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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.

Like BigMikeU:

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!

Or Dan:

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.

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208 COMMENTS

  1. There is something wrong with a legal system where your choice is to allow yourself to be victimized by criminals or to be victimized by the government. If ever there was a case for jury nullification, this is it.

    • Why would you kill anyone who is not trying to kill you? Its morally wrong as well as legally wrong. Deadly force is only used in deadly force encounters. To shoot someone over a toaster or even a prized sports car is just wrong. There is a lot wrong with our legal system, this just isn’t one of them.

      • There is a reason why theft of property above a certain value carried the death penalty in all civilized cultures until the left wing decided to get soft on crime.

        • Pwrserge, you’re dang right. Older cultures knew that it wasn’t the value of the object that mattered so much, it was the violation of a societal/cultural/neighbor trust. The goal of the law then was not to just punish, it was to ELIMINATE that person’s behavior and influence.

        • My advice if you want to act and live like savages is to go live with them. There is any number of countries in the middle east that I’m sure would love to have you, in more ways than one I’m sure. They still cut people’s hands off or worse over there. Just be prepared to deal with all the other things that you are most probably not going to like.

        • “Savages”? You mean like the majority of the United States prior to 1900? Or did you forget that the punishment for cattle rustling and horse theft in the old west generally involved the gallows?

          The reality is that a persons right to be secure in their property is absolute. It’s the foundation of our legal system. I a thief doesn’t want to get shot, then perhaps they would be better off not stealing?

        • It’s not crazy to equate theft with murder in one sense. You effectively exchange some of your (finite) time on Earth to create wealth. If someone steals that wealth, then in a way they are effectively stealing some of your life. Not that I am advocating shooting thieves when they don’t pose a threat of death or serous injury. I personally wouldn’t shoot someone fleeing my house with valuables. But from a certain perspective, theft isn’t fundamentally different from murder, and is essentially a kind of slavery.

        • Sergei, we’ll excuse your lack of understanding the significance of stealing one’s horse.

          In the old west, where death for horse thieves was common, your horse was a very important asset. Because of the great distances and desolate countryside, having a horse could mean the difference between life and death.

          You’ll notice, no one spoke of the death penalty for stealing a wagon or even stealing property by jumping a claim. Even in the old west, citizens chose the court for redress of their grievances. Vigilanteeism was frowned upon and rarely exercised.

          Times have changed, and we recognize that punishment should be proportional to the crime. To be the judge, prosecutor, jury, and executioner for some item of property is not the American way.

          Frankly, I think people who rant about killing people over a few hundred dollars worth of property are latent psychopaths just itching to kill someone, looking for any excuse to justify their savagery.

        • “If someone steals that wealth, then in a way they are effectively stealing some of your life.”

          This concept was discussed, at length, many years ago. The argument was found wanting.

          The reason for that, in short, is because the argument is wrong. But, even if you were to say the argument is right, it’s still not a rational or ethical reason to kill someone. If nothing else killing them is wasteful of yet more of your time and ensure, 100%, that you don’t get made whole for the original crime.

        • Horse theft from someone not well used to walking back in the day was close to being murder which is a big part of why it was a capital crime. Same with rustling. It was their livelyhood and removing that from them could cause them to starve. Personally i think the system we have now where theives get a slap on the wrist and you go to jail of you stop them is far more barbaric than anything we used to have because it encourages more of it which then in turn tends to lead to a greater number of more serious crimes

        • Why am I not shocked that the commie is defending the right of the criminal to get away with another person’s property over the right of the property owner to be secure in their property? I mean, they’re nothing if not consistent. Once you justify that strong-arm robbery doesn’t justify a violent response it becomes easier to justify that same exact strong-arm robbery at government gunpoint.

          I live on a very simple principle. Don’t start nothing, don’t get nothing.

          But please, tell me how a shop owner who’s already working 80 hour weeks to make ends meet doesn’t have the same stake in his property as a cattle baron has in his herd? If a bunch of thugs run off with the contents of your bodega, are you really any better off that the cattle baron who lost a few dozen head to rustlers?

          The reality is that the current justice system doesn’t punish property crimes in any meaningful way. The thieves are rarely punished and the punishment is rarely more than a slap on the wrist. When this happens often enough, people lose faith in the system. What’s worse, people are persecuted by the government over defending their right to be secure in their property. Say what you want about “barbaric” punishments, but they have a strong effect on recidivism. After all, a thief who gets bullwhipped in the public square isn’t as likely to do it again as the thief who spends six months in the county jail getting all his needs met.

          • Exactly my sentiments PWSerge. Shop keepers used to keep a sawn off shotgun under the counter loaded with rock salt and this was more the local grocery with only lower dollar value items. All the laws protecting criminals from serious punishment for their crimes are just govt protecting their own damn theiving kind

        • “Once you justify that strong-arm robbery doesn’t justify a violent response…”

          I don’t think anyone said that. Strong-arm robbery is quite different from simple theft.

          There’s a wide gulf between grabbing something and running away or shoplifting and threatening violence in a robbery. Robbery, by definition, involves force or threat of force. At that point you have a threat. If it’s credible you can obviously react with violence.

