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Thread: A question to the Arizona Citizens Defense League

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    I just completed the CCW course (great course) and was appalled when I learned that even if I was justified in using my gun to protect my life or my family's life, that the BG or their family could (and probably will) sue me.

    Some dirt bag breaks into my house in the middle of the night and I am in fear of my life and shoot to stop the BG and I just opened myself up to a huge civil lawsuit even if the police and county district attorney deemed it to be a justifiable shooting. This is wrong and we need a law enacted to protect us from civil liabilities.

    Is the Arizona Citizens Defense League proposing legislation to address this? Are there State Senators or State Representatives that are pro-gun that I can write to. We need laws to protect us. Even if we have to get a proposition on the ballot, we as gun owners need to get this done. I am willing to bet that most anti-gun people still believe in the right to defend ones life and you shouldn't be allowed to be sued by BG's for protecting your life.

    Please let me know what you are doing and how I can help.

    Thank you,

    Tom Cheswick

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    I just wrote to Jim Waring, my state senator for district 7. I will let you know if I get a reply.

    You can find your senator at: http://azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp?Body=S

    Take Care,
    Tom

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    Welcome Mr. Cheswick, to OCDO forums.

    Leadership by example is best, asking forgiveness rather than permission. Thank you.

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    Just a thought here,

    As litigous as society is, one should have all their large assets out of their
    name and in a common law trust (non-penetratable).

    And especially with being a lawful gun owner... it is even more important to do.

    TV

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    Here in Arizona, I wouldn't loose any sleep worrying about this, although it would be good to have it codified into law. Now, if you had to shoot someone in our neighbor to the west... make sure you know a good lawyer!

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    How often are lawsuits such as this really filed and won?

    The reason I ask is, strictly speaking self-defense is no less justifiable in civil court than in criminal court.

    I've asked this before, but so far I've never seen more than a couple unconvincing anecdotes.

    So, is there anything like a body of evidence to support this theory?

    How many people who fire their gun in defense and are subsequently not prosecuted or acquitted are then successfully sued civilly? And is this really more likely than randomly becoming victim to any of the absurd civil suits that plague our courts today? Is there really even a signal in all this noise?

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    Who told you that? It is my understanding that you hold no civil liability for justified actions, hence ARS 13-413.

    Then again I am not a lawyer and could be wrong. *shrugs*

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    i got a question for the AZCDL also. just tonight i had a conversation with one of scottsdales finest, well it just so happens he doesnt know the law and claims that 21 is the ONLY age you can carry a handgun. i tried to explain to him that open carry is different and you can be 18 but he wasnt listening and told me he would arrest me if he saw me carrying. sooo i was wondering is the CDL has any lawyers that would love to make some money. as much as i didnt like threatening a lawsuit against the officer, i couldnt just sit there and let him spread his ignorance to the rest of the public. never in this state, have i met an officer so unwilling to just listen without the "im right" attitude coming right after i speak

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    LuvmyXD9 wrote:
    Who told you that? It is my understanding that you hold no civil liability for justified actions, hence ARS 13-413.

    Then again I am not a lawyer and could be wrong. *shrugs*
    Thanks for pointing out the statue. I was told in my CCW class that if you fire your weapon to defend yourself, expect to be sued, because you will be sued.

    He then said that the bad guy or his family will sue you stating that their little boy wasn't trying to kill your family, he was just lost and asking for directions and he wasn't a thug, he wanted to go to medical school and now you need to pay for his lost wages for the next 40 years.

    Yeah, kinda of crazy, but you know there are slime dog lawyers out there that would be all to happy to try to get a judgement against you.

