Missouri Debates it’s New “Castle Doctrine” Law

From the Kansas City Star online:

Missouri has passed it’s own version of Texas’ “castle doctrine” law, which allows deadly force to defend one’s home and stuff, and it appears to have all the bells and whistles of it’s predecessor.  TheZoo’s nwmuse did a story earlier this month entitled, “Murder?  Or self-defense?” about the Texas man who shot two men to death who had just burglarized his neighbor’s house.

We had a lively debate on TheZoo, and Missouri is debating the new law as well.

A similar Missouri law enacted this year appears to allow killings like those [in Texas], according to judges and lawyers. Advocates praise it as allowing innocent people to defend themselves against criminals. Opponents fear it could cause unnecessary deaths, such as killings of petty thieves.

Under a most basic reading, it allows carte blanche to kill anyone unlawfully entering a house or a car or committing a forcible felony, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary, arson, assault, rape or sodomy.

You know, if someone is committing a violent crime against me or mine, I can get behind doing what it takes to stop them — hopefully short of killing the person.  But if someone is just stealing my possessions or money, and trying to get away, I would gladly allow that person to get as far away from me as possible.

Advocates praise [the law] as allowing innocent people to defend themselves against criminals. Opponents fear it could cause unnecessary deaths, such as killings of petty thieves.

Just how far can Missourians go? Shoot a drunk who staggers into your home? Probably. Kill the teen burglar who raises his arms in surrender? Possibly.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has helped push through laws such as the “castle doctrine” in 15 states over the last couple of years.  Why is the NRA interested in laws which actual criminals can use to cover their murders?

Already, the 2007 law helped prompt Jackson County prosecutors to drop a murder charge against a Kansas City man and accept an involuntary manslaughter plea instead.

Prosecutors also fear the law will make it more difficult to file and win cases against even hardened criminals, who may twist the law to help them kill others legally.

“Bad people are going to get away with murder because of this statute,” said assistant Jackson County prosecutor Bryan Krantz. “A lot of people are going to get away with murder.”

The Missouri law has a “reasonableness” clause in it, “meaning you had to believe that you, or another person, was in serious danger before using deadly force.”  That’s pretty wide-open, isn’t it?  People talk themselves into believing all manner of ridiculous things on an everyday basis.

In my opinion, laws such as these allow ordinary people to become legalized murderers.  Such as in the case of the Texas man, Mr Horn, who observed his neighbor’s house being burglarized, and called the police — that’s all that was necessary.  His life was not in danger, and these men were not threatening his family or property, and the 911 operator was telling him over and over again to stay inside his home.  Mr Horn made a conscious and premeditated decision to shoot the men in the back, as they ran away from him.  Legal murder.

Read the whole article here.

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82 thoughts on “Missouri Debates it’s New “Castle Doctrine” Law

  1. Great post, Zooey. (Hope you enjoyed your trip.) And I agree with everything you said. I’d like to add some other thoughts.

    The NRA likes to argue, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Well I would say it’s more like “Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people.” I think the idea that “guns are not dangerous” is patently absurd. Of course they’re dangerous!

    They are dangerous for the same reason we think other countries having intercontinental nuclear missiles is dangerous. Because they can hurt us from all the way over there. Someone might be mad enough to want to kill someone, but they are far less likely to try to do it if it means putting themselves close enough to that person to risk harm to themselves. A gun, pointed from across the room, removes that impediment. They can now hurt someone from all the way over there. And while I can provide no link to an exact figure, I understand that studies have shown that a gun is far more likely to used against someone who lives in the house than against someone who doesn’t. (Yes, I edited it.)

  2. Zooey, I’m assuming you wrote the commented section of this post?

    I agree to some degree with your comments, but not all.

    I believe the man who shot those people who where robbing a neighbors house was murder, but I don’t believe your insinuation that shooting someone who breaks into your own home is murder.

    I have been frustrated for my entire adult life that we have such laws that gives the robber more rights than the persons in the home. This is ludicrous….

    If someone breaks into my house, I’m going to shoot first and ask questions later….. I have every right to protect my house and my family more than I have a legal obligation to worry about a criminals rights who is trying to commit a crime to my house.

    Of course if I chase him down the street and shoot him, then that is a different story.

    I could never understand why the law would give MORE rights to the criminal than to someone protecting their home and family. This is completely contradictory to what the US was founded on.

    I support these new laws, that give the home owner/renter a greater right to protect themselves….

    Why should someone have to worry about being sued or being sent to jail for killing someone who breaks into their house who may very well kill them?

  3. RB, I’m pretty sure I didn’t insinuate that shooting someone who breaks into your own home is murder.

    I did not write in the comments section of that post. I sent Mr Shapiro an email.

  4. Thanks Wayne, I’ve read about that study as well. Many teen suicides are accomplished with the very guns meant to protect them. Personally, I couldn’t live with that.

  5. RemoveBush,

    My feeling is that if a danger to your life (or the lives of those whom you must protect – this covers babysitters) actually exists, then deadly force may be used in self-defense. But once the danger to life or limgb is no longer present, deadly force is not allowed.

    The key element is that the danger must be real, not imaginary. It’s not enough that you infer, believe, insinuate, or imagine that someone intends to kill or seriously harm you, it has to be a fact. To say that you shot someone because you thought he had a gun is not enough. The danger must exist someplace besides your own mind.

