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Thread: Tamara Dietrich on Self Defense

  1. #1
    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-lo...4471326.column

    Daily Press, 7/1/2009

    Wherever you stand on gun rights, if some jerk breaks into your home and threatens you or your family, chances are you'd support the right to blow him out of the water.

    The higher the caliber, the better.

    State law backs you up.

    "Home, you're protecting your loved ones," explains Newport News criminal defense attorney Tim Clancy.

    Where the law gets fuzzy is when the danger is not so imminent. Or when it's not a home, but a business. And it's not people at risk, but property.

    All this and more is in play as investigators in Suffolk examine Sunday's shooting death in which a business owner standing outside his convenience store pumped four bullets through a window and into a burglar inside.

    Owner James Howard Durden Jr., 46, told police he was roused around 4 a.m. by a security device alerting him to a break-in at his nearby store.

    Someone called police while Durden took off to investigate, toting a .45-caliber handgun. Minutes later, police say, the caller said shots were fired and a stranger was dead.

    Durden told police the stranger pointed what looked like a gun at him first.

    Police didn't find a gun on 38-year-old Ernest "Scotty" Roop. A tire iron lay on the floor, but nowhere near the body. Roop did have a knife and sheath, but police haven't said if he was holding it.

    They're still sorting through evidence, and the commonwealth's attorney will decide if the shooting was justified or if Durden will face such charges as murder or manslaughter.

    "The general rule," said Suffolk Commonwealth's Attorney C. Phillips Ferguson, speaking hypothetically, "is that if the person is without fault in bringing on the difficulty, and that person believed or reasonably believed under the circumstances as they appeared to him that he was in danger of being killed, or in danger of great bodily harm, then the killing is justified."

    The general rule gives a lot of leeway, understandably. Civilians aren't drilled in life-or-death. For us, training doesn't kick in, but fight-or-flight.

    And this is why we have police officers: To assess risk and act proportionately.

    Had an officer arrived on the scene first, would Roop still be alive? Depends. Be somewhere you shouldn't, point so much as a pinkie at an armed officer and you could end up in a morgue.

    On the other hand, if an armed officer ordered you to drop and hug the dirt, chances are you'd take him more seriously. Chances are, you'd still be hugging the dirt for dear life, not six feet under it.

    Virginia also imposes on a victim a legal duty to retreat, which varies by state.

    In gun-rights Arizona, for instance, you still aren't allowed to shoot an intruder — even in your own home — if you have a safe way out.

    I once interviewed a man who shot and killed an intruder who lay in wait in a closet, then jumped out and attacked him. The intruder had a history of violence. The homeowner, in my mind, was a hero.

    The homeowner didn't see it that way. He was devastated.

    A friend of Durden's said in one news report that Durden is devastated, too.

    "If anybody thinks he went up there like John Wayne and started shooting through the window like a damn fool," Mike Fowler said, "they're crazy."

    But he did go up there packing heat. He did shoot through a window. He did kill a guy who did not have a gun. And, had Durden in fact been right about the gun, it might have been he who ended up dead — all over mere property.

    And even law-and-order Virginia doesn't impose a death sentence for stealing.

    It's likely the system will be lenient with Durden. Gun rights absolutists will be pleased — though police say Durden had alcohol in his system that night, and responsible gun owners know firearms and firewater don't mix.

    Still, it's tough to punish a hardworking businessman who mistakenly believed a stranger — making an even bigger mistake — was a threat to his life.

    Who looked through his store window one bleary-eyed morning and saw a burglar — not the tough-luck father of a young girl, a drug user and the son of parents who, even if criminal charges aren't filed, could theoretically file a wrongful death suit in civil court.

    And this is one more sound reason why — with every bullet you fire — you'd better be sure not only of your target, but of what lies beyond.

    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    All we have right now are some information, any part of which may or may not be factual, that someone decided to put in an article. Time (and the CA) will tell.

