Author Topic: Use of Deadly Force  (Read 2296 times)

Branth

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2016, 01:13:24 PM »
If someone is causing harm or wants too, and enters my place of living, why should I not shoot to kill?
If I may, a question:  why would one shoot to kill as opposed to shooting to stop?

"Shooting to kill" is murder.  "Shooting to stop" is self-defense.  Shooting to stop and shooting to kill involve the exact same actions, so they are often conflated, but the difference is in intent.

Mr Ed

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2016, 05:54:19 PM »
Well said. What you choose to do is up to you, but what you articulate either verbally or in electronic media before, during and after the event, matters a great deal.

CSACANNONEER

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2016, 01:30:24 PM »
In CA, it is legal to use deadly force when necessary to save himself or herself or another from death or a forcible and life-threatening crime . Murder, mayhem, rape and robbery are examples of forcible and life-threatening crimes. So, in CA, you can use deadly force to stop the robbery of a $2 cup of coffee but, you can not use deadly force to protect any personal property including the cup of coffee. You can use deadly force to stop the threat or act of robbery regardless of what the bad guy is trying to take. Please note that there is a big legal difference between burglary, theft and robbery.


If someone is causing harm or wants too, and enters my place of living, why should I not shoot to kill?
If I may, a question:  why would one shoot to kill as opposed to shooting to stop?

"Shooting to kill" is murder.  "Shooting to stop" is self-defense.  Shooting to stop and shooting to kill involve the exact same actions, so they are often conflated, but the difference is in intent.

Yup. If you "shoot to kill", you will likely be facing a murder charge in most, if not all, states.

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gerhard1

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2016, 06:43:43 PM »
If someone is causing harm or wants too, and enters my place of living, why should I not shoot to kill?
If I may, a question:  why would one shoot to kill as opposed to shooting to stop?

"Shooting to kill" is murder.  "Shooting to stop" is self-defense.  Shooting to stop and shooting to kill involve the exact same actions, so they are often conflated, but the difference is in intent.
No; it's not murder.

If you are shooting in legitimate self-defense, it is legal in most states. 

You mentioned intent in your post.  Let's look at the definition of a crime.  A crime is an act or omission prohibited or commanded by law, the violation of which carries with it criminal penalties. Excluding traffic offenses, they are divided into felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are, as most of you know, the more serious of the two classes. 

Felonies usually consist of two parts: mens rea, and the actus reusActus reus is the act itself, and mens rea is called the criminal state of mind.  In other words, for our purposes,  mens rea is intent.

In order to prove a felony, the state has to prove both elements; intent and the act itself.  So if the shoot itself is justified, that is self-defense, your mens rea is not present, hence there is no crime. 

I concede that I am splitting hairs here and that it is almost almost always better from a PR standpoint to say shoot to stop, rather than shoot to kill, but shooting to kill is legal, provided the shoot itself is legitimate self-defense. 

That is in fact, how I think of it.  Granted, like I said earlier, the shots that have instant results are nearly always fatal, (CNS and heart or aorta) so as a practical matter, shooting to kill and shooting to stop, are essentially the same thing. 

Branth

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2016, 11:14:20 PM »
If someone is causing harm or wants too, and enters my place of living, why should I not shoot to kill?
If I may, a question:  why would one shoot to kill as opposed to shooting to stop?

"Shooting to kill" is murder.  "Shooting to stop" is self-defense.  Shooting to stop and shooting to kill involve the exact same actions, so they are often conflated, but the difference is in intent.
No; it's not murder.

If you are shooting in legitimate self-defense, it is legal in most states. 

You mentioned intent in your post.  Let's look at the definition of a crime.  A crime is an act or omission prohibited or commanded by law, the violation of which carries with it criminal penalties. Excluding traffic offenses, they are divided into felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are, as most of you know, the more serious of the two classes. 

Felonies usually consist of two parts: mens rea, and the actus reusActus reus is the act itself, and mens rea is called the criminal state of mind.  In other words, for our purposes,  mens rea is intent.

