In Fear for My Life is not a ‘Get Out of Jail’ card

‘I was in fear for my life’ has become something of a mantra for those who carry weapons for Personal Protection. However, ‘fear’ has no bearing on whether a shooting is a legal act. Only the ‘reasonableness’ of the act is germane in a Court of Law. Stopping your car, getting out of it, walking back to a school bus behind you, and then shooting at it is unlikely to be viewed in court as ‘reasonable.’

“Lilly told officers that he feared for his safety and that is why he shot at the bus driver.” The responding officer was unimpressed and took the shooter into custody. He is now being charged with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and other charges.

Pure luck and poor marksmanship are the only reason this person isn’t being charged with Murder. As it is, he’s still facing 20 years or more in prison. The prosecutor is planning to throw the book at him and rightly so. That’s a Negative Outcome.

The actions of Mr. Lilly were outrageous and it was sheer luck that neither the bus driver nor the little girl were killed

know the rules

Not understanding the rules is one of the topics addressed in Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, my downloadable audio recording.

It’s probably just as well that he was no more skilled than what he was.

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills downloadable eBook.

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7 responses

  1. “I was in fear….” implies a coward. Everybody loves a coward.

    1. Umm no it doesn’t.

  2. […] But the law doesn’t require that you “feel afraid”. The law requires that you “reasonably” fear death or great bodily harm – and by “reasonable”, we mean “an investigator, prosecutor, judge or jury believes it&#… […]

  3. This guy…he’s from here, where I’m from. I’m sorry he carried a weapon. I’m sure there’s an instructor somewhere who checked his class lists and saw this guy and groaned ‘oh, no’.

    He wore his security guard uniform to and from work. And his gun. Sometimes necessary for a security job, but often indicative of a ‘I’m in uniform and I wear a gun so I’m a cop’ mindset.

    My guess is he’s in LE classes somewhere, or already been turned down by a few departments. Those are the other people checking their lists and going ‘whew’, we didn’t hire this lawsuit and tragedy waiting to happen.

  4. I find it interesting to look into the origin of some of these concepts I.E.

    (e) Justifying Fear.
    A bare fear of any of the offenses mentioned in Code, 4264, to prevent which the homicide is alleged to have been committed, shall not be sufficient to justify the killing. It must appear that the circumstances were sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable man,
    (Handbook of GA Criminal Law, pub 1873)

    To justify the killing they must have been the fears of a reasonably courageous man not the fears of a coward…
    (A Treatise On The Law of Homicide, 1914)

  5. According to the gun-grabbing, liberty-hating freedom-loathing Leftists, “I feared for my life” is all that it takes. Magic words and all. They completely ignore the reasonableness requirement.

  6. Don’t know how many of the respondents are attorneys. I am. I also taught firearms law for quite a few years in my home state to those applying for a concealed pistol license. One thing that constantly amazed me is how many lay people think self-defense is simple-just say you were in fear for your life and you’re home free. Well, I hate to tell you this but it ain’t so easy. First, each state has it’s own statutes on what will constitute justifiable homicide. Second, each state has case law which further interprets how the facts of given situations fits into the legal framework of the statutes. Then there are the facts of each unique case. Witnesses; videos; personal background, training and equipment used as well as forensics and expert witness all can come into play. And don’t forget your friendly opposing counsel. There will probably be two-a prosecutor for the criminal case and a civil plaintiff counsel for the wrongful death claim. And yes, even the biggest scum bag will have a bunch of loving relatives who will parade in front of a jury explaining how wonderful the guy was you mowed down in cold blood.

    I’m all for self defense and support it and one’s right to carry. But those of use who are willing to exercise deadly force need to really do exactly as set forth above. Read the statutes and case law related to self defense and invest in some of the good legal books available on the subject. If you insisst on ignoring the law, having adequate skills and exercising good judgement, be prepared to cough up about $50,000 for good attorney, and tht’s only for the criminal side.

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