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OldDude
09-26-05, 03:45 PM
Take that, Texas. At 1.16 per 100K residents, we are almost twice Dallas at 0.62. Michigan House bill seeks to expand citizen's right to self-defense.

I have to disagree with bleeding heart gun control freaks who think an average of 11 justifiable homicides per year (out of 395) would "stun the layman" or "represent a sense of frontier justice."

It more reflects "don't break into my house and you won't die."
(article is snipped due to length)
http://www.freep.com/news/mich/justify26e_20050926.htm
BIG-CITY DEATHS: The time to kill

Detroit had more justifiable homicides than any of the 10 biggest cities in 1999-2003. Now a state House bill seeks to expand citizens' rights to use deadly force in self defense.
September 26, 2005

BY JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER


House Bill 5143
The bill's purpose is to clarify the rights of self-defense and to provide immunity from prosecution or civil lawsuit.
It would allow a citizen to use force he or she reasonably believes necessary -- including fatal force -- against someone breaking into their home or occupied vehicle.

Law-abiding citizens in a public place could stand their ground and resist a threat of serious injury.
. . .

Detroit has long since ceded the title of Murder City. But Detroiters are still killing each other at a breathtaking rate that leads America's 11 largest cities, according to FBI crime records.

From 1999 to 2003, Detroit has logged more justifiable homicides than New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or the seven other biggest cities. And the rate at which Detroiters have legally killed is nearly double that of the next highest cities, according to the most recent FBI records.


Meanwhile, a bill introduced to expand and codify citizens' rights to use deadly force in self-defense or to stop a felony has been introduced in the state House.


Detroit citizens have taken up firearms and knives to protect themselves and others from robbers, violent spouses, would-be killers and rapists on streets, in homes and at businesses. In many cases, police or prosecutors decided the killing was justified and not a crime.


Even so, the bill's author says, the law is needed to protect citizens from a potentially capricious legal system where they might be charged as criminals or sued for defending themselves or their homes. If a burglar were shot inside a house, his relatives would be barred from suing the homeowner.


"I call it the 'Castle Doctrine' and a person should not have to retreat," Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said last week.


The former sheriff of Eaton County said: "I've seen many, many crime victims ... Citizens should be able to defend their lives when they are in imminent danger no matter if they are in their home, car or out in public where they can legally be."


The bill would not cover, for example, a gangster who kills a rival in self-defense during a dope deal. Currently, the survivor might be charged for the drug offense, but not for the killing.


The bill is opposed by prosecutors and some judges who call it unnecessary and an invitation to greater gunplay.


In the cases involving Rivera and Taliaferro-Cain, the bill might not have made any difference in criminal charges, but could come into play to block a civil lawsuit. No law can salve the pain a killing brings the survivors nor control unpredictable ramifications and reactions.


Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said last week through spokesman James Tate that she has not read the proposed law, but that Detroit's "great number of justifiable homicides" reflects citizens responding to force with force.


Chilling numbers, hard truths


The number of justifiable killings may stun the layperson, but leading criminologists James Alan Fox of Northeastern University and Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University said recently the numbers are in line given the number of Detroit's homicides.

They said justifiable homicides usually equal about 5% of a city's slayings -- and Detroit's average of 11 justifiable killings a year versus 395 homicides a year falls within that range.


Fox said Detroit's count is statistically in line "based on criminal homicides."


Even so, Michigan State University sociologist Carl Taylor said last week the numbers and the proposed bill show "a sense of frontier justice, of acting without thinking."


"Some people are very angry, and some people are very afraid," Taylor said. "A lot of people wonder, 'Are the police coming?' If the cavalry isn't coming, you got to get out your six-shooter."


Former Detroit Police Chief Isaiah McKinnon said last week the city has a culture of violence, a fearful population and ready access to firearms. It's a recipe for trouble, he said.


While there has never been an agreed-upon count, Detroit is awash with tens of thousands of legal and illegal guns. For instance, the Detroit Police Department took 3,495 guns off the city's streets in 2003, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


"And there is a lack of trust in government at all levels, a feeling one has to protect one's self and family," McKinnon said.


Prosecutors Kym Worthy and David Gorcyca said last week they oppose the new law.


Oakland County's Gorcyca, president-elect of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, said the bill is "a very dangerous proposition that greatly expands the use of deadly force. It's just bad public policy."


