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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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DAVID FRENCH
August 21, 2019


Yesterday the Michigan Court of Appeals handed down a decision in a highly public and very controversial case that gun owners across the United States should applaud. In short, it demonstrates and validates the value of armed self-defense even when you do not pull the trigger and — crucially — have no cause to pull the trigger. It justifies the brandishing of a gun as pre-emptive measure to block the use of unlawful force.

What do I mean? Hang with me for a moment, because this case is a bit complicated. At its heart is a dispute between Siwatu-Salama Ra, an African-American concealed-carry permit holder from Detroit, and a woman named Channel Harvey. Ra was put on trial for assault with a dangerous weapon and possessing a firearm while committing a felony after she brandished her unloaded pistol at Harvey during a heated confrontation outside Ra’s mother’s house.

The facts are hotly disputed, but Ra claimed that during the course of an argument, Harvey backed her car into Ra’s vehicle — while Ra’s two-year-old daughter was inside, playing. Ra claims she grabbed her daughter out of the car, then grabbed her unloaded gun, “pointed the gun at Harvey’s car” and then again demanded that Harvey leave. Harvey testified that Ra was the aggressor, and that she hit Ra’s car on accident only after Ra pointed the gun at her. The jury apparently believed Harvey’s version of events, and Ra received a two-year prison sentence.

The case was immediately controversial, with critics of the verdict claiming that the case represented “yet another instance of a black gun owner, with the permits to legally carry, defending themselves against violence — and getting punished for it.” The NRA tweeted in support of Ra.

Yesterday the Michigan Court of Appeals threw out her conviction. It didn’t hold that the jury got the outcome wrong but rather that it didn’t have a true opportunity to get it right. It was improperly instructed on the law, and the trial court placed too high a burden on Ra to justify her decision to brandish her weapon.

The jury was instructed only on the affirmative defense of self-defense through the use of “deadly force.” To prove that deadly force was appropriate, a defendant has to prove that she “reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.” (Emphasis added.)

Under this reasoning, a person could brandish a weapon only when she has the legal right to fire the weapon.

The court of appeals, however, said that’s not the law. When one brandishes a weapon without firing it, they don’t, in fact, use “deadly force.” They use nondeadly force, and the legal standard for the use of nondeadly force only requires the defendant to prove that she “reasonably believes that the use of that force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual.” (Emphasis added.)

Under this reasoning, a person can brandish a weapon to prevent the imminent use of force from escalating to a threat of imminent death.

As the court noted, “merely to threaten death or serious bodily harm, without any intention to carry out the threat, is not to use deadly force, so that one may be justified in pointing a gun at his attacker when he would not be justified pulling the trigger.” There’s a commonsense element to this conclusion. Police officers, for example, sometimes point a weapon at an individual as a means of preventing unlawful force even when they don’t have the legal right to fire a shot.

Crucially, this legal doctrine does not create a license to kill. Nondeadly force becomes deadly force the very instant a person pulls the trigger, and when a person pulls the trigger they have to prove the threat of imminent death or great bodily harm. The doctrine does — as a practical matter — allow citizens to use the threat of decisive force to deter unlawful violence.

A contrary rule places civilians in an untenable position. They could not even pull their weapon until the threat of death is actively upon them. They would be forced to maintain maximum vulnerability right up until the point of maximum danger — a legal position that would be most threatening to people of slight physical stature who lack alternative effective means of self-defense.

Now, some important caveats. This is a Michigan case. It is not setting rules for other jurisdictions. Don’t rely on Michigan law to determine your actions in, say, Ohio. Moreover, even under legal standards similar to Michigan’s it’s still a grave decision to pull a weapon from a holster or from the glove compartment of your car. It’s legally consequential and extremely dangerous. But the Michigan case outlines what should be the proper legal standard. The sight of a gun has the power to deter violence, and banning its use outside of the threat of imminent death would — perversely enough — allow too many confrontations to escalate.

Prosecutors have a right to appeal the decision to their state supreme court. They should not. Ra has suffered immensely. She gave birth while imprisoned, and her child was taken from her two days later. She spent months separated from her newborn – after a conviction under the wrong legal standard. The court of appeals reached the just result. Ra’s legal ordeal needs to end.




https://www.nationalreview.com/2019...self-defense-is-broader-than-you-might-think/
 
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WTF was she doing carrying an UNLOADED gun? Might as well have a nice paperweight or a roll of quarters in a sock
 
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WTF was she doing carrying an UNLOADED gun? Might as well have a nice paperweight or a roll of quarters in a sock
Who can say? There are certainly plenty of reasons why anyone, including any of us on this forum, could have an unloaded gun in their car. We would have to ask her without assuming that she was a loon for not having that particular gun loaded at that particular time.

--Wag--
 

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Pennsylvania has no law against
brandishing.
Texas has no law against brandishing. Drawing and displaying a weapon is a defense if it's justified to meet a proportional threat. The penal code has the word, "reasonable," which means it's up to the judicial system to make that determination. A solid defense must include the a word like, "fear."

