legally wrong. I say it is wrong because the person who kills another human being is altered by the experience, there is an innocence lost, and that can never be recaptured. It is wrong from the standpoint of preserving one's integrity as a peaceful person in fact as well as belief. However, having served in the military, and trained as a combat medic to kill as well as heal, if given the choice between a person's greed willfully taking action to harm or kill myself, wife, or daughter, I would not hesitate to shoot in self-defense. I will struggle with the lack of integrity as a Buddhist afterward.

The Shoot FIrst legislation passed in Florida and now before Gov. Perry to veto in Texas is horrible legislation. I never supported the Brady Bill, it is unconstitutional. However, their organization is on the right side of the Shoot First legislation. They report:

On October 1, the Shoot First Law went into effect in Florida, giving the people of Florida permission to use deadly force as a FIRST resort, even in a public place. The law grants sweeping criminal and civil immunity to anyone who pulls the trigger when they feel 'threatened' -- and specifically denies legal recourse to innocent bystanders killed or wounded in the crossfire, even if the shooter acted negligently.

As a Texan I wrote Gov. Perry to ask him to veto such legislation that comes before him. I urge all Texans to do the same, lest they become an innocent bystander in a free for all on a public street in Texas reminiscent of the Old West where law enforcement was typically counties away by horseback.

House Tax Legislation: Republicans in the House have bared their allegiance to wealthy campaign donors and said to hell with the United States and its people. As Jonathan Weisman of the the Washington Post reports:

The House passed three separate tax cuts yesterday and plans to approve a fourth today, trimming the federal revenue by $94.5 billion over five years -- nearly double the budget savings that Republicans muscled through the House last month. ...

...Last month's budget-cutting bill would save $50 billion over five years by imposing new fees on Medicaid recipients, trimming the food stamp rolls, squeezing student lenders and cutting federal child support enforcement.

"I don't think it makes any sense to go through all the difficulty they just went through with the budget-cutting bill, then give it all back in tax cuts," said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group. "If they want to cut taxes, fine, but they are going to have to cut spending by at least that much to help the deficit, and clearly they are not willing to do that.

For all intents and purposes, House Republicans are saying to hell with your tax dollars and those of your children's in their working lives. They are saying this by adding to the deficits in order to compensate their campaign donors, which they will rely upon more in 2006 than ever before, due to tanking Republican poll numbers and only 11 months till their incumbents seek reelection. Our politicians spend more than 1 billion dollars a day on interest for our national debt and that number grows monthly. That is more than 1/3 trillion dollars a year for which the taxpayer receives nothing in return: not one bridge repair, not one extra teacher, nor one bulletproof vest for an American soldier.

If there was ever an election for voters to vote out incumbents, it will be the November elections just 11 months from now. Tax cuts make no sense when deficits are setting records and the economy is strong. There is no justification for this quid pro quo bribery of politicians in exchange for campaign contributions. None! At best, there is only rationalization. Do yourself, your children, our nation, and our nation's future the biggest favor you could possibly grant, and vote out Congressional incumbents in Nov. 2006.

Posted by David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 12:56 PM
Comments
Comment #100236

David:

I’m unclear on your position about the Florida gun law. The Florida law says that if a person “reasonably believes that such conduct(deadly force) is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the such other’s imminent use of unlawful force”, then it is lawful to do so. I’m not clear on how that is different from your position of saying you would not hesitate to use kill someone in self defense or in the defense of your family.

Perhaps you can explain your thoughts for me….Thank you.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 8, 2005 02:15 PM
Comment #100241

JBOD, first, it negates equal force. The new legislation states if someone bigger than you is going to punch you and you reasonably suspect that punch will do you grave or permanent harm, you are justified in killing them. Second, what consitute’s reasonable expectation? That would appear to have to be defined by a jury, each and everytime, especially when unequal force is applicable. Third, and my biggest objection, is the law provides immunity for the defender from harming or killing innocent bystanders. So, if a defender sprays an ouzi in a public square and mows down women and children passerbys as well as his/her assailant, they are immune from responsibility for their action. This does not teach responsibility for use of a firearm.

Feeling threatened is an insufficient defense on purely moral and ethical grounds for spraying bullets indiscriminately in the hopes of hitting one’s assailant. Can you imagine how this law will be used by gangbangers defending themselves from rival attacks? I can. A nightmare.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 02:45 PM
Comment #100245

JBOD, P.S. also the FIRST RESORT implication instead of last resort which has been the standard in the past, is a huge objection of mine. I have faced two guys with knives, and my father and I faced a carload of bangers once in Detroit, and talk, grovelling talk, got us out of the confrontation. It was a bit humiliating when I had to plead for my life when asked for money by the two guys with knives, but, I walked away unharmed and so did they.

The emphasis on last resort, even if I had a gun at the time, would have still guided my actions. However, under the new laws, the mere perception of threat becomes justification for killing by those with much hotter heads than mine. The net effect of these laws is going to be to increase maiming, death and carnage by gun owners that otherwise, in many cases, would not have occured.

