Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Shooting First Is Always a Crime

UPDATE:  Every day.  Every fucking day.

If you're holding a gun on someone, there's always reason and time to say something first. Dick Cheney and the NRA have embedded into our culture the lie that shooting first is not just OK, but the best and safest thing to do.

That is a motherfucking lie.

It happened yet again: a trigger-happy homeowner hears something go bump in the night, pulls the trigger of a gun, and an innocent victim dies. This time it was a mother gunning down and killing her own daughter:
A woman in St. Cloud, Florida, woke up just before midnight Tuesday and fired a shot at a person she thought had broken into her home.
But the person wasn’t an intruder; it was her 27-year-old daughter. The woman fired one round, but police didn’t say where the bullet hit the daughter. She died at a hospital. The shooting appears to be accidental, police said. An investigation is ongoing.
The only problem with that story is the use of the word “accident.” Such shootings—and they occur all too frequently in America—are never accidents. They are not tragedies. They are negligent homicides at best, and 2nd-degree murders at worst.

The number of home invasion robberies that lead to physical harm for the victim is low—particularly in the sorts of neighborhoods in which “defensive gun use” tends to take place. There is very small chance that whatever is going bump in the night actually means you and your loved ones harm.


Even when there really is a criminal situation, the vast majority of the time it’s a petty thief looking to boost some electronics or jewelry to make a quick sale. They just want their next fix or meal ticket, and they’re not looking to up the ante on possible jail time by hurting you. Hurting you generally gains them nothing. Which means that common thieves can usually be scared off simply by shouting and alerting them to your presence.

There is almost never an excuse to fire a gun at an intruder without trying to talk to them and assess the situation first and at least try to scare them off. The notion that an intruder might have a gun which they might use on you first unless you have the element of surprise is essentially Hollywood fantasy.

If you shoot first and ask questions later, you should go to jail. It’s not an accident. It’s a crime.

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