  6. Zooey, OK but this part is “insinuating” that by whoever wrote that.

    “The Missouri law has a “reasonableness” clause in it, “meaning you had to believe that you, or another person, was in serious danger before using deadly force.” That’s pretty wide-open, isn’t it? People talk themselves into believing all manner of ridiculous things on an everyday basis.”

    Who would not believe that if someone broke into their house that they would not believe they were in “serious danger”?

    I’m glad to see that we are moving away from protecting the criminal more than the victims.

    Of course there has to be “limits” on what is considered protection, but this is a good sign that people can now protect themselves when a crime is being committed against them.

    Until now, it’s been like letting the rapist go and prosecuting the victim for scratching the rapist during the rape.

  7. Wayne, I disagree……

    If someone breaks into your house, you do not know their “intensions”…

    So after they have tied you and your family up, then raped your family and killed them, how do you justify doing nothing?

    When someone breaks into your home, you MUST take the assumption that they “intend” to do harm. Its a little late after your tied up and assaulted or murdered to think otherwise.

    It’s a different story in your car or out in public, but you should be able to shoot first and ask questions later in your home.

  8. “The Missouri law has a “reasonableness” clause in it, “meaning you had to believe that you, or another person, was in serious danger before using deadly force.” That’s pretty wide-open, isn’t it? People talk themselves into believing all manner of ridiculous things on an everyday basis.”

    The highlighted portion is the quote — otherwise that is my statement, RB.

    You might be in “serious danger” if someone broke into your house. But what if that person simply demanded your cash and then left or tried to leave? Would you be willing to kill someone over money? Someone who is trying to get away from you?

    “Until now, it’s been like letting the rapist go and prosecuting the victim for scratching the rapist during the rape.”

    Sorry RB, but that doesn’t happen here. That’s one of those things people talk themselves into believing.

  9. RB sez:
    So after they have tied you and your family up, then raped your family and killed them, how do you justify doing nothing?

    Read my post again, RB. Nevermind, here’s my quote: You know, if someone is committing a violent crime against me or mine, I can get behind doing what it takes to stop them — hopefully short of killing the person.

  10. RB sez:
    It’s a different story in your car or out in public, but you should be able to shoot first and ask questions later in your home.

    So you wouldn’t have a problem with someone killing you or someone you love, as long as it’s in their home and they can make up a good story?

    Come on, RB! This law is likely to protect more actual criminals than it will innocent homeowners.

  11. Well, RB, I guess we won’t be seeing eye-to-eye on this one. You see, if no danger actually existed, tehn you may end up using deadly force where it was never warranted. My wife and I used to live in an apartment on the second floor of a building. (The lower floor was all commercial offices.) back when my wife used to work in one of those offices, there was a local girl (who was retarded) who used to just wawlk into the office to use the bathroom. She was harmless, just not able to understand how wrong it was to do that. Well, Jane knew of her, but I never saw her before. One day, she happened to walk into our apartment and went straight to our bathroom. She did what she did, flushed the toilet and just walked out. Now, even though I had never seen this women before, would I have been justified in using deadly force against her the moment she walked into my door? (This actually happened, too.) I don’t think so.

    I think the logical disconnect to your argument is that you are allowing for the possibility of what might happen to justify exonerating someone who kills an intruder, but that mindset doesn’t ever enter into play when the homeowner first purchases the gun. Even though the studies show that the danger to the other occupants of his own increase with that gun purchase, no attempt is made to hold him accountable for any of that because it hasn’t happened. Well, one can’t have it both ways. Either you have to wait for someone to do something that justifies deadly force being used against him, or you arrest someone the minute they purchase a gun.

  12. Zooey, sorry but if someone breaks into my house REGARDLESS they will shortly be laying on the ground from my 9mm.

    Just because they say they want your money, that does not mean that they don’t intend to do harm.

    That is how many people end up being killed…. Because they believe that just giving them the money will make them go away. Then the person is killed because the robber does not want any whitneses.

    Zooey: “Sorry RB, but that doesn’t happen here. That’s one of those things people talk themselves into believing.”

    Perhaps not the exact example I gave, but the rapist would be allowed to sue for damages……. There are plenty of cases that the robbers have sued home owners for injuries occured while in the comission of a criminal act of the property.

  13. RB, we will have to agree to disagree. I do hope that if you have children you keep that gun locked down. Teenagers can be quite impulsive.

  14. Wayne, yes…..

    Of course your example is one that is not of the norm, but you would have been justified since this person had entered your home.

    There MUST be a point that a persons home out ways someones ignorance.

    Of course you were right not to do anything, even if you could have legally, but if you could have you would have had every right to do so.

    As I said….. It’s a little late to make the determination that this person is a danger AFTER you have been tied up and rapped or murdered.

    It’s like me pointing a gun at a cop. They are going to make the assumption that I intend to shoot rather than just standing by and saying “Oh, he’s not dangerous lets just stand here and do nothing”.

  15. RB, how many times have you ever had your home broken into?

    I’ve lived in many different areas in this country, good neighborhoods and fairly crappy neighborhoods — and I’ve never been the victim of a crime perpetrated from outside my home.

  16. Well, RB, let’s look at the specific example you gave of It’s like me pointing a gun at a cop. They are going to make the assumption that I intend to shoot rather than just standing by and saying “Oh, he’s not dangerous lets just stand here and do nothing”.

    In that scenario, a gun pointed at a police officer presents an extremely reasonable presumption that his life in is danger. But if you were reaching into your back pocket for your wallet, does that justify him assuming, without any evidence other than that of his own fertile imagination, that he is in danger, permit him to fire with intent to kill?