I have a friend I went to college with who is prone to being hot headed, and he is well armed. It is very likely that the only thing standing between him and having killed someone who threatened him, is his love of his own freedom and the loss of it, should he be convicted of manslaughter or worse in defending himself with his glock.

Under this new law, that loss of freedom threat is greatly diminished, and thus the motivation for self-control which he has demonstrated in the past, is also greatly diminished.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 03:02 PM
Comment #100253

David:

You question the concept of “reasonable expectation of harm”. The concept of self defense, which you said you would use, is just as nebulous.

Lets take the following circumstance. An intruder breaks into your home, and after grabbing your gun, you go investigate and find the criminal. He walks towards you as you tell him to stop, but he doesn’t. You fear he is going to take the gun away from you, since he is unarmed at the moment. Can you shoot him in self defense? Does it justify “reasonable expectation of harm”? To my way of thinking, I’m NOT letting him get my gun under any circumstance, because then its too late. What would you do? And would you expect to be prosecuted because you shot an unarmed intruder?

I don’t see anything in the law that would allow someone to “spray an ouzi in a public square and mow down women and children passerbys as well as his/her assailant” without repercussion. Lets take your self defense situation again, but lets assume that your self defense constituted spraying a crowded area with machine gun fire. You would not be free from prosecution under that situation, despite having acted out of self defense. I think that’s an overreaction to the law.

Lastly, I’ve been robbed, coincidentally in Detroit as well. Had I been armed, I might have shot and killed my assailants who held my wife and I at gunpoint. I’d have said then and now that I was justified since I truly didn’t know what they might do to us. I’m not willing to leave my safety up to the mercy of someone robbing me, and unfortunately, sometimes you just don’t have the time to talk things out.

I don’t see the Florida law as being that incendiary. What it does is put criminals on notice that they cannot break and enter with impunity, nor can they threaten others with impunity. Their best way to prevent any problems is to simply not break and enter, or commit the types of crimes that might end up with them getting shot.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 8, 2005 03:36 PM
Comment #100255

JBOD, that’s fine, until you or yours are the innocent bystanders of the new law that lets the shooter of you or yours go scott free without fear of either suit or justice.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 03:44 PM
Comment #100257

And BTW, JBOD, your choice of examples was underhanded, since you know as well as I that the situation in one’s home against an intruder is held by the law and courts to be a very different situation than in a public square.

The threat to bystanders is virtually non-existent when defending oneself in one’s home. Not so in the public square or at a stop light.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 03:47 PM
Comment #100263

David

You two begged for your lives and are lucky to still be alive. But were both of you really unharmed?
I guess only you know how it affected you and only your father knows how it affected him.
On that day, you two became preventable victims. Laws have been passed which have taken away your rights and have been given to those with no respect for the law or YOU.

This is not a shoot first and ask questions later type of bill.
If you are being “threatened” with bodily harm, you should have every right to protect yourself by any means neccessary.

Sometimes, the difference between first and last resort is mere seconds and the choice you make determines who lives.

“I say it is wrong because the person who kills another human being is altered by the experience, there is an innocence lost, and that can never be recaptured”

If I may ask, which is worse?
Killing somebody before they kill you and losing some of that innocence you mention, or becoming a victim and losing your sense of security and right to happiness, living your life in constant fear, for the rest of your life?

“the law provides immunity for the defender from harming or killing innocent bystanders”

Every case, which will be few concerning this, should have to stand on its own.
The “wild west” scenario is only a scare tactic that has never panned out.

Great post sir.

Posted by: Tim Huff at December 8, 2005 04:01 PM
Comment #100266

Thanks, Tim.

But you didn’t address the gangbanger’s and organized crime’s use of the new law, nor did you address the immunity from suit or justice for the consequences of killing innocent bystanders as a result of the exercise of the Shoot First legislation.

I take it you favor innocents killed or maimed by the law having no redress.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 04:07 PM
Comment #100272

The Equal Force issue is important, and should not be ignored.
This sort of thing happened in Dallas, Tx.
Two guys in pickups got into a road-rage incident. They both pulled over. One guy got out and went over to the rolled-down window of the other truck and puched the guy a couple of times. The guy sitting in the truck pulled out his ready and waiting pistol and shot the other man dead with one shot to the heart. The shooter was arrested, and released. He was not charged with any crime.
There are a few things to note:
(1) the shooter did not have to roll down his window all the way.
(2) the shooter could have driven away.
(3) the shooter wasn’t faced with deadly force, just some pissed off guy using his fists alone.
(4) the shooter probably shouldn’t have stopped at all or immediately driven away if he thought (as I’m fairly certain he did) the other guy may be violent.
(5) it probably would have been quite sufficient to merely point the gun at the attacker, and I’d bet he would have changed his tune fast.

The part about not being liable for harming by-standers is totally irresponsible. I’m amazed. Perhaps voters should consider an anti-incumbent movement at the state-level too?