        • pwrserge is correct
          The Missouri National guard only protected government buildings in ferguson during the riots. But private property was destroyed for several days. It was the civilian Oath Keepers that stopped the looting and burning. By responsibly openly carrying their long guns.

          And in Florida a fire chief shot and killed a car thief because , “he was trying to steal a government vehicle with guns in side”.

          So it seems if you steal or harm government property you get the DEATH PENALTY.

          Private property is allowed to be stolen, vandalized, and destroyed.

        • S9, Hey our friend Sergei changed the subject to strong arm robbery because he’s knows he’s wrong about simple theft.

        • I see very little difference between the two. But hey, you’re the one pretending that federal law is equivalent to the Constitution.

        • I am so tired of this “hang the horse thief or rustlet” myth that gets kicked around here..

          The was NEVER a time when that was legally a Capitol offence, anywhere in the US or territories. No laws EVER existed on that.

          The horse thieves or cattle rustlers that were killed were always the result of vigilante mobs. Where possible, members of those mobs were prosecuted and hanged for murder. Not often, since these extrajudicial lynchings typically happened in the dark or night, or with no witnesses willing to speak up..

        • I do need to qualify that.. I am speaking of the ‘old west’.. and in modern times, TX for example, yeah you can use deadly force in specific circumstances.. I prefer the ‘well your honor.. some people just need killing
          ‘ defence.

        • The reason was whether the property was livelihood dependent. Old west a horse was livelihood without horse you would not make money and therefore stealing a horse was paramount to murdering the person. This speaks more to the utility of the item rather than intrinsic value however the two are often related and this confuses the issue. Today someones car might be their source of livelihood so under old law shooting a car thief might be a modern reinterpretation.

        • If you mean the left wing circa maybe about 1200AD, sure.

          Property crimes have not been held to be capital offenses in any Western Country that I am aware of in a lot of centuries. Horse thievery was never a capitol crime. The use of FORCE in such a crime, was sometimes a capitol offense. Vigilante possesses and mobs certainly did hang a lot of horse thieves. Those involved were sometimes prosecuted for it too.

          And I don’t think anyone is saying you should just grin and take it if someone steals your things. There is a reason we do have a government. Its function is supposed to be to protect you and redress of wrongs. They can’t be everywhere, which is why everyone has a right to self defense. SELF defense. Someone steals your stuff, the government is the property avenue to redress your grievance.

          And face it, whether you like it or think it is right, if you’ve got two brain cells to rub together, you also are aware of the reality of what the author mentions. You shoot someone over a property crime where the criminal wasn’t armed and no evidence they assaulted you and even if no charges result in the end you are at a minimum going to need to hire a defense attorney to help you navigate NOT getting charged with murder.

          So, hmmm, reality is if I shoot someone, I am probably out a few thousand for a defense attorney to help me out at best. Or at worst I am out tens of thousands on the attorney, losing my job, probably my house, possibly my spouse and kids (who even if they support you, might not really be willing to stick around for decades) and my freedom for probably 10-life…

          Yeah, my property is really worth that.

          Even a self defense shooting that could still result. I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6, but I am also going to take at least a fraction of a second to think am I actually likely to be carried by 6? I am not shooting someone through my door or window standing on my front porch. Even hammering on something to break in. They darned well better have broken in to my house and advancing on me before I pull that trigger.

      • No, stealing is wrong. If you don’t want to get killed, don’t attack people, don’t break into people’s homes and businesses, and don’t steal property. Thieves deserve to die and the law should be amended to reflect that.

      • Don’t come to Texas. Texas law protects the property owner, not the thief. That’s the way things are supposed to be. If you stole a sandwich from a restaurant, the resterauteur would probably “get away” with killing you.

    • OK, so suppose you are right. There is something wrong with our legal system. What are you, or I, or thousands of others going to do about it?

      If we don’t like the laws the way they are then our course of action is clear-cut. We petition for redress of grievance. What other rational choice do we have?

      The problem with using deadly force merely to protect property (i.e., withOUT an adequate pretext that you were simultaneously protecting your life & limb in self-defence) is primarily practical.

      Your defense at trial for homicide can not be sustained on grounds of “self defense”. You stand a high probability of being convicted by a jury of . . . peers.

      Bear in mind that the jury members are not necessarily your peers; your neighbors, coworkers, friends. They are just as likely to be your target’s peers; his neighbors; practitioners of your target’s way of life; his friends. If so, these peers of your target are very apt to convict you. For that matter, your own neighbors, coworkers and friends might see things differently that you do and they are apt to convict you as well.

      Even if you are acquitted (it happens; even Bernie Getz was acquitted of homicide) your trial will cost at least $50,000 and more likely $200,000 or even more. Your trial will take at least a year out of your life. If you have really good – and expensive – self-defense legal defense insurance then it might cover much of your out-of-pocket expense; but it won’t cover your lost income or emotional cost of undergoing trial.

      And, you will do great damage to the cause of civilian ownership, carry and use-of-guns in self-defense. No matter how self-righteous you feel, a strong majority of voters will read/watch the MSM’s portrayal of your gunning-down an unarmed youth with a promising future merely because he was sealing your riding lawn mower for a joy-ride. A mere property crime.

      OK, so, now you are probably behind bars for 10 – 20 or more years. You are almost certainly bankrupt. Your property has been sold-off to try to cover some of your living expenses. And, you have damaged the cause of civilian arms ownership.

