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Thread: don't act as a LEO officer?

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    When doing the CCW course, it was BOLDLY explained that when we carry concealed, we are NOT to reveal our gun unless our OWN lives are in danger. Recently I've been reading a bunch of self-defense stories on where a man thwarted a bank robbery, somebody was able to save a woman from a burglar, etc etc... While these people were permited to CC, the police did not charge them with anything.

    My question: Where is the line drawn about revealing your firearm? Are we LEGALLY ONLY able to draw it when our lives are threatened? If I'm in line at a quality dairy and somebody runs right in and holds up the clerk, am I able to do what I can to stop them? I'm just confused on what to do if a scenario like this were to happen. Is it one of those situations where doing the 'right thing' (i.e. not acting as law enforcement) isn't doing the 'right thing' (being humane and helping a fellow person in need/perile)?

    Ben

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    Laws vary from state to state. I'd recommend you drop by the Michigan forum.

    As for me personally, I will not intervene unless the lives of myself or my family are at risk. No stranger is worth the potentiallegal hassle even a good shoot could bring on.

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    I am 50/50 on this. If I feel that someone is just going to take the money and leave, I will not interviene. But if they are doing something to obviously endanger lives and I believe I can intervene without endangering anyone else I will. If death/serious bodily harm is imminent, deadly force can usually be justified. Shooting someone over the money in a cash register usually can't be.

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    OK, so what if the BG has a pistol pointed at the clerk with a half pound of trigger already applied? In that case, you really don't know what the BG is going to do. It's truly a 50/50 on whether the clerk lives or dies. I'd rather ensure that the clerk lives to ring up my YooHoo another day.
    Now if the BG has no weapon in sight, then I'll let him take the till and leave. But when someones life is at visibly at stake, I'll take my chances on erring that it's either a toy gun, unloaded, or a bluff.
    Granted, my actions will also be dictated on my position to the BG and the clerk, other patrons, clean line of sight, etc. Lots of factors, but if conditions are more in my favor, then I'm afraid it's "bye bye badguy".
    It's not that we're acting as LEO's, we're potentially saving the life of another citizen.

    Flame away!!!

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    This questions is always in the back of my mind.

    The way I figure is that it is my duty to stop any crime that is being commited in my presence, if I have the means to do so. However, I also belive it is my duty to ensure the safety of other people around me. If I feel that taking action poses too much danger to others then I will have to bide my time and lay low until the right time presents itself.

    I think you will have plenty of time to thing about it later. . . just besure that if you act you are able to improve the situation and not make it worst.

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    Back when we as a society were taught to take care of and look out for each other, the answer would have been simple...do whatever is necessary.

    Sadly, in this day and age of people using the courts to win the lottery, my weapon stays holstered unless it's me or my family that are being threatened. Anyone else...sorry about your luck. The threat of a lawsuit just isn't worth it...

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    VA Caver wrote:
    Back when we as a society were taught to take care of and look out for each other, the answer would have been simple...do whatever is necessary.

    Sadly, in this day and age of people using the courts to win the lottery, my weapon stays holstered unless it's me or my family that are being threatened. Anyone else...sorry about your luck. The threat of a lawsuit just isn't worth it...
    It sad that this is the way the world is turning atm. Not against you Caver, just in general to others out there with the sue hammer over anything.




    I see it as this, I will help if and how I can. If that means I will have legal trouble so be it. Saying you would not do anything to help someone else is just BS, if it was my wife and 3 boys that needed the help from a complete stranger who went out of his way to save/help them then I would do anything in my power to aid that person/s with any trouble they had legaly afterwards.

    To sit and cower for fear of reprocusions, I just hope your loved ones never get in a pinch where someone could have saved them but choose to cover there own ass instead of what is moraly right.

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    esstac wrote:
    VA Caver wrote:
    Back when we as a society were taught to take care of and look out for each other, the answer would have been simple...do whatever is necessary.

    Sadly, in this day and age of people using the courts to win the lottery, my weapon stays holstered unless it's me or my family that are being threatened. Anyone else...sorry about your luck. The threat of a lawsuit just isn't worth it...
    It sad that this is the way the world is turning atm. Not against you Caver, just in general to others out there with the sue hammer over anything.




