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Old 06-19-2005, 08:03 PM   #26
Rupert Atkinson
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 997
United Kingdom
Re: The Law

Gene Martinelli wrote:
Or the other scenario two fools yelling at each other over a football team. One takes a swing the other grabs a beer bottle which causes the first guy to take out a gun or a knife ... you get the picture - does this same law apply?
Well, as far as I can tell, in Florida you could blast him away, but you'd have to prove the other guy started it. Neither is really a victim - they both started it. Law is often messy, but needs to be tilted towards the true victim in terms of self-defence.

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Old 06-19-2005, 11:16 PM   #27
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,243
Re: The Law

In Gene's first scenario, if Man #2 shoots to defend himself from a club or knife attack and hits an uninvolved person, he would probably face a charge of involuntary manslaughter (if the person died, obviously) here in California. Involuntary manslaughter is defined as a lawful act, done in a lawful manner that results in the death of another. Involuntary manslaughter is different from a justifiable homicide in that the victim was uninvolved in the events. If Man #2 kills Man #1, it would probably be ruled a justifiable homicide here under the doctrine of self-defense.

In the second scenario, as I understood it, Man #1 takes the first swing, Man #2 defends himself with a bottle, and Man #1 ups the ante and uses a gun or knife. Man #1 would probably be arrested and charged with any number of crimes. There is no particular law that speaks to the use of a knife to defend yourself, but knives have a terrible connotation with the public. Public opinion would really weigh against the individual using a knife to defend himself in most circumstances and prosecutors are sometimes, perhaps frequently, swayed by public opinion.

Trade you three earthquakes for a hurricane......

"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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