Shooting Holes in Uncivil Journalism

Rekha Basu of the Des Moines Register is awfully concerned about a proposed change to Iowa’s use of force statute. Currently, before using any kind of force in self-defense, you have the duty to retreat from a confrontation – if it can be done safely. The proposed change would remove that language, allowing individuals to “stand their ground” (what opponents derisively call a Make My Day law) and meet force with force. In her column opposing alerting Iowans of their impending doom, she accuses legislators who support the bill of condoning, nay, encouraging murder . . .

Members of the Iowa Legislature have come up with a Wild West approach to dealing with home intruders: Shoot to kill them.

That’s a provision of proposed legislation known as the Justifiable Use of Force, or Stand Your Ground bill, passed 14-7 by the House Public Safety Committee.

Let’s look at what the current law actually says, shall we?

Iowa Statute 704.1 Reasonable Force: “Reasonable force” is that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat. Reasonable force, including deadly force, may be used even if an alternative course of action is available if the alternative entails a risk to life or safety, or the life or safety of a third party, or requires one to abandon or retreat from one’s dwelling or place of business or employment.

So the way things stand now, I’m required to retreat from a confrontation if I can do it safely unless I am in my home or place of business. Which means that Ms. Basu’s expression of shrieking hysteria heartfelt concern regarding the changes is . . . misplaced, shall we say.

Under [Stand Your Ground (SYG)], someone who feels threatened that someone else might kill or cause them serious injury could shoot to kill first.

Just imagine the possibilities. Your spouse throws a plate of spaghetti at you in a heated argument. Shoot her. A mentally ill person enters your home uninvited and reaches into his pocket. Fire away. The law would be on your side if you said you felt threatened.

Ms. Basu believes that I, and gun owners like me, am a sociopath. She seems to think that I am a seething cauldron of homicidal rage and hate, so morally bankrupt that my burning desire to slap leather and gun someone down is only held in check by possible legal consequences. If I had my way I would joyfully murder people left and right. Bump into me at the mall? BLAM! You’re toast. Walk on my lawn and I’ll fertilize it with your blood. Throw a plate of spaghetti at me and I’ll blow you away.

But given Ms. Basu’s blatant disregard for the truth erroneous conclusion, let’s see what HF 573 actually changes when it comes to the use of force:

1. “Reasonable force” is means that force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat.

Well that’s odd; SYG does nothing to remove the reasonableness standard for use of force. So why does Ms. Basu think that a reasonable person would believe shooting your spouse over some flying pasta is necessary to avoid injury? If this is projection on her part, perhaps it’s best that she confines herself to wielding a laptop and not a Glock.

Ms. Basu continues:

The other person’s actual intent wouldn’t even matter, under the bill’s wording: “A person may be wrong in the estimation of the danger or the force necessary to repel the danger as long as there is a reasonable basis for the belief…” In fact, unlawful entry into a home, place of work or vehicle would by itself “present an imminent risk of unlawful deadly force.” So just respond by shooting.

Oops! In her spaghetti scenario above, Ms. Basu says you can shoot your spouse willy-nilly, but here she seems to acknowledge that this is not the case. In fact the bill explicitly states that the ‘presumption of imminent risk’ does not apply to “a lawful resident of the dwelling.

And whatever Ms. Basu may think, I’m not a cold-blooded monster actively seeking opportunities to shoot someone. In reality I am what a friend of mine maintains is the primary demographic for permit-holders: an OFWG. A middle-aged man with heart trouble and other health problems who holds doors for women and gets things down from high shelves in the supermarket for people who can’t reach.

Ms. Basu then breaks out the “what-ifs”:

Iowa had nearly 16,000 burglaries in 2009. If the law were in effect then, we could expect many of those intruders to now be dead.

What if someone is paranoid, apt to believe he’s being threatened when he isn’t? What if the intruder is more apt to harm himself, as in “suicide by cop”? What if the person standing his ground is drunk, hot-headed and trigger-happy, or a Josh Powell looking to be rid of his wife and children? If House File 573 becomes law, it wouldn’t be hard to fake an encounter to make it seem justified.

According to the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing the average offender commits two burglaries a week, which gives us about 160 burglars operating in Iowa. Now according to Dave Kopel’s Lawyers, Guns & Burglars (Section VI.C and footnote 105) 12.7% of U.S. burglaries occur when someone is at home (“hot” burglaries) so in 2009 there would have been about 2,000 hot burglaries in IA. Ms. Basu asks what would have happened if this law were in effect in 2009? If 8% of homeowners had shot their home-invading burglar, then the effect would be no more burglars in Iowa. I’m sorry but I can’t see that as a bad thing.

