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Those in favor of civilian disarmament mischaracterize “stand your ground laws” as “shoot first” laws. As if it’s OK to shoot someone if you think it’s OK, regardless of how credible or imminent the threat of death of grievous bodily harm. As if your decision isn’t subject to prosecutorial and/or legal review. There’s at least one gun owner who shared this view [story via]. . .

The 20-year-old man [Karl] Henson is accused of shooting met Henson in the 1500 block of Riva Ridge Court at about 5:15 p.m. Monday to purchase an iPhone 7 from Henson. Henson said the man looked at his phone before he ran off around a duplex with the phone still in hand, Stevens wrote.

Hanson chased the man and fired seven shots at him, Stevens wrote. Police looked for the injured man, who was hit in his left heel, but did not find him until a private vehicle took him to University Hospital for treatment.

D’oh! You can’t shoot someone unless they pose an imminent credible threat of grievous bodily harm or death.

Double d’oh, actually, as Mr. Hanson thought Missouri’s new “stand your ground” statute —Senate Bill 656 — allowed this ballistic response to a fleeing felon.

Henson said “the only reason I thought it was OK to shoot at him while he was running away was because of what happened with the new year with the gun law change,” Officer Spirit Stevens wrote in a probable cause statement.

Mr. Henson’s ballistic solution to his iPhone 7 theft highlights the need to know your state’s laws regarding the use of deadly force.

For example, if he’d been in Texas, at night, and reasonably believed a thief would escape with his property, Mr. Henson could have deployed deadly force. Not that you should, but you can.

Anyway, at least Henson knew enough to STFU after a DGU.

[Officer] Stevens found Henson’s gun in his car, two shell casings beside a duplex and an unspent round in the area. Henson later declined to speak with a detective after he was advised of his rights to an attorney and to remain silent.

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  1. If you can’t use Double Barrel Biden’s advice as a legal defense, you sure aren’t using the new law as one either. I really wish people would just read things. Just READ the damn law. It’s not that hard. I’m not a lawyer, but most laws, at least in this state, are fairly easy to understand.

    • Andrew Branca’s book, The Law of Self Defense, is far easier to read and understand than any statute.

      • It is a great book, but there’s a danger there.

        Gun and defense laws are changing at a fast clip. By the time the author finishes writing the book until the day your copy gets to you from Amazon, your laws may change. If the book sits on your bookshelf for six months and you use it as a reference, chances are even higher that your law has changed.

        You really need to be checking laws on local internet sites that get timely updates and are always current.

        I hate to discourage buying a good book, but it’s just not the right medium these days for a time-sensitive subject.

        • Unfortunately, while the state and local “law” websites are better sources for current changes than books, nobody can actually rely on websites being updated in a timely manner. Most I’ve read include a caution like that. There are no guarantees here, especially local jurisdictions with their own “laws.” Books are great for general information and guidelines… as reliable sources for “laws,” not even close. We can’t even get reliable information on this from cops or government offices in person. The body of “law” is simply too vast and changes too often.

          The insanity of being expected to “know the law” at all times and in all places is certainly enough incentive for me to be very, very careful as I carry… and inhibits me greatly from drawing the gun unless my life is clearly in danger. Most of that I take care of by simply not going “stupid places,” etc… I don’t arrange to meet strangers in parking lots, for one thing. And if I felt I absolutely had to do so, I’d take along a friend, or three…

          In any case, you pays your money and you takes your chances… just as it always has been.

  2. How many of you read the law, while holding your gun and wanting to know if it is legal to shoot? Yes, he should be aware of the law before he carries.

  3. IMO, shooting a thief over an iPhone is criminal stupidity. Now if was an Android phone, well, that’s another case altogether.

    • Unless it was a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Then you just look for the smoke and you’ll find the perp lying in an alley with third degree burns.

  4. Gun hero of the day is more like it. I sometimes yearn for the old days when shooting a thief was acceptable.

  5. Well my phone cost 50bucks. I won’t shoot you for it…he does have a bad-azz beard? Yeah know the law.

  6. If you’re afraid someone is going to steal the phone you’re about to sell, sell it outside a police station. Or someplace well-lit with lots of cameras… etc.

  7. ” 20-year-old man”

    Great, now this guy is going to be used as an argument against the government recognizing the rights of those under 21.

  8. Farago,
    You might want to re read your article….
    Yeah we can all read between the lines, but should we have to?