      Your fellow gun owners are being taxed to pay the expense of keeping you in prison – as long as you survive. Your target’s peers are locked-up in the same prison as you are confined to. Your fellow gun owners are paying for the welfare upon which your wife and children survive. Your house has been sold because you couldn’t pay the mortgage.

      But, you still have your self-righteousness. Does this make sense; purely as a practical decision on your part?

      The best thing you can do is arrange your affairs such that your property worth stealing is locked-up well enough that it’s unlikely to be stolen. Then you are much less likely to experience the urge to shoot someone who is committing a mere property crime against you.

      The next best thing you can do for yourself is to read a book or take a course in the law of self-defense. You might then learn how much you don’t know about how to conduct yourself so as to minimize your vulnerability to being prosecuted for using a gun in defense of yourself.

      The next best thing you can do for yourself is buy self-defense legal defense insurance. Which one is a difficult choice; but you really must choose one which will pay for your defense before you go to trial; NOT AFTER you might be acquitted.

      If you choose NOT to do anything in your own best interest do NOT expect me – and others like me who have invested in self-education and legal defense insurance – to feel sorry for the consequences you suffer at the hands of an unjust legal system. You could have done much more to avoid your plight. But you would not. Your choice.

        • pwrserge,

          I don’t believe that MarkPA was defending our criminal-justice system. Rather, I believe MarkPA was illustrating the likely outcome of a particular course of action as friendly advice or possibly even a friendly warning.

          In case that doesn’t seem on-target (pun intended), perhaps you forgot MarkPA’s opening salvo where he encourages us to petition our government to change our rotten criminal-justice system. Again, that is not defense of the system. That is recognizing that the system is bad.

    • This, jury nullification. The law is supposed to protect us, not victimize us. Shoot to kill, just don’t say that.

  2. “Your property simply isn’t worth it.”

    Except to the thieves who wish to relieve you of it.

      • Yes, because the life of a criminal is clearly worth more than your right to be secure in your property.

      • “So, let them have it ” not over a chainsaw. Or replaceable property . Hurt my dog , cat , they will be done with their life of crime. I can’t justify shooting some pos over an inanimate object . Protect family , pets , even strangers. Dont risk jail over a $400 tool. Just my 2 cents worth , I hate scumbags that think it’s ok to steal from others that work hard to earn what they have. I just wont risk having to live with them at the grey bar hotel.

        • Would this be your approach if Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s Buy Back Boys were to knock on your door and demand your inanimate “Assault Weapons” ?

        • You know, I agree with you about puppy dogs, they are members of the family.

          And if someone is willing to kill any mammal in cold blood, they are just a fraction of a second away from killing a human.

          And I tend to follow the suggestion of that guy who talked about peace and brotherhood and never wore no shoes, long hair, beard and sandals and a bunch of funky friends:

          “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone“

        • “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

          Except he never actually said that.

        • “Except he never actually said that.”

          Well, I wasn’t actually there to hear it.

          But since you were, what did he really say?

      • You know what, Raymond? You let the thief have your property. I can’t afford that. I’m not rich and every penny I have in my stuff was paid for with hard labor, my wife’s and mine.

        Does the thief deserve death penalty for stealing property? Of course not. But I will be damned if I will just stand by, watching him to carry part of my life away. I’m not shooting anyone in back, yet I will try to stop the theft in progress. If the perpetrator drops what he stole, I will not try my luck with a citizens arrest and let him run. But if he attacks me, I will defend myself.

    • Be a hard target. Lock things away. Make sure the doors and their locks are good solid ones. Draw your blinds and curtains, especially when not at home. Consider operational security. Try not to give anyone the reason or opportunity to even check your place, much less break in.

      My family and I have not been broken into or burglarized in 50 years by taking simple precautions.

  3. If you cannot afford insurance for your property, like the dude above, then you cannot afford to shoot the bad guy. I’m not going to shoot except when a deadly threat is given to myself or another innocent. I have killed. It is not fun. And it stays with you.

    On a whole other note. Sawed off shotguns should not be illegal. They may be a poor choice of weapons, but they should not be illegal. I draw the line at NBC weapons.

    • This is common sense talk (wisdom) right here. The only thing I’ll add is that thieves still piss me off regardless. While I don’t want to kill them, I’d love to hook their genitals up to a strong electric current. Just to make the point of if it isn’t yours don’t touch it.

    • jwm,

      While I do not condone killing a thief over something that has little monetary value, I wholeheartedly endorse reasonable attempts to capture and hold a thief until police arrive to arrest him/her and take him/her away.

      If the thief uses physical force to resist capture, then I also wholeheartedly support the victim using physical force to defend him/herself. And if the thief keeps escalating physical force to the point that he/she becomes a credible, imminent threat of great bodily harm or death, then he/she deserves whatever comes next when the victim also escalates force in righteous self-defense.

      • Heavily implied in my above comment:

        It is really important that we attempt to stop thieves. While I agree that we should not kill a thief for attempting to abscond with a $20 toaster, we most certainly should NOT just let him/her go. Rather, we should attempt to capture him/her so that our justice system can hold him/her accountable.

