Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meditations on Self Defence

Lot of folks consider self-defence -- the act of defending yourself against immediate unlawful force -- to be a right.

If pressed, they will state that self-defence is a right granted to them either from their Deity, or from Nature, depending on their personal faith.

In this -- to my way of thinking -- they are correct.

However, I put it to you that self-defence is not only a right, but it is a duty. Indeed, it is my opinion that a citizen of a community or society is obliged to defend themselves from unlawful immediate uses of force against their persons.

I see that I have lost some of my Gentle Readers. Allow me to elaborate.

All creatures on this little green dirtball operate on a Reward/Risk system: is the potential reward of this action worth the risk of this action? If so, you do the thing -- if not, you do something else.

In this, humans are no different than animals -- except that we can calculate delayed risks for immediate rewards. We understand that an act we do today, may have dire consequences next week.

One of the things I have noticed about critters during my law enforcement career is that they lack this ability. The possibility of getting caught by the police next week, or next month, has very little influence on the average critters Risk/Reward calculations.

Getting caught, injured or killed during the crime? Yes. Getting caught, injured or killed after committing the crime? Not so much.

Now, let us ponder two more things.

The first is that police can not and should not be everywhere at all times. Omnipresent police activity is physically impossible and morally repugnant -- it is the hallmark of an Orwellian dystopia.

Second is that a critter is not just the sum of his attack on one victim. A professional critter will victimize tens, scores -- or even hundreds -- of innocents during his career.

A community -- a society -- can not tolerate, nor can it bear the cost, of ten, twenty or a hundred victims of one human predator. Dealing with human predators -- critters -- is such a moral imperative that societies will go to great lengths -- taxation; awarding of powers of arrest, search and seizure; prisons -- to mitigate the damage done by critters.

The only problem is, is that critters don't factor getting arrested after the fact, or going to prison, in their Risk/Reward calculations. If they did, they'd be citizens instead of critters.

Which brings us to the obligation of self-defence.

For a critter, each successful attack upon a citizen -- "successful attack" being any attack during which the critter is neither injured, nor presented with the possibility of being injured -- lowers the Risk part of his calculations.

As an example, Joe Critter does his first mugging. He is probably almost as scared as his victim, he's not sure he wants to do this -- but ... hey! He got ten dollars (or sex, or a feeling of power, or whatever) but more importantly: he didn't get hurt.

The next time, he's a little less scared. He's a little more sure. He gets five dollars (or sex, power, whatever) -- and he's not hurt. He feels his activities present less risk to him each time he has a successful (he didn't get hurt) attack.

Twenty or a hundred victims later, Joe Critter not only doesn't think mugging is risky, but the lack of risk has caused him to consider other, more violent actions. Because these actions don't get him hurt.

On the other paw, suppose Joe Critter is in a place where self-defence is expected and encouraged. He figures the reward of wallet money is worth the risk of Rehabilitation Through Reincarnation, or Bodily Injury and attempts a mugging. The victim defends him or her self, and let us postulate that Joe scrambles away with powder burns and a bloody furrow along the ribs.

In contrast to the above example, for mugging number 2, the Risk part of Joe's Risk/Reward assessment climbs, rather than lowers. Death -- instead of being a philosophical possibility of his actions, is now a very real, concrete fact. But, Joe is young and stupid, so he has at it.

This time -- self-defence being expected and encouraged by this society -- Joe crawls to the nearest trauma centre with a .38-calibre lead slug in his belly. Pretty sodding quickly, the Risk (Death or Serious Bodily Injury) is going to outweigh the Reward (wallet funds), and Joe is going to turn to an activity with a lower Risk variable.

Not only does society as a whole indirectly benefit from the latter self-defence scenario, but the future ten, twenty or a hundred victims of Joe's predation benefit directly from his change of vocation.

And this example, Gentle Readers, is the exact reason why I throw things at the TeeVee every time some talking head in a uniform, or some Brady idiot, steps up to the microphone and solemnly parrots, "We don't recommend that people fight back" or "The best thing is to cooperate and let the criminal have what he wants."

Bushwa. Codswallop. Horse-puckey.

Every-stinking-time this variety of oral spew is uttered, it goes into critter Risk/Reward assessments and encourages them. Hells bloody bells, these sorts of statements encouraging -- rewarding -- critters should be grounds for arresting the idiots uttering them.

Evil is not defeated by submitting to it. Evil is not defeated by running away from it; nor is evil defeated by ignoring it.

Evil is only defeated by fighting back.

You may, or may not, think you have the right to self-defence -- and that is between you and your conscience. As a member of society -- as a member of a community -- you have the duty, the obligation, and the responsibility of self-defence.

LawDog

66 comments:

James said...

LD,

With this on self-defense, what about defense of others (as a private citizen that is)?

