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Homeowner shoots assaulter who was fleeing in back, difficult case

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
Here's the Fox/AP report on a Long Beach CA homeowner who shot and killed a woman as she was fleeing.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/25/man-80-who-says-shot-burglar-after-told-him-was-pregnant-could-be-charged/?intcmp=latestnews

Previously the woman and her partner broke into the man's home, assaulted him, and were burglarizing him when the homeowner, 80, retrieved a gun and shot at them.

The report brings up several questions and points we need to consider, and maybe discuss. Of course the fact may be different from the news story but we might think of this...
  1. Yes, the homeowner was burglarized then assaulted (they broke his clavicle), and he then got his gun and shot at them, chasing them off. So far, very reasonable behavior for the guy.
  2. Apparently the woman assaulter told the guy she was preggers and not to shoot her. That's a big headline but essentially worthless. If she cared about her unborn child she might have stayed home and not committed felony assault.
  3. The homeowner has told the press, and presumably the cops that he shot her in the back twice, and that she didn't run as fast as the male robber, so he "shot her in the back twice."
  4. Unknown whether charges will be filed on the homeowner.

My thoughts on this, maybe a lesson to all:
  • Do NOT talk to the press, EVER!
  • Do NOT talk to the police except to give them the bare facts, and then get thee to a lawyer!


My opinion, and yeah we can discuss this... Maybe the homeowner was totally within his rights to initially get his gun and shoot. But to then chase them off by firing at them while fleeing? Well, understandable under the circumstances. I'd want to chase them 200 miles if I could, shooting all the way. But maybe not the best idea, and most essential, not to what looks like bragging about it to the press. Duh.

As I said, fact of this case are tentative but to me it looks like a sort-of halfway case for the homeowner. He first did exactly what he ought to have done, and then may have gone overboard.

Especially in California. But frankly, I think he'd be in hot water here in Texas or in other more gun-friendly states. Especially after blabbing to the press. I feel for the guy, and understand his anger and fury. But we do need to "engage brain" and use that brain to make the best of a nasty situation. Which is why we need to look at the situation of this story and take lessons from it. We can overcome emotions and fury during a crisis but only if we first take plenty of time to learn the good / bad of armed self defense and prepare for that awful day, and teach ourself to not overreact, hopefully.
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Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,664 Senior Member
    80 year-old man attacked by a 26 and a 28 year old.......that's got to be something in his favor....but then it IS California...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    80 year-old man attacked by a 26 and a 28 year old.......that's got to be something in his favor....but then it IS California...

    Yeah, just what I was thinking. It still worries me that his statements to the press may sink him, in that they sound like bragging. Keeping trap shut to the press is a plus, always.
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,826 Senior Member
    He would have a better heat of the moment argument. Once the shooting starts it should continue till all targets are neutralized. Hopefully all in the house and legit but it was dark and he was old,injured and confused.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,792 Senior Member
    Committed one violent felony. Fleeing the scene to presumably commit more. Sounds like fair game to me.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Committed one violent felony. Fleeing the scene to presumably commit more. Sounds like fair game to me.

    Oh, don't get me wrong. I pretty well much agree with what you say. But sometimes it's a bit smarter to not talk about it as did this guy, either. Less said the best.

    And although I do agree that it should be legal (if it's not already so) to shoot a fleeing violent felon, and that decision should be left to the gun owner, it's not something I think I could do, unless that felon had just assaulted a loved one.

    I'm simply not one to consider shooting anyone in the back, that person now no longer being a direct threat to me. I do however want to leave that action up to the gun owner and make it generally lawful. There are of course circumstances surrounding any actual shooting occurrence. But shooting someone in the back intentionally? Not my purvey.

    Still, I hope the guy comes out of this without charges. But in California? Mmm... he needs plenty of luck now.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    In Commiefornia he's toast- - - - -if not from the criminal justice system, definitely in the civil courts. I'll bet the ambulance chasing buzzards are courting the woman's family with all sorts of lucrative deals right now!
    Jerry
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    In Commiefornia he's toast- - - - -if not from the criminal justice system, definitely in the civil courts. I'll bet the ambulance chasing buzzards are courting the woman's family with all sorts of lucrative deals right now!
    Jerry

    Absolutely true. They'll never let him alone.

    I do however want to let this story serve to discuss the specifics, too. And yeah, we've only got the news account right now to go from, but let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that the story is factual. Some of my thoughts...