        • You do you. But remember, any attempt to get the thief in the system also puts you in the system. I’ve been there. Citizens arrest, the whole magilla. Those are hours, days, weeks that you will not get back.

          Let me relate to you just one little personal story from my days in security. Which by the way is a great second job or college job. A young man with my company went after a shoplifter at a K Mart. I arrived after the fight. He was stoked. He’d taken the bad guy down and the cops were ‘atta boying’ him no end. He was also bleeding from a severely bitten thumb and the medics were just arriving.

          At the time we were making 5-7 bucks an hour. As the medics were flushing his truly fucked up thumb I asked him ‘why?’ He didn’t have a coherent answer. He was young and full of piss and vinegar. He wanted to assert his will over that bad guy and he had.

          Then I asked him ‘Have you ever heard of AIDS?’. His thumb was bit nearly to the bone.

          If it’s just property theft and not a threat to you or another, let them go.

    • Deadly force against a fleeing thief, no.

      Deadly force if someone is stealing your (replaceable) property, no.

      But what about less-than-lethal? Bean bag shotgun, or bear spray, or paintball to the nuts at close range? Teach ’em that crime hurts.

      • Haz. Unless i’m mistaken you, like me, are a CA resident. Here even hard language and a bad stare are considered deadly force. And don’t wear a MAGA hat. That might put you on death row.

        • Yes, SoCal lifelong resident. I once engaged in a discussion – which turned into an argument – with an off-duty LAPD officer who said you can’t shoot out the tires of your own car if someone is stealing it from your own garage. Any discharge – even if against your own property and not in the direction of the thief – would be prosecutable as a crime. Even if the thief were driving right toward you in the driveway, you couldn’t shoot if you have room to step out of the way. Funny how that doesn’t seem to be a requirement for “I feared for muh life” cops.

          According to that cop’s explanation, if someone’s in my driveway and breaks into my car, I can’t even draw my gun to hold him at bay unless the thief presented a danger to my personally, and even then I can’t run out there because a D.A. could argue that *I* could have avoided the situation entirely.

          Basically, LE now expects everyone to simply roll over and let all thieves and muggers do whatever they want because the property’s not worth the confrontation. I agree in the general sense that my life isn’t worth material “stuff”, but at what point do we teach criminals the hard lessons? LE nowadays is telling everyone that “insurance covers all your stuff, so let someone else steal it and just call us so we can show up and take a report”.

      • In regards to property crime; are Police allowed to use deadly force to stop a thief? Not necessarily shooting the thief, but to draw their weapon to forcibly detain the criminal?

        Somewhat of a rhetorical question.

    • I always find it morbidly funny that those who want to kill because somebody is absconding with their VCR or life size anime statue are nearly always those who haven’t had to deal with the mental and emotional cost of killing.

      • Right.

        Maybe they don’t realize that they’re going to be sleeping with that person for the rest of their lives, they’ll wonder a thousand times why they didn’t do things differently.

  4. Well spoken about victimization, Pwrserge.

    Jury nullification shouldn’t be such a rare thing, especially in this day and age of political/malicious prosecution – that’s part of it’s design.
    For something to happen, it requires consent and agreement across the board, if not unanimously. A legislative body needs to pass a law, the executive head needs to not veto it (or it has to have enough legislative support to override), the executive branch needs to allocate resources and priorities that include enforcement of it, the prosecutor has to decide to prosecute and to devote time and resources to that. The jury is the last step where the common people get to call bullshit on the whole thing, effectively the people given one last chance to ascent; their approval that things are proceeding correctly.

  5. As WARFAB alluded too, in El Paso a judge took his wife to the theater. Returning to the car after dark he shot/killed the turd trying to steal his car. The really important words are “after dark” in TX.

  6. well I will put it like this I once told a fellow I worked for repairing cars at a gas station there had been some robberies around where we were and he said for none of us to be heroes I looked at him and said you don’t have to worry about that with me because I will give them everything in register and ask them if they needed gas also because I was not going to get shot over a little money not worth it especially being a wife and baby at home I was 21 at that time and still feel that way and am 65 now still feel same way with the same wife

  7. “If someone ever tries to kill you, don’t stand for that. You try and kill ’em right back.”
    -Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly

    • Zoë: Preacher, don’t the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
      Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
      More Firefly

  8. If you’re looking to stop people from stealing large items like that from your store a Taser (a real one, not a stun gun) might be a good option. Check with a lawyer in your state first and know that your civil liability goes up through the roof the moment you use one, even if justified- but it’s better than shooting someone in the back with a shotgun for what is, essentially, a large case of shoplifting.

  9. Get a copy of your state’s criminal codes and you will discover most if not all of them frown upon shooting over property crimes AND really don’t like shooting fleeing perps in the back. Unless they committed murder right before your eyes, maybe. Unless someone is in danger don’t shoot. If they are in your house and don’t leave you don’t have many choices. If it’s 2:30 A.M. and they are armed, a different story.

