'Shoot first' laws make it tougher for burglars in the United States

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Shogun, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    Burglars in the United States could once sue homeowners if they were shot, but now a growing number of states have made it legal to shoot to kill when somebody breaks into a house.

    John Woodson, 46, found that out last week when he ambled into Dennis Baker's open garage in a Dallas suburb. A surveillance video showed the robber strolling inside, hands in his pockets.

    From the shadows, Baker opened fire and killed Woodson.

    "I just had to protect myself and that was it," Baker told reporters despite the fact Woodson had not tried to enter the bedroom near the garage where Baker had been sleeping.

    The incident made national headlines since it was Baker's parrot that gave the alarm when it innocently squawked "good morning" at the intruder.

    But Woodson's death seemed anecdotal compared to another Dallas resident who a few days earlier had killed his second robber in three weeks inside his home.

    Police are investigating both cases, but it is unlikely charges will be filed. Texas recently passed a law branding anybody breaking into a home or car as a real threat of injury or death to its occupants.

    In contrast with traditional self-defense laws, this measure does not require that a person who opens fire on a burglar be able to prove that he or she was physically threatened, that force was used only as a last resort and that the victim had first tried to hide.

    Florida was the first state to adopt in 2005 a law that was dubbed "Stand your ground" or "Shoot first."

    But now they have proliferated largely under pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), the main weapons lobby in the United States.

    Today 19 out of 50 US states, mostly in the south and the central regions of the country, have this kind of laws, and similar legislation is pending in about a dozen others.

    "This law will bring common-sense self-defense protections to law-abiding citizens," said Rachel Parsons, a spokesperson for the NRA.

    "If someone is breaking into your home, it's obvious that they are not there to have dinner with you," she continued. "You do have a right to protect your belongings, your family and yourself.

    "The law needs to be put on the side of the victim, and not on the side of the criminal, who is attacking the victim."

    But for the Freedom States Alliance that fights against the proliferation of firearms in the United States, these new laws attach more value to threatened belongings than to the life of the thief and only serve to increase the number of people killed by firearms each year, which currently is estimated to stand at nearly 30,000.

    "It's that whole Wild West mentality that is leading the country down a very dangerous path," said Sally Slovenski, executive director of the alliance.

    "In any other country, something like the castle doctrine or stand-your-ground laws look like just absolute lunacy," she continued.

    "And yet in this country, somehow it's been justified, and people just sort of have come to live with this, and they just don't see the outrage in this."

    According to Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 2.18 million burglaries to the United States in 2006, up 1.3 percent compared to the year before.

    But the number is still well below the 3.24 million burglaries a year committed 20 years ago.

    http://rawstory.com/news/afp/_Shoot_first_laws_make_it_tougher_f_10272007.html






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  2. Threedee
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    Threedee Member

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    Property is sacred in this country. It is one of the three natural rights we were founded upon (life, liberty, property). That twit from the alliance needs to get that straight. Sure, that means that two natural rights are in conflict, but the property rights trump the safety of the burgler who is breaking the law.

    Granted, our political rights have steadily taken a backseat to economic rights (not guaranteed in natural rights tradition, and contrary to property rights) in an age of "social justice," but those 19 states are right on.
     
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  3. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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  4. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    hmmm...


    knocking on a door and being shot....

    ....and burglarizing a home and being shot...

    I wonder which happens more frequently...
     
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  5. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    I'll bet nobody else "ambles" and "strolls" into his garage again.

    Why do you wonder that?

    Under these new rules I'm sure more will be shot burglarizing a home. Instead of "ambling" or "strolling" in or otherwise illegally entering a person's property, knocking will become the only option if you don't want to chance being shot.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I don't own, nor want to own a gun. I am glad that many do and think the laws regarding burglary are correct. Now, if someone does shoot someone for stepping on their lawn, the laws will be changed.
     
  7. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    Stepping how far onto their lawn? What if he is looking in your windows and scoping out the place? How many people do you know who do that as a matter of course? I would rather shoot at someone sniffing around my windows in the dark of night instead of waiting for him to actually break in. He's still illegally on my property. It's time homeowners had some rights to protect themselves and their property.

    Then there is the issue of illegals creating garbage-strewn pathways across property along the border states. I think a property owner should be able to shoot trespassers.
     
  8. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    The law says HOUSE, not lawn. Enter a structure and your in danger, trespass and your not. If someone shots someone for no other reason thn they walked on their lawn the law doesn't need to be changed, the person shooting will be tried for unlawfully shooting someone, depending on circumstance will determine the exact charge.
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Then I'm even more in favor of. :cool:
     
  10. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    I am reminded of friend's stories of being so drunk they walked in the wrong house or crawled through the wrong window. Two years ago we were invited to my wife's friend's house in one of those suburbs where everything looks the same. We actually went into the wrong house, thank Zeus, Threedee or Screaming weren't holding a gun revival meeting there.

    Three, is that you?
     

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