Sunday, May 31, 2009

Did self-defense go too far? Depends on who you ask.

Adam and I got into a heated debate tonight about the Oklahoma pharmacist who shot and killed one of two robbers who held him at gunpoint. He then got another gun and shot the robber five times as he lay unconscious and unarmed on the floor.

Adam says that was unnecessary and that it goes beyond defending himself. I say right on.

Am I cruel? Maybe. All I know is if someone stuck a gun in my face, I could shoot them many times and not feel bad about the fact. I'll be interested to see if he winds up serving jail time for what I consider self-defense.


robp said...

I think it's fucking idiotic. Pull a gun, waive all rights. Yeah, the pharmacist shouldn't have done it. But what drove him to it? Some motherfucker coming at him with a gun.

The scary thing is how out of it judges are. Lenny Bruce in his obscenity trials talked about how judges were so out of it regarding "obscene" words because they never heard them in the courtroom. So if words were shocking, what are guns?

The law is, unfortunately, quite stupid. If someone breaks into your home you're not supposed to shoot them in the back. I think the world would be better off if you did. They steal from you and they're running away and it's illegal to put a bullet in the back of someone who isn't confronting you with a weapon.

Two things: I don't think there's a cop in the world who'd agree with that, and don't hope for the judge defending the rights of your corpse if you rip off my house.

Any reasonable judge is going to extend the moment of passion, or whatever it's called, to a point beyond where any reasonable person would feel "this criminal has been captured."

Personally, I'm quite peaceful. I also have a lot of repressed hostility, and if me or my family is threatened it's all coming out.


-W said...

I think both sides are right. I think more than one bullet is unnecessary and goes beyond defense, yet in the moment, I would probably fill the robber's cranium with every piece of lead I had. I kind of hope I woudn't. But I kind of know I would.

(Damn I love the word verification... "wateur"!)

Allison Landa said...

It's interesting -- I think you guys are both hitting the same point that I hit, which is What Would You Do In That Moment? I can tell you I'd do everything in my power not only to make sure the fucker was dead, but to take my revenge.

Is that wrong? Or right?

Adam argues that it is the difference between self-defense and viligilantism, and that setting a precedent to legalize crossing that line is dangerous. While I can see his point in theory, how in the hell do you expect a guy in that situation to act logically and in a law-abiding manner?

I told him: "If you had a gun to your head -- okay, if *I* had a gun to my head, you might act a little differently." He doesn't think so. I hope none of us ever finds out.