Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daily Briefing for Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You Need To Understand This.

Recently, Indiana's legislature authorized citizens to use deadly force against law enforcement stemming from a controversial court opinion.  In essence, a citizen in Indiana may use deadly force against a law enforcement officer if that citizen reasonably believes the use of force against the citizen is unlawful.

As you can imagine, this bill drew a tremendous amount of fire (nice pun, huh?) from the law enforcement community.  Stories like this one - where the DEA clearly blew it - give the law's supporters further ammunition (Ha - twice in one paragraph!) in the face of such opposition. 

I support our law enforcement efforts to get bad guys off the streets.  It's a tough job, physically and mentally.  Even as a Libertarian, I am quick to point out that I want our cops to be well trained, well equipped, and adequately staffed (none of that would come as a surprise to Libertarians, but it would surprise many non-Libertarians who don't understand the party's platform).  I want these people to be able to do their jobs, especially when I am the one on the other end of the 911 call.

Last night, I read a piece from Massad Ayoob in the August issue of Combat Handguns regarding the wisdom of firing a warning shot before using deadly force against a bad guy.  The story he shared in this particular piece should cause all of us who plan to rely on firearms to defend ourselves when we are threatened with deadly force.  According to Ayoob, a woman shot her estranged husband after he violently attacked her.  He died from the gunshot, and surprisingly, she was charged with manslaughter.

The prosecution's strategy stunned me, and so I am going to quote from the piece verbatim:

The prosecutor made a huge deal out of the fact that the single gunshot would sustained by the deceased was fired into his torso, and he railed histrionically to the jury that the fact she hadn't fired a warning shot, or shot to wound, was evidence of guilt.  The defense team explained the matter, and a wise and attentive jury very quickly found her Not Guilty of all charges.  Yet, I was appalled that in the year 2011 an officer of the court could make an argument so out of touch with reality."

Appalling indeed.  This case, and the others Ayoob cites in the article, show an alarming disconnect between the realities of using a gun in self defense and the government's attitude towards the citizens for whom it supposedly serves.  I suspect this kind of disconnect fueled the Indiana's legislature when passing the law discussed above.

Bear in mind that if you should ever be put into the most unfortunate position of having to use deadly force to defend yourself, don't count on the cops or prosecutors to "make the right call" when it comes to deciding whether to prosecute you. 

Preparedness Expo in Arlington, Texas July 27-28.  I Will Be There.  Will You?

I'm making plans to attend the Self Reliance Expo.  Let me know if you will be there, too.

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