    I see it as this, I will help if and how I can. If that means I will have legal trouble so be it. Saying you would not do anything to help someone else is just BS, if it was my wife and 3 boys that needed the help from a complete stranger who went out of his way to save/help them then I would do anything in my power to aid that person/s with any trouble they had legaly afterwards.

    To sit and cower for fear of reprocusions, I just hope your loved ones never get in a pinch where someone could have saved them but choose to cover there own ass instead of what is moraly right.
    I agree with you, but it's not people like you that former good samaritan's are afraid of...it's the scum you shoot (and his scummy lawyer) taking you to court that's the problem.



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    Sheriff wrote:
    MetalChris wrote:
    As for me personally, I will not intervene unless the lives of myself or my family are at risk. No stranger is worth the potentiallegal hassle even a good shoot could bring on.
    I don't think you can definitively say such a thing. For example, if you are driving down main street minding your own business, and you come across some guy slashing at his wife and kids with a very large hunting knife, with someobvious wounds already having been inflicted upon the wife and children, you're not going to get involved? I would intervene in a split second.
    I might. It's hard to determine what I'd do...I don't want to sacrifice my family's well-being or risk a jail sentence, just for helping complete strangers.

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    I have to go along with Theseus on this one. You have to asses any situation and weigh the risks of making things more hazardous for others. AAAANNNNND, you have to make such a dicision in just a few seconds. Once you decide to act you must fully committed and follow through.

    Check you state laws for immunity from civil law suite in the event of shooting a BG while they are committing a criminal act. Some states have this in their statutes.

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    When I was train in Security and Armed Body Guard work in Jacksonville, I was trained if I had to draw my weapon to fire, Then I better be ready to take a persons life when I fired, I was trained to be prepared to shoot to kill.
    Their thoughts on the subject was a dead man can't sue and that may not fall into the same thoughts as a private person doing what he can to assist someone in need, But the need and the thought of helping a person in dire need should far out weigh the fear of getting sued.

    JMO... I would help without one moments thought of being sued...



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    spectr019 wrote:
    When doing the CCW course, it was BOLDLY explained that when we carry concealed, we are NOT to reveal our gun unless our OWN lives are in danger. Recently I've been reading a bunch of self-defense stories on where a man thwarted a bank robbery, somebody was able to save a woman from a burglar, etc etc... While these people were permited to CC, the police did not charge them with anything.

    My question: Where is the line drawn about revealing your firearm? Are we LEGALLY ONLY able to draw it when our lives are threatened? If I'm in line at a quality dairy and somebody runs right in and holds up the clerk, am I able to do what I can to stop them? I'm just confused on what to do if a scenario like this were to happen. Is it one of those situations where doing the 'right thing' (i.e. not acting as law enforcement) isn't doing the 'right thing' (being humane and helping a fellow person in need/perile)?

    Ben
    As mentioned earlier, the exact legality of drawing your weapon varies state to state. YOU must make the decision as to when you will and will not draw your weapon. YOU must decide on your personal priorities. YOU must know the law to the extent necessary to match those priorities in every state in which you live or travel. Since I think it is a personal question with a personal answer, here is my answer:

    I will draw, reveal or brandish my firearm or other weapons when my personal morality and risk assessment tells me that it is the right and moral thing to do regardless of whether it conforms to the letter of the law.

    Early in my "carrying career" I studied the state statutes and incessantly considered scenarios for legality online, in my head, with LEO friends, etc. I wanted to ensure that I am within the law if I draw my gun. But something happened. I did a little bit of traveling and in my incessant research realized that the laws about everything handgun related are different everywhere pretty much. Good God I thought, do I have to memorize the law for every state I am going to visit or travel through to ensure that I don't break the law?? What about those places that technically say I have to retreat no matter what but I see an infant being abused by a grown man as recently happened in CA? Do I still have to retreat. What if he is unarmed. What if, what if, what if?

    And some sherriffs, constables, highway patrol, state patrol, highway state patrol, DAs, CAs, ADAs, justices, judges, magistrates and a vegetable soup of other prosecuters, lawyers, bureaucrats, law enforcement, administrators and a variety of other people can arrest you, jail you, interpret the laws all different ways. Depending just on which side of which street you are on and where the city limits line runs when you defend a life may mean the difference between a hero's welcome and gratitude and an arrest, grand jury and $20,000.00 in legal fees. So I realized there is no way to know all the laws or necessarily to follow all of them.

