Shoot to stop an assailant, not to kill.

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by fixxer, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. fixxer

    fixxer New Member

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    Oklahoma City pharmacist found guilty of murder | NewsOK.com
    Ersland; the former Pharmicist in OKC who shot a robber 5 times, stopped the threat. He then chased another of the fleeing robbers out of the pharmacy. Afterwards, he returned to the first assailent and executed him with a different gun.
    “This defendant made himself judge, jury, executioner,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Chance said before a packed courtroom.
    And the sad truth is that he did... He took it upon himself to end the life of another human being. The human being was far from innocent of violent crimes; mind you, but no longer posed a threat to Ersland or anyone else nonetheless.
    Ersland has just officially joined the ranks of convicted murderers. He won't have the luxery of being executed though. He'll spend the rest of his life rotting in prison with other murderers, rapists, thugs and violent natured individuals. He is an elderly man who will likely not live to see his first parole board. It's a shame too.
    He didn't seem like a particulary evil person. He actually brought pictures of his dog to the Court and offered to give the pet to someone that could take care of it. He did this because he finally resigned himself to the fact that he wasn't coming back. He was; at that point, more concerned for the welfare of his beloved animal than he was for himself. Does that sound like someone that would be capable of murder? Not to me but evidently he was. Only because he bought into one seriously flawed fallacy: Shoot to kill. Keep shooting the bad guys until they are dead. If he had his head right before the incident, his anger would not have gotten the better of him. His attitude would not have been so skewed that he would have performed this in front of his own security camera. Shooting to kill had become so ingrained in him that he obviously did not even realize he was doing anything wrong. If the teenager had lived through the robbery he would likely be the one facing a jury instead. If Ersland had not returned to execute the individual on the spot, the assailent would have likely expired anyway.
    The difference is inarguable intent. He made his intent known the instant he decide to return his frusteration towards an immobile assailent. At was also at this point that he shamed most other firearms advocates and empowered anti-gun zealots. This is exactly the consequences we can avoid with understanding that gun owners are held to higher standing of moral objectivity. Most of us who carry a weapon had to pass background checks and spend many hours studying before being issued a permit. Some of us may have spent more time standing in line for the ID to be issued than we have actually practiced with our weapons. I am sure I am not that only person who has heard or seen at least one "home defense" weapon that was bought and quickly tossed in the drawer to be forgotten unless it is needed.
    I would opine that is not the case for the majority of CCL holders. The majority of us understand some basic concepts before tucking a gun in our holsters. Before carrying a weapon, we must fully understand the damage the weapon can impose. We must commit ourselves to acheiving good and proper proficiency with it. We must harden our mental resolve to the fact that we may have to employ the weapon but only if our lives are threatened. We must know the law and how it is currently being interpreted. It may be up to us to intercede violence among other innocents until authories arrive. We must understand we are not heros or peace officers who are commissioned to apprehend suspects or delve out justice. Most of all we must NOT allow anger to turn our defense into vile, murderous intent. We must understand the difference between shooting to stop the threat at hand and shooting with intent to kill. The latter of which, just made Jerome Ersland into a convicted murderer.
     
  2. Cory2

    Cory2 New Member

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    Well said, and for anyone who believes in shooting to kill. Make sure you do it before the perp hits the ground or you are in for a world of hurt.

    I personally believe in shooting to stop the threat, but I will shoot center mass as many times as it takes to stop that threat. If that means the threat exprires than so be it. However once they are incapacitated they are no longer a threat and should be treated with the highest decency you would treat anyone else who had just been shot... imo

    We are not the judge or the jury, it is not our place to judge someone for crimes they have commited. It is only our responsibility to defend our selves and others around us from immediate threat to life and limb. I expect every person who carries to have a higher moral standard than the typical person, especially when dealing with a self defence situation.
     

  3. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    A truly sad and tragic event.
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    that is why i cant wait for our new ccw/oc law to go in effect!! i dont want to be executed without a chance of at least fighting back. i dont care if it makes the democrats and rino republicans feel better if i am executed without a struggle i want to at least have the chance to do something
     
  5. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    Even Police Officers cannot shoot to kill. We aim Center of mass to STOP, if the perp dies as a result that is to bad. Swat Snipers or officers may shoot to kill if it is to save a life such as a hostage or a person about to be killed by the perp. But may not shoot after the perp is incapacitated.
     
  6. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    I agree with your easement that most folks do have some basic knowledge on the subject and for the most part folks that are interested enough to frequent forums like this one are more informed than the average.

    But it is always surprising to me how many folks are willing to get their information from Gecko45 on the Internet, the guy behind the gun store counter or dear ol' Uncle Jim who was a cop but retired in 1976.

    I recommend to folks quite often that they spend a couple of hundred dollars and hire a criminal lawyer for an hour just to get their take on local law and interpretations. I have several times and it is some of the best money I have ever spent. If nothing else you'll end up with a pre established relationship and a business card that you can call upon in a hurry if things go south for you.
     