    But this article brings up a question that runs through my mind every time I see this? How come the only things that ever get "toted" are guns and barges? And these days, barges, not so much.

    ~ Boyd

    Edit: "Are some facts, is some information." Get it right, dummy!

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    2a4all wrote:
    http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-lo...4471326.column

    Daily Press, 7/1/2009

    Wherever you stand on gun rights, if some jerk breaks into your home and threatens you or your family, chances are you'd support the right to blow him out of the water.

    The higher the caliber, the better.

    State law backs you up.

    "Home, you're protecting your loved ones," explains Newport News criminal defense attorney Tim Clancy.

    Where the law gets fuzzy is when the danger is not so imminent. Or when it's not a home, but a business. And it's not people at risk, but property.

    All this and more is in play as investigators in Suffolk examine Sunday's shooting death in which a business owner standing outside his convenience store pumped four bullets through a window and into a burglar inside.

    Owner James Howard Durden Jr., 46, told police he was roused around 4 a.m. by a security device alerting him to a break-in at his nearby store.

    Someone called police while Durden took off to investigate, toting a .45-caliber handgun. Minutes later, police say, the caller said shots were fired and a stranger was dead.

    Durden told police the stranger pointed what looked like a gun at him first.

    Police didn't find a gun on 38-year-old Ernest "Scotty" Roop. A tire iron lay on the floor, but nowhere near the body. Roop did have a knife and sheath, but police haven't said if he was holding it.

    They're still sorting through evidence, and the commonwealth's attorney will decide if the shooting was justified or if Durden will face such charges as murder or manslaughter.

    "The general rule," said Suffolk Commonwealth's Attorney C. Phillips Ferguson, speaking hypothetically, "is that if the person is without fault in bringing on the difficulty, and that person believed or reasonably believed under the circumstances as they appeared to him that he was in danger of being killed, or in danger of great bodily harm, then the killing is justified."

    The general rule gives a lot of leeway, understandably. Civilians aren't drilled in life-or-death. For us, training doesn't kick in, but fight-or-flight.

    And this is why we have police officers: To assess risk and act proportionately.

    Had an officer arrived on the scene first, would Roop still be alive? Depends. Be somewhere you shouldn't, point so much as a pinkie at an armed officer and you could end up in a morgue.

    On the other hand, if an armed officer ordered you to drop and hug the dirt, chances are you'd take him more seriously. Chances are, you'd still be hugging the dirt for dear life, not six feet under it.

    Virginia also imposes on a victim a legal duty to retreat, which varies by state.

    In gun-rights Arizona, for instance, you still aren't allowed to shoot an intruder — even in your own home — if you have a safe way out.

    I once interviewed a man who shot and killed an intruder who lay in wait in a closet, then jumped out and attacked him. The intruder had a history of violence. The homeowner, in my mind, was a hero.

    The homeowner didn't see it that way. He was devastated.

    A friend of Durden's said in one news report that Durden is devastated, too.

    "If anybody thinks he went up there like John Wayne and started shooting through the window like a damn fool," Mike Fowler said, "they're crazy."

    But he did go up there packing heat. He did shoot through a window. He did kill a guy who did not have a gun. And, had Durden in fact been right about the gun, it might have been he who ended up dead — all over mere property.

    And even law-and-order Virginia doesn't impose a death sentence for stealing.

    It's likely the system will be lenient with Durden. Gun rights absolutists will be pleased — though police say Durden had alcohol in his system that night, and responsible gun owners know firearms and firewater don't mix.

    Still, it's tough to punish a hardworking businessman who mistakenly believed a stranger — making an even bigger mistake — was a threat to his life.

    Who looked through his store window one bleary-eyed morning and saw a burglar — not the tough-luck father of a young girl, a drug user and the son of parents who, even if criminal charges aren't filed, could theoretically file a wrongful death suit in civil court.