    If I see someone in my home who has no apparent weapon, what ruight have I to automatically assume that he does have one, and that I just can’t see it? How then, does society distinguish between someone who shot an intruder who may or may not have been intending him physical personal harm, or a guy who shot his friend because he found out his friend was cheating with his wife? “Thought he had a gun, officer.” “Well he didn’t, but you believed it to be true, so I guess we’ll have to let you go.” Where is the line between self-defense and cold-blooded murder?

  17. Gotta wonder how many wives/husbands/teenagers coming in from a late night of whatever might get blown away by a panicky parent/sibling/?

  18. Zooey – “RB, how many times have you ever had your home broken into?”

    Several times. All of them have been while I was out of the house though.

    I have lived in the following states, and in varying types of neighborhoods as well: Michigan, Maine, Louisian, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona.

    I’m glad that you have not been a victim, but does your one experience mean that no one else has??? I will guess that you have not been rapped either, but does that mean that others have not?

    I’m glad that states are starting to allow home owners the rights to protect themselves and their property, but I also said there has to be a limit on that as well.

    I respect human life, but I don’t respect someone who does not respect me. Breaking into my home is a direct threat to me and my family and I should have a right to deal with this in the harshest of terms.

  19. Wayne, your point is taken but you turned it to something other than what was intended.

    Is this officer in his HOME???? NO!

    I have already stated that in public or your car, you should not be allowed in the same manner.

    Your description is PART of his job…… i.e. having people make moves that could be deadly everyday.

    This is not the same as someone entering your home who you do not know!

    Wayne – “If I see someone in my home who has no apparent weapon, what ruight have I to automatically assume that he does have one, and that I just can’t see it?”

    So your telling me that your house is free of any kind of leathal weapon???? You don’t have any knives or hammers in your house? Maybe a golf club???

    As I said, if they break into your house YOU MUST assume that they intend to do you harm.

  20. RUCerious – yes that is a possibility.

    However, did they BREAK into the house???

    Generally, someone who does not belong there does not enter through the front door…..

  21. RB, we are all humans here (even us Critters.) Just how much of your “animal rights” are you trying to assert? Isn’t a civilized society, with a system of laws, and a general public contract “to live and let live” one of the distinction between us and the animals? (I’m not saying there exist no animals with complicated social interactions, but they don’t have the communication and reasoning skills of humans.) If you respect human life, then why do you assert the right to take it from others without proof of any need to do so? As Jane says, “That’s like imagining that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.” That was the entire rationale for our invasion of Iraq. Are you telling us that this kind of thinking is okay? “Pre-emptive strike” is the same principal. You support a Pre-emptive Strike foreign policy (or domestic defense policy?)

  22. RB sez:
    As I said, if they break into your house YOU MUST assume that they intend to do you harm.

    Why?

    Wayne could have bagged himself a retarded girl, but he wouldn’t be able to live with himself.

    I live in an area where there are lots of college students. On more than one occasion students have walked into my home looking for a party, having gotten the wrong building.

    My first reaction is that they got the wrong building, not that they are intending me harm.

    You live your life in fear, RB. Maybe one day you’ll bag yourself a retarded girl.

  23. RUC,

    My parents tell the story of a neighbor they had when I was an infant. The woman was extremely fearful, and her husband worked nights. He bought her a gun so she could feel better about being home alone.

    One night, he got off work early and was putting his key in the doorknob to let himself in.

    His wife shot him through the door and killed him.

  24. Wayne – “If you respect human life, then why do you assert the right to take it from others without proof of any need to do so? As Jane says, “That’s like imagining that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.” That was the entire rationale for our invasion of Iraq. Are you telling us that this kind of thinking is okay? “Pre-emptive strike” is the same principal. You support a Pre-emptive Strike foreign policy (or domestic defense policy?)”

    This rational is illogical…….

    They ARE NOT the same. If Saddam had attacked the US, then your example “might” be a more accurate example. Since he did not, your trying to equate someone breaking into my home and Saddam “maybe” having WMD’s as being equal.

    Your equating someone breaking into my house to me attacking my neighbor because I don’t like something he/she does as being equal. They are not.

    Respecting human life does not mean that you willingly give up yours to protect theirs……

    So tell me then…. What is considered “reasonable” to you????

    Does someone have to have a knife to you, or your families, throat to be considered a “reasonable” threat?

    Humans can think more than animals, but there comes a point that humans must act like animals.

    As Zooey has pointed out above by her example, this does not happen that often so why is protecting ones self from this type of rape a big deal? If a rape victim kills the person rapping her/him during the crime, do you feel that they should be imprissoned???? Or do you feel that they were in fact protecting themselves?

    Someones home is an extension of themselves, so this can be considered rape and to many it is.

  25. Zooey – “Why?”

    Because they do…… Someone who does not intend to do harm do not “BREAK INTO” homes.

    Zooey – “Wayne could have bagged himself a retarded girl, but he wouldn’t be able to live with himself.”

    As I said above….. He made the right decision, but if he was legally allowed to he would have been within his right to do so.

    Zooey – “I live in an area where there are lots of college students. On more than one occasion students have walked into my home looking for a party, having gotten the wrong building.

    My first reaction is that they got the wrong building, not that they are intending me harm.”

    So then I assume that they entered through the FRONT DOOR?????? As I have stated many times here……. Most people who break into homes do not enter through the front door…….