  10. Here in Houston we call them Scouts and if he would have got away, there would be more come later for more stuff and there you would be, calling the cops and they would show up an hour or three later , So eventually you would have to give up your business or learn to fight, maybe grow some balls and buy a gun? Welcome to Little York Houston, they still kill you dead here

  11. You know, if the government said, “Don’t harm thieves, just report them to the police!” and then the police efficiently and effectively hunted down the thieves, the courts imprisoned them, judges and parole boards kept them locked up, and the government made the victims whole, then people might actually be willing to let thieves go. Instead, the police shrug at property crimes, prosecutors and courts shrug at property crimes, judges and parole boards shrug at property crimes, and property owners are left to fend for themselves or to file insurance claims, eat their deductibles, and then pay increased premiums so they can eat the rest of it over a period of years.

    So if the government is not going to make it right, they have no ethical or moral grounds to forbid the victims from making it right themselves.

    • There are a number of things that can be done to deter thieves/criminals without so much as an encounter. A security system, good dog(s), cameras, signage, tactics of your own to invoke fear into the hearts of would be criminals. All of which should be just as important as the insurance policy you pay for to protect the same property.

      • Great points. Be a harder target than those around you. Because fortunately there are folks out there that still refuse to lock their stuff up, they leave their car doors unlocked, they walk around with their eyes on their phone, they trust everyone they meet for the first time…

    • If the government won’t take theft seriously, perhaps they can foot the bill for replacement of stolen items….out of their pockets, not the taxpayers.

  12. Blame the legal system for giving thugs more protection than the citizen, scum lawyer’s, activist judges, citizens review committees, (basically the perps relatives), are all the problem. Lawyers see $$$ signs, Judges are power hungry, citizen review committees are another word for anarchist. Law abiding citizens take it in the shorts anymore.
    Thank the bleeding hearts.

  13. May not be worth it but it would surely detour crime. Which if this country any motive to do needs harsher laws otherwise what is the deterrent?

  14. Not a word about the standards for nonlethal force in defense of property? Everyone’s howling about lethal force or about letting the suspect go.

  15. Go into a bank and take bags of money and try to run. The cops will ventilate you before you get to your car. A jewelry store will get you the same treatment. It’s not what you rob but who.

    • In reality, it is illegal for police officers to shoot you in the back unless you are a fleeing felon and they witnessed the crime.

      You know, for everyone advocating instant death for suspected property theft, that sort of behavior is completely unconstitutional.

      It’s interesting that so many folks who consider themselves good patriots are willing to shitcan the constitution when it comes to a few hundred bucks worth of stuff.

      • There are zero constitutional bars to private action kiddo. The Constitution limits the government, not private citizens. Once again, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

        But hey, I’m not surprised that a Demokkkommie is ready to play fast and loose with individual rights of victims in defense of the “rights” of the criminals to get away with their crimes.

        • I think you are correct on this one. I think it’s quite unlikely that a non-cop could be held to have committed a violation of the 4A for “seizing” a criminal. Perhaps if the non-cop were acting in aid of and direction of a cop; perhaps if a member of a posse. But, such would be rare events.

          It seems not so far fetched to be prosecuted federally for a deprivation of civil rights. If a Federal prosecutor could sustain a case that you used deadly force against a target because of his race, religion, national origin or some such protected class membership then you could run a risk of Federal prosecution. Yet, it seems somewhat unlikely that an assistant US DA would take the time – unless he had plans for getting promoted or running for office.

          The real risk is state prosecution for assault or homicide without adequate excuse based on a claim of self-defense. And, that risk is very real in all 50 states with the possible exception of TX when the shooting occurs at night.

        • “I think it’s quite unlikely that a non-cop could be held to have committed a violation of the 4A for “seizing” a criminal.“

          That’s what some folks would call kidnapping, and it is illegal, not only in every state in the union, but in federal law as well.

          You just got to read the constitution a little more closely, with perhaps special attention to the legislation section.

        • Now, having been busted on a bullshit constitutional argument you devolve into a bullshit legal argument. A citizen’s arrest is not kidnapping. Every citizen has the legal right to detain somebody they witnessed committing a serious crime using reasonable force. At worst, it’s a civil matter.

          What you’re quibbling about now commie, is the definition of “reasonable force”. Funny how you always jump up to defend the criminal lowlife and don’t give a shit about the little guy who now has to deal with a loss in property that would otherwise never be made good and the criminal highly unlikely to be punished in any meaningful way.

        • I blame our naturalization process for your ignorance, Sergei (Of course, you may still be in Russia and never having been naturalized at all, who knows for sure).

          Article 6, clause 2 is the relevant portion of the constitution:

          “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

          Honestly, even if you’re still behind the Iron Curtain, you really should sit down and read the constitution, you might find it enlightening.

        • Oh, the old citizens arrest gambit.

          From your citation:

          “A person who makes a citizen’s arrest could risk exposing him or herself to possible lawsuits or criminal charges – such as charges of false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or wrongful arrest – if the wrong person is apprehended or a suspect’s civil rights are violated.[4] This is especially true when police forces are attempting to determine who an aggressor is. Private citizens do not enjoy the same immunity from civil liability when making arrests on other private citizens as do police officers.”

          Sergei, have you ever broken the law?

        • Pretty sure that the chances of “the wrong person” being involved are exactly zero when you’re apprehending a thief who’s got your property. But keep dancing commie… Check the actual statutes, in most states, you have absolute immunity from civil and criminal action when using non-lethal force to execute such an arrest.

        • You can deprive someone of their rights as a private citizen. Such rulings were made during the days of lynching when “private citizens” conducted extra-judicial executions.

