JIM: Law. Abiding. The law exists to sort out our differences equitably amongst all people. It doesn’t always do a great job and there’s plenty of cracks and loopholes for bad people to shirk responsibility. The laws of each state dictate the acceptable terms and conditions for the application of deadly force. There is no such thing as using a gun with less than deadly force because a gun is always a capable instrument of deadly force. Because I live in a lawful society and I am generally law-abiding, I need to look at my state’s definition of deadly force.
New Hampshire 627:4 Physical Force in Defense of a Person. –
“II. A person is justified in using deadly force upon another person when he reasonably believes that such other person:
(a) Is about to use unlawful, deadly force against the actor or a third person;
(b) Is likely to use any unlawful force against a person present while committing or attempting to commit a burglary;
(c) Is committing or about to commit kidnapping or a forcible sex offense; or
(d) Is likely to use any unlawful force in the commission of a felony against the actor within such actor’s dwelling or its curtilage.”
Looking at the preceding paragraphs, I see no room to use deadly force against a person fleeing the scene of a crime. I am only permitted to use deadly force against someone who I suspect or see is using/about to use deadly force against myself or a third person. Fleeing the scene of a crime does not constitute that.
When I see or hear “law abiding” gun owners talk about shooting someone in the back, I see that obeying the law obviously must mean nothing. And if it means nothing, then that person is only “law abiding” when the law is convenient. Well, what’s the point of that?
- If a person opens fire on me and I return fire and strike that person, the law will judge my actions accordingly.
- If, in the course of defending my life, I strike a third party not involved with the incident, the law will judge my actions accordingly.
- If I shoot my attacker in the back as he turns to run, the law will judge my actions accordingly.
In the law, there is no room for vengeance. And once I step outside the law, I am no longer protected by it or through it. So, I am left with the decision — shall I pursue my own selfish interests, “vengeance”, or “vigilantism” or should I fulfill the terms of my agreement (“social contract”) with the state to obey its laws and regulations insofar as they do not infringe on my constitutional rights?
As a law-abiding concealed carrier, I have made my decision and I will live and die by it… Much as I did as a law-abiding member of the active duty military while deployed overseas in support of a foreign policy that I did not agree with.
And that’s my two cents on the topic of “shooting at a fleeing suspect”.