Displaying a weapon out of anger (road rage, domestic dispute), or for bragging rights, bullying, drunkenness, etc. doesn't turn out well.

Accidental display by LTC is (assuming the accident is in a place where LTC is lawful) is mitigated if the perp takes care of it immediately.

Texas also has no law for "printing."
 

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Displaying a weapon out of anger (road rage, domestic dispute), or for bragging rights, bullying, drunkenness, etc. doesn't turn out well.

Totally agree with the above statement. I do feel if you brandish to deescalate a situation. you then should not face charges, especially if the situation ended with no shots fired.
Most reasonable LTC holders would rather not discharge their weapons. But if allowing the other party to see what they are up against stops the threat with no violence, that's a good outcome
 

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A long time ago while fishing on a remote section of the upper Hillsbourgh river in Florida, I had caugh some Mud fish (trash fish) and they were laying on the bank. I heard noise behind me and spun around. A man was standing behind me with a machete. As I said what can I do for you, I slid my fitigue shirt back so he could see the un-snapped holster and my hand slid to the grip. He dropped the machete and asked if he could have the fish. I said when I left they would be there. Never saw him again. If there was a threat, it stopped right then and maybe he ate fish that night.
 

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Meanwhile in Pennsylvania

A Lancaster County man who made a “gun-like hand gesture” at his neighbor committed a crime, according to a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling.

Stephen Kirchner, 64, of Manor Township, was charged last year with summary disorderly conduct for the gesture, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.
The gesture prompted the neighbor to call 911. (Surveillance video of the hand gesture can be seen below.)

“Kirchner argued on appeal that the gesture did not cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition, that he did not intend to cause public alarm, and that there essentially was no harm done to the victim or society,”
a statement from the DA’s Office said.
However, the high court found the gesture of imitating the firing and recoiling of a gun “risked an altercation” and supported the charge.
The neighbor also reported feeling insecure, which is why the call to 911 was placed.

Kirchner was ordered to pay a $100 fine and court costs.


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crim...pennsylvania-court/ar-AAGsi3J?ocid=spartanntp
 

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Displaying a weapon out of anger (road rage, domestic dispute), or for bragging rights, bullying, drunkenness, etc. doesn't turn out well.

Totally agree with the above statement. I do feel if you brandish to deescalate a situation. you then should not face charges, especially if the situation ended with no shots fired.
Most reasonable LTC holders would rather not discharge their weapons. But if allowing the other party to see what they are up against stops the threat with no violence, that's a good outcome
I was taught if yo pull a weapon and point it, you pull the trigger. Your life is in danger or you are hunting for sustenance.
 

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Meanwhile in Pennsylvania

A Lancaster County man who made a “gun-like hand gesture” at his neighbor committed a crime, according to a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling.

Stephen Kirchner, 64, of Manor Township, was charged last year with summary disorderly conduct for the gesture, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.
The gesture prompted the neighbor to call 911. (Surveillance video of the hand gesture can be seen below.)

“Kirchner argued on appeal that the gesture did not cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition, that he did not intend to cause public alarm, and that there essentially was no harm done to the victim or society,”
a statement from the DA’s Office said.
However, the high court found the gesture of imitating the firing and recoiling of a gun “risked an altercation” and supported the charge.
The neighbor also reported feeling insecure, which is why the call to 911 was placed.

Kirchner was ordered to pay a $100 fine and court costs.


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crim...pennsylvania-court/ar-AAGsi3J?ocid=spartanntp
Did this man loe his right to keep his fire arms?

“risked an altercation”====RED FLAG LAW just beginning. The neighbor also reported feeling insecure, which is why the call to 911 was placed. ==Maybe he should buy a gun to protect himself.
 

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Displaying a weapon out of anger (road rage, domestic dispute), or for bragging rights, bullying, drunkenness, etc. doesn't turn out well.

Totally agree with the above statement. I do feel if you brandish to deescalate a situation. you then should not face charges, especially if the situation ended with no shots fired.
Most reasonable LTC holders would rather not discharge their weapons. But if allowing the other party to see what they are up against stops the threat with no violence, that's a good outcome
To further clarify Texas law (it's where I live) if, say, words are exchanged, "You're a dirty rotten scum bag!" "So what, your mother has bad breath and stuff."

And an actor exposes a weapon in an effort to shut down the convo, that actor is in big trouble.

Here's what MAY work: "My daddy can beat your daddy!" "I'm going to crash your skull with this tire iron!"

The first actor exposes gun and says, "Think about that."

Proportional response.

HOWEVER Texas penal code contains the word, "reasonable," so neither person gets to make the call.

The court system will make the determination.
 

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Did this man loe his right to keep his fire arms?

[FONT=&]“risked an altercation”====RED FLAG LAW just beginning. [/FONT][FONT=&] The neighbor also reported feeling insecure, which is why the call to 911 was placed. ==Maybe he should buy a gun to protect himself.[/FONT]
Maybe he should call the law to protect himself.
 
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