Shoot first law: What could possibly go wrong?

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Vexcalibur
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01 Mar 2012, 5:03 pm

http://open.salon.com/blog/steve_klinga ... _first_law

"He was black and obviously a threat"
"I felt Jehova witnesses were a threat to my tranquility"
"He is a democrat, makes me feel threatened".
"I felt threatened by her, that's why I killed her just after we had sex".


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Jacoby
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01 Mar 2012, 5:11 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
http://open.salon.com/blog/steve_klingaman/2012/02/28/veto_the_minnesota_shoot_first_law

"He was black and obviously a threat"
"I felt Jehova witnesses were a threat to my tranquility"
"He is a democrat, makes me feel threatened".
"I felt threatened by her, that's why I killed her just after we had sex".


It says you have to reasonably feel threatened, those would hardly be reasonable.



Vexcalibur
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01 Mar 2012, 5:12 pm

Yes, cause a law asking for something as subjective as "felt reasonably threatened" is not ever going to be abused in court to defend all sorts of murders and no jury would ever, ever fall to apply that view.

"He looked like a criminal!"


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Jacoby
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01 Mar 2012, 5:18 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
Yes, cause a law asking for something as subjective as "felt reasonably threatened" is not ever going to be abused in court to defend all sorts of murders.


I doubt it but the court should be able to handle that if it did happen. I don't think anybody is going to go out and kill someone on purpose because of this law to "test it out". I don't think somebody should go to prison for blowing the head off some mugger or would be rapist.



simon_says
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01 Mar 2012, 5:25 pm

The generally right-wing men's rights activists act like rape is falsely charged left and right, but the right want to empower women to eliminate anyone who might fit that description (in their mind) without a trial?

A "would-be" rapist might be a bum asking for change. All you have to do is say he threatened you because he's dead so he's not giving his side of it. Just make sure you kill him and that he looks ratty. Caveat Bum-tor. Basically everyone gets one free bum kill. Two might look suspicious.



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01 Mar 2012, 5:30 pm

It said reasonable belief, that does not mean a free pass.



shrox
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01 Mar 2012, 5:33 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
..."I felt Jehova witnesses were a threat to my tranquility"....


That was pretty funny! I'd try a tranquilizer dart-gun first though.



visagrunt
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01 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

There is probably more judicial consideration of the word, "reasonable," than just about any other word in the lexicon.

"Reasonable," does not have a single definition, and its use in a criminal law context and in a tort context could well be very different.

The Legislature that fails to clearly articulate its intention within the four corners of the statute is explicitly requiring the Court to step into that breach. Only a court, with an instant case before it, is going to be in a position to say what is reasonable in the circumstances. Not normally the sort of power that conservative types are keen to confer on courts.


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simon_says
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01 Mar 2012, 5:47 pm

Quote:
It said reasonable belief, that does not mean a free pass.


Sure, but a jury will believe most adults over a dead bum, especially a woman.

Previously you would have to establish why you didnt flee or retreat. And who can't escape an old bum, for example? Now you just waste him and claim threat. Self-defense was already allowed, these laws are about being able to stand your ground and take all comers without being asked (legally) why you didnt just leave.

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Apple_in_my_Eye
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01 Mar 2012, 5:56 pm

Maybe they could expand the law to allow teenage girls to shoot anyone they find to be "creepy."



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01 Mar 2012, 6:11 pm

visagrunt wrote:
"Reasonable," does not have a single definition, and its use in a criminal law context and in a tort context could well be very different.


+1


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Dox47
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02 Mar 2012, 1:50 am

*sighs*

When you see something re-labeled to appear scarier to provoke an emotional reaction, a logical and well reasoned argument seldom follows. I see they also trotted out the "wild west" scares, the same ones the same people have been peddling everytime another state goes shall issue CCW or adopts castle doctrine, policies that have yet to cause "the streets to run red with blood", another trademark phrase, anywhere else they've been enacted.


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NarcissusSavage
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02 Mar 2012, 2:09 am

I like the bit about the gang wars. Totally legit to have a shootout in the streets. Whoever is left standing just need say the other party pulled weapons and was an imminent threat.


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CrazyCatLord
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02 Mar 2012, 4:01 am

That reminds me of a controversial German case I read about long ago. A woman went jogging in a park. A man who happened to walk by noticed that she accidentally dropped something (I forgot what it was). He picked it up and called after her, but she couldn't hear him since she wore headphones and was listening to loud music. So he ran after her and grabbed her shoulder, trying to stop her and get her attention.

Big mistake. The woman, who happened to be trained in self-defense, turned around and went to town on him. Broke a few bones, made sure he wouldn't get up and come after her anytime soon. A perfectly sensible reaction if this guy had been a rapist. Too bad that he (probably) wasn't one. He sued her, and the judge charged her with grievous bodily harm. As it turned out, "I thought the guy who tapped my shoulder was going to rape me" is no excuse for beating someone until he starts screaming, and continuing to do so until he stops again.

I can see both sides in a case like this. If this had been a rapist, the woman would have been ill-advised to wait until she was absolutely certain. At that point, he could already have overpowered her. But the fact is that only one crime went down that day, and that was a man being brutally beaten. Anyway, imagine this had happened in Minnesota, and the woman had been carrying a gun. Hitting someone based on hunch may be justifiable. It might even be a reasonable cause of action under these circumstances. Better safe than sorry. But shooting someone in the face? Unless the person came at you with an axe screaming "I'm gonna kill ya", that's very hard to justify.



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02 Mar 2012, 6:39 am

The problem is... and I am going to say this very very bluntly.... is that there are many people who are too stupid, cowardly, or incompetent to be trusted carrying a gun.

I don't like guns. I don't have any more to say.

No, I'm not interested in defending gun rights. Guns are silly and primitive weapons.

Part of the problem is it requires no personal interaction. It takes a sociopath to stab a person to death, it only takes a coward to fire a single deadly shot.