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Americans got something right!

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by pro-pilot, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22658364-5005961,00.html

    'Shoot first' laws make it tough for burglars
    By Fanny Carrier

    October 27, 2007 04:57pm
    THERE was a time when burglars in the United States could sue homeowners if they were shot in ambush. But now a growing number of states have made it legal to shoot to kill when somebody breaks into a house.

    John Woodson, 46, found that out last week when he ambled into Dennis Baker's open garage in a Dallas suburb. A surveillance video showed the robber strolling inside, hands in his pockets, looking more curious than menacing.

    From the shadows, Mr Baker opened fire and killed Mr Woodson.

    "I just had to protect myself and that was it," Mr Baker told television reporters despite the fact Mr Woodson had not tried to enter the bedroom near the garage where Mr Baker had been sleeping.

    The incident made national headlines since it was Mr Baker's parrot that gave the alarm when it innocently squawked "good morning" at the intruder.

    But Mr Woodson's death seemed anecdotal compared to another Dallas resident who a few days earlier had killed his second robber in three weeks inside his home.

    Police are investigating both cases, but it is unlikely charges will be filed. Texas recently passed a law branding anybody breaking into a home or car as a real threat of injury or death to its occupants.

    In contrast with traditional self-defense laws, this measure does not require that a person who opens fire on a burglar be able to prove that he or she were physically threatened, that force was used only as a last resort and that the victim had first tried to hide.

    Florida was the first state to adopt in 2005 a law that was dubbed "Stand your ground" or "Shoot first".

    But now they have proliferated largely under pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), the main weapons lobby in the United States.

    Today 19 out of 50 US states, mostly in the south and the central regions of the country, have this kind of laws, and similar legislation is pending in about a dozen others.

    "This law will bring common-sense self-defense protections to law-abiding citizens," said Rachel Parsons, a spokesperson for the NRA.

    "If someone is breaking into your home, it's obvious that they are not there to have dinner with you," she continued.

    "You do have a right to protect your belongings, your family and yourself.

    "The law needs to be put on the side of the victim, and not on the side of the criminal, who is attacking the victim."

    But for the Freedom States Alliance that fights against the proliferation of firearms in the United States, these new laws attach more value to threatened belongings than to the life of the thief and only serve to increase the number of people killed by firearms each year, which currently is estimated to stand at nearly 30,000.

    "It's that whole Wild West mentality that is leading the country down a very dangerous path," said Sally Slovenski, executive director of the alliance.

    "In any other country, something like the castle doctrine or stand-your-ground laws look like just absolute lunacy," she continued.

    "And yet in this country, somehow it's been justified, and people just sort of have come to live with this, and they just don't see the outrage in this."

    According to Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 2.18 million burglaries to the United States in 2006, up 1.3 percent compared to the year before.

    But the number is still well below the 3.24 million burglaries a year committed 20 years ago.
  2. I can undersatnd this, but I can also see hundreds of innocent citizens being killed by trigger-happy idiots. And if these vigilante morons are later convicted by a court, how will that bring back their innocent victims?

    America has truly reached a sad pass when this sort of thing is not just permitted but made law.
  3. How exactly is this a good thing, if you can get someone on your property then you can kill them?
    I'm not even sure that the person in the example had actually committed a crime?

    Insanity like criminals being able to sue their victims need to be sorted, but this is just ridiculous.
  4. So all I have to do is to lure someone I don't like onto my property and shoot the person, and say I thought he/she was going to rob the place???

    This should cut out a lot of messy neighbourhood disputes and arguments about divorce and will make it easy as to break a contract.

    Texan lawmakers must be smoking some powerful stuff, is all I can say :roll:.
  5. its gotta be a little concerning that the dallas dude is up to his second in three weeks...one way to pull off a legit hit on someone, invite them in and do the southpark "it was coming right at us!"

    only in america.... :roll:
  6. If someone breaks into my house and risks my families lives I would use deadly force within a heartbeat. If you break into someones house you have given up many of your rights automatically.

    Obviously those laws are extreme, you should still have to prove they were a threat to your life. Otherwise people will abuse the law.
  7. Did anyone say otherwise? Did you read the whole OP report?? Let me refresh your mind.