    Zooey – “You live your life in fear, RB. Maybe one day you’ll bag yourself a retarded girl.”

    No I don’t!!! I live in REALITY….

    By your logic, I would be supporting Bush’s torcher policy and all the war crimes he has committed….

    Your making an assumption that is contrary to what I have stated.

    I have not supported any actions of this type, other than to protect your home or if there is direct and imminent danger to you outside your home.

  26. RB,

    Your rape analogy holds less water than Wayne’s Iraq analogy.

    According to these “castle doctrines,” all that is necessary is the BELIEF that one is threatened — hence my statement about people talking themselves into believing all sorts of ridiculous things.

    The Bush administration talked themselves (and much of this country) into believing Saddam had WMD. Apparently that was all that was required. The analogy is fitting.

    How do you feel about women who have shot their abusive spouses in their homes?

  27. Humans can think more than animals, but there comes a point that humans must act like animals.

    When? When is it suddenly okay to say that we are no longer civilized human beings, we are animals? And how many times and in how many cases do you make exceptions to those rules because “we’re really animals at heart”? Because this legal rationale opens up a whole ‘nuther can o’ worms in an entirely different area, and that is the legal recognition of the exercise of certain religious beliefs (such as denying medication to a child and enlisting prayer instead.)

    Are we just animals, or are we something more? That, to me, is the fundamental difference between our points of view.

    As I said, I guess we’ll just have to disagree, my friend.

  28. Glad your home safe and sound Lady Z…….Adding to this thread only today, to much to do and not enough day light to get it done…..

    First off, yes I have been under attack, by home invader’s, by an unrational X who wanted me dead and out in the field in northern Idaho while panning with a friend….By my choice of carring in full view a hefty side arm in every case the perp’s left and nothing happened….Would I have fired if they were agressive, you bet…Did I allow them to flee when they saw I was carring a 44 magnum another, you bet……Taking a life is a terrible thing and something I would not choose to do but if it is me or one of them I choose me..In my opinion a gun is just another tool like a chainsaw care and caution should be used when using them or cleaning them..Sadly more peope have killed their own loved one’s from fear or neglect and many more have been killed from suposed unloaded gun’s…Having gun’s around children is a tricky thing, I raised children around gun’s and taught them gun safety. With one exception they never did any harm the one that did (shot song bird’s ) with the hunting rifle I gave him for christmas, lost his gun and to this day I own it…Blessings, Peace and love.

  29. Zooey – “According to these “castle doctrines,” all that is necessary is the BELIEF that one is threatened — hence my statement about people talking themselves into believing all sorts of ridiculous things.”

    If someone breaks into my home, then I BELIEVE that they intend to do me and my family harm.

    Zooey – “How do you feel about women who have shot their abusive spouses in their homes?”

    Well considering that the husband did not “BREAK INTO” the home…… That is murder.

  30. RB, another difference in our beliefs (you and me, I won;t speak for others) is that you extend the right to use deadly force to the protection of property, whereas I believe that things can be replaced and are not equivalent to human life.

  31. Wayne – “you extend the right to use deadly force to the protection of property”

    Not just “property”….. Your home…. Big difference.

    Were not talking about a car stereo, or a TV.

    Were talking about your life or your families life, not property……

  32. RB sez:
    Well considering that the husband did not “BREAK INTO” the home…… That is murder.

    So a woman can be menaced, tortured, beaten, raped, and god knows what else, but since he just happens in live in the home where he’s committing these crimes — the wife’s defense of HERSELF is murder.

    Your priorities are all fucked up, RB.

    I’m done with this conversation.

  33. OK…. Let me ask this…

    Why is it that when a bank is robbed, even though they don’t see a weapon, they assume that there is one???

    Because generally there is one and this approach saves lives.

    I know someone is going to turn this around to something like the police example, but that is not the point. The point is that it has been statistically proven that most of the time the threat is real that someone breaking into your home does have some kind of weapon.

  34. Not just “property”….. Your home…. Big difference

    No there isn’t. Your home is “property”, and you are extending the right to use deadly force to protection of “property”. A home is your dwelling, but it is not you or your family.

  35. Zooey – “Your priorities are all fucked up, RB.”

    So now in one case it’s not murder but in another it is??????

    Your the one that is “fucked up” Zooey with all due respect……

    Did she try calling the police for the abuse? Did you only said abusive spouse…. YOU gave no examples and there are MANY types of abuse and a lot of them are not physical…….

    Yet you want to get pissy with my answer when you were vague, to say the least.

  36. Wayne – “No there isn’t. Your home is “property”, and you are extending the right to use deadly force to protection of “property”. A home is your dwelling, but it is not you or your family.”

    Yes there is…..

    Your house is property, but you also LIVE in it…… Your house, houses, your family and your family “deserves” to be protected within their home.

    I am not advicating chasing a robber down the road and shooting him. I am saying that someone breaking into your home is a “threat” to your family.

  37. Correction…

    “So now in one case it’s not murder but in another it is??????”

    should have said something like.

    “So now it’s justified to kill someone in your latest example, but protecting your family is taboo?”

    The other wording was awkward and I have no way to edit it.

  38. RB, I simply asked you a question. I never said any killing was justifiable.

    You decided a woman protecting herself in her own home was murder.

