Dispelling the myths: when you can’t shoot home intruders

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It was in 2013 on Channel 9 news, when this columnist and permit-to-carry-gun instructor advised the public that Byron Smith used excessive force when shooting and killing two teens that broke into his home on a Thanksgiving evening. I remember telling the public (as I teach in my permit-to-carry class) that unlike defending yourself in public, defending yourself in your home offers more protection in that one does not have to retreat in one’s home as one may have an obligation to retreat in public.

As this columnist mentioned, while one does not have to retreat in his/her home, one condition applies to any situation, whereby deadly force is needed to protect against imminent fear of great bodily harm or death and condition is very clear. When the subject is down and no longer presents a threat the use of deadly force ends. Simply.

If you shoot a subject, once that subject is down — no longer a threat — you cannot continue shooting that subject or you will find yourself facing murder charges, despite the fact that the subject was trying to cause you great bodily harm or death, as I stated in 2013. The bloggers and others said this columnist and permit-to-carry-gun instructor was wrong.

However, those that have taken my class faithfully agreed. I said when Mr. Smith shot the teens, once down, when Mr. Smith walked over and placed a gun to the female teen’s head and, in his words, finished her off with a clean shot, this comment alone from Mr. Smith would be offered as evidence to convict him of murder.

I hate — no, I love — to say to all that disagreed, “I told you so.” Mr. Smith shot the teens too many times. Once the teens were down, Smith continued lethal force, which becomes an intentional, willful, wrongful, and unlawful act of murder.

Often when Blacks take my permit-to-carry-gun class, I hear many myths about when one can shoot and kill home intruders. Blacks tell me when you can shoot a threat in public, and what I hear from most students could land them in prison.

What is more alarming is the number of Blacks that have guns in their homes but lack real knowledge (versus myths) regarding when you may shoot a home intruder. Blacks tell me if a person walks up with intent to punch him/her, they will shoot. That will land you in jail, people.

Let me explain briefly, what is covered in five hours of training to keep you out of trouble. In public, deadly force is conditional. Four elements are needed: reluctant participant, imminent fear of great bodily harm or death (no lesser force), and retreat is not practical. After explaining each element to students they leave with destroyed myths that will land them in prison. Oh yeah, some Blacks that say they hate guns, have them in private. Not knowing realness versus myths we learn, will get you into a lot of trouble.

Minnesota Law protects those taking life “when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense, which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death.” This, however, is conditional both in public and in your home.

Blacks, as much as some may deny, do have guns. Learn the laws; carry legal. Don’t find yourself like Mr. Smith, and in trying to protect yourself and family, end up in jail for life.

You have the right to protect self, and your family. Be justified. Call with questions.

 

Lucky Rosenbloom welcomes reader responses to 651-917-1720, or email him at l.rosenbloom@yahoo.com