    John Woodson, 46, found that out last week when he ambled into Dennis Baker's open garage in a Dallas suburb. A surveillance video showed the robber strolling inside, hands in his pockets, looking more curious than menacing.

    There is no suggestion that he was there for any nefarious purpose, but the homeowner shot him dead.

    Remind me not to wander into YOUR place to borrow a cup of sugar, please :roll:.
  8. And John Woodson is someone who may have abused that extreme law as I stated.
  9. SEE, you DIDN'T read the original post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Woodson was the VICTIM, Baker was the murderer!!

    sheeeesh :roll:.
  10. I agree with the intentions of the laws... it makes sense to be able to defend ones home. But as pointed out it's hard to tell what has really gone on behind the murder.
  11. yikes!

    scary stuff.

    just the excuse for those happy trigger finger wankers to exercise their GOD GIVEN rights!

    thought the wild west was long and gone?!
  12. That is bullshit. In all common law jurisdictions, and I imagine American ones included, whether the defence is made out turns upon the reasonableness of the actions or beliefs of the accused. Reasonableness is an infinitely elastic concept, and what constitutes a reasonable belief or act is especially malleable in the hands of a jury sympathetic to an accused who killed an intruder and claims self-defence. Force as a last resort or attempts to hide are not legal absurdities. They are what a jury has, at some point in the past, determined, having regard to the peculiar facts of a case, to have been quite open to an accused to do, instead of killing an intruder.

    There is no need for the law, and the only thing that it adds to the existing law is an excuse for a person who has unreasonably killed another.
  13. How about go to the front door and knock, instead of just wandering in.

    If you have entered my premises without my permission, then you run the risk that I may just get scared enough to do something rash whilst fearing for my life.

    If anyone has a problem with that, then maybe, just maybe, you'd better get permission before entering my domain. The fact that a law protects my right to protect my property and welfare, then all the better.
  14. but protecting with deadly force? is it really necessary?
    if you fear for your life by default because a stranger has breached the perimeter of your "domain" then you have some very deep seated paranoia issues.
    heaven forbid the electricity man wanders in to check your meter :!:
  15. I was thinking more of entering my house (or garage), rather than just my yard, which I believe is what the laws in America also refer to.

    If I'm asleep in my bed and I wake to hear someone wandering around inside my house unannounced, then yeah, screw em.
  16. i think the only difference now is that when a person enters your house with intent to rob and you shoot them, you no longer have to go thru all the burdon of disposing of the body yourself. the good ol law makers will do the dirty work for you

    lazy americans :LOL:

    seriously, its good to see the law on the side of the victim for a change but not very promising to see a law that can be so easily manipulated

    hi pat, come over yeah?

    knock knock

    here pat, have a drink [tainted with herion]


    hello cops, there was a robber in my house, i shot him [sob] it was my good friend pat [sob] he receintly got into drugs and got desperate i gues [sob]

    cheers :cool:
  17. If you're asleep you won't know HOW I got into the house, will you :roll:???

    In which case you either have something to hide, or need treatment for an over-active paranoia.
  18. or....maybe I've had experience with violent home invasion and have watched the accused receive very little in the way of a consequence whilst I suffer restless nights wondering whether the noise I heard was another druggie come to nick my stuff and beat the crap out of me, or if its just hornet600 breaking and entering to 'borrow' some sugar.

    Be careful about jumping to conclusions people. Paranoia is the unreasonable fear of something. I don't think my fear, based on experience, is unreasonable at all.

    I don't give a rats HOW you got in. YOU are in without my permission or my prior knowledge.

    Look, I tend to agree that intentional deadly force is probably a bit unnecessary, but i have no problem with people defending themselves or their property with force.
  19. That's a fair call mate, I understand. But to make "shoot first and ask questions later" LAW is just crazy, isn't it?
  20. Yep, giving citizens the option to make a judgement AFTER they shoot the person is definitely heading in the wrong direction for the US. I'm scared about the people that vote people like Bush in, let alone handing them a gun and the supreme decision as to take someone's life! If he's got a gun, ok, you're life is threatened. If he's some 15 year old kid trying to flog the TV, does he really deserve to die?