      • “In reality, it is illegal for police officers to shoot you in the back unless you are a fleeing felon and they witnessed the crime.”

        False and false.

        The “fleeing felon” rule was abolished in the 80s. See the case “Tennessee v. Garner.” Now the standard is that a suspect must be reasonably perceived to be an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury. It doesn’t matter if you are wanted for a felony or jaywalking. On the other hand, you can be a child rapist and if the police cannot articulate that you are an immediate threat, they legally cannot use deadly force. Also there is no need for the officer to have witnessed the crime. He needs probable cause.

        Note that these rules do not apply to those who are escaping custody. If you’re escaping prison after being convicted the rules are much less strict for when deadly force can be used.

        NOW. If I were chasing a child rapist and I had no other means of stopping his escape but deadly force I suspect I would be a lot more likely to come up with ways that he was an imminent threat to someone than if I were chasing someone for a dime bag, but legally there’s no stark distinction between a crimes anymore. Which, to some degree, makes a lot of sense. You can be guilty of a felony for writing bad checks. But I think they threw the baby out with the bath water and should have perhaps tried to set a standard of violent crimes, rather than forgetting about them altogether.

        • Hannah, you seem reasonable but this:

          “You can deprive someone of their rights as a private citizen. Such rulings were made during the days of lynching when “private citizens” conducted extra-judicial executions.“

          No, you can’t.

          And using lynching as an example of when you can deprive someone of their rights is beyond the pale.

          The constitution says the laws made pursuant to the constitution are the supreme law of the land, and the very fact that the lynching is extra-judicial makes it unconstitutional.

          The constitution grants the power to the law of the land, when you violate the law you are violating the Constitution.

  16. It’s pretty shocking, to me at least, to see a number of people I know to be fairly well educated talking like they’ve never had a basic civics class.

    Yeah, no one likes a thief. They make us all angry. Anger is not a justification for homicide and neither is theft without force. What gives you the legal and ethical ability to take human life is the threat the other person poses to you or another. Without that threat, sorry, you’re in the wrong and if you’re not damn lucky a jury will find that way. Talk of jury nullification… damn, does betting your life on the sickly pony seem like a good idea to you?

    To allude to a time when stealing certain specific items was tantamount to murder, and when the justice system was spotty at best, is illogical and intellectually dishonest. You don’t want to go back to vigilantism being common. That’s where you’re going with Antifa, it’s where you’re at in Venezuela and large parts of Africa. To say you desire that only makes you look like a fool.

    As jwm notes above; If you go down this road, regardless of the legal outcome, you’re not going to like where you end up unless you’re basically a psychopath.

    • So you’re going to argue that property criminals are properly caught and punished? Really? In Chiraq, the CPD can’t even close 90% of their homicides. What makes you think that they are any better at property crimes?

      Given that the justice system has turned into a finishing school for career criminals, that’s an absurd position.

      Bring back serious punishment for property crimes and other crimes will drop like a rock. It’s a well documented effect of “broken windows” policing. Unfortunately, our justice system cares far more about “unfair” treatment of criminals with encyclopedic rap sheets than it does about the rights of citizens to go about their lives secure in their persons and property.

      • Bad behavior or dereliction of duty on the part of others does not excuse use of violence where it is not legally or ethically warranted.

        I don’t disagree that the legal system doesn’t deal with property crime very well but that system not function correctly is not an justification for homicide.

        To go on a bit of a tangent here, this discussion is a symptom of how fucking successful the people you call “commies” have been. We’re actually discussing destroying the basic system of Western Civilization because the Left has managed to throw just enough sand into the gears to provoke this kind of reaction.

        They want to burn the whole fucking thing to the ground and they’ve actually managed to piss you off enough that you’re willing to help them. I would implore you to think a bit before assisting them in their goals.

        • Let’s be honest, what you’re describing as a [fundamental part of western civilization] is an affectation of the last 100 years or so. There is nothing harmful to western civilization to allow immediate private action to protect property.

          • i would also add that this shite that has come in in the last 100 years has all come from the commie left to do exactly what it has done…. increase crime and raise peoples tollerance of both street crime and govt crime

        • This isn’t the “last 100 years or so”. This goes back, directly in the US’s case to the 1600’s and, really, long before for Western Civ in general.

          This kind of thing gets starts to get hashed out, with good documentation but the ideas are obviously not brand spankin’ new at the time, in England during the reign of f Henry II, that’s in the 1100’s.

          Fuck man, this is debated hotly in Athens well before (like 500 years) the birth of Christ. Shit, Athens didn’t even tend to kill people for MURDER because they noted the breakdown in social cohesion associated with the death penalty when it was abused by tyrants and during Greece’s Dark Ages. Instead when it looked like someone might be convicted they were given the option to self-impose exile on themselves.

          Later on abuses by the government (Kings) are what lead to a much greater examination of this, and nearly endless debate on the topic by the 1600’s. Hobbes and Locke both touch on this and they’re both dead by 1704, about eight decades before our Constitution is signed.

          In fact a bunch of this is what we’re talking about when we discuss the British idea that colonists should be allowed arms in the first place. There was in fact an argument that the Empire should do as Spain had done and forbid the ownership of arms because of exactly the kind of shit you’re talking about. England decided against this policy.