As for the rest of her what-ifs:

  1. Paranoiac – if they can’t convince the cops, the DA and a jury of the reasonableness of their actions, they go to prison.
  2. Suicide by cop – they’ll get their wish, although it would be kind of hard on the poor shooter.
  3. Drunk, hot-headed and trigger-happy – see Paranoiac, above.

But let’s pause a moment there and look at how (or rather, if) HF 573 would change the situation.

  1. Ms. Basu believes that someone who does not have a sufficient grasp on reality to recognize a real threat is still sane enough that they would exercise their “duty to retreat” under current law?
  2. Does anyone really think someone who would commit suicide by cop won’t if the shooter has a duty to retreat? Really?
  3. A drunken carrier is already violating IA carry law which sets a BAC limit of 0.08 (same as for DWI). What makes Ms. Basu believe that having a duty to retreat will make any difference to the drunk, hot-headed and trigger happy pistoleer?

As for the specific suicidal/murderous father scenario (as always I try not to use mass murderers’ names), I think we can dismiss out of hand the idea that this murderer (whose wife has still not been found as I write this) would have had any interest in “staging” a scene.

But, to be fair – and who doesn’t want to be fair? – let’s address her implied question of “what happens if someone takes advantage of this law to kill their spouse and fake an encounter to claim it was self-defense?” For starters, I guess I have a little more faith in the intelligence and integrity of our LEOs’ than Ms. Basu. Give the cops a body and a staged scenario I believe things would quickly unravel for our spousal murderer. Indeed giving the cops a body and crime scene makes proving murder one heck of a lot easier than what happened in Ms. Basu’s example. Police are assuming that he killed his wife but the most recent information I’ve seen is that they still don’t know if or where he did it.

Ms. Basu falls back on her assumption that everyone is a cold, calculating, killer:

The bill actually encourages confrontations, telling people they have no duty to retreat from any place where they are lawfully. It gives permission to stay and “meet force with force.” It’s no surprise that the Iowa County Attorneys, State Police, Peace Officers and Police Chiefs associations oppose it.

No it does not ‘encourage confrontations.’ What it does is ensure that if a confrontation occurs, the victim (i.e. the one who exercised their right of self-defense) retains their presumption of innocence. If I am ever unfortunate enough to need to use deadly force in self-defense, unlike a deliberate murderer I will not run after defending myself. Unlike a murderer, I will call 911. Unlike a murderer I will not lie to the police after defending myself. Also unlike a murderer, I won’t be presumed innocent after defending myself because I will admit that I shot someone.

As the law currently stands, if I used deadly force in self-defense the prosecution doesn’t have to prove anything. It would be up to me to convince the jury that my use of deadly force was reasonable. It would be up to me to convince the jury that I was in fear of death or great bodily harm. It would be up to me to convince the jury that I was unable to retreat safely.

Ms. Basu conclusively demonstrates her disdain for the presumption of innocence when she says:

[SYG]’s one of a package of proposed laws coming out of the Iowa House this session relaxing controls on guns. … One would return a gun to someone who was arrested carrying a gun under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Basu has apparently forgotten that arrested does not mean convicted.

And one of the most incomprehensible would take away the right of local governments to ban guns in public places, such as city halls, parks and schools.

Well no, it really isn’t incomprehensible at all. It’s called pre-emption and there are several reasons it is a good idea. First, it prevents people from inadvertent criminality. Suppose I live in Smith County which allows permit-holders to carry in City Hall, but my mother in Jones County which prohibits carry in City Hall. Now mom broke her arm last week and can’t drive, so I have to take her to City Hall to pay her water bill. As soon as I walk in the door of City Hall I’m breaking the law. Is that just?

Ms. Basu then gives a classic example of the false dichotomy logical fallacy:

How much of the push for these bills comes from campaign donations to lawmakers from groups opposing gun restrictions, and how much from an actual belief in an old-fashioned, macho vigilantism to settle scores?

So Ms. Basru, have you stopped beating your husband or have you started drowning kittens? According to FollowTheMoney.org’s Iowa page – a resource she could easily have used herself – the “gun lobby” was not in the top 20 contributors, nor were “gun manufacturers” in the top 15 industries. In fact, according to the contributor breakdown, between 2006 and 2011, Anti-Gun Control groups donated $21,300 to various campaigns (but your boogeyman Rep. Windschitl got $0 from those groups). As a comparison, Gay/Lesbian Rights & Issues groups donated $233,322 (or more than ten times as much, but still less than 0.5% of the total).