Posted by: d.a.n at December 8, 2005 04:27 PM
Comment #100275

David:

As I stated, I don’t see the law allowing freedom for prosecution in that case of someone recklessly hitting innocent bystanders. Again, I ask you to look at the “self defense standard”, but I’ll present it in a public setting, in order for you to answer it, rather than you simply considering my example “underhanded” and not answering.

In a public square, you are accosted and you pull your gun. Your attacker threatens to take it away from you and though unarmed, moves toward you. (The situation is essentially the same even if the attacker has a knife) In fear, you shoot him. Innocent bystanders could be harmed in this scenario, yet its still self defense, isn’t it? Even without the Florida law, the dangers are still present in this scenario. I simply don’t see the Florida law as creating the wild west scenarios you imagine.

I suppose you can say that the person being attacked shouldnt be carrying a gun, but that’s an entirely separate discussion.

So what do you do, David. You’re with your wife and children, you happen to be carrying, and you honestly feel threatened with extreme physical harm. Do you shoot? Do you give up your weapon?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 8, 2005 04:33 PM
Comment #100282

JBOD, I shoot as a last resort, after using every other possible means to avoid the confrontation including running away family permitting.

As for the prosecution part, YES, that is one of the key components sanctioned and lobbied for by the NRA and included in the legislation, immunity from prosecution or suit in the event of accidentally harming bystanders.

Package deal, the Governor signs it all or vetoes it all. The Florida law has the same immunity. It passed.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 04:56 PM
Comment #100284

UPDATE: The Republican House just passed the 4th of the 4 part tax cut extension bill, granting investors lowered tax rates for an additional two years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 05:02 PM
Comment #100285

“But you didn’t address the gangbanger’s and organized crime’s use of the new law, nor did you address the immunity from suit or justice for the consequences of killing innocent bystanders as a result of the exercise of the Shoot First legislation.

I take it you favor innocents killed or maimed by the law having no redress”

But its not a shoot first law.
Gangbangers and org crime do it now, this will not add to that.
With that, I do not believe bystanders being harmed will be a major issue. Each instance of that should be based on its own merit though.
Each “what if” you have has a counter “what if” to think about.

Its more about how we prioritize it I guess.
Do we take away a persons right to defend themselves because of what we fear may happen OR do we succumb to that fear, take away more rights and put the choice of of who lives or dies soley into the hands of the criminal?


Posted by: Tim Huff at December 8, 2005 05:04 PM
Comment #100297

It has more to do with our laws expecting and requiring civility and law abidence, or, laws that empower every citizen to become their own policeman and militia, once called lawlessness in the Old West by those moving in from the East. It is about civilization or anarchy, and this law fosters the latter far more than the former.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 05:33 PM
Comment #100309

David:

I googled the law for Florida and read what I think is the latest version of it. I did not see anything that protected a shooter in the manner that you’ve suggested. I’m no lawyer but I believe there are laws that prevent a person from firing randomly into a crowd even in a self defense situation. That’s my point.

I’d appreciate if you can show me where in the law that kind of behavior would be made acceptable. I haven’t seen it in my limited research so far. Thanks

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 8, 2005 06:35 PM
Comment #100315

Once again, JBOD you play fast and loose with the words to make your counter-argument work. NO ONE said a person who shoots randomly into a crowd would be immune from prosecution or suit. The law states that if that one attempts to shoot an assailant posing a reasonable threat of serious injury or death and bystanders are accidentally struck, the act of self defense is legal. How does one sue a person who acted lawfully? The shooter is immune from prosecution and suit.

Now please, tell me how many defenders who shoot a bystander will say it was not an accident? How can the state prove otherwise if there was in fact, an assailant in the proximity of the shooter? Regardless of how many rounds fired and regardless of the weapon used, automatic, semi-automatic, or single shot. Ergo, immune from prosecution due to the wording of the law. Same applies to suit.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 06:46 PM
Comment #100323

Actually in Texas, this law is not so outlandish. It will fit in comfortably with some other laws still on Texas books like: “It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel” and “It is illegal to drive without windshield wipers. You don’t need a windshield, but you must have the wipers” and “Owners of horses may not ride them at night without tail lights” and “Cattle thieves may be hanged on the spot.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 07:27 PM
Comment #100325

Deadbrain has this to report about the bill’s sponsor:

The Texas measure goes a step further than Florida’s “stand your ground” bill, which allows people to use deadly force in public places without first trying to escape. The legislation, dubbed “Georgie’s Law” after Texas native son President George W. Bush, would give gun owners the right to shoot on sight anyone they suspect of even thinking about attacking them.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Fred C. Butler said, “If preemptive strikes are good enough for the president of my country, then they’re good enough for John Q. Public.” He went on to cite studies that showed virtually all perpetrators of violent crimes were alive at the time they committed their heinous acts. He said that the law would permit Texans to nip the threat in the bud.

But most law enforcement officials in the state oppose the bill. Houston police spokesman Morgan Fanberger called the bill unnecessary and dangerous. “What if some guy looks at you funny at the all-you-can-eat buffet?” he asked. “It could just be gas, but gun owners might feel they have total immunity to open up on the guy.”