          Frontier lawlessness and frontier justice certainly occurred and in some cases were a necessary evil but that doesn’t mean that the concept of not lynching a thief, or when lethal force was ethically acceptable (theft not being one of those cases) was a new concept at the time.

          Again, the fact that the current application of the justice system doesn’t work well for property crimes is NOT an argument to simply ignore the system. It’s an argument to actually reform the system to what it’s supposed to be: Where property crimes are punished by the perpetrator making the victim whole plus some. A guy steals $1000 from you and he’s forced to work/pay it off to the tune of $1500 or something.

          There’s a logic behind that idea and it’s not a bad logic, unless you like the idea of living in some place like Iran or South Sudan.

        • S9, your words of wisdom are falling on deaf ears.

          And the fact is, it is these comments by POTG that have just plain folks really concerned about private firearms ownership in the US.

          It’s not really the mass shootings or muggings or suicides. It’s the anger and vicious rhetoric from the POTG that have prudent citizens concerned.

          S9, you’ve seen poster after poster declare with anger they have an absolute right to kill people who have stolen $100 item.

          Now ask yourself, do you really want any one of these individuals owning an A.R. 15 with a 90 round magazine and 1000 rounds of ammo?

          This is exactly why the anti-gunners are making progress every day at disarming America.

          If we don’t start policing our own ranks and pointing out the armed crazies who are ready to kill for 100 bucks, then the rest of the citizens will take action that we may not appreciate.

        • Look at the commie… Pretends he gives a shit about the constitution, then in the same post advocates taking away people’s constitutional rights over political opinions. But hey, if you want to play that game, there’s a dark hole in GITMO with your name on it you treasonous piece of shit.

        • “you treasonous piece of shit”

          Big words from behind a keyboard, Ivan.

          Once again, I think the term is agent provocateur.

          But you are very entertaining, I must admit.

        • Unfortunately the reality that political perception is very, very close to political reality is… well, reality. So, miner does have a point here.

          One of the antis greatest strengths historically has been in messaging discipline. We lack that, lack it in spades.

          Which, as an aside, is why I don’t think Beto is “stupid”. I think he knows he has no chance in this primary but is setting the ground work for a job or political position later on in the Party by playing the same game the antis have forever: moving the goalposts. He’s probably been told to do this.

          It’s like haggling at a flee market only this is over how much of your freedom they get to take away from you by convincing other people that with said freedom, you’re dangerous. The Left has been shockingly good at that it seems. But hey, that incrementalism in exchanging your rights for convenience or the perception of safety is how we’ve got people with Ring and Alexa in their houses and willingly carrying a spy tool in their pocket that just 30 years ago was the NSA’s wet dream.

          Overall serge, the point is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I get that thieves piss people off. They piss me off too. When they looted my pad in a shitty neighborhood and the cops didn’t care to even bother looking for that stuff… yeah I was pissed. That doesn’t mean I get to haul off and kill some people for shit I can replace and which, if caught, the thieves can be forced to replace for me.

          As I’ve said before. It’s called the “high road” because walking it is fucking hard. However the high road leads to the high ground and high ground, especially moral high ground, is a great spot to emplace machinguns and mortars.

          • “Unfortunately the reality that political perception is very, very close to political reality is… well, reality. So, miner does have a point here.”

            Oh crap! strych9 and I agree again. Maybe I am getting too old for this.

        • @Sam,

          Yeah, I think I’ve woken up today in the Upside Down. I’m actually agreeing with some of Miner’s and strych9’s comments, while watching Miner and Sergei punch each other over nomenclature.

          • “@Sam,
            Yeah, I think I’ve woken up today in the Upside Down. I’m actually agreeing with some of Miner’s and strych9’s comments”

            Hanging out here can be a mental hazard; wear a shield and be cautious.

  17. While I agree that the example here was unnecessary use of force due to the chain saw not being Charles’s property (unless he’s the owner – who should have insurance and anti-theft procedures). The conundrum is that when someone steals your property they are stealing the part of your life it took to generate that property. Whether it was wages or your own two hands it took time. Time you can’t get back. That’s why horse thievery got the death penalty.

  18. “A Memphis store clerk is facing charges for allegedly shooting a man to death over a stolen chain saw.”

    As he should, property crimes do NOT warrant the use of deadly force, additionally, you CANNOT should anyone “fleeing”…

  19. Funny, reading through the comments here EVERYONE is missing a *MAJOR* point, the thief was running away so the shooter was not nor could be in fear for his life…*AND* HE SHOT THE THIEF IN THE BACK! You are in no way defending yourself when your target is running away and you shoot him in the back. Add to that the use of an illegal firearm and this joker is facing serious long term time in prison.

    • Malus lex est null lex. Legality is not an argument against a morally sound action. I don’t give a shit about a thief getting ventilated. I do give a shit that victims of property crime are only given the choice of allowing themselves to be victimized by criminals or instead getting victimized by the government.

  20. There’s 2 things I’ve taken away from this comment stream.

    1) I don’t want serge as my lawyer.

    2) miner49er is a walking talking advertisement for Americans to outlaw left. After all, they don’t seem capable of policing themselves.