    1. Fact that the guy was attacked in a home invasion doesn't automatically confer "good guy" status to him. He may indeed be an SOB, and it looks a bit that way from his quotes.

    2. He pursued the robbers out of his home and into the alley, which may be off his property. Pursuit after the duo ceased to be a threat may stick him w. manslaughter charges.

    3. He seems to be bragging, especially when he said that she shot the woman in the back twice because she was a slower runner. Not exactly the sort of thing you want to come back to you in a court, eh?

    Shooting someone who's attacked you and who is inside your home or on your property is one thing. Pursuing them off the property and shooting them in the back, after they've ceased to be a threat to you, is quite another.

    And, yeah, Bigslug, your comment sounds kinda cool but if you give it some thought, it's not exactly the best idea. I mean, what should we do? In our spare time go on drive-bys and shoot at jerks who are hanging out on the corner, to prevent them from committing future crimes?

    I realize it's a decision that is made in the heat of the moment, but that's what we should train ourselves against, so that we've got the necessary background of previous consideration and thought to override a momentary impulse, if need be.

    My Dad often told me, "Never shoot a man in the back."

    Now some here have had that scenario occur, and were in a position to actually go through with that impulse and to shoot someone who's fleeing the scene in the back. Some may have done so, others may have not.

    Question is, do you consider that a good idea? And, yeah, maybe as Bigslug said, to prevent the commission of future crimes, but would you feel comfortable saying that in a court when charged with 3rd degree homicide? (by "you" I don't mean Bigslug, I mean the "group you").

    All the actions and all the statements this homeowner made will be brought up to him, either in front of a grand jury or in a court, whether criminal or civil. And believe me, you can't unring a bell. What the guy said will stick like glue.

    Any more thoughts to this, gang? How, if possible, might this serve as an object lesson? How might we learn from the story about things not to do?
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,385 Senior Member
    He's 80 years old. By the time any case comes to trial, he'll be dead. And I doubt he has enough money to go after anyway.

    But the question posed here is a good one. I have to ask myself what would I have done? His injury is a factor. And was the woman really pregnant, or was that a ploy? All factors.

    I don't have any problems with what he did, morally. Legallly, I don't know if I'd done the same, hard to put myself in his place.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    She lied about being pregnant. Imagine that; a burglary suspect lying. What is the world coming to now?

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mbvd/california-man-says-he-shot-pregnant-burglar



    update

    Andrea Miller, the 28-year-old woman who claimed to be pregnant before she was shot and killed by homeowner Tom Greer, was not pregnant at the time of her death, a Los Angeles County coroner official confirmed on Friday.JULY 25, 2014, 5:46 p.m.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,792 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    And, yeah, Bigslug, your comment sounds kinda cool but if you give it some thought, it's not exactly the best idea. I mean, what should we do? In our spare time go on drive-bys and shoot at jerks who are hanging out on the corner, to prevent them from committing future crimes?

    Christ on a pogo-stick Sam! Olympic gymnasts don't stretch so much.

    There is no machismo here. Nor is there any notion of arbitrarily greasing shady-looking folks who are leaning up against light poles smoking unfiltereds. A violent crime was in progress. This guy took steps to stop it. Yeah, he sounds like a Pure-D moron (and "stupid" may well prove to be painful in this case), but I am not about to call him wrong.

    Remember the Sunday comics version of Spiderman and how they'd always flashback to Peter Parker NOT using his superpowers and dear old Uncle Ben dying as the result? Not much difference here. The crime was committed - still ongoing, in fact - and this fellow had the means to stop it. No guarantee that the next victim would have that option. Considering the revolving door policies of the criminal justice system, it is totally reasonable to assert that this pair is unlikely to find a path to some warm and fluffy deity immediately after fleeing the scene. I would even go so far as to say the RESPONSIBLE thing to do would be to shoot them in the back as they fled. Evil triumphs when the good do nothing. . . .or sits around with their thumbs up their keisters wondering how much moral consideration an obviously rabid dog deserves.

    Shooting felons in the back as they flee a scene has only two differences from shooting felons in the front when they arrive: first is that you no longer have their incoming fire disturbing your aim, and second, bits of their spine go flying through their sternum instead of the other way around.

    At any rate, the matter HAS been previously considered: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleeing_felon_rule
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Er, Big, it's okay if we disagree.

    And using Spider-Man comics as a justification isn't a stretch? Haw. And no machismo? "Committed one violent felony. Fleeing the scene to presumably commit more. Sounds like fair game to me." Naw, not a single hint of machismo there...

