The sad State of California is in the process of amending its deadly force law to change the standard from “reasonable” to “necessary.” It is a horrendous mistake being done to satisfy the naïve do-gooders as well as shrewd race-baiters. As California goes, too often, so goes the country.
The standard has been based on what the officer or citizen knew at the time, provided the officer or citizen met a general standard of being a reasonably competent person. Those who seek to change the law have done so under the misunderstanding that officers do not currently have to use lesser means of force when such means are appropriate. In other words, police currently can’t legally shoot a fleeing shoplifter, but they can chase and forcibly take the shoplifter into custody, using as much force as is required to overcome the suspect’s resistance. If an officer knowingly and improperly uses deadly force, he is criminally liable and there are ex-cops in prison who prove the point. Continue reading
The gun control effort has taken on new life largely because of a recent attack in a Florida bar. The arguments, as always are the same. A few years ago, novelist Stephen King wrote a kindle book–Guns. Mr. King strongly favors gun control. I do not. In 2013, I wrote a kindle response to Guns. An unedited draft was published for a short period to check reviews and then pulled for editing; the Practics manuscript diverted my attention and the following essay wasn’t released. The American Gun Fight draft is posted below and while it specifically addresses King’s book, it is a general response to popular gun control.
I wish everyone a pleasant Fourth of July.
Yesterday, the president announced another plan to prevent gun violence. Of course, as with every other gun scheme the focus was not on the offenders. Notice no one ever suggests lessening armed robberies by outlawing convenience stores or banks. Some will argue that the president’s plan does address potential offenders by “keeping guns from those with mental health problems.” Sure, provided they’re in a magic mental health database which is only accessed by reasonable and detached psychologists and psychiatrists, and not the local NGO nut with a mental health worker certificate from a community college. The problem is that the right to keep and bear arms is primarily for defense against tyranny. Now we must trust the tyrant to be fair when deciding who may possess a gun. Lunatics should not have firearms but I fear we are not speaking of those who have been legally determined incompetent through a medical/legal process. Every child custody dispute, VA treatment for PTSD (a disorder the military almost promotes amongst veterans), or restraining order (a process often with little judicial scrutiny) will create a whole new class of “crazies” everyday. A database depends on the integrity and restraint of those who determine the entrants. Do you think discretion and care of the rights of the governed are going to be the primary concerns of whatever agency oversees the magic database? As a former peace officer I assure it doesn’t work that way. Continue reading