As for using old-fashioned macho vigilantism to settle scores, again with the name calling! The Stand Your Ground bill is not about “calling someone out” or hunting them down to settle a score. In fact Section 704.6 When Defense Not Available specifically addresses that:

The defense of justification is not available to the following:

  1. One who is participating in a forcible felony, or riot, or a duel.
  2. One who initially provokes the use of force against oneself, with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict injury on the assailant.

Look, here comes the bloody shirt!

Either way, efforts to relax gun laws now are a disconnect from the reality that the more guns in circulation, the likelier they are to be used.

Say, Rekha (I think we’re close enough now for me to relax the formality a bit) I don’t suppose you have any, you know, evidence supporting that “reality”? Because if you do I’m sure the Brady Bunch, Illegal (and dead) Mayors Against Guns and similar groups would love to see it because for the past several years they’ve been reduced to complaining that “more guns on the streets” (i.e. shall-issue and Constitutional carry laws) do not actually lower crime the way proponents say they will.

Gun controls have been enacted over decades as a result of painful lessons learned, from the attempt on President Ronald Reagan to Columbine to Virginia Tech.

I don’t know about the attempt on Reagan, but Columbine and VA Tech both took place in “gun free” zones. In fact, excepting only the 1/11 Tucson shooting, every single mass shooting in this country has taken place in a “gun free” zone. So maybe we should work to minimize such target rich environments, no?

Finally Rekha concludes:

Bills like these undermine efforts to teach people to settle conflicts by negotiation rather than force, and to build a more civil society rather than a more lawless one. They must be (civilly) opposed.

No, Rekha, bills like Stand Your Ground are about protecting a victim from arrest unless the police have probable cause to believe that a shooting was not in self-defense.

They are about protecting the presumption of innocence when the victim of an attack uses force in self-defense.

They are about removing the second-guessing and armchair quarterbacking that cops and prosecutors go through when trying to determine if someone could have safely retreated instead of using deadly force.

They are about protecting someone who thought a toy gun was a real one.

They are about providing financial restitution to someone who is found not guilty after being forced to defend his life and then forced to defend his actions.

They are about allowing someone to use the threat of deadly force to warn off an attacker instead of having to actually shoot them.

They are about preventing people from becoming “accidental criminals” by abolishing crazy-quilt patchworks of gun laws.

They are about recognizing that the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.[1]

comments

  1. avatar Silver says:

    This is why progressives and anti-gunners are an insidious domestic enemy, far more a threat than any outside force or terrorist. They’ll shove their “civil society” upon you whether you like it or not, to hell with freedom. They honestly, truly, do not see a problem with forcing their own beliefs and will upon everyone else as long as its “reasonable” and “civil,” (as defined by them, of course), and that makes them reflections of tyrants rather than fellow countrymen.

    Remember, just because someone isn’t armed and goosestepping, doesn’t mean they aren’t an enemy force.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Fellow American citizens are not “the enemy”. You can disagree with people but it is un-American to claim fellow citizens as enemies just because they disagree with you (1st amendment rights and all).

      1. avatar Silver says:

        They can disagree with me all they want, it’s their 1st Amendment right and I wouldn’t think of infringing upon it, but when they enact, seek to enact, or support the enactment of regulations/laws/rules/oppression that directly violate the Constitution, impede the rights of citizens, and go against the fabric of a free society, then yes, they are enemies. Being born in a country does not make you a constant and untouchable ally. There’s more to being an American than randomly popping out of a womb within its borders.

        Example, homegrown terrorists. Does them being citizens mean they can’t be enemies?

        Whether through explosives or dictatorial legislation, an attack on the American people is an attack on the American people.

  2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    If you read the rest of her columns vis-a-vis the link, you will see she has zero credibility.

    1. avatar Levi B says:

      Few journalists do.

  3. avatar JR says:

    This:

    “Ms. Basu believes that I, and gun owners like me, am a sociopath. She seems to think that I am a seething cauldron of homicidal rage and hate, so morally bankrupt that my burning desire to slap leather and gun someone down is only held in check by possible legal consequences. If I had my way I would joyfully murder people left and right. Bump into me at the mall? BLAM! You’re toast. Walk on my lawn and I’ll fertilize it with your blood. Throw a plate of spaghetti at me and I’ll blow you away.”

    Is TTAG GOLD!

