Strasburg, OH -(Ammoland.com)- You might have heard how a man was found guilty in the shooting death of a family member's boyfriend.
There is not a lot of information about the case. But, one piece circulated, in more than one news report, it had to do with the number of rounds fired.
We should all be upset about this case largely centering around the number of rounds fired! I mean this is incredibly reckless to base a case on the number of rounds fired in a lethal force encounter. Let's pretend for a moment the attacker demonstrated the means, intent, and opportunity, to inflict bodily harm or death. The real question is was the accused justified in using lethal force? If he was justified, this point should be made loud and clear. The case should be around justified lethal force, not the number of rounds fired.
The Slippery Slope
It is quite possible that there are other circumstances not known to the public that could present a different argument. Unless the circumstances are based on the justification of lethal force, they have less merit. I see a terrible precedence being set here and one that needs to be addressed in our courts to ensure the ability of the citizenry to defend themselves when their lives or the lives of loved ones are in jeopardy. I get there could be some shady facts about the accused or whether the accused's mother was truly in jeopardy but if the facts support lethal force, then why would they be concerned with the number of rounds fired?
Let's take a closer look at this point, starting with how many rounds someone can fire in a string of shots. On average, I can have a student step up to the berm at the 3-yard line and safely fire as fast as they can 10 rounds with an average time being approximately 0.2 to 0.25 seconds per shot. The accused in this case fired 8 shots, so using my calculations that would have taken him approximately 2.0 seconds or less. To accurately fire the same numbers at the same yard line would see a new average of about 0.3-0.5 seconds depending on the shooter's skill. So, using the worse case of a half second as the average, the accused in this case could have fired the 8 rounds in 4 seconds. Four seconds, ladies and gentlemen! It took me on average 10 seconds to tie my shoes. That should put some perspective on things as far as how fast those shots could have been fired.
Effects on the Human Body
The next subject to tackle is even if those shots were justified and fired in 4 seconds, it still takes the human body approximately 10-12 seconds to register significant blood volume loss to render the attacker no longer a threat. Granted the volume of fire could have reduced that overall time, but I don't know if those were all hits directed against the vital anatomy or hits to extremities. Since I don't know, I will stick to a recognized standard of 10-12 seconds. That's right, folks! A lot of things can happen in that time frame. For instance, I could tie one of my shoes and start working on the other. My point is if the use of lethal force was justified then it shouldn't matter the number of shots fired if the attacker still poses a threat then they are still a threat.
Keep Things in Perspective
Is it reasonable to fire this many rounds in a lethal force encounter? Absolutely. If the accused fired a complete magazine, reloaded, and fired subsequent rounds from the fresh magazine at the same target, I believe an argument could be made their actions were unreasonable. Since the news reports did not indicate that happened, and with the 8 rounds being fired, it seems likely he did not perform a reload and re-engage the suspect. The bottom line is that we need to be upset with the results of this case. We all need to take it seriously. I see very little evidence that would surface that could point to the 8 rounds being excessive if lethal force was justified in the first place.
If the suspect has demonstrated the means, intent, and opportunity, then the victim would be justified in applying lethal force. Round count should be a consideration, but not the basis for the case.
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