Butler dismissed those concerns. “If we don’t give citizens the right to shoot first and ask questions later, then only criminals will be able to shoot first. Besides, law abiding Texans can tell if someone don’t look right. Like if they got one of those scarf doohickeys around their heads or can’t speak American, you just know they’re up to no good.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2005 07:36 PM
Comment #100348

David good article, but I really wish you had put the tax bill issue into a separate article, because I’d love to discuss how Outrageous and Wrong what they’ve done is!!!
In putting it at the bottom of this article, and after the word “GUN” had appeared, that automatically meant we’d see numerous discussions on the gun-lovers sacred subject, while the Robinhood in Reverse tax bill won’t get any traction at all.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 8, 2005 08:42 PM
Comment #100372

David:

I tire of you parsing my words looking for meanings that are not there. I told you that I googled the Florida law and did not find anything that specifically addressed innocent casualties, and I asked you for specifics. I referred back to YOUR post in which you said, and I quote DIRECTLY, “if a defender sprays an ouzi in a public square and mows down women and children passerbys as well as his/her assailant, they are immune from responsibility for their action.”

Now, if you simply want to castigate me, and NOT provide the background information I’ve asked for, then knock yourself out. I’m not the one playing fast and loose. Look in the mirror.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 8, 2005 10:18 PM
Comment #100450

JBOD, I repeat the answer to your question above, which you are apparently ignoring:

How does one sue a person who acted lawfully? The shooter is immune from prosecution and suit.

Now please, tell me how many defenders who shoot a bystander will say it was not an accident? How can the state prove otherwise if there was in fact, an assailant in the proximity of the shooter? Regardless of how many rounds fired and regardless of the weapon used, automatic, semi-automatic, or single shot. Ergo, immune from prosecution due to the wording of the law. Same applies to suit.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 9, 2005 05:34 AM
Comment #100466

Adrienne, thanks. None but us few, care about what Congress is doing in between elections. Those who do care are already aware. Those who support what Congress is doing in the name of partisan politics can’t be persuaded anyway. And those who don’t care, wouldn’t read an article on tax cuts anyway. They will see the headline, tax cuts, and go on to another articles saying to themselves, “Oh, more tax cuts, that’s good”.

Come October of 2006, it will be a good time to bring this back up, more folks pay attention to the Congressional record, if summed up succinctly, a few weeks before election time.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 9, 2005 06:50 AM
Comment #100481

David:

No offense, but that is not an answer. I’ve asked how that situation would be any different in the absence of the Florida law. You gave the example of someone firing an Uzi machine gun, mowing down “women and children passerbys as well as his/her assailant”. Using YOUR example, I’d say that someone taking such action would be held accountable for it legally. You have said that the new Florida law would make them “immune from responsibility for their action.”

You haven’t shown any version of the law that shows that to be the case. You haven’t cited case law to prove your point. You’ve simply given your opinion.

On the other hand, I’ve looked at the law in question and I don’t see anything that backs up your assertion. So in fairness, I’ve asked you to help me see how you arrive at your opinion. In response, you accuse me of “underhanded” methods and “playing fast and loose” with words.

I guess if its easier for you to simply attack me than to answer me, I’ll have to accept it. It doesn’t seem to fit the Watchblog motto, but as an editor, you get to choose what fits and what doesn’t. Power is wonderful when you hold it, isnt it.

David, I began by trying to understand your opinion about the difference between the Florida law and self defense laws already on the books. I don’t see the huge difference. You took my questions apparently as an attack on you in some way. I don’t know why.

Tell you what. You go on your way—-I’ll go on mine. I’ll continue looking into the issue on my own, since you haven’t shown any desire to show me any factual information on the law.

Posted by: joebagodontus at December 9, 2005 07:56 AM
Comment #100504

JBOD,

I suppose you can say that the person being attacked shouldnt be carrying a gun, but that’s an entirely separate discussion.

Au contraire!
If your self-defense case rely mostly on the fear to lost the gun you carry, it’s not separate.

So what do you do, David. You’re with your wife and children, you happen to be carrying, and you honestly feel threatened with extreme physical harm. Do you shoot? Do you give up your weapon?

If you don’t have a weapon, you stop fearing one could take yours and use it back at you. The weapon existence IS now the origin of fear, not anymore the physicial harm threat.

BTW, does such shoot first self-defence and guns freedom actually reduced the crime rate in your country? Any stats to backup its efficiency?

Talking about US-Europe gap, carrying a gun in public place is really something that many europeans can’t understand at all. Me included.
I fail to see how carrying a gun could make one feel more safe. More dangerous, more powerfull, yes, but more safe?
I don’t feel safe as soon as I’m in the range of a deadly object, whoever own it.