  4. avatar Chaz says:

    Excellent and informative analysis. Thanks.

  5. avatar Neil.P. says:

    Florida went through this same chestpounding from anti-gunners when they removed the retreat requirement from self-defense statutes. Editorials from the left predicted a surge in wild west style shootouts and blood running in the streets. I’m sitting on my front porch now, let me check… Nope, no blood in the streets. We’re still good.

  6. avatar Matt Gregg says:

    Man I sure hope all those Iowa home invaders are safe. Iowa needs the castle
    doctrine bad. No reasonable force concerns then, breaking into your house is considered just cause for lethal force as it should be.

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    I wish somebody would finally debunk the “Wild West” shibboleth. To repeat the west was not wild when it came to crime and violence. It was the settled eastern cities where the danger of crime was a part of everyday life.

  8. avatar Garynyer says:

    Ye old wild west argument

  9. avatar APBTFan says:

    I read this last night and got a good chuckle out of her assertion that throwing spaghetti will get you shot. She is so far into fantasy land she hasn’t a snowball’s chance of being taken seriously.

    1. avatar Silver says:

      Also likely, as with many antis, is the undercurrent of projection, knowing subconsciously that she herself can’t be trusted with a gun.

      1. avatar APBTFan says:

        Outstanding point. Especially considering her only frame of reference is probably limited to bogus anti-gun “facts” and a cadre of liberal friends.

        Also, her assertion that shooting an intruder is murder is stupefying to me. Criminals don’t break in, hold you at gunpoint and force you to sit down to tea and talk about the weather. Maybe she feels she can use the common liberal argument of talking your way out of a situation like that but judging by the persuasiveness of her article she’d be better off with a gun.

  10. avatar Sam Wright says:

    “Iowa had nearly 16,000 burglaries in 2009. If the law were in effect then, we could expect many of those intruders to now be dead.”
    Good. Each burglar offed in a self defense situation would cut the burglaries by 100 per year, and may give pause to would be burglars to think about another career choice.
    Texas has a castle doctrine. Your home is your castle and you have no duty to retreat.

  11. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

    Her picture evokes a sense of dread deep within me. FWIW.

  12. avatar great unknown says:

    Rekha Basu was born to “United Nations parents” and is a graduate of the United Nations International School [http://www.eol.iastate.edu/rekha-basu/]. Cut her some slack: she comes from a background of ignorance and elitism.

    Sadly, people from this background are so insular that they will never realize just how parochial and narrow-minded they sound to civilized citizens of a free country. In this she joins Bloomberg and the Brady bunch, as well as most of the residents of Manhattan, e.g.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      Being pro-UN explains everthing. UN gun ban anyone?

  13. avatar Derek says:

    “Iowa had nearly 16,000 burglaries in 2009. If the law were in effect then, we could expect many of those intruders to now be dead.”

    This is a problem because???

    1. avatar Silver says:

      Because that many losses would damage the Progressive voting block.

  14. avatar BT says:

    THE STREETS WILL RUN RED WITH BLOOD!

    Oh, what’s that you say? There isn’t a shred of truth to that argument? I suppose I’ll just go home then.

    A well-written article as always Mr. Krafft.

  15. avatar cz82mak says:

    That pic looks like Jeff Goldblum in drag.

  16. avatar AZRon says:

    About the only thing she forgot was how we are all compensating for our inadequate genitalia.

  17. avatar Aharon says:

    The DMR used to be a paper worthy of respect. Rekha looks like she used to go butch and now is trying to swing to fem. It ain’t working.

    Jody Knight “Rekha, when someone invades your home, in what context would you not be in danger? Next question, if someone comes past my locks and German Shepherd but only wants to rape, I should not defend myself with my gun? Just wondering . .”
    http://www.facebook.com/ColumnistRekha

  18. avatar Tom says:

    So why have other states with ” Castle Doctine” been OK? No blood bath in these states.

  19. avatar Johnny says:

    So defending yourself against violent threats is a bad thing? I guess paying for more jails to house more idiots who are very likely to re offend is better.

  20. avatar RAN58 says:

    So can’t you post a new story so we don’t have to look at this gals’ mug when we come to the site?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Done.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    We can fix Rekha Basu’s problem by including a spaghetti exception to the Stand Your Ground Law. Let it be known from this time and place forward that the utilization of spaghetti or other pasta products in a projectile manner cannot be deemed justification for the use of deadly force.