  9. I always cuff a buyer to a nearby handrail before letting them fondle the merchandise.
    Keeps them from running off with the goods.
    Saves me a bullet and a lawsuit.

  10. Silly citizen, only cops can do a mag dump on a fleeing, non threat and get away with it. Next time be of such low morals that you take government employment.

  11. As unfortunate as it is for many folks, the task of simply reading the context of a new law, or any law, and comprehending it, is like asking them to read and comprehend complex chemistry.
    Admittedly, some laws are not the “model of clarity” while others aren’t that tough. I’ve had a number of people tell me that in Washington State, even with a Washington CPL, you can’t carry a loaded handgun / pistol in a vehicle. Naturally I look at them like they have smoking various narcotics far too long. Of course you can! My neighbors across the street, fresh from cop shop after submitting freshly completed CPL applications, told me the same thing just days ago. Both apparently failed to correctly read the law in the little pamphlet the state gives to new applicants on who they can and can not shoot, clearly defines that it is LONG GUNS that may not be carried in vehicles loaded.
    There is just no way to legislate stupid. People with guns will shoot someone. Someone hanging Christmas lights will fall. Someone with a chainsaw will crush something when the tree falls the wrong way. Clinton will lose and there will be butt-hurt morons.
    Idiots will always be around us and some will have a gun.

  12. I have a little more sympathy for this guy than most other igotds. If you’re going to brazenly rip someone off for hundreds of dollars worth of goods, getting shot should be part of the cost of doing business.

  13. “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”

    John Wayne – “The Shootist”

    • It figures. A holocaust denier getting his legal advice from a fictional hero. From hollywood, no less.

  14. Follow the logic out to the end-state.

    If you make the conscious decision to shoot someone, and it isn’t a case of murder, don’t let any other living thing remain to judge you on it. ‘Cause the mf’s on banker’s hours like to claim (months or years later that) they are protecting society by upholding the “law” that says you were wrong when you righted a perceived wrong against you.

    “When a law binds the hands of the lawful against the attacks of those who ignore the law, the law becomes ignored. A person, or societal agreement, cannot endure the possibility of attack from a foe that hides behind the compulsory legalities that prevent defense or limit preemption. An, albeit weak, example of such a threat would be a thief who perpetrates violent theft or battery in airport terminal where nearly the entire population is completely disarmed and
    incapable (handicapped) of an equal and overwhelming defense.” – J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012, P. 36

  15. -I live in Hawai’i . It doesn’t matter what the facts are; if I fire a gun other than hunting or at the range I will be charged and convicted of a felony. If I hit someone I will be charged and convicted of assault. If I kill someone I will be charged and convicted of murder. Kind of simplifies your choices when you can see the future.

    • That’s ’cause you have an F load of POS neighbors who don’t trust you. AND, if you don’t cure that problem, we don’t trust you either and you are them.

  16. If you get shot at while committing a crime, ANY crime,…there should be no repercussions against the shooter. In fact, the cops should pay for the ammo,… and the time on their clock.

    • If you get shot while posing a clear and present danger to the shooter or others nearby, there should be no repercussions against the shooter.

      If you get shot while fleeing a minor property crime while unarmed, I’m sorry, but there should be repercussions against the shooter. It is cowardly to shoot a fleeing suspect who poses no immediate threat.

  17. The gentleman in question is my son. I am a staunch second amemendment supporter, and proud gun owner and concealed carrier. I appreciate all of the opinions given here, that is your 1st amendment right. However, there are two sides to every story, one side that you aren’t aware of is Karl’s. Were you aware that he was lured to this address, the thief claimed it was his house. It actually turned out to be a condemned home and the thief was standing across the street on the porch of an occupied house. Were you aware that the thief assaulted Karl by punching him in the face, then grabbing the phone? Probably not. Were you aware at the same time the thief assaulted my son, a black Dodge Charger raced up and blocked Karl’s car in so that he could not get in his vehicle and leave? Were you aware that Karl called 911 to report the incident?

    As gun owners yourselves, until you confronted with the situation, its really easy to be the armchair quarterback. Feel free to provide your opinions, however, I would think that the community of gun owners that I associate myself with would refrain from name-calling and speculation, maybe even be a little more understanding of what my son is going through after being victimized and then having to be smacked in the face by so-called like minded individuals.

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