Florida recently passed a law making it harder to prosecute people who defend themselves with firearms. The law builds on a trend started with an Arizona law that codified the defensive display of a firearm as legal. The Arizona law had been prompted by criminals’ use of the criminal justice system to punish people who had foiled their crimes by displaying a firearm in self defense. This Coos Bay, Oregon case, though it did not receive official sanction, shows how attackers are only too happy to try to use the law to get back at their intended victims . . .
In the Oregon case, two homeless men attacked a homeowner who they believed had reported them to the authorities. The attack occurred about 3 a.m.
The two transients believed the man had reported them to the Bureau of Land Management as trespassers, the sheriff said.
Killingsworth and Moore took turns hitting the victim with the bat, causing extensive head, face and back injuries, the sheriff’s office said.
In an attempt to escape after the attack, the victim grabbed a shotgun from his home and fired two rounds into the air, the sheriff said.
The two suspects fled to a nearby residence and called police to report that they had been shot at.
In this case, the police arrested the two attackers and transported the badly injured victim to the hospital. Shotgun rounds (birdshot) fired into the air are virtually harmless. They are a case where the shooter can be certain that a warning shot will do no harm.
There’s not word yet as to whether the homeowner will be charged in this case. Things might have turned out differently if the victim had been able to retrieve the shotgun before he was beaten by the two transients. I wonder what the police response would have been in that case.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.