    But anyone who tosses a kielbasa at me is getting punctured, and that’s that.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      This is going to get complicated though. What happens in the case when someone tosses a plate of spaghetti with kielbasa on the side at you? Does the presence or absence of garlic bread make a difference? I could see this going all the way to the Supreme Court.

      1. avatar psmcd says:

        Her logic, references and suppositions are more cohesive in this arena.
        http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120118/BASU/301180074
        Quite the contrast in opening lines: “It’s one of those myths that periodically rears its head, repeated with impunity to assume the stature of fact:”

    2. avatar Aharon says:

      You guys are funny. I’m thinking about doing pasta and sausage for dinner. Is that meal still ok in PC Amerikkka?

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        Depends. Legal issues aside, are we talking organic wheat in the pasta and free range meat in the sausage? Then you might be okay.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          No and no.

        2. avatar CarlosT says:

          Ah, well, you’re out of luck then.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        Only someone who is pregnant would actually eat spaghetti with kielbasa. Or peanut butter and sardine sandwiches. Or pickles and ice cream.

        1. avatar APBTFan says:

          I’ve eaten stranger. Mostly has to do with my hatred for grocery shopping which leads to a dearth of options meal wise. One morning my breakfast consisted of Captain Crunch, pork rinds and Coke. When I actually shop I’ll tear up some fried Spam or chorizo, eggs, toast and coffee!

        2. avatar CarlosT says:

          One morning my breakfast consisted of Captain Crunch, pork rinds and Coke.

          All in the same bowl or sequentially? And “Coke” from Atlanta or Colombia?

        3. avatar Aharon says:

          Somewhere I have a recipe for slow cooked beef ribs cooked with coca-cola or root beer.

        4. avatar CarlosT says:

          I’ve heard of that before, and while I’ve never had them, those recipes sound good.

        5. avatar Ralph says:

          I’ve eaten that, and it was excellent.

        6. avatar Ralph says:

          One morning my breakfast consisted of Captain Crunch, pork rinds and Coke.

          Not even in law school did I eat such an absurd combination.

          In college, maybe. But in those days, cold pizza and warm beer was breakfast.

    3. avatar Aharon says:

      I made this fish stew last week. It was great.

      Dad’s Fish Stew
      http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/dads_fish_stew/

  22. avatar sdog says:

    this is an impressive analysis of this idiotic editorial, well done Mr. Kraft.

  23. avatar Darren says:

    Spectacular takedown, Mr. Krafft.

    The only thing I would add is that the attempted assassination of President Reagan occurred in downtown Washington, DC. Pre-Heller (and to a large extent, post-Heller) this was one of the largest nominally “gun-free zones” in the United States.

  24. avatar joe says:

    Is this woman a US citizen?I don’t care if she’s here legally or not-if she’s not a citizen she needs to just STFU.

  25. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    If you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, Bruce, baffle ’em with pleonastic exaggerations.

    To mention one, I don’t think this lady is saying that you and ALL your gun-totin’ buddies are seething cauldrons of rage, just some of you.

    That’s how I see you too, not all of you, but some.

    About the “stand your ground” idea, on other recent threads here at TTAG, I’ve seen quite a division among the commenters about this very question. Some have that macho, tough-guy attitude of never hiding, running or backing down. Others seem more reasonable, like the blog host himself.

    Making this a law is bad. It does exactly what the lady says – not in every single case, as you so slickly tried to say, but in some. Weak and fearful individuals will be more likely to shoot when maybe they don’t have to.

    1. avatar caffeinated says:

      Mike, please look at the adjectives she chooses. She is obviously opposed to this legislation. Second, there have been many states where similar stand your ground laws have passed (I live in one). Opponents like you claimed blood would flow in the streets and we would revert to the “wild west” just as this yellow journalist is say.

      Needless to say, violent crime continues to fall. Check your facts and your reading comprehension.

      1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        “Opponents like you claimed blood would flow in the streets and we would revert to the “wild west” just as this yellow journalist is say. “

        This is another pro-gun lie. We don’t say this and to characterize what we do say as this is less than honest.

        One of the biggest problems with reported DGU numbers is determining how many of them were truly necessary. In states like yours this is exacerbated by laws which encourage gun owners to shoot when it could really be avoided, at least in some cases.

        Does that sould like I’m crying blood in the streets? No, I’m just saying it will make an already bad situation a little worse.

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          “In states like yours this is exacerbated by laws which encourage gun owners to shoot when it could really be avoided”
          —–
          In an overwhelming number of cases, the target has been a violent criminal. Just head over to the Brady’s website and check their running tally of “concealed carry killers”. Small number, considering the number of permit holders, huh?

