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Colorado's "Make My Day" Law

The Denver Post has an article today about Colorado's "Make My Day" law that allows homeowners to use deadly force against an intruder in their home.

Introduced in 1985 as the Homeowner Protection Act, "make my day" gives Colorado residents the right to shoot and kill an intruder if they believe the person intends to commit a crime and use physical force, "no matter how slight." That extraordinary right stops at the door. Front porches and backyards don't count.

In other words, to shoot and kill an intruder in the home, a homeowner need only reasonably believe a trespassing person might use any measure of physical force on any occupant of the home. The law is explained here.

Outside the home:

... in Colorado, as in Florida, fists can be deemed deadly weapons that justify gun use outside the home.

[More...]

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey says:

In effect, the law affords protection similar to that provided under "stand your ground...I think a jury would have found Zimmerman not guilty in Colorado, just based on self-defense.

Last year I wrote about this shooting in Boulder, in which the homeowners weren't charged when they shot an unarmed female who wandered into their bedroom. The woman was later charged with felony trespass.

[Added: InfoGraphic deleted, some information is disputed.]

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  • "Merely" is psychologically misleading. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Prime on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 04:55:29 PM EST
    There is nothing trivial about believing that an intruder will use physical force against you.  Rather than list the myriad situations that would justify self-defense, the law says if someone is in your house uninvited and intends to use force on you, you can use lethal force to stop them.

    Kidnappings and false imprisonments too frequently turn into murders.  Anyone who feels that this law will cramp their style needs to learn to respect other people's rights, if not for the right reasons then at least for self-serving ones.  


    The most trenchant points were two made (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by scribe on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:14:37 PM EST
    in the comments to the linked infographic (which I've summarized for convenience):

    1.  If you do elect to shoot, be prepared to be charged and to spend the low six figures on your defense, even if it is wholly justified.  Expect to be sued over it, even if you win your criminal case.  Do not expect anyone to pay your legal bills for you.

    2.  No one makes you shoot.  The only thing these laws do is offer some limited structure in the laws for possibly protecting you against being both victim and criminal after some knucklehead decides to commit a crime against you.


    Some people put those alarm signs on (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:19:54 PM EST
    their property; maybe a sign on the front door or the lawn - "I have a gun, and it's loaded" - would be as effective.

    Parent
    To pull that off, it helps to have (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by scribe on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:33:34 PM EST
    a somewhat beatup pickup truck in your driveway and maybe a loud dog.

    In more polite neighborhoods, that sign is thief bait because the criminally-inclined figure you've got more than one in the house and you're not going to be around all the time, preferably during the day while you're at work.  (They'd rather work days, because it's more likely no one will be home.)  It's also cop bait - they'll want to come in and poke around, preferably without a warrant, to see if they can make a gun bust.  In some states, cops use NRA bumperstickers as a criterion on whether to stop cars bearing them, looking to make a gun bust.

    The best policy, it seems, is uncertainty, i.e., leaving those who might be inclined to break in no information on whether they'll meet armed response or not.  Criminals by and large want to get in, get the swag, and get out.  They'll go for the obviously "unarmed" places.  "Unarmed" means (a) no guns in the house or (b) guns in the house and no people there.

    Parent

    I wasn't serious, just so you know. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:05:28 AM EST
    Please don't think I'm opposed to people wanting to be safe in their homes - I'm not.  But I think the law, as written, encourages people to reach for the gun without thinking, and that, it seems to me, is an invitation to tragedy.

    One would hope that, if awakened in the dead of night by the sounds of an intruder, the homeowner would ascertain as quickly as possible whether the rest of his family members were where they should be - also in bed - or whether "the intruder" is a teenager getting a midnight snack or trying to sneak in late after curfew, or the cat knocking something off the counter - before taking any shots.

    If you have your weapon properly secured, it would seem like that's a process that could be underway as you're getting the gun out of the safe and loading it.  But how many people go to bed at night with a fully-loaded weapon in the nightstand drawer, ready in case of emergency?  Probably more than we'd want to know about, I'm guessing.  Which means the chances of shooting before thinking increase, along with the mess that follows.