Sarah said...

Excellent post, LD. I hate knowing that some people in this country actively seek to reward the criminals by making their "jobs" easier.

Nancy said...

Sigh, when I tried to fight back, my body let me down. Fortunately, it didn't stop my husband from chasing the critters and finding out where they lived.

Yep, both critters who pushed me (disabled lady who doesn't walk well--such brave critters)down are now within the system. One in prison, and one in juvie.

See, when they grabbed my wallet and pushed at me, because I am disabled and fell, and was injured, the crime went from simple robbery to assault and robbery.

I still lost the wallet though. And next time, I'll remember to throw my cane at them. I don't walk well, but I throw very well.

Anonymous said...

Pity the civics class is an endangered species - in the surviving classrooms, this would teach an important lesson.

Jeff Wood said...

Spot on, LD. Here in Britain the authorities have made an all out attack on the right of self-defence, and you can guess the result.

It is infuriating that idiots, mostly eating their heads off at the taxpayer's expense, and some in uniform, stand shoulder to shoulder with the criminal against honest folk. Don't let it happen to you in the US, the last best hope.

My own view is that the right of self defence is written in our genes, though I have no quarrel with those whose justification is religious.

I respect the Quakers. I believe their view of the Commandment is mistaken: I am assured that the original Hebrew says Thou shalt not Murder. That said, the Friends do at least see and accept the consequences of their argument, and make up for it in war by joining the medical services in droves.

But even accepting that for this minority, the rest of us have, as you say, a responsibility, and not just to ourselves but to others.

A final thought. The Brit government sometimes realises how ridiculous it position is, and makes noises in suport of the citizen's rights. However it continues to deny the citizen the means of defending herself. Without the means, the right is meaningless.

Beaker said...

Amen!

Bob@thenest said...

LD, on the right to self defense I totally agree.

However, if I'm reading you correctly you are saying I have a duty to society in general to lay my life on the line for those members unknown to me.

I do not agree. I believe my duty ends with those whom I have chosen, those I love. Optionally it may extend to friends and acquaintances, and perhaps to strangers in specific situations or incidents. But to society at large? No.

That ended when I retired from the military and was one of the major points of demarcation between military and civilian commitment.

Digital Falcon said...

Simply Well said!

Chris in SE TX said...

And that's exactly why it makes me sick to my stomach that there are schools in this area with "zero tolerance" on violence. There could be 20 witnesses, Hell, there could be TEACHERS witnessing the fight where your child takes 3 punches before fighting back. The minute they fight back, they are JUST AS GUILTY as the aggressor, and punished the same.

How DARE they take someone's right to defend themselves away?

What's worse, they are creating a whole generation of helpless victims.

Luckily, the school my daughter goes to does not have that policy....

Tony said...

Great article!

In theory it is easy to agree with it. However, in practice, there is a slight problem that a whole bunch of people have - that of living in a [insert approximately 5 minutes worth of swearing here] ...and right up where the sun won't shine, sideways, AND WITH A WATER MELON IN... (Err. Sorry, got a little carried away.) nanny state that is offended whenever one of the sheep have the audacity to protect themselves, instead of cowering in fear.

The default answer is, of course, that one should simply move to somewhere else. But this approach can have several problems. Normal stuff like finding a job and a place to live are one thing. The other is whether or not the government of that other place even wants you there. Not to mention that if you were born a citizen of a fine country, only one that has its voting booths filled with idiots, abandoning that native land and letting the idiots ruin it can be an unappetizing thought. Finally, when one looks at what the world is coming into, I am at least filled with a deep and rising despair that there simply aren't that many (any?) places left where one can move into and live free in.

This places one in a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, one might want to put a .38 slug into a nasty little critter if one should encounter such a being (and living in a nanny state, the possibility for this is increased), but one knows that if one does the right thing and puts ones elbow through the critters teeth, one will in turn be punished by the so-called "justice" system of that country. So what is one to do? That what is right, and hold ones head high when facing the judge? Let the criminal have what it wants, as long as they are content with merely the contents of ones wallet? Put ones elbow through the critters teeth, run like hell, and hope nobody reports the incident to Big Brother?

Difficult questions, and ones that I don't think have a clear-cut answer. Sometimes, you need to let lose the dogs of arse-kicking and take your lumps from the courts, other times discretion is the better part of valor. Still, it would be quite interesting to read Mr. LawDogs thoughts on this topic, too, should he be so inclined.

Julie said...

I was mugged at gunpoint outside my apartment back in November-- the guy got my wallet and my ID and not a whole lot else. I often wonder what would have happened if I *did* have a weapon-- would I have been within my rights to shoot the guy as he was escaping? I'd also be afraid that the weapon would be used against me. I'm pretty small, about 5'4", and at the time I was carrying groceries. What do you think, LawDog?