  39. I am saying that someone breaking into your home is a “threat” to your family.

    Again, I respectfully disagree. Someone breaking into your home is a “threat” to your property (as has been demonstrated by his breaking in), but he is, at that point, only a “potential threat” to you or your family’s lives.

    I’m trying to limit the number of times when it is acceptable to take another human’s life, and you are trying to expand that number. (And if you must know, yes, I oppose ALL uses of capital punishment by the state, for pretty much the exact same reasons, but that’s a topic for another thread, as the old folks use to say, so let’s forget that.)

  40. Let me express this another way.

    I don’t like this “Castle Doctrine” thinking, and I don’t like this law. I don’t like this law because it grants private citizens teh right to arrest, try, convict, and execute people who are doing something for which the death penalty would never be given. This law allows people to execute other people for breaking and entering. That is why I don’t like it.

  41. Thank you, Zooey. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees this flaw in the doctrine.

    When you say it’s okay to use deadly force simply because you imagined that you were in danger, then you provide a ready excuse to kill other people without just cause by simply asserting (without need of being correct, for you clearly weren’t) that you had to do it. I imagined a worst-case scenario in which I ended up dead, so I killed him first. The problem with this is that every single physical human interaction can be imagined into a “worst-case” scenario.

  42. Absolutely correct, Wayne. People can convince themselves of many things, especially when they’re trying to justify wrong-doing.

    No thing I have is worth killing another human being.

  43. “No thing I have is worth killing another human being.”

    Like I said… You may be willing to give your life to a criminal breaking into your house, but I am not……

    My life, or my families life, IS worth killing for.

    Sorry to hear that you consider your life worthless…..

  44. Wayne, do you mean that people “imagine” someone they don’t know “breaking into” their homes???

    You mean that they “imagine” that these people continue to enter the house, even after they KNOW that someone is there????

    Only a person who is WILLING to due harm will continue to enter a home that they know someone is in at the time they “break into” it.

    As far as “capital punishment”, I believe that if someone murders another person then they should not have the “priveledge” of life. If it is PROVEN that they performed the murder premeditated then they should also die.

    For all other cases, they should simply receive jail time appropriate to the crime.

  45. RB,

    You misunderstood Zooey’s comment. She said that no thing that she owns (meaning something other than her own body) is worth killing another human being for.

    And you misunderstood me, too. I believe that you equate an intrusion into your home with a direct attempt on your life. At least, that’s what your logic say, and I disagree that the two are the same. A threat to your home (which is your property, not your person) is not the same as a threat to your life. And if you want to allow deadly force to be used simply because you imagine what will happen next (and are not deducing a threat from anything the intruder says to you like, “Move and I’ll kill you.”) then you are simply giving people the legal right to kill other people without just cause.

  46. As far as “capital punishment”, I believe that if someone murders another person then they should not have the “priveledge” of life.

    Since when did not being killed by another person get downgraded from being a “right” to being a “privilege”?

    And a prisoner in custody is not a danger to anyone, and I do not believe that humans have any right to take his life at that point. If he escapes, you’re talking about something else entirely. But once securely in custody, he is no longer a threat to society, and society cannot use ridiculous arguments like Senator Orrin Hatch’s “Capital punishment is society’s way of demonstrating the sanctity of human life.”

    If you;re religiouos, then you should believe that life ois sacred and you should also believe that only God has the right to decide who lives and who dies. And we all know that God didn’t appoint anyone in our Judicial System to make those decisions, so the the Judicial System should not have the right to take a life. Yes, it is (currently) constitutional, but it is still barbaric and uncivilized. And if, like me, you don’t believe in God, then you should believe that this is not the way you would want other people to treat you, so you shouldn’t do it to them.

  47. Wayne, how many home invasions are there???

    Do you really “think” that giving a home owner the legal right to kill a intruder is going to skyrocket the murder rates in the US?

    Were talking about a person in their home protecting themselves. Were not talking about them running after the person and shooting them.

    If someone enters my house without my permission, then I consider that a “threat”.

    You may consider it something else, but I don’t and neither do many other Americans!

    Since when do we give the criminal more rights than the victim? If the robber cuts his hand breaking into the house, they can sue the home owner for the damages (and usually win).

    Why do you support criminal acts?

    Why has it become a crime to protect your home and family?

    As I stated……. If someone is home and a person continues to break in knowing this, they probably INTEND to do harm.

    As far as Zooey’s comment…… I understand that she probably meant something she owns, as in a “property”. However, in manner in which it was stated the meaning could be as I insinuated.

    I know….. This is stretching it, but so is the “imagine” of a threat that you are proposing.

  48. I believe that you are deliberately misinterpreting me, RB, and you are definitely putting words in my mouth that I never said.

    Have I ever said that it should be okay to sue a homeowner in whose house you got injured during the commission of a crime? I never said that and I would never support it, so don’t claim that I did. In fact, I have stated (a long time ago) that I believe that you should only have access to the court system to sue for civil damages if you were a citizen in good standing at the time (meaning you were not acting criminally when you got hurt.) That any courts or states have seen fit to allow robber to sue homewoners for getting hurt during the commission of a crime is a failing on their part, and it should be corrected.

    I do not support crime, and I am not saying that a criminal has more rights than the homewoner he is robbing. You are making that nonsense up! What I AM saying is that as a homeowner, you do NOT have the right to assume that every invasion of your home is a direct threat against your life. You are looking for ways to justify killing people and I am trying to limit that right.

  49. Wayne – “Since when did not being killed by another person get downgraded from being a “right” to being a “privilege”?”

