A Memphis store clerk is facing charges for allegedly shooting a man to death over a stolen chain saw. Cops say Charles Kalb shot and killed a man running from Mid-South Small Engines without paying for a shiny new saw. What’s more, Kalb reportedly used an illegal sawed-off shotgun to shoot the alleged thief in the back.
I recently wrote about not using deadly force in property crimes. The theme: Let. Him. Go. Killing someone over a $400 chainsaw — or any other property — simply isn’t worth it.
The US Law Shield people have sponsored a number of free legal seminars in Illinois and I attended one last week. It helped that I knew the attorney delivering the presentation and who went into detail regarding the legal standard for justifiably using deadly force. However, some of his words seemed to go right past at least a few in attendance.
Steve Davis told the fifty-odd people present that he strongly recommended never using deadly force to defend property. Even if your state has a provision allowing the use of force to stop certain property crimes, it may be a violation of federal civil rights laws and court precedent (Tennessee v. Garner in particular).
Besides, he pointed out, from a social morality point of view, how will it look to a jury – or a skeptical prosecutor – that you shot someone over a radar detector or an old Craftsman lawn mower?
Davis urged people not to confront suspects in property crimes but to instead “let him go.” He even had those present repeat after him several times. “Let. Him. Go.”
More than a few folks in the comments roasted the idea of following the law and not using deadly force to defend their things.
I really think its sad we are being told to allow some scumbag that is stealing our stuff to just get away?I will never allow my self,family or Property to “ever” be violated! I dont have insurance either and cant afford any kind of theft insurance!If anyone wants to steal something that i need to make money with or hurts my dog while entering my house that will end up with a knife in their hand while i stop them from doing further harm!Im tired of people telling me the bad guys are not worth our safety or piece of mind! To hell with that i say and use the Constitution to defend your self,family and property!I totally agree with you…. PERIOD! May for ever and always “only” GOD BLESS AMERICA!
No I’m not going to let them go. I’m going to let them have it.
BigMikeU, Dan and other gun owners should know that they face a strong likelihood of arrest, prosecution and lengthy imprisonment for shooting people over property crimes. As famed criminal defense attorney Andrew Branca advises, “Carry a gun so you’re hard to kill. Know the law so you’re hard to convict.”
The case from Memphis shows what can (and probably will) happens when people use deadly force in the heat of the moment to defend property from people who don’t pose a reasonable threat of death or grievous bodily harm.
WLWT has the story . . .
The man killed, Lamorris Robinson, was seen stealing a chainsaw from a store, according to a police affidavit. The affidavit goes on to say [Charles] Kalb shot Robinson in the back with a sawed-off shotgun as he ran from the store.
Robinson was unarmed, WMC reports.
“The law in Tennessee is very clear. You are not allowed to use deadly force whether it is a firearm or a knife or any other weapon to defend property. Period,” Will Dougan told the news outlet.
Dougan works as the chief instructor at a gun range in Memphis. He teaches gun owners about using their weapons and the law.
If Mr. Kalb had simply called the police and reported the theft, he wouldn’t find himself facing murder and weapons charges and the monumental costs involved in defending himself.
Let this be a lesson for anyone else thinking of shooting a fleeing thief. Those who think replacing their “stuff” would pose a hardship would do well to consider how much of a hardship they’d face over spending $50,000 on a criminal defense attorney and then a ten to thirty year term in prison.
Your property simply isn’t worth it.