In her article, “Can we always tell ‘bad guys?’” Joan King makes a number of assertions that are put forward as fact, when they are anything but.
She talks about good guys and bad buys and good guys becoming bad guys. The simple fact is there are those who obey the law and those who don’t. Under the law, all are good guys until they break the law. When a person attempts to kill or inflict great bodily harm to an innocent person, he or she is a bad guy. This is not difficult to understand.
If a person should try to kill me or another innocent person or inflict great bodily harm to myself, or another, I will use any and all means at my disposal, up to and including deadly force to ensure that he or she doesn’t succeed. To do anything less is to fail in my moral duty.
For a citizen, the rules of engagement for the use of deadly force should be very simple: to save life or limb only. She stated: “The police tell them ... that a glut of guns means a glut of shootings.” This is just not true. John Lott’s book, for example, “More Guns Less Crime” uses hard statistical data to prove just the opposite. I don’t know what police she is referring to, but certainly none that I have talked to. They know that this is not true.
She attacked the “stand your ground” laws, stating “They allow gun-bearing individuals to shoot just about anybody they can convincingly describe as ‘threatening.’” This shows her absolute ignorance of the law.
The “stand your ground” laws only remove the requirement to retreat, which would require a person to give up any tactical advantage that they might have had because of the requirement to retreat. Retreat would often put a person in even greater danger from the perpetrator.
In any shooting incident, one must be able to pass the “reasonable person” test in claiming self-defense, with or without the “stand your ground” laws. This basically says that a “reasonable person” in the same situation would perceive the same threat and would likely respond as the one claiming self-defense did.
“Stand your ground” laws do not allow you to shoot “the unexplained stranger in your yard or standing by your car.” There must be a credible threat, especially if you are in your house: You don’t go out, you call the police. If, on the other hand, they are armed and breaking down your door, you have to do whatever is necessary to protect your family.
I feel personally insulted by her comment “after they’ve killed someone, do they experience remorse or do they rationalize: I simply rid society of a ‘bad guy.’” No, you thank God that you or another person are alive because you did what you had to do. And any normal, rational person would feel remorse, second guess himself or herself, and wish to God that it had not been necessary.