    Since we made laws to rule and govern by…..

    Wayne – “If you;re religiouos, then you should believe that life ois sacred and you should also believe that only God has the right to decide who lives and who dies.”

    Have you ever heard the Bible state something like: “An eye for an eye”?

    Yes god, if you believe the bible, is the only one who has a right to determine life and death. But in a “civil” society we also have a “right” to ensure that those who commit murder are punished and in my view it should be EQUAL to the crime. i.e. if they kill, they should be killed.

    There has been no data to show either way that executing murders prevents murder, but I believe that if it were that way we would see the murder rate decrease if not dissapear.

    I know you will disagree……

    By the way…… Why should the family of the murdered victim be made to suffer knowing that this person may some day get out of prison?

  50. Wayne – “I do not support crime, and I am not saying that a criminal has more rights than the homewoner he is robbing. You are making that nonsense up!”

    Actually I am not…… By saying that the home owner has not legal authority to protect his family in his home you ARE saying that.

    Wayne – “What I AM saying is that as a homeowner, you do NOT have the right to assume that every invasion of your home is a direct threat against your life. You are looking for ways to justify killing people and I am trying to limit that right.”

    Again…….

    If a person breaks into a home that they KNOW has someone inside, they are more likely INTEND to perform harm to the individuals inside. Only a person who INTENDS to enter a house that they KNOW someone is inside would continue to enter the home.

    By what I see….. You are trying to increase the death rates in America by restricting the right of the home owner to protect themselves and their families…… Rather than only one person dead by the invasion, you now have possibly an entire family that is dead.

  51. There has been no data to show either way that executing murders prevents murder, but I believe that if it were that way we would see the murder rate decrease if not dissapear.

    I wish I could provide a link, but I am not making this up: States with capital punishment generally have higher murder rates than states without it. It’s not a direct truism, but it is pretty much true. And wishing it were true that capital punishment deters murders is not justification for having it.

  52. As far as Zooey’s comment…… I understand that she probably meant something she owns, as in a “property”. However, in manner in which it was stated the meaning could be as I insinuated.

    Wayne is correct in his assessment of my clear statement. No thing I own is worth taking the life of another.

    If you understand that, then why are you distorting my words? If you purport to misunderstand me, then your “insinuation” is fair?

  53. RB sez:
    If a person breaks into a home that they KNOW has someone inside, they are more likely INTEND to perform harm to the individuals inside. Only a person who INTENDS to enter a house that they KNOW someone is inside would continue to enter the home.

    Ok, I need to see some sort of back up for this statement.

  54. You are trying to increase the death rates in America by restricting the right of the home owner to protect themselves and their families

    NO, RB! It is YOU who is equating your house with your wife or child. They are not equivalent, and should not be legally considered so.

    I keep talking about a threat to your person, and you keep talking about a threat to your privacy. In one, the use of deadly force in self-defense is justifiable. In the other, it only your imagination that assumes that a burglar wants to also kill you. And I do not believe that MOST people who knowingly break into an occupied house intend to harm the family living there. If anything, they want them to continue sleeping nice and soundly so that nobody has to get hurt (including themselves)!

  55. Zooey – “Ok, I need to see some sort of back up for this statement.”

    You believe that someone who is willing to, or INTENDS to, do harm would worry about someone being inside the house????

    Those people that do care about life and or being caught, run when they know that someone is inside the house. They go to a house they KNOW that no one is at.

    This is a fact…..

    If this was not true….. Then why would the criminal actually stake out many of the houses they break into? Why spend that much time ensuring that the people are not there?

  56. Wayne – “NO, RB! It is YOU who is equating your house with your wife or child. They are not equivalent, and should not be legally considered so.”

    Not equating my HOUSE with my Family, but the DANGER and THREAT to my Family by the intruder within my house.

    BIG DIFFERENCE!

    YOU may just stand by and take a “chance” that this person will not harm you or your family, but I love my family clearly more than to just sit by and gamble with their lives.

    You can put your families lives on the line, but I refuse to do that.

  57. RB sez:
    You believe that someone who is willing to, or INTENDS to, do harm would worry about someone being inside the house????

    I asked you to back up your statement with fact, not your so-called common sense. And not with some make-believe crap you glean from that request.

  58. RB,

    Once again, you are making an unwarranted assumption and saying it justifies killing someone. You are assuming that the burglar (or intruder) knows you are home and, therefore, you say, they must be intending to harm you if they went into your home knowing you were there. So, in your mind, it would be morally acceptable to shoot them on sight.

    Let me relate another true story in which your view would result in another innocent person getting killed. Jane was home one night, awake after everyone else was alseep. This was years ago, in the house she mostly grew up in. She lived in a development in which many of the houses were the same. A man, apparently drunk, walked all the way into her house and into her bedroom before he realized he was in the wrong house. It was clearly unintentional, and she was never in any real danger. But under your Doctrine, she would have been justified in shooting him on sight. Neither she nor I agree with you on that.

  59. “Zooey – I asked you to back up your statement with fact, not your so-called common sense. And not with some make-believe crap you glean from that request.”

    Since there ARE NO STATISTICS on that you simply have to use that melon on your shoulders……

    As I stated….. If it did not hold water, then why would nearly all of the robbers stake out the homes they break into?

    Hmmmmmm

  60. Wayne, in your example it sounds like they left the door UNLOCKED!!!!

    This would then be MURDER!

    The man CLEARLY did not break into the house.