    And this is one more sound reason why — with every bullet you fire — you'd better be sure not only of your target, but of what lies beyond.
    At around 4 a.m. a tire iron in low light areas might appear to be a gun. What's nowhere near the body? 5 feet away or on other side of store?
    Yes I carry a Bible and a Gun, your point.
    Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (meaning: "A defence of liberty against tyrants")
    Benjamin Franklin said, "A government that does not trust it's citizens with guns is a government that should not be trusted."



  5. #5
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Its plainly obvious that the 4 rounds from a .45 knocked the guy clear across the room, away from the tire iron that he was holding!
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    There is no duty to retreat law in Virginia. If you have a legal right to be where you are, have not been party to the threat, and are facing a serious and/or life threatening situation, you do not have to retreat. In other words, you may stand your ground.

    If, on the other hand, you are party to the encounter and escalation, you must retreat until you can no longer do so safely before using deadly force. This is a whole different matter because by being an antagonist, you have given up a portion of the vale of innocence.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    There is no duty to retreat law in Virginia. If you have a legal right to be where you are, have not been party to the threat, and are facing a serious and/or life threatening situation, you do not have to retreat. In other words, you may stand your ground.

    If, on the other hand, you are party to the encounter and escalation, you must retreat until you can no longer do so safely before using deadly force. This is a whole different matter because by being an antagonist, you have given up a portion of the vale of innocence.
    You are correct sir. It is annoying when this kind of misinformation is spread.

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    The thing is that, in this case, a prosecutor could make a very reasonable argument that Mr. Durden was a party to the encounter. He was perfectly safe in his home, and left his home armed to investigate an alarmin an adjacent building. He had no reason to believe that there was anyone in the building other than a possible intruder. So it could be argued that he left his home with the intention of using deadly force to protect property, which is illegal in Virginia.

    If the intruder had been in his home, this would have been clear cut, unquestionable self-defense. In this situation, I think Mr. Durden is lucky that he's not in Northern Virginia, dealing with prosecutors that lean more liberal politically.

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    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    The thing is that, in this case, a prosecutor could make a very reasonable argument that Mr. Durden was a party to the encounter. He was perfectly safe in his home, and left his home armed to investigate an alarmin an adjacent building. He had no reason to believe that there was anyone in the building other than a possible intruder. So it could be argued that he left his home with the intention of using deadly force to protect property, which is illegal in Virginia.

    If the intruder had been in his home, this would have been clear cut, unquestionable self-defense. In this situation, I think Mr. Durden is lucky that he's not in Northern Virginia, dealing with prosecutors that lean more liberal politically.
    You think a business owner cannot be roused by his alarm and investigate, and can only investigate unarmed? We don't know the facts, so it is just speculation to guess.

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    I have sent the author of the article a few e-mails to clarify self defense and no duty to retreat when not at fault in Virginia.

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    Jonesy wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    The thing is that, in this case, a prosecutor could make a very reasonable argument that Mr. Durden was a party to the encounter. He was perfectly safe in his home, and left his home armed to investigate an alarmin an adjacent building. He had no reason to believe that there was anyone in the building other than a possible intruder. So it could be argued that he left his home with the intention of using deadly force to protect property, which is illegal in Virginia.

    If the intruder had been in his home, this would have been clear cut, unquestionable self-defense. In this situation, I think Mr. Durden is lucky that he's not in Northern Virginia, dealing with prosecutors that lean more liberal politically.
    You think a business owner cannot be roused by his alarm and investigate, and can only investigate unarmed? We don't know the facts, so it is just speculation to guess.

    I think that being roused by an alarm in your business, when you're not even in the business at the time of the alarm, leaves you open to prosecution. Depending on where you live, a prosecutor could take that opening to charge you. Then, depending on the circumstances, you're at least looking at spending 6 months to a year with a felony hanging over your head. Worst case, the prosecutor convinces the jury that you're some kind of vigilante, and you end up a felon.



