California Still Has Good Self-Defense Laws

Clayton also points out that the finger eating Obama supporter, who is charged with mayhem, could have been legally killed by the man he was attacking.  Seems California allows people to use deadly force to stop felonies, even arrest felons.  They have crappy gun laws, but their self-defense law is still Western in its roots.

I know that a lot of liberals have some trouble controlling their emotions–that’s part of why liberals are generally supportive of restrictive gun control. They are convinced that everyone is as out of control as they are, prone to fly off the handle and kill someone for no particularly good reason. If you can’t control yourself enough to notbite someone’s finger off, then you should stay away from political demonstrations.

Sounds familiar.  Much like what I was arguing in the post below about violent criminals not being ordinary people who just snap.   But I think perhaps we can come together with the Brady Campaign and agree that there ought to be no baring of teeth at political demonstrations.  Lest someone be too intimidated to speak out.

8 thoughts on “California Still Has Good Self-Defense Laws”

  1. In more detail: the California justifiable homicide statute dates to the 1872 revision of the criminal codes, and is pretty typical across the Western U.S. There was a California Supreme Court decision back in the 1970s that narrowed the use of deadly force against fleeing felons to the most serious of felonies. The reasoning was utterly bogus, but it was driven by the fact that the shooter knew that the teenagers who intimidated him into giving up his wallet in a dry cleaning store had gotten away with a total of $1. Yes, they had committed the felony of robbery, but the judges weren’t thrilled that someone shot at some kids over $1.

    Tennessee v. Garner (1985) substantially narrowed use of deadly force by peace officers across the country, but California courts, at least as recently as the late 1990s (when I was still living there) recognized that a civilian who used deadly force against a burglar he caught fleeing an attempted break-in of an occupied dwelling, was

  2. I was shocked earlier today to find out that NJ has a Castle Doctrine law. No duty to retreat inside the home, and massively reduced thresholds before use of deadly force is justified. Refusal to disarm would appear to be a justification for use of deadly force, and disavowal of proportionality, to wit: the use of force or deadly force upon or toward an intruder who is unlawfully in a dwelling is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself or other persons in the dwelling against the use of unlawful force by the intruder on the present occasion…. An actor employing protective force may estimate the necessity of using force when the force is used, without retreating, surrendering possession, withdrawing or doing any other act which he has no legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.

    Terrible laws about use of force outside the home (retreat or surrender of property is required before use of force), and it would appear that use of force is not justified except as necessary to defend against unlawful use of force (IE – you don’t get to plug the guy making off with your jewelry box unless you “reasonably believe” the intruder would injure you or a guest; and you have to warn him to disarm, surrender or withdraw first.)

    You’d think that prosecutors would be aware of this…

  3. I’m having an exceptionally hard time figuring out how this guy has been turned into the victim here. Has the entire country gone insane?

    Cramer writes in his blog that “there is some disagreement is whether the guy who lost his finger had been merely threatening or had actually punched the finger biter before hand.”

    Uhm, no there’s not. How can you say that when two days before you posted that, Mr. Rice was interviewed on FOX and plainly stated that he punched the man in the face for calling him an “idiot”? By his own admission, he punched the biter in the face once, INITIATING the physical scuffle.

    “And then I threw a second punch, and my fist ended up in his mouth.”

    AT WHICH POINT the man bit down on his finger, severing the tip. But we’re discussing how Mr. Rice could have legally killed the man he just physically attacked? Seriously?

    If Mr. Rice had been an Obama supporter who punched a Tea Partier in the face for calling him an idiot, you guys would be accusing him of denying the TP’er his 1st Amendment rights of free speech, and applauding the other guy’s self defense by biting, and suggesting that he could have legally shot Mr. Rice for physically assaulting him.

    I think there is a serious lack of objectivity here.

  4. I like what Guav said. “I think there is a serious lack of objectivity here.”

    I also like what Ian Argent said about Castle Doctrine laws in NJ. Fascinating.

  5. Fascinating is the word for it, all right. Despite those laws, if I actually shoot someone inside my house (God forbid, incidentally) I’m likely to go in front of the grand jury at least. If I happen to use the wrong handgun to do it (IE, the one my wife bought instead of the one I bought) I’d get done for illegal possession EVEN IF the shoot itself isn’t charged. She might get nailed for illegal transfer.

    NJ gun laws are atrocious and enforcement is worse.

    NJ has a clear statutory requirement that firearm ID cards and permits to purchase MUST be issued within 30 days unless good reason can be found to deny. This is routinely flouted by most police depts in NJ. It took me almost 5 months to get my paperwork back when I applied. To be fair to my local PD, the delay in obtaining mine was not due to them, but a compination of the State Bureau of Investigation returning my prints as illegible the first time and a delay on the part of one of my references. But it took MUCH less effort and time on my wife’s part to get a security clearance during the same timeframe. Yes, my wife had more problems getting permission to purchase a firearm than she did to get a government security clearance. What’s wrong with that picture?

  6. Uhm, no there’s not. How can you say that when two days before you posted that, Mr. Rice was interviewed on FOX and plainly stated that he punched the man in the face for calling him an “idiot”?

    Ddn’t see that interview (not much of a TV watcher). I was basing the uncertainty on the different news accounts that I could find.

  7. I don’t watch TV at all either—don’t even have it—but OK.

    I guess the final paragraph in your entry should be revised to read:

    “I know that a lot of conservatives have some trouble controlling their emotions. If you can’t control yourself enough to not punch someone in the face, then you should stay away from political demonstrations.”

    I’ve seen a lot of political demonstrations, and they usually involve people getting into heated debates, often yelling at each other—sometimes people even call each other idiots. Generally, nobody is punched in the face because of that.

    As far as I can tell, Mr. Rice is completely responsible for his lack of a pinky tip.

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