    BTW - My Senator, Jim Waring, did call me back and sent me an email. I missed his call, however, he did say that after they get the new budget passed, he will look into this. He seems very pro-gun. Now is the time to get pro-gun bills to the house and senate. :P

    Take Care,

    Tom


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    his family will sue you stating that their little boy wasn't trying to kill your family, he was just lost and asking for directions and he wasn't a thug, he wanted to go to medical school
    Then ask the family why their wonderful little baby was trying to kill me with a baseball bat, already sent someone else to the ER, and is under the influence of methamphetamine. Then sue them for tens of thousands of dollars for filing a frivilous lawsuit and for damages over my reputation. People need to stop putting up with this crap. I don't really trust the "system" but I also believe in fighting for your rights. It is not my goal to "kill" someone but if some screwball points a knife at me, they will get shot and it isn't my problem if they don't survive.



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    protector84 wrote:
    Then sue them for tens of thousands of dollars for filing a frivilous lawsuit and for damages over my reputation. People need to stop putting up with this crap.
    The problem is usually those families don't have tens of thousands of dollars. The reason they are suing is because they are trying to win the legal system's jackpot.

    I would propose a statue that once the police department or county attorney rules it was a justified shooting, then there can be no lawsuit - period! No chance for a slimy lawyer to file a civil liability claim and convince a jury that the police department got it wrong and you were a blood thirty killer and you now need to pay them a million dollars. Because even when you win a frivolous lawsuit, you are still out a ton of money to defend yourself. It is not right and we should be fighting to change the law. I know that I am going to.

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    There is another option. If the thug tries to kill you and you successfully kill him in self defense and you just happen to notice there are no witnesses and no surveillance cameras to show it then you take a picture of his body and the knife/gun/ball bat that he tried to kill you with using your cell phone camera. Then you quickly leave the area, report nothing, and forget the whole thing happened. When the cops finally come after someone sees the body and they find out the thug is an illegal immigrant with numerous warrants and has assaulted/murdered people in the past then they probably won't spend a lot of time trying to find you. By the way, pick up all the bullet casings that were ejected when you shot him. They could have your fingerprints onthem.

    Maybe this sounds bad but in some ways you might be better off. Suppose his family is also all gangsters and thugs and after you get on the police report for killing their "baby" now you have the rest of his low-lives coming after you. I was shocked one time when even a police officer told me that if you have to shoot someone in self-defense you better hope that he dies from the gunshot wounds. The reason given is because if he lives he will now be sending his friends after you.



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    Wow bro, you're advocating killing someone and just leaving the body? WOW.

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    he does make a good point. hell, i see it on law & order enough when people just sorta walk away after killing someone, even in self defense. is there any actual law stating you have to inform LE?

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    There is no good point to that. At all. I'm also willing to bet that you'd be opening yourself up for prosecution. An innocent man doesn't flee the scene.

    Criminal or not, he/she is a human being. Nobody deserves to rot in a street somewhere.

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    LuvmyXD9 wrote:
    I'm also willing to bet that you'd be opening yourself up for prosecution.
    probably, but with the right defense lawyer anythings possible. personally i wouldnt do it but protector makes a point on the retaliation. i know id hate to jump town and go into witness protection just because someone tried to rob me and i killed him.

    chances are though without a witness, weapon, or any physical evidence left at the scene, they arent going to know where to start.

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    The problem with our system is that it in many ways favors hardened criminals over law abiding citizens. A criminal has nothing to lose and everything to gain. A lot of these criminals have buddies in prison, have been to prison before, and aren't afraid to go back. They also know that they can probably kill three people in 1st degree and still get out in less than ten years if they pretend to be "reformed" while in. A law abiding citizen has a lot to lose--their reputation, their money, and their life. Some criminals are crazy and really don't even value their own life as they wouldn't repeatedly assault others playing the odds that the victim won't get the upper hand and kill them.