Steve said...

Lawdog,

I agree with your discussion about self defense being mandatory, for the better of society. One question struck me though, as I was reading your post.

Given the Critter thought process, would the critter who is thwarted by physical self defence then arm himself for future struggles, ala a personal defense arms race?

What has been your experieince with this kind of one-upmanship?

Steve

Simeron said...

I have said it before and will continue to say it for as long as the good Lord sees fit to let me breath and speak...

All that is required for evil to win is for good men to stand idle and do nothing.

Evil must be confronted with determination and when needed force sufficient to stop it. And if you're not sure how much is needed, go with maximum effective force and figure the risk of not going there was greater then the risk of not using enough. The reward might not be worth it but, at the very least, you'll have the added reward that you'll be the last "target".

But, don't carpet bomb one perp if a single crowbar will do the trick and allow him the chance to learn...not that this is guaranteed but, there is hope.

But for me, if I have to kill someone that is attacking someone else, so be it. I don't want to, hope I never have to and I pray to God above that if I am put in that situation, I have the snap to know which is the target for me and which is the target of the perp.

But one thing is for sure in me, I won't stand idle even if all I can do is yell, scream, spit, cuss or what have you at them in the hopes I can give some help to the victim.

Simeron said...

And I feel the need to add one more comment or three...

Fortunately in America, the people still have the right to rule themselves by voting. If the place you live is one that makes it illegal to carry a gun, a knife, something to defend yourself with be it even a club, vote the idiots out of office and get the decent folks active and put down the nutcases that cause this crap...it can be done and think of it like this if you need motivation...you're being proactive in defending yourself and those you love most.

If you are small and think a large attacker has an advantage, you're right. But, there are many martial arts that turn that very advantage against them. Trust me, at 6 foot tall and 300 lbs, I'm not little but I know a guy 5 foot nothing and 100 lbs soaking wet that can beat me in under 10 seconds because he knows how to incapaciate me. Fortunately, I know how it works so he comes up with new things for me to learn he can beat me often..lol. LD has spoken about some of them often in his blog too.

Remember, the best "defense" you have is to be informed, knowledge filled people and never think of yourself as a victim (even if you have unfortunately become one). I think the best defense in the world is to never get into the situation in the first place if at all possible. Second is to understand your brain and body are good weapons to use too.

I personally hope LD keeps up with his "School of Mayhem and Fun" as I like to call it. It's common sense things that we can all use to make all our lives better and very possibly longer.

Anonymous said...

One more thing needs to be factored in, for what it's worth. The Gang mentality. A member of a gang is empowered by injury in one of their 'military exercises' and his scars are regarded as a badge of honor.
Once in prison, they simply extend their knowledge and power so that they're a more dangerous animal when they emerge-and there's still those scars to admire.
In short, best to kill that one.
LawMom

Sean said...

LawDog,

As always, your writing is superb, and your arguments ring true to my mind, heart, and soul.

God forbid I ever find myself in a situation where I must defend myself or my own against a critter, but should that need arise, I shall defend, and the critter's Risk:Reward ratio will move in the proper direction.

The nanny state may prosecute me for the act, and I will then pray that my lawyer has sufficient skill and deviousness to convince the jury of people I HOPE are my peers that I was fully justified.

Anonymous said...

Having the means and the skills to defend yourself does not mean that you will be able to do so. Even the best can be bushwhacked. It gives you a chance, one that you would not have otherwise. Laws and attitudes about self-defense vary greatly between states and even cities, know what you can do where you are.
Critter ventilation improves the gene pool!

tweell

Kirk said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=509962&in_page_id=1770&ito=1490

Best example I've seen of why this needs to be taught in every classroom. PAy attention to what the theives say in the process.

LD, Thanks for this site- it keeps me sane.

Best,
Kirk
Kwachen@gmail.com

NannyOgg said...

Well said.

I hope I am never in the position to prove it, but I would be willing to do whatever needed to defend myself or others.

It is as much a mind set as it is a skill set.

Working on the skill set by training aikido, working on the mindset by reading articles like yours.

Thank you!

Karen

Jared said...

Julie:

In general, lethal force is only legally justified when you (or another innocent) are in immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury. Once the critter started to run away, it might be hard to argue that you were still in immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury.

bardradical said...

Well said. Unless I am mistaken, there have been no American hijackings since 9/11. I would posit that the TSA has nothing to do with and the passengers of that last plane have everything to do with it. Those hijackers broke the unwritten rule of hijackings that "we will all get to the ground." Now, any hijacker knows that a hijacking is a death sentence at the hands of the passengers who will presume they are already dead.

Had the passengers of the other three planes not been brainwashed to cooperate, fewer people would have died that day.

markm said...