    And lemme see.... "All right, Mr. S, will you tell the court why you shot at the fleeing woman after she ceased to be a threat to you?"

    "Sure. Shooting felons in the back as they flee a scene has only two differences from shooting felons in the front when they arrive: first is that you no longer have their incoming fire disturbing your aim, and second, bits of their spine go flying through their sternum instead of the other way around."

    "Thank you, Mr. S. No further questions."
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,385 Senior Member
    I don't know about civilians, but LEOs can only shoot a fleeing felon if the felony was "forcible." Which this one was. It was decided by the SCOTUS in 1978 or so out of a case in TN, where a police officer shot a fleeing burglary suspect. It had been legal by state law but was held to be excessive by the high court.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,792 Senior Member
    So I went with Spiderman. I'm sure Homer, Aesop, Grimm, Shakespeare, Anderson, Cooper, or Melville had something similar to say on the matter. Sorry if I don't take the time to dig up a more snooty reference from the Pleistocene. Stan Lee's a far better read than Cooper anyway.

    The in-court answer is quite simple - "We don't live in a B-Western world, where a man can kill your father, rape and murder your sister, burn your ranch, shoot your dog, and steal your Bible (get that movie reference? ) and be safe from any consequence unless he's facing a steely-eyed Defender of Justice in a White Hat on Main Street at high noon (which, really Sam, is way more macho, escapist B.S. than I'm laying down). These individuals assaulted my client with the intent to inflict grave bodily harm, which may well have proved fatal if not for the slightest chance of fate. True, the immediate threat to my client's life may no longer have existed, though who is to know for certain that the attackers would not shortly return - and better prepared? Any naturalist will tell you that a successful predatory act serves to embolden the predator, encouraging them to continue similar activities. My client's actions were taken not only to protect himself from a dangerous predator in what was at that time the immediate future, but also to protect the life of his 75 year-old neighbor watering her roses next door; the life of the elementary school children walking down that street to get home from school; the life of the pregnant woman working the counter at the 7-11 a block away - indeed, the lives of every upstanding individual in this community, some of which are here serving in this court room today as jurors. The prosecution would make a mountain of the fact that a deceased CRIMINAL - a person with a lengthy history of violent offense - had their back turned when my client was finally able to set aside the effects his injuries long enough to fire the shots that put this rabid animal down. I am here to tell you - and that the law will show you - that there is no mountain. There is not even a molehill. There is only flat, open ground across which the truth is plainly seen. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury - people of the city of _________, the individual my client shot was a clear and present danger to you and your loved ones. Legal precedent aside, does it really matter. . . do you really CARE that this individual met his end by being shot in the back?"
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Especially in California. But frankly, I think he'd be in hot water here in Texas or in other more gun-friendly states.

    Why do you think that? Remember that guy from several years ago who ran out of his house to shoot two burglars that were robbing his neighbor's house? This was in Texas. You posted about the guy. He even racked a shell into his shotgun and asked the 911 operator if he heard the sound.

    He got off. And he shot someone that was no credible risk to his health, whatsoever. I'm curious as to why you think this guy would be in hot water in Tejas.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    So I went with Spiderman. I'm sure Homer, Aesop, Grimm, Shakespeare, Anderson, Cooper, or Melville had something similar to say on the matter. Sorry if I don't take the time to dig up a more snooty reference from the Pleistocene. Stan Lee's a far better read than Cooper anyway.

    The in-court answer is quite simple - "We don't live in a B-Western world, where a man can kill your father, rape and murder your sister, burn your ranch, shoot your dog, and steal your Bible (get that movie reference? ) and be safe from any consequence unless he's facing a steely-eyed Defender of Justice in a White Hat on Main Street at high noon (which, really Sam, is way more macho, escapist B.S. than I'm laying down). These individuals assaulted my client with the intent to inflict grave bodily harm, which may well have proved fatal if not for the slightest chance of fate. True, the immediate threat to my client's life may no longer have existed, though who is to know for certain that the attackers would not shortly return - and better prepared? Any naturalist will tell you that a successful predatory act serves to embolden the predator, encouraging them to continue similar activities. My client's actions were taken not only to protect himself from a dangerous predator in what was at that time the immediate future, but also to protect the life of his 75 year-old neighbor watering her roses next door; the life of the elementary school children walking down that street to get home from school; the life of the pregnant woman working the counter at the 7-11 a block away - indeed, the lives of every upstanding individual in this community, some of which are here serving in this court room today as jurors. The prosecution would make a mountain of the fact that a deceased CRIMINAL - a person with a lengthy history of violent offense - had their back turned when my client was finally able to set aside the effects his injuries long enough to fire the shots that put this rabid animal down. I am here to tell you - and that the law will show you - that there is no mountain. There is not even a molehill. There is only flat, open ground across which the truth is plainly seen. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury - people of the city of _________, the individual my client shot was a clear and present danger to you and your loved ones. Legal precedent aside, does it really matter. . . do you really CARE that this individual met his end by being shot in the back?"
    Damn you sure do type purty.
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    An 80 year old that was assaulted and had a collar bone broken during said assault that reaches their gun may not have been aware the torso targeted was coming or going. Good shooting either way I say! :up: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,385 Senior Member
    I doubt he will be charged for anything. An 80-year-old white guy shot a white woman who wasn't pregnant and who'd helped beat hell out of him. No Travon Martin thing going on here.