    Put quite simply, say a robber severely assaults you, takes your money, but gets caught. You have missed tons of work to be in the hospital over your injuries, whatever was stolen you won't be getting back, and you will spend up to a good two years taking more time off of work and lost wages and in some cases even having to spend money fighting the crook in court to get him convicted. He also knows that in two years he will be back out and probably will know exactly where to find you. While you can't pay your rent because you are out of work, the criminal now gets three square meals a day, free cable, free medical, free education, a roof over his head, and gets to be housed with lots of friends just like him. You, on the other hand, have to struggle to keep half of these. The same criminal also knows that most law abiding citizens will not want to kill him because now they will be facing the same system that the criminal knows so well but a system that doesn't favor the hard-working honest American.

    I do believe that if you want freedom you have to fight for it and sadly few good deeds go unpunished. I would generally say avoid trouble to begin with but on the other hand I don't believe law abiding citizens should have to live their lives in fear over criminals and the "system." However, if you must use deadly force against an assailant you are most likely better off if the assailant dies from the injury not because your purpose was to kill him (which it shouldn't be) but simply because you have one less scumbag in society to harm you and others. The system won't stop the criminal and the criminal and his buddies are likely to retaliate and could even threaten others close to you. It certainly wouldn't look good in court if you killed someone and didn't report it and they later discovered it. The reality is that in certain circumstances you may be better off not doing so though. I'm no lawyer so don't take my advice literally but I also don't think it is right to have to turn your whole life upside down over one piece of social garbage.

    Another scary thing is if you have to use deadly force and there are witnesses around, you can't trust them either. By the time the cops get there, every person will have a different story and sometimes the witnesses can actually turn on you and the stories get more jumbled up until they make you look like the guilty one. Someone told me one time that the reason police order commands to suspects very loudly is to minimize the possibility of incorrect witness reports. For instance, even if a cop might be justified in shooting a suspect, they want to make sure that enough witnesses first overheard the officer say three times "Put the bat down." It is a shame our society is this way but until it changes, we have to be VERY careful.



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    This isn't TV guy's. Get real or you could get your own cell.
    If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You get another chance.

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    Protector,

    Just because criminals seem to slip through the fingers does not allow us to stoop to vigilante justice.

    We have a system and if the system is broken we must attempt to fix it. If we stoop down to their level, we've lost everything we've strived to accomplish.

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    I didn't see anyone advocate 'vigilante justice.'

    But it does bring an interesting point. In a justified defensive shooting, is there any duty to inform? Are you required to beg someone who wasn't there to somehow determine that yes, indeed, it was justified?

    If you didn't do anyhtihng wrong, why not just go about your business? Why should a bad guy get the chance to inconvenience your life any more than his failed attempt to kill you or your family? Why drag the Government, who is never on your side no matter what, into it?

    It is an interesting thought. It is perfectly reasonable to me, to just walk away. 'Evidence' is only 'evidence' if there is a crime. Why not pick up my casings and go? The bastard got what he deserved, all done here.

    Picking up my casings? Well, it IS my property, don't want to be a litterbug either. Why leave clues for a malicious entity to abuse as 'evidence' of a trumped-up crime they did not witness and the so-called evidence does not prove or disprove? Finding casings on the ground on the ground does not prove the shooting was murder, hell, a dead body with bullets of the same caliber still does not prove murder. If there are no witnesses other than myself, why should I bait a corrupt system in which I will automatically be considered guilty until proven innocent? Only I know it was justified. You think a prosecutor with casings, bullets and a body is going to do anything other than his best to string you up?

    Thinik it through before you knock it down, guys.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    i like how you put that ixtow

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    ixtow wrote:
    I didn't see anyone advocate 'vigilante justice.'

    But it does bring an interesting point. In a justified defensive shooting, is there any duty to inform? Are you required to beg someone who wasn't there to somehow determine that yes, indeed, it was justified?

    If you didn't do anyhtihng wrong, why not just go about your business? Why should a bad guy get the chance to inconvenience your life any more than his failed attempt to kill you or your family? Why drag the Government, who is never on your side no matter what, into it?

    It is an interesting thought. It is perfectly reasonable to me, to just walk away. 'Evidence' is only 'evidence' if there is a crime. Why not pick up my casings and go? The bastard got what he deserved, all done here.