"I'd also be afraid that the weapon would be used against me. I'm pretty small, about 5'4", and at the time I was carrying groceries.I'd also be afraid that the weapon would be used against me. I'm pretty small, about 5'4", and at the time I was carrying groceries." I can't answer for LD, but to start off with I'd throw the groceries at the mugger. It will probably give you a little time and space, to draw your gun or to run - and your groceries certainly aren't worth what the critter is likely to do to you just for fun.

If you carry a gun:
1) Carry it. That is, have it on your person, not in your purse. Concealed carry is much better, because the critter will not be expecting you to pull a gun - and he can't take something he doesn't see away from you.

2) Keep aware of what's around you. It's much better to have the gun out and pointed while you're still out of the critter's reach.

3) Be prepared to shoot, and shoot to kill. If you are normal and you can get the gun into play at a safe distance, you are going to hesitate and give the critter a chance to change his mind, but have it very clear in your mind that at the least motion towards you or towards his pockets, he's dead. Once the gun is in his sight, any movement towards you or towards where he might have a weapon is not only an attack, but a deadly attack. It's cause to shoot, and keep on shooting until he's down and clearly out of action. If you're in the wrong jurisdiction, the DA might disagree, but you've got a better chance with a jury than with a critter.

4) If he runs at the sight of the gun, let him go. Even if you're in a jurisdiction and a situation where backshooting a fleeing criminal is legal, it's not worth the cost to you. (Exception: if you have good reason to fear that he's going for a nearby weapon or a better firing position.) And of course, if carrying the gun wasn't legal in the first place, if you don't shoot the cops don't need to know about it...

5) If the critter has you in a clinch before you can pull the gun, you need different tactics. Find some way to keep your shooting arm free and the critter distracted while you pull the gun out, stick it into a major body part, and start shooting.

Finally, after the shooting, keep your statements to the cops short and simple. Just give the facts, briefly - including that you were in fear of your life - and if they want to go over it again and again, it's time to ask for a lawyer and clam up until you have one. The prisons are full of criminals who talked too much and gave away something the cops could never have proved, but don't add to that score by letting yourself get confused and make statements that can be twisted around.

Gene said...

TOTALLY unrelated, the latest from PTerry:

http://www.pjsmprints.com/news/index.html

Anonymous said...

given your comments on "experts" who advice not to fight back? I have to add that I had it pointed out to me in a self defense class several years ago that while some idiots will advise not to fight back as it will be "over" quickly, first the emotion stuff is never over, and second, the AVERAGE rape lasts several hours. not fighting back is accepting more than a few minutes of pain and fear, but accepting pain and terror for a LONG LONG time. is it worth it to you then? and not fighting back is NO guarantee that you won't be killed anyway b/c you can ID the ******

Anonymous said...

Well said, you should link this to your pieces on post-shooting behaviour and the one about canes.

Next I want you to write on how to avoid a political mugging from the Left this November - now that Fred has left the building...

sigh..

X_LA_Native said...

I personally hope LD keeps up with his "School of Mayhem and Fun" as I like to call it.
Ditto that.

JD said...

LD, another great piece of work. I just wish here in the Peoples Republic of Mass we could defend ourselves without the guarantee that the state will do it's best to smack us down for doing it. The crooks run this place and some of them we even voted into office, now we pay the price.

mustanger98 on thr said...

I'm reminded of a serial rapist around some university up North... this one college girl armed herself and sure enough, that night, the dirtbag broke in on her. She fatally shot him. Everybody, including the cops, agreed she saved herself and how many future victims a whole lot of physical and emotional pain.

I'm reminded of what Massad Ayoob advises folks to say to the cops after a shooting...

1- "Officer, he/they attacked me; I will sign a complaint."

2- "The evidence is (here, there, and there)."

They see the evidence on the spot before it gets gone.

3- "Witnesses are (there, there, and there)."

They take statements from witnesses before they get gone.

4- "You will have my full cooperation 24 hours after I speak with my attorney."

You're not un-cooperative; just that you're being sure you know your rights beyond defending yourself and how to go about it all.

Saladman said...

I'd also be afraid that the weapon would be used against me. I'm pretty small, about 5'4", and at the time I was carrying groceries.

Markm covered most of the high points. I just wanted to emphasize that a gun is the single most efficient equalizer for a smaller, weaker person. There are some situations where you might be surprised or choose not to risk a draw, but its still the best chance you have against a stronger attacker.

If you're concerned about a gun being taken away from you, some martial arts training would be a useful supplement to learning to shoot. I do take martial arts for self defense seriously, but its not a complete substitute for a gun.

Great post, LawDog. You've got a book in just your blog posts so far, if you were inclined to take the trouble.

Firethorn said...

Lawdog, your post sounded like a page out of my personal philosophy of life manual.