    What it boils down to is that I am a law abiding citizen. I'll do my best to follow the laws as written and enforced. But at some point, I may be in a life or death situation where I or some I love is a principal or where it is a stranger who is threatened. I, or anyone else in that situation, will have to decide within him or herself how to react and it is nearly impossible for anyone else to honestly second guess the decision as it was you and not them standing there carrying the weight of that decision.

    If that moment ever comes I know that I will not be standing there thinking, "Well I'm in such and such state and they do/don't have a castle doctrine law. Now suchandsuch vs suchandsuch ruled that using lethal force is blah blah but soandso from OCDO was arrested for thisandthat and has a case pending about blahblah..." I'm going to make a risk assessment and a moral decision. Is it reasonable to act, safe to act and do I have the tactical edge to act? And a moral decision of do I need to act, what happens if I don't act? And I am probably only going to have a few seconds to make that assessment which may be a life or death decision for me or someone else.

    So do your best to learn the laws of your state and those places you travel. But realize that when it comes down to it, it is not going to be you and the law that is standing there deciding whether or not to draw, but rather you, a bad guy and maybe innocent people as well. You will only have your training and moral compass with which to guide you at that moment and you will have but seconds to decide. As anyone who has been in combat will tell you, you will probably be afraid and adrenaline will be coursing through your body in a fight or flight response. The law will not save you but it may punish you no matter how righteous your decision. And in the end it is you and only you who decides whether or not to draw your sidearm and whether or not to pull the trigger. That is what it means to carry a gun. That is what it means to be a sheep dog instead of a sheep. That is what it means to be a free man.

    Edit: spelling


    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    MetalChris wrote:
    As for me personally, I will not intervene unless the lives of myself or my family are at risk. No stranger is worth the potentiallegal hassle even a good shoot could bring on.
    If I had oppurtunity, I would defend you or your family MetalChris because your life is sacred to me. I would rather be judged by twelve than see you carried by six. Still, I understand and respect your position. Besides, in the heat of the moment I can't truthfully say how I would respond. CHUCK. P.S. I pray I never find out. P.S.S. This is not directed solely at MetalChris, I was just using his example, with him as the example.

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    spectr019 wrote:
    When doing the CCW course, it was BOLDLY explained that when we carry concealed, we are NOT to reveal our gun unless our OWN lives are in danger. Recently I've been reading a bunch of self-defense stories on where a man thwarted a bank robbery, somebody was able to save a woman from a burglar, etc etc... While these people were permited to CC, the police did not charge them with anything.

    My question: Where is the line drawn about revealing your firearm? Are we LEGALLY ONLY able to draw it when our lives are threatened? If I'm in line at a quality dairy and somebody runs right in and holds up the clerk, am I able to do what I can to stop them? I'm just confused on what to do if a scenario like this were to happen. Is it one of those situations where doing the 'right thing' (i.e. not acting as law enforcement) isn't doing the 'right thing' (being humane and helping a fellow person in need/perile)?

    Ben
    An internet forum isn't the best place to learn about this.

    Google for self-defense websites and books on self-defense.

    Massad Ayoob has one I foundinformative: In the Gravest Extreme. You can ordera copy from http://www.gunlaws.com.

    Your confusion seems to be coming from a missing piece of information. Self-defense as a subject includes the sub-heading of "defense of others." As in, "defense of self and others."

    There areseveral facets to defense of others. Your question--the legalities.Morality. And the legal risks. For example,what if the woman you"save" is a prostitute yelling "rape", and the scruffy guy you shootis an undercover cop arresting her? This is just an example.

    The main point is, there is a good bit to learn. And a web forum is going to be full of disconnected opinions.

    You can also try the video, Judicious Use of Deadly Force. Google Lethal Force Institute.

    And, of course, learn the laws of your state.


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    I was taught to use it and put it away. When the gun comes out talking is over. Use it and put it away, because if you have it out someone may think you are dangerous and shoot you. When You look forward to going to jail, then, get it out. That is my standard, I fear for my life and wish I was in a nice safe jail cell.

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    It's sad that we have to stand there and be a witness when someone is being robbed, etc for fear of legal action against us.

    If people around me are being shot/stabbed by a lunatic, i will draw, because my life is in danger. If a woman is being beaten/assaulted or a child, i will.