    I don't want to shoot anyone if I don't have to.  I'm sure I could rationalize that killing or seriously injuring someone was necessary to save my own life, but I don't think it would be an easy process.  And while people always say they have guns to protect from outsiders, how many times do angry people end up reaching for a gun and shooting a spouse, or a child or even a friend?  

    I guess this is why I object to laws that make it easier for guns to be the answer, because the question isn't always the one the shooter thought he or she had the gun for.  

    And the "Make My Day" nomenclature doesn't help.

    Parent

    in Boulder the couple (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 06:30:06 PM EST
    who shot the intruder in the bedroom warned her they had a gun and she kept advancing.

    I don't know many people (besides myself) who keep the security alarm on when home. When an intruder breaks in, you could be dead by the time you call 911 and they arrive. No one should have a gun without being properly trained in how to use it. Assuming they are properly trained, the intruder should know the risk.

    All three of these must exist for the shooting to be justified:

    1)The intruder UNLAWFULLY entered the dwelling.

    1. The occupant of the dwelling has reasonable belief that the intruder has committed a CRIME OTHER THAN UNLAWFUL ENTRY, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property IN ADDITION TO THE UNINVITED ENTRY; and,

    2. The occupant REASONABLY BELIEVES THAT THE INTRUDER MIGHT USE ANY PHYSICAL FORCE, no matter how slight, against the occupant.


    Parent
    The Boulder person was smart (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by scribe on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 07:14:36 PM EST
    I think it incumbent on a person intending to defend their home and person to warn the intruder to stop/leave.  Maybe the law doesn't require it, but doing so can only stand the shooter in good stead later.  My comments on keeping things uncertain for the potential criminal should have been a bit clearer - I was concerned with signs and such (like one sees on the lawn for burglar alarm companies) and not with a person-to-person warning during a crime being committed.

    As to people leaving the alarm system off when they're in the house  - bingo.    

    And I wholly concur on training.  Too many people get a gun and put it in the closet without ever learning much more than the salesperson tells them about how to operate it.  That's a prescription for trouble.

    Parent

    Public classes on how to safelly use guns... (none / 0) (#26)
    by redwolf on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 04:53:36 AM EST
    might be in order.  Once upon a time we taught gun safety and operation in school.

    Parent
    Actually, it is partly unlawful to do so (none / 0) (#31)
    by scribe on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:32:21 AM EST
    Or at least it's a legal thicket most schools have neither the time, money, patience or desire to navigate.

    The law is complicated but the short version is that schools may use Pittman-Robertson funds to teach safety for long guns, but may not use those funds to teach safety for handguns.  Pittman-Robertson funds are derived from a federal excise tax on firearms, ammunition, hunting and fishing equipment.  The federal government divvies up these funds according to a complicated formula and distributes them to the states for acquisition of wildlife habitat, renovation or construction of shooting ranges open to the public, and hunter and safety education.

    Schools can adopt and offer firearms safety education programs for students.  But they run into three major problems - parents and members of the public who go nuts over the very idea of anything about guns being taught in school (think of how there's a constant drumbeat of people who don't want the schools teaching sex education), the funding issues, and politicians' concerns (usually baseless) about possibile liability.

    And then there are laws prohibiting the presence of guns in schools.  It's really kinda pointless to give a safety course without a hands-on component;  imagine driver ed without getting behind the wheel.

    And, a lot of people get turned off because some of the best - most comprehensive and sensible - safety education programs are produced by the NRA.

    I think it's a good idea to incorporate age-appropriate firearms safety education into school health programs, but a lot of people disagree.

    Parent

    Protetected by BTK (none / 0) (#18)
    by Char Char Binks on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:47:32 PM EST
    That might help.  After all, he used to work for ADT.

    Parent
    I Back Gun Control... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:35:00 AM EST
    ...but this is a no brainer.  

