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  1. #1

    Default Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    This post has to do with laws regarding the legal use of force in self defense in the USA.

    Here in the USA by law if you're attacked you're allowed to defend yourself. However there are certain conditions that must be met in order for your actions to be considered "self defense" by law. For one thing obviously you have to be attacked. Also, you can't continue to beat on an assailant after you've stopped them. Lets say an attacker is coming at you, you knock them out with a punch and as they're laying there unconscious you proceed to kick and stomp them. At that point it is not self defense as you've stopped them and they're no longer a threat. Both those things I mentioned above I think are good guidelines. However what I do disagree with is having to respond with force on force. Having to use a level of force that is in proportion to the level of force your attacker is using. This is just an idea but my proposal is to get rid of that standard. Another words, to make it so that there is no limit to the level of force you can use against an attacker as long as you stop when the attacker stops. This is just a thought and if anybody disagrees they are welcome to state their opinion and as to why.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Your description of the actual laws as they currently stand is wrong. In almost all cases, all you need to be is THREATENED, not attacked.
    You are only allowed to defend yourself (possibly by legal means). Punishment or retalliation is NEVER a component of self-defense.

    I'd like you to show any indication that there is an equilibrium of force as you posit. I'm not aware of any state that forbids me shooting at someone with a credible attack of harm who is not carrying a weapon other than his fists.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    I'd like you to show any indication that there is an equilibrium of force as you posit. I'm not aware of any state that forbids me shooting at someone with a credible attack of harm who is not carrying a weapon other than his fists.
    The reasonableness of the force used is always a consideration. Shooting someone who is not armed is, depending on the full facts, not going to be seen as a reasonable use of force and could result in charges. If they are beating the crap out of someone and the shooter feels they have no choice but to use deadly force to protect a life, that's a good shoot. If someone gets punched one time and shoots their attacker, I'll throw the switch on them myself.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    I'd like you to show any indication that there is an equilibrium of force as you posit. I'm not aware of any state that forbids me shooting at someone with a credible attack of harm who is not carrying a weapon other than his fists.
    Not an equilibrium of force, but at least some states do require that the defendant relying on self-defense used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against the particular threat posed. Take California for example:

    As the jury was instructed on the assault count, a defendant acts in lawful self-defense if “one, the defendant reasonably believed that he was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury ... or was in imminent danger of being touched unlawfully; two, the defendant reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger; and three, the defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend himself against that danger.

    People v. Clark, 201 Cal. App. 4th 235, 250, 136 Cal. Rptr. 3d 10, 22 (2011)(bolding added).

    Such a requirement is a good one. IMO it would be unjustified, for example, for Amy to shoot and kill Blake in response to a threat by Blake to throw a cotton ball at her, as presumably a much lesser degree of force would be needed to deal with that threat. If I were on the jury in her murder trial, I would likely reject her self-defense claim of killing Blake. She’d have to make a really amazing case that the threat she faced justified it, and that would take more than just a toss of an ordinary cotton ball.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    George Zimmerman comes to mind. Was his use of force reasonable? Reasonable people disagree about that. A jury of 6 people could not say that it wasn't at least not beyond a reasonable doubt. That's the ultimate test - what does a jury say?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    The reasonableness of the force used is always a consideration. Shooting someone who is not armed is, depending on the full facts, not going to be seen as a reasonable use of force and could result in charges. If they are beating the crap out of someone and the shooter feels they have no choice but to use deadly force to protect a life, that's a good shoot. If someone gets punched one time and shoots their attacker, I'll throw the switch on them myself.
    I am not so interested in the consequences of shooting somebody, I am concentrating more on defending yourself with your bare hands. If a man attacks me and I fight back with my bare hands there should be no limit to the level of force I use as long as I stop when the attacker stops. Another words, lets say I knock the attacker out and he is lying there unconscious and no longer a threat. I can't continue to beat him since he is no longer coming at me but up until I stop him I should not be limited as to the level of force I use.

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    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Quote Quoting Justified Force
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    I am not so interested in the consequences of shooting somebody, I am concentrating more on defending yourself with your bare hands. If a man attacks me and I fight back with my bare hands there should be no limit to the level of force I use as long as I stop when the attacker stops. Another words, lets say I knock the attacker out and he is lying there unconscious and no longer a threat. I can't continue to beat him since he is no longer coming at me but up until I stop him I should not be limited as to the level of force I use.
    Petition your congressperson.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Quote Quoting Justified Force
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    I am not so interested in the consequences of shooting somebody, I am concentrating more on defending yourself with your bare hands. If a man attacks me and I fight back with my bare hands there should be no limit to the level of force I use as long as I stop when the attacker stops. [In other] words, lets say I knock the attacker out and he is lying there unconscious and no longer a threat. I can't continue to beat him since he is no longer coming at me but up until I stop him I should not be limited as to the level of force I use.
    I disagree. I think the rule that you should use only that degree of force that is reasonably necessary to defend yourself is a good one. If Bob lightly pokes Carl and does not threaten anything more serious, Carl should not be able to pound Bob only stopping when Bob is unconscious and potentially cause Bob serious injury. I get the feeling that you are looking for a free pass to severely beat up men who touch you in a way you don’t like (e.g. advances by gay men), based on what I recall of your other threads. In any event, you would likely need to seek a change in the law of your state to accomplish what you want. Were in and my state and seek such a change, I would vigorously oppose it. There needs to be more limits on the use of force than what you propose.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Personally I want to know why he thinks he's so irresistible to gay men. I know quite a few and they're all quite capable of keeping their hands to themselves.

    Could it be more that he's looking for any excuse to beat up gay men just for being gay? Inquiring minds want to know.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Proposal for Change in Self Defense Laws

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    I disagree. I think the rule that you should use only that degree of force that is reasonably necessary to defend yourself is a good one. If Bob lightly pokes Carl and does not threaten anything more serious, Carl should not be able to pound Bob only stopping when Bob is unconscious and potentially cause Bob serious injury. I get the feeling that you are looking for a free pass to severely beat up men who touch you in a way you don’t like (e.g. advances by gay men), based on what I recall of your other threads. In any event, you would likely need to seek a change in the law of your state to accomplish what you want. Were in and my state and seek such a change, I would vigorously oppose it. There needs to be more limits on the use of force than what you propose.
    First lets take into the account of size difference between Carl and Bob. Are they roughly the same size? A man of a certain size should be equal to another man of roughly that same size and bare hands should be equal to bare hands.

    Second you discriminate against gays. Just because a man is gay doesn't mean he's a pervert and just because a man is gay doesn't mean he sexually assaults other men. As a matter of fact most sexual assaults by men are done against women although some of them are done against other men but just because a man is gay it shouldn't be assumed that he will sexually assault other men. I've met some men that were openly gay and none of them were like what you describe. The rule that they teach you in nursery school about keeping your hands to yourself when you don't have consent, that applies to everybody regardless of gender or sexual orientation. There is a difference between being gay and being a pervert.

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