I firmly believe that even if you assume that it's more dangerous for a citizen to resist the criminal whenever they meet*, the sheer fact that most criminals wouldn't last but 2 to 3 crimes of violence would quickly result in a safer USA.

How many muggers/rapists would there be if EVERY potential victim resists? Not many, as there wouldn't be enough profit in it.

*Personally I dispute this, most of the time.

Mad Jack said...

My own attorney advised me to identify myself if asked, but not to answer any questions at all, ever. The only statement to make to the police is, "I want my lawyer."

The police won't leave it alone, but that is the correct response to everything until your attorney shows up. Then you'll be amazed at the change in attitude you get from the police.

Vrederun said...

Brilliant op=ed MiLord!

I have seen these scenarios played out many times in my life as a psychiatric nurse.

Bravo!! And wish we had *more* men in uniform who had more of a handle like this.

Matt G said...

Under Beccaria's Deterrence Theory, for punishment to work, it must be delivered with:
1. Celerity (swiftness)
2. Certainty, and
3. Severity.

Of the three, the severity is actually the least important. Simply put, it's less important that you KILL your attacker, than that your reaction be instantaneous, and without question. Sure, it needs to at the very least leave a mark, but the best deterrence to a criminal is knowing that he'll get a rat-trap-like instant response.

Matt G said...

Mad Jack, your lawyer's trying to win a case that never has to go to trial, if it's a good shoot.

Tell the cops what happened, if you're in the right, and you'll find that they'll be with you.

Lawyers? (Shrug.) Sure, they can come visit you. But I'm curious-- what kind of reaction (I take it that you feel it's for the better) do you think that you get when your attorney arrives?

"The police won't leave it alone, but that is the correct response to everything until your attorney shows up. Then you'll be amazed at the change in attitude you get from the police."

I'm curious: how many times have you been a Person Of Interest in a police response to a use of force?

Robohobo said...

Go here:

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/index.html

Carry a gun. Get trained. Read the above site. Most goblins go for the person looking like a victim. If you have to shoot, make the 911 call yourself, lawyer up first thing. The locals can wait for you to make your statement until the legal eagle shows.

Ross said...

Julie, the fear that you have of the gun being taken away from you results from being bombarded by the lame-stream media with that message, which comes from the Brady Bunch (and I don't mean the ones who are 18-0, either!)

There are methods of gun retention that are taught by the better trainers, and are also taught to our police. GET SOME OF THIS TRAINING.

Good luck, and hopefully the next time you're accosted by a critter, you present him with .45 arguments to leave you alone.

Judy said...

True story:

3-4 teenaged punks attempt to rob a 70-something man.

What they do not know is that he is a former world-class fencer and current fencing coach. He took some lumps, but one of the punks doesn't see so well any more and they all got to tell the nice ER folks how they were beaten by their attempted victim.

He made sure he wasn't too busy to testify against them, although I think they decided to plead guilty rather than face further humiliation in court.

Karambit said...

I posted Lawdog's article on

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve
/forums?a=tpc&s=518103&f=3811043&m=
271109408&r=668109408#668109408

and got the following reply from a Canadian tool
named murf:

"As in all attempts to reduce human behavior to a simple single dimension the author ignores such counter arguments as the fact that in England of old when a pickpocket was being hanged in public it attracted crowds and more pickpockets to work the crowd while their fellow criminal danced at the end of the rope.
********************************************
pssst America, your vulnerability is showing."

Hobie said...

Amen

Shay said...

"you have the duty, the obligation, and the responsibility of self-defence.

and capability? how many mugging victims are in a postition to get the pistol unholstered let alone get off an aimed round? how many have the physical strength and training to engage in hand to hand combat?

you need to think this one out a bit better.

Bob said...

People may find this hard to believe. We are foster-caring for a three-year-old boy who basically raised himself the first eighteen months of his life. He now spends almost every waking minute trying to see what he can get away with.

Our only viable option is to fight back, protecting the other children he is trying to victimize. If we don't, he will soon be one of those critters you write about, and his list of victims will be so high that no one will be able to count them all.

It is not fun, but it is our responsibility, as you say.

Saladman said...

and capability? how many mugging victims are in a postition to get the pistol unholstered let alone get off an aimed round? how many have the physical strength and training to engage in hand to hand combat?

you need to think this one out a bit better.


I don't know LawDog aside from reading his blog, but his previous posts on shooting and martial arts for self defense broadly agree with the sentiments of self-defense shooters and martial artists I have met personally, and with my own much more limited personal experience. I consider him to be a credible source on the subject.

I suggest that you consider gaining some experience to test your own assumptions about the realism of self defense. Many people do not know how their attitudes on self-defense have been shaped by newspaper headlines and tv news that reports many criminal assault but under-report successful acts of self-defense.