    An intruder enters my home, they get one rubber bullet from a 12 gauge shotgun, they don't go down or away, there is 5 tungsten shot shells behind that one.  The tungsten is designed to penetrate flesh, but not walls, so stray shot doesn't hit the neighbor or my dog.

    How does this differ in anyway from self defense ?  Seems like a law that serves no purpose other than to stroke the idiots for votes.  Or maybe that's just my view from living in Texas.  I should not have to evaluate the degree in which an intruder is might harm me when they re in my home and I just woke out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night.

    To me that is what the 2A is about, the ability to feel, and be safe at in your home, not your car, not at the park, and certainly not while in a college class.

    I still want stronger background checks and military type weapons, aka assault rifles, out of the hands of fools, aka the general public.

    It's a GD shame they had to call such a common sense law "Make My Day" law.  Just more proof the idiots runt his country.  Anyone who has ever seen that phrase in use on the big screen knows it has nothing to do with protecting ones self and ones family at home.

    And lastly, has this law ever applied in a case of a the police using a no-knock warrant ?

    Looks like tungsten is a denser alternative (none / 0) (#35)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 11:58:33 AM EST
    to steel shot.  Lead is apparently fairly widely prohibited due to toxicity.  I suspect it will penetrate walls rather handily, especially the 1/2" drywall that constitutes walls in most modern homes.

    I didn't even know this stuff existed.  Rubber plug and shot shotgun shells?  I knew the cops had this stuff; I didn't know I could buy it.  

    BTW, a little googling reveals that the minimum safe distance to administer rubber shot is 30 feet.  

    Parent

    They are Specifically Designed for Home Defense (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:47:47 PM EST
    It's a mix, buck shot and BBs.  I think they are Remington shells.

    The rubber is buckshot, not a slug which is what your article discusses.  They put all kinds of stuff in shot gun shells that is legal and not lethal.

    What is crazy, is it comes out of the box with a pistol grip that took about 5 mins to replace the normal stock.  Not being a gun person, I could not believe THIS is a legal.

    Parent

    Rubber shot also dangerous at close quarters, (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:05:28 PM EST
    About halfway down the comments at this site, an Iraq vet mentions a very high number of "detainees" losing eyes due to damage from rubber shot.

    Parent
    And.. (4.80 / 5) (#2)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 04:46:28 PM EST
    I have to say calling it a "Make My Day" law feeds into the already overly-active Hollywood fantasy life of many gun and law-and-order afficiandos..

    I almost liked this... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Prime on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:04:54 PM EST

    ...because gun control advocates love to stereotype gun owners as a ridiculous caricature of small-penised, barely-contained xenophobic rage.  This is often done by characterizing any self-defense legislation as a "Make my day" law.  

    For a second I thought you were about to shine the light of reason and fairness on this sad practice.  

    Alas.  


    Parent

    stereotypes.. (none / 0) (#43)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 01:44:12 PM EST
    as in, the implication that any "gun owner" MUST be opposed to "gun control" in any form, the way the Catholic Church opposes abortion?

    Parent
    Ugh. (4.80 / 5) (#5)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:01:50 PM EST
    Fine, great, have a law that makes it okay for someone to have a brain fart and shoot someone, but for the love of God, call it something else that doesn't invoke swagger and bravado and macho posturing.

    Maybe the God Help Me, I Killed Someone law.

    Nah, not catchy enough.

    Sigh.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#36)
    by Lora on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:31:38 PM EST
    I like Clint Eastwood movies.  I like the way he squints and talks through his teeth.  That's fiction and it is enjoyable.

    There is no way a law allowing for the killing of a human being should be named after such a memorable catch-phrase.

    I predict there will be an increase of unintended shootings and killings as a result of this law.

    I'm all for protecting home and family, and the right to do so.  I don't know what the answer is.  Maybe some sort of wording in the law that the home-dweller/shooter must make a reasonable assessment that a threat exists before he/she lets loose with lethal force.

    Parent

    law is clarified and I see criteria exist (none / 0) (#37)
    by Lora on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:36:48 PM EST
    OK, reading the explanation from Jeralyn's link, I see there are very specific criteria for using deadly force.  That's a help, at least.