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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    The thing is that, in this case, a prosecutor could make a very reasonable argument that Mr. Durden was a party to the encounter. He was perfectly safe in his home, and left his home armed to investigate an alarmin an adjacent building. He had no reason to believe that there was anyone in the building other than a possible intruder. So it could be argued that he left his home with the intention of using deadly force to protect property, which is illegal in Virginia.

    If the intruder had been in his home, this would have been clear cut, unquestionable self-defense. In this situation, I think Mr. Durden is lucky that he's not in Northern Virginia, dealing with prosecutors that lean more liberal politically.
    You think a business owner cannot be roused by his alarm and investigate, and can only investigate unarmed? We don't know the facts, so it is just speculation to guess.

    I think that being roused by an alarm in your business, when you're not even in the business at the time of the alarm, leaves you open to prosecution. Depending on where you live, a prosecutor could take that opening to charge you. Then, depending on the circumstances, you're at least looking at spending 6 months to a year with a felony hanging over your head. Worst case, the prosecutor convinces the jury that you're some kind of vigilante, and you end up a felon.

    I don't see how it could be wrong to protect your property while armed. How could it possibly be justified that you can't go investigate a burglary? Now, if he shot the guy because he was stealing that's one thing. If after being confronted the guy just started tearing up his place while making no threats, shooting him is unjustified. If he shot the guy because he became violent and put the owner in fear for his life after getting caught stealing, that's another.....

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    Neplusultra wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    The thing is that, in this case, a prosecutor could make a very reasonable argument that Mr. Durden was a party to the encounter. He was perfectly safe in his home, and left his home armed to investigate an alarmin an adjacent building. He had no reason to believe that there was anyone in the building other than a possible intruder. So it could be argued that he left his home with the intention of using deadly force to protect property, which is illegal in Virginia.

    If the intruder had been in his home, this would have been clear cut, unquestionable self-defense. In this situation, I think Mr. Durden is lucky that he's not in Northern Virginia, dealing with prosecutors that lean more liberal politically.
    You think a business owner cannot be roused by his alarm and investigate, and can only investigate unarmed? We don't know the facts, so it is just speculation to guess.

    I think that being roused by an alarm in your business, when you're not even in the business at the time of the alarm, leaves you open to prosecution. Depending on where you live, a prosecutor could take that opening to charge you. Then, depending on the circumstances, you're at least looking at spending 6 months to a year with a felony hanging over your head. Worst case, the prosecutor convinces the jury that you're some kind of vigilante, and you end up a felon.

    I don't see how it could be wrong to protect your property while armed. How could it possibly be justified that you can't go investigate a burglary? Now, if he shot the guy because he was stealing that's one thing. If after being confronted the guy just started tearing up his place while making no threats, shooting him is unjustified. If he shot the guy because he became violent and put the owner in fear for his life after getting caught stealing, that's another.....
    Virginia law does not allow one to use deadly force to protect property. But I am unaware of any law saying you cannot investigate an alarm in your own business. I do not think him investigating the alarm by itself is chargeable.

    The next step in analysis would seem to be was he in reasonable fear of imminent and serious bodily harm. If so he can use deadly force in self defense.

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    Jonesy wrote:
    Neplusultra wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    The thing is that, in this case, a prosecutor could make a very reasonable argument that Mr. Durden was a party to the encounter. He was perfectly safe in his home, and left his home armed to investigate an alarmin an adjacent building. He had no reason to believe that there was anyone in the building other than a possible intruder. So it could be argued that he left his home with the intention of using deadly force to protect property, which is illegal in Virginia.

    If the intruder had been in his home, this would have been clear cut, unquestionable self-defense. In this situation, I think Mr. Durden is lucky that he's not in Northern Virginia, dealing with prosecutors that lean more liberal politically.
    You think a business owner cannot be roused by his alarm and investigate, and can only investigate unarmed? We don't know the facts, so it is just speculation to guess.