Worthy, of Wayne County, said the law elevates property protection to the level of human life.


She said the bill encourages people to stand and fight rather than take steps to avoid conflict.


"The number of justifiable homicides shows the law that we have is working," she said.


Currently, she said, her office weighs the circumstances, admissible evidence and the ability to prove a case to a jury. "We're not charging people willy-nilly," she said.


Others say they think the fears about the proposed law are overwrought.


Robert Kahle, a Ferndale-based social researcher, said he opposed the relaxation of the concealed-weapons law several years ago, thinking it would lead to a surge in killings.


Nothing of the sort happened; in fact, he said, the raw numbers for homicides and violent crimes in Detroit have been declining. "Yes, there is hope," he said last week. Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist, said Michigan is following Florida, which also broadened its self-defense laws.


"I'd be astonished if it has any effect," Kleck said last week, adding that few people go through a legal analysis when deciding whether to fight or flee.

kvrdave
09-26-05, 03:51 PM
Criminals just need more hugs :(

wildcatlh
09-26-05, 04:12 PM
Just as a warning to Michigan, Florida did that last year, and now the Brady Campaign (or whatever they call themselves, forget who) are running national (and international) newspaper advertisements telling people that they'll be shot if they come to Florida:

TALLAHASSEE -- Warning that Florida streets have the potential to morph into the O.K. Corral, gun-control advocates will launch an international campaign to alert travelers about a new state law that allows people to use deadly force in self-defense.

On Saturday it will become legal to use force on an attacker without first trying to escape the confrontation.

Supporters say the measure, which they dub the "Stand Your Ground" law, allows residents to protect themselves by meeting force with force.

Opponents, who call it the "Shoot First Law," warn it could hand itchy trigger fingers a license to kill.

"It's a particular risk faced by travelers coming to Florida for a vacation because they have no idea it's going to be the law of the land," said Peter Hamm, communications director of the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "If they get into a road rage argument, the other person may feel he has the right to use deadly force."

In a flier the group plans to pass out at Miami International Airport and possibly Orlando International Airport, tourists will be admonished to take precautions that include: "Do not argue unnecessarily with local people." Newspapers ads, billboards and the Internet will also be used to spread the word.

Championed by the National Rifle Association, the law makes it legal for someone to use deadly force against anyone who unlawfully or forcefully enters their home or car -- even if they are not being attacked.

Marion Hammer, president of Unified Sportsmen of Florida and a former NRA president, said the fearmongers are off-base. She said the new law seals the existing right of residents to protect their homes by shooting intruders, a concept known as the Castle Doctrine that dates back to the 1400s. But it extends that right to public places if people feel threatened with death or bodily harm.

The law was needed, she contends, because Florida prosecutors and courts have imposed a duty to retreat on law-abiding people who are attacked by criminals.

"When they take away your basic rights and freedoms, every once in a while you have to take it back. No law-abiding citizen should be forced to retreat from an attacker ... in their homes or any place they have a legal right to be," Hammer said.

"Under existing law, you have a duty to try to run and maybe get chased down and beaten to death," she added. "Now, if you have a knife, firearm or pepper spray, you can use force to protect yourself."

Willie Meggs, who was president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association when the Legislature considered the bill this spring, said it solves a problem that doesn't exist.

"We may not have any problems with it and if we don't, that's fine," said Meggs, the state attorney for Leon County. "But what I worry about, and I don't know if it will come to fruition, is that people who should be prosecuted will have a defense for using force when they didn't need to."

In signing the bill into law last spring, Gov. Jeb Bush defended the measure, saying it "defies common sense" to force people to retreat when they're in a life-threatening situation.

The Brady Campaign, established by former presidential spokesman Jim Brady and his wife Sarah, plans to aggressively advertise on the Internet to warn out-of-state tourists. Hamm said that as of Wednesday when the phrase "Florida Vacation" is typed onto some search engines a link to www.shootfirstlaw.org will pop up.

The group is also running ads in the travel sections of the Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune and likely some London newspapers beginning Sunday. They will also be putting up billboards in places where they can be easily seen by tourists and passing out airport fliers in English and Spanish.

"The biggest myth in Florida is [that] this is about protecting people who use legitimate self-defense," Hamm said. "This law ... sends a message to people who are potentially unstable and have an itchy trigger finger that as long as they can make a reasonable case they were in fear, they can use deadly force against somebody."