    Parent
    I know you don't agree with me (4.67 / 3) (#1)
    by sj on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 04:35:00 PM EST
    But to me this is one of the problems right here.
    In other words, to shoot and kill an intruder in the home, a homeowner must merely...
    Emphasis mine.

    A "merely" shouldn't be sufficient anything to take the life of another.

    Context (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Cylinder on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:16:24 PM EST
    The purpose of the law is to avoid putting residents in prison for acts predicated on another's extreme recklessness.

    "Detached reflection cannot be demanded  in the face of an upturned knife." Oliver Wendall Holmes

    For me, at least, the law shouldn't demand the same for intruders inside your home - especially for those who's motives are unknown to the resident. It's unreasonable for the law to require the resident to act with same consideration it would demand of the same person in a public place.

    Parent

    Not to mention ... (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:31:02 PM EST
    ... that deadly force should not (IMO) be permitted to prevent property crimes or when someone isn't threatened with serious bodily harm or death.  See the case of Francis Boutcher who shot a teenage burglar in the back of the head as he tried to flee out the front door of his house.

    The Guenther case became the focus of a 1988 PBS Frontline documentary; it also received detailed attention in a 1990 study of the new law prepared by William Wilbanks, a Florida criminologist. Wilbanks was skeptical of the benefits of Make My Day. His review of the first 23 Colorado cases in which the law was invoked as a defense found that most of them involved domestic violence, feuds among friends and neighbors or disputes among drug dealers -- not unknown intruders seeking to rob or assault a homeowner. In fact, in only three of the cases was the intruder a stranger to the home defender, and in all of those, the "intruders" were police officers.

    "An examination of the 20 cases involving non-strangers suggests that the homeowners used force (sometimes deadly force) as much out of anger as self-defense," Wilbanks wrote. He urged several clarifications in the language of the bill -- including a distinction between intruders making "uninvited entry" and peace officers acting within the scope of their duties -- that were never adopted.

    Link

    Parent

    The problem with this... (none / 0) (#24)
    by mamapjs on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 02:37:23 AM EST
    "... that deadly force should not (IMO) be permitted to prevent property crimes or when someone isn't threatened with serious bodily harm or death..."

    ... is that you have to be psychic to know what the real intentions of an intruder are.  Some guy is in my living room... how do I know whether he's there to steal my computer, my dog, or me?  Do we have a lengthy conversation over coffee and tea cakes, during which I'm supposed to have enough psyciatric training to determine his true motive?  The experience we've had here in Florida is that once it became the responsibility of the criminal to stay out of my house, such crimes dropped.  Now they have to decide for themselves whether stealing that computer is worth risking their lives. It's on their own heads.

    Parent

    You really don't have to be psychic (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 06:53:23 AM EST
    The traditional Castle Doctrine (which predates SYG laws) creates legal protections and immunities when someone uses force against an intruder in their home.  They vary from state-to-state, but they often remove the homeowner's duty to retreat (if possible) and create a rebuttable presumption of self-defense.  IOW - when someone unlawfully enters a home it is presumed that the self-defense/use of force are permitted, but this presumption can be overcome by evidence that the use of force was not legally justified (i.e. shooting was motivated by anger rather than a threat, intruder was trying to escape and not a threat, etc.).

    The experience we've had here in Florida is that once it became the responsibility of the criminal to stay out of my house, such crimes dropped.  Now they have to decide for themselves whether stealing that computer is worth risking their lives. It's on their own heads.

    It's always been the "responsibility of the criminal to stay out of my house", but I presume you're talking about Florida's SYG law passed in 2005.  Not sure why you believe the drop in "these crimes" (whatever those are - burglary) is caused by SYG laws.  Violent crimes have been going down in most places since 2005 when Florida passed its SYG law.  In Florida, violent crime rates were already dropping for the 5 years preceding the SYG law (2000-2005).  They increased slightly in the two years after the law was passed (2006-2007), then dropped again through 2010.