    I think that being roused by an alarm in your business, when you're not even in the business at the time of the alarm, leaves you open to prosecution. Depending on where you live, a prosecutor could take that opening to charge you. Then, depending on the circumstances, you're at least looking at spending 6 months to a year with a felony hanging over your head. Worst case, the prosecutor convinces the jury that you're some kind of vigilante, and you end up a felon.

    I don't see how it could be wrong to protect your property while armed. How could it possibly be justified that you can't go investigate a burglary? Now, if he shot the guy because he was stealing that's one thing. If after being confronted the guy just started tearing up his place while making no threats, shooting him is unjustified. If he shot the guy because he became violent and put the owner in fear for his life after getting caught stealing, that's another.....
    Virginia law does not allow one to use deadly force to protect property. But I am unaware of any law saying you cannot investigate an alarm in your own business. I do not think him investigating the alarm by itself is chargeable.

    The next step in analysis would seem to be was he in reasonable fear of imminent and serious bodily harm. If so he can use deadly force in self defense.
    If you have every legal right ot be there, it doesn't matter the time, nor the reason to be there. You have every right to defend yourself if you feel your life is in danger.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    hsmith wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    Neplusultra wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    The thing is that, in this case, a prosecutor could make a very reasonable argument that Mr. Durden was a party to the encounter. He was perfectly safe in his home, and left his home armed to investigate an alarmin an adjacent building. He had no reason to believe that there was anyone in the building other than a possible intruder. So it could be argued that he left his home with the intention of using deadly force to protect property, which is illegal in Virginia.

    If the intruder had been in his home, this would have been clear cut, unquestionable self-defense. In this situation, I think Mr. Durden is lucky that he's not in Northern Virginia, dealing with prosecutors that lean more liberal politically.
    You think a business owner cannot be roused by his alarm and investigate, and can only investigate unarmed? We don't know the facts, so it is just speculation to guess.

    I think that being roused by an alarm in your business, when you're not even in the business at the time of the alarm, leaves you open to prosecution. Depending on where you live, a prosecutor could take that opening to charge you. Then, depending on the circumstances, you're at least looking at spending 6 months to a year with a felony hanging over your head. Worst case, the prosecutor convinces the jury that you're some kind of vigilante, and you end up a felon.

    I don't see how it could be wrong to protect your property while armed. How could it possibly be justified that you can't go investigate a burglary? Now, if he shot the guy because he was stealing that's one thing. If after being confronted the guy just started tearing up his place while making no threats, shooting him is unjustified. If he shot the guy because he became violent and put the owner in fear for his life after getting caught stealing, that's another.....
    Virginia law does not allow one to use deadly force to protect property. But I am unaware of any law saying you cannot investigate an alarm in your own business. I do not think him investigating the alarm by itself is chargeable.

    The next step in analysis would seem to be was he in reasonable fear of imminent and serious bodily harm. If so he can use deadly force in self defense.
    If you have every legal right ot be there, it doesn't matter the time, nor the reason to be there. You have every right to defend yourself if you feel your life is in danger.
    I would say so even if it's not your property. It would be the old "trespassing because the house was on fire" situation.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I could very well be wrong about this so if I am, please do correct me. I think there is at least one situation where you can use deadly force to protect property. However, in reality, what you are really protecting is you life. Let me explain.

    Suppose you are awakened in the wee hours of the morning to sounds out in your front yard. You get up and go to your window and see that there is someone on your property in front of your house getting ready to throw a burning bottle filled with gasoline through one of your front windows. You get your shotgun and take him out before he launches his firebomb.

    Now in the most strict sense, you could be seen as protecting your property. However, if this fire spreads quickly and you are trapped upstairs, your life is in definite danger. I would have to believe that this would be viewed as protecting your life over protecting your property, though both actions would be true.

    Any thoughts???