This has been comprehensively addressed by John Lott among others; armed resisters of criminal attacks have better overall survival rates than either non-resisters or unarmed resisters. I'd be happy to read LawDog's take on this separately, but it is fair for him to take it as settled in his post.

Larry said...

So, Shay, you've just decided to be a victim, lay back and enjoy it? Whatever works for you, but who do you think you're really helping (other than the human wolves) when you try to get other people to be sheep, too?

kbarrett said...

Matt G:

I've been there already.

I told the cops the perp pushed in the door, and tried to pull a pistol on me. I showed them where he dropped his pistol, and where he left bits and pieces of himself behind. I described him, and gave the police the license of his vehicle.

They held on to my .480 Ruger SRH during this, and picked up the spent rounds and bagged them.

At no time during this, did I admit to even firing my revolver.

I do remember a bunch of cops that were present snickering when the local DA discovered this after going over the police reports later on the scene with my attorney.

You tell the police you were victimized, and you show them where the evidence of your victimization is, and describe the perp.

You say nothing else. Period. You don't even claim self-defense ( your lawyer does that ). If you can do this without the police realizing you have said nothing, even better.

TheFitzVH said...

This is one of the finest pieces of writing I've read in quite some time.

James: I submit that it's every bit a person's duty to defend others as themselves. But then again, that's a decision that each man will have to make on his own when the time comes.

- Also named James

Hammer said...

The news this morning showed a security camera that recorded an attempted kidnapping. The woman fought back hard, made a lot of noise and she escaped. Now everyone is looking for the guy in the white panel truck.

If the woman had done what the talking heads recommended, she would be in a shallow grave somewhere.

Paul said...

Tony said:

"This places one in a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, one might want to put a .38 slug into a nasty little critter if one should encounter such a being (and living in a nanny state, the possibility for this is increased), but one knows that if one does the right thing and puts ones elbow through the critters teeth, one will in turn be punished by the so-called "justice" system of that country."

My first response: Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6. Even if you go to jail for a while, you're alive and will someday get out and be able to be with your family.

Second, do what you can to get the law changed. I know, it isn't always easy - I used to live in the PRNJ, so I understand what utter frustration some people must feel. But never stop trying, and NEVER let some scumbag take your life or those of your family. THAT is your duty.

Rorschach said...

Nancy, you should get one of these canes...
http://markgribben.com/wp-images/eriegun1.jpg

Rorschach said...

Julie, I do not know what the law is in Ohio, so YMMV. but here in Texas, the law states you have the right to defend your life AND YOUR PROPERTY, AND that of your neighbors as well, with deadly force. That means if they have your wallet, you have the right under Texas law to do anything up to and including shooting them dead to stop them from getting away with your property. And you have no duty to retreat from them if you are in a place where you have a right to be. (public sidewalk, your car, etc.)

Think about this, even if the only thing they got was your wallet, no money, no credit cards, no ATM card, just your ID. They now have enough information to BECOME you. They know your name, they know your address, and in some states, your ssn is also your DL#. If that is they case, you are now P0WNED. they can buy a car, they can buy a house, they can work and all the bills are now YOURS. There is a guy here in town that the IRS claims owes over a million dollars in back taxes because his SSN has been used all over the country fraudulently to work by at least a dozen different people over several years. The IRS has no sense of humor that they are aware of. They had it surgically removed at birth.

And if the critter is of the perverted bent, if they liked what they saw, now they know where you live and can come to visit some evening in order to pay you a bit more "personal" attention if their black heart so desires.

Mad Jack said...

Matt G:

My lawyer isn't trying to win anything. He's representing me. Since I'm not nearly as conversant with the law as my attorney is, or (I hope) the police are, it behooves me to hire an expert. Being arrested, charged and arraigned by a grand jury has little or nothing to do with the self-defense merits of a shooting; it has everything to do with the political climate and the eagerness of the district attorney and the chief of police to win another case. Telling the police what happened without your attorney is a very, very bad idea. I wouldn't do it, nor would I advise anyone else to do it either.

The police get paid to put people in jail. Any involvement with the police puts you at risk for spending the night in the slammer, and the police have a lot of latitude as to what they are allowed to do to get you there. They can lie, they can beat you (resisting arrest) and they can confiscate your property – like your gun collection, for instance, or any cash you might have. You and your lawyer will likely have to go to court to get your property back, and there's no guarantee what kind of shape it will be in when it's finally returned to you. Think: If the cops wrongfully confiscate your car, are they going to wash and wax it before they return it, or is it more likely to have acquired a few new dents and a broken tail light or two. You figure it out. I haven't got the time.