        2. avatar RuffRidr says:

          “Does that sould like I’m crying blood in the streets? No, I’m just saying it will make an already bad situation a little worse.”

          Not exactly blood in the streets, yet even your scenario above has not played out.

        3. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Do you really believe the laws “encourage gun owners to shoot”? Allowing people to defend themselves is the same as “encouraging them to shoot”? Wow. Odd world view you got there.

        4. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          My world view is not all that hard to grasp, Robert. You’re just playin’ hard to get.

          In that crucial moment, when adrenalin is flowing and everybody’s as tensed up as can be, and when life-or-death decisions are about to be made, the gun owners needs to be very careful not to shoot unnecessarily. That’s the biggest danger in that moment.

          What would you like to see, guys who feel free to shoot first and sort it out later. You always deny that attitude, but isn’t that exactly what you’d have?

        5. avatar caffeinated says:

          No one is calling for shoot first and then ask questions EXCEPT FOR YOU! Quit misquoting other people by mixing your incorrect assumptions with what someone ACTUALLY wrote.

          As an example, I have actually had multiple people at gunpoint and although perfectly justified to shoot them, I was able to find a better resolution. Wow, no dead people. Amazing?!?! According to your theorem, I should have shot the suspects instead of finding a way to de-escalate.

          It’s nice that you think by good intention everything will be fine. If someone presents a lethal threat to me or my fellow citizens it will be met with deadly force.

        6. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Your boast that you “have actually had multiple people at gunpoint and although perfectly justified to shoot them, I was able to find a better resolution,” is perfect for what I’m trying to say. The fact that you didn’t shoot any of them is not focus as much as whether or not you really needed to draw your gun. I’m suggesting that sometimes the gun owner is mistaken about being justified. The fact that he restrained from shooting doesn’t necessarily mean the original judgment was correct.

        7. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

          So a guy with a ball bat ready to whack me, gang banger thugs with flip knives wanting to rob me and my lady, a 6’2″ 300+ lb monster breaking in on my 5’1″ 100 lb mother, 3 youths performing an encircling and cutoff move to seperate me from my vehicle and boat against a river bank, and 4 young skin heads ready to beat an old colored couple were insufficient reasons?

          ROTFLMFAO, your logic is not of this reality mikeb.

          But hey, you have absolute proof that NO violent crimes do not get reported?

          USDOJ National Victimization report 2008 4.8 mil not reported. which is right at 70% (1.38 mil reported in 2008 FBI UCR)

          You going to disprove DOJ Firearms use by Offenders Nov 2001 where the felons admit in only 15% of the time they used a firearm in a crime that they fired shots?

          You going to prove that multiple police firearm discharge reports dont show that similar percentage of shots fired when they had to unholster their sidearm?

          You going to prove that the criminals are better shots than the police who in those same firearm discharge reports only hit their target 15% of the time on average eh, no you cant.

          Funny in 2008 how there were, 12,252 deaths and 70,000 injuries from shootings, yet only 381,000 violent crimes reported that involved a firearm.

          If as the police state and agree with the interviews with felons, 15% of 381,000 = 57,150 times shots were fired x 15% of time shots fired the target was hit =8,573 total injuries that should have occurred.

          Oh wait, there were 82,252 total injuries, which means and you cant disprove this, that the USDOJ National Victimization report 2008 is pretty accurate in its assessment of 70% of all violent crimes never being reported.

          So prove every time a gun is used a shot is fired and the target hit then you have a very sound mathematical chance of proving all those DGU’s that do not result in a shots fired or documented as a police report dont exist eh Judge DREDD?

          Oh, dont forget that since these numbers only depict VIOLENT CRIMES, and criminals by many court rulings and precedents do indeed have the inherent right to defend themselves, just wait till we get to calculating in all the law abiding citizens defending themselves as well.

          Oh dont forget that the US government does acknowledge that 80% of all violent crimes are committed by career criminals/gang members USDOJ National Gang Threat Assessment 2009.

        8. avatar caffeinated says:

          It’s not a boast, but rather WHAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE. It’s also called discretion. Most people have it, but apparently some project on to others what they do not. Had I shot, I would have legally been covered in both instances. Rather, two perps ran away and the other ended up in the back of my patrol car after dropping a knife.

          It’s your general mentality that disarms a law-abiding public and turns them into victims. If you want to be a victim, that is your decision. Your lack of understanding of human nature and how the real world works puts legislation into place that hurts LEO and non-LEO alike.