    Picking up my casings? Well, it IS my property, don't want to be a litterbug either. Why leave clues for a malicious entity to abuse as 'evidence' of a trumped-up crime they did not witness and the so-called evidence does not prove or disprove? Finding casings on the ground on the ground does not prove the shooting was murder, hell, a dead body with bullets of the same caliber still does not prove murder. If there are no witnesses other than myself, why should I bait a corrupt system in which I will automatically be considered guilty until proven innocent? Only I know it was justified. You think a prosecutor with casings, bullets and a body is going to do anything other than his best to string you up?

    Thinik it through before you knock it down, guys.
    Is this seriously the consensus of AZ gun owners? Put some lead in 'em and just let 'em rot?

    Why do you guys even bother with laws? What's the point if you're just gonna shoot the guy and not report it at all?

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    no one actually said they wouldnt report it. its more like pointing out the flaws of the legal system and discussing an alternative. theres no argument that the system has failed before in the past and has ruined innocent peoples lives while enriching the BGs. obviously the view on death is way different now then it was 100 years ago, it seems as if you pull the trigger, then you are automatically guilty until proven innocent. just look at what happened to the border patrol agents defending their country. no good deed goes unpunished

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    We aren't talking "vigilante justice" here.I take that term to mean going out of your way to find criminals and stop them which is something that few if any of us non-LEOs advocate doing. Technically, this is legal though. A citizen can arrest another citizen if there is probable cause that he/she committed a crime. As to not reporting a shooting, I never said you shouldn't be extremely careful. A friend of mine knew someone who was riding a bike home one night and had hundreds of dollars of cash on him and when he was short-cutting through alleys a man stopped him and tried to rob him. He was unarmed and the robber was armed but this guy had experience in self-defense and managed to wrestle the gun away from the bad guy and in the struggle the gun went off and shot the robber. He noticed several bystanders in the alley who he couldn'tidentify and thought that maybe they were also gangsters who would harm him next so he left the scene and never reported it. Quite some time later he was arrested for the killing and had to spend time in prison. He wasn't charged with murder because it was self-defense but he was convicted of manslaughter because the man didn't die right away. The way the court saw it was that even though he had a right to shoot him, he did not have a right to leave him there to die. Apparently, his argument that he feared the others at the scene wasn't bought by the court. In a situation like this, what he should have done is fled the scene and as soon as he was at a safe place (such as a convenience store) he should have called the police from a pay phone and told them anonymously what happened. In court that would have shown that he made at least some effort to report it as soon as possible since he couldn't hang around the scene for safety reasons.

    So the moral of the story is that these are tricky situations so if you have to leave the scene make sure you have arguments that work. For instance, you can say that you were scared because you thought his friends were there and might attack you next. By you going to a pay phone and anonymously reporting the details it gets the police there right away and even though they don't know who you are at the time if they find out later then you can now prove you made some effort to do the right thing. Most cell phones have cameras and it wouldn't hurt to quickly photograph the scene so that you have some first-hand evidence that could protect you in court because by the time the cops get there that same evidence could be gone (i.e. someone picked up and removed the criminal's weapon). In a way it is disturbing to think about these situations but since we are carrying guns and there is always a chance of something happening, it is important to ponder what we would do.

    As far as I'm aware you are not obligated to reveal or report any information to the police as it is your 5th Amendment right to "remain silent." However, if someone is dying and you have the ability to get medical intervention and fail to do so then it can be seen as negligence and you can be charged with that as was in the above example. All you would have to do is call 911 from a payphone, don't tell them who you are, just say that a man has been shot at such-and-such intersection, you don't want to get involved, and then hang up the phone. The call will be recorded and they have to respond. They would likely respond to both the location of the call as well as the address you gave them. Then you could call an attorney and make an appointment. That way if say three days later they come to get you, you already have a lawyer, and the lawyer can vouch that you weren't ready to make a statement yet.



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