When your attorney arrives and finds you, you suddenly become a law abiding citizen. The big cop stops hitting you in the head with a phone book. The ugly cop with the bad teeth and worse breath stops screaming at you and calling you a child rapist, and the nice cop stops trying to help you confess. Then your attorney explains to everyone that unless they have any real questions, that, by the way, you don't have to answer, we'd all like to leave now. Funny thing, there are no more questions, so I guess you can leave. When you do, everyone gives you the fish eye. You're informed about the property that's been confiscated and what to do to get it back. Your gun collection has been confiscated and is being held for "safe keeping". Don't believe me? This is standard operating procedure in Toledo, Ohio. You must go to court to get your firearms returned.

How often have I been a 'person of interest'? I wouldn't know. I do know that I've been in a position to listen to police talk amongst themselves and laugh about the people they've beaten up for such crimes as speeding, drunkenness or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I also know that police target certain people for harassment, using tactics such as parking violations, traffic citations or being stopped and detained while shopping at the mall. For a long while I couldn't park on the street in front of my own home without getting a parking ticket for parking too far away from the curb. I was the only car ever ticketed. I later learned that my neighbor had friends on the police force. I'd asked him to turn his volume down at six in the morning on Sunday, you see.

Consider the civic minded man in Florida who was out walking his dog when he saw someone breaking into his neighbor's home. He called the police on his cell phone, and when they arrived they seized him, manhandled him, put handcuffs on him and stuffed him into a police car.

Somewhere in the middle of this they shot and killed his dog.

I don't paint all cops with the same brush, but when it comes to my own safety and freedom, I'll just take care of myself, thanks. I'll call my lawyer.

Parallel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parallel said...

This ties in nicely with the concept of Herd Immunity.

Shay said...

sorry Larry; sorry Saladman; but I spent 21 years in the military and own a handgun. Most of my family can say the same.

And I still say Lawdog needs to think this one out. Very few people are capable of fighting back in a tight situation. Even if they have a pistol and a carry permit, statistically speaking what are the odds when the other guy has the drop on you?

Blaming them because they didn't do something they COULDN'T do just doesn't make sense.

Gregg said...

LawDog,
The sad truth is that many people who end up targeted by the goblins of society will end up victimized. Sometimes they will get victimized by the goblin and sometimes by the State. In a self-defense situation I agree that fighting back is best for the prospective victim and for society as a whole. However, many people do not have contacts on the police force, nor do they have experience in dealing with the aftermath of a violent confrontation. You know from experience that many people get talkative as the adrenaline wears off. The LEOs on scene will use this. Perhaps you and Matt G are among the minority of LEOs who will not try to put someone who fought back behind bars. However, many, if not most, LEOs are not in agreement. Many people will hesitate to treat the goblins in the manner ou suggest due to the consequences when the cops show up.

Elle said...

Meditations on self defense....

All life is a precious gift given us by the Creator which endows us with specific duties and responsibilities as citizens.
If my government prevents me from exercising my duties and responsibilities then I am no longer a citizen,merely a subject:

1.It is my duty and responsibility to defend myself and not rely on someone else to do it for me.

2.It is my duty and responsibility to defend those that can not defend themselves.

3.It is my duty and responsibility to be aware of my surroundings at all times.

4.If I fail in my duty and responsibility to be aware of my surroundings at all times and place myself in harms way,I will expect consequences for my failure.

5.It is my duty and responsibility to take responsibility and consequences for my thoughts,words and deeds-preferably with a humble attitude.

6.If I abdicate my responsibility and expect another to defend me,I will expect to be disappointed if not injured.

7.If I choose to surround myself with like minded individuals,I will not be disappointed but strengthened.

8.I will shun those that abdicate their duties and responsibility and will not defend themselves or others when they are capable of doing so.

9.I will stop those that place the value of their desires over the sanctity of lives,and will do what is necessary until they stop.

10.I will defend life first-and deal with the consequences of that at the appropriate time in the appropriate manner-preferably by keeping my mouth shut and immediately retaining the services of an attorney.

Are these simple enough meditation's? I am very non-progressive when it comes to these simple principles.
These are not broken principles nor do they need fixing nor are they negotiable.Those that object to these simple principles abdicate personal
responsibility and maturity while fleeing reality and will eventually pay the price.Being blond,there is always the chance I've missed a salient point.

Blessings

Elle

Jared said...

Rorschach:

In most states (though perhaps not in Texas) it is not legal to use deadly force to protect property. That is, if someone is running off with your wallet, you can't shoot him as he runs away.

That does not mean you can't shoot someone who has a gun and tells you to hand over your wallet -- in that case you are in immediate danger of death or grave bodily injury.

As for the laws around the use of deadly force to protect property in Texas, isn't it only legal to do so after dark?

Rorschach said...

