Making The Right One, When You Have a Choice – Self Defense

By John Farnam

Smoking 45
Pop Culture Pacifist – Making the World a More Dangerous Place

Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, Co. -(Ammoland.com)- “Reluctant” Prosecution:

Earlier this month in OH, a homeowner shot and killed a burglary suspect.

The homeowner, armed with a pistol (brand/caliber unreported), confronted a pair of burglary suspects who were in the act of forcible entry into his home.

Not clear if words were exchanged, but the brace of burglars instantly decided to disengage and run away.

Homeowner decided to chase them as they fled, and in the process, fired at least one shot in their direction. At least one of his shot(s) struck one of the suspects. It proved fatal!

The second suspect escaped unhurt, but was arrested a short time later. He has been charged with burglary, and murder too, as he was a active participant in the felony which ended with the death of his partner in crime.

Homeowner is claiming self-defense, but he has nonetheless be charged with “voluntary manslaughter” He is currently free on bail.

The prosecutor in this case is faced with a “reluctant” prosecution. He has no choice but to charge this homeowner, an otherwise likeable, productive person. Yet, the prosecutor apparently believes “self-defense” is just a little too much of a stretch.

However, the prosecutor also knows full well that neither judges, nor juries, have the slightest sympathy for burglars, who are invariably sleazy, multiply-arrested, multiply-convicted, perpetually unemployed/unproductive, dope-using human sewage!

Applying current moral standards, the jury may thus acquit, even in the face of credible evidence presented by the prosecutor. That is why we have juries!

If that is the ultimate outcome, I’m sure the homeowner will be relieved, but his “victory” will be brief!

In order to even get to criminal court, he will have spent at least 100k (with no guarantees and no refunds!)

You know how our “system” works: “Innocent, until proven indigent!”

We have in this Country the best justice money can buy, and I’m confident this defendant will pay retail for every bit he gets!

While all this is going on, this same homeowner will received a curt letter from the law firm of “Dewey, Screw’em, and Howe,” who now represents the “estate” of the decedent. You’ll find them at “800-it-hurts-so-bad” They run TV ads during women’s mud-wrestling!

The Deweys will inform the homeowner that the poor, bereaved widow of dead burglar (who has not seen him in the last ten years, and didn’t even know he was dead until she heard about it an a news report) is suing for “ wrongful death,” et al

Not much to like, I’m sure you’ll agree!

If you’re wondering if there is a point lurking in all of this, here it is:

A much better outcome would have been achieved had the homeowner simply watched as the pair of burglars ran away, had not pursued them, had not shot at them as they ran, and had then called the police.

Even that outcome would have been far from “pleasant,” but, in relative terms, it would have represented a vast improvement over where he finds himself now.

(1) Chasing after felons with pistol in hand, (2) holding felons at gunpoint, and (2) seeking confrontation with dangerous criminals may all look sexy in the movies, but it invariably represents bad personal practice in reality.

Your defensive firearm(s) is there exclusively to protect your life. Defending yourself with gunfire, even when acutely and legitimately necessary, is still a terrible, life-altering event, to be done only when you have no choice.

When you do have a choice, you’ve probably answered your own question!

Sheriff John T Chance (played by John Wayne): “I hear you’re mighty good with a gun, lad”

Colorado Ryan (played by Rick Nelson): “Yes, I am. But, there is something I’m even better at!”

Chance: “… and what’s that?”

Ryan: “Minding my own business” ~ From the 1959 feature film, “Rio Bravo

/John

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc:

As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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    Dr DaveTEXBladeteebonicusdjr Recent comment authors
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    Blade
    Guest
    Blade

    Had he just waited a while longer until they gained entry he could have snuffed them – no muss no fuss.

    Dr Dave
    Guest
    Dr Dave

    EXACTLY my thoughts as well. I would have just waited until they came to me then everything would have been legitimate and this case would be moot. It is not my job to do the Police’s job (inside my home atleast out in public is different since I am in LE) but in my home I am just a stupid citizen defending my property IF someone violates it and or me.

    teebonicus
    Guest
    teebonicus

    Exactly right.

