• Defense of Others

    Limit defense of others to immediate family.

    Should there ever be an exception? Maybe a scenario like the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, where the justification is clearly evident and the situation itself is so obvious and so grave, action would clearly be warranted; but keep reading then decide…

    When you use deadly force to defend another, you are stepping into the would-be victim’s shoes and therefore you are taking ownership of the situation. The AOJ-P Analysis still applies only now it applies to you and not the person you are defending. This would imply that you know 100% of all the facts surrounding the defense of the person you have chosen to protect.

    Current laws (criminal or civil) do not shield Good Samaritans. If you should make a mistake like accidentally shooting the wrong person or miss the attacker and shoot an innocent bystander you will be held accountable. In addition, if the person you chose to defend is not innocent (the “victim” committed a crime related to the event that you are not aware of), things will most likely not go well for you in court.

    What if you came to the aid of another, believing that their life was in jeopardy and you shoot and killed their attacker and shortly thereafter, the victim tells the police that he or she did not believe their life was in danger but appreciated your help in the situation. This contradiction between what you believed and what the victim believed with regard to the level of danger present in the scenario is probably going to be enough to prosecute the case or at a minimum, take the case to a grand jury.

    The defense of others debate is never ending in the carry community. Generally speaking, there are basically two camps. The first group believes that if you have the means to protect someone, you have a moral obligation to try. The second group believes that the obligation extends to immediate family only.