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  17. #17
    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    I could very well be wrong about this so if I am, please do correct me. I think there is at least one situation where you can use deadly force to protect property. However, in reality, what you are really protecting is you life. Let me explain.

    Suppose you are awakened in the wee hours of the morning to sounds out in your front yard. You get up and go to your window and see that there is someone on your property in front of your house getting ready to throw a burning bottle filled with gasoline through one of your front windows. You get your shotgun and take him out before he launches his firebomb.

    Now in the most strict sense, you could be seen as protecting your property. However, if this fire spreads quickly and you are trapped upstairs, your life is in definite danger. I would have to believe that this would be viewed as protecting your life over protecting your property, though both actions would be true.

    Any thoughts???

    This is more of a case of protecting your life and /or the lives of others in your home. The firebomb is a lethal weapon with which the BG could easily seriously hurt or kill you. If the guy lights it and shows intent to throw it, you can legally defend yourself. If the same guy has a knife and is 25 yards away, sees that you are armed and drops the knife, you cannot legally shoot him because the threat is no longer present. If he picks it back up and advances toward you, you can defend yourself. You need to use the "Color System" that many of us live by on a daily basis. If you walk around in Condition Yellow all the time, you're going to be better equipped to adapt quickly to your environment.

    If you are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death, you can protect yourself using deadly force. In the state of Virginia, you cannot use deadly force to protect property.

    Be the best witness you can be by remembering what the person looked like, what he was wearing and info about his getaway vehicle. The taking of human life isn't worth the price of a bigscreen TV, a home theater system or even your car or boat. That's why we have insurance. it covers things like this.

    If you feel it necessary to confront the person stealing your property, you can defend yourself ONLY if the person attacks you or shows intent to do you serious bodily harm or kill you. If the BG takes your valuables and runs away, you cannot shoot him in the back. He may have committed misdemeanor theft, but you have committed felony murder.

    Why is this so hard to figure out? In this instance, there is NO "gray" area, it is plainly black and white.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
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    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    SouthernBoy wrote:
    I could very well be wrong about this so if I am, please do correct me. I think there is at least one situation where you can use deadly force to protect property. However, in reality, what you are really protecting is you life. Let me explain.

    Suppose you are awakened in the wee hours of the morning to sounds out in your front yard. You get up and go to your window and see that there is someone on your property in front of your house getting ready to throw a burning bottle filled with gasoline through one of your front windows. You get your shotgun and take him out before he launches his firebomb.

    Now in the most strict sense, you could be seen as protecting your property. However, if this fire spreads quickly and you are trapped upstairs, your life is in definite danger. I would have to believe that this would be viewed as protecting your life over protecting your property, though both actions would be true.

    Any thoughts???

    This is more of a case of protecting your life and /or the lives of others in your home. The firebomb is a lethal weapon with which the BG could easily seriously hurt or kill you. If the guy lights it and shows intent to throw it, you can legally defend yourself. If the same guy has a knife and is 25 yards away, sees that you are armed and drops the knife, you cannot legally shoot him because the threat is no longer present. If he picks it back up and advances toward you, you can defend yourself. You need to use the "Color System" that many of us live by on a daily basis. If you walk around in Condition Yellow all the time, you're going to be better equipped to adapt quickly to your environment.

    If you are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death, you can protect yourself using deadly force. In the state of Virginia, you cannot use deadly force to protect property.

    Be the best witness you can be by remembering what the person looked like, what he was wearing and info about his getaway vehicle. The taking of human life isn't worth the price of a bigscreen TV, a home theater system or even your car or boat. That's why we have insurance. it covers things like this.

    If you feel it necessary to confront the person stealing your property, you can defend yourself ONLY if the person attacks you or shows intent to do you serious bodily harm or kill you. If the BG takes your valuables and runs away, you cannot shoot him in the back. He may have committed misdemeanor theft, but you have committed felony murder.