In order to prove a felony, the state has to prove both elements; intent and the act itself.  So if the shoot itself is justified, that is self-defense, your mens rea is not present, hence there is no crime. 

I concede that I am splitting hairs here and that it is almost almost always better from a PR standpoint to say shoot to stop, rather than shoot to kill, but shooting to kill is legal, provided the shoot itself is legitimate self-defense. 

That is in fact, how I think of it.  Granted, like I said earlier, the shots that have instant results are nearly always fatal, (CNS and heart or aorta) so as a practical matter, shooting to kill and shooting to stop, are essentially the same thing.

No, you missed the point of what I said.  If you are shooting to kill, or shooting with the specific intent to kill someone, that is murder, because you have the mens rea - Your intent is not to protect yourself or others, your intent is to kill the guy.

If you shoot to stop, your intent is to stop the threat.  There is no mens rea, because your goal is not to kill the guy, your goal is to stop the imminent threat he poses, and you are being forced to use deadly force and possibly kill him in order to do that.

In both cases, the "actus" is often the same - You put multiple shots on target, preferably center mass. The difference, as you said, is intent.  If I am shooting to stop, I will stop shooting as soon as the attack is ended.  If I am shooting to kill, I will continue shooting until he is dead, regardless of the threat he poses.

kennethjerney

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2016, 11:47:58 PM »
This topic is about using deadly force in self defense. If I intended it to be murder I would have skipped the whole "if he intends to do harm to me and enters my place of living" part and just said shoot whomever. Purely self defense here, but if you want me to mince words then fine "shoot to stop"

Branth

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2016, 01:39:26 PM »
This topic is about using deadly force in self defense. If I intended it to be murder I would have skipped the whole "if he intends to do harm to me and enters my place of living" part and just said shoot whomever. Purely self defense here, but if you want me to mince words then fine "shoot to stop"

I suppose it is mincing words.  I'm not going to fault you for using a societal shorthand for using lethal force, but the very existence of the phrase "shoot to kill" is a result of a gross misunderstanding of how lethal force is deployed and what effects it has on the body.  It's not your fault so much as Hollywood misinformation that has entered the mainstream.

No reputable shooting skill will teach people to "shoot to wound," with the possible very limited exception of police snipers who have been known on occasion to shoot weapons out of suspects hands in long standoffs when there's plenty of time to line up a shot.  Nobody with a handgun or whose life is in danger is ever taught to "shoot to wound."  ALL defensive shooting is what Hollywood would consider "shooting to kill" if it is done properly, because it is difficult beyond the realm of most mere mortals to consistently and reliably hit an attacker in a non-lethal target area that would still stop them in a true dynamic incident - Things happen too fast, arms and legs are constantly moving too quickly, etc. etc.

The point is that "shoot to kill" implies an intent to kill, rather than an intent to just stop the threat, and it would be more technically accurate to use "shoot to stop" to describe the use of lethal force to actually stop a deadly incident.

To me, using the phrase "shoot to kill" is like saying "ROFL."  You weren't actually rolling on the floor laughing when you typed that.  You were simply using a societal shorthand that is grossly exaggerated to convey your point.

Indigodog

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Re: Use of Deadly Force
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2016, 08:22:37 PM »
There is a measure also of how society will portray you either during or after the investigation process. Making the statement that you were shooting to kill as opposed to the statement that you had used your firearm to stop the threat will make a big difference on how people, or the courts look at the incident, let alone how the media runs with the story. The actions or results may be the same but peoples perception will be different based on the words you use describing the event. Were your actions offensive or were they defensive.The words you use will set those intentions in peoples minds. Shooting to kill takes on an offensive connotation. It is harder to prove justification if it is looked at that you took an aggressive position. Defense... I wanted to only stop the threat, maintains that you were unwillingly thrust into the situation and forced to shoot to defend a life. You know... nobody really wants to take a life.
It's all about perception after the fact. Once the words slip out of your mouth they are hard to put back. The best thing you can say to the police if something were to happen is that you are so glad they are there and that you are willing to tell them everything that happened but it is probably best if you wait until you have a lawyer there.
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