  7. fixxer

    fixxer New Member

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    That's a great idea. In Kansas we are currently lucky enough to have a sympathetic D.A. and more important; a hard working assistant of his named Patricia Stoneking. "Patty" keeps her ear to the ground for us. She also happens to be President of the KSRA (Kansas State Rifle Association). As KSRA members (and really anybody that cares to ask her), we are able to ask the questions and gain clarification of how the D.A. interprets them via Patty. Afterall, the D.A. is who would be making the call to prosecute someone if deemed necessary. Our CCH policies, training and point of contacts are all through the District Attorney's office. Everything you want to know about how to become a licensed CCW holder, the law as it relates to CCW or even how to become an instructor is available on their website. Patty being a natural liason between the active firearms advocates and the DA is nothing short of extraordanary. I joined the KSRA for that reason, and now I'm looking to see about getting involved with the KSRA Political Action Committee. As far as having a pre established relationship with an Attorney, that is never a bad thing. Getting to know which attorneys are gun friendly in your area is a conversation that cropped up twice this week in my CCW friendly circle. Very good points.
     
  8. fixxer

    fixxer New Member

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    Thank you armmaster for some good Law Enforcement perspective. That pretty much jives with what local law enforcement have told me here too. One of my brother in laws is a cop and I pick his brain all the time. (Then I let him play with all my toys, so we're even). He mentioned that they were taught to shoot center mass and evaluate before the next shot(s). It all sounds exactly like what we were taught as Auxillary Security Force in the Military. Center mass, asess, centermass, asess etc. I think Snipers and DM are the only folks they give the green light for head shots with. Even then, it's situatioinally dependant. Maybe the head is the only thing available, bobbling, etc. I dunno. I don't plan on ever getting that sort of training as I don't plan to need it. My need is close quarter threat stopping so that's what I read about and practice for. Just like you said: "Aim Center of mass to STOP, if the perp dies as a result that is to bad."
     
  9. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Not sure I understand the controversy here...had the first perp died from the initial wounds there may not have been an arrest let alone a conviction...what did this guy in was coming back and putting another bullet in the guy after he was down. The chain of events leading to the initial shooting was clearly broken and the guy lay dying on the ground, clearly no longer a threat. Does anyone really believe that shoot to kill means that death must be the result of a self defense encounter? If so then I agree they need a refresher course in common sense, shoot to kill simply means don't screw around with warning shots or "winging" the bad guy, put the rounds center mass and drop him...fast and hard...if he dies as a result that's the path he chose when he threatened an armed citizen. Any excessive force can be grounds for prosecution, the key is that you take whatever action is necessary to stop the threath, no more.
     
  10. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    I would shoot to stop, which means 2 or 3 rounds and reassess. If the attacker is still moving forward or presenting a threat, I'd continue firing. I try to train: extend/aim/safety off, BANG BANG BANG, safety on.

    Death of the attacker would be easier, legally, but totally irrelevant to my safety.
     
  11. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    I have but one comment. I shoot to stop the threat, whether it be 1 or 3 well placed rounds, and I don't have security cameras located in my house. :cool:
     
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    There is a reason that it is called "stopping power" and not "killing power"
     
  13. Polygon

    Polygon New Member

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    I'm with the majority. If I had to pull my weapon and fire, I'm shooting to stop. If they die in the process, that's their problem. But if the attacker has broken into my home I shoot to kill.
     
  14. moonpie

    moonpie New Member

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    this is the reason i carry no weapons nor do i own any. i agree that weapons are a daily necessity for the military and to a lesser extent for the protectors of our society, but i have chosen to forgo them. weapons have but one function and one conclusion to their use, but this is not the life i lead. i have the tools i use in my work and my life. my tools serve me in my life but it is on me to choose the proper tool for the job at hand. this is the reason i have tools that hammer and tools that cut, tools with batteries and some tools with hollowpoints thet make a very loud noise
     
  15. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    Well struck, Moon!
     
  16. fixxer

    fixxer New Member

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    I agree with your statement right up to "I shoot to kill". We have all been tought that a discharging firearm means certain death. This is usually how the concept of keeping the muzzle pointed in the safest direction is ingrained into us. Because of this, it is sometimes easy for us to say "I would kill if attacked". In reality, even well placed inflected gun shots may not kill a person instantly. I believe we are morally obligated to do everything in our power to stop the threat without *intentionally* ending life. Ending the attackers life may be a byproduct of the defense but should not be the intent; otherwise, it is no longer defending yourself but rather taking up the offensive. The difference can be as simple as how you explain your actions. Remember that intent is the degree which one will be judged. It doesn't matter if you are at 7-11, the grocery store or your bedroom.
    Jerome Ersland; the now convicted murderer, was on his own property when he was being threatened. He reacted badly and believed had the right to do so. He made his intent to kill known through excessive force. In the heat of anger he made a very bad decision. (He also must have realized this at some point. I say this because he initially got caught in a lie about when the robber was actually killed). His reaction was evaluated and deemed unneccessary to prevent further violence on behalf of the robber. He stopped the threat but continued to shoot until the robber was lifeless on Ersland's own property.
    Law is interpreted largely by presidence set during earlier rulings. Jerome Ersland was not the first and he sadly will not be the last. The next person who continues to shoot needlessly after the threat is ended will also be convicted of murder. Any evidence or confession to shooting to kill will get one charged with murder.
    If someone tells the prosecution "He broke in our house and I was scared for our lives so I killed him!" you are admitting intent to kill whether it was justifiable homocide or not. If on the other hand someone tells the prosecution "He broke into our house and I was scared for our lives so I shot him until he quit" they have admitted only to protecting their right to survive. One statement tells the world they intended only to defend. Another statement tells the world they took to the offensive and INTENDED to take a life.
    How someones reaction is legally judged is all in the perception of their intent by Law Enforcement, a District Attorney and possibly in the end by a Jury.
     