    If she HAD been pregnant, I wonder what that would signify.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,792 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    If she HAD been pregnant, I wonder what that would signify.

    Ummm. . .bad DNA that doesn't need to be propagated?
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,812 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Especially in California. But frankly, I think he'd be in hot water here in Texas or in other more gun-friendly states.

    I don't know, Sam - I think Texas courts in numerous locales, including the big cities, have made it pretty clear they aren't going to punish people for shooting thieves caught in the act. That's been pretty consistent for about 150 years. I consider myself a reasonable person, and I'm nearly sure I would not have intentionally shot the fleeing woman, but on the other hand, as a juror, I'm also pretty sure I would not send an 80 year old man to jail for shooting thieves who had already assaulted him.

    I do agree about him needing to keep his mouth shut, though. It would make it a lot easier for a prosecutor who might be inclined to give him a pass, if he were allowed to make the assumption that the old man just shot 'in amongst the thieves,' and had not specifically intended to shoot a pregnant woman in the back.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    :popcorn:
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,385 Senior Member
    It's illegal here to shoot someone like a simple burglar. It may be legal in TX to protect property, I think it is by the way the law is written, but here you have to have a threat to your life or great bodily harm and that threat must be imminent. But these people were not just burglars, they were aggravated assault people. And may have been home-invaders as well. If they broke in to a house that was occupied, it would not be questioned here.

    And she was not pregnant. The reason I think this is important is because if he'd killed a fetus, that would change things immensely. Pro-lifers would logically want charges, pro-abortion fans would argue that a fetus is not a human.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Virginia also permits deadly force only when there is an immediate threat. We cannot use it to protect property.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,792 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    And she was not pregnant. The reason I think this is important is because if he'd killed a fetus, that would change things immensely. Pro-lifers would logically want charges, pro-abortion fans would argue that a fetus is not a human.

    The lawyer argument there is again pretty simple to concoct. Let's alter the scale a little:

    The mother's body is a passenger jet

    The mother's brain is the terrorist pilot of that jet.

    The fetus is an unfortunate passenger on that jet.

    The surrounding community is the sports stadium with a capacity crowd that the terrorist pilot plans to slam the jet into.

    The shooter in this case is the National Guard F-16 pilot who is in the uncomfortable position of needing to choose between a smaller, known number of casualties in shooting that jet down versus an unknown, but potentially MUCH higher number of casualties if he doesn't. If he fires his Sidewinder, he's demonized for killing a planeload of innocents to prevent something that - because of his actions - never came to pass. If he doesn't -in effect leaving it to chance - the plane may slam into the stadium and he's demonized for doing nothing.

    If the pro-lifers have a bone to pick in this hypothetical, it should be with the mother who took her unborn with her on a crime spree in which she could have been shot from any number of angles - between the shoulder blades included.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,385 Senior Member
    It's not a question of the jet slamming into a stadium, is it. It's the passenger in the jet. I don't see any reason on the part of the shooter to see an imminent threat to others. Of course there is an existential threat, there always is, but it's not imminent and the shooter did not try to claim this. Nor does the shooter have an obligation to protect others against a possible threat that's not imminent, unlike the pilot who has a sworn duty to protect against a real and imminent threat. In the actual case, the 80 year old guy has lots of good arguments on his side, age and infirmity being very large, but not the threat one. If the couple had been black and the shooter white, I think he would face charges. And in CA, I think he'd have a time defending his choices.