Jared, here is the specific sections of Texas law that reference the use of Deadly force to protect property. Note that robbery is at any time, Theft and criminal mischief are only at night time.
§ 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the
other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of
arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or
recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to
protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

§ 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON'S PROPERTY. A person
is justified in using force or deadly force against another to
protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if,
under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the
actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force
or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:
(1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful
interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or
criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or
(2) the actor reasonably believes that:
(A) the third person has requested his protection
of the land or property;
(B) he has a legal duty to protect the third
person's land or property; or
(C) the third person whose land or property he
uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent,
or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care.

You can read it here:
http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.002.00.000009.00.htm#9.42.00

Anonymous said...

This stays with me always. I believe it started in the military.
The last line was added by John Farnam.

The Defender's Creed

I accept and understand that human predators exist. Criminal or terrorist, they take advantage of our civilized society to prey upon the weak. They represent evil and must be confronted and defeated.

I believe that self-defense is a moral imperative, and that illegitimate force and illegal violence must be met with righteous indignation and superior violence.

I will not rely on others for the security of myself, my family and my community.

I proudly proclaim that I run with a like-minded pack. I do not amble through life with the mind-numbed herd.

I will train with my chosen weapons, maintain them and carry them in a condition of readiness at all times.

I will be mentally prepared and physically equipped to effectively respond to an attack or emergency.

I will constantly test myself against realistic standards to discover my strengths and weaknesses. I will turn weakness into strength.

I will seek to learn new skills and techniques, and then teach what I have learned to other members of the pack.

Be it with firearm or blade, empty hand or blunt object, I will hit my enemies hard, fast and true.

I will live a quiet and unobtrusive life, but I will develop and retain the capacity for swift and decisive violence.

I recognize that I am the modern equivalent of the traditional Minuteman, and that I may be called to service at any time against heavily armed enemies. I will respond effectively.

I accept that I am a pariah among some of my countrymen, and a quaint anachronism to others. I will not hold their ignorance against them.

I will win, or die trying.

I swear this creed before God, my family and my fellow citizens and I do so without apology.

Dedicated_Dad said...

This will be my testimony the next time a "shall-issue" bill comes up for consideration here.

Not that I expect it to make any difference...

I yearn to be on the RIGHT side of "enemy lines" -- I am coming, LD. Soon.

DD

KD5NRH said...

A couple of links worth looking at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ChosonNinja
Lots of philosophy, and some self-defense techniques.
http://www.youtube.com/user/SenseiNinja2
Same guy, more techniques - mostly geared toward law enforcement, but easily adapted for those who don't care about handcuffing the attacker.

As with any martial arts, find a reputable local instructor who can tailor the techniques to your strengths and weaknesses, and use common sense.

Bob said...

My wife does not feel comfortable with guns so I got her and my girls SPITFIRE PEPPER SPRAY you can see how it works here:
http://www.spitfire.us/
It cost me about $11 each at 888knives.com

Fred said...

The right-to-carry is everyone's right also. Works, too. Right to carry states have the lowest violent crime rates.

Michelle Rennolet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Rennolet said...

Blogger was performing strangely earlier, so while I linked to this post, I couldn't use the "create a link" feature.

Here's my post:
http://politicaleconomygroup.blogspot.com
/2008/02/public-good-via-self-defense.html

I just thought I ought to let you know.

motopacsman said...

Julie,
I'm going to make some assumptions. They're not intended to be accusatory, because very few of us consider how we might defend ourselves in a situation like you experienced. I'm just thinking out loud.

1) Your groceries were your first line of defense. Two bags of cans and bottles on his feet would have given you a second or two to escape, weapon or none.

2) Your groceries were probably the reason you were selected for attack. If both hands are occupied, an individual will quickly appear on the critter's radar.

Forgive me if these assumptions are wrong. I only hope to make people think of options and scenarios.

Finally, for everyone here, even if you carry 24/7 as I do, there is no REQUIREMENT that you display or use your weapon. Yes, we have the right to self defense, but we also have the brains to see that the wino 10" away with a box-cutter isn't much of a real threat. There are a few shades of grey between a bum asking for change and a violent armed bank robbery.

The first requires little more than a stern word. The second requires your full cooperation. Weapons would be a bad choice in either situation.

suo said...

"Better to be judged by twelve, than be carried by six".

When defending your life against an unlawful attack, only thing that matters is your survival. Nothing else matters (ps. yup, I like Metallica). If there's material damage - too bad; stuff can be made up. If the aggressor gets hurt - too bad; he/she should know better.

Everything should be done in proportion to the threat; and when the threat is gone (critter has stopped resisting etc) one should not retaliate, how tempting may it be. Not in today's world of cell phone cameras and youtube.

It's tough, but self defence isn't just defending yourself from physical attack. But that's another matter, best handled by another sermon from reverend LawDog?

=}