        9. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          I hadn’t picked up on the fact that you’re a cop before.

          Do they count then? Are cop DGUs the same as civilian DGUs?

          Forgive me if I don’t believe you really needed a gun in each of those cases. And, sorry for pointing out that you don’t either. No one knows what would have happened if you’d been unarmed.

        10. avatar caffeinated says:

          One time was on duty, the other was coming back to my residence at night with two white males waiting in a dark corner outside my front door. I could have legally shot both times, but choose not to because there was another way out.

          My point is that discretion is the key here and not more laws. I have seen plenty of people victimized with no means of protecting themselves. When the general public as zero concept of what is in the real world and that there are indeed bad people in the world, it puts them in a fantasy that leaves us all at risk.

        11. avatar caffeinated says:

          How is this making the situation worse? Even the DOJ’s data shows the trend is a decline in violent crime.

          Although you may not be crying blood in the streets, you must not have read the article or just forgot that the author noted:

          Iowa had nearly 16,000 burglaries in 2009. If the law were in effect then, we could expect many of those intruders to now be dead (Basu).

          So although it doesn’t explicitly state blood in the streets, it is the exact same mentality and implicit suggestion.

          So how is decreasing violent crime a bad thing? Unless you were physically in the DGU, how can you say what is necessary and what is not. If you want to be an unarmed victim, more power to you; just don’t lobby to take my right to self defense.

          Cite me a source that doesn’t have cherry picked sample sets and doctored numbers with no credible sources. The one you cited from Harvard looks like it was written by a 12 year old learning to use excel. There were no sources on the author’s part, no formulas or explanation for how he arrived at numbers greater than a particular state’s total population.

          Show me gun control that has worked.

        12. avatar Joe C. says:

          Mike? Mike? Bueller?

        13. avatar Ralph says:

          Mikey’s away right now. He never got past the spaghetti thing.

        14. avatar RuffRidr says:

          Yes, Mikey’s famous for the hit and run on these blogs. He loves lobbing the bullshit grenade into a discussion and then laughing as everyone gets sucked into the carnage.

        15. avatar caffeinated says:

          Which is why I feel like I should call him out each and every time. We already know his position on civil liberties in general and if he has nothing useful to contribute he needs to GTFO.

          I was once told the tooth fairy was real. It was even published in a children’s book so I’ll go so far as to cite a source. Unfortunately that book didn’t list and sources or research.

        16. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Jeez, I’d have to spend the entire day over here in order to not be a “hit and run” guy.

          You guys are such sycophants, Robert coined that silly phrase about me, and guys like Ruffy can’t use it enough.

        17. avatar Robert Farago says:

          It’s not a question of time in and of itself. It’s a question of commitment. If you make an assertion and someone takes the time to challenge your points (without flaming) common decent suggests that you should reward their interest with a reply. And they yours. And so on. It’s called honest or genuine debate.

          People who eschew debate in favor of making highly contentious statements and “running away” are commonly called “trolls.” Give your track record in this comments section, you should be glad that I settled on “hit and run.” For you singularly avoid answering my questions about citation, and refuse to explain the logical basis of your arguments. And on those rare occasions when you do, you run away from any challenges to its veracity.

          So now you know.

        18. avatar CarlosT says:

          And knowing is half the battle.

        19. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Robert, I hate to tell ya, but with this nonsense you’re pulling a Weer’d Beard on me. Now, you object to my “commitment” level. Give me a break.

          Much of what I argue is based on my perception and the logic and natural conclusions that flow from that. I do a pretty good job of explaining it and justifying it, just not to your liking, I suppose.

          I think your problem is you just don’t like what I’m saying and you’re tired of having an open dialogue, even though you say that’s what you want.

        20. avatar CarlosT says:

          You could also have spent the time used to post this comment to post a link to data that supports your contentions. You did not choose to do so.

          So, back on point, still no data?

    2. avatar joe says:

      I live in a state where there is no obligation to retreat in your own home.
      I once had another parent barge into my home to complain about my son.She didn’t knock-just came right in-was she a threat?No.just a rude asshole and I told her so,end of story.She was invited to leave and did.
      Did I think about reaching for my gun?No.
      If someone comes in at 2 AM and is on the second floor where we sleep,I’m not about to retreat.Should I jump out the window?
      That person is either going to prone out or be shot.If you have a beter alternative,I’d love to hear it.

    3. avatar CarlosT says:

      To adapt one of the more inane internet memes to a better purpose: data or GTFO.