    Parent

    You really don't have property rights... (none / 0) (#25)
    by redwolf on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 04:47:57 AM EST
    if you can't use force to defend your property.

    Parent
    Of course you do (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 06:10:54 AM EST
    But you shouldn't be able to kill someone over a TV or lawnmower, IMO.

    Parent
    How does one (none / 0) (#34)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 10:17:49 AM EST
    guarantee that the person is only in the house looking for the lawnmower?

    Parent
    You don't (none / 0) (#39)
    by Yman on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 04:44:47 PM EST
    OTOH - traditional Castle Doctrine laws would create a rebuttable presumption of self defense, but where the evidence showed the killing was not for self defense (i.e. burglar shot in the back while trying to flee, etc.), the shooter should not be immune.

    Parent
    Unfortunately, due to the length of time (none / 0) (#41)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:12:18 PM EST
    a lot of people will require to ramp up the courage, foolhardiness, or just plain adrenaline, required to pull that trigger, that intruder may have already turned and fled, or begun to, which is possibly how some end up shot in the back.

    Lots of things to go wrong in scenarios like this, lots of opportunity for miscues.

    Parent

    Presumption of benign intent (none / 0) (#45)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 06:49:56 PM EST
    isn't reasonable for someone engaged in any type of criminal activity. A criminal with no history of any violence can't be assumed to not react violently when looking a something like a third strike conviction.

    It wouldn't be legal, but a criminal caught in the act might see attacking a person as "self defense" when confronted by an armed homeowner. Its not unreasonable for a criminal to assume an armed homeowner "might" shoot them on sight, which in turn doesn't make it unreasonable for the homeowner to do so.

    Parent

    Who said it was? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 05:07:42 PM EST
    Leaving aside your interesting logic and legal interpretations, you're arguing against points I'm not making.

    Parent
    Almost 80% of all (none / 0) (#3)
    by txantimedia on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 04:53:27 PM EST
    handgun shootings are survived.  Just look at any week in Chicago.

    By shooting someone in your home you are not automatically or arbitrarily killing them.  Self defense laws do not grant you the right to take a life.  They grant you the right to defend your own using deadly force.

    If criminals don't want to get shot, they should stop committing crimes.  Breaking into someone's home is a choice.  Choices come with consequences.  Dying is one possible consequence, but certainly not the only one.

    Parent

    I changed it (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 06:21:52 PM EST
    to "must only". I also had the wrong link to the site that explained the law. It is here.

    Parent
    I don't understand the states who (none / 0) (#15)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 07:44:05 PM EST
    have SYG outside your home, but limitations inside your home. That sounds backwards.

    I was surprised to see MA has the same law Colorado does. I guess the states in orange/yellowish don't have SYG inside the home due to the "crime other than unlawful entry" or "in addition" to the unlawful entry. I can see a scared person shooting before seeing if another crime is going to be committed. I think the Castle Doctrine makes more sense if you're going to have SYG either way.

    Also surprising - South Carolina. Don't they know they're in the south? I say that in sarcasm and sadness about some of our laws, not necessarily this one. Arkansas, too, though I consider them southwest.

    Don't rely on the chart (none / 0) (#17)
    by scribe on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:08:00 PM EST
    It's not intentionally misleading, but rather an attempt to categorize the various states by gross comparisons of the characteristics of their self-defense laws.

    In some states, fer instance, you might be able to "stand your ground", i.e., be under no duty to have run out of retreat options before undertaking to use (lethal) force to defend yourself, only to find that it is next-to-impossible to get a permit to own, let alone carry concealed, a gun.  It'd be a right to defend yourself but only without means to implement it.

    The laws are so different between states and even within states (where some states allow municipalities to add their own gun controls to the existing state scheme) that one really needs a specialized lawyer to lay out, in detail, what the law actually is.  And a lot of it winds up in a grey area.