The measure had overwhelming support in the Legislature, where it passed the Senate in a 39-0 vote and the House, 94-20.

"We're the wild, wild West and I think criminals will abuse it," said Rep. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, one of the few who voted against the measure. "There will be more street fights ... especially if there is a criminal element in a certain area, [and] they won't hesitate to use their guns."

Nonsense, said Hammer, saying the law will now do what most people thought it already did.

"Most people know you can't chase somebody down the street and shoot them," she said.

Ranger
09-26-05, 04:24 PM
Take that, Texas. At 1.16 per 100K residents, we are almost twice Dallas at 0.62.
Couldn't it be argued that there are just a lot more criminals in Detriot (more targets) than in Dallas?

Jason
09-26-05, 04:34 PM
I have to disagree with bleeding heart gun control freaks who think an average of 11 justifiable homicides per year (out of 395) would "stun the layman" or "represent a sense of frontier justice."

It more reflects "don't break into my house and you won't die."
]

Aren't there already laws that let you shoot intruders in your own home? The laws they want to enact look more like laws that let you shoot "suspected" intruders hanging around on the sidewalk outside your home.

OldDude
09-26-05, 05:46 PM
Just as a warning to Michigan, Florida did that last year, and now the Brady Campaign (or whatever they call themselves, forget who) are running national (and international) newspaper advertisements telling people that they'll be shot if they come to Florida:

We don't have nearly the tourist business Florida does. We'd probably split the cost of the ad with them.

Th0r S1mpson
09-26-05, 06:11 PM
Couldn't it be argued that there are just a lot more criminals in Detriot (more targets) than in Dallas?
That's what I was gonna say. People in Texas know they have it coming, so naturally the numbers will be lower.

bhk
09-26-05, 08:56 PM
I imagine Time magazine in the future will have an article titled:
"Self defense shootings at an all time high despite record low crime rate" to complement their article on how despite crime being at an all time low, our jails were overcrowded.

grundle
09-27-05, 07:15 AM
Opponents, who call it the "Shoot First Law," warn it could hand itchy trigger fingers a license to kill.

"It's a particular risk faced by travelers coming to Florida for a vacation because they have no idea it's going to be the law of the land," said Peter Hamm, communications director of the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "If they get into a road rage argument, the other person may feel he has the right to use deadly force."

In a flier the group plans to pass out at Miami International Airport and possibly Orlando International Airport, tourists will be admonished to take precautions that include: "Do not argue unnecessarily with local people." Newspapers ads, billboards and the Internet will also be used to spread the word.


Those people are unfamiliar with the real world behavior of real world people who have real world gun permits. So here are some actual real world statistics on real world people who have real world gun permits:

http://tinyurl.com/5yxst

First, what are "liberalized" concealed carry laws? They are a set of requirements, when met by an applicant, require the issuance of a concealed carry permit, which allows a permit holder to carry a gun (concealed) in public places. These requirements may consist of a license fee, a safety training program or exam, fingerprinting, a "clean" record, no history of mental illness, etc. In other words it is not left to the discretion of local authorities to decide whether or not to issue a permit. Liberalized concealed carry laws are more often referred to as "shall-issue concealed carry weapons" laws.

<b>In 1987, when Florida enacted such legislation, critics warned that the "Sunshine State" would become the "Gunshine State." Contrary to their predictions, homicide rates dropped faster than the national average. Further, through 1997, only one permit holder out of the over 350,000 permits issued, was convicted of homicide.</b> (Source: Kleck, Gary Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, p 370. Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York, 1997.) <b>If the rest of the country behaved as Florida's permit holders did, the U.S. would have the lowest homicide rate in the world.</b>

David Kopel, Research Director at the Independence Institute comments on Florida's concealed carry experience:

"What we can say with some confidence is that allowing more people to carry guns does not cause an increase in crime. <b>In Florida, where 315,000 permits have been issued, there are only five known instances of violent gun crime by a person with a permit. This makes a permit-holding Floridian the cream of the crop of law-abiding citizens, 840 times less likely to commit a violent firearm crime than a randomly selected Floridian without a permit.</b>" ("More Permits Mean Less Crime..." Los Angeles Times, Feb. 19, 1996, Monday, p. B-5)


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