    Why is this so hard to figure out? In this instance, there is NO "gray" area, it is plainly black and white.
    I am fully aware of all you wrote here and for me, it certainly isn't "so hard to figure out", thank you.

    I was simply posing a scenario that could be viewed (argued if you will) from several positions. To me, it is clear about when you can or cannot use deadly force as present in Virginia case law. But like most things in life, there are shadows and along with such, decisions to take.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  19. #19
    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    I could very well be wrong about this so if I am, please do correct me. I think there is at least one situation where you can use deadly force to protect property. However, in reality, what you are really protecting is you life. Let me explain.

    Suppose you are awakened in the wee hours of the morning to sounds out in your front yard. You get up and go to your window and see that there is someone on your property in front of your house getting ready to throw a burning bottle filled with gasoline through one of your front windows. You get your shotgun and take him out before he launches his firebomb.

    Now in the most strict sense, you could be seen as protecting your property. However, if this fire spreads quickly and you are trapped upstairs, your life is in definite danger. I would have to believe that this would be viewed as protecting your life over protecting your property, though both actions would be true.

    Any thoughts???
    Perhaps a fine point here, but if he were to actually launch his firebomb (i.e. it being in mid flight) before you pulled the trigger, he would no longer be a threat. The incoming firebomb would now be the threat that you must deal with.

    What kind of neighborhood do you live in?
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

  20. #20
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    I've always looked at it in simplistic terms.

    Lets say you wake up in the middle of the night and notice that at your neighbors house some thieves are breaking into their shed. You go outside with your gun and shoot the robbers. This is blatantly illegal.

    Let's you are asleep in bed and you hear noises coming from the edge of your bed. You open your eyes and there is a man dressed in black going through your dresser. You reach for your gun that is right under your bed. Just as you are grabbing the gun the burglar hears this and turns towards you. You immediately draw and place a round in his head.... You have no idea who this person is and therefore have no idea what this person would do next. You therefore fear for your life and safety and act in self defense.

    He doesn't have to have a gun. The fact that he is in your home illegally is already a threat to your life and safety.

  21. #21
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    Dispatcher wrote:
    I've always looked at it in simplistic terms.

    Lets say you wake up in the middle of the night and notice that at your neighbors house some thieves are breaking into their shed. You go outside with your gun and shoot the robbers. This is blatantly illegal.

    Let's you are asleep in bed and you hear noises coming from the edge of your bed. You open your eyes and there is a man dressed in black going through your dresser. You reach for your gun that is right under your bed. Just as you are grabbing the gun the burglar hears this and turns towards you. You immediately draw and place a round in his head.... You have no idea who this person is and therefore have no idea what this person would do next. You therefore fear for your life and safety and act in self defense.

    He doesn't have to have a gun. The fact that he is in your home illegally is already a threat to your life and safety.
    Not illegal in Texas...:celebrate

  22. #22
    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    PavePusher wrote:
    Not illegal in Texas...:celebrate
    That was my first thought, too, but I didn't post it because...y'know...this is the Virginia forum.

    ~ Boyd

  23. #23
    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    TexasNative wrote:
    PavePusher wrote:
    Not illegal in Texas...:celebrate
    That was my first thought, too, but I didn't post it because...y'know...this is the Virginia forum.

    ~ Boyd
    Some of the things I miss about living in the Republic of Texas...


    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

  24. #24
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Spot on.



    MSC 45ACP wrote:

    Some of the things I miss about living in the Republic of Texas...

    No OC, the heat/humidity, fire ants and Tex-Mex food (I love it, it doesn't love me).

    18 month @ Ft. Sam Houston, 3 months TDY @ Ft. Bliss all in the 80's.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

  25. #25
    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    I really miss the TexMex food. My son was born in Clear Lake (Webster, actually). I miss the places that made the FRESH flour tortillas. My kids would watch that tortilla maker for an HOUR at Papasitos on I-45 in Webster.

    What was the topic of this thread again?
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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