    I dont want to see people die or be maimed for life because i was to fearful of lawyers and govt.

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    esstac wrote:
    VA Caver wrote:
    Back when we as a society were taught to take care of and look out for each other, the answer would have been simple...do whatever is necessary.

    Sadly, in this day and age of people using the courts to win the lottery, my weapon stays holstered unless it's me or my family that are being threatened. Anyone else...sorry about your luck. The threat of a lawsuit just isn't worth it...
    It sad that this is the way the world is turning atm. Not against you Caver, just in general to others out there with the sue hammer over anything.




    I see it as this, I will help if and how I can. If that means I will have legal trouble so be it. Saying you would not do anything to help someone else is just BS, if it was my wife and 3 boys that needed the help from a complete stranger who went out of his way to save/help them then I would do anything in my power to aid that person/s with any trouble they had legaly afterwards.

    To sit and cower for fear of reprocusions, I just hope your loved ones never get in a pinch where someone could have saved them but choose to cover there own ass instead of what is moraly right.
    Perhaps it's his wife and kids he was already thinking of. Who is going to support them while he is in prison? Who is going to protect them? There are a lot more factors to a situation that you may not be considering here.

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    what's the sense of carrying if your going to be in world of hurt either way?

    Criminals seem to have more rights then we do.

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    spectr019 wrote:
    When doing the CCW course, it was BOLDLY explained that when we carry concealed, we are NOT to reveal our gun unless our OWN lives are in danger. Recently I've been reading a bunch of self-defense stories on where a man thwarted a bank robbery, somebody was able to save a woman from a burglar, etc etc... While these people were permited to CC, the police did not charge them with anything.

    My question: Where is the line drawn about revealing your firearm? Are we LEGALLY ONLY able to draw it when our lives are threatened? If I'm in line at a quality dairy and somebody runs right in and holds up the clerk, am I able to do what I can to stop them? I'm just confused on what to do if a scenario like this were to happen. Is it one of those situations where doing the 'right thing' (i.e. not acting as law enforcement) isn't doing the 'right thing' (being humane and helping a fellow person in need/perile)?

    Ben
    It depends on State law, and regardless of State law, legal =/= prudent.

    It is generally acceptible to draw and fire in defense of a third person when that third person would themselves be justified in drawing and/or firing for their own defense. However, in any situation where a weapon is drawn, you are responsible for your actions, and for the path of every last one of your shots fired and what they hit.

    So, you're in line at the Quality Dairy and someone runs in and points a gun at the clerk. At that point, the clerk wouldalmost always bejustified in returning the favor because they are being threatened with imminent deadly force for an illegal end. For that same reason, you are also virtually always justified in drawing because you are justified in protecting a third person if that person would be jusftified in protecting themself.

    However, here's the flip side; FBI regs, which it is recommended you follow when choosing a personal protection round, mandate 12 inches penetration of ballistic gelatin. The FBI mandates this because they don't know what their next BG's build is going to be and they do NOT have the same liability for injury that a civilian does. If it was a good shoot against the BG, the police department and officer are generally shielded from liability for damages due to overpenetration or missed shots. You as a civilian are virtually never shielded from damages, and in many cases 12 inches of BG is nothing at all; shoot a methhead in the abdomen and that bullet's coming right back out the other side.I'm sure the store would thank you if you saved them from losing the contents of one or more tills at the cost of a hole in the drywall beyond the BG, but you're going to find yourself signing over your paychecks for the rest of your life if that bullet misses or overpenetrates and hits someone else in the store. You are responsible for every bullet you fire and EVERYthing each bullet hits, not just what it hit first.

    THAT is why you should not play policeman. Your gun is your VERY LAST OPTION to prevent harm to you, your family and those in your immediate area. People play "what if" all the time; the robber could want money and then shoot the clerk as an afterthought, or they could be planning to shoot the clerk as soon as they open the till, then grab the tray and run. These are used to argue that you should always draw and shoot in such situations. Well, right back at ya; what ifyou miss? What if your shot passes straight through the BG and injures someone else? What if the bullet enters the BG, takes a sharp left turn off a rib and kills the clerk? What if the BG's finger twitches when he's shot and the clerk gets shot anyway? What if one or even two shots doesn't put the BG down? Adrenaline runs high and a hit to anything but the CNS is not guaranteed to immediately incapacitate even if the attacker will die from that wound.