After all, bullets don’t care about who buy them…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 9, 2005 09:24 AM
Comment #100510

As a husband, father, grandfather, big brother, an uncle, I would not hesitate for a moment to shoot to kill, without warning, anyone that is harming someone I love. I’ll deal with it after my loved one is safe. And I hope like hell I never have to.
I don’t have a problem with Florida’s ‘Shoot First’ law as such. But it needs to be a little more specific. I believe that first you should know for a fact that someone is intending to cause you severe injury or death. It’s not hard to figure out. If someone has a knife and is comming at you, that’s a good indication of what they’re trying to do. If they’re pulling a gun, you can be sure they’re trying to kill you. Use of deadly force is justifiable in these cases. If they’re comming at you with a closed fist then they just intend to kick the crap out of you and deadly force isn’t nessecary.
I beleive that deadly force is justifiable to prevent some non leathal crimes such as rape.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 9, 2005 09:50 AM
Comment #100520

Philippe:

The question of whether someone can carry a weapon is a different legal question. I recognize how it relates to the Florida law, but it is already legal for people to own and carry weapons—those laws are settled and are not in question. The new Florida law discusses how someone can use that weapon. Though related, they are separate laws and should be discussed separately. In fact, David Remer didn’t suggest in his posts that people should not be able to have guns—-just that he thinks the Florida law opens the door to the misuse of guns.

Attached is a stat from Florida regarding the ability to carry concealed weapons from the Washington Post: “The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that violent crimes dropped from 1,136 per 100,00 residents in 1989 — two years after the law (to allow concealed weapons) went into effect — to 727.7 per 100,000 in 2003. Opponents counter that Florida’s drop is not tied to the gun law and note that national violent-crime rates have been trending down.”

Philippe, having been robbed at gunpoint while I was defenseless, I can say from experience that I’d have felt safer had I been armed. On the opposite side, the situation might have escalated and either I or my assailants might not be here today. So there are potential goods and bads, as there are with any such situations. But I’d have been able to choose whether the situation called for me to use a weapon. As it was, the criminals held all the power and I held none.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at December 9, 2005 10:28 AM
Comment #100522

David
“It has more to do with our laws expecting and requiring civility and law abidence, or, laws that empower every citizen to become their own policeman and militia, once called lawlessness in the Old West by those moving in from the East. It is about civilization or anarchy, and this law fosters the latter far more than the former”

What is so civil about letting the criminal decide your fate?
Do we allow the criminals to be judge, jury and executioner or do we allow law abiding, innocent people the ability to defend themselves?
I realize you are not a die-hard anti gun person and I respect your approach here. We will just have to agree to disagree on whether this is a shoot first law, I do not believe it is.

Sweet Adrienne
I agree that the tax issue will get less play because David included in with some gun legislation, but that should tell the Dem party just how important the gun issue is.
Guns are such an easy issue for the Dems too. All they need to do is to respect the 2nd Amendment and it becomes a non-issue. This in turn would give back MILLIONS of much needed votes to the Dem party.

But dont fear ma’am, we know how David keeps up with fiscal matters and that he more than likely has something concerning taxes on the burner, coming up soon.

Posted by: Tim Huff at December 9, 2005 10:33 AM
Comment #100523

You know everyone talks about our freedom to protect ourselves from bodily harm and how we can’t take away our constitutional right to bear arms. If there were never any guns produced in the first place would we be worrying about our right to bear arms? What ever happened to protecting our Human Rights and not our right to be able to arm and kill each other. I’m all for keeping that part of the constitution alive allowing reasonable men and women to bear arms but come on are hand guns really what we need in our society? Take assualt weapons and hand guns out of the equation and I think you have less death and crime commited with the use of those guns. That would also take care of the gangbangers and Organized crime to some degree although not entirely. And a shoot first ask questions later approach has historically been proven ineffective in combating crime with guns. It’s the very reason gun laws were created in the first place by what could have then been considered level headed gov. If someone comes in my home and he and I are unarmed I’m going beat the living S**t out of him first so he can remember during his recovery that making the same mistake next time might result in his death.

Posted by: Vic R at December 9, 2005 10:37 AM
Comment #100534

Ron,

I believe that first you should know for a fact that someone is intending to cause you severe injury or death. It’s not hard to figure out.

Oh, really?

If someone has a knife and is comming at you, that’s a good indication of what they’re trying to do.

Threating you with a knife. When the knife actually cut the skin that’s a factual injury or death. Not before.

If they’re pulling a gun, you can be sure they’re trying to kill you.

Nope. They’re threating you. When the bullet or the gun will hit skin that’s a factual injury or death. Not before.

I’m not saying that the one threating is not wrong doing it, I’m saying you can’t never know what one will do in the future. That’s always a bet.
If you plan to shoot one first (by always carrying a gun for example), it’s a premeditate act, not anymore self-defense instinct driven.

I beleive that deadly force is justifiable to prevent some non leathal crimes such as rape.

Scary. Next step: militia.

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 9, 2005 11:05 AM
Comment #100560

Vic
“If someone comes in my home and he and I are unarmed”

Its not “AND he and I are unarmed” that people worry about, its “IF he and I are unarmed,” thats real life.
You may be willing to place you and your family’s lives with the HOPES that he may be unarmed, but many are not.
We perfer to have the right and ability to protect ourselves, the ones we love and the innocent.
We dont wish to take away your right to be a victim, why take away our right not to be?