    The example is not remotely similar to the instances I have provided to you.

  61. It’s looks like it boils down to this between us. You live in fear more than I do. You believe that other people are a threat to you, and you believe that you should be allowed to kill those people. BTW, I don’t remember you vociferously advocating subduing intruders and calling the police and letting the justice system handle their punishment. What I did hear you advocate a lot was your right to kill them on the spot, even without knowing the true circumstances of how they came to be in your house, or even at your door.

    And a society that allows that is not as civilized as it could be.

  62. Wayne, way back at the beginning of this I clearly stated “break in” and “limits” were required for this.

    You are taking what I am saying regarding this as an ALL or nothing approach…….

    WHY?

    I have clearly stated the times that killing an intruder would be justified.

  63. RB sez:
    Since there ARE NO STATISTICS on that you simply have to use that melon on your shoulders……

    Isn’t that convenient?

    How do you know there are no statistics on this? Have you looked?

    Hey, I’m a great fan of common sense, but until you can provide some back up for your statement, it’s just you saying so — and that ain’t good enough.

    There’s a reason why our Founding Fathers came up with the Bill of Rights — attitudes like yours.

  64. Wayne – “It’s looks like it boils down to this between us. You live in fear more than I do.”

    I don’t “live in fear”, but I do LOVE and will protect my family from anyone or anything in anyway I must. If that means killing a man/woman to protect them, then I will.

    Wayne – “You believe that other people are a threat to you, and you believe that you should be allowed to kill those people.”

    ONLY if they “break into” my home while me or my family are there.

    Wayne – “BTW, I don’t remember you vociferously advocating subduing intruders and calling the police and letting the justice system handle their punishment.”

    Why would I put my life, or my families life in danger in my own home????? Why do I need to play cop in my home? I need to play protector to my family in my home and that is what I will do, not play cop.

    Wayne – “What I did hear you advocate a lot was your right to kill them on the spot, even without knowing the true circumstances of how they came to be in your house, or even at your door.

    And a society that allows that is not as civilized as it could be.”

    In my home, YES!

    Perhaps you can tell me why should I put my families life in danger? Why should someone elses life, who broke into my house, count for more than my family inside their own home?

    What point in the break in should I consider them a threat??? After my wifes throat has been cut or my children have been stabbed?

    You make it sound like break ins happen by the millions and you still have not answered how this is going to increase the murder rate in the US.

    I appreciate the different view you have, but I will not put my family in this kind of danger, nor should I have to.

  65. Zooey – “There’s a reason why our Founding Fathers came up with the Bill of Rights — attitudes like yours.”

    REALLY??????

    Actually they came up with the Bill of Rights to protect the rights of the American people against the Government.

    The “Bill of Rights” was not created because of “attitudes”.

    Why the attitude???

    Just because I see that my families lives are worth more than someone who breaks into my home, or is there some other reason for the attitude?

  66. If someone breaks into my house, I’m going to shoot first and ask questions later….. I have every right to protect my house and my family more than I have a legal obligation to worry about a criminals rights who is trying to commit a crime to my house.

    Why should someone have to worry about being sued or being sent to jail for killing someone who breaks into their house who may very well kill them?

    What you advocated was your right to kill someone who is guilty of, at the moment you are saying it is okay to kill them, nothing worse than breaking and entering. Every justification you gave for why this was okay was hypothetical and, therefore, by definition “imaginary”. They didn’t point a weapon at you, they didn’t try to make you think they had a weapon (like a finger in their jacket), they didn’t say “Move and you’re dead”. They broke into your home and you said it was okay to shoot them for actually doing nothing more than that.

    They might have been drunk and went into the wrong house.

    They might have been retarded and looking to use a bathroom.

    But you wouldn’t know that, because you want to shoot them on sight. I do not believe you should have that right.

    That, and nothing more, is what I am saying.

  67. Wayne – “And I am saying that this isn’t the Old West, where “shoot first, ask questions later” was the accepted norm.”

    No…… What your saying is that my family should take the chance that the intruder means them no harm, and if not…. It sucks to be them…….

    Again…… Insider your HOME, then you should have the right to defend it even if it means shooting someone who breaks into it.

  68. RB sez:
    Actually they came up with the Bill of Rights to protect the rights of the American people against the Government.

    Yeah, a government (British) who thought it was ok to shoot first and ask questions later.

  69. RB sez:
    Just because I see that my families lives are worth more than someone who breaks into my home, or is there some other reason for the attitude?

    Look, don’t try to read any more than you already have into my words.

  70. Again…… Insider your HOME, then you should have the right to defend it even if it means shooting someone who breaks into it.

    “Defend it”? Absolutely yes! With deadly force? Not automatically. You are saying you are allowed to assume the absolute worst and arrest, try, convict and execute someone who breaks into your home, something the legal system would never be allowed to do (as breaking and entering does not usually carry a death penalty by the state.)

    “Defending” your home does not have to entail solely the use of deadly force. You can try hitting him with a baseball bat until he falls down in pain. You don’t have to immediately think of killing him. And I do not feel that you should always have the right to assume your life is in danger. You do. That is another point on which we disagree.

  71. Wayne – “They might have been drunk and went into the wrong house.”

    They could have only done that if the Home owner left the house unsecure. As I stated MANY times, there are “limits” to what would be legal.

    Wayne – “They might have been retarded and looking to use a bathroom.”