    • Moral arguments and legal arguments are different things. I can separate the two. Just because the law is the law doesn’t mean I have to endorse said law.

      • personally if a law is not Just, Fair and Moral it should not be followed. For those that seem to think that all laws must be followed i will posit an extreme example. Say tomorow some radical feminazi bunch took power and decreed in law that all males must present to the hospital for mandatory sex reasignment surgery. Would you follow the law or would you go against it???

    • Why do my words frighten you so?

      I threaten no one in my posts, I always employ a measured and reasonable tone with my statements and questions.

      Hearing too much truth can be uncomfortable.

      But my opinions posted here are the very sort of free-speech the founding fathers wished to preserve and encourage, and wanting to ‘outlaw’ them (and me) seems to be the very antithesis of American patriotism.

      To the privileged, equality feels like oppression.

      • Miner. You threaten our human and civil rights. ‘If we don’t regulate ourselves, blah, blah, blah’. But when I use the exact same argument that you use you use your fake outrage.

        You’re a phony.

        • Help me to understand when I have threatened your rights.

          Yes, I have pointed out that prudent citizens may object to much of what I read on this forum.

          And again, just because my opinion makes you uncomfortable does not give you the right to advocate for censorship of my speech or my death.

        • I did not call for your death or censorship. You project much of your own guilt onto others. I simply used the very same line of logic you yourself introduced. Which leads me to believe since you’re reacting to it so that your plans for POTG involve censorship and death. Being as you are a socialist I would not doubt either.

          You introduced the hyperbole here. Not I. Just like upstream you told s9 that ‘nearly all the comments above were about POTG eager to kill over a hundred dollar theft’. Not word for word, but close enough.

          You deliberately inflate the truth and then threaten us that we need to ‘police ourselves’. Or else.

          2020 is going to be rough on you socialists.

        • You posted:

          “2) miner49er is a walking talking advertisement for Americans to outlaw the left.”

          So just what do you mean by “outlaw the left“, just how will you go about enforcing this ‘outlaw’ action you speak of? Will people like myself be allowed to continue to live in our homes, will we be put in camps, will we be imprisoned or killed?

          And help me understand where you find article or amendment in the United States Constitution to support this ‘outlaw’ action you propose to take?

          You are no patriot, just another petty dictator wannabe, like Don the Con.

          Like Jefferson, I thank Providence daily for the rights and protections of the constitution, and the amendment process therein to guarantee that the constitution can change to reflect the values of American society.

        • As you yourself say, miner, the constitution can be changed. There is a process. And again. You were never threatened in my comments. No more than your comments threatened me. As basically I just redirected your own comments back.

          Now, if you feel threatened by them, you wrote them. As for your follow on about camps. Again, that’s just your socialist projections. What you wish to do to me and mine.

        • jwn, I ask again:

          So just what do you mean by “outlaw the left“, just how will you go about enforcing this ‘outlaw’ action you speak of?

        • Don’t be dense, miner. How were you and the ‘normal’ American public going to ban guns and make it stick? Make a constitutional amendment that acknowledges that socialism is a threat to peace and security. Set the mechanism in place to remove all socialists from public office and any teaching positions, public and private.

          There are endless avenues open to do this. Just because all you socialists can come up with is violence and camps doesn’t mean the rest of us aren’t civilized. Once Trump gets his second term he will continue to load the courts with conservative judges.

      • jwn, you won’t answer the question because you’re not being honest about your statement.

        Stripped bare, your comment means that you want to make it illegal for people to hold political views that are contrary to yours.

        So just what do you mean by “outlaw the left“, just how will you go about enforcing this ‘outlaw’ action you speak of?

        • Minor. I realize that as a socialist you’re not the brightest amongst us. But you’ve been answered. Plainly and simply. Change the constitution, as you yourself pointed out can be done. Then let the law enforcement agencies enforce the law. You know, just as you and hillary planned on to ban guns. Except that hillary isn’t in the oval office and Trump will be there until 24. And with all the good will the left is building up with Trump you guys are in for a bumpy ride.

          That’s as simple as I can explain it. If you still can’t figure it out, well socialist.

  21. Posts like this always generate responses that are overwrought. The drill is simple: listen to /read the story. Consider the conditions, the action, the aftermath/potential aftermath. Then….make your own decision as to how you will proceed. You have been given information (valid information at that).

    When you decide you will risk everything regardless of the situation, you have been informed and cannot claim any sort of ignorance, being uninformed, being mistaken, being somehow unjustly treated. If your decision ends your life, or arranges permanent residence in Graybar, your survivors can be proud of your principles. If you decision keeps you from taking a dirt nap, or out of jail, you can continue to live your life in relative safety.

    The issue isn’t, “Buh, muh rahts”. The issue is being an informed and responsible gun owner, and making decisions accordingly; nothing more than that. No proclamation of bravado here, or in court will serve to protect you from the law.

    • I think it’s an important discussion not to argue what the law is or isn’t but what it should or shouldn’t be. Nobody is arguing that the guy was legally in the right. A moral argument, however, can be made.

      • “I think it’s an important discussion not to argue what the law is or isn’t but what it should or shouldn’t be. ”

        Well, pwserge, as usual you are always wrong, and I am always right.

        (Of course, it is the same for you, on the other side of the screen. “Ain’t it cool?”)