Posted by: Tim Huff at December 9, 2005 11:53 AM
Comment #100566

It seems to me that the Florida “shoot first” law as well as the more traditional shoot only as a “last resort” guideline are both examples of breaking the law before a shot is ever fired.

I speak of the law governing the carrying of concealed weapons which one would have to do to accomplish either scenario.(Except Florida)

If I understand the Florida law properly, if you feel threatened you take out your gun (which is legal to own and to carry as a concealed weapon) and kill the one who is threatening you, you are within your rights even if an innocent bystander is wounded or killed in the process.Florida seems to be the only state that permits carrying a concealed weapon

I must assume that the gun is not visible with license since what fool would threaten someone who had a gun strapped to his side. However, since in Florida it is legal to carry a concealed weapon there must be shootouts at the OK corral is on the calendar of daily events.

Texas was also mentioned as having a similar bill up for review. It is interesting to note that both Texas and Florida are states permitting capital punishment. Since 1976 Texas executed more criminals than any other state and Florida ranked 4th. I guess the streetfights fall outside the purview of crime for which the death penalty is enforced.

BTW if I were you guys I would cancel all future trips to Detroit.

Posted by: steve smith at December 9, 2005 12:06 PM
Comment #100581

David:
Did you really think this wouldn’t pass? After all, Emporer George II, Launched a pre-emptive strike on Iraq to protect our Country from the threat of Saddam. Geez, And I thought it was because of WMD’s that proved not to be there, and an Al-Quida link, Did anyone not think that Saddam & Bin Laden WERE NOT IN CAHOOTS WITH ONE ANOTHER? Does anyone else think we haven’t been led astray?
These of course are only “My Humble Opinions”.
As Always,
Wayne

Posted by: wayne at December 9, 2005 12:27 PM
Comment #100603
Florida seems to be the only state that permits carrying a concealed weapon. Posted by: steve smith at December 9, 2005 12:06 PM


No Steve, There are Many, Many States that have such a permit. I got mine in Alabama without ever having to show any form of ID. Take Any test to show knowledge of handguns in anyway whatsoever. I only went to the Sherrif’s office, (I must note that I was in Uniform at the time) and while filling out the forms a man came to the counter and asked me if I had ever been arrested, and before was able reply no, he had already signed me off and told me where to pay the clerk. I finished and even when I renewed the permit I was not asked to show ID of any type whatsoever. The Odd thing about that is my Alabama Concealed Carry Permit (CCP) allowed me to Carry a concealed pistol From Key West to the Arizona/California Border. I can get a California CCP if I attend Classes and Pay a fee, but surprisingly, I find no Need to carry a hand gun on my person any longer. I do make this Suggestion, If you are carrying your pistol in the glove box, INFORM THE POLICE OFFICER OF THAT FACT BEFORE YOU OPEN THE GLOVE BOX TO PROTECT YOURSELF, AND MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PERMIT IS VALID IN THE STATE YOU ARE TRAVELING THROUGH.

As Always,
Wayne

Posted by: wayne at December 9, 2005 01:01 PM
Comment #100606

Philippe Houdoin
If someone is pulling a gun or a knife it is a very safe bet that they intend to do you bodly harm. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be using one.
I don’t agree with the thinking that guns are made to intimidate and kill. The only purpose of pulling a gun is to kill.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 9, 2005 01:02 PM
Comment #100616
Florida seems to be the only state that permits carrying a concealed weapon

Just about every state has concealed weapons permits. In most states these are not very easy to get.
I beleive that these permit laws are unconstitutional and should be struck down.

Georgia law allows for a resident to shoot and kill a buglar in their home. This hasn’t decreased the number of burglaries as such. But burglaries during the hours (5pm-7am) that most people are home are almost nonexistant. And these are the most dangerous ones as there is more of a chance for the resident to encounter the buglar.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 9, 2005 01:21 PM
Comment #100617

Georgia law allows for a resident to shoot and kill a buglar

Thank goodness I play a string instrument!!!

Bdoom boom Boom

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 9, 2005 01:26 PM
Comment #100709

I live in Indiana and we have private carry laws. I am not looking for a fight with anyone ever, but I will not be a victim and I will defend me and mine if I have to. I think to do less is already being the victim, they prey on the weak not the strong.

Posted by: William at December 9, 2005 06:33 PM
Comment #100762

JBOD, sorry the logic escapes you. Did my best.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 9, 2005 11:13 PM
Comment #100996

Ron Brown,

The only purpose of pulling a gun is to kill.