    Again, the home unsecure. See the previous statement…. So far ALL of your examples have been the fault of the Home Owner. They were not BREAK INS.

    Wayne – “But you wouldn’t know that, because you want to shoot them on sight. I do not believe you should have that right.

    That, and nothing more, is what I am saying.”

    But you did not read any of my comments, because IF you did you would have seen the MULTIPLE posts that I stated “BREAK INS”.

    If the owner leaves the door open, then there is a thin line as to whether or not that is a break in. If they literally “break in” by busting the door down or breaking a window then the owner is and should be justified in leathal force.

    You keep missing these statements for some unknown reason. I have not, nor did I ever, say it was an “open ended” legal excuse. I did say however, that there should be “limits” to this law.

  72. Entering a home without permission is still considered “breaking and entering” even if you don’t actually break something physical to enter. What you are “breaking” is the boundary over which you are not entitled to cross uninvited.

    I happily invite anyone trained in the law to refute what I said, as I am not a lawyer. This is simply what I understand the law to be. That is how I have been using the term. If y ou leave your front door unlocked and the government enters without permission, they have still “broken in” and it is still illegal.

    And I still say that you are advocating the right to execute someone for a crime which does not carry the death penalty.

  73. Wayne – ““Defend it”? Absolutely yes! With deadly force? Not automatically.”

    Again….. So how do you defend something when you are dead?

    Wayne – “You are saying you are allowed to assume the absolute worst and arrest, try, convict and execute someone who breaks into your home, something the legal system would never be allowed to do (as breaking and entering does not usually carry a death penalty by the state.)”

    Actually the legal system does, thats what this conversation is about. You have YET to describe or state what a “threat” is? Just because someone does not state or jesture harm does not mean that they do not mean you harm.

    Wayne – ““Defending” your home does not have to entail solely the use of deadly force. You can try hitting him with a baseball bat until he falls down in pain.”

    OK….. So what happens if you hit him once and you piss him off and he over powers you??? I’m clearly living in reality knowing that if someone hits me with a bat, I’m going to try to take it away and hit them with it…… Not being a criminal, I would probably stop when they are subdude, but will a criminal?

    Wayne – “You don’t have to immediately think of killing him. And I do not feel that you should always have the right to assume your life is in danger. You do. That is another point on which we disagree.”

    Do I think that someone breaking into my home is a threat, or danger? YES. Why wouldn’t I? Under your world view, it seems that we should get rid of our locks on our doors and just leave everything wide open. If no one can protect themselves in their homes, then where are they safe at?

    And that last statement does not mean that “I am in fear”. It means that there are plenty of dangerous places, but the home should not be one of them.

  74. Breaking and entering, which can be as simple as opening an unlocked door, with intent to commit a crime is burglary.

    If no intent is present, as in the case of the retarded girl looking for a bathroom, it’s a case of illegal trespass, which is a misdemeanor.

    Last time I looked misdemeanors don’t carry the death penalty.

  75. It means that there are plenty of dangerous places, but the home should not be one of them.

    Well yours clearly is. 🙂

    I am going to say that you and I are not going to find common ground on this tonight, and I feel like watching the NY Giants try to ruin the perfect season of the so-called “Patriots” (boo, hiss, cheaters!)

    Have fun cleaning your guns, and a Happy, Safe New Year to you (and those who come into contact with you.) 🙂

  76. Wayne – “And I still say that you are advocating the right to execute someone for a crime which does not carry the death penalty.”

    ONCE MORE……. Forget it….. Here are the statements I have made before….

    December 29, 2007 at 3:50 pm “Of course there has to be “limits” on what is considered protection, but this is a good sign that people can now protect themselves when a crime is being committed against them.”

    December 29, 2007 at 4:35 pm”I’m glad that states are starting to allow home owners the rights to protect themselves and their property, but I also said there has to be a limit on that as well.”

    December 29, 2007 at 8:28 pm”Wayne, way back at the beginning of this I clearly stated “break in” and “limits” were required for this.”

    December 29, 2007 at 8:53 pm”They could have only done that if the Home owner left the house unsecure. As I stated MANY times, there are “limits” to what would be legal.”

    Yes, under the law “breaking and entering” is in any form that someone enters a house. That is why I stated OVER AND OVER AND OVER again that there would have to be “limits” and it could not be just an open ended ability.

    Why do you seem to just glance over this and ignore the fact that I state “spcifically” what would constitute legal use of this deadly force…… I have explained it many times here.

    NO, the fault of the home owner leaving the doors unsecure would not constitute an immediate use of deadly force.

    However, I do believe that I should have the right to protect my family by deadly force WITHOUT fear of prossecution or being sued for the “break in” of my home.

  77. Mind if I chip in?

    The common law approach to “a man’s home is his castle” has long used a reasonableness standard. It’s not the subjective belief of the individual, but based on what a reasonably prudent person in the same or similar circumstances would do.

    We can go through hypotheticals all night and through the new year, but what’s the point?

    The law has long held that defending propety is not worth taking a life, that defending one’s home may be, depending upon the circumstances.

    This new law says that defending one’s home by taking a life is justifiable homicide. It will only be a matter of time before someone calls his/her ex, invites him/her over, then kills him/her after he/she “breaks into” the house. “Justifiable Homicide.” Several innocent people will have to die before this and similar laws get repealed.

    But this really goes back to Psych. 101 and Skinner’s experiments with too many rats in one cage. Eventually the rats will begin to kill each other until a balanced number is reached.

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