The dynamic and fluid nature of a self-defense conflict can create a situation where an attacker’s split-second turn can happen before the defender can stop from pulling the trigger. Alfredo Rico Photo
I was cruising through one of the better electronic gun forums on the internet, when I spotted a discussion thread about a recent shooting in the South. It seems that a repo man had gone onto the property of a financially delinquent car owner to repossess the vehicle. The homeowner came out with a gun. Shots were fired, and in moments one of them was on the ground.
There are numerous discussion points there, of course. But the one that leaped out at me was that, according to news reports, the man who was shot had sustained wounds in the back. This had led more than one commentator to say, “If he shot him in the back, it can’t be self-defense,” or words to that effect.
Now if you think about it, the Second Amendment stalwarts who frequent these Internet boards, armed citizens themselves, could be the jurors if you were charged in criminal court or sued in civil court after being forced to fire in defense of ourselves or others. If some of them believe that a shot in the back automatically disqualifies a claim of self-defense, where does that leave us with a jury of ordinary folks who have little or no experience with, or knowledge of, defensive firearms and their real-world use?
The dynamic and fluid nature of a self-defense conflict can create a situation where…
by Paul Markel / Sep 1, 2011