    Pro-choice people argue that the fetus has no rights and exists only at the whim of the mother. Pro-life people argue the fetus has all sorts of rights and should be protected by law. The fetus, not the mother. This would possibly reverse the traditional roles in anti and pro gun backers, and if he were charged, I'm suggesting it would be a case for the prosecution.

    Since she wasn't pregnant, it's not a real or imagined situation.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Two of the 3-S principles should have been applied here. Shoot. Shut up. Somebody else can do the shoveling. This guy seems to be digging his own grave with his jawbone.
    Jerry
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Had some time to think about it, and here's my take on the situation.
    Somebody tries to kill or maim you, then you have the right to try to kill them back. The fact that they happened to have their back to you at the time you try to kill them back is not material to the situation.

    This was a 'hot burglary' with the burglars entering an occupied home. They most likely knew the homeowner was present, and weren't there to sell Girl Scout cookies. And they were more than willing to do great bodily harm to anyone that happened to be present, and they did.

    Only down side to the story is the gals boyfriend escaped a fatal dose of lead poisoning.

    Home invaders and those doing hot burglaries deserve no less than a quick clean kill, period.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    I doubt he will be charged for anything. An 80-year-old white guy shot a white woman who wasn't pregnant and who'd helped beat hell out of him. No Travon Martin thing going on here.

    If she HAD been pregnant, I wonder what that would signify.

    In a very technical legal sense, in some jurisdictions it would count as a "double homicide" and put the death penalty into play. Otherwise it might lead to a more severe drubbing in civil court when the shooter gets sued by the woman's grieving 1,402 crying relatives.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,385 Senior Member
    Point of order; they didn't enter a house while the occupant was at home. He came in on them during the burglary and they beat him up, according to the article. That's the difference in a burglary and a home invasion.

    I don't know about CA, but if they'd home invaded him in GA, it brings into play an entire different set of circumstances. Even without the beating.

    The fact that he's old, infirm, (and most important to me) is he suffered aggravated battery (broken bones) likely will insulate him from being charged.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    My father was a jury foreman in a murder trial where the scumbag that achieved room temperature "needed killin'". He was an all-around bad guy who graduated high school a couple of years behind me, and had spent 20-something years afterwards involved in all sorts of nefarious activities, most of them drug-related. The guy accused of killing him was no less culpable, and the incident that brought on the shooting was a drug deal gone bad. One of the several shots that connected entered ther guy's back. The "victim" had achieved a fair amount of expertise in several of the martial arts, and the shooter claimed that he was executing some sort of punch/kick/spin/kick/punch maneuver as he fired in self-defense which accounted for the entry wounds from several directions. The prosecution was intent on proving that the entry wounds from those positions indicated premeditation, not defense. I think the trial ended up with a conviction on a lesser charge than first degree murder, possibly manslaughter. Bottom line- - - -one dirtbag is out of the picture permanently, and another one gets warehoused for a while at taxpayers' expense.
    Jerry
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I don't know, Sam - I think Texas courts in numerous locales, including the big cities, have made it pretty clear they aren't going to punish people for shooting thieves caught in the act. etc etc.

    Texas is one of the more "forgiving" states in that you're allowed to use lethal force to protect property "between sunset and sunrise" (for some reason it's more okay at night).

    There are TWO separate things at play here and they're getting mixed up -- very likely due to my not being clear... 1) whether the shooter acted in a legal manner that would keep him from being prosecuted or sued, and 2) whether the shooter acted in a "morally" sensible way.

    On point #1, I'm glad that the guy shot the gal. She was pond scum. And I hope he get away clean. Do I think he overreacted and should not have pursued and shot her in the back? Yeah. Do I think he was legally justified in doing this? Maybe and I hope so.

    Which leads to #2, did he shoot her with a good "moral" stance? I don't think so. I certainly would not shoot a fleeing thug in the back (someone who'd ceased to be an immediate threat) unless there were strong extenuating reasons -- that he'd just brutally assaulted a loved one, I suppose.

    And as I said, some people here have actually been faced with that decision -- whether to shoot the fleeing criminal in the back -- and some may have fired, some may have not. I personally don't think I could.

    But -- and here's the point I'm trying to make -- regardless of whether we think it would be "cool" to save the world from future crimes by shooting that fleeing felon in the back, we must train ourselves to act within the law of the jursidiction where we live. That's why we take SD courses and read books and keep up on current SD laws. We do this so that we won't find ourselves indicted or facing a civil lawsuit if we end up acting in an unlawful manner (even though we think we were morally justified).
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