Call the NRA and tell them that.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 10, 2005 04:45 PM
Comment #101033

Philippe
That is one of few places I disagree with the NRA.
I do like to shoot targets, and I reckon some could argue that I’m going agaunst my statement. But target shooting aint the same as pulling a gun on another human.
The only reason a person pulls a gun on another one is to kill. If they aint ready to do that they just might ebd uo dead themselves.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 10, 2005 09:18 PM
Comment #101049

Ron, you are absolutely right. One does not pull a gun on another person unless shooting that person is the intent. To pull a gun on another person without the intent to kill is a beckon to disaster and tragedy one way or another. Hence, self-defense, as a last resort, is the only occasion and moral justification for pulling a gun and aiming at another person.

A gun is like a car, a very dangerous piece of machinery. The law that sanctions and protects irresponsible use of such machines, is an irresponsible law. The Florida law and Texas legislation leave all manner of wiggle room for folks to pull a gun and aim at another person not out of self-defense, and not as a last resort, and believe they can do so without fear of legal repercussions knowing that a claim of fear of assault is all they need to acquit themselves.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 10, 2005 11:06 PM
Comment #101095

I like the Shoot First Law. Just think of the entertainment of watching it on TV!!! All the better if its in Texas since EVERYONE there owns a gun.

Posted by: Aldous at December 11, 2005 04:16 AM
Comment #101259

David:

JBOD, sorry the logic escapes you. Did my best.

Posted by David R. Remer at December 9, 2005 11:13 PM

You used to have manners, logic and decency. You’ve slipped a long way from the David R. Remer who used to post in here. Your response is indicative of an arrogance that is rather unbecoming, and very unlike what you used to be.

If this is how you intend to remain, then I’m saddened and disappointed, and will miss the other David R. Remer.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 11, 2005 03:38 PM
Comment #101277

What do want, JBOD. You asked a question. I gave you a detailed answer, and you continued to go and on how an answer to your question was not forthcoming.

It was answered. The logic of the answer is inescapbale. Our laws are designed such that one cannot be sued or incarcerated for abiding by the law. Shooting first out of fear, accidentally hitting innocent bystanders is, under the Florida law, a legal act, and shall be again if Gov. Perry OK’s the Texas law. You can’t sue under Republican tort reform, someone who has abided the law and committed no wrong in accordance with the law. And you can’t prosecute someone who accidentally in following the law, harms another.

I explained all this above. You don’t want to accept or follow the logic of the law. You want something that does not exist in the verbage of the actual Shoot First statute, but, can only be found in a whole body of other law and precedence, dating back centuries.

You have chosen to ignore the answer provided insisting that the law cannot result in the absence of suit or indictment for accidentally shooting a bystander in the lawful fulfillment of the shoot first law. You are wrong, police are exonerated for beatings and shootings of innocents on a regular basis because they were following a legal course of action. Store owners defending their store have also been exonerated for accidentally shooting bystanders or innocents.

Your refusal to think it through or accept the obvious I find wanting, and I shall miss the inquiring and thoughtful JBOD I used to know. Happy Holidays.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 11, 2005 05:10 PM
Comment #101327

David:

The question I asked was how the Florida statute differs from a self defense statute, in regard to your description of someone shooting an Uzi into a crowd of women and children. I said that the Florida law as I’ve seen it written would not protect someone from such depraved indifference. I asked you to show me where it says that it would. I actually read the law and provided examples from the written law. You, on the other hand, keep telling me that I’m wrong. No basis, no citation of the law….just your opinion.

If you think your opinion carries the day, even in the absence of providing facts, then so be it. You’ll never change. But you won’t have proven anything but that you think your opinion carries more weight than fact.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 11, 2005 09:48 PM
Comment #101347

JBOD, previous law required shooting as a last resort in self-defense. Ergo, in a public place, one had to run toward the safety of others, yell for help, etc. before being justified in shooting a perceived threatening person, making the incidence of shooting folks in self-defense in public places a rare occurence.

With the shoot as first resort made legal, the incidence of shootings in public places will by all logic and common sense, increase. Under previous law, any use of a firearm against others for any reason was governed by laws of equal force, and absolutely required one to be responsible for its use regardless of the circumstance.

Under the new laws, because use of firearm is a legal response to a perceived threat (instead of a real threat evidenced) the law provides far more safe harbor and hold harmless protections for use of the firearm than under previous law. Under previous law, whether the use of the firearm was justified or not would in most cases have been a decision for a jury with the state acting against those who shoot in circumstances lacking real evidence of a threat. Under the new law, the state (police) are not required to even detain a person who claims the comb pulled from dead party’s pocket was perceived to be a gun. And there is no need for a trial since the burden of proof rests with the shooter, only to attest that they perceived a threat, whether one actually existed or not. What shooter under any circumstance is going to pass up telling police they shot out of perceived threat, whether it be a Grandmother protecting her purse, or a gangbanger taking revenge on a rival who is know to always carry a weapon even if it was never pulled?

Like I said, if one is within the law, one cannot be held legally responsible for consequences of the legal action, especially under the new tort reform laws.

The logic really is inescapable.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 11, 2005 11:45 PM
Comment #101351

David:

Please….please.

You brought the following example to this discussion:
“if a defender sprays an ouzi in a public square and mows down women and children passerbys as well as his/her assailant, they are immune from responsibility for their action.”