  17. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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    Shoot to stop is just more political correctness BS. I'll bet if some ******* attacks your child or your wife you will want him dead and you can say whatever you want but you know it's the truth. It's sad we have to say "shoot to stop" just so we don't offend someone or piss off some sorry *** lawyer somewhere.

    I understand why we have to say shoot to stop to protect ourselves from these sorry inviduals. It's just a sign of the times. But once again I know for a fact if you came home and caught some guy raping your kids and wife you'd shoot to kill or you'd beat him to death. And if you say you wouldn't then I guess we will have to call you Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  18. Polygon

    Polygon New Member

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    Well, I don't know the law in your state but here in Utah you can't be sued if you kill someone that breaks into your home. However, if you merely injure them, plan to be sued. Criminals have won before in those circumstances. I'm not about to be sued because someone broke into my home. And above all else I'm not going to allow someone to threaten the safety of me and my family in MY HOME.

    I stand by my statement. In PUBLIC I shoot to STOP. In MY HOME I shoot to KILL. I might give them the option to leave if given the chance. However, in not or they refuse to leave I'm killing them plain a simple.
     
  19. fixxer

    fixxer New Member

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    Hey Polygon. I don't know what the law is in Utah either. I have nothing in Kansas *I know of* that opens me to civil liability if I shot an assailent that has placed us in mortal fear but merely wound him. Civil law is a whole different animal from Criminal law. Under civil law for example, you are not protected by the 5th. I know from the hours spent trying to interpret legalese that I suck at it. That's why I enlist the help of others engaged in the same study. It's a much deeper issue than that though. I think this may sound stupid to you but I sincerely believe that if I had to shoot someone invading my house; I would evaluate each shot or group of shots I made. If I can possibly help it, I will do my level best not to take a life. At the same time, I will not stick around to render aid. This is simply due to a basic tenant of getting to safety first and foremost and calling for help. IMO, and the opinion of at least a few well trained individuals; rendering aid is a good way to either get killed by an unassumed assailent or contract a bloodborne pathogen. I will place shots as best as I can and then get my Wife to safety and call the authorities. No more---no less. I am not well trained for the rest of the mumbo-jumbo and could actually cause more harm than good anyway. I think we are at an empasse here. You seem to fear civil retribution and I can respect that and I do respect you . We are brothers in arms and we both clearly support the 2nd Amendment. I am far from agreement that it is ethical to kill someone over a monetary concern. I suspect; with no proof either way, that it is a misnomer to believe that you will be sued if you do not kill an assailent. I have certainly heard this story but I have not been able to confirm it. It appears to be an urban legend based on half-truths if any; but again, I have no evidence that it is completely false. I of all people understand that lack of proof does not prove anything. I would think that it is entirely possible someone would risk more civil liability by surviving family members if you were to keep shooting after the assailent falls. Think about the ballistics involved in our weapons brother. One or two bullets that penetrate the floor vice the walls of our properties could be evidence enough for a Jury to decide you executed an intruder instead of stopping a threat. And just so I don't sound like a passifist, I do want to reiterate that I would not give up the fight either. Even if I had to relaod the revolver/shotgun/pistol. Even if I squeezed the trigger until all I heard was "click, click", I would then turn that chunk of mass into a nice bludgeoning instrument. If they keep trying to hurt us, I keep shootin' and kickin' and stabbin and jukin' til they stop. NOW, if that means they are so stupid or amped up that they cannot be stopped alive, I believe I would subtract their soul from Earth. I think we're in 100% agreement there. I shudder at the thought. I hope neither you nor I ever have to deal with that sort of hell. The idea of an intruder suing a ritous defender after an attack angers me as much as it does you. It really does. I'm getting upset thinking about it and the possibility that the parents of the dead robber might be able to sue Mr. Ersland for whatever he might have had left. Especially when I have spent a lot of time trying to raise awareness through discussion and *typing* (for however little that is worth) about stopping a threat vs killing a the bad guys. That kid who was robbing the Pharmacy was obviously no Saint! And I'm darn glad that the two adults who talked the kid into it (these cowards sat in the get-away car around the corner) got convicted of murder for doing so. But again, I humbly caution us all to avoid letting anger and the certainty of ritousness be the judge to which control our actions. If Jerome had stopped to evaluate what he was doing, he would likely be a free man today. Just as the District Attorney involved in the case stated: Jerome "made himself judge, jury, executioner".
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011