    So, there are a lot of variables in a shoot/don't shoot situation, not the least of which is how you yourself will react, and simple rules like "always shoot if" and "never shoot if" are oversimplifications that can ruin your life even if the police officers thank you personally for doing what you did.

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    FogRider wrote:
    esstac wrote:
    VA Caver wrote:
    Back when we as a society were taught to take care of and look out for each other, the answer would have been simple...do whatever is necessary.

    Sadly, in this day and age of people using the courts to win the lottery, my weapon stays holstered unless it's me or my family that are being threatened. Anyone else...sorry about your luck. The threat of a lawsuit just isn't worth it...
    It sad that this is the way the world is turning atm. Not against you Caver, just in general to others out there with the sue hammer over anything.

    I see it as this, I will help if and how I can. If that means I will have legal trouble so be it. Saying you would not do anything to help someone else is just BS, if it was my wife and 3 boys that needed the help from a complete stranger who went out of his way to save/help them then I would do anything in my power to aid that person/s with any trouble they had legaly afterwards.

    To sit and cower for fear of reprocusions, I just hope your loved ones never get in a pinch where someone could have saved them but choose to cover there own ass instead of what is moraly right.
    Perhaps it's his wife and kids he was already thinking of. Who is going to support them while he is in prison? Who is going to protect them? There are a lot more factors to a situation that you may not be considering here.
    That's the reason for my view on the subject. I think it's selfish to risk the bolded just to be a hero.

    I'm with VA Caver in that 50 years ago I would definitely do what I could to intervene in a violent crime that's occurring in front of me, but not in today's social/political climate.

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    yeahYeah wrote:
    It's sad that we have to stand there and be a witness when someone is being robbed, etc for fear of legal action against us.

    If people around me are being shot/stabbed by a lunatic, i will draw, because my life is in danger. If a woman is being beaten/assaulted or a child, i will.

    I dont want to see people die or be maimed for life because i was to fearful of lawyers and govt.
    Realize the picture is much broader than simply stepping in to help in the examples you've given above. I don't think too many on here would hesitate to step in and help if the circumstances made it very clear.

    Its not that the legal risks should dissuade you from helping. Its that you should be very sure you are helping a good guy before you step in.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    yeahYeah wrote:
    SNIP Criminals seem to have more rights then we do.
    You've been tricked.
    We as a people benefit far more fromgovernment restrained by rights than criminals benefitfromhiding behindrights.

    A ciminal's sphere of influence is typically rather small. A government's sphere of influence extends to every person in its jurisdiction.

    When the government is unrestrained by rights we all suffer a lot more
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Citizen wrote:
    yeahYeah wrote:
    It's sad that we have to stand there and be a witness when someone is being robbed, etc for fear of legal action against us.

    If people around me are being shot/stabbed by a lunatic, i will draw, because my life is in danger. If a woman is being beaten/assaulted or a child, i will.

    I dont want to see people die or be maimed for life because i was to fearful of lawyers and govt.
    Realize the picture is much broader than simply stepping in to help in the examples you've given above. I don't think too many on here would hesitate to step in and help if the circumstances made it very clear.

    Its not that the legal risks should dissuade you from helping. Its that you should be very sure you are helping a good guy before you step in.
    yeah, you make a good point.

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    Citizen wrote:
    yeahYeah wrote:
    It's sad that we have to stand there and be a witness when someone is being robbed, etc for fear of legal action against us.

    If people around me are being shot/stabbed by a lunatic, i will draw, because my life is in danger. If a woman is being beaten/assaulted or a child, i will.

    I dont want to see people die or be maimed for life because i was to fearful of lawyers and govt.
    Realize the picture is much broader than simply stepping in to help in the examples you've given above. I don't think too many on here would hesitate to step in and help if the circumstances made it very clear.

    Its not that the legal risks should dissuade you from helping. Its that you should be very sure you are helping a good guy before you step in.
    Circumstances that used to be very clear have been made very confusing by lawyers and the courts...:X

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    VA Caver wrote:
    Circumstances that used to be very clear have been made very confusing by lawyers and the courts...:X
    Iwas not aware of anychanges.

    What have you heard?


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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