  26. avatar JustVic says:

    When I was in High School, 35 years ago, I had a Sociology class in which students where required to find a news item, cut it out, attach it to a 3-4 paragraph analysis of our own each week. I remember one such article.
    To the best of my recollection the article in question involved a woman with two small children living in rural New Jersey. One night a man came to her locked door and began to beat his way in. She and her children retreated to the basement and she locked the basement door behind her. The intruder then began breaking through the basement door. When he succeeded, she shot him. He died.
    The reason I remember this story is because of what I considered the gross injustice that followed. New Jersey had a duty to retreat law. Since the basement had an external door prosecutors deemed that this woman, with children in tow, should have left her home and crossed an open field, in the dark, with an obviously determined pursuer following her. How she and her children were to escape a grown man was not explained. Unfortunately, incomprehensibly, the court agreed. This woman was convicted and sentenced to prison. I still get upset thinking that such a travesty could occur anywhere, esp. in these United States.
    So Mike, Ms Basu, tell me again how great the duty to retreat is, and how such laws are never abused.
    Incidentially, when I got back mypaper the teaches comment was that “You don’t have all the facts and shouldn’t support (the shooting) till you do. I later realized that this was his standard reply to opinins he disagreed with.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      The real issue for people like MikeB isn’t about society being safer with fewer guns available, it’s about his belief that the common people like you and I can’t be trusted to run our own lives.
      The monopoly of force by the state is what people like him want, this why Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) in California has a CCL but is first to vote against a shall issue law for CA.
      This why Rosie O’donnel has an armed body guard, Sylvester Stallone and Robert Dinero have CCL’s, but they don’t support CCL for the rest of us; they are the elite, we are a bunch of peons that can’t be trusted to manage the power of an available gun, we would not be dependant on the state for our protection, which is terrifying for these elitists.
      No, MikeB is simply a sycophant of the all powerful state, people like us, that depend on ourselves for our own protection, is his worst nightmare.
      We remind him of his own inadequacies, his own feelings of helplessness, powerlessness and dependency, he transfers his own feeling of suppressed anger at his self-imposed neutering, his suppressed feeling of self-hatred and places it on an inanimate object and the people who carry it for protection.
      He’s representative of most Liberal/progressives that I’ve met and debated this issue with, once all of their rationalizations and justifications have been dismantled, the one reason all of these people give for not wanting guns available is that THEY are afraid of what THEY would do with a gun in a moment of anger, they truly believe that they wouild become homicidal maniacs if they had a gun. MikeB actually spoke of this about himself in a post a while back, he spoke of how if he had a gun available, he woiuld have ended up shooting something like 20 people during his life in non-life threatening arguments.
      So if they don’t trust themselves with a gun, they don’t trust anyone else with a gun either.
      Feel sorry for people like him, they are delusional and in denial, thank God! more people are starting to realize that most of what these Liberal/ Progressives are pushing as truth is delusional and based on irrational fears.

      1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        That’s not true at all, Thomas. My belief is NOT that “the common people like you and I can’t be trusted to run our own lives.”

        I’ve often suspected you guys tend to exaggerate my position because to argue against what I really do say would make you look silly.

        I say SOME of you cannot be trusted with guns. Why does that offend you so?

        Another example of your bizarre exaggerations:

        I said if I’d been armed I would have “ended up shooting something like 20 people during [my] life in non-life threatening arguments.”

        The funny part is how your last paragraph applies to you more than to me.

        “Feel sorry for people like him, they are delusional and in denial, thank God! more people are starting to realize that most of what these Liberal/ Progressives are pushing as truth is delusional and based on irrational fears.”

    2. avatar Luis says:

      I’ll go you one better, paisan. When I was in college, years ago, there was a criminal justice professor by the name of Hans W. Mattick. He was a classic, liberal – opposed the death penalty, and favored gun control.

      Years after I graduated, I was flipping through the pages of the local paper, and came across the obit pages. In them was a death notice of Prof. Hans W. Mattick. The guy committed suicide by gunshot. I thought to myself, how ironic that was.

  27. avatar kap says:

    Unfortunately this women lives in a sheltered world sorta of like Oz! Utopia in her mind is not nor ever will be everyone’s cup of tea! and they say gun Owners should be mentally looked at, how about all delusional anti American news reporters have a mental exam before being hired?
    A sycophant by any name is a nut job sucking up too rich people for personnel gain, (Bloomberg comes too mind), she just wants a piece of the Action before the well of Money dries up! Too bad for us that we real Americans have to read this kind of drivel by wannabee citizens!

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