    Self-defense is justified when lethal force is used to STOP an attack.

    That is where it ENDS.

    Shooting a fleeing suspect is not self-defense, and I can think of no jurisdiction where doing so is lawful.

    If you’re going to keep and bear arms for self-defense, it is your DUTY to understand the concept, and the law.

    djr
    Guest
    djr

    I have been taking gun training for over 10 years. Including tactical, self defense, and combat. Many things that are always stressed are, do not shoot once the threat is stopped. Know your target, don’t fire if the target is not clear to you. Never pursue, that is the job of the police. Never shoot at a distance you are not qualified for. Most confrontations happen in less than 21 feet. Be aware that a bad guy at 21 feet can get to you in 2 to 3 seconds. Train, train, train. After many hours of training you will find… Read more »

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    There is no substitute for training. Being a good shot is just part of it and is a perishable skill.The case we are discussing is a perfect example of this guy not knowing the law or just not caring what the law says. Always remember that what happens with lawabidding firearms owners in self defense situations reflects on all of us. Stopping or ending the threat is all we are concerned about, and if that can be accomplished without firing a shot great,that’s what you want if at all possible ! The DA in this mans jurisdiction talks about a… Read more »

    Dr Dave
    Guest
    Dr Dave

    One piece of advice I can add is do not publically brag announce or proclaim you take lots of self defense combat and other similar courses unless you expect that the prosecution WILL use that information to paint you as a gun wielding vigilante EXPECTING a confrontation rather preparing just incase one happens. EVERY public comment you make in forums explaining your course experience and tactics demonstrates that you were EXPECTING trouble rather then simply defending from it. Especially the combat and tactical stuff unless you of course are LEO or DoD I have been in law enforcement for decades… Read more »

    George
    Guest
    George

    When Reginald Denny was down on all fours and trying to crawl to safety, a guy walked up and smashed a brick into the side of his head, in an attempt to murder him. His defense attorney said that he’d “got caught up in the moment” and the jury agreed with him. He only got 18 months for that event. Now if a jury can believe that a repeat offender just got “caught up in the moment”, I’m sure a law abiding citizen who killed a repeat offender could probably use the same defense and maybe get probation. It’s just… Read more »

    Randall
    Guest
    Randall

    I agree with Tex, this situation is nothing but bad press. Hell, shooting people in the back is just plain un-American.

    My comment to author…
    “Applying current moral standards, the jury may thus acquit, even in the face of credible evidence presented by the prosecutor. That is why we have juries!”

    Juries are bound by current laws and judges orders, despite “…current moral standards,…”. This would be why America needs a Fully Informed Jury amendment added to our Bill of Rights. The we could truly have jury nullification. Check it out: http://fija.org/

    dc.sunsets
    Guest
    dc.sunsets

    This same line of thinking applies even to “fisticuffs.” More than one man has gone to prison because, when taunted by another man, he chose to escalate the confrontation, ended up in a brawl and “the guy who started it” hits his head on a hard surface and died. This is a classic “Monkey Dance (see link below).” In the Monday-morning-quarterbacking of such events, if retreat or de-escalation appears like it was available but not taken, in the eyes of the law you’ve committed a felony. As is nearly always the case, TV teaches exactly the wrong lessons and reinforces… Read more »

    Gil
    Guest
    Gil

    “As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat.” Make up your mind? I think a better suggestion is to know when you have the legal right to self-defence on your side and when you don’t You also should know when the opportunity to legally shoot someone has appeared and when it has gone in a way you become the aggressor in the eyes of the law if you start… Read more »

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    Once the threat ceases, no bang-bang. Pretty simple. Think of the double doo-doo the shooter would be in if one of the rounds fired at the running away suspects missed and struck an innocent bystander.

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    Once the burglars ran they are no longer a threat. At least that’s the law in Texas. Once the burglars went rabbit he should had called 911. These are the type cases that keep the gungrabbers going.