I thought it was a foolish and overstated example, but discussed it any way. You’ve now apparently seen the foolishness of your own example since you don’t discuss it anymore. My point has been from the beginning that someone shooting in the kind of egregious manner you set forth would be held accountable for his/her actions, both under self defense laws AND under the Florida statute.

The Florida statute does not allow people to fire an Uzi machine gun (never mind the illegality of the weapon you mention)into a crowd, even in an attempt to defend themself.

With the shoot as first resort made legal, the incidence of shootings in public places will by all logic and common sense, increase.

This isn’t a logical conclusion at all. YOu could use the same logic to conclude that laws allowing people to carry weapons would result in more shootings. But it didn’t happen—-instead, in Florida, shootings went DOWN. Your conclusion may seem logical, but it’s no where near the certainty that you present it as.

You are correct that the burden of proof changes from the shooter to the “attacker”. There will certainly be a case somewhere along the line where a shooter gets away, literally, with murder. Currently, there exists the possibility of someone shooting in self-defense who might be prosecuted for not having tried ‘hard enough’ to flee. Given those two potential scenarios, you obviously prefer the second; I prefer the first.

Thanks for finally discussing this with a measure of rationality. The over the top predictions are just that——over the top predictions. There’s no basis for them.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 12, 2005 12:13 AM
Comment #101375

Ron,

My bad english skill has hitted me again. Dunno why, but I though “pulling a gun” was meaning “pointing a gun”!
I stand corrected. Sorry.

However, I think that guns are more often use to intimidate than to kill. I really hope that a majority of policemen actually never shoot at someone. But I think most of them had already used their guns to re-inforce their orders…

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 12, 2005 05:23 AM
Comment #102099

If you’ve got a gun and are concerned about your safety wouldn’t it be more prudent NOT to conceal it? If a would-be mugger/rapist/murderer knew you were armed, trigger happy, and in Florida they might be more inclined to pick another target. I say repeal laws requiring guns to be concealed and enact laws requiring them to be worn in plain sight. Just a thought.

Posted by: Christian at December 13, 2005 04:38 PM
Comment #102122

Christian, it may sound nutty to some, but, logically, firearms in plain sight must have a far greater deterrent effect than concealed weapons.

This reflects America’s schizophrenia about its values and its appearances. We condone killing each other in self-defense, but, it is offensive to see Americans walking around in public wearing firearms.

Too bizarre!

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 13, 2005 05:28 PM
Comment #102686

David:

The attached story gives credence to some of your arguments against the Florida law. I don’t know how similar or different the Florida or Texas laws are to the Colorado law, but it would appear that the laws certainly need to be crafted differently, if this is to be the outcome.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/12/15/make.myday.ap/index.html

I still think this kind of law is acceptable since it changes the focus of blame from the one attacked to the attacker. But I’d say that if the law is used in this way, then the law needs to have safeguards written into it.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 15, 2005 08:55 AM
Comment #102764

What an outstanding blog with fascinating, mature discussion. This is the first visit I’ve made here, and I am thoroughly impressed. Kudos!

Posted by: Napoleon Dolemite at December 15, 2005 11:32 AM
Comment #102776

Napoleon:

Welcome to you, and say hello to your namesake. This site is almost as awesome as tots!!

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 15, 2005 11:55 AM
Comment #102909

joebagodonuts
I have no problem at all with someone shooting an intruder in their home. But from what I read on your link it looks like Gary Hill committed murder.
The only question I have is was the car heading toward or away from Hill?
Georgia allows you to shoot an intruder in your home. But they have to be inside. Shooting someone that is outside will land you a murder charge. However, selfdefence is a defence. But you better be able to prove that your life was in danger.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 15, 2005 06:28 PM
Comment #102987

JBOD, that is the appeal of the Fla. and proposed Tx. law, as you state, that the onus of defense in the eyes of the law is placed on the “perceived” attacker.

And yes, the problem with the law is two fold, first, the word “perceived” as opposed to “demonstrable”, and 2nd the license to shoot in public places, where as we will see, self-defenders are likely to increasingly display their lack of proficiency in hitting their intended targets, hitting bystanders instead. The law makes no provision for keeping the onus on the shooter should a bystander be struck. The law exonerates the shooter plain and simple if they shoot in self-defense to a perceived threat.

One cannot be held culpable for acting in accordance with the law. And the law does not stipulate that shooting in self defense means hitting the perceived attacker. It is understandable why the NRA lobbied for this law, for if the shooter cannot held culpable for accidentally hitting bystanders under this new law, then neither can anyone else, including gun manufacturers, the state for passing the law or for lax public carry licensing and firearm proficiency standards of licensees (which of course would incur a greater cost to the state and gun owners alike.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 16, 2005 12:49 AM
Comment #107809

The one thing I haven’t seen anyone say. If I can shoot first if I feel my life or that of another is threatened, then the ones threatening, will think twice before pulling that knife, or bat or whatever.

Posted by: Don Wilson at December 27, 2005 02:29 AM
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