    Another source of advice to avoid is Joe Biden.  You'll recall he urged people who wanted a gun for self/home defense to "buy a double-barrelled shotgun".  All well and good (and IMHO such a gun is probably the second-best, after a pump-action shotgun, for home defense).  But he also advocated shooting warning shots and, IIRC, shooting through the door or into the yard at a potential intruder.  Very bad advice if you want to defend your self/home, and he's a lawyer giving it.  But his earned reputation is as a gun-grabber from way back and he'd probably be happy to see homeowners incarcerated for following his suggestion if it meant furthering gun control.

    Parent

    Thanks, scribe (none / 0) (#19)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 09:07:42 PM EST
    And you're right, those details do make a difference.

    I don't like concealed carry laws, but at least they require quite a bit of education before they receive it (at least here). I think purchasing a gun should require that same education if we're going to have so many people owning them.

    It gives me chills to think if I'm in the grocery store that there are people there carrying guns.

    Parent

    Don't like concealed carry (none / 0) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:49:24 AM EST
    ,

    So Teresa, just why is it that you feel the politically powerful and wealthy plutocrats should be able to have access to armed protection, but denied to my beautiful bride?

    .

    Parent

    It's not even a legal thing with (none / 0) (#23)
    by Teresa on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 01:56:18 AM EST
    me. I trust you and your wife. Guns just scare me all the way around.

    My ex-husband has a concealed carry that he got while we were still married. I know why he got it and can honestly say that he might need it for safety when he's alone at night in nowhere land. But he went to two days of classes to get it and I'd just like to see everyone take at least a gun safety class before they have one.

    My brother is staying with me right now, so I don't fear living alone. But, I bought a condo a long time ago when I was single because I am scared to live in a house alone. I understand people being scared, guns just scare me in a public area. And, people do lose their tempers and I don't want to be on the street or in the store when it happens.

    Did you and your wife have to take classes? If so, were they thorough?

    Parent

    As a competitive shooter (none / 0) (#42)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 06:54:34 PM EST
    .

    I was deep into safe gun handling before I took a CCW class.  My beautiful bride does not carry.  I am her body guard.  Unlike the politically powerful and the very rich we can't afford to hire that service.

    .

    Parent

    Reasonably believes (none / 0) (#16)
    by Teresa on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 07:53:06 PM EST
    might use force (inside). How would a person on a jury ever know that, assuming the intruder didn't actually get to injure the person because the homeowner believed she'd be harmed and shot?

    If someone broke in my house, I'd believe they might harm me if they saw me (though I don't have any guns). I think my default position on jury would be that they did believe it, unless the person was trying to leave.

    Lights, locks, loaded (none / 0) (#20)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:00:56 AM EST
    I'd like to see people make all the reasonable precautions to keep somebody from entering their house before shooting them, but I can't see requiring it. Anybody see merit in something like a "do the right thing" law giving extra immunity to say civil suits if the person takes some reasonable steps beyond the requirements of a legal shoot?

    Shooting someone is the last thing I think anyone would want to do, but failing to shoot may be the last thing you do.

    I think that immunity from civil lawsuit (none / 0) (#44)
    by Thorley Winston on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 02:56:52 PM EST
    Should be as a matter of course similar to what Florida did with its SYG statute.  If it's a righteous shoot (or other use of force in self-defense) then you shouldn't be liable for civil damages to your attacker or on behalf of their family/survivors, period.

    Parent
    Ironic (none / 0) (#21)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:47:47 AM EST
    "Make my day" is what Dirty Harry says to prevent a shooting.

    Why was Zoey Ripple charged? (none / 0) (#27)
    by redwolf on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 04:56:57 AM EST
    Seems more like a stupid drunken mistake than an actual crime.

    Being drunk (none / 0) (#30)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:28:36 AM EST
    is rarely considered an excuse for breaking the law. It doesn't seem like she meant any harm, but I don't know that intent is required. I did not find any "good" source for information on the case, but some suggest by charging even if it goes to a plea, it reduces the chance of suing.

    Comment that made sense was that her friends who let her wander off blind drunk have more blame than anybody. Its foolish and dangerous to drink with people you can't trust.

    Parent